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Publication numberUS3796040 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 12, 1974
Filing dateJul 7, 1972
Priority dateJan 8, 1972
Also published asDE2200867A1, DE2200867B2, DE2200867C3
Publication numberUS 3796040 A, US 3796040A, US-A-3796040, US3796040 A, US3796040A
InventorsGiersiepen W, Rich W
Original AssigneeElektrotechnische Ind Giersiep
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Time-keeping arrangement
US 3796040 A
Abstract
A time-keeping device includes a display panel comprising a plurality of uniformly disposed identical panel divisions arranged in rows and columns, each capable of transmitting a visual signal and each representing a predetermined number of minute time units. A mechanical follower is movable along the panel divisions of each row for effecting the transmission of visual signals by successive ones of the panel divisions. A drive arrangement advances the follower from one panel division of a row to the succeeding panel division of that row at predetermined time intervals corresponding to the aforementoned predetermined number of minute time units.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 1 Mar. 12, 1974 United States Patent 1191 t al.

Gierslepen e 3,613,352 10/1971 Giersiepan...............1.......... 58/5OR Inventors: Werner Giersiepen, Wuppertal;

Walter Rich, Boblingen, both of Germany Primary ExaminerGeorge H. Miller, Jr.

Attorney, Agent, or FirmMichael S. Striker Elektrotechnische Industrie Gustav Giersiepen, Radevormwald, Germany [73] Assignee:

ABSTRACT [22] Filed: July 7, 1972 Appl. No.: 269,566

A time-keeping device includes a display panel comprising a plurality of uniformly disposed identical panel divisions arranged in rows and columns, each [30] Foreign Application Priority Data capable of transmitting a 'visual signal and each repre- Jan. 8, 1972 Germany.................. P 22 00 867.9

senting a predetermined number of minute time units. A.mechanical follower is movable along the panel divisions of each row for effecting the transmission of visual signals by successive ones of the panel divisions. A drive arrangement advances the follower from one panel division of a row to the succeeding'panel division of that row at predetermined time intervals corre- 8 .M2 49/5 l0 l 3 /P 504 ,4 R 6 .0 w m 7 8 m5 m 5 "B "8 w s n. 8 U" m Wh H c r u a m Kw L. C l0 s .m .m U .mw. N 5 55 r.. [.l

IMO/309.4

sponding to the aforementoned predetermined num ber of minute time units.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 118L134 4/1965 Le Saint et al. 340/3094 30 Claims, 19 Drawing Figures PATENTEDIAR 12 m4 smear 01 as 10 PATENTEDMAR 12 m4 1793040 sum sum 10 F/G.8 76 up f 1.9

WW i R H PATENTEI] m 12 1914 saw 05 0F 10 PATENTEUMAR 12 IEW sum 07 or 10 mew .QQ m mm N Rm X EN hm PATENTEUHAR 1 2 1974 sum 10 HF 10 TIME-KEEPING ARRANGEMENT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to time-keeping arrangements, and in particular to time-keeping arrangements of the type having a display panel including a plurality of panel divisions each representing a certain number of minutes and each capable of transmitting a visual signal.

Still more particularly, the invention relates to timekeeping arrangements having highly visible display panels of the type used at business conferences, formal debates, contests, and the like. This type of timekeeping arrangement has the advantage over conventional clocks that it affords a contestant, debater, or the like, information concerning the passage of time while making only the smallest possible demand upon his attention.

A disadvantage of known time-keeping arrangements of the type in question is that they ordinarily require a large number of illuminable lamps to mark the passage of time. This is undesirable because of the need to keep on hand a considerable number of spare lamps. Moreover, with time displays using a large number of lamps, there is the risk that a single one of the many lamps may become nonfunctional without the knowledge of the users. It is particularly unfortunate, for example, when during the course of a debate the indicating lamp corresponding to the last few minutes available has burned out. Similar and greater inconvenience may result in other applications and circumstances.

It is another disadvantage of many of the prior-art constructions that they are composed mainly of electronic timing circuitry. While electronic timing circuitry is more and more replacing mechanical arrangements in calculating machinery, and the like, its use does not always represent the most economical solution to certain problems. In particular, it is economical only to construct electronic time display arrangements having only a relatively limited capability, because highly flexible arrangements capable of performing many functions alternatively and/or simultaneously require an enormous amount of circuitry.

It is a related disadvantage of prior-art constructions, of both the electronic and mechanical types, that they are limited in their usefulness and are capable only of performing straightforward time-keeping operations of a completely predetermined kind.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is' accordingly an object of the present invention to overcome the disadvantages of the prior art.

It is another object to provide a novel time-keeping arrangement which overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art.

It is a further object to provide a time keeping arrangement using only a few or even no electronic components.

It is still another object to provide a time-keeping arrangement characterized by great flexibility, and capable of performing a great many services of the type which must usually be provided in some manner during business conferences, contests, debates and the like.

The above objects, and others which will become more apparent hereafter, can be realized in a timekeeping device which comprises a display panel comprising a plurality of uniformly disposed identical panel divisions arranged in rows and columns, each capable of transmitting a visual signal and each representing a predetermined number of minute time units. Follower means is movable along the panel divisions of each row for effecting transmission of visual signals by successive ones of the panel divisions. Drive means is provided for advancing the follower means from one panel division of a row to the succeeding panel division of that row at predetermined time intervals corresponding to said predetermined number of minute time units.

The novel features which are considered as characteristic of the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its mode of operation, together with additional features and advantages thereof, will be best understood upon perusal of the following detailed description of certain specific embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a front view of a time-keeping arrangement according to the invention, with the housing and certain other components removed for the sake of clarity;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the arrangement of FIG. 1, with part of the housing and certain other components removed;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the arrangement of FIGS. 1 and 2, with the housing removed;

FIG. 4 is a section through an auxiliary time-keeping arrangement forming an adjunct to the arrangement of FIGS. 1-3, with the housing and certain parts removed;

FIG. 5 is a top view of the arrangement of FIG. 4 with certain parts removed;

FIG. 6 is a top detail view of a part of the arrangement of FIGS. 4 and 5;

FIG. 7 is a front view of the part of the arrangement shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a somewhat schematic top view of a display panel according to the invention;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of another time-keeping arrangement according to the invention;

FIG. 10 is a front view of the arrangement shown in FIG. 9, with the housing and certain other parts removed;

FIG. 11 is a side view of the arrangement shown in FIGS. 9-10, with the housing and certain other parts removed; I

FIG. 12 is a top view of the arrangement shown in FIGS. 9-11, with the housing removed;

FIG. 13 is a top view of an upper partof the arrangement of FIGS. 9-12;

FIG. 14 is a sectional detail view of a part of the arrangement of FIGS. 913;

FIG. 15 is a view of a record sheet gripped in a clamping mechanism according to the invention;

FIG. 16 is a view of another clamping mechanism according to the invention;

FIG. 17 is a view of the clamping mechanism of FIG. 16 as seen in the direction of arrows IX;

FIG. 18 is a fragmentary and partially schematic view of a follower member provided with photoelectric sensing means;

FIG. 19 is a fragmentary and partially schematic view of a follower member provided with a different sensing means according to the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS To facilitate the readers task, and to permit the reader to quickly acquaint himself with the type of mechanical timing action contemplated, the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 will be briefly discussed in general and functional terms. Thereafter, all the embodiments will be discussed in detail.

A time-keeping apparatus according to the invention can have the appearance, for example, depicted in FIG. 9. The apparatus of FIG. 9 has a display panel 141 comprising a plurality 'of uniformly disposed identical panel divisions 146, which are arranged in rows and columns. Each panel division is illuminable, either because of the provision of an associated small lamp at the panel division, or because the panel division is translucent and transmits light from a moving light source located behind the panel and moving past the panel divisions row by row, in time-keeping fashion.

The interior mechanism of an apparatus similar to that of FIG. 9 is shown in FIGS. 1-3. FIG. 3, in particular, is a top view of the apparatus, with the housing removed, and with some parts shown schematically for the sake of clarity. The timing mechanism of FIGS. 1-3 includes a follower member 57 (see FIG. 3). In operation, follower 57, in a manner to be described, is caused to move left-to-right across the top horizontal row of panel divisions. When follower 57 comes to the rightmost end of such horizontal row, it is moved to the leftmost panel division of the next-lower horizontal row of panel divisions, and then traverses such next-lower row left-to-right. When the rightmost panel division of the lowest horizontal row is reached, the follower member is returned to the leftmost panel division of the top horizontal row.

Such row-by-row movement of follower 57 is en forced by the moving elongated guide members 61, 62, here in the form of sliding rods. Follower member 57 has a pair of transverse non-intersecting bores, through which respectively pass the guide rods 61, 62, and follower member 57 is slidable along the lengths of both rods. Vertical rod 61 is movable in left-to-right direction, i.e., transverse to its elongation; horizontal rod 62 is movable in top-to-bottom direction, i.e., transverse to its elongation. Left-to-right movement of rod 61 enforces left-to-right movement of follower 57, which is made to slide along the length of the other rod 62. Conversely, top-to-bottom movement of rod 62 enforces top-to-bottom movement of follower 57, which is forced to slide along the length of the vertical rod 61. Clearly, the row-by-row traversing movement of follower 57 is effected in X- and Y-coordinate fashion.

In FIG. 3, the traversal by follower 57 of one horizontal row of panel divisions requires exactly one hour. Thus, it takes follower 57 exactly five minutes to pass from one panel division of a horizontal row to the next panel division of that row. Horizontal rod 62 moves from the top horizontal row to the bottom horizontal row in 12 hours; vertical rod 61 moves from the leftmost vertical column to the rightmost vertical column in one hour, and is caused to perform such motion 12 times during a single 12-hour top-to-bottom movement of rod 62.

The movement of rods 61, 62 is effected by hourdrum 66 and l2-hour-drum 67. Rods 61, 62 are connected to drums 66, 67 by means of drive ropes 58, 58,

which are connected securely to the ends of the rods, and which pass over a set of guide pulleys 64. For instance, rod 61 is associated with drive rope 58'. Drive rope 58, at a point near its middle, is hooked over hook 65 of return spring 59, and its two halves are passed together from hook 65 to pulley 64a, and there branch apart at right angles. The horizontal branch portion is attached securely to the upper end of rod 61 'and passes to pulley 64c and is thereafter wound onto It will be appreciated that when hour-drum 66 turns clockwise, for example, both ends of rod 61 and thus the rod 61 itself are pulled to the right at an identical rate.

The inclination of rod 62 is a feature of importance. As inclined rod 62 moves downwards, and as follower 57 slides rightwards along the length of rod 62, the inclination of rod 62 will compensate for its continuous downward movement, so that follower 57 can describe an exactly horizontal path.

These general features of the invention having been presented, there now follows a detailed description of the figures, including, FIGS. 1-3 briefly described above.

The time-keeping apparatus 40 has a housing 41 with an upper portion 42, a frame 43 and a front face 44 whose transluscent display panel surface 45 comprises 12 X 12 identical and uniformly disposed panel divisions 46. Frame 43 accommodates a paper sheet 47, which is ruled with a rectangular grid corresponding to the distribution of panel divisions 46. The apportioning of the display panel and the paper sheet corresponds to 12 X 5 minutes per horizontal row 38 and 12 rows for the 12 hours from, for instance, 7 AM. to 6 P.M. Each panel division defines an opening 49 in which is slidably accommodated a depressible button 50. The buttons 50 are spring-loaded in mounting sleeves 51 provided in the openings, and are depressible into the surface of the display panel, so as to program in advance any of various operations (to be described) for a particular interval of time. Depressible buttons 50 (in a manner to be described) remain depressed until pressed down a second time toeffect their upward release.

The display panel 44 is provided nar one of its edges with two positioning pegs 53, which are located to receive the corresponding holes 54 of a sheet 47, which is designed according to DIN (German Industrial Norm) A-5. The Pegs 53 have at their free ends slits 55, and the two peg end portions defined by slit 55 can be squeezed together in opposition to the resilience of the material of the peg. The upper housing portion 42 is somewhat like a lecturn and is screwed onto a lower housing portion 56. To one side of the panel divisions, the front face 44 of the apparatus serves as a support, during the writing of comments in the marginal portions of sheet 47.

Referring to FIG. 3, the general concept and structure of the time-keeping mechanism is as described before. When follower 57 reaches the rightmost end of a horizontal row of panel divisions, electromagnet is activated, and disengages hour-wheel 68 from driven engagement by synchronous motor and drive gears 72. The hour-wheel is thus dc-clutched" and the vertical rod 61 is rapidly pulled leftwards under the influence of return spring 59.

As already described, each of rods 61, 62 is driven by drive ropes 58, 58 over guide pulleys 64. FIG. 2 shows clearly that the pulleys 64 are arranged in coaxial pairs, one pulley of each pair guiding the rope for a respective one of rods 61, 62.

Hour-drum 66 is driven by an hour-gear 68, and 12 hour-drum 67 is driven by a l2-hour-gear 69. The gears 68, 69 are driven from synchronous motor 70 via worm gear 71 and three transmission gears 72. Hour-gear 68 makes one revolution per hour, and is connected to 12- hour-gear 69 via two transmission gears 73, so that the gear 69 and thus drum 67 make one revolution in 12 hours.

Mounted on follower member 57 is an illuminating means 74. Advantageously, the illuminating means 74 actually comprises an elongated fiber-optics light conductor 76 emerging from an opening 75 in follower 57, and traveling through the follower to a stationary lamp 77 (FIG. 1) located at a convenient position within the housing of the apparatus. Except for its end portion projecting from opening 75, the entire length of fiberoptics means 76 is insulated both electrically and optically, so as not to produce stray illumination or generate electrical interference of any kind. It will be appreciated that by using a fiber optics means, it is possible to avoid the need for a lamp at each of the 144 panel divisions, and moreover it is possible to position the lamp 77 not on the follower 57 itself, but at some other convenient location, for instance behind a small access door of the housing, to permit the simplest possible access. Clearly, as follower 57 travels from one panel division to another, it will effect transmission by the respective translucent panel division of a visual signal.

The sleeve portion 63 of follower 57 is provided with a transversely oriented plate 79 which normally presses leftwards against a switching lever 80. Switching lever 80 is pivotable about a vertical pivot pin 81. An abutment 83 limits the rightwards movement of the lower end (as seen in FIG. 3) of lever 80. Lever 80 cooperates with a microswitch 85 and with a microswitch 86.

At the opposite side of the display panel 45 a third end-switch 87 is provided, whose activating member 88 is activated when contacted by a bar 89 projecting rightwards from the rod 61 and fixed to the rod 61 at both ends thereof. Activation of switch 87, whenfollower 57 reaches the rightmost end of a horizontal row, causes magnet 60 to effect disengagement of drum 66 from hour-gear 68, so that the associated one of return springs 59 will pull rod 61 leftwards via guide rope 58. Both ends of rod 61 are guided between a plate 94 and a cover plate 95.

Ropes 58, 58 are advantageously made of nylon, or another suitable material, and are clamped or otherwise received in the slit ends 90 of the rods 61, 62. The armature 91 of magnet 60 is received in a bore 92 of a switching lever 93, which is secured to the axis of the hour-wheel 68 and which is released upon activation of the armature, so that the return spring 59 can pull the rod 61 leftwards.

When follower 57 is returned leftwards, plate 79 activates switching lever 80 and the activating element 84 of microswitch 85, which de-energizes magnet 60, causing the anchor 91 of magnet 60 to re-couple drum 66 with the drive mechanism, and thereby causing the follower 57 to be driven left-to-right across the subsequent horizontal row. When the traversal of the lowermost horizontal row is completed, a second magnet 60' is activated by microswitch 86, when the plate 79 assumes the position indicated in dotted lines in FIG. 3, pressing against the activating means of microswitch 86. After disengagement of the drums 66, 67, the springs 59 pull both rods 61, 62 back to starting position, and the apparatus is restored to its initial condition.

An additional microswitch 97 (FIGS. 1, 3) is mounted on the follower 57 in longitudinal direction of rod 62 and its switching element 98 is arranged next to the illuminating means 74. Microswitch 97 is moved with follower 57 along the length of rod 62 under the rows of depressible buttons 50, and is activated when it contacts a depressed button 50 protruding into the path of movement. Microswitch 97 is connected, via insulated conductor 99, with a stationary signal light 100, or the like (FIG. 2), arranged in the opposite side of housing 41 and operated via a relay which maintains the flow of lamp current for a period of 5 minutes, i.e., until the switch element 98 approaches the next depressible button 50, which may or may not be actually depressed. Instead of conductor 99, a sliding contact can also be provided, as well as other forms of electrical connection of the moving members to the stationary elements.

Two mounting plates 117, spaced apart by spacing member 117, are provided with mounting holes for mounting .various of the elements described before. The motor 70 and gears 68, 69 run continuously, and can therefore also drive an ordinary clock optionally provided on the display panel as an additional timekeeping aid. This is shown in FIG. 9.

An accessory associated with the time-keeping apparatus 40, is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, and comprises a two-column auxiliary apparatus 105. When desired, this accessory can be engaged with or disengaged from a synchronous motor 106, and is operative to indicate how much time of a given program has passed, or how much time is yet to pass. The actual indictaion is provided by two vertical columns 48, 48, each having 12 divisions 46, and each division associated with a lamp L. Column 48 shows the passage of minutes within an hour, and each division of column 48 represents five minutes. Column 48 shows the passage of hours, and each division of column 48' represents one hour. Associated with each column 48, 48' is a rotary switch mechanism 107, 108, which can be coupled with the hour-gear 68 and l2-hour-gear 69 at any arbitrary desired time. The coupling is effected by operating a pushbutton P thereby causing engagement of a catch 109 associated with the timing gears 68, 69. Each catch 109 is mounted on a pivot pin 110 of a respective one of gears 68, 69, and cooperates with a stationary abutment 111 at one of its ends, and at the other of its'ends with a peg 112 mounted on a disk 114 which, via friction disk 115 is connected with a gear 118.

Second coupling 109' corresponds to the aforedescribed coupling 109 and is associated with the 12- hour-gear 69. Motor 106 is provided with transmission gearing 119. The rotary switching mechanism includes electrical wipers 107, 108, each associated with a dozen contacts 122, 123 and respectively associated with electrical conductor rings 124-126, associated with the contact plates 127. Associated with axle 120 is an electrical wiper 107 and a split electrical conductor ring 124, 124. Associated with axle 122 are two electrical wipers 108, 108 and two rings 125, 126. The spacing between contacts 122 is somewhat smaller than the width of the wipers 107, and the spacing between contacts 123 is somewhat smaller than the width of electrical wipers 108, 108' together, so that at any given time two contacts and ring halves are contacted. The wipers 108, 108' are parallel and of different lengths, and contact adjacent ones of contacts 123. Wiper 108 ends on the inner conductor ring 125, and wiper 108 ends on the outer conductor ring 126. The conductor rings 124, 126 have the same diameter. The wiper 107 is maintained at a certain voltage which it applies to the contacts 122, 123 and the conductor rings. Each contact is connected with one lamp L through which a current flows. The divided conductor paths 124, 124 of contacts 122 are connected with separate conductor paths 125, 126 of contacts 123. Wiper 108, driven by hour-gear 68, alternately applies current to paths 124, 124 and thus to parallelconnected paths 125, 126. The identically moving wipers 108, 108' associated with the l2-hour-gear 69 receive current each'half hour from conductor 125 or conductor 126, and supply such current to contacts 122, 123 and thus to respective ones of the lamps L. The alternate contact during an hour of wiper 107 with the two conductor ring halves serves to prevent undesired pauses in the indication provided by the display panel at the end of an hour.

The indicating surface B is provided with openings 129 for the associated lamps L, and the surface B consists of Plexiglas coated on its back with a black layer 130. This forms the background for white reference characters associated with the panel divisions 46.

When coupled, the wiper 107 associated with hourgear 68 rotates once during the continuous rotation of the two wipers 108, 108' associated with the l2-hourgear 69. At first, only the lamps L of row 48 are illuminated. After one revolution of the hour-gear 68, the 12- hour-gear 69 turns to the next contact 123, and thus effects current supply to the first lamp of row 48. As soon as button P is pressed a second time, catches 109, 109 are de-coupled from the wipers, and the wipers 107, 108 come to a halt.

The stationary connecting leads to the lamps L can be provided in form of a printed circuit, and are not explicitly illustrated in FIG. 5. The return to starting position of wipers 107, 108 is effected by means of a pair of coil springs 132 respectively associated with gears 68, 69. These coil springs become effective after button P is pressed a third time to clear the panel and start a new timing operation. During the return movement of wipers 107, 108, their inclined edges 133 glide over the contacts 122,123 as indicated in FIG. 7.

Each lamp L of row 48 is successively illuminated when the respective contact 122 is first touched by wiper 107, and is then extinguished the moment contact with wiper 107 is broken. Wiper 107 effects extinguishing of one lamp only after the next lamp has become illuminated. The turning on and off of the lamps is effected at intervals of minutes, and no pause exists between the extinguishing of one lamp and the illumination of the next.

When the button P is first pressed, as in FIG. 14, it remains in depressed condition, and activates motor 106 by means of coupling 109, 109' and non-illustrated linkage rods. Upon a second pressing of button P, the button P is released upwards and the coupling is discontinued. Gears 68 and 69 non-rotatably connected with axle come to a halt, while the remaining gears run freely. The lamps L remain illuminated, so as to continue to permit a reading of the total time passed since button P was first pressed. The wipers are returned by coil springs 132 to their initial positions only when button 134 is pressed for the purpose of connecting the motor to power.

Instead of electrical wipers, a step-by-step switch could also be used.

The switch 98 in FIGS. l-3 can cooperate with follower 57 without lamp 77. In FIG. 8,'the apparatus 40 again has a display panel 45 with uniformly disposed panel divisions arranged in rows and columns, and these divisions again having openings 49 which accommodate depressible buttons 50. Various different control and/or indicating instruments 100 for instance, a household appliance are associated with the pushbuttons 50, and are turned on or off in programmed manner when they are plugged into sockets 135 provided on the apparatus 40. When after a preselected time interval follower 57 and switch 98 reach a certain one'of the panel divisions, an associated one of controlled devices 100 will be connected to power. If several successive buttons are all in depressed condition, then the operation of the respective controlled device 100 will be correspondingly longer, that is, the number of successively depressed buttons 50 determines the operating time of the respective controlled device. For example, it would be possible, using the time-keeping apparatus of the invention, to program a radio for a predetermined 15 minutes of operation, or to electrically unlock the door of a residence for a specific 5 minutes during, for instance, the day-long absence of its occupants. Clearly, the shortest interval of programmable time need not be 5 minutes; it can be longer or shorter depending on the intended application.

The time-keeping apparatus of FIG. 9 has a housing with a plate Y141 and in FIGS. 10-13 has an insert 147 with a cover plate 142, an intermediate plate 143 and a Plexiglas plate 144. Plate 141 includes a translucent display panel 145 having panel divisions 146. A thin sheet of paper is laid onto plate 141, and is ruled on one side into a-rectangular grid corresponding to the disposition of panel divisions 146, and leaving room for the entering of any desired notations. The panel divisions 146 are covered by the sheet of paper.

The plate 144 (FIGS. 10, 14) has openings 150 each accommodating a sleeve 152 for a depressible pushbutton 151. The pushbuttons 151 are spring-loaded and depressible within the sleeves 152, to permit programming of specific time intervals associated with the indi vidual panel divisions. When initially depressed, the buttons 151 remain depressed, until released upwards by a second application of pressure.

The housing 140 serves as a writing table.

Under intermediate plate 143 there is provided a follower member 33, identical in concept to follower 57 discussed with regard to the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3. Follower 33 slides in horizontal and vertical direction on movable elongated guide rods 32, 34, similar to rods 61, 62 in FIGS. 1-3. Rope 39 stabilizes the rod 32.

The follower member 33 defines a pair of transverse non-intersecting guide sleeves 163, 163 through which respectively pass the elongated guide rods 32, 34. Provided on follower 33 is a light scanner 174, which in this embodiment is an actual illuminating lamp, as well as a pair of make-break contacts 35. Rope 39 travels over two pulleys 156, which are positioned on the outer side of plate 144, and serve to guide the rod 32, whereas one end of rod 32 is secured to rope 39 and its other end to rope 39', which latter travels over the pulleys 156'. Pulleys 156, 156' are separated by spacers 157 and are positioned by means of threaded bolts 158. The ends of rope 39' are held on the rod 32 by way of support 160 (FIG. 10) which together with the rod 32 is secured to a threaded bushing 13 (FIG. 12) and has two contacts 178 (FIG. 12) which when contacted by the follower 33 are activated to terminate further movement of the follower 33 along rod 32.

The rods 32, 34 are separately driven by a motor 1 and by a motor 10. Driving of rod 32 is effected via screw spindle 12 (FIG. 12) and threaded bushing 13; driving of rod 34 is effected via rack 7 to which one end of rod 34 is secured. The other end of rod 34 moves in a fixed guide track defined by lateral mounting plate 161. (FIG. 12)

Mounted on rack 7 is a spring-biased lever 8, which is carried by rack 7 during the lengthwise movement thereof. Driving is effected by synchronous motor 1 via drive wheels 2 and an overrunning clutch 3 for the timing mechanism 4 of a time clock (see FIG. 9). Mechanism 4 drives coupling 6 via drive wheel (FIG. 12). and axle 208 is rigidly connected with a lever 23. The latter can drive a gear 24 via a dog 25 and winds up a torsion spring 28, until a rising cam surface 26 cooperating with a stationary bolt 27 effects upward axial lift ing of gear 24.

In consequence, lever 23 is separated from gear 24. The wound spring 28 turns gear 24 back by one revolution, until the lever 23 again meets the dog 25. Spring 28 does not effect return of gear 24 in a sudden or jerkey manner because of the provision of a centrifugal governor 30. Gear 24 drives rack 7 from left to right. Upon disengagement of the gear, rack 7 travels from right to left. Two shock absorbers 162 12), provided at the end of rack 7. The other end of rack 7 cooperates with a fixed elongated guide rod 9.

The biasing of lever 8 is effected in FIGS. 10 and 12 by means of spring 204 secured between two fixed points, namely the free end of member 206 and a pivot pin 205. The pin 205 serves for mounting of lever 8, whose free end is of bent configuration, and the lever 8 is pivotable away from member 206.

Upon return movement of rack 7 in right-to-left directionflever 8 via catch 18 effects movement of trip cap 15, and thereby closes a contact 19 which controls motor 10. The functions of torsion spring 17 in combination with abutment 31 and overrunning clutch 16 will be described later. 7

Contact 19 controls motor 10, which drives screw spindle 12 via gear 11 and which drives trip cam via gear 14. One revolution corresponds to one hour. By way of screw spindle 12 threaded bushing 13 is moved by a corresponding unit distance. The threaded bushing 13 moves the rod 32, which carries along the follower 33.

Rod 34 is fixedly connected to rack 7. The connection is effected via member 166. Rod 34 is likewise slidable through follower 33. Driven by rack 7 and the screw spindle 12, follower 33 with illuminated scanner 144 travels along the rows of panel divisions 146. A switch 36 is laterally disposed on follower 33, and has an elongated activating arm 164 which cooperates with two adjusting screws 37 and 38. Switch 36, when it reaches screw 37, is tripped and reverses the direction of turning of motor 10. As a result, threaded bushing and follower 33 move in upwards direction (as seen in FIG. 12) until arm 164 of switch 36 contacts the upper screw 38 at the moment when the follower has returned to its initial or starting position. Upon this return movement, member 31 of coupling 16 is activated as a result of operation of drive 14. Trip cam 15 comes to a standstill.

A motor causes clock 4 to register the passage of one hour (FIG. 9). Motor 20 is connected to power via a button 165. Motor 20 drives an overrunning clutch 22 via a drive gear 21, as well as drive 5, the mechanism of clock 4 and coupling 6. During this time, the over,- running clutch 3 must discontinue the driving engagement of motor 1. Likewise, overrunning clutch 22 during normal operation discontinues driving engagement of motor 20. The coupling also serves to effect return movement of follower 33 along rod 32 after switching off of motor 10 by way of contact 178, which switches on motor 20.

The supply of current to the time-keeping apparatus of the invention can be delivered by a wall plug having special provision for the plugging thereinto of the wallplug of one or more devices to be programmed by the time-keeping apparatus. By means of transformer 168, the available wall voltage is converted into a lower voltage. This lower voltage serves to drive motors 10 and 20. By way of contact 35 and a movable conductor 169 a relay circuit 170 is controlled, which can thereby also control the appliance or device to be controlled by the time-keeping apparatus of the invention, as well as a buzzer 189, which can be turned off by means of illuminated panel button 167. Movable supply wire 169 together with the leads to switch 36 form a bundle of wires. The stationary lamp (as in FIGS. l-3) or the illuminated scanner 174 (in FIGS. 10l2) indicates the position at any given moment of follower 33. The bundle of leads and wires is biased by spring 179, which is connected at one of its ends to the bundle and at the other of its ends to a base plate 184.

For the purpose of programming, spring-loaded depressible buttons 15 are provided, as shown in FIG. 14. The spring 171 is compressed between a flange 173 of sleeve 152 and a flange 172 of button 151. Button 151 has a recess 151 to receive the point of a pencil or the like for the purpose of depressing the button. Upon such depressing, a ball 176 slides in the button along a track 104 to a rest position, and the ball 176 springs out of the rest position when the button 151 is again depressed slightly to effect its upward release.

In 1 hour, rod 34 travels past the panel divisions 46 of a horizontal row of panel divisions, and rod 32 is brought down one unit distance to the next-lower horizontal row of panel divisions. Clearly, the two movements areefiected independently. I

As the scanning light on follower 33, there can be employed either an actual lamp on follower 33 whose light is focussed into a concentrated beam by a lens, or else a fiber-optics light conductor whose end emerges from follower 33, whose length is optically and electrically insulated and which cooperates with a stationary lamp positioned at some convenient part of the mechanism. The scanning light can, as one possibility, move continuously from one panel division to another continuously transmitting a visual signal.

Coupling 16 is coupled with trip cam 15 via torsion spring 17, and is positioned on a shaft 180 which carries abutment 31. Abutment 31 (see FIG. cooperates with a stationary abutment 31.

Axle 180 is positioned at one end on a side wall 181 and at its other end on an angle member 182 (see FIG. 1 1). Bolt 27 is screwed to an angle member 183 of intermediate plate 143. Intermediate plate 143 is secured to bottom plate 184 by means of bolt 185. Side wall 181 is secured to bottom plate 184 by way of slots 186 which receive projecting taps 187 of the bottom plate 184. The bottom plate 184 carries two angle members 188 for mounting the guide 9 for the rack 7. Pushbutton 165 (FIG. 12) is mounted on the bottom plate 184 and is operable from the rear.

The aforementioned wall plug which is designed to receive also the wallplug of an appliance to be controlled permits programming of such appliance by depressing appropriate ones of buttons 151. When the horizontally moving follower 33 with its contacts 35 encounters a button 151 in its path of advancement, such button corresponding to a particular time interval, the household appliance or the like is connected to power via relay 170. The current flow through relay 170 is sustained, in a conventional holding action, for a period of 5 minutes, i.e., until the follower 33 and contacts 35 have moved to a corresponding position of the next panel division. If several successive buttons 151 are in depressed condition, the controlled appliance will be caused to operate for a correspondingly longer time. Accordingly; the number of successive buttons depressed determines the on-time of the controlled apparatus or appliance.

The controlled appliance can be turned off during its programmed on-time by manual operation of button 167. As already mentioned, the programming can be also or alternatively of a buzzer 189, or some other acoustic signalling device.

The illustrated time apportionment can of course be modified, so as, for instance, to permit programming of a controlled device for 24 hours, or longer if necessary. Likewise, the shortest unit of programmable time need not be 5 minutes, but can be longer or shorter, as required. Of course, it would also be possible to vary by selective settings the length of time associated with a particular pushbutton 151, and so on. Likewise, the time keeping sheet 12 laid onto the front of the device would then be ruled with a grid calibrated in correspondingly altered units of time.

FIGS. -17 show a clamping arrangement 191, 191 including an eccentric roller 192 or a spring-biased flap 192 mounted at both ends on support plate 193. The plate 193 has two circular openings 194 which can be fit over the correspondingly disposed positioning pegs 153 (see FIG. 9) and has an angled portion 195 which fits over one edge of the housing 140. The paper sheet 190, upon opening of the clamp arrangement 191, 191 is inserted into the slot between roller 192 or retaining plate 192 and the base plate 193, and is advanced until proper registry with the rows of panel divisions 1416 is achieved. At that point, the clamping arrangement clamps the paper sheet 190 in place. Roller 192 has two eccentric pins 209 and the retaining plate 192' has two positioning brackets 196" for a pin 209.

An extremely advantageous alternative to programming by means of pushbuttons 151, is contemplated. For example, it is possible to program the panel divisions by means of markings for instance, dots or lines made by a special marker on the time-keeping paper sheet 190 and sensed by an electrical sensing means located on the follower 33. An example of how such a record sheet could be marked is shown in FIG. 15. It would be possible to use distinguishable markings even within one panel division, to program a plurality of functions simultaneously. For instance in FIG. 15 stripe a could activate the operation of a buzzer on the apparatus itself, whereas stripe b could provide for the operation of a remotely controlled household appliance, etc. The scanning of such specially made markings can be electronic, photoelectric, or of other types.

In FIG. 18 photoelectric means are provided for scanning the markings. Two phototransistors 197 are provided, as well as a light source 198 located between the stripes a, b. When no programming stripes are encountered, the light from lamp 198 is reflected back to phototransistors 197, and no control operation is initiated. However, if the amount of light is significantly reduced by reason of light absorption by a programming stripe or another programming mark, less light is sensed by phototransistors 197 and a control signal is generated which initiates a control operation. The con trol operation can involve the activation of a buzzer and/or the turn-on or turn-off of one or more controlled devices. A lens 199 is associated with the lamp 198.

In FIG. 19 the control is triggered by a highfrequency transducer coil 200. The apparatus operates at about kHz. Reference character a indicates the absence of a programming stripe, and b indicates a programming stripe of special metallic ink made with a special marker. The approach of transducer coil 200 to metallic strip b effects activation of an oscillator 207 which generates an electronic control signal, which turns on a lamp or buzzer. A second transducer coil 200 is associated with a remotely controlled appliance or other device.

The control of a remotely located applicance or device is accomplished by way of power supply wire 202 and specially designed plug 203. The programming 4 method depicted in FIGS. 18, 19 completely eliminates the need for the provision of many pushbuttons 151, the contacts 35 and the switch 36 (as used in the earlier-discussed embodiment). The wallplug of an appliance or the like to be controlled can be plugged into the socket portion 201 of the wallplug 203 for the timekeeping apparatus of the invention.

In the case both of FIG. 12 and FIGS. 18, 19 the follower member 33 is slidingly driven along the lengths of rods 32, 34. When follower member 33 comes to the end of a horizontal row of panel divisions, activation of contacts 178 effects reversing of motor 20, and immediate return movement of the follower 33, so that with delay the traversal of the next-lower horizontal row can begin.

Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can by applying current knowledge readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention and, therefore, such adaptations should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalence of the following claims.

What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is:

1. A time-keeping device, comprising, in combination, a display panel comprising a plurality of uniformly disposed identical panel divisions arranged in rows and columns, each capable of transmitting a visual signal and each representing a predetermined number of minute time units; follower means movable along the panel divisions of each row for effecting transmission of visual signals by successive ones of said divisions; drive means for advancing said follower means from one panel division of a row to the succeeding panel division of that row at predetermined time intervals corresponding to said predetermined number of minute time units; and adjustable holding means provided on said display panel for adjustably holding a sheetmaterial on said panel.

2. A device as defined in claim 1, wherein said drive means comprises first and second guide means connected with said follower means, respectively movable in direction of said rows and in direction of said columns, for moving said follower means in said directions.

3. A device as defined in claim 1, wherein said display panel is provided with an illuminated operating button.

4. A device as defined in claim 1, wherein said display panel is provided with projecting mounting pins, and wherein said holding means are mounted on said mounting pins.

5. A device as defined in claim 1, wherein each of said panel divisions is illuminable, and wherein said follower means is provided with means for illuminating successive ones of said panel divisions.

6. A device as defined in claim 1, wherein said drive means comprises drive means for moving said follower means along the successive divisions of one row and thereafter along the successive divisions of the next row.

7. A device as defined in claim 6, wherein said follower means is provided with actuatable signalling means and wherein said panel is provided with a plurality of actuating means, located at and associated with respective ones of said panel divisions, for actuating said signalling means in response to movement of said follower means past respective ones of said panel divisions.

8. A device as defined in claim 1, wherein said follower means comprises a follower member, and wherein said drive means comprises drive means for moving said follower member along the successive divisions of one row and thereafter along the successive divisions of the next row.

9. A device as defined in claim 8, wherein said follower member is provided with actuatable signalling means and wherein said panel is provided with a plurality of actuating means, located at and associated with respective ones of said panel divisions, for actuating said signalling means in response to movement of said follower member past respective ones of said panel divisions.

10. A device as defined in claim 1; further comprising stationary lamp means and conducting means for conducting light from said stationary lamp means to said follower means.

11. A device as defined in claim 10, wherein said conducting means comprises fiber-optics means.

12. A device as defined in claim 1, including end stop means disposed in the path of movement of said follower means, and wherein said follower means comprises limiter switch means activatable upon contact with said end stop means and cooperating with said drive means for causing the latter to interrupt further advancement of said follower means.

13. A device as defined in claim 12, wherein said end stop means comprises two spaced end stops, wherein said limiter switch means includes an activating member having a contact surface adapted to contact one of said end stops and disposed at an inclination relative to the direction of movement of said follower means.

14. A defice as defined in claim 1, wherein said display panel is provided with an indicating instrument, and wherein said drive means comprises an auxiliary motor for driving said indicating instrument.

15. A device as defined in claim 14, wherein said drive means includes motor means, and further including overrunning clutch and coupling means connected with said motor means and with said auxiliary motor.

16. A device as defined in cliam 1, wherein said drive means comprises first elongated guide means connected with said follower means, elongated in direction of said columns and movable in direction of said rows, for moving said follower means in direction of said rows and for guiding said'follower means in direction of said columns, and second elongated guide means connected with said follower means, elongated in direction of said rows and movable in direction of said columns, for moving said follower means in direction of said columns and for guiding said follower means in direction of said rows.

17. A device as defined in claim 16, wherein said drive means comprises a first motor for moving said first elongated guide means and a second motor for moving said second elongated guide means.

18. A device as defined in claim 16, wherein said drive means comprises motor means, gear means connected with said motor means, and rack means connected with and driven by'said gear means and connected with one end of one of said movable guide means, and also including a guide track receiving and guiding the other end of said one of said movable guide means. 1

19. A device as defined in claim 1, wherein said display panel further comprises a plurality of uniformly disposed additional identical panel divisions arranged in two columns, the divisions of one column representing hours and the divisions of the other column representing minutes, and wherein said display panel comprises a plurality of lamps each located at one of said divisions, and further including mechanical switching means for effecting energization of successive ones of said lamps.

20. A device as defined in claim 19, further including coupling means for selectively coupling said mechanical switching means to said drive means.

21. A device as defined in claim 19, wherein said mechanical switching means comprises a pair of sliding electrical connectors each associated with the lamps of a respective one of said columns, and a pair of electrically conductive means defining sliding paths for said electrical connectors.

22. A device as defined in claim 21, wherein said mechanical switching means are rotary switching means,

wherein said conductive means comprise a pair of 5 semicircular conducting members defining a split circular sliding path for one of said electrical connectors and a pair of concentric circular conducting members defining a pair of concentric sliding paths for the other of said electrical connectors.

23. A device as defined in claim 1, wherein said follower means is provided with actuatable signalling means and wherein said panel is provided with a plurality of actuating means, located at and associated with respective ones of said panel divisions, for actuating said signalling means in response to movement of said follower means past respective ones of said panel divisions.

24. A device as defined in claim 23, wherein said actuating means comprise movable actuating means seactuatable switch means for delaying the termination of a signal generated by said actuatable signalling means.

26. A device as defined in claim 4, wherein said display panel is at least in part translucent, and wherein said follower means is located behind said panel, and wherein said actuatable signalling means comprises photosensitive means responsive to visual markings on the translucent part of said panel.

27. A device as defined in claim 23; and further comprising controllable electrical socket means cooperating with said signalling means and including a control switch switchable between conducting and nonconducting states in response to actuation of said signalling means by said actuating means.

28. A device as defined in claim 27, and further including means for maintaining said control switch in one of its states for a predetermined time interval in response to actuation of said signalling means by said actuating means.

' 29. A device as defined in claim 23, wherein said actuatable signalling means comprises photosensitive means.

30. A device as defined in claim 29, wherein said actuatable signalling means further comprises lens means cooperating with said photosensitive means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3181134 *Mar 22, 1963Apr 27, 1965Avco CorpMoving events display device
US3613352 *Jun 9, 1969Oct 19, 1971Giersiepen WernerIndicating device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6212135Apr 5, 1999Apr 3, 2001Simeon B. SchreiberAssistive breathing device
EP0024937A2 *Aug 29, 1980Mar 11, 1981James GoodchildRectangular-faced clock
WO2004104713A1 *May 19, 2004Dec 2, 2004Giersiepen WernerDevice for displaying time
Classifications
U.S. Classification368/110, 368/239, 340/309.4, 968/162
International ClassificationG04B19/00, G04B19/20
Cooperative ClassificationG04B19/20
European ClassificationG04B19/20