US 3800106 A
A power control device comprising a housing in which an electrically conductive shaft rotates through a cycle in a predetermined time interval. The shaft rotatably supports a plurality of radially outwardly directed conductive vanes. Each of the vanes engages a connector during a portion of its cycle so that a circuit is completed therethrough. Each connector is connected to a separate circuit so that the circuit can be energized during the cycle of rotation of the shaft.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Simmons KNIFE BLADE SWITCH ASSEMBLY WITH ADJUSTABLE CONDUCTING BLADES Inventor: James Simmons, 5957 Woodbine Ave, Philadelphia, Pa. 1913] Filed: Mar. 9, 1973 Appl. No.: 339,804
US. Cl. 200/15, 200/162 Int. Cl. HOlh 21/54 Field of Search........ 200/7, 11 B, 11 D, 11 DA,
ZOO/l4, l5, 16 R162 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/193] Bcrthold ZOO/l5 X 7/1950 Minncci ZOO/l5 X Mar. 26, 1974 2,985,800 5/1961 Cook 200/l5 X Primary Examiner-James R. Scott Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Seidel, Gonda & Goldhammer  ABSTRACT A power control device comprising a housing in which an electrically conductive shaft rotates through a cycle in a predetermined time interval. The shaft rotatably supports a plurality of radially outwardly directed conductive vanes. Each of the vanes engages a connector during a portion of its cycle so that a circuit is completed therethrough. Each connector is connected to a separate circuit so that the circuit can be energized during the cycle of rotation of the shaft.
9 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures KNIFE BLADE SWITCH ASSEMBLY WITH ADJUSTABLE CONDUCTING BLADES This invention relates to a power control device and more particularly to a power control device of the type which is operative to energize a plurality of circuits at predetermined times and for predetermined intervals.
Power control devices which comprise timers for selectively energizing and de-energizing circuits are well known. Typically, power control devices usually are constructed so that they control one circuit. In instances where the power control device controls a number of circuits, the time at which each circuit is to be energized, and its duration of energization cannot be readily controlled.
It would be advantageous to provide a power control device which would be operative to control the energization of separate electric circuits. Further, it would be advantageous if such a device could be permanently installed in the electrical system and be selectively connected to the circuits as desired. Furthermore, it would be desirable if such a device had means for energizing a plurality of electric circuits and was adjustable so that the duration and occurrence of the energization of the various electric circuits could be readily controlled.
With the foregoing in mind, the invention relates generally to a device for controlling the energization of a plurality of electric circuits which comprises a housing and an elongated shaft supported in the housing for rotation about its axis. The shaft supports a plurality of radially directed vanes, each of which engages a connector supported on the housing for a portion of the interval of its rotation. The connectors are coupled to electrical circuits so that the circuits are enabled when the vanes contact them.
For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there is shown in the drawings a form which is presently preferred; it being understood, however, that this invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown and wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a device constructed in accordance with the invention with a portion thereof broken away.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of another form of vane which may be used with the device.
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 2.
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along line 7--7 in FIG. 6.
Now referring to the drawings for a detailed description of the invention, a power control device 10 is illustrated in FIG. 1. It comprises a generally elongated cylindrical housing which is comprised of a cylindrical side wall 12 and upper end wall 14 and lower end wall 16.
An elongated shaft is supported at its ends in openings 22 and 24 in the upper and lower end walls. The openings define bearing surfaces which permit the shaft 20 to rotate. Shaft 20 includes corresponding bearing surfaces 22A and 24A.'
The upper portion 26 of the shaft is comprised of electrically non-conductive material such as nylon, Teflon, or any other suitable insulating material. Extending upwardly therefrom and through the opening 22 is an elongated stub gear 28 which is engageable with a pinion gear 30. The pinion gear 30 is connected to a suitable timing mechanism 32 which is contained within housing 34.
The timing mechanism may be electrically powered by way of conductors 36. The timing mechanism may be of any convenient construction or design. Such timing mechanisms are well known in the art and are readily available on the market. Thus, the timing mechanism 32 will not be described in detail. However, it should be noted that the timing mechanism could be constructed, or the gears 28 and 30 could be proportioned so that the cycle of rotation of shaft 20 is accomplished in a convenient period of time. The preferred period of time is 24 hours. However, it is apparent that any other period such as 8 hours, 12 hours or the like could be used.
The lower portion 40 of the shaft is comprised of a suitable electrically conductive material. The terminal portion 42 of the shaft 20 extends through opening 24 in the lower end wall. It is in electrical contact with brushes 46. The brushes are connected by conductors 50 to electrically conductive members 52.
The members 52 are disposed on opposite sides of the terminal portion 42. Each of the members 52 is connected by a conductor 54 to a switch 56.
In FIG. I only one conductor 54 is shown interconnecting switch 56 to a member 52. However, the conductor has a branch (not shown) which extends to the other member 52 not illustrated in FIG. 1.
The terminal portion 42, brushes 46 and members 52 are enclosed by a protective cap 58 made of a suitable insulative material and having a radially outwardly directed flange 60 which is secured to the bottom wall by threaded fasteners 62. The lower portion of shaft 40 is only illustrated in a schematic fashion since the precise details of its construction are readily apparent to a person skilled in the art. However, FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate one manner of constructing shaft 40 with a layer of insulating material disposed between the driving portion of shaft 42 and its outer portion so that the electrically conductive portion is separated from the driving portion.
The electrically conductive portion 40 of shaft 20 supports a plurality of electrically conductive vanes 66, 68, and 72. Vane 66 which is typical comprises a first generally horizontally extending portion having upper and lower faces 76.
A second portion of the vane is disposed at generally right angles to the first portion. It has an elongated slot 82 which is disposed in generally parallel relation to the plane of the first portion. An electrically conductive threaded fastener 84 is provided for securing the vane to the shaft. As is apparent, the circumferential relation between the vane and the shaft may be varied by merely loosening fastener 84 and sliding the vane around the shaft until the desired position is reached.
The foregoing arrangement is typical of that by which the remaining vanes are mounted on the shaft.
Significantly, it should be noted that each of the vanes may be positioned at a different circumferential location on the shaft. Furthermore, each vane may comprise a sector having any convenient size, it being understood that the greater the sector encompassed by the vane, the longer the circuit enabled thereby will be completed.
A plurality of vertically extending rods 88 are coupled to the housing at spaced intervals on its circumference. While the rods are shown extending between the upper and lower end walls, they may be supported thereon in any convenient configuration.
As illustrated in the drawing, one of the elongated rods supports a plurality of connectors 92, 94, 96 and Connector 94 which is typical comprises two facing jaws 100 which are biased slightly toward each other. The jaws are supported in vertical alignment with each other so that a vane such as vane 68 may pass between them. The fact that the jaws are spring biased toward each other enables positive electrical connection between the connector and the upper and lower faces of the vane 'to be achieved.
The jaws 100 are supported by spaced legs 102 which are engageable with a rod 88. To this extent, each of the legs 102 has a generally U-shaped curve therein and a rearwardly extending portion through which a threaded fastener is received. The fastener 104 serves as a terminal connection for conductor 106 and also serves to secure the connector to the rod in a fixed predetermined relation. The arrangement of each of the connectors is the same as that described above.
The connectors 92, 94, 96 and 98 and their respective conductors 106, 108, 110 and 112 extend through an elongated vertical slot 116 in the side wall 12.
A source of electromotive force 116 is connected by line 118 to switch 56 having contacts 120 and 122. Contact 122 is connected to conductors 54. Contact I is connected to lines 126, 128, 130 and 132. Each of the aforementioned lines comprises a part of a separate circuit which is to be selectively controlled by the power device 10. The circuits are indicated schematically as L1, L2, L3 and L4. Each circuit is controlled internally by its own switch S1, S2, S3 and S4. Further, each of the circuits is connected to one of the aforementioned conductors 106, 108, 110 and 112.
In order to operate the device, the vanes 66, 68, 70 and 72 are adjusted on the shaft 20 until they are positioned so that they engage their respective connectors 92, 94, 96 and 98 at the desired intervals.
The timing mechanism 32 is energized so that it agrees with the natural time.
Energization of the timing means causes the shaft 20 to rotate within the housing. In the course of their rotation with the shaft, the upper and lower surfaces of each of the vanes will come into electrical contact with the jaws 100 on their respective connectors thereby enabling circuits to be completed by way of conductors 106, 108, 110 and 112 to the various circuits L1, L2, L3 and L4.
Normally, circuits through theaforementioned connectors will not be energized because switch 56 will be in engagement with switch contact 120 thereby opening the circuit through lines 54 and shaft 20. However, a circuit will be completed from the source of electromotive force 116 through switch 56, conductors 126, 128, 130 and 132 to the various circuits L1-L4. These circuits may typically each be a room in a house, an area or section of a factory or building, or they may be individual appliances such as lights or the like. However, it should be observed that each circuit has its own internal switch 81-84 so that it can be independently controlled.
When it is desired to engage the power control device, switch 56 is brought into engagement with contact 122. Thus, the circuit then extends through connectors 54 and shaft 20. As the various vanes 66, 68, and 72 engage their respective contactors, circuits are completed through lines 106, 108, and 112 to each of the circuits Ll-L4. Again, the energization or deenergization of each of the circuits may be controlled by its respective switch S1-S4.
It should be noted that the shaft 20 continues to rotate as long as there is power into the timing mechanism 32. However, the power control mechanism is made a part of the various circuits only by actuation of switch 56.
Reference is now made to FIG. 5 wherein a modified form of vane is illustrated. The vane is constructed substantially the same manner as the above described vanes 5672. Thus, it comprises a horizontal portion 142 having upper and lower faces which are engageable with one of the conductors.
However, the outer most part of portion 142 is provided with a plurality of radially directed fingers 144.
Vane 140 is also provided with a vertical portion 146 having an elongated slot 148 therein. The vane 140 is secured to shaft 20 by means of a threaded fastener extending through slot 148.
The vane 140 rotates with shaft 20 in the manner described above. However, an electric circuit will only be enabled through that vane when one of the fingers 144 is in engagement with one of the connectors 92-98. Thus, for the vane illustrated in FIG. 5, the circuit will be enabled four times and disabled three times within the interval of time defined by the vane.
It is apparent that many different arrangements for the fingers 144 may be provided in accordance with the purposes for which the circuit is to be employed. Thus, vane 40 should be considered to be an illustrative example of one type of arrangement for the fingers rather than a limitation on the number thereof.
While the invention has been described with reference to certain forms thereof, it is apparent that many other forms and embodiments will be obvious to those skilled in the art in view of the foregoing description. Thus, the scope of the invention should not be limited by that description, but, rather, by the scope of the claims appended hereto.
1. A device for controlling the energization of a plurality of electrical circuits comprising an elongated housing, said housing having a cylindrical side wall and upper and lower end walls, bearing surfaces defined in said upper and lower walls, an elongated shaft supported by said bearing surfaces for rotation about its longitudinal axis in said housing, said shaft comprising electrically conductive means, a plurality of radially directed, electrically conductive vanes, means coupling said vanes to said shaft for electrical contact therewith, a plurality of electrical connectors, means for supporting said connectors in said housing in spaced radial relation from said shaft, said supporting means constraining said connectors against rotation relative to said shaft, and means for rotating said shaft at a predetermined rate mounted on said housing so that said vanes are rotated into contact with said connectors to enable a circuit to be completed therebetween.
2. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said connectors comprise mutually facing jaws, each of said jaws being engageable with an opposite face of one of 5 said vanes.
3. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said means coupling said vanes to said shaft enable said vanes to be circumferentially displaced thereon so that said circuits are enabled at different portions of the cycle of rotation of said shaft.
4. A device as defined in claim 3 wherein said connectors are supported in a spaced vertical array in said housing in parallel relation to said shaft, and said vanes are supported on said shaft in spaced vertical array so that each of said vanes is engageable With one of said connectors. I
5. A device as defined in claim 3 including a rod supported in said housing, said rod supporting said connectors, and means for constraining said connectors in spaced relation on said rod.
6. A device as defined in claim 5 including an aperture in said housing through which electrical conductors may be extended.
7. A device as defined in claim 6 wherein said aperture is an elongated slot in said cylindrical side wall.
8. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said vanes comprises a first portion defining a surface for engagement with said connectors, and a second portion for engagement with said shaft, said second portion having an elongated slot therein, said slot being disposed in parallel relation to the plane of said first portion, a fastener extending through said slot to fasten said vane to said shaft, and said vane is movable on said shaft relative to said fastener.
9. A device as defined in claim 8 wherein at least two radially directed fingers are disposed on at least one of said vanes so that electrical contact with said connector is interrupted for the portion of the cycle of rotation of said vane wherein said connector is between said fingers.