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Publication numberUS3805004 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 16, 1974
Filing dateFeb 26, 1973
Priority dateJun 1, 1972
Publication numberUS 3805004 A, US 3805004A, US-A-3805004, US3805004 A, US3805004A
InventorsKondo S, Michioto M
Original AssigneeAlps Electric Co Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-illuminating switch
US 3805004 A
Abstract
A self-illuminating switch including a switch encased in a switch frame, a light-transmitting switch knob received in a knob holder, and means for illuminating said switch knob from interior of the knob holder in response to the operation of said switch is further improved by the provision of at least a projection on each side of the switch knob, a plurality of resilient projections, each having a groove for receiving said projection, formed integral with a knob cap and with the knob holder, so that the switch knob is resiliently received in said knob holder and knob cap, said switch being further improved by the provisions of means for holding said illuminating means in said knob holder, said holding means being made of Y-shaped metal plate, two arms of which are folded back into V-shaped contact portions opposing each other to hold a lead wire of said illuminating means firmly therebetween.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Kondo et al.

[ 1 SELF -ILLUMINATING SWITCH [73] Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd., Tokyo,

Japan [22] Filed: Feb. 26, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 335,960

[30 Foreign Application Priority Data a 1 171 2. rtlgpapill'flifilfi"331113?ii'f fiql US. Cl. ..Z00/311, 200/314, 200/296 [51] Int. Cl. H011! 9/02, H0111 9/16 [58] Field Of Search 200/167 A, 167 R, 168 R [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,740,501 6/1973 Kiessling et a] 200/167 A 3,681,552 8/1972 Bailey 200/167 A 3,522,402 8/1970 DiPilla t 200/167 A 3,508,043 4/1970 Dellert 200/167 A 3,350,531 10/1967 Koepke 200/167 A 3,268,889 8/1966 ASI 200/167 A 3,267,245 8/1966 Vincent 200/167 A [451 Apr. 16, 1974 Primary Examiner-James R. Scott Assistant Examiner-William J. Smith Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Eliot S. Gerber [5 7] ABSTRACT A self-illuminating switch including a switch encased in a switch frame, a light-transmitting switch knob received in a knob holder, and means for illuminating said switch knob from interior of the knob holder in response to the operation of said switch is further improved by the provision of at least a projection on each side of the switch knob, a plurality of resilient projections, each having a groove for receiving said projection, formed integral with a knob cap and with the knob holder, so that the switch knob is resiliently received in said knob holder and knob cap, said switch being further improved by the provisions of means for holding said illuminating means in said knob holder, said holding means being made of Y-shaped metal plate, two arms of which are folded back into V- shaped contact portions opposing each other to hold a lead wire of said illuminating means firmly therebetween.

2 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures SHEEI 1 0F 2' PATENIEDAPR I s :974

PATENTEDAPRIBIQM (1805004 SHEET. 2 0F 2 v v FIG. H

SELF-ILLUMINATING SWITCH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention generally relates to self-illuminating switches widely used in radio receivers, television receivers, stereophonic apparatuses, and the like. More particularly, the invention relates to a type of selfilluminating switch which includes a transparent or semi-transparent switch knob. and an illuminating source such as a lamp, whereby the operation of the switch can be determined by the illuminating state of the switch knob.

Heretofore, various typesof self-illumiating switches have been proposed. However, most of the proposed switches are subjected to some or other difficulties or drawbacks inthe operations, constructions, and utility of the switches, and in the assembling and replacement of the component parts, and so far as we are aware, none of the conventionally proposed switches is considered to be satisfactory.

A primary object of the present invention is to provide a self-illuminating switch wherein the assembling of the component parts is simplified and the attachment of the switch knob is much facilitated.

Another object of the invention is to provide a selfilluminating switch wherein the lamp holding mechanism is substantially improved and the replacement of the lamp is much facilitated.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a self-illuminating switch wherein the arrangement and the construction'of the electrical contact members for energizing the lamp are substantially improved, and the operation thereof is made much more accurate.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a self-illuminating switch wherein the alteration of the illumination of the switch knob is much simplified.

An additional object of the invention is to provide a self-illuminating switch wherein the ignition and extinguishment of the lamp in accordance with ON-OFF operation of the switch are assured. 1

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The above described and other objects of the invention can be achieved by a self-illuminating switch including a switch encased in a switch frame, a transparent or semi-transparent switch knob received in a knob-holder, and means for illuminating the switch knob from interior of the knob-holder in accordance with the operation of the self-illuminating switch, an improvement comprising at least an elongated projection provided on each side of the switch knob, a knobcap having resilient portions on both sides thereof, each resilient portion having at least a recessed groove for receiving said elongated projection of said switch knob, said knob-holder also having resilient portions on both sides thereof to be engaging with the resilient portion of said knob-cap, each resilient portion of said knob-holder also having at least a recessed groove for receiving said elongated projection of said switch knob when said knob-holder engages said knob-cap, whereby said switch knob is encased in said knobholder and knob-cap with the projections of said switch knob engaging in the groove of said knob-holder and the knob-cap.

In another aspect, the self-illuminating switch of the above-described construction is further provided with means for holding said illuminating means preferably in the form of a lamp, and the lamp holding means is made of generally Y-shaped thin plate of a resilient metal such as phosphor bronze, a beryllium-copper alloy, german silver, stainless steel, and the like, the end portions of the two parallelly disposed resilient arms of said Y-shaped metal plate being folded back in the same direction into substantially V-shaped contact portions, said two arms being twisted relative to the bottom portion of the metal plate so that said two V- shaped portions are brought to oppose against each other and the lead wire of the lamp can be held be tween said two V-shaped contact portions.

The nature, principle, and the utility of the present invention will be better understood from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like parts are designated by like reference numerals.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a self-illuminating switch constituting an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the self-illuminating switch shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view showing the section along the line A-A in FIG. 2 for clearly indicating the attachment of an illuminating device;

FIG. 4 is a fragmental sectional plan view showing the attachment of a knob;

FIG. 5 is a fragmental sectional plan view showing the attachment of a knob-cap;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing a lamp holding metal member in the self-illuminating switch;

FIG. 7 is a plan view showing the lamp holding metal member after it is subjected to the first production step;

FIG. 8 is an elevational view showing the lamp holding metal member after it is subjected to the second production step;

FIG. 9 is a plan view showing the lamp holding metal member after it is subjected to the third production step;

FIG. 10 is a fragmental elevational view, partly in section, of a knob holder wherein the lamp and the lamp holding metal member are mounted;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view along the line D-D in FIG. 10; and

FIG. 12 is an exploded view showing a part of the knob holder.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is illustrated a self-illuminating switch according to the present invention, which comprises a switch such as a pushbutton switch generally designated by reference number 1 and having a frame 2 preferably made of a metal, and a lever 3 included in the frame 2 to' be moved thereto under the action of a coil spring 4.

The push-button switch 1 is further provided with an insulating plate 5 fixed to the downwardly opening surface of the frame 2. The insulating plate 5 has a plurality of stationary contacts 6, 6, for transferring operation and two lamp feeding contacts 7, 7. The pushbutton switch 1 shown in the drawing is of so-called push-push type which when the lever 3 is pushed into the switch frame 2, the lever 3 is locked to the pushedposition by means of a cam plate8 provided in the switch frame 2, and when the lever 3 is again pushed toward the switch frame 2, the lock is released so that the lever 3 is set back to its original position.

A required number of moving contacts (not shown) are moved by the lever 3 to cooperate with the stationary contacts 6, 6, thereby to accomplish the function of the switch 1. Since such push-button switch is well known, and the switch itself constitutes no part of the invention, further detailed description thereof will be omitted for the simplicity of the description.

The self-illuminating switch according to this invention further comprises an illuminating device such as a lamp which is generally designated by reference numeral 9 and arranged at a forward part of the pushbutton switch 1. The illuminating device 9 comprises a knob holder 10, a color plate 20, a transparent or semitransparent knob 21, a knob cap 30, a lamp 40, and a lamp holding device 50.

The knob holder 10 is provided in the rear part thereof with a slit 11 through which the lever 3 is to be inserted, and a hole 12 wherein the lamp 40 and the lamp holding device 50 are to be inserted. The hole 12 is formed to have two pairs of recessed portions 13, 13 and 14, 14, and a pair of projected portions 15, 15 opposingly provided at intermediate positions between the two pairs of the recessed portions. The knob holder 10 is further provided, in the forward part thereof, with a chamber 18 wherein the color plate and the knob 21 are included, and two rows of resilient projections 17, 17 each extending forwardly on both sides of the chamber 18. Between each of the resilient projections 17, 17, forwardly opening slots 16, 16, are provided, and on the inner surface of each resilient projection 17, a recessed groove 19 is formed. The knob holder 10 is connected with the lever 3 either by forcing the lever 3 into the slit 11, or by applying an adhesive between the lever 3 and the slit 11. The color plate 20 is placed in the bottom of the chamber 18 so that a part of the color plate 20 is exposed to the hole 12. The color of the lamp light illuminating the knob 21 can be changed by replacing the color plate 20.

The knob 21 is made of a transparent or semitransparent material, and an elongated projection 23 is formed integrally on each side surface 22 of the knob 21. When the knob 21 is inserted into the chamber 18 of the knob holder 10, the elongated projections 23, 23 on both sides of the knob 21 is firmly seized in the recessed grooves 19, 19 formed on the inner surfaces of the resilient projections 17, 17, whereby the knob 21 is firmly received in the knob holder 10. When the knob 21 is thus received in the knob holder 10, the color plate 20 is urged to the bottom wall of the chamber 18 by an end of the knob 21 (refer to FIGS. 3 and 4).

The knob cap 30 is formed in a hollow rectangular box-like configuration, with two rows of resilient projections 32, 32, provided on both sides of the rearwardly extending end of the knob cap 30. Each of the resilient projections 32, 32, is separatedy rearwardly opening slots 31, 31, and is provided with an outwardly projected portion 33 and a recessed groove 34 formed on the inner surface of the resilient projection. The front end of the knob cap 30 is provided with an inwardly projecting circumferential wall 35, as best indicated in FIGS. 3 and 5.

The knob cap 30 is placed to cover the forward part of the knob 21, and in this case, the elongated projections 23, 23 of the knob 21 are firmly seized in the grooves 34, 34, formed on the inner surfaces of the resilient projections 32, 32, of the knob cap 30. When the knob cap 30 is thus placed to cover the knob 21, the resilient projections 32, 32, of the knob cap 30 are inserted into the slots 16, 16, of the knob holder 10, and the resilient projections 17, 17, of the knob holder 10 are inserted into the slots 31, 31, of the knob cap 30. Furthermore, the front surface of the knob 21 abuts against the inner surface of the circumferential wall 35 of the knob cap 30, whereby any possibility of the knob 21 being dropped out of the knob cap 30 is prevented. The outwardly projected portions 33, 33, provided at the tips of the resilient projections 32, 32, of the knob cap 30 are used for preventing the knob cap 30 from being dropped out of a panel 60 of an electric apparatus when the switch 1 is fixed to the panel (refer to FIG. 5).

The lamp is supported on a support 42 consisting of an insulating synthetic resin, and the lead wires 41, 41 of the lamp 40 are bent back along the upper and lower surfaces of a supporting ribs 43, 43, provided on both sides of an engaging projection 44 provided on the supporting portion 43 of the support 42.

Referring to FIGS. 6 through 9, there is indicated a detailed construction of the lamp holding device 50. The lamp holding device, which is in fact a contact member, is made of a thin resilient metal plate of, for instance, phosphor bronze, a beryllium-copper alloy, german silver, stainless steel, and the like, and pressfonned into a configuration having two resilient arms 51, 51, a bottom portion 52 interconnecting the two resilient arms 51, 51, and a terminal portion 53 extending perpendicularly to the bottom portion 52 to be connected with the outside circuit. Through the two resilient arms 51,51 rectangular holes 54, 54 are provided for fixing the lamp holding device in its position within the knob holder 10.

The free ends of the two resilient arms 51, 51 are bent into two resilient contacting portions 55, 55 of substantially V-shape which hold lead wires 41, 41 therebetween. Each of the contacting portions 55, 55 has a projection 56 for assuring the contact with the lead wire 41. Furthermore the terminal PORTION 53 has a projection 57 engaging with the lamp feeding contact 7 fixed on the insulating plate 5.

The press-forming of the lamp holding device 50 is carried out as follows. Firstly, a thin resilient metal plate is punched out to obtain a y-shaped blank having a terminal portion 53, two resilient arms 51, 51, and an interconnecting bottom portion 52 as best seen in FIG. 7. As a second step, the two arms 51, 51 are bent along a line 8-8 in FIG. 7 to form V-shaped resilient contacting portions 55, 55, as best seen in FIG. 8. As a third step, the two resilient arms 51, 51 are twisted around the lines CC and C'C in FIG. 7, respectively, so that the two V-shaped contacting portions 55, 55 are brought into mutually contacting positions as shown in FIG. 9. As a final step, the lamp holding devices 50, 50 are plated by silver or hold.

When the lamp holding devices 50, 50 are attached into the knob holder 10, the devices 50, 50 are inserted into the hole 12 in the rear part of the knob holder 10, as best shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, so that the two resilient arms 51, 51 of each device 50 abut against the inner walls of the two pairs of recessed portions 13, 13, and 14, 14 formed in the hole 12. When the holding devices 50, 50 are further advanced into the recessed portions 13, 13 and 14, 14, the arms 51, 51 of the devices 50, 50 are progressively bent inwardly, and the rectangular holes 54, 54 bored through the two resilient arms 51, 51 are finally brought into engagement with the respective projections formed at the bottoms of the recessed portions 13, 13 and 14, 14, so that the devices 50, 50 are fixed to their positions.

In this case, since theengagement of the rectangular holes 54, 54 and the projections at the bottoms of the recessed portions 13, 13 and 14, 14 are assured by the resilient forces of the two arms 51, 51 of these devices, the attachment ofthe lamp holding devices 50, 50 to the interior of the knob holder is also sure and firm.

' case, the lamp support 42 is so oriented circumferentially that the engaging projection 44 of the lamp support 42 is aligned with the concaved ends of the projectd portions 15, 15 in the hole 12, and that each of the supporting ribs 43, 43 of the lamp support .42 is inserted between the resilient contacting portions 55, 55 of the lamp holding device 50. Thus, the lamp 40 firmly held in the hole 12 of the knob holder 10, and the lead wires 41, 41 of the lamp 40 are also held in contact with the resilient contacting portions 55, 55 of the lamp holding devices 50, 50.

In the operation, when the knob 21 of the selfilluminating switch is depressed, the lever 3 is moved rearwardly, and the switch 1 is thereby brought into ON state. The lamp holding devices 50, 50 in the knob holder 10 are simultaneously moved together with the knob holder 10 and the terminal portions 53, 53 of the lamp holding devices 50, 50 are brought into contact with the stationary lamp-feeding contacts 7, 7, respectively, thereby to ignite the lamp 40.

When the depressing force of the knob 21 is removed, the switch 1 is placed into OFF state, and simultaneous therewith, the terminal portions 53, 53 of the lamp holding devices 50, 50 are released from the lamp-feeding contacts 7, 7, thereby to extinguish the lamp 40.

In the above-described example of the selfilluminating switch according to this invention, the rectangular holes 54, 54 are provided through the resilient arms 51, 51 0f the lamp holding device 50. However, the holes 54, 54 may be replaced by projections formed on the resilient arms 51, 51, and corresponding recesses may be provided in the walls of the hole 12 of the knob holder 10.

Although the present invention has been described with respect to a preferred example of the invention, it will be apparent that various modifications and alter ations may be provided without departing the scope of the invention as solely defined by the following patent claims.

I claim:

1. A self-illuminating switch including a switch en cased in a switch frame, a light-transmitting switch knob received in a knob holder, and means for illuminating said switch knob from interior of the knob holder in response to the operation of said switch, an improvement comprising at least an elongated projection provided on each side of the switch knob, a knob cap having a plurality of resilient projections on both sides thereof, each resilient projection having at least a recessed groove for receiving said elongated projection of said switch knob, said knob holder also having a plurality of resilient projections on both sides thereof, each resilient projection of said knob holder also having at least a recessed groove for receiving said elongated projection of said switch knob, whereby when the knob cap is assembled with the knob holder with the resilient projections of the two members being engaged with each other, the switch knob is resiliently received within these two members with the elongated projections of the switch knob being received within the re cessed grooves of said resilient projections.

2. A self-illuminating switch as set forth in claim 1 wherein is further provided means for holding said illuminating means, and said holding means is made of generally Yshaped thin plate of a resilient metal such as phsophor bronze, a beryllium'copper alloy, german silver, stainless steel, and the like, the end portions of two parallelly disposed resilient arms of said Y-shaped metal plate being folded back in the same direction into substantially V-shaped contact portions, said two arms being twisted relative to the bottom portion of the metal plate so that said two V-shaped portions are brought into a mutually opposing relationship and a lead wire of said illuminating means is firmly held between said two V-shaped contact portions.

l UNITED STATES ATENT OFFICE CERTIFIGATE 0F commtnom Brit-ant NO- 0 0 4 Dated April 16, 1974 1 Inventor gs s f Kondo; Masao Mlchloto I Itis certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and th at said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

FR. 7 r

( 3 0) i Foreign Application Priority Data insert 1 V February,25, 1972, Japan ,....23389 Signed. and sealed this 13th day of August 1974.

(SEAL) At'testz MCCOY M. GIBSONJJR. c, MARSHALL 'DANN Attesting Officer 7, "Commissioner of Patents

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3866008 *Jan 16, 1974Feb 11, 1975Teruzzi AngeloComposable switch device
US3894740 *Sep 28, 1973Jul 15, 1975Philips CorpSwitching device, particularly for a record player or changer
US4080523 *Jan 22, 1976Mar 21, 1978Etablissements TorrixPress-button controlled electric switch
US4445164 *May 5, 1982Apr 24, 1984Cherry Electrical Products CorporationLighted key module assembly
US4504713 *Jul 13, 1983Mar 12, 1985Adams Elevator Equipment CompanyPush button electrical switch assembly
US4535396 *Aug 20, 1984Aug 13, 1985Aerospace Optics, Inc.Sunlight readable illuminated indicia display devices
US4631377 *Feb 21, 1985Dec 23, 1986General Research Of Electronics, Inc.Slide switch with indicator light
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US6960732 *Jan 28, 2003Nov 1, 2005Whirlpool CorporationElectric switch insertable into a control/display screen
US7745748Feb 7, 2006Jun 29, 2010Mec A/SSwitch having a complementary diode unit
CN100559529CFeb 7, 2006Nov 11, 2009美克公司Switch having a complementary diode unit
WO2006086981A1 *Feb 7, 2006Aug 24, 2006Mec AsSwitch having a complementary diode unit
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/311, 200/296, 200/314
International ClassificationH01R33/05, H01H13/02, F21V19/00, H01R33/06
Cooperative ClassificationH01H2219/04, H01H13/023
European ClassificationH01H13/02B