US 3806722 A
Disclosed is a device for producing unique visual and audio effects. It comprises a shadow box including a rear display surface on which is positioned interchangeable diffraction patterns which present different visual effects when illuminated from different directions. Contained within the shadow box are a plurality of discrete light sources positioned around the periphery of the light box shielded from direct view. They are positioned to illuminate the display surface at acute angles in order to achieve the pronounced visual effect of such illumination direction responsive surfaces. Connected to the light sources is a sequence generator which selectively illuminates the light sources in an alternating, circulating pattern. Apparatus is included for controlling both the speed and direction of circulation. Enclosed within the box also is apparatus for mounting jewelry or other light reflecting or refracting objects.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent I [191 Peake et al.
[ 1 VISUAL EFFECT DEVICE  Inventors: Glenn Edward Peake; Thomas Gary Holmes, both of Las Vegas, Nev.
 Assignee: D. S. DeSure, Las Vegas, Nev.
 Filed: Sept. 5, 1972  Appl. No.: 286,530
 U.S. Cl. 240/10 R, 40/130 N  Int. Cl. F21p 1/02  Field of Search 240/10 R, 6,40/130 N,
40/132 C, 132 F, 133 R, 133 A  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,785,100 12/1930 Solodar 40/130 N 1,828,177 10/1931 Curtiss 40/133 A X 1,725,230 8/1929 Ulrich 240/10 R X 1,607,922 11/1926 Schweitzer 240/10 R X Primary Examiner-M0nroe 1-1. Hayes Attorney, Agent, or FirmJohn E. Wagner;'Jerry R.
Seiler  ABSTRACT Disclosed is a device for producing unique visual and [451 Apr. 23, 1974 surfaces. Connected to the light sources is a'sequence generator which selectively illuminates the lightsources in an alternating, circulating pattern. Apparatus is included forc'ontrolling both the speed and direction of circulation. Enclosed within the box alsois apparatusfor mounting jewelry or other light reflecting or refracting objects.
In one embodiment of this invention, the box includes loud speaker means for connecting to a source of music or other audio information whereby the sound appears to be eminating from the box. The sound and light are independent and not synchronized, whereby periodic random synchronization occurs producing an attention sustaining display.
3 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures CLOCK FIG. 4
OUTPUT A 4' OUTPUT B LI HT To COUNTER OUTPUT c ifl EXTERNAL OUTPUT D CLOCK 43 BACKWARD W FORWARD OTHER SEQUENCE LAMP l234l23 4,l234
0 CONDITION 02F L L J l 1 l J l L l l l l F1 TIME l 3 4 l 2 3 4 l 2 3 4 ON CONDITION n l l 'l F FL l l F'l L L F'l l l VISUAL EFFECT DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION For a number of years there have evolved a variety of forms of visual effects devices including light sources within a box which are caused to be illuminated in sequence with music or in one way or another under the control of a timing device. Often such devices employ prisms or diffusers to produce interesting visual effects.
Another type of visual effect device is the shadow box which tends to produce an illusion of depth coupled with peripheral lighting produces attractive and attention getting appearance for the photograph, drawing or representation which appears in the back wall of the shadow box.
Illumination of such shadow boxes is typically either from the exterior or by steady state illumination concealed within the shadow box.
STATEMENT OF THE INVENTION the region of the box enhances the total effect upon the viewer.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING This invention may be more clearly understood from the following detailed description and by reference to the drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a device in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is a right elevational view of a device of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the device of FIG. 1
taken along the line 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a block diagram of the'light control system of the device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a timing diagram of the system of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a timing diagram of the operation system of FIG. 4 in the reverse direction; and
FIG. 7 is an electrical schematic of the system of FIG. 4.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION One particular physical embodiment of this invention appears in FIG. 1. It comprises basically a simple attractive housing 10 including a front opening 11 within a framing boarder l2 and exposing a rear display surface 13 to a viewer located in front of the housing 10. The housing 10 has substantial depth between the front opening 11 and the rear surface 13 which serves to maintain the appearance of depth and also provides sufficient room for positioning of the lighting which is illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 5. This depth of the housing 10 is particularly apparent in FIGS. 2 and 3.
The front and side of the housing 10 has a number of controls by which the viewer canvary the operation of the device. They include an on-off switch 14 and a direction reversing switch 15, a frequency control knob 16, as well as a volume control 20 for the loud speakers contained within the housing and a jack 21 for audio input to an internal loudspeaker appearing in FIG. 3.
The back of the housing 10 is changeable and for that reason the edge of the housing defines a slot 22 in the rear where backing boards 23 carrying surface 13 may be inserted and removed. Normally the slot 22 is of sufficient clearance to allow the ease of a backing board 23 yet small enough to maintain relatively good light integrity. In certain cases a light seal similar to those used in cameras may be desired.
The framing portion 12 of the housing 10 serves to conceal the lighting from direct view from any viewer immediately in front of the housing 10. This framing portion tends to enhance the depth effect.
Now referring specifically to FIG. 3, the internal arrangement of the housing 10 may be seen. Particularly the internal lamps 30 which are positioned around the periphery of the housing and concealed bythe framing portion 12. In one specific example there are four lamps on each side bringing a total of 16 lamps. These lamps for purposes of convenience and identification are numbered as follows:
All when viewed from the front of the housing 10.
This numbering the lamps is significant later in connec tion with the explanation of the operation of the device. The loud speaker previously mentioned may be seen as a speaker 31 positioned within the base portion of the housing 10 and directed upward to introduce audio energy through openings in the box into the chamber of the housing 10. Full position of the front opening 11 not only is the source of the visual effect but the audio as well.
At the top of the internal chamber of housing 10 is a hook 32 or other fastening device positioned to allow the attachment of any of a number of articles which may be suspended in the chamber and viewed through the opening 11. An example is a piece of jewelry such as a multifacet gem stone and setting. In such case the backing board 23 has a subdued surface for example velvet, since the article itself suspended from the fixture 32 is designed 'to capture 'the attention rather than the background surface 13. In any event the rotating sequential lighting directed towards a reflective or reflected article in the chamber produces a startingly' beautiful effect. In such case audio input is probably unnecessary or undesirable.
Now referring to FIG. 4 the simple block diagram of the lighting and control system of this invention is disclosed. It'comprises basically a clock or oscillator 40 which is connected through selector switch or jumper 41 to the input of a counter.42. The selector switch or jumper 41 is designed to alternately connect the clock 40 to the counter or any external clocks which may be desired to use via lead 43.
The counter 42 may be constructed of conventional flip flop circuits utilizing either positive or negative logic. with associated decoding gates of .AND, OR, NAND, NOR or other configurations or may employ relays, stepping switches or the like. The preferred circuitry for the counter is shown in FIG. 7. The counter 42 includes the forward and reverse switch as shown in FIG. 1. The counter 42 includes four output leads identified as A, B, C and D. These leads are all connected to the light display unit 60 in a manner disclosed in FIG. 7. The counter 42 is used to provide output signals in sequence on each of the output lines which in turn are used to energize specific lamps in the light display unit 50. The output sequence from the counter is alterable via the switch 15 to make the counter count in either the forward or backward direction or for purposes of illustration in a different sequence when the switch 15 is moved to a third position.
The counter 42 output signals on leads A-D are connected to the lights in the light display unit 50 in any suitable manner such that a signal on line A will cause the No. 1 lamps of the above arrangement to be energized. Similarly a signal on line B will cause the No. 2 lamps to be energized and similar is true for the output lines C and D. When the counter 42 is conditioned to count in the forward direction the lamps associated with lead A will be first illuminated followed by those associated with the line B, followed by C, followed by D. This is illustrated in FIG. 5. When the counter 42 is connected to operate in the reverse direction the order of sequence is D, C, B, A. The order of energization is then illustrated in FIG. 6. The net result is a stepped advance of light source along each of the four sides of the opening 11 simultaneously beginning at 'the corners and advancing in a clockwise direction as is apparent by referring back to the lamp numbering sequence in the specification. Carrying out this invention a number of small light sources are used which direct light at acute angles toward the background simultaneously from four sides in stepped sequence pattern whereby the effect of individual lamps is not apparent to the eye but the overall effect is the circulating alternating effeet on the light refractive or reflective surface which is truly attention getting.
When the reversing switch 15 is moved to the reverse position energization sequence is shown in timing diagram of FIG. 6. This is apparent as a reverse or counter clockwise order of energization of the lamps.
The specific circuit toaccomplish the sequence of FIGS. 5 and 6 in the foregoing is shown in FIG. 7. It comprises basically an oscillator or clock comprising plurality of inverting amplifiers 60, 61 and 62 with a feed back path including capacitor 63 and frequency adjusting resistance element 16 connected to the input of the amplifier 61. A principal feed back path exists through lead 64 between the output of amplifier 62 and input of amplifier 60.
This clockoscillator 30 designed to operate over the range of 4 to I00 Hertz, is connected via lead 65 and jumper connection 66 to the input of the counter 42. The counter 42 comprises basically a pair of bistable multivibrators or flip flops 70 and 71 and a plurality of NAND gates 72, associated power supplies 73 and driver switches 74.
The flip flop 70 istriggered over lead 66 and is connected to trigger flip flop 71 via the reversing switch 15. The flip flop 70 and 71 each include a pair of output terminals designated for convenience set and reset, which are connected to apply pulses to NAND gates 1 and 3 in the case of the set input and 2 and 4 in the-case of the reset input. The set lead of the'flip flop 71 is connected to apply pulses to the 1 and 2 NAND gates and .all connected to transistor switches 73 which in turn pass enabling pulses over respective leads j, k, l, m corresponding to the leads A, B, C, D of FIG. 4 to driver amplifiers 81, 82 and 83. These amplifiers 80-83 are each connected through buses and individual leads to supply power to the lamp assembly 30.
Again referring to the light designation sequence in the specification above, the switch 80 is connected to'the lamps carrying the designation four; the driver 81 to the lamps carrying the designation three; the driver 82 to the lamps carrying the designation two and the driver 83 to the lamps carrying the designation one. In the drawing the designation of the lamps is omitted to avoid confusion. However, reference to the specification above and drawingFlG. .7 will show the corresponding lamp arrangement. 7
Given the above described circuitry, one lamp is illuminated at each instance on each of the four sides of the display area and as each lamp in sequence is illuminated the angle of illumination towards any particular spoton the background or the object in the light box changes where it is illumination direction responsive as for example, a multifacet gem, the effect is remarkable. Likewise when the background is illumination-direction responsive the background appears to come alive. It should be noted in FIG. 7. that the loudspeaker terminal and connection are shown and these are independent of the lighting system. This allows the simultaneous production of light and sound in the box but without synchronization which has been used in prior art devices. As indicated above without synchronization light and audio only have intermittent apparent synchronization and'therefore are not predictable resulting in an increased attention retaining effect.
From the foregoing description it is apparent that we have produced a novel visual effects device employing a combination of a shadow box and circulating illumination within the box. We have also designed such a device with interchangeable back surface by which different visual effects may be obtainedat will. In the design we have shown the device in the particular configuration of FIG. 1, however, it must be recognized that the outward appearance of the housing 10 may be changed without departing from my concept. Similarly, the circuit of FIG. 7 may employ the following basic components: Amplifiers 60-62, type SN 7404 I-Iex Inverters Flip flop and 71, type SN 7474, dual D type edge trigger flip flops NAND gates, SN7401, quadruple Z-input NAND gates with open collector output.
All produced by Texas Instrument Company of Dallas,
The above circuits are representative and are not limiting. In fact, the entire circuit may be produced on a single integrated circuit chip.
positive The'above-described embodiments of this-invention are merely descriptive of its principles and are not to be considered limiting. The scope of this invention instead shall be determined from the scope of the following claims including their equivalents.
What is claimed is:
1. A visual effect device comprising a housing including a front opening and a chamber exposed by said front opening;
said housing including a rear wall visible through said front opening; v
said rear wall having a surface of velvet for producing a different visual effect dependent upon the angle of incidence of light thereon;
a plurality of light sources positioned within said housing around the periphery of said opening and concealed from direct view through said front opening;
- said light sources positioned to illuminate the rear wall of said housing in the region exposed to said front opening; and means for selectively illuminating said light sources in sequence including at least one light source on each side of said front opening to produce a changing angle of incidence illumination on said rear wall of said housing.
'2. The combination in accordance with claim 1 including means for suspending objects in said housing in front of said rear wall.
3. The combination in accordance with claim 1 wherein said means for selectively'illuminating said light sources comprises cyclical switch means connected to respective light sources for. energizing light sources in sequence whereby the light sources illumi nate the back wall of said housing from changing angles of incidence.