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Publication numberUS3818439 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 18, 1974
Filing dateApr 11, 1972
Priority dateApr 11, 1972
Publication numberUS 3818439 A, US 3818439A, US-A-3818439, US3818439 A, US3818439A
InventorsMaine R
Original AssigneeWork Area Protection Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Warning light assembly with modularized inserts
US 3818439 A
Abstract
An improved warning light assembly of the type providing an intermittent flashing warning light which includes a top case member and a bottom case member which are snap-fittingly engageable, a unitary lens ring member having lock means formed integrally therewith, the lens ring being so constructed as to snap-fittingly lock into position in the case member, the top case member also being provided with a series of three metallic pins extending through the case interiorly of the light housing, a circuit platform including an electrical candle mounted in breakaway relationship with respect to the platform, and the platform being provided with at least two electrically conductive metallic strips to provide an electrical circuit between the electrical candle and the power source, the circuit platform further including apertures in lineal alignment with the metallic strips whereby the metallic pins extending through the case may contact and establish electrical communication with the metallic strips, the metallic pins thereby providing external test points for both the electrical candle and the power source.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 91 Maine WARNING LIGHT ASSEMBLY WITH MODULARIZED INSERTS [75] Inventor: Robert W. Maine, Cerritos, Calif.

[73] Assignee: Work Area Protection Corp.,

Addison, Ill.

[22] Filed: Apr. 11, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 243,029

[ June 18, 1974 Primary Examiner-John W. Caldwell Assistant Examiner-Joseph E. Nowicki Attorney, Agent, or FirmDominik, Knechtel, Godula & Demeur [57 ABSTRACT An improved warning light assembly of the type providing an intermittent flashing warning light which includes a top case member and a bottom case member which are snap-fittingly engageable, a unitary lens ring member having lock means formed integrally therewith, the lens ring being so constructed as to snapfittingly lock into position in the case member, the top case member also being provided with a series of three metallic pins extending through the case interiorly of the light housing, a circuit platform including an electrical candle mounted in breakaway relationship with respect to the platform, and the platform being provided with at least two electrically conductive metallic strips to provide an electrical circuit between the electrical candle and the power source, the circuit platform further including apertures in lineal alignment with the metallic strips whereby the metallic pins extending through the case may contact and establish electrical communication with the metallic strips, the metallic pins thereby providing external test points for both the electrical candle and the power source.

26 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures [52] US. Cl 340/81 R, 240/151, 340/84, 340/1 14 B [51] Int. Cl B60q 1/52 [58] Field of Search 240/151, 152; 340/81 R, 340/84, 114 B, 118

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,007,599 11/1961 Greasley 240/152 X 3,096,026 7/1963 Bruce et al. 3,139,556 6/1964 Grontkowski 340/331 X 3,266,015 8/1966 Pickering et a1. 340/81 R 3,321,742 5/1967 Nunn 340/331 X 3,351,751 11/1967 Strube et a1. 3,489,891 1/1970 Altissimo 3,500,378 3/1970 Pickering et a1, 340/81 R X 3,523,290 8/1970 Elledge 340/331 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,134,907 11/1968 Great Britain 340/114 B 2,001,708 10/1970 Germany 240/152 PATENTED JUN! e 1914 SHEEI 1 OF 2 PATENTED JUN! 81974 SHEEI 2 BF 2 WARNING LIGHT ASSEMBLY WITH MODULARIZED INSERTS BACKGROUND OF INVENTION Warning lights of the type which flash intermittently and are adapted for mounting on wooden barricades, road warning sign stands, and the like, are well-known in the art. The standard construction of such warning light assemblies generally includes a top case member and a bottom case member, the two case members being so designed as to snap-fittingly engage one with the other, and the bottom case being so designed as to carry one or more batteries as the power source. The top case member generally houses the electric candle as well as the circuitry which interconnects the light with the batteries. Finally, the optical lens plates are usually held in position on top of the case by means of a lens ring which in the usual construction is bolted to the top case.

While lights of this general construction are presently in use, and do function for the intended purpose, nevertheless, various difficulties have been noted with respect to many of these prior art devices. For example, where the lens ring which carries the optical lens plates is bolted to the case housing, it is often very difficult to rotate the lens plate assemblies once the light has been attached to the barricade. In many such constructions, it is necessary to completely remove the top case member from the bottom case member in order to obtain access to the bolt holding the lens ring in position, in order to loosen same and permit rotation of the complete lens plate assembly. Hence, rather than completely disassemble the light assembly, very often in order to change the direction in which the flashing light is visible, one must completely move the barricade or other structure upon which the light is mounted.

I Another difficulty which has been noted with respect to prior art constructions is that in many cases, the circuitry inside of the housing is exposed. Hence, it is not unusual to find constructions wherein the wiring runs through appropriate holes in the bolt holding the lens ring in position and connects the electric candle to the switch assembly, and to the power source, is completely exposed inside of the casing. Clearly, when an attempt is made in the field to disassemble the light assembly, such as for example, to change the batteries or the light bulb, the danger of accidentally severing an electrical connection of the wires is present. In addition, if the barricade or other structure upon which such a light is located is struck by a vehicle and the light is impacted against the roadway, often such warning lights cannot be repaired and must be entirely replaced in order to maintain the safety standards in connection with the particular project involved. Hence, another undesirable feature of such lithts is apparent, since many of these warning light assemblies do not have replaceable modules which may be merely inserted into the light to repair same.

An example of one of the prior art type warning light devices is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,221,300. In the construction as shown in this patent, it will be noted that the wiring for interconnecting the electric light with the power source hangs loosely within the case. Hence, when one attempts to change the batteries by disassembling the case housing there is a great danger present of accidentally severing one of the wires leading from the candle to the power source or batteries. Furthermore, it will be noted that the candle holder is based within the casing and extends upwardly through an aperture provided in the top case. In the event that the barricade or structure holding the light is sruck and the light strikes the pavement with great force, the danger that the candle will snap and break is imminently present. Finally, it will be noted that the lens assembly is merely pressed down over the candle holder or sleeve, which, while permitting the lens plates to be freely rotated, nevertheless increases the danger that such lens assemblies will be stolen by vandals, or at least may be easily removed by anyone. Usually, such lens assemblies are expensive to replace and hence, if a lens assembly is easily removable, replacement costs for stolen or damaged lens assemblies are high and this feature represents a significant cost drawback.

Another prior art warning light assembly is shown in US. Pat. No. 3,015,804. The structure as disclosed in this patent is actually designed as part of a barricade and due to its construction, can only be used in conjunction with barricades which are specially designed to carry these particular lights. This feature is definitely a drawback to such a prior art device since interchangeability with other types of barricades cannot be achieved. Clearly, interchangeability is a commercially desirable feature to have, since one cannot rely upon the fact that all contractors or other parties that use such lights would have the necessary specially designed barricade.

A more improved warning light assembly is shown in US. Pat. No. 3,266,015, wherein there is shown a case housing consisting of a top case member and a bottom case member which interconnects via a snapping action. A circuit platform is provided, having contact strips disposed thereon for contact with a power source, such as a battery or a pair of batteries, and a lens assembly which is mounted to the top case member. However, the structure of the warning light assembly as shown therein has several drawbacks. For example, it will be noted that the lens assembly is bolted to the top case. Such structure proves to be very costly in manufacture, since the labor to assemble such a construction is significant. In addition, should the screws that hold the lens assembly in position be tightened too tightly, then in that event, great difiiculty would be encountered in attempting to rotate the lens assembly to direct the warning light in a different direction. In order to loosen the screws holding the light assembly in position, it is necessary to completely disassemble the case in order to obtain access to the two screws holding the lens assembly in position.

Another drawback feature of the light assembly as shown in US. Pat. No. 3,266,015 is the fact that the electric light bulb holder, or candle member, is formed integrally with the circuit platform. Hence, should the light be struck or impacted against the pavement, the danger that the candle would break is increased. Any such breakage would then necessitate that one replace the complete circuit platform and candle, since these are both formed as a unitary piece.

In view of the difficulties noted above, among others, with various of the prior art warning light assemblies, it is considered to be desirable to provide an improved warning light assembly. Hence, the provision of such a warning light assembly which is both easy to manufacture while at the same time reducing the total cost thereof is intended. Furthermore, a modularized construction is provided whereby the repair or replacement of damaged or lost parts is facilitated in the field, where the light is actually used. In addition, it is obviously advantageous to provide a warning light assembly which permits free rotation of the lens assembly throughout an arc of 360 in order to direct the warning light in any desired direction, while at the same time insuring that the lens assembly cannot easily be removed unless the lens assembly is completely destroyed. Finally, it is desirable to provide a warning light assembly which includes a modularized circuit platform carrying the necessary electric candle, circuitry, switch means and electrical contact means, all as a sub-assembly, which is completely interchangeable with existing warning light housing assemblies.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The novel warning light assembly of the present invention is provided with a housing consisting of a top case member and a bottom case member which snapfittingly engage one with the other. A modularized circuit platform assembly is provided which includes a candle for holding the electric light, in breakaway relation with respect to the platform. The circuit platform also includes a series of either two or three electrical contact strips for establishing electrical communication between the power source and the candle, as well as serving to coact with a series of three metallic pins which are disposed in the top case member and establish electrical contact with the metallic strips, thereby to provide external test points for both the power source and the electric light. The lens assembly is formed as a unitary lens ring, having mounting fingers thereon, whereby the lens ring may be snapped into position on the case, thereby effecting a locked relationship as between the lens ring and the case, while nevertheless permitting the lens ring and the optical lens plates carried thereby to be freely rotated throughout a 360 arc, without necessitating any adjustment of screws, bolts, or the like.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES It is therefore the principal object of the present invention to provide an improved warning light assembly which includes in combination a bottom case member for accommodating a power source, a top case member including a top wall, the top and bottom case members together forming the light assembly housing, the top case member having an aperture disposed in the top wall, and a plurality of metallic pins disposed therethrough in predetermined locations, a unitary lens ring member having lock means formed integrally therewith, the lock means coating with the aperture in the top wall thereby to lock the lens ring into engagement with the top case member, a circuit platform assembly removeably positionable within the housing, the circuit platform including a base plate, an electrical candle mounted on the base plate, electrical contact means mounted on the base plate to provide electrical communication between the power source and the elctrical candle, and the base plate further including means for establishing electrical communication between the electrical contact means and the metallic pins disposed in the top case member, whereby the presence and absence of electric current in the power source and in the electrical candle may be determined externally of the light housing assembly.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a warning light assembly of the type set forth, wherein the lens ring member comprises a ring base, a ring member upstandingly mounted on the ring base, and lock means mounted on the ring base and extending downwardly therefrom, the ring base, ring member and lock means formed integrally as a unitary member.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a warning light assembly of the type set forth, wherein the aperture in the top case member includes an undercut shoulder and the lock means of the lens ring member includes a plurality of finger members having outstanding peripheral flanges extending therefrom, the flanges and undercut shoulder coacting to form lock means for locking the lens ring member into position on the top case member.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a warning light assembly of the type set forth wherein the electrical candle is mounted on the circuit platform in breakaway relationship whereby upon impact, the electrical candle is permitted to break away from the circuit platform and may be easily replaced by merely snap-fitting the pieces back together.

In connection with the foregoing object, it is still a further object of this invention to provide a warning light assembly of the type described wherein the electrical candle is so constructed such that the light bulb removably positioned therein will always reregister with the center of the two lenses within tolerances of between 0.002 and 0.003 of its original position when re-installed whether due to breakage of replacement Another object of the present invention is to provide a warning light assembly of the type set forth wherein the electrical contact means mounted on the base plate comprises a plurality of electrically conductive metallic strips in electrical communication with the metallic pins extending through the top case member and with the power source whereby the electrical ability of the power source as well as the electrical candle may be tested externally of the light housing assembly by establishing an electrical circuit through the portion of the metallic pins which are exposed externally of the light housing assembly.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a method for interconnecting a lens assembly to a case housing in rotatable relationship to form a warning light assembly of the type including a self-contained power source, an electrical candle and circuitry interconnecting the electrical candle with the power source, comprising the steps of providing a housing having at least a top case member including an aperture disposed in the top wall thereof, forming a unitary lens ring for carrying at least one optical lens plate and provided with lock means formed integrally therewith, engaging the lock means in the aperture in the top case member, thereby to Iockingly engage the unitary lens ring in position on the top case member, whereby the lens ring assembly may be locked into position on the top case member without the need for extraneous lock members while permitting the lens ring assembly to be completely rotatable throughout an arc of 360 when so locked into position.

Further features of the invention pertain to the particular arrangement of the elements and parts whereby the above-outlined and additional operating features thereof are attained.

The invention both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof will best be understood by reference to the following specification taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1, is a perspective view of a completely assembled warning light assembly of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational cross-section view showing the various components of the warning light assembly, as assembled.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the warning light of the present invention showing the external electrical testing points disposed on the top case member.

FIG. 4 is an exploded view, patly in cross section, of the various component parts forming the warning light assembly of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the circuit platform comprising one of the component parts of the warning light of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a view of the undersurface of the top case member taken in the direction of the arrows along the line 6-6.

FIG. 7 is a side elevational exploded view showing the component parts forming the circuit platform assembly.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 3 of the drawings, the warning light assembly, generally referred to by the number 10, is shown in its assembled state. It will be noted that the assembly 10 consists of a bottom case member 12, a top case member 14, and a lens assembly 16. The top case member 14 is shown to be in overlapping relationship with respect to the bottom case member 12, the two case members 12 and 14 being provided with means to achieve a snap-fitting engagement whereby the case members 12 and 14 are disengageably held in position. The warning light assembly 10 is completed by means of a bolt (not shown) which is inserted through a bolt aperture 18 carried on a bolt support platform 20, the bolt then threadedly secured into a bolt plate 22, carried on the reverse side wall of the top case member 14. In the usual application, and where desired, the warning light assembly 10 is mounted to a barricade or other such structure and the mounting is accomplished by first threading the bolt through an aperture provided on the barricade or other structure, and thence into the bolt aperture 18 and threadedly secured in the bolt plate 22. Usually the bolts which are employed in such application have safety features associated therewith in order to prevent vandals or other unauthorized persons from removing such assemblies from the barricades or otherwise damaging same. For example, such bolts are usually provided with special heads which can only be inserted into the assembly or removed therefrom by means of special tools which are carried by the crews or other authorized personnel who deal with the lights in order to mount or demount same from the desired position.

The detailed construction of the warning light assembly of the present invention is more clearly shown in FIGS. 2 and 4 of the drawings. The bottom case member 12 includes a bottom wall 24 and a series of peripheral side walls 26. The central portion of the bottom Wall 24 is raised upwardly to form a U-shaped dividing wall 28 thereby to compartmentalize the bottom case member 12 into two compartments 29 and 38 respectively. The opposed side walls 26 are each provided with an outwardly turned flange 32 which forms part of the closing mechanism for engaging the top case member 14 with the bottom case member 12.

The upper interior portion of the U-shaped dividing wall 28 is provided with a lip 33, which extends laterally outwardly for a short distance. The lip 33 snapfittingly engages the bolt aperture 18 of the top case member 14, thereby to provide a three-point locking of the top case of 14 with the bottom case 12 when the two are lockingly engaged. Furthermore, the lip 33, serves as a bearing point when the bolt is inserted and tightened, thereby preventing excessive deformation of the top case 14. Such a three point locking system permits the locking of not only the opposed ends of the corresponding cases, but also one of the side walls of each of the top case 14 and bottom case 12.

The top case member 14 includes a top wall 34 and a series of pheripheral side walls 36. The lower end of each of the two opposed short side walls 36 is provided with a reverse flange 38, the reverse flange 38 coacting with the outwardly turned flange 32 of the bottom case member 12, to effect a snap-acting lock mechanism for locking the top case member 14 with the bottom case member 12 in disengageable relationship. The central portion of the top wall 35 is provided with a central aperture 40 which is surrounded by a thickened section 42 of the top wall 34. The thickened section 42 is also provided with an undercutshoulder 44, adjacent the lower end thereof and interiorly disposed, the thickened section 42 and undercut shoulder 44 being provided for a purpose to be more fully described hereinafter.

The construction of the undersurface 46 of the top wall 34 is more particularly shown in FIGS. 4 and 6 of the drawings. With particular reference to FIG. 6 of the drawings, it will be noted that the thickened section 42 surrounding the aperture 40 is provided with a plurality of radial structural ribs 48, extending outwardly therefrom, the thickened section 42 and radial ribs 48 providing structural support for the top case member 14, at the point where the lens assembly 16 is mounted. One of the elongated side walls 36 is shown to include a side aperture 50 for receiving the bolt (not shown) therethrough in the manner described hereinabove. The opposed elongated side wall 36 is provided with a bolt plate 52 which is riveted to the wall 36 by means of a pair of rivets 53. Alternatively, the bolt plate 52 may be provided with expandable bosses which would be forced through corresponding apertures in the top case 14 to achieve fastening of the bolt plate 52 thereto. A threaded sleeve 54 extends interiorly of the top case member 14, the threaded sleeve 54 providing a receptacle into which the bolt may be threadedly secured when completing the final assembly of the light assembly 10. The side aperture 50 and threaded sleeve 54 are so positioned as to horizontally align with the uppermost portion of the U-shaped dividing wall 28 of the bottom case member 12, thereby to enable the top case member 14 and bottom case member 12, to be snap-fitted together via the outwardly turned flange 32 and reverse flange 38 to achieve the engagement of the top and bottom case members 12 and 14 respectively.

The undersurface of the top case member 14 also includes a series of four spacer lugs 56 which function for a purpose to be more fully described hereinafter. In addition, the undersurface 46 includes a pair of friction posts 58 which, again, function for a purpose to be more fully described hereinafter. Finally, the undersurface 46 includes a series of three pin sleeves 60, which are molded as an integral part of the top case 14 and hence, firmly anchored in a supporting wall 62, extending downwardly into the interior of the top case member 14.

In FIGS. 2, 4, S and 7 of the drawings, the structure of the circuit platform assembly 65 is illustrated. The circuit platform assembly 65 includes a base plate 66 which is provided with a candle holding aperture 68 centrally disposed therein, the candle holding aperture 68 being surrounded by an annular support wall 70. A pair of friction post receptacles 72 is disposed in the base plate 66, the friction post receptacles 72 being disposed in opposed relation along an angular line so as to be in substantially vertical alignment with the friction posts 58 when the circuit platform assembly 65 is positioned interiorly of the top case member 14. The friction posts 58 coact with the friction post receptacles 72 to provide a friction locking mechanism for holding the circuit platform assembly 65 in the top case member 14.

The circuitry is housed in a circuit housing 74, which is snap-fittingly held to the base plate 66 by means of locking lugs 75 which coact with lug receptacles 76, whereby the circuit housing 74 is held in suspended relationship from the bottom of the base plate 66, and immediately below the candle holding aperture 68. The circuit housing 74 provides a convenient location for disposing the switch mechanism 78 as well as the circuitry 80 which, in turn, controls the intermittent or sequential flashing of the warning light. The complete circuitry 80 is actually contained within a casing 81 (shown in phantom in FIG. 7) which is then completely filled with a potting compound of the type generally employed in the electronics industry. The necessary wires 82 extend out from the casing 81 and are provided with terminal lead ends for the purpose of establishing electrical connection to the appropriate terminals. The underside of the base plate 66 is provided with a series of three electrically conductive strips 84 which are conveniently formed of an electrically conductive metal and are held in place by means of a plurality of strip cradles 86 which are formed as a part of the base plate 66. The wiring 82 leading from the circuitry 80 contained within the circuit housing 74 is electrically connected such as by soldering or the like, to the electrically conductive strips 84, and due to the elongated configuration of the electrically conductive strips 84, the undersurface of each of the electrically conductive strips is caused to come into contact with the power source, such as batteries having spring wound battery terminals, of the type generally known in the art, thereby to complete the circuit and establish electrical communication as between the power source, the electric switch, and the warning light.

The light assembly 88, comprises a tubular candle 90 which terminates in a base 91, base 91 having a short tubular extension 92 extending downwardly therefrom and terminating in a peripheral head 94 angularly disposed thereabout. The length of the short tubular extension 92 is substantially the same as the combined thickness of the base plate 66 and support wall 70 whereby the tubular candle 90 may be snap-fitted into engagement through the candle holding aperture 68 in the base plate 66. The upper portion of the candle is provided with a light bulb holding collar 94, which is slotted in the customary manner for the purpose of holding a warning light bulb 95 thereon. Electrical communication as between the light bulb 95 and the circuitry 80 is accomplished by means of wiring 96 thereby completing the circuit as described hereinabove.

ln the preferred embodiment of the circuit platform assembly 65, the base plate 66 is shown to include a pair of opposed end-to-end attachment apertures 97, and another pair of angularly opposed rectangular apertures 98. Both of these pairs of apertures are provided for the purpose of permitting the circuit platform assembly 65 to be inserted into other presently existing top case members wherein the friction posts 58 are located in positions vertically aligned with the apertures as set forth above. Hence, it will be apparent that the circuit platform assembly 65 of the present invention may be fitted into and positioned within any top case member which is presently available.

Finally, the circuit platform assembly 65 is completed by a series of three contact apertures 99 which are positioned in vertical alignment immediately above a corresponding electrically conductive strip 84. In addition, the contact apertures 99 are also in vertical alignment with a corresponding pin sleeve 60 whereby a metallic pin 100, which is disposed through the pin sleeve 60 will be permitted to have one head 101 exposed externally of the top case member 14 while having the opposed head 102 extending through a corresponding contact aperture 99 and in contact with a corresponding electrically conductive strip 84. Due to the circuitry involved, and the means by which each of the electrically conductive strips 84 is wired to the power source, switch and light bulb, the electrical ability of the power source as well as the light bulb 95 may be individually tested by making electrical contact with the appropriate exposed pin heads 101 by means of an electrical tester externally of the top case member 14. If desired, and in order to avoid the danger of accidentally short circuiting the power source and/or the light bulb 95, the top case member may be provided with a series of four upstanding walls 103 thereby to separate the three pin heads 101, one from the other.

The details of construction of the lens assembly 16 is shown in FIGS. 2 and 4 of the drawings. The lens assembly I6 is shown to be formed by a unitary lens ring structure 110, which is formed by a ring base 112, which is centrally apertured as shown in 114, and having a ring member 116 extending upwardly therefrom. The ring member 116 includes a series of four screw mounts 118 which are provided for the purpose of carrying at least one optical lens plate 120, in the manner shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings. The optical lens plate 120 is held into position on the ring member 116 by means of screws 122 inserted through apertures provided in the optical lens plate 120 and through the screw mounts 118 carried by the ring member 116. The screws 122 are held in position by means of nuts (not shown) which engage the threaded end of the screws on the opposed surface of the ring member 1 l6 in a manner commonly known in the art.

The unitary lens ring structure also includes a series of four finger member 124 extending downwardly from the ring base 112, each of the finger members 124 havinga length approximately equal to the thickened portion 42 surrounding the central aperture 40 in the top case member 14. Each finger member 124 terminates in a peripheral flange 126 extending outwardly from the corresponding finger member 124, each of the peripheral flanges 126 coacting with the undercut shoulder 44 provided in the central aperture 40, thereby to form lock means for locking the unitary lens structure 110 into position in the top case member 14. In the preferred embodiment, prior to the assembly of the lens ring structure 110 into the top case member 14, a gasket 128 is provided between the lower surface of the ring base 112, and the upper surface of the top case member 14. Hence, once the unitary lens ring structure 110 is inserted into position in the top case member 14, the rotational movement of the unitary lens ring structure 110 is facilitated by the presence of gasket 128.

With regard to the manner in which the warning light assembly is assembled, it will be apparent from the above description that the circuit platform assembly 65 may be preassembled and supplied as a sub-assembly. The benefits to be gained from such a sub-assembly will be clear when reference is had to the normal abuse to which such warning lights are subjected. Hence it is clear that where any portion of the circuit platform assembly 65 is damaged, whether due to impact, vandalism or the like, the complete circuit platform assembly 65 may be easily removed from the warning light assembly 10 and replaced with a completely new circuit platform assembly.

In any event, the lens assembly 16 is connected to the top case member 14 by inserting the finger members 124 through the gasket 128 and then into the central aperture 40 in the top case member. The unitary lens ring structure 110 is press-fitted downwardly with the finger members 124 each being inserted through the aperture 40 until the peripheral flanges 126 of each of the finger members 124 engages with the undercut shoulder 40 disposed adjacent the innermost portion of the thickened portion 42 of the top case member 14. Either one or a pair of optical lens plates 120 may then be mounted to the ring member 116 by means of screws 122 inserted through suitable apertures provided in the optical lens plate 120 and then through the screw mounts 118 disposed in the ring member 1 16 and held in position by threaded nuts. The circuit platform assembly 65, as described above, is provided as a subassembly, having the electrically conductive strips 84 inserted into position in the strip cradles 86, and the circuit housing 74 duly locked into position on the base plate 66 with the switch mechanism 78 and circuitry 80 contained therein and duly wired so as to connect the electric light bulb 95 with circuitry 80.

The circuit platform assembly 65 is then inserted into the top case member 14 until the friction posts 58 are inserted through the friction post receptacles 72 in the base plate 66, thereby to hold the circuit platform assembly 65 into position in the top case member 14. The spacer lugs 56 contact the top surface of the base plate 66 not only to keep the circuit platform 65 in spaced relation with respect to the top wall 34 of the top case member 14, but also to tension the circuit platform 65 against the spring terminals of the batteries and ensure electrical contact between the metallic strips 85 and battery terminals. The power source consists of a pair of dry cell batteries, each battery having a pair of spring terminals of the type commonly known in the art, and one of each of the batteries is inserted in the corresponding compartment 29 and 30 respectively, formed in thebottom case member 12. The top case member 14 having the lens assembly 16 locked into position and the circuit platform assembly 65 engaged internally thereof is then brought down over the bottom case member 12 until the upwardly turned flanges 32 of the bottom case member 12 meet and coact with the reverse flanges 38 of the top case member 14 thereby disengageably locking the top and bottom case member 14 and 12 respectively, into position. When assembled in this fashion, the tubular candle will extend upwardly through the central aperture 40, gasket 128, central aperture 114, and into the area bounded by the optical lens plates 120. A switch aperture 130 is provided in one of the elongated side walls of the top case member 14 in horizontal alignment with the positioning of the switch mechanism 78 internally within the top case member 14. A rod or other tool may then be inserted through the switch aperture 130 in order to engage and activate the switch mechanism 78 thereby to close the circuit and establish electrical communication as between the power source, the circuitry 80 and the light bulb 95, thereby powering the light.

Where desired, and as an optional feature, the base plate 66 of the circuit platform assembly 65 is provided with a mounting site generally represented by the numeral 132 where a photocell may be mounted. As is known in the art, photocells may be employed in such warning light assemblies thereby to activate and deactivate the light during the night-time hours and the daylight hours respectively. ln most of the present commercially available structures, when photocells are provided with the warning light assembly, the photocells are disposed in the candle portion of the light in order to be exposed to the outside environment. Due to the fact that the unitary lens ring structure of the present invention is formed of a high impact polycarbonate, the plastic is relatively clear and hence, light is able to penetrate through the ring base 112, central aperture 40, and will reflect onto the top surface of the base plate 66. The mounting point 132 is so disposed as to permit the photocell to be activated and/or deactivated by the sunlight by reflection through the ring base 112 in the manner as described above.

It is apparent from the foregoing description that one of the improved features of the present invention is the fact that the method for attaching the lens assembly to the top case member 14 has been so improved as to eliminate any need for bolts, pins, or other extraneous locking means, while at the same time improving the ability to rotate the lens assembly 16 even after the warning light assembly 10 has been bolted into position on a barricade or other appropriate structure. ldeally, and in the preferred embodiment, the unitary lens ring structure is completely molded as a one-piece unit from a high impact polycarbonate plastic, and as described hereinabove, the unitary lens ring structure includes as part of the unitary structure, the ring base 112, the ring member 116, the screw mounts 118, the finger members 124 and the peripheral flanges 126. Hence, in order to complete the mounting of the lens assembly 16 to the top case member 14, the only manufacturing step necessary is to position the gasket 128 about the lower surface of the ring base 112 and then force the unitary lens ring structure 110 into the central aperture 40 of the top case member 14 until the peripheral flanges 126 coact with and engage the undercut shoulder 44. The presence of the gasket 128 serves the purpose of facilitating the ability to manually rotate the lens assembly 16 after the warning light assembly has been placed into position on a barricade, or other appropriate structure. in addition, the gasket 128 serves the additional purpose of a seal for preventing moisture from entering into the internal portions of the light assembly, as well as to absorb manufacturing tolerances so that constant tension is always maintained by locking finger members 124 on the top case 14. Hence, adequate friction is thereby developed so that the lens ring structure 110 may be held in any pre-fixed or pre-set position while still permitting easy rotation to a new position where desired. Furthermore, it is clear that it is now totally unnecessary to disengage the top case member 14 from the bottom case member 12 in order to obtain access to the lens assembly 16 to permit a worker to rotate the lens assembly 16 since no bolts or lock pins are utilized in the connection of the unitary lens ring structure 110 to the top case member 14.

Both the top case member 14 and bottom case member 12 are formed of resilient polyethylene and are molded via an injection molding process.

The circuit platform assembly 65 is also formed of a resilient polyethylene plastic material and may also be molded via an injection molding process. As mentioned hereinabove, the tubular candle 90 is snap-fitted onto the base plate 66 by means of the coaction as between the candle base 91, short extension 92 and peripheral bead 93, with the candle holding aperture 68 provided in the base plate 66. This construction permits the tubular candle 90 to break away from the base plate 66 in the event of impact, should the barricade or other structure holding the light be struck by a vehicle. Hence, manufacturing costs are minimized as well as the cost of repairs and/or replacement parts while at the same time providing a more improved circuit platform assembly. in addition, it will be noted that in the assembled state, the circuit platform assembly 65 as a sub-assembly, eliminates loose wires from the interior portion of the light assembly by providing a circuit housing 74 within which the circuitry 80 as well as the wiring 82 is contained. As further mentioned above, another advantage derived from the construction of the circuit platform assembly 65 of the present invention resides in the fact that the complete assembly may be easily removed from a light assembly which has been struck and damaged, and replaced by merely disengaging the top case member 14 from the bottom case member 12, removing the damaged circuit platform assembly 65, and inserting therein a replacement circuit platform assembly. Finally, additional commercial desirability is achieved due to the fact that the base plate 66 is provided with apertures which will mate with the top case members of other presently existing warning light assemblies whereby the circuit platform assembly 65 as a unit of production in and of itself has interchangeability with other presently available warning lights.

Another one of the improved features of the present invention resides in the fact that the top case member is provided with external test points via pins 100 having exposed pin heads 101, positioned thereatop. As described above, the pins 100 extend down through the pin sleeves 60 and are in electrical contact with the electrically conductive strips 84. The pins 100 are long enough such that when the same contact the conductive strips 84, the strips 84 are slightly deformed when in the assembled configuration, such deformation not only assures adequate contact pressure but also a scrubbing action is achieved thereby to always ensure a fresh, clean contact surface for minimum resistance contact. It will therefore be apparent that a tester may determine the electrical capability of both the light bulb as well as the batteries within the warning light assembly 10 by merely employing an electrical tester and making electrical contact with the appropriate pin heads 101. Quite clearly, a great safety factor is thereby achieved since one may test a great many of these lights in a very short period of time in order to determine what, if anything, is wong with a particular light and proceed to change either the batteries or the light bulb without having to completely disassemble every light assembly to be tested.

From the above description, it will be apparent that an improved warning light assembly has been provided in that the number of parts necessary to manufacture such an assembly has been reduced, the ease of manufacture has been improved, and a more serviceable assembly has been provided. Furthermore, due to the unitary construction of the lens ring structure, the method of interconnecting the lens assembly with the top case member has been improved in that no locking pins or bolts are necessary in order to effect disengageable locking of the lens assembly to the case housing, while at the same time improving the ability to rotate the complete lens assembly throughout an arc of 360. In addition, the warning light assembly of the present invention provides a modularized circuit platform assembly which may be manufactured as a sub-assembly and which may be easily inserted and removed from an existing light without the need of splicing wires and having to rewire in order to change such a structure. Furthermore, the candle holding the electric light on the base plate is mounted in breakaway relation with the base plate, thereby to permit the assembly to with stand great impact without resulting in damage to the various component parts; the candle, once broken away from the base plate, may be easily reinserted therein by the snap-fitting action provided as a result of the construction as described herein.

In summary, a warning light assembly accomplishing all of the foregoing objects and advantages has been developed and described herein. While there has been described what is at present considered to be the preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be understood that various modifications may be made therein, and it is intended to cover in the appended claims all such modifications as may fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. An improved warning light assembly comprising in combination:

a bottom case member for accommodating a power source,

a top case member including a top wall,

said top and bottom case members together forming the light assembly housing,

said top case member having an aperture disposed in the top wall thereof,

a unitary lens ring member having lock means formed integrally therewith,

said lock means coacting with said aperture, thereby to lock said lens ring into engagement with said top case member,

at least one optical lens plate carried by said lens ring,

a circuit platform assembly removably positionable within said housing, said circuit platform assembly including,

a base plate,

a candle mounted on said base plate in snap-fitting breakaway relation,

a light carried on said candle,

electrical contact means mounted on said base plate to provide electrical communication between said power source and said light,

and electrical circuitry for transmitting electrical power from the power source to the light.

2. The improved warning light assembly as set forth in claim 1 above, wherein said lock means of said unitary lens ring member comprises a plurality of finger members, each of said finger members having an outwardly extending flange, each of said flanges coacting with said aperture disposed in the top wall of said top case member, thereby to lock said unitary lens ring member into position on said top case member of said light assembly housing.

3. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 1 above, wherein said electrical contact means comprises a plurality of electrically conductive metallic strips mounted on said base plate and in electrical communication with said power source and with said light carried on said candle, whereby said light may be effectively energized by said power source via said electrically conductive metallic strips.

4. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 1 above, which further includes circuitry in electrical communication with said power source and said electric light thereby to cause said light to be intermittently energized an de energized when the electrical circuit is in the closed position.

5. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 1 above, which further includes switch means electrically interposed between said power source and said light, thereby to permit opening and closing of thecircuit formed between said power source, said light and said electrically conductive contact means.

6. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 1 above, wherein said lens ring member comprises a ring base, a ring member upstandingly mounted on said ring base, and lock means mounted on said ring base extending downwardly therefrom, said ring base, ring member and lock means formed integrally as a unitary member.

7. An improved warning light assembly comprising in combination,

a bottom case member for accommodating a power source,

a top case member including a top wall,

said top and bottom case members together forming the light assembly housing,

said top case member having an aperture disposed in the top wall thereof and a plurality of electrically conductive pins disposed therethrough in predetermined locations,

a unitary lens ring member having lock means formed integrally therewith,

said lock means coacting with said aperture thereby to lock said lens ring into engagement with said top case member,

at least one optical lens plate carried by said lens ring,

a circuit platform assembly removably positioned within said housing, said circuit platform assembly including,

a base plate,

a candle mounted on said base plate in snap-fitting breakaway relation,

a light carried on said candle,

electrical contact means mounted on said base plate to provide electrical communication between said power source and said light, 7'

electrical circuitry mounted on said base plate for transmitting electrical power from the power source to the light,

said base plate further including means for establishing electrical communication between said electrical contact means and said electrically conductive pins disposed in said top case member whereby the electrical capability of the power source and the electrical candle may be determined externally of said warning light assembly.

8. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 7, wherein said bottom case member is compartmentalized into two compartments and said power source comprises two batteries, each of which is positioned in a respective compartment in said bottom case member.

9. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 7, wherein said top case member and bottom case member disengagably lock in' snap-fitting relationship.

10. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 7 above, wherein said aperture in said top wall of said top case member includes an undercut shoulder to facilitate coaction with said lock means of said unitary lens ring member, thereby to effect positive locking of said unitary lens ring member on said top case member.

11. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 7 above, wherein said lens ring member comprises a ring base, a ring member upstandingly mounted on said ring base, and lock means mounted on said ring base and extending downwardly therefrom, said ring base, ring member and lock means formed integrally as a unitary member.

12. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 10 wherein said lock means comprises a plurality of finger members, each of said finger members having an outwardly extending flange, each of said flanges coacting with said undercut shoulder to provide positive locking of said lens ring in said aperture.

13. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 1 1, above wherein said unitary lens ring member is provided with a plurality of screw mounts to accommodate the mounting of optical lens plates thereon by screws inserted through said lens plates and into said screw mounts, said screw mounts formed integrally with said unitary lens ring member.

14. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 7 above, wherein said electrical candle is mounted on said base plate in impact-breakaway relation.

15. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 7 above, which further includes switch means electrically interposed between said power source and said electrical contact means, said switch means thereby permitting manual energizing and de-energizing of said light.

' 16. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 7 above, wherein said electrical contact means comprises a plurality of electrically conductive metallic strips, mounted on said base plate and in electrical communication with said metallic pins extending through said case top member and with said power source whereby the electrical capability of said power source as well as said light may be tested externally of the light housing assembly by establishing an electrical circuit through the portions of said electrically conductive pins which are exposed externally of the warning light assembly.

17. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 16 above wherein said base plate is provided with separate electrically conductive metallic strips in order to accommodate independent testing of said power source and said light.

18. In a warning light assembly of the type including a housing formed of a top case member and a bottom case member, the top and bottom case members being interconnected in disengageable relation and containing therein a power source, an electrical candle and circuitry interconnecting the electrical candle with the power source, the top case member being provided with an aperture in the top wall thereof for accommodating the positioning of the electrical candle therethrough to provide an external warning light, the improvement comprising,

a unitary lens ring for carrying at least one optical lens plate therein,

said unitary lens ring including lock means formed integrally therewith,

said lock means coacting with the aperture in the top case member thereby to effect locking engagement of said lens ring with said top case member,

said lock means being so formed and coacting with the aperture in such manner as to permit said lens ring to be freely rotatable throughout an arc of 360 when tocked into position on the top case member,

whereby the lens ring carrying the optical lens plate may be locked into position on the top case member thereby to form a warning light assembly while permitting complete rotation ofv the lens ring and optical lens plate assembly with respect to the housing.

19. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 18- above, wherein said unitary lens ring comprises a ring base, a ring member upstandingly mounted on said ring base and lock means mounted on said ring base and extending downwardly therefrom, said ring base, ring member and lock means formed as a unitary integral member.

20. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 18 above, wherein said lock means comprises a plurality of finger members, each of said finger members having an out-turned peripheral flange formed thereon,

and said aperture in said top case member includes an undercut shoulder, said peripheral flanges and said undercut shoulder coacting thereby to form positive lock means for locking said lens ring assembly on said top case member.

21. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 20 above, wherein a total of four finger members are provided, each of said finger members being curviiinear in configuration and together defining a diameter slightly less than the diameter of the aperture in said top case member.

22. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 18 above, which further includes a gasket disposed between said unitary lens ring and said top case member, thereby to facilitate the rotational movement of said unitary lens ring when locked into position on said top case member.

23. The warning light assembly as set forth in claim 18 above, wherein said unitary lens ring further includes a plurality of screw mounts mounted thereon thereby to provide mounting sites for mounting the optical lens plates thereon, said screw mounts being formed integrally with said unitary lens ring.

24. A method for interconnecting a lens assembly to a casing in rotatable relationship thereby to form a warning light assembly of the type including a selfcontained power source, an electrical candle and circuitry interconnecting the electrical candle with the power source, comprising the steps of providing a housing having at least a top case member including an aperture disposed in the top wall thereof,

forming a unitary lens ring for carrying at least one optical lens plate and provided with lock means formed integrally therewith,

engaging said lock means in said aperture in the top case member thereby to lockingly engage said unitary lens ring in position on said top case member,

whereby said lens ring assembly may be locked into position on the top case member without the need for extraneous lock members while permitting the lens ring assembly to be completely rotatable throughout an arc 360 when so locked into posi- Mon.

25. The method as set forth in claim 24 above, wherein said lens ring is jam-fitted into said aperture in said top case member, thereby to engage said lock means and secure said lens ring to case in rotating relationship.

26. The method as set forth in claim 25 above, wherein said lock means formed on said unitary lens ring comprises a plurality of finger members, each of said finger members having an out-turned peripheral flange, and said aperture formed in said top case includes an undercut shoulder, said out-turned peripheral flanges cgacting with said undercut shoulder thereby to provide positive locking of said lens ring in said top case member.

T T a a:

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Classifications
U.S. Classification340/331, 362/455, 340/908.1
International ClassificationB60Q1/52, B60Q1/50, B60Q7/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21L11/00
European ClassificationF21L11/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 4, 1987AS01Change of name
Owner name: NELSON S W.A.P., INC.,
Owner name: WORK AREA PROTECTION CORP.
Effective date: 19861201
Mar 4, 1987AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: NELSON S W.A.P., INC., A CORP OF IL.
Owner name: WORK AREA PROTECTION CORP., 2500 PRODUCTION DRIVE,
Effective date: 19861208
Mar 4, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: NELSON S W.A.P., INC.,
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:WORK AREA PROTECTION CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004686/0786
Effective date: 19861201
Owner name: WORK AREA PROTECTION CORP., 2500 PRODUCTION DRIVE,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:NELSON S W.A.P., INC., A CORP OF IL.;REEL/FRAME:004686/0647
Owner name: WORK PROTECTION CORP., 2500 PRODUCTION DRIVE, ST.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:NELSON S W.A.P., INC.;REEL/FRAME:004686/0638
Effective date: 19861208
Owner name: NELSON S W.A.P., INC.,ILLINOIS
Owner name: WORK AREA PROTECTION CORP.,ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:NELSON S W.A.P., INC., A CORP OF IL.;REEL/FRAME:004686/0647
Owner name: WORK PROTECTION CORP.,ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:NELSON S W.A.P., INC.;REEL/FRAME:004686/0638
Dec 24, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: WORK AREA PROTECTION CORP.,
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:BONEL CO.;REEL/FRAME:004686/0835
Effective date: 19730601
Owner name: WORK AREA PROTECTION CORP.,ILLINOIS
Dec 24, 1986AS03Merger
Owner name: BONEL CO.
Owner name: WORK AREA PROTECTION CORP.,
Effective date: 19730601