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Publication numberUS3824789 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 23, 1974
Filing dateFeb 8, 1973
Priority dateFeb 18, 1972
Also published asDE2207690A1, DE2207690B2, DE2207690C3
Publication numberUS 3824789 A, US 3824789A, US-A-3824789, US3824789 A, US3824789A
InventorsMuller W, Schmalz P
Original AssigneeMuller Schlenker
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Battery-operated miniature alarm clock
US 3824789 A
Abstract
The present invention relates to a miniature alarm clock wherein a movement and an electric alarm are jointly disposed in a case comprised of two parts whose ends are telescoped into each other and which may be adjusted relative to each other between two different positions. One of said parts of the case contains the movement and a battery which feeds the alarm while the other part contains the alarm. The said two parts of the case are provided with contacts located in the electric circuit of the alarm which interrupt the circuit in the first of the two positions of said parts of the case and close the circuit in the second position of said parts of the case so that the alarm is only operative in the second position of said parts of the case.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United StatesPatent 1 Miiller et a1. 1 I

BATTERY-OPERATED MINIATURE ALARM C LOC K Inventors: Werner Miiller; Paul Schmalz, both of Schwenningen, Germany Assignee: Muller-Schlenker, Schwenningen,

Germany Filed: Feb. 8, 1973 Appl. No.: 330,617

Foreign Application Priority Data Feb. 18, 1972 Germany 2207690 US. Cl. 58/19 R, 58/21.15 Int. Cl G04c 21/28 Field of Search ..58/16, 19, 21.15, 21.155,

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Schmidt 58/56 X 2/1950 Belich 58/19R July 23, 1974 3,533,226 10/1970 Bach-y-Rita et al. 58/38 X 3,577,725 5/1971 Ganter et a1. 58/19 R 3,756,009 9/1973 Sapper et a] H 58/2l.l5

Primary ExaminerLawrence R. Franklin Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Craig & Antonelli [57] ABSTRACT The present invention relates to a miniature alarm clock wherein a movement and an electric alarm are jointly disposed in a case comprised of two parts whose ends are telescoped into each other and which may be adjusted relative to each other between two different positions. One of said parts of the case contains the movement and a battery which feeds the alarm while the other part contains the alarm. The said two parts of the case are provided with contacts located in the electric circuit of the alarm which interrupt the circuit in the first of the two positions of said parts of the case and close the circuit in the second position of said parts of the case so that the alarm is only operative in the second position of said parts of the case.

14 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures The present invention relates to a battery-operated miniature alarm clock comprising an electric alarm disposed in a case jointly with the clock movement.

Battery-operated miniature alarm clocks down to the size of a wrist-watch wherein an electric alarm, including the battery required for its operation, is accommodated in a case jointly with the clock movement have been known heretofore. In most of these known miniature alarm clocks, the alarm is provided by an electric buzzer disposed in the case beside the clock movement. The case is usually provided with sound holes for the alarm disposed adjacent to the clock face (French Pat. No. 2,059,734, DT-OS (laid open West German Patent Application) No. l,673,697). A wrist-watch, in which the buzzer is disposed at the back of the case, has been disclosed heretofore in DT-OS (laid open West German Patent Application) No. 1,929,880. One feature which all these known clocks have in common is a setting knob for connecting and disconnecting the buzzer, enabling the alarm to be set or shut off by shifting, rotating or depressing said knob. It is a drawback of such setting knobs that they project from the case which is more awkward with miniature alarm clocks of the type described than with normal alarm clocks because such miniature alarm clocks are intended to be carried about by the user so that such a clock is more likely to be caught by said knob. As such knobs are small-sized, inkeeping with the size of the clock, and correspondingly delicate, the alarm clock may easily be damaged by being caught by the knob. It may also happen that an alarm clock, with the alarm set, is shut off inadvertently so that the alarm will not be released at the desired time. Such failure could have very awkward consequences for the user. Finally, a very small switch is often very difficult to handle, while on the other hand it is often desirable, for example, that the alarm can be shut off very quickly by means of a simple manipulation to avoid unnecessary disturbances and to save the battery, whose capacity must be necessarily small in a very small alarm clock, as much as possible.

Accordingly, it is the object of the present invention to provide a battery-operated miniature alarm clock which in spite of its small size features a robust and convenient device for setting and shutting off the alarm.

in accordance with the invention, this object is accomplished by an arrrangement wherein the case comprises two parts which are telescoped into each other at their ends and slidably movable relative to each other and wherein said two parts of the case are provided with contacts located within the electric circuit of the alarm which are separated in a defined position of said two parts of the case, thereby interrupting the said electric circuit.

Thus, the battery-operated miniature alarm clock in accordance with this invention has no separate knob for setting and shutting off the alarm, i.e., no shut-off device, which would be difficult to handle and also be delicate. Instead, the case is comprised of two parts which may be shifted relative to each other for setting or shutting off the alarm. These two parts of the case can be gripped conveniently and clearly indicate by their position whether the alarm is operative or not. The risk that the battery-operated miniature alarm clock in accordance with this invention is switched on or off inadvertently is thus also reduced to a minimum.

According to a further development of this invention, fiat springs and/or contact rails extending in the direction in which the two parts of the case may be shifted with respect to each other and forming part of the electric circuit of the alarm may be provided in said parts of the case, the ends of said flat springs and/or contact rails being in resilient contact with each other in at least one position of said parts of the case. This enables the current paths, which are needed anyway to establish the electric circuit, to be utilized in forming the switch which connects and disconnects the alarm and thus plays the role of the shut-off device of a conventional alarm clock. Separate switches, which would cause additional costs and require additional space, are thus avoided. A particularly simple and, at the same time, dependable configuration of this arrangement is one in which, in the defined position of the two parts of the case, the end of one of the flat springs rests on top of an electrically insulated component adjacent to the associated contact rail. According to a particularly simple embodiment, the said electrically insulated component may be formed by a section of the plastic case to which the said flat springs and/or contact rails are directly secured on the inside.

As a further development of this invention, at least one pair of contacts comprised of a contact rail and a flat spring may be provided with engaging sections forming at least one catch for the defined position of the said parts of the case. Thus, the use of contact rails and flat springs affords the further special advantage that they may be directly utilized as catch elements for the various possible positions of the said parts of the case with respect to each other without requiring any additional means for that purpose. it is then also possible to design at least one pair of contacts comprised of a contact rail and a flat spring so that it forms a releas able lock which prevents the two parts of the case from being separated completely. Such a releasable lock enables the case to be opened in a simple manner, e.g. for replacing the battery required to operate the miniature alarm clock, by separating the two parts of which the case is comprised.

An advantageous configuration of the miniature alarm clock in accordance with the present invention is one in which in the defined position, i.e., the position in which the alarm is disconnected, the two parts of the case are fully telescoped into each other against a stop, from which position they may be pulled apart into a second, locked position in which the alarm is operative so that it may be switched on by the switch which can be actuated by the clock movement at a preselected time. A marking which indicates that the alarm of the miniature alarm clock is operative may be provided on that portion of the case which is only exposed to sight when the two parts of the case are pulled apart. This marking disappears when the two parts of the case are slid together, i.e. when the alarm is shut off.

With a miniature alarm clock in accordance with this invention, it is practical to accommodate the clock movement in the one part of the case and the alarm and/or the battery which operates the alarm and, if desired, the movement in the other part of the case. However, it is also entirely feasible to accommodate not only the movement, but, in addition, also the battery,

the alarm or even both components in one part of the case, if this appears more expedient, and to design the second part substantially as a more or less hood-like cover for the first part.

Finally, in special embodiments of the invention, the device used as alarm may take the form of a miniaturized audio oscillator in conjunction with a small sound generator, for example, or even a miniaturized radio receiver instead of a buzzer.

Further details and embodiments of the invention will become apparent from the following description of the embodiment shown by way of example in the accompanying drawing. The features apparent from the specification and the drawing may also be employed in other embodiments of the invention either individually or jointly in any desired combination. In the drawing FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a miniature alarm clock in accordance with the invention utilizing a miniature radio receiver as the alarm,

FIG. 2 is a section along the line IIII through a miniature alarm clock of the type illustrated in FIG. 1 and utilizing a buzzer as an alarm, and

FIG. 3 is a section along the line III-III through the arrangement in accordance with FIG. 2.

The miniature alarm clock shown in the drawing comprises a case consisting of two parts 1 and 2, each of said parts forming a small rectangular box which is open at one end. At its open end, the first part 1 of the said case has a portion 3 of reduced outside dimensions which is slidably engaged in a portion 4 of the second part 2 of the case which features increased inside dimensions. When the two parts of the case are fully telescoped into each other, the end of the second part 2 of the case abuts against the shoulder 5 at the point of transition between the first part 1 of the case and its portion 3 of reduced outside dimensions and both the outer and inner surfaces of the two parts of the case are in alignment with each other. In the FIG. 1 embodiment, the part 2 of the case has a miniaturized radio receiver incorporated therein and schematically represented by sound holes 22.

A clock 6, which may be either mechanically driven or battery-driven, is installed in one side wall of the first part 1 of the case. A wheel 7 for setting the time of the wake-up call and, if desired, additionally serving to set and/or wind the clock is provided on the end surface of the first part 1 of the case. The first part 1 of the case also houses the battery 8 which operates the alarm and which is held between two contact springs 9 and 10 on the bottom of the said first part of the case. The contact spring 9 adjacent to the bottom of the first part 1 of the case has an arm 11 which bears against an exposed contact 12 at the back of the clock 6, thereby establishing a conductive connection to the switch 13 contained in, and operable by, the clock 6 and represented schematically by means of broken lines in FIG. 2 of the accompanying drawing. Through a further contact 14 at the back of the clock 6, the said switch 13 is conductively connected to the arm 15 of a contact spring 16 disposed on the side opposite the bottom of the first part of the case. Since the parts 1 and 2 of the case are made of plastic, the contact springs may be secured directly to the case without any additional measures being required to insulate these contact springs.

As shown in FIG. 2, in place of the miniaturized radio receiver as an alarm, a buzzer 17 is provided in the second part 2 of the case and this buzzer 17 is secured to the inner side of the end surface of the second part of the case. A contact spring 18 extending along the bottom of the second part 2 of the case and a contact rail 19 extending along the wall opposite the bottom are conductively connected to the said buzzer. Like the contact springs 10 and 16 in the first part 1 of the case, the contact spring 18 and the contact rail 19 extend in the longitudinal direction of the two parts of the case and, thus, in the direction in which the two parts of the case may be telescoped. The contact springs and contact rails in the two parts of the case are also in alignment with each other so that the angled end 20 of the contact spring 18 disposed in the second part of the case rests on the end of the contact spring 10 which is secured to the bottom of the first part of the case and located adjacent to the open end of this part of the case and which reaches up to the end of this part of the case. At the same time, that end of the contact spring 16, secured to the side opposite the bottom of the first part of the case, which faces toward the open end of the said first part of the case contacts the angled end 21 of the contact rail 19 secured in the second part of the case. In this position, the circuit containing the switch 13 and the buzzer 17 is, therefore, closed so that, when the clock 6 closes the switch 13 at the preset time, the buzzer 17, which serves as alarm, will be switched on to give a wake-up call. A good sound generation is achieved by means of the sound hole 22 in the second part 2 of the case, said sound hole being disposed in that wall of said second part of the case which is in alignment with that wall of the first part of the case which comprises the clock 6.

The contact spring 10 in the first part 1 of the case, with which cooperates the contact spring 18 disposed in the second part of the case, has a central recess through which projects a web 23 disposed on the inside of the bottom of the first part of the case. When the two parts of the case are not in the position shown in the drawing, but telescoped into each other so that the second part of the case abuts against the shoulder 5 of the first part of the case, the angled end 20 of the flat spring 18 disposed in the second part of the case will come to rest on top of the web 23 which projects slightly over the flat spring 10 in the first part of the case so that the circuit containing the buzzer 17 will be interrupted and no alarm can be given even when the switch 13 is closed. This means that the alarm, i.e., the buzzer 17, is shut off.

Both in the position of the two parts 1 and 2 of the case shown in the drawing and in the position in which the two parts abut, the position of the two parts of the case relative to each other is secured by an arrangement whereby the angled end 21 of the contact rail 19 disposed in the second part 2 of the case is caused to bear against the flanks of a projection 24 of the contact spring 16 which engages the contact rail 19. Furthermore, the said contact spring 16 also has an angled end 25 which extends behind the angled end 21 of the contact rail 19, thus preventing the two parts 1 and 2 of the case from being pulled apart completely. In the wall of the first part of the case adjacent to the contact spring 16, a hole 26 is provided in the portion 3 of reduced outside dimensions opposite the contact spring 16 so that, by inserting a pin through the hole 26, the contact spring 16 may be deflected inwardly until its angled end 25 releases the angled end 21 of the contact rail 19 so that the two parts of the case may be separated, e.g., for replacing the battery 8. The outside of the portion 3 of reduced outside dimensions, which is covered while the two parts of the case are telescoped into each other and exposed only when the two parts of the case assume the position shown in the drawing, ie the position in which the alarm circuit is not interrupted and the alarm therefore operative, is provided with an inscription reading ALARM to indicate that the miniature alarm clock is in a position in which its alarm is operative. When the two parts of the case are slid together, i.e., when the alarm is shut off, this inscription will not be visible.

The above description of one embodiment of the invention shows that the present invention provides a miniature alarm clock which includes a very convenient alarm shut-off and also provides a clear indication as to whether the alarm is operative or not. Thus, the miniature alarm clock in accordance with the present invention ensures with a high degree of dependability that the alarm is actually in the desired operative or non-operative position. It will be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiment shown by way of example and that deviations therefrom are possible within the scope of this invention. Thus, the alarm might be disposed in the first part of the case instead of the battery and the battery might be disposed in the second part of the case. Alternatively, the clock, the alarm and thebattery could all be disposed in one and the same part of the case and the second part of the case reduced to a hood-like cover housing only a current bridge. Finally, the device used as alarm may be of any desired description so that it would be possible to use, for example, a miniaturized audio oscillator in conjunction with a sound generator instead of a buzzer.

What is claimed is:

1. A battery-operated miniature alarm clock comprising an electric alarm disposed in a case jointly with the clock movement, characterized in that said case consists of two parts (1 and 2) which are telescoped into each other at their ends (3 and 4) and slidably movable relative to each other and that said two parts of the case are provided with contacts (10, located within the electric circuit of the alarm (17) which are separated in a defined position of said two parts (1 and 2) of the case, thereby interrupting the said electric circuit.

2. A battery-operated miniature alarm clock comprising a battery-operated electric alarm disposed in a case together with a clock movement, said case including two slidably movable casing parts and having the end portions of said two casing parts arranged for telescopic movement with respect to each other, means forming an electric circuit for said alarm disposed in said two casing parts and including contacting means in said alarm circuit, said contact means being arranged for interrupting said electric circuit in at least a first position of said two casing parts and for completing said electric circuit in at least a second position of said two casing parts.

3. A miniature alarm clock according to claim 2,

4. A miniature alarm clock according to claim 3, wherein in the first position of said two casing parts, the end portion of said first contact member rests on top of an electrically insulated component adjacent to said second contact member.

5. A miniature alarm clock according to claim 4, wherein said case is formed of a plastic material and said electrically insulated component is formed by a portion of said case to which said first and second contact members are directly secured on the inside.

6. A miniature alarm clock according to claim 4, wherein said contact means further includes third and fourth contact members comprising a contact rail and a flat spring provided respectively with engaging portions forming at least one catch for the second position of said two casing parts.

7. A miniature alarm clock according to claim 6, wherein said third and fourth contact members form a releasable lock for preventing said two casing parts from being completely separated.

8. A miniature alarm clock according to claim 3, wherein said first and second contact members are one of a contact rail and a flat spring.

9. A miniature alarm clock according to claim 3, wherein said first and second contact members include a contact rail and a flat spring provided respectively with engaging portions forming at least one catch for the second position of said two casing parts.

10. A miniature alarm clock according to claim 3, wherein said first and second contact members include a contact rail and a flat spring forming a releasable lock for preventing said two casing parts from being com pletely separated.

11. A miniature alarm clock according to claim 2, wherein in the at least first portion of said two casing parts, said two casing parts are fully telescoped into each other against a stop member, said two casing parts being slidably movable from the first position into a pulled apart locked position, and marking means being provided on a portion of said case which is only exposed to sight when said two casing parts are pulled apart for indicating that said alarm circuit is operative in such position.

12. A miniature alarm clock according to claim 2, wherein the clock movement is accommodated in one of said two casing parts and the alarm is accommodated in the other of said two casing parts.

13. A miniature alarm clock according to claim 12, wherein a battery for operating at least the alarm is accommodated in one of said two casing parts.

14. A miniature alarm clock according to claim 2,

wherein the alarm is a miniaturized radio receiver.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2496373 *Dec 8, 1945Feb 7, 1950Belich Daniel EAuxiliary bed controlled switch for electric alarm clocks
US2640668 *Apr 5, 1951Jun 2, 1953Otto Schmidt KarlTravel alarm clock with sliding case
US2871653 *Apr 6, 1956Feb 3, 1959Movado MontresWatch wound by enclosing sheath
US3533226 *Apr 7, 1969Oct 13, 1970Patent Management IncReminder clock
US3577725 *Jul 9, 1969May 4, 1971Junghans Gmbh GebSound generator for alarm clocks
US3756009 *Apr 4, 1972Sep 4, 1973Italora SpaAlarm clock case made of two sections of which one is the means for stopping the alarm bell
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4186389 *Feb 9, 1978Jan 29, 1980Flittie Clifford GSleeper's smoke-alarm clock
US4611200 *Oct 24, 1984Sep 9, 1986Stilwell Fred WPortable battery powered smoke detector and clock
Classifications
U.S. Classification368/73, 968/233, 368/249, 968/591, 968/596
International ClassificationG04B23/00, G04B23/03, G04C21/20, G04C21/28, G04C21/00
Cooperative ClassificationG04C21/20, G04B23/03, G04C21/28
European ClassificationG04C21/20, G04C21/28, G04B23/03