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Publication numberUS3842629 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 22, 1974
Filing dateJun 18, 1973
Priority dateJun 18, 1973
Publication numberUS 3842629 A, US 3842629A, US-A-3842629, US3842629 A, US3842629A
InventorsBach M, Pazer J
Original AssigneeInstrument Systems Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Remotely programmable lock
US 3842629 A
Images(7)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 11 1 3,842,629 Pazer et al. Get. 22, 11974 [54] REMOTELY PROGRAMMABLE LOCK 3.570.287 3/1971 Hallmann ..7()/276 [75] Inventors: Jerome PaZerDix Hills;Michaem 3.763.676 10/1973 Schachtcr ..7 1/2n4 Bach Stony Brook both of Primary ExaminerAlbert G. Craig, Jr. [73] Assigneez' Instrument Systems Corporation, Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Blum Moscovitz Friedman Jericho, Long Island, NY. & Kaplan 221 Filed: June 18, 1973 21 Appl. NO.I 371,074

[57] ABSTRACT A remotely programmable lock is provided for use with a key having one or more permanent magnets for [52] US. Cl 70/264, 70/276, 70/382, producing a gne ield of predetermined confi u- 317/134, 340/149 A ration. The lock is provided with a cylinder for receiv- [S 1] Int. Cl 1305b 47/04 g the y d capa f rotation independent of the [58] Field of Search 70/263, 264, 276, 277 latch. A device is provided for coupling the latch and 70/382, 413; 317/134; 340/149 A Cylinder upon detection ofa magnetic field of a predetermined orientation produced by the key. The config- [56] Referen e Ci d uration of the magnetic field which will open the lock UNITED STATES PATENTS may be remotely set in coordination with the polariza- 3 471 348 1/1969 H H 70/776 tion of the permanent magnets of the key.

a mann 3.566.637 3/1971 Hallmann 70/276 22 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures 7 m ,30 2a, 3 30 26 l GRDl/PI R0044 00114 55cm? fizz/20;;

[Z EUXU/l/L'S 51E Wfl/V/(S o/sr e/ 70K /2 54 2. 54 hi l-j'a /6 40 l2 04/4 /5 05/1/7242 5706465 01702477017 arm/2427M cg f/fefl 44/0 WM/73 Mom/mes [MM/r5 hum/mes 7 WUCEssM/ I 1 42 .S'EL'TO? 5d. 46 52 56 J2 o/srz/awae KEY 24 (22 M419? 0457 14) l 32 30 l 25, 3 30 l 26 4a 44 gym pg ,4 00/11 2900/14 28 34 aicrmr/q [la/terms 54 E ,2 5% [25a @2233 Mfi/V/IMS ZZZ? Mam/mes l I I I PATENIED URI 2 21974 sauna? PAIENTED 2 2 must? 1 REMOTELY PROGRAMMABLE LOCK BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to locking devices particularly adapted for application to hotels, security areas, and the like wherein it is desirable to periodically change the configuration of the key which will open one or more locks. For example, in the case of hotels, room keys are frequently lost, stolen or copied presenting substantial risks of theft to hotel guests. Both economic and practical considerations preclude the manual changing of lock combinations in an effort to prevent such theft. Electronic lock systems wherein the key consists of a card having a magnetic, punched hole or embossed code thereon have also been proposed, but such systems are not suitable for hotel operations since power is generally required to release the door latch, thereby presenting both practical and safety problems in case of power failure.

Further, most conventional locks are based on a cylinder coupled to the latch which is prevented from rotation by pins disposed in the parting line. The keys of such arrangements serve to displace the pins out of the parting line. By the application of large forces to the cylinder, such locks can be broken and the latch displaced to open the door.

By presenting a truely remotely programmable lock arrangement wherein the cylinder is not normally coupled to the latch, all of the foregoing difficulties are avoided.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Generally, in accordance with the invention, a programmable lock for use with a key having at least one permanent magnet means adapted to produce a magnetic field of a predetermined orientation is provided, having latch means, a fixed lock member, a displaceable lock member formed for receipt of said key and displaceable relative to said fixed member independent of said latch means, means selectively coupling said displaceable lock member and said latch means and means for normally blocking the operation of the coupling means and for selectively permitting such operation in response to said predetermined orientation of said magnetic field produced by said key permanent magnet. Lock programming means is coupled to said blocking means for selecting the magnetic field orientation in response to which the displaceable lock member and latch means are coupled. Key programming means is provided for disposing the permanent magnet means of said key means so as to produce a magnetic field of an orientation corresponding to the orientation of the coupling means, said lock programming means and key programming means being coordinately operable.

The permanent magnet means in said key may consist of an array of permanent magnets, said key programming means being adapted to establish the polarity of said permanent magnets so as to produce a magnetic field of the desired orientation. The displaceable lock member may consist of a cylinder rotatably mounted in a housing. The blocking means includes a magnetic rotor freely rotatably mounted in registration with the permanent magnet means of a key received within said cylinder for rotational positioning in accordance with the configuration of the magnetic field produced by said key means permanent magnet means.

Said blocking means further includes a programmable coupling member, a first registration means on said rotor positioned by the rotary position of said rotor, and second registration means on said programmable coupling member. Said programmable coupling member is selectively rotatably displaceable to position said second registration member at any of a plurality of positions and is biased axially toward said rotor for axial displacement toward said rotor when said first and second registration means are aligned. A coupling assembly couples said latch means and said cylinder when said programmable coupling member is axially displaced.

The programming means may include a remotely actuable motor and gear means coupling said motor and said coupling member. The lock may include a plurality of said rotors, programmable coupling members and programming means for cooperation with a key having a corresponding plurality of said permanent magnet means, said coupling means including one of said coupling assemblies for the coupling of said cylinder and latch means when all of the programmable coupling members are displaced toward their respective rotors.

A pair of concentrically mounted programmable coupling members may be provided each being independently rotatably and axially displaceable and each being provided with one of said second registration means, the corresponding rotor being provided with two of said first registration means, each of said first registration means being adapted for selective registration with one of the second registration means, said coupling assembly being operable in response to the axial displacement of either of the programmable coupling members.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a lock structure which is remotely programmable.

A further object of this invention is to provide a programmable lock structure which cannot be opened by forceably rotating the cylinder.

Another object of the invention is to provide a programmable lock system wherein a plurality of lock structures are independently programmable from a remote central station.

Still other objects and advantages of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part be apparent from the specification and drawings.

The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combinations of elements, and arrangements of parts which will be exemplified in the constructions hereinafter set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a fuller understanding of the invention, reference is had to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a remotely programmable lock system in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a first embodiment of the remotely programmable lock in accordance with the invention;

FIGS. 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are fragmentary sectional views taken along lines 33, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8 and 9-9 of FIG. 2 respectively;

FIG. 4 is an exploded fragmentary sectional view taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view corresponding to FIG. 4 with the lock in the open position;

FIG. II) is a side elevational view of a key for use with the lock in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a second embodimentof the programmable lock in accordance with the invention;

FIGS. 12 and 13 are sectional views taken along lines 12-12 and 13-13 respectively of FIG. 11;

FIG. 14 is a view corresponding to FIG. 12 with the lock in the open position;

FIG. 15 is a sectional view taken along lines l5l5 of FIG. 14', and

FIG. 16 is a sectional view taken along lines l616 of FIG. 12.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIG. 1, a programmable lock system 10 is depicted, of the type such as might be installed in a hotel or the like. Such a hotel would be provided with a plurality of rooms usually grouped by floor and a wing. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, the rooms are divided into two groups, for the purposes of this system denominated as Group I and Group II. Each room of each group would have a door 12 provided with a programmable lock 14 in accordance with the invention. Each of the programmable locks, as will more particularly be described below, is adapted to be remotely programmed for operation by similarly programmed key. The programming is accomplished by the establishing of the rotational orientation of a programmable coupling member so that a coordinately configured key will position a corresponding plurality of freely rotatable rotors for registration with said programmable lock members. When proper registration is achieved, the latch, which is normally disconnected from the lock cylinder is coupled with the lock cylinder to permit opening of the door. Each lock would include a programming device for the programming of the programmable coupling member, as more particularly described below, in response to a remotely generated signal.

This remotely generated signal is transmitted to each of the locks 14 from a central control 16 by means of multiplexing techniques. Thus, central control 16 would include conventional multiplexing and demultiplexing devices for communication with data line 18, one branch of which is connected to each of sector distributors and 22, associated respectively with Groups I and II. Said sector distributors are in the nature of repeaters and submultiplexers for transmitting the portion of the signal from data line 18 associated with the rooms of its group along its data line. Thus, sector distributor 20 is connected to the rooms of Group I along data line 24 while sector distributor 22 is connected to the rooms of Group II along data line 26. Each room would be provided with a room electronics module 28 provided with suitable multiplexing and demultiplexing equipment for detecting signals associated therewith from the associated data line and for applying data to the associated data line in suitable time slots of the multiplexed signal. In this manner, by means of multiplexing techniques, a single central control can communicate with a plurality of room electronic modules on an essentially simultaneous basis. Coded portions of the multiplex signal would identify the data associated with each room. Similarly, a coded signal would represent the configuration into which the programmable coupling member of each programmable lock 14 is to be placed. This coded signal would be transmitted from the room electronics module 28 along line 30 to a room-door transformer having a portion 32 mounted in the door jamb and another portion mounted in a door electronics module 34 associated with each programmable lock 14. The room-door transformer may consist of a transformer having one winding in one-half of its core embedded in the door jamb and the remainder in the door. The transformer half in the door may be tongued and spring loaded so that when the door is closed there is a minimum core gap. The coded signal received in the door electronics module 34 is decoded by said door electronics module and applied to the programming device of the magnetic lock to set the configuration of the programmable coupling member as will be more particularly described below.

Central control 16 would be provided with a manual input device 36 connected thereto by line 38 for the operaion thereof. The operator of the system 10 would punch a code representative of the particular room having alock to be reprogrammed. The actual coded signal representative of the program may be manually generated at manual input 36 or may be randomly generated by a random code generator within central control 16. In either event, a record of the code would be stored in data storage and processing device 40 coupled to central control 16 by line 42. In addition, the code can be displayed by a display device 44 coupled to central control 16 by line 46. In the embodiment of the system depicted in FIG. 1, the central control is coupled to an automatic key maker device 48 by line 50. The automatic key maker device is adapted to place a key in a configuration corresponding to the configuration of the programmable coupling member of the designated lock 14, so that that key can open that reprogrammed lock. Thus, in order to operate system 10, a key blank would be placed in key maker 48, the operator would designate the room in which the lock is to be reprogrammed by means of manual input 36, and both said lock and key would be simultaneously and coordinately reprogrammed in response to a coded signal either manually applied through manual input 36 or automatically produced in a random code generator within central control 16. Central control 16 and manual input 36 may be located at a hotel desk so that, at the time that each new occupant of a room checks in, the lock for that room and the key associated therewith are coordinately reprogrammed.

In addition to the programming function, other uses can be made of the multiplex communications system provided between each room and the central control. Thus, a plurality of utilization circuits 52 in each room may be remotely actuated by coded signals transmitted from central control 16 to the room electronics module 28 of a particular room. Said utilization circuits would be connected to said room electronics module for operation thereby along line 54. Examples of such utilization circuits would be message at desk indicators in each room, and remote controls for lights, air conditioning and/or television in each room. Further, monitoring devices 56 could be disposed in each room for detecting fire, smoke and other emergencies. Monitors 56 would be connected to the room electronics module 28 by line 58, which connection would permit the transmission of the various monitors status back along the data lines to the central control, as well as the specific'actuation of a monitor in response to an instruction from the central control. Monitors 56 may also include devices for monitoring the status of indicator switches in each room, the position of which would indicate whether a room is available for a housekeeper, whether the housekeeper has cleaned the room so that the room is available for a new guest, or whether the guest wishes bellman or valet services. All of the signals associated with the control of utilization circuits 52 and the operation of monitors 56 are transmitted along data lines 24, 26 and 18 on a multiplexed time sharing basis without interfering with the operation of the programmable lock system. The door electronics module 34 may include sensing devices for identifying the actual program to which a lock is set or to identify each key used in the lock, which information would be transmitted across the room-door transformer to room electronics module 28, which would incorporate the information into the multiplexed signal on the associated data line for transmission to central control 16.

Display 44 could be adapted to display the outputs of the various monitors 56, either on a continuing or on a selectable basis, while the various data outputs of monitors 56 and of the door electronics module 34 may be stored and processed by data storage and processing device 40. To control the status of a particular utilization circuit, the room code, utilization circuit code and status code would be applied to the central control 16 by manual input 36 or would be applied automatically from data storage and processing device 40 in accordance with a automatic program.

Referring now to FIGS. 2-9, a first embodiment 70 of the programmable lock in accordance with the invention is depicted. This embodiment is provided with a housing block 72 having a cylinder support portion 74 projecting from a base plate portion 76. Cylinder support portion 74 is formed with an axial bore 78 dimensioned to receive a cylinder 80, said cylinder being rotatable within bore 78. An end plate 82 is secured to the outer end of cylinder 80 by means of bolts 84 FIG. 4), said end plate being cylindrical and being received in a correspondingly shaped bore 86 in the outer end region of cylinder support portion 74 of housing block 72. Said cylinder support portion of said housing block is also formed with three cut-out regions 88, 90 and 92 which extend laterally from axial bore 78. Cut-out regions 88 and 92 are each dimensioned to respectively receive one of earns 94 and 96 mounted on cylinder 80, cut-out region 90 being dimensioned to receive two such cams 98 and 100. Cams 94, 96, 98 and 100 are essentially identical, the camming surface thereof being depicted in FIG. 6. Said camming surface consists of a circular portion 102 and a projecting portion 104.

Cylinder 80 is formed with an essentially rectangular key hole 106 which extends axially theralong and which registers with a corresponding rectangular hole 108 in end plate 82 which together are dimensioned to receive a key 110. Said key is formed with an enlarged head 112 and a V-shaped notch 114 which cooperates with a detent arrangement 116 to insure proper positioning of the key and cylinder in the lock. The notch is illustrated in FIG. in conjunction with an alternate embodiment of said key which will be discussed below. The detent arrangement, more particularly depicted in FIG. 8, consists of a passage 118 extending through cylinder support portion 74 in a lateral direction relative to the axis of cylinder 80 and in registration with the bore 86 receiving end plate 82. Said end plate is likewise provided with a laterally extending bore between the peripheral surface thereof and key hole 108, said bore having a wide portion 120 adjacent said periphery and a narrow portion 122 opening on said key hole. Received within said bores are a first pin 124 and a second pin 126 formed with a collar 128 for receipt within wide bore portion 120. Finally, said detent includes a set screw 130 for closing the outer end of passage 118 and a coil spring 132 held in compression between first pin 124 and said set screw. The detent arrangement is depicted in FIG. 8 with a proper dimensioned key received within the key hole. At this position, second pin 126 rests in notch 114 of said key to position said pins so that the parting line 134 of said pins is in registration with the parting line between bore 86 and end plate 82 to permit the rotation of the cylinder and end plate by turning the key. In the absence of such a key or the presence of an incorrect key, parting line 134 would be out of registration with the parting line between end plate 82 and bore 86, so that the cylinder cannot rotate. When a proper key is inserted and turned, it cannot be removed until the key is returned to the position depicted in FIG. 8 by reason of second pin 126.

Key 110 is provided with two arrays of permanent magnets 136 and 137, each of said arrays consisting of six permanent magnets extending laterally relative to the axis of the cylinder. Said permanent magnets are disposed in a circular array and are polarized in their longitudinal direction. The purpose of the arrays of permanent magnets 136 and 137 are to establish a magnetic field which extends essentially parallel to the end of each array. Thus, permanent magnets 138, 140 and 142 of array 136 (FIG. 5) are magnetized so that the end faces visible in said figure are all north poles. Similarly, permanent magnets 144, 146 and 148 are all magnetized so that the ends visible in FIG. 5 are south poles. While the actual configuration of the magnetic field is complex, generally, it can be stated that a magnetic field is created aligned with and extending in the direction of arrow 150 between the strongest north concentration represented by permanent magnet 140 and the strongest south concentration represented by permanent magnet 146. Permanent magnet array 137 would be similarly constructed, but the polarity of the permanent magnets thereof would preferably not be the same so that the orientation of the magnetic field produced would, while lying at least in part on a plane extending parallel to the end of the array, would be differently oriented within that plane. For example, such a different orientation could be produced by having the poles of permanent magnets 142, 144 and 146 visible in FIG. 5 as north poles, and magnetizing permanent magnets 138, 140 and 148 so that the visible poles in FIG. 5 are south poles. By insuring that each three adjacent permanent magnets are identically magnetized a strong directional magnetic field is produced.

As more particularly shown in FIGS. 2 and 6, cylinder 80 is formed with a recess opening on key hole 106 in registration with each of the permanent magnet arrays and receiving a disc 151 formed of a material of high magnetic permeability which will close the path of the field created by the corresponding array of permanent magnets.

The magnetic field generated by each array of permanent magnets 136, 137 is transmittedto a plane outer surface 152 of cylinder support portion 74 of housing block 72 by means of a corresponding array of flux tubes. Said flux tubes are formed of material of high magnetic permeability so as to conduct the magnetic field. Specifically, six first flux tubes 154 are mounted in a circular so as to extend between key hole 106 and the cylindrical surface of the cylinder. Six second flux tubes 156 are mounted in a corresponding circular array to extend from the circular inner surface of bore 78 to the plane outer surface 152 of the cylinder support portion of housing block 72. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 6, when cylinder 80 is positioned at the normal locked position, respective first and second flux tubes are in alignment with each other, and positioned for alignment with the corresponding array of permanent magnets 136 when key 110 is inserted in key hole 106.

The magnetic circuit thus defined produces a magnetic flux extending substantially parallel to surface 152 and aligned in an orientation dependent upon the polarity of the array of permanent magnets. Thus, referring to FIG. 6, if permanent magnets 140 and 146 are polarized as depicted in FIG. and as marked on FIG. 6, a magnetic field is created adjacent surface 152 extending between the south S) end of the second flux tube 156 aligned with permanent magnet 140 and the north (N) end of the second flux tube aligned with permanent magnet 146. Said magnetic field serves to orient a rotor 158 which is freely rotatable on stub 160 of shaft 162. Rotor 158 is positioned by means of a permanent bar magnet 164 mounted on rotor 158 so as to lie within the magnetic field produced atthe outer faces of second flux tubes 156. Bar magnet 164, and therefor rotor 158 tends to align with the orientation of the magnetic flux. As more particularly shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, a registration pin 166 is held in position by set screw 168 on rotor 158. Shaft 162 is mounted on a support bracker 170 projecting from base plate portion 76 of housing block 72.

A programmable coupling member 172 is also mounted on shaft 162 so as to be rotatable about said shaft and axially displaceable therealong toward rotor 158. The surface of programmable coupling member 172 facing said rotor is formed with a registration aperture 174 (FIG. 4) dimensioned to receive registration pin 166. Both said pin and said aperture are spaced at an equal distance from the axis of shaft 162 for registration if in alignment.

End face 176, in which aperture 174 is formed, is biased against the camming surfaces of earns 94 and 98 by a coil spring 178 mounted coaxially on shaft 162 between bracket 170 and programmable coupling member 172. Said programmable coupling member is formed with a spur gear portion 180 in meshing angagement with a drive gear 182 mounted on a shaft 184 also supported by bracket 170. Drive gear 182 is rotationally positioned by a remotely actuated motor 186 shown schematically in FIG. 2, to rotationally position programmable coupling member 172, and therefore aperture 174.

The lock construction depicted in FIG. 2 is shown, by way of example, as being actuated by a key having two permanent magnet arrays 136 and 137. The structure associated with permanent magnet array 137 is identical to the structure discussed above in connection with permanent magnet array 136 and like components have been given like reference numerals primed to distinguished therebetween. Thus, surface 176' of programmable coupling member 172 is biased against cams 100 and 96 by spring 178, the aperture therein being rotatably positioned about shaft 162' by motor 186 in response to commands provided by room electronics 28. While lock is adapted to respond to two permanent magnet arrays, more than two such arrays and associated lock structure may be provided, depending on the number of combinations required. To conserve space, some of the programmable coupling members and associated structure would be mounted on the opposite side of cylinder to that depicted in FIG. 2.

A shoe 188 is mounted for longitudinal displacement on a pair of rods 190 which are in turn are fixedly supported on bracket portions 192 and 194 of housing block 72. Shoe 188 engages the peripheral surface of a disc-shaped portion 196 of programmable coupling member 172. A central rod 198 (FIGS. 2-5) is journalled through bracket 194 of housing block 72 and is fixed to shoes 188 and 188. A cam follower 200 is mounted on the end of central rod 198. A cylinder coupling member 202 is fixedly mounted on the inner end of cylinder 80 in facing relation to latch member 204. The latch member is mounted for both rotatable and axial displacement on shaft 206 which is in turn supported on bracket portion 208 of housing block 72. Latch member 204 would be connected to a latch or bolt (not shown) to displace said latch or bolt upon the rotation thereof. The latch member is biased toward cylinder coupling member 202 by coil spring 210. Cam follower 200 extends laterally from shaft 198 into the space between cylinder coupling member 202 and latch member 204 and is engaged therebetween by the force of spring 210. As best shown in FIG. 9, cylinder coupling member 202 is formed with a pin 212 projecting toward and in registration with an arcuate slot 214 in latch member 204. Also projecting toward latch member 204 on cylinder coupling member 202 is an inclined camming surface 216 having a plateau portion 218 representing the maximum projection thereof.

The operation of the lock 70 is accordance with the invention will be described in conjunction with FIGS. 4 and 5. FIG. 4 depicts the lock in the locked position while FIG. 5 depicts said lock in its open position When a key 110 having permanent magnet arrays polarized to produce magnetic fields of the proper orientation is inserted in key hole 106, rotors 158 and 158' are aligned so that the respective pins 166 and 166' are in registration with the corresponding apertures 174 and 174' in the corresponding programmable coupling members 172 and 172. When key 110 is turned by the user, cylinder 80 and earns 94, 96, 98 and are likewise rotated. Since the programmable locking members 172 and 172' are biased against the projecting camming surface portions 104, they are displaced toward their respective rotors as said cylinder and cams are rotated. Since pins 166 and 166 are in registration with apertures 174 and 174', each of the programmable coupling members is displaced axially along its respective shaft until said pins are received within said apertures and disc-shaped portions 196 and 196 are displaced clear of their respective shoes 188 and 188 to permit said shoes and central rod 198 to be displaced to the left as depicted in FIG. 5. This displacement is permitted because camming surface 216 has been displaced out of registration with cam follower 200 by the rotation of cylinder 80 so that spring 210 can force latch member 204 towards cylinder coupling member 202, carrying with it cam follower 200, central rod 198 and shoes 188 and 188'. At the position depicted in FIG. 5, pin 212 projects into slot 214 and engages against an end thereof so that latch member 204 is rotated with cylinder 80 and key 110 to open the latch or bolt (not shown).

As shown in FIG. 4, the latch member 204 is held in position by the engagement of cam follower 200 against plateau portion 218 of camming surface 216 and by the engagement of shoes 188 and 188 against the corresponding disc-shaped portions 196 and 196 of the corresponding programmable coupling members. The coupling of the latch member to the cylinder requires the axial displacement of both programmable locking members 172 and 172' to clear both shoes 188 and 188'. Thus, for example, if the permanent magnets of permanent array 136 were magnetized so as to align rotor 158 so that registration pin 166 was out of alignment with registration aperture 174, when cylinder 80 was rotated the axial displacement of programmable coupling member 172 would be stopped by the engagement of registration pin 166 against surface 176 so that shoe 188 would not be cleared. If this occurs, while the cylinder can rotate, and while cam follower 200 is no longer supported by camming surface 216, the latch member is held in the locked position by the interaction of shoe 188 and programmable coupling member 172. Since the cylinder is free to rotate despite the fact that the key is not programmed to correspond to the lock, the latch cannot be forced by pressure applied to the cylinder.

The programming of the lock 70 may be accomplished by the remote actuation of motors 186 and 186' to rotatably position the respective programmable coupling members. Said motors are preferably stepping motors for incremental positioning of the programmable coupling members in each of a plurality of discrete locations. In the embodiment depicted, the provision of an array of six permanent magnets permits six discrete orientations of the magnetic field, so that the stepping motor would be adapted to position the registration aperture 174 of programmable coupling member 172 in each of six positions corresponding to the six orientations of the magnetic field. The programming of the permanent magnets of each permanent magnet array of key 110 merely requires a corresponding array of strong electro-magnets which may be selectively energized to the desired polarity to impress a strong magnetic field on each of the permanent magnets to dispose that permanent magnet in the desired polarity. An array of six such electro-magnets aligned in registration with each permanent magnet array in key maker 48 would permit the simultaneous programming of the key and the programmable coupling discs.

FIG. 10 depicts an alternate embodiment 110 of the key in accordance with the invention wherein, in place of each array of permanent magnets, single discs of magnetic material 136 and 137' are mounted on key 110. The material of the discs is characterized by the capability of magnetizing regions thereof. As illustrated in FIG. 10, the regions marked with an N are magnetized so that north poles appear at the surface depicted, while the regions marked with an S are polarized so that south poles appear in said surface regions. The reverse face of discs 136 and 137' would be oppositely polarized. The array of electromagnets referred to above could be used to program the discs of FIG. 10. In all other respects, the key of FIG. 10 functions in the same manner as key 110 described above.

For many lock applications, it is desirable to provide for the opening ofa number of different locks by a single master key, such as a maids key. In the lock art, this result has been achieved by providing a series of concentric cylinders with separate parting lines actuated by such master keys. A similar multilevel construction is depicted in the embodiment of the lock in accordance with the invention shown in FIGS. 11-16. By way of illustration, only the mechanism associated with a single array of permanent magnets 136' is depicted. Cylinder cams 94' and 98 and the magnetic circuit formed by disc 151" and flux tubes 154" and 156" are similar in construction to the embodiment of FIGS. 1-9 as is key like reference numerals being applied to like components.

A rotor 230 carrying a permanent bar magnet 232 is rotatably mounted on a stub shaft 234 (FIG. 12) projecting from plane surface 152" of cylinder support portion 74'. Said rotor supports a first registration pin 236 and a second, longer registration pin 238, first registration pin 236 being spaced a greater distance from the axis of stub shaft 234 then second registration pin 238 (FIG. 16).

In place of a single programmable coupling member, the lock of FIGS. 11-16 is provided with a first outer programmable coupling member 240 and a second inner programmable coupling member 242 mounted within an axial bore 244 in said first outer coupling member. The first outer programmable coupling member is supported on a bracket portion 246 while the second inner programmable coupling member is supported by said first outer programmable coupling member and a bracket portion 248 of the housing block.

End surface 250 of first outer programmable coupling member 240 is formed with a registration recess 252 dimensioned to receive first pin 236 and spaced from the axis of the second outer programmable coupling member a distance equal to the spacing of said first pin from the axis of stub shaft 234. Similarly, end surface 254 of second inner programmable coupling member 242 is formed with a registration recess 256 for registration with and receipt of second pin 238. Projecting camming surfaces 104' of cams 94 and 98' engage against end surface 250.

Second inner coupling member 242 is formed with an enlarged region 258 spaced from end surface 254 and defining a lateral annular wall 260 against which the inner end 262 of first outer programmable coupling member 240 abuts. The end of said second inner programmable coupling member itself abuts bracket portion 248 of the housing block. The respective ends of said first and second programmable coupling members 240 and 242 are respectively formed with laterally projecting flanges 264 and 266. A coil spring 268 extends between flange 264 and bracket portion 246 to bias the first outer programmable coupling member toward rotor 230 against cams 94 and 98'. Bore 244 is formed with a region 270 of increased diameter defining a lateral wall 272 in first outer programmable coupling member 240. A second coil spring 274 is compressed between wall 272 and flange 266 to bias second inner programmable coupling member 242 toward rotor 230 relative to said first outer programmable coupling member.

The first outer programmable coupling member is selectively rotatably positionable by means of a spur gear portion 276 formed on the outer surface thereof for cooperation with drive gear 278 operatively coupled to a motor not shown. Similarly, second inner programmable coupling member 242 may be selectively rotatably positioned by means of a spur gear portion 280 formed on the peripheral surface thereof in the region of bracket portion 248 which cooperates with drive gear 282 couples to a motor not shown.

The lock of FIGS. 11-16 would be provided with a latch member, cylinder coupling member and cam follower arrangement similar to that depicted in connection with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-9. However, in place of the shoe arrangement for displacing the cam follower, the embodiment of FIGS. 11-16 is provided with an assembly 284 for coupling said latch member and said cylinder coupling member by displacing said cam follower when first registration pin 236 is received within registration recess 252 or second registration 238 is received within registration recess 256.

As shown in FIG. 13, coupling assembly 284 includes a carriage formed from a pair of spaced rods 286 fixed to and carrying a pair of spaced plates 288. The entire carriage would be mounted on the housing block and secured to the cam follower for displacement of said cam follower. Sandwiched between plates 288 is a slide plate 290 formed with two slots 292 dimensioned to receive rods 286 and to permit said slide plate to move up and down as viewed in FIGS. 12 and 13. Secured to opposite sides of slide plate 290 are a pair of fingers 294 and 296, positioned so as to extend across opposite sides of said first and second programmable coupling members. Fingers 294 and 296 are respectively provided with inclined camming surfaces 298 and 300 which engage against surfaces of said first and second programmable coupling members in a manner described below.

FIGS. 11, 12 and 13 depict the lock in the locked position. At said position, finger 296 engages the annular surface of enlarged portion 258 of second inner programmable coupling member 242 while finger 294 engages the enlarged annular surface region 302 of first outer programmable coupling member 240. As best illustrated in FIG. 13, the diameter sensed by the inclined camming surfaces of fingers 294 and 296 is large and the entire carriage of coupling assembly 284 is displaced to the right as viewed in FIG. 13, at which position the latch member is prevented from engaging with the cylinder coupling member.

If, as shown in FIGS. 14 and 15, the key 110" received within the cylinder has a permanent magnet array 136' magnetized to orient rotor 230 so that second registration pin 238 is aligned with recess 266 in second inner programmable coupling member 242, then said first and second programmable coupling members are displaced as a unit to the left as viewed in FIG. 14 until end surface 250 of first outer programmable coupling member 240 engages the end of first registration pin 236. At this position, as shown in FIGS. 14 and 15, finger 294 still rides on the periphery of region 302 of enlarged diameter of said first outer programmable locking member. However, finger 296 is in registration with a portion 304 of said second inner programmable locking member, region 304 having a diameter less than the diameter of enlarged portion 258. The total diameter sensed by the inclined camming surfaces 298 and 300 of fingers 294 and 296 is less than the diameter sensed at the locked position and the carriage of coupling assembly 284 is displaced to the left as viewed in FIG. 15 to displace the cam follower and engage the lock member against the cylinder coupling member.

If the configuration of the magnetic field produced by the magnetic array 136' were such as to position rotor 230 so that first registration pin 236 were in registration with recess 252, then the axial displacement of second inner programmable coupling member 242 would be stopped by engagement with pin 238 while finger 296 still engaged region 258 of larger diameter. However, first outer programmable coupling member 240 would be displaced to the left as viewed in FIG. 11 so that pin 236 is received within recess 252 due to the action of spring 268 which is selected to overcome spring 274. At this position of first outer programmable coupling member 240, finger 294 rests on the end region 262 thereof which is of a diameter smaller than region 302 so that the total diameter sensed by the fingers is less than the diameter sensed at the locked position illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 13. While in the case of FIG. 15, the slots 292 permitted slide plate 290 to be displaced upwardly so that the fingers engage the respective surfaces of the first and second programmable coupling members, where first pin 236 is received within recess 252 said slide plate is displaced downwardly as viewed in FIG. 12. However, the entire carriage portion of coupling assembly 284 is displaced to the left as viewed in FIG. 13 due to the narrow diameter sensed by the fingers and the latch member is coupled to the cylinder coupling member. In order to increase the displacement of said carriage portion, the inner portion of the inclined camming surfaces 290 and 300 can be cut off at points corresponding to the respective points of engagement with the programmable coupling members shown in FIG. 15 to define a slot of the narrow diameter described above.

As in the case of the embodiment of FIGS. l-9, the first and second programmable coupling members of FIGS. 11-16 are released for longitudinal displacement by the rotation of the cylinder and cams mounted thereon. A commercial embodiment of the lock depicted in FIGS. 11-16 would include a number of such mechanisms and the carriage portion of coupling asembly 284 would be displaced to the left as viewed in FIG. 13 only where the fingers of each of the mechanisms detected a smaller diameter, a condition analogous to the clearance of all of the shoes in the embodiment of FIGS. l-9. The precise number of magnetic arrays and associated mechanisms will depend on the number and complexity of the combinations required for opening the lock. Each of the levels of each mechanism would be separately programmable through drive gears corresponding to drive gears 278 and 282.

It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, and those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above constructions without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.

What is claimed is:

1. A programmable lock for use with a key having at least one permanent magnet means adapted to produce a magnetic field of a predetermined orientation comprising latch means; a fixed lock member; a displaceable lock member mounted on said fixed lock member and formed for receipt of said key means; said displaceable lock member being selectively displaceable relative to said fixed member independent of said latch means; means for selectively coupling said displaceable lock member and said latch means for the operation of said latch means in response to the displacement of said displaceable lock member; means for normally blocking the operation of said coupling means and for selectively permitting such operation in response to said predetermined orientation of said magnetic field; and remotely actuable lock programming means operatively connected to said blocking means for selecting the magnetic field orientation in response to which said coupling means is permitted to operate.

2. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 1, including key programming means for receipt of said key for selectively magnetizing said permanent magnet means for the selection of the orientation of the magnetic field produced thereby; and control means operatively coupled to said key programming means and lock programming means for the coordinate actuation thereof to produce a key capable of operating said lock.

3. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 1, wherein said blocking means includes first and second registration means, said first registration means being positioned by the orientation of said magnetic field, said second registration means being selectively positioned by said lock programming means, said coupling means being adapted to couple said displaceable lock member to said latch means when said first and second registration means are in alignment.

4. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 3, for use with a key having at least two of said perma nent magnet means, said blocking means including one of said first and second registration means actuated by the magnetic field orientation of each of said permanent magnet means, and one of said lock programming means coupled to each of said second registration means for the independent positioning thereof, said coupling means being adapted to couple said displaceable lock member and said latch means when at least two of said first and second registration means are respectively in alignment.

5. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 4, including a rotor means mounted for free rotation in the magnetic field of each of said permanent magnet means, each of said permanent magnet means being selectively magnetizable so as to produce each of a plurality of discrete magnetic field orientations selected to rotationally position said rotor means at each of a plurality of rotational positions, said blocking means further including a programmable coupling member rotatably mounted on the axis of rotation of each of said rotor means and selectively rotatably positioned at each of a corresponding plurality of rotational positions by said lock programming means, said first and second registration means being respectively mounted on said rotor means and programmable coupling member for alignment at selected corresponding rotational positions thereof.

6. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 5, whereein one of said first and second registration means is a pin and the other of said first and second registration means is an aperture dimensioned to receive said pin, said programmable coupling member being axially displaceable toward said rotor means when said first and second registration means are in registration, said coupling means including a coupling assembly for coupling said displaceable lock member and said latch member when at least two of said programmable lock members are axially displaced toward the corresponding rotor means.

7. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 6, including third and fourth registration means associated with each of said permanent magnet means; a second programmable coupling member mounted coaxially with each of said first-mentioned programmable coupling members for rotatable and axial displacement, said third registration means being on said rotor means, said fourth registration means being on said sec ond programmable coupling member, one of said third and fourth registration means being a pin, the other of said third and fourth registration means being an aperture dimensioned to receive said pin when in alignment; and a second lock programming means associated with each of said second programmable coupling members for the selective rotational positioning thereof independent of said first-mentioned programmable coupling member, said coupling assembly being adapted to couple said displaceable lock member and said latch means when one of the first and second or third and fourth registration means associated with at least two of said permanent magnet means are in alignment so that one of the first-mentioned or second of said programmable coupling members associated with each of said permanent magnet means is axially displaced toward its respective rotor means.

8. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 7, wherein said coupling assembly includes carriage means mounted for displaceemnt laterally relative to the axis of said programmable coupling members between a locked position and an open position, said firstmentioned and second programmable coupling members being each formed with a region of a first diameter and a region of a second diameter smaller than said first diameter in the path of displacement of said carriage means, said carriage means including a block associated with each of said permanent magnet means and mounted thereon for slideable displacement in a direction lateral to both the path of displacement of said carriage means and the axis of the associated programmable coupling members, a pair of projecting fingers mounted on said slide block in spaced relation on oppposed sides of said programmable coupling members and formed with converging inclined camming surfaces for engagement against said programmable coupling members, one of said fingers normally engaging said first region of each of said first-mentioned and second programmable coupling members when said programmable coupling members and carriage means are at said locked position, one of said fingers engaging the second region of the associated programmable coupling member when said programmable coupling member has displaced axially towards the associated rotor means to permit displacement of said carriage means from said locked to said open position if one of the programmable coupling members associated with each of said permanent magnet means have been axially displaced.

9. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 8, wherein said carriage means is operatively coupled to said latch means for displacement therewith, registration means mounted on said displaceable lock member and said latch means for the coupling thereof when said carriage means is in said open position, cam follower means mounted on said carriage means, camming surface means mounted on said displaceable lock member for engagement with said cam follower means to return said carriage means and latch means to said locked position at a locked position of said displaceable lock member.

10. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 6, wherein said coupling assembly includes carriage means displaceable between a locked and an open position, said carriage means including shoe means associated with each of said programmable lock members, said programmable lock members being formed with a portion positioned to block the displacement of said carriage means from said locked to said open position before axial displacement of said programmable coupling member towards said rotor and to permit displacement of said carriage means upon axial displacement of said programmable coupling member toward the associated rotor means.

11. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 10, wherein said carriage means is operatively coupled to said latch means fordiplacement therewith, registration means mounted on said displaceable lock member and said latch means for the coupling thereof when said carriage means is in said open position, cam follower means mounted on said carriage means, camming surface means mounted on said displaceable lock member for engagement with said cam follower means to return said carriage means and latch means to said locked position at a locked position of said displaceable lock member.

12. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 6, wherein said programmable coupling members are formed with a gear portion, said lock programming means each including a drive gear in meshing engagement with said gear portion of said programmable lock member and motor means operatively coupled to said drive gear.

13. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 12, wherein said drive motor means is a stepping motor.

14. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 6, wherein said displaceable lock member includes a cylinder rotatably mounted in said fixed lock member and formed with a longitudinally extending key hole dimensioned to receive said key, and including magnetic circuit means in said cylinder and fixed lock member associated with each of said permanent magnet means for conveying the magnetic field orientation of said permanent magnet means through said cylinder and fixed lock member to the region of the associated rotor means.

15. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 14, wherein said magnetic circuit means includes a first array of flux tube means extending from said key hole in the vicinity of each of said permanent magnet means to the periphery of said cylinder, and a second array of flux tube means in said housing means positioned for registration with said first array at a locked position of said cylinder extending from said cylinder to the vicinity of said rotor means.

16. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 14, including at least one cam means mounted on said cylinder for rotation therewith and positoned in the path of axial displacement of each of said programmable coupling members, said cam means including a projecting portion engaged by said programmable coupling members when said cylinder is in said locked position, said coupling means including means for biasing said programmable coupling member against the associated cam means for the axial displacement of said programmable coupling member in response to the rotation of said cylinder and cam means, provided the corresponding first and second registration means are in alignment.

17. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 13, wherein said latch member is mounted for rotational displacement with said cylinder when coupled thereto and displacement toward and away from said cylinder between a locked and an open position, said lock including registration means on said latch member and cylinder for engagement and coupling when said latch member is in said open position, said latch member being coupled to said coupling assembly for displacement between said locked and open positions in response thereto.

18. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 2, including a plurality of said remotely programmable locks and a plurality of said keys, said control means being adapted to selectively and coordinately program each of said locks and associated key.

19. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 6, wherein said permanent magnet means includes an array of separate permanent magnets.

20. A remotely programmable lock as recited in claim 19, wherein said array of permanent magnets is circular, a first group of adjacent permanent magnets being disposable at one polarity, a second group of adjacent permanent magnets being disposable in the opposite polarity to define said magnetic field orientation.

fine said magnetic field orientation.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification340/5.22, 70/382, 340/5.66, 361/172, 70/276, 367/197
International ClassificationE05B47/04, G07C9/00, E05B47/02
Cooperative ClassificationG07C9/00103
European ClassificationG07C9/00B8