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Publication numberUS3859617 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 7, 1975
Filing dateSep 20, 1973
Priority dateSep 26, 1972
Also published asCA1009325A1
Publication numberUS 3859617 A, US 3859617A, US-A-3859617, US3859617 A, US3859617A
InventorsMinami Shunji, Oka Shunzo
Original AssigneeMatsushita Electric Ind Co Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Turnable, contactless variable resistor
US 3859617 A
Abstract
A turnable, contactless variable resistor is provided consisting of a light source and a photoconductive cell, capable of operation without producing noise and wear as distinguished from conventional turnable variable resistors having mechanical contact.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 7, 1975 TURNABLE, CONTACTLESS VARIABLE RESISTOR Inventors: Shunzo Oka; Shunji Minami, both of Osaka, Japan Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial (10., Ltd., Kadoma-shi, Osaka-fu, Japan Filed: Sept. 20, 1973 Appl. No.: 399,150

Foreign Application Priority Data Sept 26, 1972 Japan 47-112689 [U] US. Cl. 338/15, 250/211 K Int. Cl HOlc 7/08 Field of Search 338/15, 18; 250/211 K,

Primary Examiner C. L. Albritton Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Burgess, Ryan & Wayne 5 7] ABSTRACT A turnable, contactless variable resistor is provided consisting of a light source and a photoconductive cell, capable of operation without producing noise and wear as distinguished from conventional turnable variable resistors having mechanical contact.

5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTED JAN 71975 FIG 2 FIG.

FIG. 4

TURNABLE, CONTACTLESS VARIABLE RESISTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION:

This invention relates to a turnable, contactless variable resistor, particularly one having a photoconductive cell disposed opposite the light source, and being provided with a disk having a slit or an opening for varying the amount of light from the source to the pho toconductive cell.

In general, a variable resistor has a horse shoe shaped resistance body on which a contact slide is provided; consequently, the life of the resistance body is shortened due to wear by the sliding of the contact on the resistance body.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION:

In accordance with the invention, a light source and a photoconductive cell are disposed facing each other, and therebetween is placed a disk having a large comma like opening which controls the amount of light from the light source to the photoconductive cell.

The object of this invention is to provide a turnable, contactless variable resistor having a configuration similar to that of a conventional variable resistor.

Another object of this invention is to provide a turnable, contactless variable resistor which does not generate any noise as does the conventional variable resistor.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a turnable, contactless variable resistor which does not deteriorate due to wear in the course of operation in a manner similar to that of a conventional variable resistor.

Further objects and the features of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art as the description thereof proceeds.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The present invention may be more readily described by reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is the a cross sectional view of the embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the turnable disk of the embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 4 is another embodiment of this invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to figures, disk 2 having a rotating shaft 1 on one side of the disk is disposed between an upper supporting plate 3 and a lower supporting plate 4. On the disk is provided a large comma-shaped opening whose center line is equi-distant from the center of the disk and whose width measured radially varies with the angular position of the disk in accordance with the desired output characteristic of the device. The center line of the opening is also between the centers of holes 6 and 8 on the upper supporting plate 3 and on the lower supporting plate 4. The light source 7 is placed on the hole 6 on the upper supporting plate. The leakage of light from the light source is prevented by sealing the contact between the light source 7 and the upper supporting plate by means of like material resin like material (not shown). The photoconductive cell 9 of CdS or CdSe or the like is placed beneath the hole 8 on the lower supporting disk. To prevent light leakage from the contact of the photoconductive cell and the lower supporting plate, the contact is sealed with a resinlike material (not shown). The two supporting plates are also sealed and made as one body.

Now the operation of the turnable, contactless variable resistor is described. When the rotating shaft 1 is turned, the amount of light from the light source 7 is varied by the opening 5; and the amount of the light from the light source to the photoconductive cell changes according to the area of opening. The resistance of the photoconductive cell changes with the amount of the light received. Thus, with the turn of the shaft 1, this turnable contactless variable resistor can be used as a variable resistor.

In FIG. 4 is shown another embodiment of this invention. On the upper supporting plate are disposed two holes 6 and 10. Beneath the hole 10 is another hole 11 on the lower supporting plate. On the upper hole 10 is placed another light source 12 and beneath the hole 11 on the lower supporting plate is another photoconductive cell 13. The contacts between them are sealed as in the first embodiment (Seal is not shown). With the turn of the shaft, the resistances of two photoconductive cells can be varied. Thus, this embodiment has the configuration of two contactless variable resistors.

What is claimed is:

l. A turntable, contactless variable resistor comprismg:

an opaque disk having a shaft that is rotatable about a given axis;

an opaque upper supporting plate having an opening therethrough for transmitting light and a bearing for the free turning of said disk about the shaft axis;

a light source fixed to the upper supporting plate and completely on one side thereof;

an opaque lower supporting plate having an opening therethrough for transmitting light from the light source disposed coaxially with the hole on said upper supporting plate;

a photoconductive cell fixed to the opening of said lower supporting plate and completely one one side thereof; and

said disk having an opening disposed between said upper and lower supporting plates at a radial position corresponding to the radial position of the openings in said supporting plates said supporting plates being joined as one body with said one side on the outside of said body, and the conducting resistance of said photoconductive cell varying by means of a changing amount of light passing through the openings by turning said rotatable shaft.

2. A turnable, contactless variable resistor as defined in claim 1 wherein, a photoconductive cell is attached on the opening of said upper supporting plate and a light source on the opening of said lower supporting plate.

3. A turnable, contactless variable resistor as defined in claim 1 wherein, the opening of the disk is a large comma like shape, whose radial distance varies with the angular displacement of the disk about the shaft axis.

4. A turntable, contactless variable resistor as defined in claim 1 wherein:

the upper supporting plate has a second opening for transmitting light;

3 4 the lower supporting plate has a second opening lotoconductive cells may be varied at the same time cated coaxially with said corresponding opening on in response to rotation of the shaft. said upper supporting plate; and 5. A turntable, contactless variable resistor as dea second light source and a second photoconductive fined in claim 4 wherein, the opening of the disk is a cell are attached in positions corresponding to 5 large comma-like shape, whose width measured radithose associated with said first light source and ally varies with angular displacement of the disk about photoconductive cell; the shaft axis.

whereby the resistances of the first and second pho- UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CRRECTEON Patent 3,859,617 Dated January 7, 1975 Inventor(s) Shunzo et 8-1 It is certified that error appears inthe above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 1, line 65; cancel "like material".

Column 2, line 61; change "radial distance" to --width measured radially-.

Signed and sealed this 27th day of May 1975.

(SEAL) Attest:

C. MARSHALL DANN RUTH C. MASON Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer and Trademarks UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 318591617 D d January 7, 1975 Inventor(s) Shunzo -r et -1 It is certified that error appears inthe above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 1, line 65: cancel "like material".

Column 2, line 61: change "radial distance" to --width measured radially-.

line 62: cancel "the" (first occurrence) Signed and sealed this 27th day of May 1975.

($EAL) Attest:

C. MARSHALL DANN RUTH C. MASON Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer and Trademarks

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4227079 *Dec 15, 1978Oct 7, 1980Hewlett-Packard CompanyMultipath fine positioning beam director
US4271354 *Aug 9, 1979Jun 2, 1981Shs Research Labs, Inc.Manual belt electro-optical control
US4284885 *Apr 12, 1979Aug 18, 1981Honeywell Inc.Optical potentiometer
US4459523 *Mar 11, 1983Jul 10, 1984Tipper Tie, Inc.Motor speed control
US4796000 *Apr 28, 1986Jan 3, 1989David N. FriedlandOptical potentiometer
US4859845 *Apr 15, 1987Aug 22, 1989Fanuc Ltd.Optical rotary encoder with sub-code patterns
US4917360 *Aug 28, 1987Apr 17, 1990Kabushiki Kaisha KitoOperating device for electric chain block
US5049827 *Jan 12, 1990Sep 17, 1991Jet Electronics & Technology Inc.Non-contacting potentiometer
US5343186 *Apr 29, 1993Aug 30, 1994Sony Electronics Inc.Variable resistor having the capacity to produce a fader start signal output
US5376785 *Oct 2, 1992Dec 27, 1994Chin; Philip K.Optical displacement sensor utilizing optical diffusion
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US5611731 *Sep 8, 1995Mar 18, 1997Thrustmaster, Inc.For use with a personal computer
US6015970 *Dec 11, 1997Jan 18, 2000Motorola, Inc.Switch assembly incorporating optical control function
US6617958 *Apr 24, 2002Sep 9, 2003Taiwan Alpha Electronic Co., Ltd.Optical potentiometer
US6974949Dec 18, 2003Dec 13, 2005Illinois Tool Works Inc.Position sensor with an optical member of varying thickness
US7402792 *May 9, 2006Jul 22, 2008Denso CorporationOptical sensor with rotary shaft-driven light intercepting member
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Classifications
U.S. Classification338/15, 257/E31.106, 250/214.0PR
International ClassificationH01L31/16, H01C10/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01L31/164
European ClassificationH01L31/16B4