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Publication numberUS3873794 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 25, 1975
Filing dateApr 20, 1973
Priority dateApr 20, 1973
Publication numberUS 3873794 A, US 3873794A, US-A-3873794, US3873794 A, US3873794A
InventorsOwen Kenneth
Original AssigneeOwen Kenneth
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Radio frequency modular switch system
US 3873794 A
Abstract
A switch system for interconnecting a plurality of coaxial input lines with a plurality of coaxial output lines is disclosed. The lines are crossed in a matrix with a rotatable switch means mounted at each cross point. Each of the rotors provide straight through connections for the input and output lines at one angle of rotation. The switch means has mechanical and electrical interlocks to prevent multiple connections to any given input or output line. The switch system also includes means for grounding the unused contacts and the unused inactive line sections remaining in the matrix after an interconnection has been made. The matrix is formed of a plurality of interchangeable modules to allow quick and convenient expansion of the matrix when needed.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 1 Owen 1 1 RADIO FREQUENCY MODULAR SWITCH SYSTEM [76] Inventor: Kenneth Owen, 6201 Hebling Ave,

Springfield, Va. 22150 [22] Filed: Apr. 20, 1973 [21] Appl. No: 353,100

{52] U.S. Cl 200/153 S, 200/307 [51] Int. CL... H0lh 63/00, HOlh 19/36, H01h 9/08 [58] Field of Search 200/4, 153 S, 179, 175,

200/11 A, 1 R, 155 R, 166 C, 307

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,504,906 4/1950 Tremblay 200/166 C 2,669,612 2/1954 Johnson 200/4 3,028,563 4/1962 Morrison 200/153 S X 3,223,812 12/1965 Wright et al 200/153 S 3,271,533 9/1966 Butler 200/155 R X 3,666,902 5/1972 Owen et a1. ZOO/153 S FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,087,649 8/1960 Germany ZOO/153 S 1 Mar. 25, 1975 Primary Examiner-Robert K. Schaefer Assistant Examiner-William J. Smith Attorney, Agent, or Firm-William D. Hall; K. L. King [57] ABSTRACT A switch system for interconnecting a plurality of coaxial input lines with a plurality of coaxial output lines is disclosed. The lines are crossed in a matrix with a rotatable switch means mounted at each cross point. Each of the rotors provide straight through connections for the input and output lines at one angle of rotation. The switch means has mechanical and electrical interlocks to prevent multiple connections to any given input or output line. The switch system also includes means for grounding the unused contacts and the unused inactive line sections remaining in the matrix after an interconnection has been made. The matrix is formed of a plurality of interchangeable modules to allow quick and convenient expansion of the matrix when needed 20 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures sum u n; 5

PATENTED MAR 2 519. 5

RADIO FREQUENCY MODULAR SWITCH SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a switch system to use in coupling a plurality of transmitters or receivers to any one of a plurality of antennas. These switch system must be able to handle relatively large power inputs and loads and must be capable of selectively switching from one power input to any one of a plurality of loads quickly and conveniently. In the past, transmitters have been connected to various antennas to permit scheduling of variations in antenna characteristics. The interconnections required are complex and expensive, and have generally been obtained by coaxial cables with suitable connectors such as coaxial patch cords. These coaxial cables and connectors have been awkward to use and have required excessive time for each change.

2. Description of the Prior Art In an attempt to solve the above problems, a number of various switch systems have been developed to provide quick and convenient coupling between a plurality of transmitters and a plurality of field antennas. Generally speaking, the switch systems use a cross matrix wherein a plurality of input lines are arranged parallel to one another, and a plurality of output lines are spaced apart from the input lines and arranged perpendicularly to the input lines to form the matrix. Various means have been proposed by the prior art to couple and uncouple the input and output lines.

One of these prior art switch systems is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,223,812. This patent discloses a cross matrix with a plurality of input lines and a plurality of output lines running parallel to one another and crossed in a matrix arrangement. Plungers are used at the intersecting points to provide through connections or interconnections between input and output lines.

Another type of switch system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,666,902 which discloses a switch system with a plurality of input and output lines arranged in a matrix, and a plurality of rotatable connectors. In this patent, applicant has disclosed a system for preventing the inadvertent interconnection of more than one input line to a given output line, or more than one output line to a given input line.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide a switch system for interconnecting a plurality of coaxial input lines with a plurality of coaxial output lines. It is particularly intended for use in a radio frequency spectrum.'and relates to the switching of connections between coaxial cables wherein the characteristic impedance of the switch system generally conforms to the corresponding impedance of the connecting coaxial cables. The present invention is intended to provide a switch system for a source or load transfer wherein a given input line is connected to a given output line in a cross bar matrix configuration.

It is another object of this invention to provide a switch system capable of very fast switching wherein the switch system may transfer the inupt power to a given antenna load level to the highest power quickly and conveniently.

It is an object of the present invention to provide means for an RF switching system having a new and novel configuration for the rotor and strip line sections of the coaxial matrix. This new and novel construction provides a long contact life having a mean time between failures which is much greater than that existing in the present prior art switches. It is another object of this invention to provide a grounding means for grounding the unused rotor contacts to reduce to a minimum the cross talk" between crossing but unconnected input and output lines. When the crossing lines are interconnected within the matrix, the grounding means then provide a ground for the unused strip line sections to prevent resonance and flash over from the unused line sections to ground.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a mechanical configuration for the rotor and strip line sections that will prevent the inadvertent connection of more than one source line to a given output line, or more than one output line to a given input line. It is another object of the present invention to provide a switching matrix having a plurality of coaxial conductors rather than strip line or bus connectors.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a switch system having a modular configuration wherein the matrix is formed of a plurality of interchangeable modules to allow quick and convenient expansion of the matrix as desired. Another object of the present invention is to provide a separate electrical interlock system to prevent inadvertent actuation of an RF switch without first shutting down the transmitter. The interlock system is constructed to mimic or parallel the RF. circuit to provide interlock protection that corresponds to the RF flow path established from input to output. The interlock system may also be connected to continuing antenna switches outside the switch system to provide additional protection for the transmitters.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an isometric and partially cross sectioned view of the switch system of the present invention illustrating a switch matrix having two inputs and three outputs.

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatical and isometric view illustrating the configuration and operation of the matrix and its rotary contactors.

FIG. 3 is an electrical schematic view of the matrix illustrated in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a partially cross sectioned view of the rotary contactor of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is an isometric and partially cross sectioned view of the mechanical electrical interlocks.

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of the internal strip line section.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectioned plan view illustrating the grounding means for grounding the unused contacts and the inactive strip line sections.

FIG. 8 is an isometric view of the switch system cabinet, its controls, its input and its output lines.

FIG. 9 is a partially cross sectioned plan view of the present invention illustrating the connection to a coaxial output.

FIG. 10 is an isometric view of the structural components used in the modular construction of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a partial plan view and partially cross sectioned view illustrating the modular configuration of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The present invention relates to an electric switch for use singly, or in a matrix configuration to interconnect any one of a number of coaxial input lines to any one of a number of coaxial output lines. The switch provides an interconnection without leaving inactive strip line sections which would float within the system and arc or flash over to ground in the event of self resonance.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, the switch system comprises a base member III, a switch matrix consisting of a plurality of coaxial input lines 112 and 13 and a plurality of coaxial output lines 14, I and 16. A plurality of rotatable contactors 20-25 (not shown in FIG. l) are rotatably mounted within the base member II for connect ing any given input line section to any given output line section at each cross over point. Rotor 20 has first and second rotary positions, with the first position providing a through connection for the input line l2 and output line 16 and a second rotary position for providing an interconnection between input line 12 and output line 16.

The switch system also provides means for providing mechanical and electrical interlocks to prevent the interconnection of more than one output section to any given input section or more than one input section to any given output section. The electrical interlock means provides for shutdown of the transmitter in the event the field antenna is changed.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. l, the input line 12 is connected to a plurality of coaxial input strip line sections 150 and 16a. The output line 16 is associated with a plurality of coaxial output line sections I8 and 19. The remainder of this cross over matrix will be further illustrated and described with respect to FIG. 2. Each of the rotatable contactors 20-25 has a pair of through contact means 26 and 27 (illustrated for rotor 20) and a single cross connect contact means 25. As illustrated, rotor 20 is in a cross connect position and provides an interconnection between input line 12 and output line 16.

The corss over matrix, the line sections, and the rotatable contactors are illustrated diagrammatically in FIG. 2. A transmitter input line 12 is fed to a plurality of strip line sections 30-32. A coaxial input line 13 is fed to a plurality of strip line sections 33, 36 and 35.

Similarly, the output line sections are also associated with a plurality of strip line sections with output line M being associated with strip line sections 36, 37 and 35. Output line is associated with strip line sections 39, 40 and 41 while output line 16 is associated with strip line sections 170, 18 and 19.

Two signal paths are illustrated by dotted lines in FIG. 2. The first is illustrated by dotted line A and the second by dotted line B.

As illustrated, the incoming signal present on coaxial input 12 is fed through input strip line section 30, rotary contactor 25, strip line section 31, rotary contactor 22, strip line section 32, and rotary contactor 26. Rotary contactor has been moved from a through connect position to an interconnect or cross-connect" position and electrical contact is made between the i strip line section 32 and output line section 15 of the output line 16. This connection is established through the single cross connect contact means 25 which is mounted on the rotary contactor 20.

Similarly, the input line signal present on coaxial line 13 is transferred down strip line section 33, rotary contactor 24, strip line section 36, to rotary contactor 23. The signal is then interconnected to output line 15 through rotary contactor 23 and strip line section 40. The signal then passes from strip line section 40 through rotary contactor 21 to strip line section 39.

Each of the rotary contact members 20-25 has a first and second rotary position. In the first rotary position they establish through connections between the strip connectors, and in the second rotary position they establish transverse connections which interconnect the input and output lines.

This is illustrated schematically in FIG. 3 where transmitter 56 is interconnected with antenna 5 3. Transmitter 51 is interconnected with antenna 57, transmitter 52 is interconnected with antenna 56, and transmitter 53 is interconnected with antenna 55. The cross over indicated at 55 refers to a through connection between the strip line sections 59 and 60 and a second through connection between strip line sections 611 and 62. At that point in the matrix, the rotary contactor positioned between strip line sections 5962 is turned to its through" position. The upper portion (represented by through contact 22a on contactor 22 is establishing a through connection between strip line sections 59 and 66 while the lower through connector (represented by through connector 22b on rotor 22) is establishing contact between strip line sections 61 and 62.

The interconnect or cross connect is illustrated at 63. In this position, the rotary contactor 63 has been turned to its interconnect position. In this position. electrical contact has been made between transmitter 51 and antenna 57 by the interconnect contact (illustrated as 28 on rotor 20). Strip line section 64 is electrically connected to strip line section 65 by means of the interconnect contact 23. As will be hereinafter illustrated, each of the inactive strip line sections remaining after an interconnection (illustrated by numerals 66, 67, 68, 69, and 71) is grounded. The means for grounding these inactive lines will be hereinafter discussed with respect to FIG. 7.

The construction of the rotary contactor makes it impossible to have both a through connect and an interconnect position at the same time. Thus when an interconnection is made, it breaks the through connect which was previously established. Thus, when transmitter 50 is connected to line 54, it becomes impossible to interconnect it with any of the other antennas since the connection is broken as illustrated at 72. If one were to turn rotary contact 58 from its through position to its interconnect position, it would interconnect transmitter 52 with antenna 54, but would simultaneously dis connect transmitter 50 from the strip line leading to antenna 54. Thus the design and construction of the rotary contactor means makes it impossible to have more than one input line feeding into an output line, or more than one output line receiving signals from a single input line. An inadvertent choice on the part of the operator may select the improper antenna for a given transmitter, but it will not impose the load of two transmitters onto a single line. Similarly, an inadvertent choice in the selection of antennas, will result only in the selection of an improper antenna, and will not result in the imposition of two antennas upon a single transmitter.

The rotary contactor means is illustrated in FIG. 4. This means is mounted within base member 11 at each cross over point for establishing through connections for any given cross over of input and output lines, or a cross connection between an input and its related output line. In FIG. 4, an input strip line section is generally indicated by the numeral 80 and the output lines section is indicated by this numeral 81. The rotating contactor has a central shaft 82 having an epoxy glass core 82 and a teflon sheath 83 for RF. insulation. It is necessary to form the shaft material of a material that is resistant to high frequency surface conduction. Silicon glass is one material which has been found to be quite suitable, and epoxy glass having a rating of G40 or higher is also suitable. The exterior sheath of teflon 83 is provided for additional insulation. The shaft extends through an opening 11a in the base plate, and rests on retaining means 84 which is bolted to the inter rotor contactor housing 85. Each of the strip line sections 81 and 81a is housed within a coaxial line section 86 (for strip line 81) and 86a (for strip line 81a). These strip lines are spaced from their coaxial housings by means of ceramic spacers. The shaft 82 extends through openings 85a and 86a in the rotor contactor housings. The upper end of shaft 82 is fixably secured to a shaft extension 87 by means of pin 88. This shaft extension and pin 88 are provided to assist in the removal of the rotor, or the face plate, in the event one desires to repair or modify the switch matrix. In the event the rotor is to be removed for servicing, the rotor contact housing 85 is removed, and the entire rotor will slide (downwardly in FIG. 4) out for removal. A reciprocating collar means 89 is fitted over the upwardly ex tending portion of shaft 87 and extends through bracket means 90. Bracket means 90 is fixably secured to base member 11 by means of through bolt 92, stand off spacer. 91, and the inter rotor contact housing 85. The support means for this bracket, (including stand off spacers 91 and 93) are more fully illustrated in FIG. 5. The control knob 94 for the rotary contactor is fixably attached to reciprocating collar 89 which is in turn keyed to shaft extension 87. Thus, the angular rotation of knob 94 will rotate shaft 82 and the switch contacts carried thereon. The angular rotation of shaft 82 and the keying of collar 89 to shaft extension 87 are accomplished by pin 95 which is securely fixed at points 95a and 95b in collar 89. This pin passes through a slot 96 formed in shaft extension 87. Thus, pin 95 is pinned in conventional manner in collar 89, but passes through an elongate slot 96 in shaft 87. This elongate slot, together with the reduced diameter 97 of shaft 87 allows the knob and the reciprocating collar 89 to traverse downwardly in the direction of arrow C as indicated in FIG. 4. The amount of reciprocation is governed by the length of the reduced diameter 97, the length of slot 96, or both. The shoulder means 97a provides a stop for the downward reciprocating motion of collar 89.

The upward reciprocating motion of shaft 89 is limited by bracket 90. Collar 89 and control knob 94 are biased upwardly by means of spring 99 to cause pin 95 to firmly engage the underside of bracket 90. As illustrated in FIG. 5, bracket 50 has two elongate slots 100 and .101 formed therein to receive pin 95. The location of slots 100 and 101 determine the two angular positions of shaft 82 and its associated switch contacts. They also provide a mechanical lock for the angular position of shaft 82 to hold the shaft firmly in place at either of the two aforesaid positions. When it is desired to change the rotating contactor from one position to another. control knob 94 is depressed downwardly which moves pin 95 out of engagement with slot 101, and the shaft is then rotated in a counterclockwise manner (as illustrated by the arrow D) to bring the pin 95 into registration with the slot 100. The control knob is then released, and spring 99 will bias the reciprocating collar 89 upwardly and carry pin 95 into engagement with slot 100. The control shaft is then rigidly locked in its second angular position.

Bracket also carries two pairs of microswitches 102 and 103 which have actuating arr'ns 104 and 105 positioned directly above the slots 100 and 101. Thus, as pin engages the slots and 101, it also engages the operating arms 104 and of each pair of microswitches. The biasing means 99 exerts a continual bias on pin 95 and causes it to activate switches 102 and 103 when pin 95 is placed in slots 100 and 101. Thus the arrangement shown in FIG. 5 provides an electrical interlock for the rotary contactor illustrated in FIG. 4. The micro-switches are connected to relays at the transmitter location to de-energize the transmitters in the event one of the switch contactors is rotated while the transmitter is on the line. This safety feature prevents the damage to the equipment that would result from attempting to shift from one antenna load to another while the equipment is on line. The first pair of microswitches 102 comprises an interconnect interlock switch and a read out switch. The interconnect microswitch enables the interlock system to follow the R.F. system when the rotor is rotated to the interconnect position. The read out switch indicates that the interconnection has been made. The second pair of microswitches 103 provide through connections for the interlock circuitry. v

The rotary contactor carries a pair of through contact means 26 and 27 which are adapted to engage the strip line sections 80 and 81. In addition, it carries a single cross contact means 28 having a pair of contact rods 28a and 28b extending outwardly from the mounting hub 28. These rods are arcuately spaced 90 from one another around the axis of rotation of shaft 82. The through contact means 26 and 27 each define a pair of contact points with each of the points lying on a circumference which surrounds the axis of rotation of shaft 82. Each of the points on each contact are spaced 90 from the cross connect contact point.

The spacing of these contact points is illustrated in FIG. 7. FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of two rotary contactors and their associated strip lines at a level equivalent to the section lines 7-7 in FIG. 4. In FIG. 7, the through connect contact 26 is providing a through connection between strip line section 81 and strip line section 81a. The same position is illustrated in FIG. 4. In the preferred embodiment, the through contact means is constructed of a single piece of conductive metal having three contact points, 110, I11, and 112 spaced about a circumference which surrounds the axis of rotation for shaft 82. Likewise, the rod 28a also lies on this same circumference of rotation. As illustrated in the upper portion of FIG. 7, the rotary contactor is providing a through connection between strip line section 81 and 81a, while the cross connect rod 280 is grounded by means of ground connector 113.

The lower portion of FIG. 7 represents the second rotary position of the rotary contactor. In this position, the upwardly extending rod 28a is now in electrical contact with strip line section 810. The through connect contact means 26 is now contacting only strip line section 81b, and does not provide a through connection between strip line 61a and strip line 31b. As a result, the through continuation of the matrix is broken by the rotary contactor illustrated in the lower portion of FIG. 7. At this point, an interconnection is made between the input and output lines by means of contact rod 28a, hub 23 and lower contact rod 23b. The inactive line or the remaining portion of the matrix indicated by strip line section 31b is now grounded by ground contact 114. This prevents any unwanted arcing or flashover caused by large sections of a load line resonating within the coaxial element. The proximity of the cross connect contact rods 28a and 28b to the through contacts may provide a capacitive or inductive coupling between the matrix lines. This coupling may result in undesirable cross talk between the matrix lines. This cross talk is eliminated by grounding the cross connect contact member with ground connector 113. The connector 113 is so arranged as to ground either the cross connect contact member or the inactive strip line section, depending on the position of the rotary contactor.

The input and output strip lines are formed from a plurality of strip line sections generally illustrated in FIG. 6. Each strip line section contains a central bus member 115, a pair of standoff insulators 116 and 117 and a pair of resilient contact plates 113 and 119. The standoff insulators are secured to the bus connector 115 by means of screws 120 and 12. The resilient contact plates 113 and 119 are formed of two 0.005 inch beriliam copper straps that have been plated with a high conductivity metal such as pure copper or silver and then gold flashed to prevent oxidation and retain surface conductivity.

The service life of the contacts is extended by using a berilium-copper alloy and a relatively small angle of deflection. The angle of deflection is maintained within the limit of perfect elasticity for the alloy. The distance between the points of suspension for the spring contacts is substantially larger than the deflection of the contact when engaged by the rotor contact. This large ratio of spring suspension length to spring deflection distance prevents the device from exceeding the limit of perfect elasticity for the alloy. This results in a greatly extended spring life for the contacts.

The standoff insulators 116 and 117 are formed of a ceramic material having a rating of L- or higher, or may be formed of teflon. In the preferred embodiment, the ceramic insulators 116 and 117 are provided with teflon washers to isolate the metallic bus bar 115 from the ceramic stand off insulators.

The modular construction of the switch system is illustrated in FIGS. and 11. In FIG. 10, base plate 11 is represented as a series of square plate members having apertures 11a defined therein for the rotatable contactors. Each of the base members 11 is predrilled with a plurality of openings to accommodate the various modular components to be secured thereto. Each of the plates are joined together by means of connector plates 122 which also serve to align the upwardly extending rotor contact housings 85 and 36 and the interrotor line housings 123 and 125. The rotor contact housing also defines therein an aperture 860 which is equivalent to the opening 86a illustrated in FIG. 4.

FIG. 11 is a general assembly drawing illustrating a plurality of the housings, rotors and strip line sections. FIG. 11 is drawn in three stages of assembly. The left hand portion of FIG. 11 indicated by the letter E is a plan view with the rotor contact housings and inter rotor line housings assembled on base plates 11. This section of the drawing also shows the base splice plates 122. The center section of the drawing indicated by the letter F has the rotor contact housings and the inter rotor line housings removed with the rotor 20 and two strip line sections and 115a assembled thereon. The central portion of the drawing has been cut away to show the area immediately below the base plate 11 including strip line sections 1151; and 115C. The third section of the drawing indicated by the letter G illustrates only the base plate sections 11.

FIG. 11 is meant to be illustrative only, since the strip line sections 115 and 115a are normally mounted to the housing members 123. As indicated in FIG. 10, the holes 123a provide the openings for mounting the ce' ramic stand off spacers 116 and 117 of the strip line section illustrated in FIG. 6. One unique feature of the present invention is the maximization of the spacing between the inner and outer conductors. Conventional strip line switches have a minimal spacing between the the strip line section and the base member. The present invention maximizes this spacing by centering the conductor within the housing.

The modular nature of the switch permits the independent extension of any given input line or output line without extending the remaining part of the matrix.

FIG. 8 is an isometric illustration of the switch system and its associated cabinet. The system has three incoming lines and 131 and 132 from transmitters or other input devices. The system also has four output lines 133, 134, 135 and 136. The system also has twelve cross points in its matrix and twelve rotary contactors with a rotary contactor arranged at each cross point. The control knob for each contactor projects through face panel 137 as illustrated in FIG. 8. Each of the control knobs bear an indicia 1411b which indicates whether a knob is in a through or cross connect position. In addition, an enunciator panel is provided as indicated at 138 with twelve signal lights mounted thereon. As each contactor is rotated, the appropriate signal light is energized. As indicated in FIG. 8, rotary contactor 139 has been turned, connecting input line 132 with output line 134. Signal light 139a reflects this interconnection. Likewise, control knob 140 has also been rotated to interconnect input line 130 with output line 135. This is enunciated on panel 138 by signal light 140a. If desired, the enunciator panel can be placed at a remote location to provide an indication to the trans mitter operator as to which field transmitting devices are connected to which antenna systems.

FIG. 9 is a partial cross section view and plan view of the device illustrated in FIG. 8 with the top panel 141 removed. This view shows the relative relationship between the input lines 130 and 131, the output line 133, the rotating contactors 142 and 143, the control knobs 144 and 145 and face plate 137. Each of the input lines and output lines are coaxial in that they have an insulated and spaced inner conductor or strip line section as indicated by strip line section 146 for input line 130,

and strip line 147 for input line 131. The outer coaxial conductor includes both the coaxial housings and the inter-rotor contact housings generally indicated at 130 and 131. Base plate 11 is spaced between the input lines and the output lines to provide a mounting point for attaching the lines thereto. Output line 133 comprises a plurality of strip line sections 148 and 149 which are connected to a main output terminal 150. The rotating contactor 142 has a pair of through connectors 151 and 152 for providing continuous straight through connections of the input and output lines. The through contact 152 provides a continuous through connection for the strip line components that comprise the input line 130. Through contacts 151 and 153 provide through connections for output line 133. An interconnection between the input and output lines may be provided by the interconnecting contacts 154 and 155 when the rotary contactors are rotated to their interconnect positions.

While we have thus described the preferred embodiments of the present invention, other variations will be suggested to those skilled in the art. it must therefore be understood that the foregoing description is meant to be illustrative only and not limitative of the present invention; and all such variations and modifications as are in accord with the principles described are meant to fall within the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A high power radio frequency switch system for interconnecting a plurality of input lines to a plurality of output lines, said system comprising a. A base member,

b. A plurality of input line sections mounted on one side of said base,

c. A plurality of output line sections mounted on said base and aligned across said input line sections to form a crossover matrix,

d. A plurality of rotor means each of said means having a non-conductive shaft formed from an insulating material, said rotors being mounted within said base member at each crossover point of said matrix for connecting any given input line section to any given output line section at their respective crossover point,

e. A low inductance through connect contact means mounted on said shaft, each of said contacts providing a through connection for an input line and an output line when said rotor means is in a first through position.

f. A single cross connect contact means mounted on said insulating shaft, said means including a conductive hub mounted on said shaft between said input and said output line section, said means defining a pair of conductive cross connect contact rods on said hub, each of said rods having a longitudinal axis which is parallel to the longitudinal axis of said shaft, said rods being arranged 90 from one another around the axis of rotation of said shaft,

g. Means to prevent the interconnection of more than one output section to any given input line section, or more than one input line section to any given output line section.

2. A switch system as claimed in claim 1 which further comprises a plurality of ground contacts to ground the inactive portion of an input or output line when any given input line has been cross connected to a given output line section.

3. A switch system as claimed in claim 1 wherein said rotor means also comprises a pair of through contact means also mounted on said insulating shaft, each of said through contact means having a single rotary contact element that defines a pair of contact points, each of said points lying on a circumference which surrounds said axis of rotation, each of said points being spaced from said cross connect contact point.

4. A switch system as claimed in claim 3 wherein means are provided to ground the unconnected portions of said input and output sections when a given input section is connected to a given output section, said means comprising a third contact point mounted on each of said through contact means, said point also lying on said circumference, said means for grounding also including a ground contact arm to engage the through contact rotor when said cross connect contact means is engaged.

5. A switch system as claimed in claim 1 wherein said base member is modular, each said module having a pair of outer housings to define the outer conductors for said coaxial members, said outer conductors also defining means for rotatably mounting said rotor means.

6. A switch system as claimed in ther comprises:

a. reciprocating collar means mounted on said rotor, said collar means having a rotor lock formed thereon;

b. bracket means fixably connected to said base, said bracket defining means to latch said rotor lock in first and second rotary positions;

c. electrical interlock switch means mounted adjacent said latch means to be actuated by said rotor lock.

7. A switch system as claimed in claim 6 wherein said rotor lock comprises an outwardly extending pin mounted on said collar, said collar being resiliently biased to urge said pin into engagement with said bracket and said switch means.

8. A radio frequency switch system for interconnecting a plurality of input lines to a plurality of output lines, said system comprising a. A base member,

b. A plurality of input line sections mounted on one side of said base,

c. A plurality of output line sections mounted on said base and aligned across said input line sections to form a crossover matrix,

d. A plurality of rotor means each of said means having a non-conductive shaft formed from an insulating material, said rotors being mounted within said base member at each crossover point of said matrix for connecting any given input line section to any given output line section at their respective crossover point.

e. A low inductance through connect contact means mounted directly on said shaft to provide direct through connections for an input line and an output line when said rotor means is in a first through connect position,

Said through connect contact means defining a conductive current path on either side of said insulated shaft,

f. A single cross connect contact means to provide a single cross connection between a single input line section and a single output line section when said claim 1 which furllll contact means is in a second cross connect position.

g. Means to prevent the interconnection of more than one output line section to any given input line section, or more than one input line section to any given output line section.

9. A switch system as claimed in claim 8 wherein said rotor means comprises an insulating shaft, a single cross connect contact means mounted on said shaft, said means defining a pair of contact rods extending outwardly from a mounting hub, said rods being arcuately spaced 90 from one another around the axis of rotation of said shaft.

10. A switch system as claimed in claim wherein said input and output line sections have an inner condoctor, and an outer conductor, said inner conductor being spaced from said outer conductor by insulating means, said inner conductor comprising a plurality of sections spaced between said rotors, each of said sections defining at each end thereof a resilient contact for engaging the contact means of said rotor.

11. A switch system as claimed in claim ltlt wherein said resilient contacts comprise at least one resilient copper alloy strap mounted across a hollow strip section line, said strap having a gold flashed copper coating thereon to improve surface conductivity.

12. A switch system as claimed in claim it) wherein said resilient contacts comprise one resilient copper alloy strap mounted across a hollow strip section line, said strap having a gold flashed silver coating thereon to improve surface conductivity.

l3. A switch system as claimed in claim 8 which further comprises a plurality of ground contacts to ground the cross connect contact means when said through contact means establishes a through connection.

14. A switch system for interconnecting a plurality of input lines to a plurality of output lines, said system comprising a. A base member,

b. A plurality of input line sections mounted on one side of said base,

0. A plurality of output line sections mounted on said base and aligned across said input line sections to form a crossover matrix,

(1. A plurality of rotor means rotatively mounted within said base member for connecting any given input line section to any given output line section at their respective crossover point,

e. Said rotor means defining an insulated shaft and at least three conductors mounted directly thereon, said first and third conductors defining low inductance through connect contacts providing through connections on either side of said insulated shaft for each of said lines when said rotor is in a first through connect position,

f. Said second conductor being mounted directly on said shaft, said second conductor further defining a pair of free standing contact rods means which are aligned parallel to said shaft, said means providing an interconnection between an input line and an output line when said rotor is in a second cross connect position,

g. Means to prevent the interconnection of more than one output line section to any given input line section, or more than one input line section to any given output line section. 15. A switch system as claimed in claim M which further comprises a pair of ground contact arms for each rotating means which grounds the cross connect contact means when said through contact means establishes a through connection, said contact arms also grounding the inactive portions of the input and output lines when a cross connection has been made.

16. A switch system for interconnecting a plurality of input lines to a plurality of output lines, said system comprising:

a. a plurality of substantially identical individual base members;

b. a plurality of substantially identical detachably mounted modules mounted on said base members, said modules including a rotatable switch means and a rotor contact housing, each of said rotatable switch means comprising a pair of through contacts and a single cross connect contact means;

c. a plurality of inter rotor line housings between said rotor contact housings;

d. a plurality of input and output lines arranged within said housing in a cross bar matrix, said matrix having one of said rotatable switch means at each cross point.

17. A switch system as claimed in claim 16 wherein said rotatable switch means comprises an insulating shaft, a single cross connect contact means mounted on said shaft, said means defining a pair of contact rods extending outwardly from a mounting hub, said rods being arcuately spaced 90 from one another around the axis of rotation of said shaft.

18. A switch system as claimed in claim 17 wherein said rotatable switchmeans also comprises a pair of through contact means also mounted on said insulating shaft, each of said through contact means having a single rotary contact element that defines a pair of contact points, each of said points lying on a circumference which surrounds its axis of rotation, each of said points being spaced 90 from said cross connect contact point.

19. A switch system as claimed in claim 18 wherein means are provided to ground the unconnected portions of said input and output lines when a given input line is connected to a given output line, said means comprising a third contact point mounted on each of said through contact means, said point also lying on said circumference, said means for grounding also including a ground contact arm to engage the through contact means when said cross connect contact means is engaged.

20. A switch system as claimed in claim 16 wherein said contact means also comprises at least one elongate and resilient strap, said strap having an elongate strap length and a small contact deflection, said contact having a high ratio between said contact strap length and strap contact deflection whereby the limit of elasticity of said contact strap is not exceeded.

:4: *l II! l |K

Patent Citations
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US2669612 *Nov 8, 1951Feb 16, 1954Arrow Hart & Hegeman ElectricSelector switch with stey-by-step control
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3991293 *Mar 4, 1975Nov 9, 1976Compagnie Industrielle Des Telecommunications Cit-AlcatelSwitch for high-frequency currents, having modular construction
US4829271 *Nov 9, 1987May 9, 1989Spinner Gmbh, Elektrotechnische FabrikCoaxial RF switch matrix
US5023575 *May 19, 1989Jun 11, 1991Asea Brown Boveri Ltd.Coaxial antenna selector matrix
US6975178Jun 25, 2003Dec 13, 2005The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Air ForceMilitary communications antenna switching
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/179, 200/307, 200/504
International ClassificationH01H9/02, H01P1/10, H01P1/12, H01Q3/24
Cooperative ClassificationH01Q3/24, H01H9/02, H01P1/125
European ClassificationH01P1/12C, H01H9/02, H01Q3/24
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 14, 1983AS05Letters testamentary
Free format text: JONES, LINDY D., INDEPENDENT EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF KENNETH OWEN, DEC D. * OWEN, KENNETH, DEC D.: 19830420
Sep 14, 1983AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: DELTA ELECTRONICS, INC., ALEXANDRIA, VA A CORP. OF
Effective date: 19830719
Owner name: JONES, LINDY D., INDEPENDENT EXECUTOR OF THE ESTAT
Owner name: OW
Effective date: 19830718
Sep 14, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: DELTA ELECTRONICS, INC., ALEXANDRIA, VA A CORP. O
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNORS:JONES, LINDY D., INDEPENDENT EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF KENNETH OWEN, DEC D.;OWEN, MARGARITA;REEL/FRAME:004173/0901;SIGNING DATES FROM 19830718 TO 19830719
Owner name: JONES, LINDY D., INDEPENDENT EXECUTOR OF THE ESTAT
Free format text: LETTERS OF TESTAMENTARY;ASSIGNOR:OWEN, KENNETH, DEC D.;REEL/FRAME:004175/0040
Effective date: 19830420