US 3902342 A
A key having a handle, a torque section and a shank, said shank including two laterally offset blade portions, a longitudinal edge of one of said blade portions carrying a clocking optical code means while the other of said blade portions is adapted to carry a plurality of rows of security optical code means.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Zucker et al. l Sept. 2, 1975 [5 KEY 3.499304 3/1970 Naujoks 70/406 3,688,269 8/1972 Miller 340/149 R  lnvemms: Fredr'c luck", stamfofd; 3,731,065 5/1973 Zucker 235/61.12 N Leonard Pengue, Hummgtom 3,733,862 5/1973 Killmeyer 70 277 both of Conn.
 Assignee: Pitney-Bowes, Inc., Stamford, Conn. Primary Examiner-Robert L. Wolfe Attorney, Agent, or Firm-William D. Soltow, Jr.;  1973 Albert w. Scribner; Martin D. Wittstein [211 App]. No.: 375,900
 ABSTRACT  US. Cl. 70/402; 70/407; 70/DIG. 51 51 Int. Cl. E05B 19/02 A key havmg handle a orque seam" and a Shank,  Field of Search 70/406 407 277 278 said Shank including laterally Offset blade P 70/401, DIG. 51; 250/555, 566, 569; 340/274 tions, a longitudinal edge of one of said blade portions carrying a clocking optical code means while the other  References Cited of said blade portions is adapted to carry a plurality of UNITED STATES PATENTS rows of security optical code means.
1.701642 4/1929 Segal 70/406 1 Claim, 4 Drawing Figures KEY This invention relates to a novel key means and more particularly relates to an improved key that carries an optical code means and is adapted to be used with a locking system that has a high level of security.
In security systems where the unlocking code ,combi: nation for a given lock or the like is to be changed from time to time it is necessary to provide a key system which may be readily changed in a corresponding manner. Further where such code combinations must be changed frequently the key changing system, to be practical. must he simple, inexpensive and capableof being readily practiced while still maintaining the high level of security for the locking system involved. The
instant invention contemplates the provision of a plastic key which may be manufactured and partially coded at a central production facility and which later may be finally coded at the site of the locking system with which it is to be used: this key being particularly adapted for use in security systems where the lock combination is to be frequently changed, such as a hotel room door lock where the lock combination is to be changed each time a new customer is assigned to a room.
The primary object of the present invention is to provide a simple low cost key means for a lock system that has an optical code sensing means which is successively conditioned so as to be responsive to changing key code combinations.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel key which may be readily formed with one of series of predetermined optical security code means.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel key having a clocking and security code means thereon, said code means being effectively defined by optical windows.
A further object of the instant invention is to provide an inexpensive key having a peculiar construction and configuration which enables the key to be optically encoded in a quick and easy manner just prior to issuance to a user.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the instant key.
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view taken along section line 22 of FIG. I.
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along section line 3-3 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is fragmentary side elevational view of the instant key and illustrates the positional relationship between the clocking and security code means.
Referring to FIG. I the instant key is made of a plastic material and comprises three integral main portions, namely a shank II, a torque section 12 and a handle 13. The shank II as shown in FIG. 2 comprises two main portions namely an upper and a lower blade 14 and 15 respectively that are interconnected by an integral section I6. Blades 14 and 15 are parallel but horizontally offset. the vertical dimension h for blade- 14 as seen in FIG. 2 being shorter than the correspond ing dimension H for blade 15. The ratio H/h is equal to about 2.5 to l. The blades 14 and I5 and section 16 have substantially the same thickness as measured in the plane of FIG. 2 and. except as is otherwise latter dcscribcd. this shank thickness and cross sectional shape is substantially constant throughout the longitudinal length of the shank ll.
; a substantially rectangular cross sectional shape 17 that hasa greater 'area' than the cross sectional area of said key shank. In use the torque section 12 is adapted to engage and rotatably drive the mechanical elements of the lock hence the larger cross sectional area thereof affords the key with the mechanical rigidity necessary to transmit the relatively high operational torques from the key handle 13 directly to the said mechanical operating elements of the lock. This structural arrangement permits the key shank 11 to be relatively thin, light and easily perforated or otherwise formed so as to provide the hereinafter described clocking and/or security code means.
A clocking or control signal code means is provided along the upper longitudinal edge of the shank blade 14, said code means including a series of substantially uniformally shaped and spaced teeth 20, FIG. 1, which effectively define a conjugate series of optical apertures or windows 21 therebetween. The longitudinal length of key shank blade 15 is adapted to be formed with a security code means, the latter including two longitudinal parallel rows 22, 23 of perforations or holes which effectively define a coded series of optical windows 24. The coded positional arrangement of the various holes in rows 22, 23 will vary from key to key in accordance with a predetermined code series. The security and clocking code means are laterally aligned with each other as is illustrated in FIG. 4. Here the center line, such as 25a or 2512, of each security code optical window, such as 24a or 2417, is coincident with the trailing edge of an associated clocking code optical window, such as 2111 or 2112 respectively; the direction of insertion of the key into a lock being indicated by arrow 26 of FIG. 4.
In use the key 10 is inserted into a lock or the like, the latter being provided with a plurality of appropriate optical sensing means for sensing the above described clocking and security code windows. The longitudinal movement of the clocking windows 21 past one of said sensing means will by reason of the lock control system cause an initiation of a sequence of clocking pulses. At the same time the simultaneous movement of the security code windows 24 past other ones of said sensing means will correspondingly cause an initiation of a coded series of pulses; said clocking and coded pulses then being electrically processed by the electrical components of the lock in order to permit the lock or other security device to be unlocked by a turning of the instant key. Once being fully inserted and the codes being read and accepted by the security control system the key torque section 12 will be mechanically engaged with the operating elements of the lock and the mechanical turning forces required to operate and unlock the lock mechanisms may then be transmitted directly from the key handle '13 through the heavier sectioned key torque section I2 to said lock operating elementsv As will be apparent the key 10, with windows 21 but with no windows 24, may be produced in large quanti ties at a central manufacturing facility. and these key blanks may later be perforated with code windows 24 at a site near where the ass-oicated lock or other security device is operatively installed. The instant key having a relatively thin and readily perforatable plastic shank blade I5, has great utility in those security systems where the unlocking code combinations for a given lock or the like should be frequently changed, for
example in a hotel room door lock system whercineach new guest for a given hotel room is issued anew key having a security code means 24 perforated therein that is different from that of the previous guest-s key. said new code matching the new unlocking code combination that is electrically programmed into the assoicated lock controls. r
The optical code means such as windows 2], 24 may control the interruption or passage of infra-red, ultraviolet, visible light or other types of sensing radiation.
l. A plastic key which is designed to be partially coded at a central manufacturing facility and finally coded at a locking system location, said key comprising a key shank, and a key handle carried by one end of said key shank, said key shank having a dichotomous offset step-like cross-section, and comprising an upper blake portion and a lower blade portion, said upper than the lower blade portion in substantially the ratio of 2.5 to l, a key torque portion disposed intermediate of said key handle and said key shank and having a rectangular cross-section, said key torque portion having a cross-sectional area that is greater than that ofthje key shank.