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Publication numberUS3922847 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 2, 1975
Filing dateMay 6, 1974
Priority dateMay 6, 1974
Publication numberUS 3922847 A, US 3922847A, US-A-3922847, US3922847 A, US3922847A
InventorsCulley Bobby Gene, Kehren Engelbert Wolfgang
Original AssigneeTexas Instruments Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
VLED solid state watch
US 3922847 A
Abstract
An electronic watch with minimal power requirements having two concentric rings of visible light-emitting diodes (VLEDs) to display hours in a color different from that of minutes and seconds, wherein time-share circuits related to the geometry of the display elements obviate the need for multiplexers and line decoders.
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United States Patent 1191 Culley et al.

[ 1 Dec. 2, 1975 [5 1 VLED SOLID STATE WATCH 3754.392 8/1973 Daniels 58/127 R 5 3,757,511 9/1973 Burgess ct 211.... 58/127 R [75] Inventors Bobby Culley Plano 3,765,163 10/1973 Levine ct al. 58/50 R Engelbert WOlfgang Kehre", 3,805,347 4/1974 Collins et al 357/17 x University Park, both of Tex.

[731 Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated, Primary Miller Dallu T Assistant ExaminerU. Weldon Attorney, Agent. or Firm-Haroid Levine; Edward J. [22] May 1974 Connors, .lr.; Stephen S. Sadacca [21] Appl. No.: 467,350

a [57] ABSTRACT [52] U.S. C1. 58/50 R; 58/23 R An electronic watch i h mi imal po r r q irem n [51] Int. Cl. G04B 19/34 having two n ri ing of isi le ligh -emi ting [58] Field of Search 58/23 R, 50 R, 127 R; diodes (VLED t isplay ho rs in a olor different 313/498, 512; 357/17 from that of minutes and seconds, wherein time-share circuits related to the geometry of the display cle- [56] References Cit d ments obviate the need for multiplexers and line de- UNITED STATES PATENTS Coders- 3,544,827 12/1970 Witterick et a1 357/17 X 14 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures SECONDS INH/B/ 7' COUNT SE T 5 CIRCU/ 7'5 80 ESQQB m m .Gm

Swi m.

mQZOumm U.S. Pat ent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 2 of3 3,922,847

- SIGNAL OUTPUT OM INVERTER l2 -F3 SIGNAL OUTPUT FROM INVERTER II I I +F2 SIGNAL OUTPUT ON LINE I0 +F3 SIGNAL OUTPUT I ON LINE 9 I ENABLE sIGNAL 17 WSBSms ON LINE II.95ms |e 95ms ENABLE SIGNAL 18 5.85ms- L ON LINE l #L95ms l ll 95ms ENABLE SIGNAL 19 '1 5.85msaf"fi ON LINE I II.95ms I II.95ms

FIG 3 U.S. Patent Dec.2, 1975 Sheet 3 of3 3,922,847

VLED SOLID STATE WATCH FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to a timepiece combining the accuracy of an electronic watch with a display analogous to that of conventional mechanical watches, and more particularly to an electronic watch utilizing time-share circuits to drive two rings of VLED display units of visual contrasts.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Electronic or digital watches are known in the prior art which comprise a basic clock frequency driving an array of digital counters.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,754,392 and 3,757,511 disclose an electronic watch featuring displays comprising 72 lightemitting diodes (LEDs) arranged in two concentric circles to indicate hours, minutes, and seconds. US. Pat. No. 3,754,392 minimizes power consumption by employing low power CMOS components, and by controlling the duty cycle of a display in which a maximum of only three LEDs may be energized in any given second. Minimal power consumption is sought in U.S. Pat. No. 3,757,511 through the use of structural embodiments and narrow bandpass filters placed over the LEDs to enhance their light output.

No electronic watches are known in the prior art which employ display related time-sharing techniques to selectively actuate light-emitting elements without the use of multiplexers and line decoders, or which employ VLEDs in a multicolor display enhanced by the diffusing structure disclosed in the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprises an electronic watch which selectively actuates two concentric rings of display elements to display time in contrasting color with minimal power consumption. More particularly, an oscillator drives a chain of serially connected shift counters, whose outputs time-share sets of display drivers in a manner which obviates the need for multiplexers and line decoders. A maximum of three display elements may be energized at any given time to display hours, minutes, and seconds.

An inner ring of twelve elements indicates hours in one color while an outer ring of sixty VLEDs indicates minutes and seconds preferably in a color different from that of the hours ring. The hour and minute indicators are continuously energized, while the second indicator is pulsed at a half second rate and stepped at a one second rate.

Reduced power consumption is achieved by minimizing interconnections between the shift counters and the display, controlling both the duty cycle and the scan rate of the display, and relating the display interconnections to the chain of counters.

In accordance with the invention, a chain of counters are pulse enabled sequentially in pairs to selectively energize two concentric rings of VLEDs. An inner ring of 12 VLEDs display hours, while an outer ring of sixty VLEDs display minutes and seconds preferably in a different color. A single array of display drivers are timeshared to reduce the number of interconnections between the shift counters and the display elements.

In another aspect, the VLEDs are covered by diffusing mediums in combination with structural embodiments to enhance visual contrast.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a more complete understanding of the present invention and for further objects and advantages thereof, reference may now be had to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of the electrical circuit of an illustrative embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a functional block diagram of a divider in combination with an enable decoder used in one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a time diagram of output waveforms of the enable decoder of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an exploded sectional side view of the illustrative embodiment of FIG. 1 with components distributed along the longitudinal axis;

FIG. 5 is a pictorial view of a second illustrative embodiment from the top of a watch housing with transparent numbers formed in an other wise opaque crystal;

FIG. 6 is a view from the top of a reflecting cone enclosing a VLED, with the opaque crystal of FIG. 5 truneating one end of the cone;

FIG. 7 is an elevated sectional view of the reflecting cone of FIG. 6.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In FIG. 1, electronic watch generator 1 is connected to a display 2 through an array of drivers 3. Generator 1 comprises a crystal oscillator 4 driving an array of shift counters, preferably CMOS shift counters. A frequency divider 5 receives the base frequency from oscillator 4, and by means of serially connected flip-flops produces the frequencies to be output to the array of shift counters, an enable decoder 6, and set circuit 7.

In FIG. 2, the base frequency F1 is fed into the first of an array of serially connected flip-flops through which the frequency is sequentially divided down. For example, where oscillator 4 is a quartz crystal with a natural frequency of 32.768 Kilohertz, a 512 Hertz waveform is obtained at F2, a 256 Hertz waveform at F3, a 2 Hertz waveform at F4, and a l Hertz waveform at F5.

Enable decoder 6, a one of three decoder, receives three inputs from divider 5. A waveform at F4 is led by way of line 13 to an input of AND gate 14 to produce a flashing seconds indicator. The waveform on line 10 is fed to one input each of AND gates 14 and 15, and to one input of AND gate 16 through inverter 12. The waveform on line 9 is fed to one input each of AND gates 14 and 16, and to one input of AND gate 15 through inverter 11. The waveform on line 10 is utilized to control the duty cycle of the shift counters, while the waveform on line 9 is utilized to control the counter scan rate. Thus, both the duty cycle and the scan rate may be halfed or doubled by moving the tie points to lines 10 and 9 one flip-flop to the left or one flip-flop to the right, respectively.

Decoder 6is connected to the enable input of counters 20 and 21 by way of line 19, to the enable input of counters 22 and 23 by way ofline l8, and to the enable input of counter 24 and flip-flop 25 by way of line 17. By controlling the enabling cycles of the counters, decoder 6 time-shares the common counter. output lines 31 and 32, and consequently controls the duty cycle of the display.

Completing the electronic watch generator 1, divider 5 of FIG. 1 is connected to the 1 input ofa shift counter 20 by way ofline 8 and to set circuit 7 by way ofline 8a. Counter 20 outputs A-F are connected by way of lines 31 to an array of cathode drivers 3c. The 0 output of counter 20 is connected to the I input of a shift counter Counter 20 is a base 6 counter having six discrete states. As the counter is driven by a l Hertz signal, the counter will change states once each second to complete a cycle in 6 seconds. Thus the waveform on line 26 will have a frequency one-sixth that of the l Hertz input frequency, and a digital pulse will cycle through outputs A-F in 6 seconds.

The A-J outputs of counter 21 are connected by way of lines'32 to an array of anode drivers 3b. The 0 output of counter 21 is connected to the I input of a shift counter 22.

Counter 21 is a base 10 counter having 10 discrete states. The counter is driven by a one-sixth Hertz signal and will change states once each 6 seconds to complete a cycle in 60 seconds. Thus the waveform on line 27 has a one cycle per minute frequency, and a digital pulse cycles through outputs A-.] in 60 seconds.

It is seen that counter in combination with counter 21 has 60 discrete states, changes state each second, and performs a divide-by-60 function. Thus this combination may be used as a seconds counteri The A-F outputs of counter 22 are connected by way of lines 40 and 31 to cathode drivers 3c. The 0 output of counter 22 is connected to the l input of a shift counter 23, whose A-J outputs are connected by way of lines 41 and 32 to anode drivers 3b. The 0 output of counter 23 is connected to the 1 input of a shift counter Counter 22 is a base 6 counter while counter 23 is a base 10 counter. Further, a digital pulse-cycles through the AF outputs of counter 22 in 6- minutes, and through the A-J outputs of counter 23 in 60 minutes. In a manner similar to that described for counters 20 and 21, the combination of counter 22 and 23 has 60 discrete states, changes state once each minute, and performs a divide-by-60 function resulting in a one cycle per hour signal on line 29. The combination, therefore, may be used as a minutes counter.

Counter 24 is a base 6 register having six discrete states. The counter changes state once each hour and performs a divide-by-6 operation resulting in a one cycle per 6 hour waveform on line 30. Once each 6 hours, a digital pulse cycles through the A-F outputs of the counter, which are connected by way of lines 42, 40, and 31 to the cathode drivers 3c. The 0 output of the counter is connected to the I input of a flip-flop 25.

Counter 24 in combination with flip-flop has 12 distinct states, changes state once each hour, and performs a divide-by-l2 operation on the driving signal on line 29. Thus the combination may be used as an hours counter.

The A and B outputs of flip-flop 25 are connected by way of lines 33 to anode drivers 3a. As the flip-flop is driven by a one cycle per 6 hour signal, a digital pulse shifts from one output to the other every 6 hours.

Display 2 comprises 72 VLEDs arranged in two concentric circles. An outer ring of sixty VLEDs are circumferentially spaced 6 apart to represent .minutes and seconds. An inner ring of 12 VLEDs are circumferentially spaced apart to represent hours.

The VLEDs in the minute-second ring are arranged in 10 sectors, 6 VLEDs per sector. In each sector, the anodes of the VLEDs are joined in common to a single anode driver of the array 3b. The cathodes of like VLEDs in each sector are joined to a common conductor. For example, the cathode of the first clockwise VLED in sector 36, VLED 36a, is connected with the cathode of VLED 37a of sector 37 to a common conductor 35a. Similarly, the cathode of VLED 36b is connected in common with the cathode of VLED 37b to conductor 35b.

The VLEDs in the inner hours ring are arranged in two sectors, six diodes per sector. The anodes of the VLEDs in each sector areconnected in common to an anode driver of the array 3a. The cathode ofaVLED in one sector is joined by means of common conductor 34 to the cathode of a VLED similarly located in the second sector. For example, the cathode of VLED 38a in sector 38 is joined with the cathode of VLED 39a in sector 39 to common conductor 34a.

Thus the concentric conductors 35 join the cathodes of minutes-seconds VLEDs, while concentric conductors 34 join the cathodes of hours VLEDs. The outer rings 34a and 35a of conductors 34 and 35 are connected'to the output of a common cathode driver of array 3c, whose input is connected to the A output of counters 20, 22, and 24. Rings 34b and 35b are connected'in a similar manner to the B output of counters 20, 22, and 24. The remaining ring pairs of c-fare connected to outputs C-F of counters 20, 22, and 24.

In operation, the watch is first synchronized by means of set circuit 7, which in the present embodiment comprises three push buttons 7A-C external to the watch housing. By depressing the set-hours button 7A or set-minutes button 7B, a l Hertz signal provided by decoder 5 on 8A 82 is coupled to either counter 24 or counter 22, respectively. Thus the hours or minutes indicator will be advanced at a one second rate to a proper setting. By depressing the set-seconds button 7C, the l Hertz signal on line 8, FIG. 1, is removed from the seconds counter to hold the seconds indicator stationary for proper synchronization.

,After synchronization, the operation is free-running. Divider 5 derives the l Hertz clocking signal and decoder input signals from the waveform supplied by oscillator .4. The l Hertz signal drives the array of serially connected shift counters 20-24 and flip-flop 25 to count seconds, minutes, and hours. Decoder 6 controls the duty cycle of the counters so that the seconds counters, the minutes counters, and the hours counters are enabled sequentially. Thus driver array 3, and conductors 31 and 32 are time-shared, reducing the number of circuit interconnects.

The interconnection between generator 1 and display 2 allows the sequential selection of VLEDs without the use of line decoders or multiplexers. For example, in displaying 12 hours 5 minutes 12 seconds, decoder 6 first enables the seconds counters, counters 20 and 21. Output A of counter 20 is energized to drive the cathodes of VLEDs connected to conducting rings 34a and 35a. Output C of counter 21 is energized to drive the anodes of those VLEDs in the sector next following sector 37. Thus the first clockwise VLED of the sector whose anodes are energized will be illuminated. To display 5 minutes, the minutes counters, counters 22 and 23, are enabled, and output F of counter 22 is energized to drive the cathodes of those VLEDs connected to conducting rings 34f and 35f. Also output A of counter 23 is energized to drive the anodes of sector 36. Thus, VLED 36fis illuminated. Decoder 6 next enables the hours counters, counter 24 and flip-flop 25, to display twelve hours. Output A of counter 24 is energized to drive the cathodes of VLEDs connected to conducting rings-34a and 35a. In addition, output A of flip-flop 25 is energized to drive the VLEDs of hour sector 38. Thus, VLED 38a is illuminated.

In a continuing operation, decoder 6 sequentially enables the seconds, minutes, and hours counters to selectively actuate the VLED display 2. To minimize power consumption, the shift counters of generator 1 are enabled in a pulsed manner as shown in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, where the counters are enabled for 1.95 milliseconds out of each 7.8 milliseconds. The frequency of the enable signal is such that the minutes and hour displays do not flicker, but appear continuous. However, the two Hertz signal superimposed upon the seconds enable line 19 produces a flashing second indicator which is energized a half second each second. During the time that the seconds indicator is off, the minute and hour displays are continuous as before, and the entire display is strobed at a 500 to 1000 Hertz rate. When the minute and second displays coincide, a VLED is energized by both a minutes and a seconds driver and appears brighter than ordinary for a half second. Thus, there is no ensuing confusion.

An embodiment of the invention is further illustrated in FIG. 4 where the outer casing has been broken into two parts 43 and 44 to better view the internal construction. The upper casing 44 encases a clear crystal 45. The batteries and crystal oscillator are housed within a container 46 which is seated in lower casing 43. Superimposed upon container 46 is a logic substrate 47 on which the minutes VLEDs 48 and hours VLEDs 49 are arranged in concentric circles.

It is to be understood that the divider, enable decoder, counters, and drivers could comprise a single integrated circuit. v

Placed upon substrate 48 is a plate 50 comprising a red filter ring 51 with filter guides 52 which are aligned with VLEDs 48. Plate 53 comprises a green filter ring 54 with filter guides 55 which are aligned with VLEDs 49. To be superimposed upon plate 53 is the face plate 56 with apertures 57 and 58 through which the VLEDs will glow. Interlocking screw 59 secures plates 47, 50, 53, and 56 to lower casing 43.

The VLEDs, when energized, emit colors corresponding to their dye mixture as shown in Table 1. In the present embodiment, the hours VLEDs preferably are composed of the more expensive galium phosphide to emit a green color when energized, while the more numerous minutes-seconds VLEDs preferably are composed of less expensive galium arsenide phosphide for a red display. The contrast of the energized VLEDs is enhanced by the use of narrow bandpass filters 51 and 54, which allow only an energized VLED to be seen.

An alternative to the filtered VLED display of FIG. 4 is the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 5, 6, and 7, where VLEDs illuminate the set of twelve transparent numbers 59 on an otherwise opaque crystal 60. A truncated reflecting cone 67, FIG. 7, having an inner reflector surface 61 provides an optical interface between VLED 62 and a transparent number 59 indicating hours. For an optimum visual effect at minimal power consumption, the enclosed volume 66 of the cone preferably is filled with a mixture of a diffusing epoxy base material with index 1.52, and concordial shaped pyrex particles of index 1.47. More particularly, the selection of materials will depend upon their optical properties. It is known that the ratio between the intensity I ofa reflected beam and the intensity 1 of an incident beam for natural, unpolarized light perpendicularly incident within a medium of refractive index r,, upon a transparent substance of refractive index r is Apertures capped by a diffusing lens heretofore have been used in electronic displays. If the diffusing lens is a typical thermoplastic of refractive index 1.5, and the index of air is 1.0:

Thus, when an intermediate air chamber exists between the light source and the lens, 4 percent of light perpendicularly incident upon the diffusing lens is reflected. Greater losses occur to that portion of the light which is reflected from the sides of the optical interface to strike the lens surface at an angle.

If a transparent base material is used in combination with a filler to completely fill the aperture between the VLED and the watch face, transmission losses are reduced. Although perfect transmission of perpendicularly incident light occurs when the base material and filler have identical indices, a. difference of indices is desired to obtain a less brilliant diffusion which is more pleasing to the eye. Preferably, the filler has a lower index than the base material.

The most readily available transparent substances which may be used as base materials are the thermoplastics and thermo-setting epoxy materials having an index of approximately 1.50. It can be shown that optimum diffusion is obtaine d wh en a filler with index of approximately 1.47 is used in combination with these base materials. Thus, pyrex particles with an index of 1.47 may be used as may materials such as alpha quartz with indices 1.44 and 1.48.

Using an epoxy base with an index 1.52 in combination with a filler with an index 1.47, a direct interface between a VLED and the diffusing medium is obtained in the system of FIG. 7 without an intermediate air column. Thus,

and only a negligible loss of perpendicularly incident light occurs.

When Vl.l".l) 62 as shown in FIG. 7 is energized, reflector 6| gathers the emitted light and directs it through the diffusing medium toward the transparent number. Reflecting cones similarly constructed enclose Vl. l l)s in ring 48 indicating minutes and seconds. 'lhus, visual contrast is enhanced with an increase in light-cmitting efficiency, and the brilliant emission is replaced by a soft glow more pleasing to the eye.

A further modification may be understood by again referring to NUS. -7. The numbers 59 may be stamped on the crystal 60, while rellector 67 may be configured to any shape to interface with watch face 56. As shown in FIG. 5, the top surface of a reflecting cone may be seated in face plate 56 and shaped as a pointer 65 to more nearly approximate the conventional clock face display.

It is to be understood that the electronic and optical techniques disclosed are equally applicable to other displays including planar gas discharge panels, direct view filaments, vacuum fluorescent tubes, Llil), LCD, and electroehromic displays.

In accordance with the invention, there is provided an electronic watch in which time-sharing is employed to obviate the need for multiplexers and decoders, to decrease the number of interconnects between the electronic watch and the VLED display, and thereby to decrease power consumption.

Minimal power consumption is also sought through control of both the duty cycle and scan rate of the display, and through optical interfaces which increase the light-gathering efficiency of the display.

A maximum of three VLEDs may be actuated at any i given time to display hours, minutes, and seconds with color contrast. Preferably twelve VLEDs are equally spaced eircumferentially along an inner ring to display hours in one color. Sixty VlJEDs are equally spaced circumferentially along an outer ring to display minutes and seconds in a color different from that used to display hours. Hours and minutes appear as continuously energized VLEDs, while seconds appear as a pulsed VLlil) advancing at a one second rate.

Having described the invention in connection with certain specific embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that further modifications may now suggest themselves to those skilled in the art and it is intended to cover such modifications as fall within the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

I. An electronic timepiece in which display elements are energized to display time which is comprised of:

a. oscillator means for generating electrical time base pulses of a predetermined frequency;

b. means coupled to said oscillator means including a plurality of counter means driven by said time base pulses for counting said time base pulses and for producing counter outputs indicative of the second, minute and hour, each of said counter means including a pair of counters with one counter in each pair being a basesix counter serially.connected to a second counter with the second counters for seconds and minutes being base-ten counters and with the second counter for hours being a base-two counter;

c. means including sequential enabling means coupled to said counter means for multiplexing said counter outputs;

a plurality of display elements each having first and second terminals arranged in predetermined patterns with twelve display elements in a first of said patterns for individually indicating one of l2 hours and ()0 display elements in a second ol'said patterns for individually indicating .one of ()0 minutes and alternately one of ()0 seconds, groups of said display elements of said second pattern being interconnected at one terminal thereof by common interconnects to form ten groups of six elements and the other terminal of each of said display elements of said second pattern being connected to one of six conductors in the order of each Nth element of each group connected to the Nth conductor; and

e. a plurality of sets of drivers with a first of said sets selectively coupling said counter outputs to said common interconnects and a second set selectively coupling said counter outputs to said six conductors to selectively display hours, minutes and seeonds in accordance with the multiplexing of said counter outputs.

2. The electronic timepiece according to claim I wherein said six conductors are coupled to the counter outputs of both the second and minute base-six counters by means of said second set of drivers and wherein the common interconnects of each of said groups are coupled to the second and minute base-ten counters by means of said first set of drivers.

3. The electronic timepiece according to claim I wherein the first terminal of each of said display elements of said first pattern are interconnected to form two groups of six elements and the other terminal of each of said display elements of said first pattern are connected to one of a second set of six conductors in the order of each Nth element of each of said two groups connected to the Nth conductor of said second set.

4. The electronic timppiece according to claim 3 wherein said six conductors of said second set are coupled to the output of said base-six hour counter by means of said second set ofdrivers and said two groups are individually connected to the output of said basetwo hour counter by means of another set of drivers.

5. The electronic timepiece according to claim I wherein said first and second patterns of display elements are generally in the shape of concentric rings.

6. The electronic timepiece according to claim I wherein said display elements are comprised of visual light-emitting diodes.

7. The electronic timepiece according to claim 6 wherein said display elements further include coneshaped optical reflectors filled with a diffusion medium with a small diameter end of each reflector adjacent to one of said light-emitting diodes and a large diameter end interfacing with a timepiece face.

8. The electronic timepiece according to claim 7 wherein said diffusion medium includes a mixture of an epoxy base material with an index of about 1.52 and a plurality of concordial-shaped pyrex particles with an index of about l.47.

9. The electronic timepiece according to claim I wherein said counter means, sequential enabling means and drivers comprise an integrated circuit.

10. The electronic timepiece according to claim 1 wherein said means including sequential enabling means multiplexes said counter outputs at a sufficiently high rate to energize said display elements so that said display elements visually appear to indicate the hour, mimite and second simultaneously.

11. The electronic timepiece according to claim 10 wherein said sequential enabling means is coupled to and driven by said oscillator means.

12. An electronic timepiece in which display elements are energized to display time which is comprised of:

a. oscillator means for generating electrical time base pulses of a predetermined frequency; means coupled to said oscillator means including a plurality of cascaded counter means driven by said time base pulses for counting said time base pulses and for producing counter outputs indicative of the second, minute and hour, each .of said counter means including a pair of counters with one counter in each pair being a base-six counter serially connected to a second counter with the second counters for seconds and minutes being base-ten counters and the second counter for hours being a base-two counter;

. a plurality of display elements each having first and second terminals arranged in predetermined patterns with twelve display elements in a first of said patterns for individually indicating oneof twelve hours and sixty display elements in a second of said patterns for individually indicating one of sixty minutes and alternately one of sixty seconds, groups of said display elements of said second pattern being interconnected at one terminal thereof by common interconnects to form ten groups of six elements, groups of said display elements of said first pattern being interconnected at one terminal thereof by common interconnects to form two groups of six elements and the other termianl of each of said display elements of said first and second patterns being connected to one of six conductors in the order of each Nth element of each group connected to the Nth conductor; and

d. a plurality of sets of drivers with a first set of drivers coupling the respective outputs of each of said base-ten counters to a respective one of the common interconnects to said first pattern of elements,

a second set of drivers coupling the outputs of said base-two counter to a respective one of the com- 10 mon interconnects to said first pattern of elements and a third set of drivers coupling the respective outputs of each of said base-six counters to respective ones of said six conductors to selectively display hours, minutes and seconds.

13. The electronic timepiece according to claim 12 including means including selective enabling means for multiplexing the outputs of said counter means to said drivers.

14. A method of controlling from a chain of counters the duty cycle and scan rate of light displays in an electronic watch to decrease the number of interconnections and devices required in energizing light displays arranged in two concentric circles for hours, minutes, and seconds, which comprises:

a. repeatedly dividing a base frequency waveform by half steps'to produce waveforms of a plurality of different frequencies;

b. applying one of said plurality of waveforms to control the duty cycle of said counters;

c. applying a second of said plurality of waveforms of lower frequency than said one of said plurality to control the scan rate of said counters;

d. applying 'athird of said plurality of waveforms of lower frequency than said second to produce a flashing seconds indicator;

. controlling the operation of said counters counting seconds with the logical sum of all three of said applied waveforms;

. controlling the operation of said counters counting minutes with the logical sum of said one and the inverse of said second of said plurality of waveforms;

. controlling the operation of said counters counting hours with the logical sum of said second and the inverse of said one of said plurality of waveforms; and

h. applying the outputs of said counters through three sets of said drivers to ten sectors of six of said elements per sector in the outer of said circles to display minutes and seconds, and to two sectors with six of said elements per sector in the inner of said circles to display hours.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3987617 *Apr 10, 1975Oct 26, 1976U.S. Philips CorporationDisplay device for a counting mechanism, such as a clock or watch
US4044546 *Aug 10, 1976Aug 30, 1977Kabushiki Kaisha Daini SeikoshaDigital liquid crystal electronic timepiece with color coded display
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US6683822 *Dec 4, 2001Jan 27, 2004Chin-Shuei ChengTime display device
US7307920 *Sep 28, 2005Dec 11, 2007Intematix Technology Center Corp.Timer display device having light generating module with circular arrangement
US8164985 *Apr 24, 2012Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.Time display device and time display method thereof
US8588032 *May 25, 2008Nov 19, 2013Michael GeyerElectronically controlled watch
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US20060262654 *Sep 28, 2005Nov 23, 2006Hwa SuTimer display device having light generating module with circular arrangement
US20110075524 *Mar 31, 2011Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.Time display device and time display method thereof
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US20130052039 *Feb 28, 2013Grundfos Holding A/SPump assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification368/240, 968/947, 368/241
International ClassificationG04G9/00, G04G9/04
Cooperative ClassificationG04G9/042
European ClassificationG04G9/04B