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Publication numberUS3925629 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 9, 1975
Filing dateOct 16, 1974
Priority dateOct 16, 1974
Also published asDE2504779A1
Publication numberUS 3925629 A, US 3925629A, US-A-3925629, US3925629 A, US3925629A
InventorsAlbinger Jr Harry
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Variable time switch with variable control cam structure for different time periods and modes of operation
US 3925629 A
Abstract
A time switch for automatically opening and closing switch contacts at pre-set times on consecutive days wherein an automatic cam is provided for automatically turning the switch ON and OFF at the same times on a number of consecutive days and a variable cam is provided for actuating the switch at pre-programmed different times on consecutive days. The AUTOMATIC cam is arranged for operating one pair of switch contacts while the VARIABLE cam is arranged for operating a second pair of switch contacts. A rotatable selector knob is provided with lugs for holding one or the other or both of said pairs of switch contacts in an open position to provide AUTOMATIC, VARIABLE, manual ON and manual OFF operation of the switch.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Albinger, Jr.

[ Dec.9,1975

[ VARIABLE TIME SWITCH WITH VARIABLE CONTROL CAM STRUCTURE FOR DIFFERENT TIIVIE PERIODS AND MODES OF OPERATION [75] Inventor: Harry Albinger, Jr., Ashland, Mass.

[73] Assignee: General Electric Company,

Bridgeport, Conn.

22 Filed: 0a. 16, 1974 211 Appl. No.: 515,143

[52] US. Cl. 200/38 R; 200/38 FB; 200/38 DA; 200/35 R [51] Int. Cl. H0111 43/10 [58] Field of Search.... 200/35 R, 37 A, 38 R, 38 A, 200/38 F, 38 FA, 38 PB, 38 C, 38 D, 38 DA,

38 DC, 39 R; 58/33, 39.5, 21.13, 21.14,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,824,181 2/1958 Gallagher et a1 .1 200/35 R 2,898,992 8/1959 Montgomery 200/38 FB 2,900,463 8/1959 Schultz et a1. 200/37 A 3,033,950 5/1962 Flegel 200/38 FB X 3,109,280 1l/1963 Ring et a 2.00/38 FB X 3,260,807 7/1966 Rulesh et a1. 200/38 FB 3,373,253 3/1968 Davin 200/38 R 3,475,899 11/1969 Boyles ..200/38 FB 3,478,181 11/1969 Buckerridge et a1 ZOO/38 B 3,522,393 7/1970 Banathy et a1. ZOO/38 EB 3,588,391 6/1971 Banathy et a1 200/38 A X 3,591,737 7/1961 Marble et a1 i ZOO/35 R 3,754,107 8/1973 Balchunas 1 ZOO/38 A 3,824,418 7/1974 Balchunas 200/38 A X Primary Examiner-James R. Scott Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Leonard J. Platt; George R. Powers; John F. Cullen ABSTRACT A time switch for automatically opening and closing switch contacts at pre-set times on consecutive days wherein an automatic cam is provided for automatically turning the switch ON and OFF at the same times on a number of consecutive days and a variable 'cam is provided for actuating the switch at preprogrammed different times on consecutive days. The AUTOMATIC cam is arranged for operating one pair of switch contacts while the VARIABLE cam is arranged for operating a second pair of switch contacts. A rotatable selector knob is provided with lugs for holding one or the other or both of said pairs of switch contacts in an open position to provide AUTO- MATIC, VARIABLE, manual ON and manual OFF operation of the switch.

18 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Dec. 9, 1975 Sheet 1 of 4 3,925,629

2 Q 5 0 w 2 H w M O 4 2 4 w m 7 I 8 .M Q Q U.S. Patent Dec. 9, 1975 Sheet 2 of4 3,925,629

US. Patent Dec.9, 1975 Sheet3of 4 3,925,629

US. Patent Dec. 9, 1975 Sheet 4 of4 3,925,629

POS\T\0N 525 52 Lue g 0 0 64 we QUTOMAT \C O C O G G MANUAL. ON c 0 $2 vAmABLE o o c (04 VARIABLE TIME SWITCH WITH VARIABLE CONTROL CAM STRUCTURE FOR DIFFERENT TIME PERIODS AND MODES OF OPERATION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a time switch and, more particularly, to a household time switch which may be used for automatically turning lights on or off at desired times during consecutive days of the week and which may also be used for controlling devices such as coffeemakers, radios, and similar electrical appliances.

In time switches of this type, it has been common practice to provide a time of day dial at the front of the timer having ON and OFF tabs which are selectively positionable around the dial for setting the desired times of day for turning the lights or appliances on and off. In order to change or vary the ON or OFF times, it is usually necessary to manually adjust the position of the ON or OFF tab on the day preceding the day during which it is desired to have the timer automatically operate the lights or the appliances.

Many people have used such timers to turn their house lights on and off during consecutive days while they are on vacation in order to give their home the appearance that it is occupied. With a conventional timer of this type the lights would be turned ON and OFF at precisely the same time each day of the week, and a burglar might not be fooled into believing that the house is occupied. Thus, it is desirable to provide a timer which may be pre-set to automatically turn the house lights ON and OFF at different times on a number of consecutive days of the week. For example, my unique timer may be pre-set to turn the lights on at 7:00 P.M. one day, 6:30 P.M. the next day, and 7:30 P.M. the following day and, during the 3 days mentioned, the lights would be turned off at 11:00 P.M. on the first day, 11:30 P.M. on the second day, and :30 FM. on the third day. With such operation of the lights, the home would have a more lived-in appearance to a casual observer than if the lights were turned on and off at precisely the same times each day.

2. Description of the Prior Art In a prior US. Pat. No. 3,754,107 to Balchunas dated Aug. 21, 1973, and assigned to the same assignee as the present invention, there is shown a time switch which may be used for turning lights on and off automatically at the same times on consecutive days of the week. As shown in the patent, an electric motor 14 drives reduction gearing 16 which in turn rotates a shaft 18. With particular reference to FIGS. 1 and 3, the shaft 18 carries a 24-hour dial 20 which carries ON and OFF trip levers 22 and 24, respectively. The positions of the ON and OFF trip levers on the 24-hour dial 20 may be manually set by a user of the time switch to turn the lights on and off at desired times. The overall construction of a preferred embodiment of my timer is generally similar to the construction shown in the patent and many of the parts shown in the patent may also be utilized in the construction of my improved variable timer.

In another prior art construction as shown in a patent to Rulesh et al., US. Pat. No. 3,497,645 dated Feb. 24, 1970, there is shown a time switch including a 24-hour dial 17 which is provided with ON and OFF trip levers for automatically turning a switch on and off, and at the time switch includes a mechanism which may be set to turn the switch on and off at different times on consecutive days of the week. Thus, as shown more particularly in FIG. 8 of the patent, a programmed variable switch ON time is achieved by a cam 50-83 and ON 5 trip lever 85, while a programmed variable switch OFF time is achieved by a cam 50-43 and OFF trip lever 45. With this construction, two separate cams 50 are required for providing variable operation of the ON and OFF trip levers and 45. As shown in FIG. 3 of the patent, in order to set the Rulesh time switch for programmed variable operation, a plunger or push button 61 at the rear of the time switch is pushed inwardly and offset axially until an annular groove or indent 63 engages the back plate 13 adjacent the opening 14 and retains the assembly until released. The forward movement of push button 61 urges the plunger 64 to move forwardly sufficiently to engage each of the arms 55 to 58 of the cam means 50 in order to change the position of the cam 50 and its associated trip lever 45 or 85 for different operation on consecutive days of the week.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention is concerned with such time switch mechanisms and, more particularly, with a unique reliable low-cost construction for achieving automatic or variable programmed switch ON and OFF times on consecutive days of the week.

It is an object of the invention to achieve such a construction with the use of relatively few parts which may be conveniently manufactured and readily assembled to each other.

It is also an object of my invention to provide an AU- TOMATIC, VARIABLE, manual ON and manual OFF time switch which may be conveniently set and reliably operated to turn a switch mechanism on and off at desired times.

In accordance with one of the aspects of this invention, a time switch includes a switch mechanism having closed ON positions and open OFF positions, and a switch actuator is positioned adjacent to the switch mechanism for actuating the switch to one of its ON or OFF positions. A time of day member is continuously rotated as a function of time by the time switch and is positioned adjacent to the switch actuator. The time of day member has an OFF member which is selectively positionable to set the time that it is desired to have the switch turned off, and the time of day member also has an ON member which is selectively positionable for setting the time that it is desired to have the switch actuator move the switch mechanism to a closed ON position. The switch actuator includes a first AUTOMATIC cam which is arranged for engagement with the switch mechanism for opening and closing the switch at the same time during a number of consecutive complete rotations of the time of day member at the times set by the selectively positionable ON and OFF members. The switch actuator also includes a second VARIABLE cam which is positioned adjacent to the switch for opening and closing the switch at different times than the times set by the selectively positionable ON and OFF members in order to open and close the switch at different times during consecutive complete rotations of the time of day member. A selector means is provided for manually selecting the operation of the switch by the AUTOMATIC cam or the VARIABLE cam.

With this unique construction, relatively few additional parts are required for manufacturing a household time switch for not only providing manual OFF, manual ON, and AUTOMATIC operation of the switch, but for also turning the switch ON and OFF at different times on consecutive days of the week. The only significant switch contacts. One of the cams operates one of the f pair of contacts to turn the switch ON and OFF at the same times on consecutive days of the week while the other .cam operates the other pair of contacts to turn the switch ON and OFF at different times on consecutive days of the week. I Moreover, with this unique construction, a single rotatable selector knob may be provided in order to set the desiredoperation of the switch. The selector knob may be rotated to one position to turn the switch to its manual ON position, to an AUTOMATIC position to permit the automatic cam to operate one pair of contacts, to a manual OFF position to hold both pairs of contacts in their open position, or to a VARIABLE position to permit the variable cam to open and close one of the pairs of contacts while the other pair of contactsis held in its open position. Thus, a time switch which may be readily and conveniently set and operated by a user has been achieved.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS 1 lustrated in' FIG. '1 taken along the line'3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a cross-s'ectionalview of the time switch illustrated in FIG. 2 taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of the time switch illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the automatic and variable cams of the time switch illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is acrosssectional view of the ON cam por- 'tion of the automatic cam taken along the line 7-7 of FIG 1 'FIG. 8 is across-sectional view of the OFF portion of the automatic cam taken along the line 8-8 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is across-sectional view of the ON portion of the variable cam taken along the line 9--9 of FIG. 6; .FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the OFF cam per tion of the variablecam taken along the line 1010 of FIG. 6; .FIG. 11 is a fragmentary top plan view of the selector knob time switch illustrated in FIG..2;

' FIG. 12 is a fragmentary exploded perspective view of the automatic and variable cams, the automatic pair of contacts and the variable pair of contacts, and the selector knob and'lug construction along with a detent means for holding the selector knob in any one of its fouridifferent positions of the time switch illustrated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 13 is a chart showing the relative positions of the switch blades and the selector knob lugs of the time 4 switch in its manual OFF, AUTOMATIC, manual ON, and VARIABLE positions;

FIG. 14 is a fragmentary top plan view of the switch actuator partially cut away to show its detent construction for holding the actuator in any one of its positions; and 1 FIG. 15 is a circuit diagram of the time switch shown in FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawing and first particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a time switch constructed in accordance with my invention. The time switch includes switch contacts generally indicated by reference numeral 2 for controlling operation of the lights in a home, an electrical Coffeemaker, a radio or similar appliance. A synchronous electric motor4 is provided for operating the switch contacts of pre-set desired times, and as shown, the motor 4 drives a reduction gearing unit 6 which in turn rotates a shaft'8. I

With particular reference to FIGS. 1, 3 and 4, the shaft 8 carries a 24-hour dial 10 which carries ON and OFF members 12 and 14, respectively. The positions of the ON and OFF members on the 24-hour dial 10 may be manually set by the user of the timeswitch to turn the lights ON and OFF at the desired times. The dial l0 drives the members 12 and 14 and at the appropriate times the members 12 and 14 operate a switch actuator which is generally designated by reference numeral 20 to open and close the switch contacts 2 at the desired times.

The general arrangement of the parts thus far 'described are also described and illustrated in the aforementioned prior U.S. Pat. No. 3,754,107 to Balchunas, assigned to the same assignee as the present invention. In fact, the motor and reduction gearing utilized in my. unique timer may be identical to the motor. and reduction gearing shown and described in the prior patent to Balchunas. In addition, the timer may utilize identical inlet prongs 22 and 24 and an identical outlet receptacle construction 26 and 28. r V

In accordance with my invention, the switch- 2 includes two pairs of switch contacts which are connected in parallel with each other'and in series with inlet prong 24 and outlet receptacle 28 to control the lights or other appliance. With particular reference to FIGS. 12 and 15, and upper pair of contacts 30 and 32 are arranged to be operated by an upper AUTOMATIC cam .34 for opening and closing the upper switch contacts at the times which have been pre-set by the ON and OFF members 12 and 14, while a lowerpair of contacts 40 and 42 are arranged to be operated by a VARIABLE cam 44 at times which may vary approximately one-half hour depending on the shape of cam 44 from the times which have been set by the ON and OFF members 12 and 14. As shownmore particularly in FIGS. 5 and 12, the switch contacts 30, 32, 40 and 42 are connected to switch blades 46, 48, 50 and 52, respectively, and the switch blades 48'and 5 2 may be integrally formed with a terminal plate 54 while the blades 46 and 50 may be integrally formed with a plate 56.

ON, OFF, AUTOMATIC AND VARIABLE SELECTOR A manually operable selector member is uniquely located with respect to the switch blades 46, 48, 50 and 52 and the AUTOMATIC and VARIABLE cams 34 and 44, respectively, so that the time switch may be conveniently set for automatic or variable operation or the switch may be turned manually ON or manually OFF by simply rotating a selector knob 58 to one of its four positions, as shown in FIGS. 1, 11, 12 and 13. With particular reference to FIGS. 11 and 12, the rotatable selector member 58 includes a shaft portion 60 and a plurality of lugs 62, 64 and 66 for manually holding both of the pairs of switch contacts in a manual OFF open position, for manually holding one of the pair of contacts in a closed manual ON position, for manually holding the variable contacts 40 and 42 in an open position to permit the automatic switch blades 46 and 48 to be moved to their open and closed positions by the automatic cam 34 of the switch actuator 20, and for holding the automatic switch blades 46 and 48 in their open position to enable the switch to be controlled by the variable cam 44 of the switch actuator 20.

With particular reference to FIGS. 2 and 12 and the chart shown in FIG. 13, when the selector knob 58 is moved to its manual ON position, the lug 62 is moved against the surface of switch blade 48 to close contacts 30, 32 to hold the switch in its manual ON position. While the switch is held in this position, the variable cam 44 can move contacts 40 and 42 to their open and closed positions, but this will have no effect on the overall switch because switch contacts 30 and 32 are held closed.

When the selector knob 58 is rotated to the AUTO- MATIC position, the lug 62 will be removed from switch blade 48 and the lug 66 will be moved into engagement with switch blade 50 to hold variable contact 40 away from contact 42 to hold the lower pair of blades in their open position. While the lower contacts 40 and 42 are held open, the upper AUTOMATIC cam 34 will open and close the switch contacts 30 and 32 at the times which have been pre-set by the ON OFF members 12 and 14, respectively.

When the selector knob 58 is rotated to the manual OFF position, lug 64 is moved against switch blade 46 to hold switch contact 30 away from switch contact 32 and lug 66 is moved against switch blade 50 to hold switch contact 40 away from contact 42. Thus, the switch is held in its open manual OFF position.

When the selector knob 58 is moved to the VARI- ABLE position, lug 66 is removed from switch blade 50, but lug 64 urges switch blade 46 away from blade 48 to hold contact 30 away from contact 32 to hold the automatic switch contacts in their open position. While the automatic contacts are held open, the variable cam 44 may open and close the variable contacts 40 and 42 at the variable different times which have been preprogrammed by the shape of the variable cam 44.

A detent arrangement may be provided for holding the selector knob 58 in any one of its four positions. As shown more particularly in FIGS. 2, 5 and 12 a resilient arm 70 may be fixed to the upper portion of the selector shaft 60 and may extend downwardly along the shaft for cooperation with a plurality of notches 72, 74, 76 and 78 which may be formed in a plastic member 75 that is fixed to the time switch casing. The notches 72, 74, 76 and 78 correspond with the indicia VARIABLE, MANUAL OFF, AUTOMATIC and MANUAL ON, respectively, that may be provided on the outer casing of the time switch as shown in FIG. 1.

SWITCH ACTUATING MECHANISM In accordance with my invention, the ON and OFF members 12 and 14 are constructed for rotating the switch actuating mechanism 20 during pre-determined ON and OFF time periods on a number of consecutive days of the week. In the preferred embodiment illustrated, the ON and OFF members rotate the switch actuating mechanism 20 and, more particularly, a segmented gear 80 of the switch actuating mechanism during two 1% hour periods of time on 3 consecutive days of the week. The two periods of time for each day correspond to the periods of time during which it is desired to have the switch moved to its ON or OFF position. The ON member is provided with a gear segment 82 for rotating a segment of the segmented gear 80 during one 1% hour period of ON time, and an OFF gear segment 84 of the OFF member 14 is provided for rotating the segmented gear 80 during a succeeding 1% hour period of OFF time.

With such an arrangement, the AUTOMATIC and VARIABLE cams 34 and 44 on the switch actuator 20 could be shaped to turn the switch on at any time during one 1% hour period of ON time and turn the switch off at any time during a l /2 hour period of OFF time. However, in the preferred embodiment the automatic cam 34 is symmetrically shaped so that it will turn the automatic switch contacts 30 and 32 ON and OFF at the same time on three consecutive days of the week while the variable cam 44 is non-symmetrically shaped so that it will turn the switch ON and OFF at different times on 3 consecutive days of the week.

AUTOMATIC VARIABLE CAM As shown more particularly in FIGS. 5 and 12, the segmented gear may be readily connected to the automatic variable cam 34, 44 by means of a hexagonal shaft 86 which is integrally formed with the gear 80 for cooperation with a hexagonal recess 88 that is integrally formed with the automatic variable cam 34, 44. In the preferred embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 5, 12 and 14, the AUTOMATIC cam 34 is provided with three equally spaced ON cam surfaces 100, 102 and 104 and three equally spaced OFF cam surfaces 106, 108 and 110. The VARIABLE cam is provided with three unequally spaced ON cam surfaces 112, 114 and 116 and three unequally spaced OFF cam surfaces 1 18, 120 and 122. With three ON and three OFF cam surfaces for three consecutive days of the week, it is necessary to provide six incremental rotational movements of the automatic variable cam and, accordingly, six gear segments 124 are formed on the segmented gear 80 so that the segmented gear may be incrementally actuated one complete rotation during three consecutive actuating movements of the ON and OFF sector gears 82 and 84. As shown more particularly in FIG. 14, the sector gear 80 has one tooth missing from each 60 segment of the gear and the first gear tooth of each sector is made somewhat longer than the other teeth in order to ensure positive engagement of the ON and OFF sector gears 82 and 84 with the first tooth of each segment of gear 80.

In order to ensure precise 60 incremental actuation of the sector gear 80, a spring-loaded detent mechanism is provided for holding the switch actuator in any one of its six positions and for also rotating the sector gear a slight amount in the event that one of the ON or OFF sector gears 82 or 84 does not complete an incremental rotation of the sector gear. As shown more particularly in FIGS. 2, and 14, a ratchet wheel 126 may be integrally formed with the gear segment 80 for cooperation with a pawl lever 128. The pawl lever 128 is spring-urged toward the ratchet wheel 126 by means of 1 spring 130 for ensuring accurate positioning of the seclower which is arranged for movement by the ON cam surfaces 100, 102 and 104 while the off switch blade 48 includes a cam follower which'is arranged for movement by the OFF cam surfaces 106, 108 and 110. With this construction, when the selector knob lug 66 holds 7 the variable switch blades 50 and 52 in their open position, the automatic switch blades 46 and 48 ride on the ON and OFF cam surfaces of the automatic cam 34. Thus, with the selector knob 58 in the AUTOMATIC position, ON gear segment 82 will rotate segmented gear 80 one 1% hour increment and, as shown in FIG. 12, ON cam surface 104 will be rotated counterclockwise. During this incremental movement the cam follower portion of Switchblade 46 will drop off the abrupt cam surface 104 to snap switch blade 30 closed against switch blade 32. Upon continued rotation of the 24 hour dial, the OFF gear segment 84 will be moved into engagement with the next gear segment of segmented gear 80 to rotate the gear 80 and the cam 34. During this movement, the cam follower portion of switch blade 48 will drop off the abrupt edge of cam surface 110 to move switch blade 48away from switch blade 46 to separate contact 32 from contact 30 to thereby open the automatic switch. With particular reference to FIGS. 7 and 8, it can be appreciated that the automatic cam 34 is symmetrical. The ON cam surfaces 100, 102 and 104 are spaced exactly 120 with respect to each other while the OFF cam surfaces 106, 108 and 110 are also spaced exactly 120 with respect to each other. Thus, the cam follower drop-offs will occur at the same relative position of the segmented gear 80 and its actuating, ON and OFF gear segments 82 and 84, and the automatic gear will function to turn the lights on and off at the same times which have been set by the ON and OFF members night after night. The cam follower drop-off points are selected so that dropoff occurs at the instant that the ON and OFF pointers are moved-in line with the Time Now indicator shown in FIG. 1, and the cams 100, 102, 104, 106, 108 and .1 l0are located with respect to the gear sectors of gear 80 so that ON and OFF switching will occur at the midpoint-of each sector of the gear and at the mid-point of the 1% hour time span.

. In accordance with my invention, the variable cam 44-and particularly the ON and OFF cam portions of shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, the cam surfaces 112, 114,

116, 118, 120 and 122 are arranged with respect to 8 each other so that the time for turning the lights on and off will vary plus or minus one-half hour from a middle ON or OFF cam surface with respect to the other cam surfaces. Thus, my unique timer may be pre-set to its VARIABLE position to turn the lights on at 7:00 P.M. one day, 6:30 P.M. the next day, and 7:30 P.M. the following day and, during the 3 days mentioned, the lights would be turned off at 11:00 P.M. on the first day, 11:30 P.M. on the second day, and :30PM. on the third day.

ON OFF MEMBERS The ON and OFF members 81 and 83 which rotate with the time of day dial 10 are constructed so that they may be manually positionable around the dial to set the desired ON and OFF times. Toachieve this, as shown in FIGS. 1, 3, 4 and 5 the members 81 and 83 are pref erably formed of plastic and a plurality of ratchet teeth 79 are integrally formed with the members for cooperating with the teeth 77 on the underside of the dial 10. The members include ON and OFF indicia levers 81 and 83 which are spaced from the ON and OFF sector levers 82 and 84, respectively. The sector gear members 82 and 84 engage the segmented gear for one and one-half hours. Thus, if regular automatic switching occurs at the center of this time span, then the variable switching can be varied plus or'minus a half hour and have a quarter-hour extra drive between the sector gears. The sector gear segments 82 and 84 have stops 85 and 87 on one side so that if a minimum regular ON time of 1% hours is desired and set by placing the sector gears as close to each other as possible, the OFF sector gear 84 will not engage the gear 80 until the ON sector gear 82 is leaving the gear 80. Without these stops, the OFF sector gear 84 could enter the gear 80 before the ON gear sector-82 was leaving. Thus, the OFF sector gear 84 would begin driving while the ON sector gear will still driving and the automatic and variable cams 34 and 44 would not be rotated a full 60 during the OFF sector drive 84 needed tocomplete its cycle.

From the foregoing discussion, it can be appreciated that my unique AUTOMATIC VARIABLE manual ON manual OFF time switch may be conveniently and easily operated by a user. It is merely necessary to set the desired ON and OFF times by rotating the ON and OFF pointers around the circumference of the 24-hour dial and rotate the selector knob 58 to any one of its four positions. The selector knob is located at the front of the time switch and little, if any, explanation oruser education would be required. I

Moreover, it can be appreciated that my unique timer may be formed with the use of relatively 'few parts. The principal component for achieving both automatic and variable operation of the time switch is a cam 34, 44 which may be integrally formed to include all of the ON and OFF automatic and variable cam surfaces. Accordingly, a unique AUTOMATIC," VARI- ABLE, ON and OFF time switch has been achieved.

What I claim is:

1. A time switch comprising:

a. electrical switch means having closed ON positions and open OFF positions;

b. switch actuator means positioned adjacent to said switch means for actuating said switch means to an ON or an OFF position;

c. a time of day member continuously rotated as a function of time positioned adjacent to said switch actuator, said time of day member having an OFF member selectively positionable on said time of day member for moving said switch actuator to cause said switch actuator to operate said switch means to an open OFF position, and an ON member selectively positionable on said time of day member for operating said switch actuator to move said switch means to a closed ON position; and

d. said switch actuator means including a first cam means arranged for engagement with said switch means for opening and closing said switch means at the same times during a number of consecutive complete rotations of said time of day member at the times set by said slectively positionable ON and OFF members, and said switch actuator including a second cam means positioned adjacent to said switch means for opening and closing said switch means at different times than the times set by said selectively positionable ON and OFF members for opening and closing said switch means at different times during consecutive complete rotations of said time of day member; and

e. selector means for manually selecting operation of said switch means by said first cam means or said second cam means of said switch actuator.

2. A time switch as defined in claim 1 wherein said selector means is movable to a first position to hold the switch in a manual ON position, to a second position to permit said first cam means to open and close said switch at pre-programmed said times on consecutive days, to a third position to manually hold the switch open in its manual OFF position, and to a fourth position to permit said second cam means to open and close the switch atpre-programmed different times on consecutive days.

3. A time switch as defined in claim 1 wherein said first cam means includes a plurality of cam surfaces that are symmetrically disposed on said cam means for operating said switch means at the same times on consecutive days.

4. A time switch as defined in claim 1 wherein said second cam means includes a plurality of cam surfaces that are non-symmetrically disposed on said cam means for operating said switch means at different times on consecutive days.

5. A time switch as defined in claim 1 wherein said switch means includes two pairs of switch contacts and said first cam means is positioned adjacent to one of said pair of contacts for operating said one pair of contacts at the same times on consecutive days, and said second cam means is positioned adjacent to said other pair of contacts for operating said other pair of contacts at difierent times on consecutive days.

6. A time switch as defined in claim 5 wherein said selector means includes a first lug for holding said first pair of contacts in an open position to thereby permit said second cam means to open and close said second pair of contacts at pro-programmed different times on consecutive days. 1'

7. A time switch as defined in claim 5 wherein said selector means is movable to a first position for closing said one pair of contacts to hold the switch in a manual ON position, to a second position to permit said first cam means to open and close said one pair of contacts at pre-programmed sametimes on consecutive days, to a third position to manually hold both pairs of contacts open, and to a fourth position to permit said second cam means to open and close the second pair of 10 contacts at pre-programmed different times on consecutive days.

8. A time switch as defined in claim 5 wherein said selector means includes a second lug for holding said second pair of contacts in an open position to thereby permit said first cam means to open and close said first pair of contacts at the pre-programmed same times of day on consecutive days which have been pre-set by said selectively positionable ON and OFF members of said time of day member.

9. A time switch as defined in claim 5 wherein said selector means includes a third lug for holding said first pair of contacts in a closed ON position to thereby hold said switch means in an ON position and to prevent said first cam means from moving said first pair of contacts to their open position on consecutive days of the week.

10. A time switch as defined in claim 5 wherein said first and second cam means are integrally formed with each other and are simultaneously rotated upon rotation of said switch actuator.

11. A time switch as defined in claim 5 wherein said switch actuator includes a plurality of gear segment means which are positioned adjacent to said ON and OFF members and wherein said ON and OFF members are provided with gear segment means which are complementary to the plurality of gear segment means which are provided on said switch actuator so that as said time of day member is continuously rotated as a function of time the gear segment means on said ON and OFF members will be consecutively brought into engagement with one of the plurality of gear segments on said switch actuator to thereby rotate said switch actuator one incremental movement.

12. A time switch as defined in claim 11 wherein said first and second cam means are connected to the plurality of gear segment means so that the first and second cam means and the gear segment means are rotated in unison by the ON and OFF members of the time of day member.

13. A time switch as defined in claim 12 wherein a ratchet means is integrally formed with said plurality of gear segment means and a pawl is spring-urged into engagement with said ratchet means for resiliently holding the switch actuator means in one of a plurality of positions to which it may be moved by the ON and OFF members.

14. A time switch as defined in claim 5 wherein said selector means includes a first lug for holding said first pair of contacts in an open position and a second lug for holding said second pair of contacts in an open position to thereby hold the switch means in an open OFF position and to prevent operation of said switch means by either the first cam means or the second cam means on consecutive days of the week.

15. A time switch as defined in claim 14 wherein said selector means includes a manually rotatable shaft and said first and second lugs are fixed to different portions of said shaft for manual rotation thereby.

16. A time switch as defined in claim 15 wherein a spring finger is fixed to said manually rotatable shaft for cooperating with a plurality of notches to hold said selector shaft in its manual ON, manual OFF, VARI- ABLE, or- AUTOMATIC position.

17. A time switch comprising:

a. electrical switch means having closed ON positions and open OFF positions;

b. switch actuator means positioned adjacent to said switch means for actuating said switch means to an v 11V ON or an OFF position;

,c. a time of day member continuously rotated as a function of time positioned adjacent to said switch actuator, said time of day member having an OFF 7 member selectively positionable on said time of day member for incrementally moving said switch actuator as a function of time and for causing said a; switch actuator to operate said switch means to an open OFF position, and an ON member selectively positionable on said time of day memberfor operatingsaid switch actuator to move said switch a a 12 cam means for operating said switch means atsaid slightly different times on consecutive days; and f. said ON and OFF members including drive means for incrementally moving said switchactuator and .its cam as a function of time two increments each day, for providing two switch actuations each day., 18. A time switch as defined in claim 17 wherein said switch actuator includes a plurality of gear segment means which are positioned adjacent to the drive means on said ON and OFF members and wherein the I drive means of said and OFF members are provided with gear segment means which are complemen- 1 tary to the plurality of gear segment means which are provided on said switch actuator. so that as said time of day member is continuously rotated as a function of time the gear segment means on the drive means of said ON and OFF members will be consecutively brought into engagement with one of the pluralityof gear segments on said switch actuator to thereby rotate said a switch actuator one incremental movement;

Column UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENT NO. DATED |NVENTOR(S) 3,925,629 December 9, 1975 Harry J. Albinger, Jr.

It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent Column 1, Line Column 4, Line .Column 4, Line Column 8, Line 9, Line [SEAL] are hereby corrected as shown below:

after "and", delete "at".

RUTH C. MASON Arresting Officer C. MARSHALL DANN (ummr'ssimrer uflalenls and Trademarks UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENT NO. 3,925,629 DATED December 9, 1975 INVENTOR(S) Harry J. Albinger, Jr

It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below: 0

Column 1, Line 67, after "and", delete "at".

Column 4, Line 19, delete "of" and insert'at-. i

Column 4, Line 48, delete "and" (second occurrence) and insert -an--.

Column 8, Line 38, delete "will" and insert is--. 0

Column 9, Line 30, delete "said" and insert --same--.

Signed and Scaled thus Sixth Day of July 1976 [SEAL] Attest:

RUTH C. MASON c. MARSHALL DANN fif" Commissioner uj'lalents and Trademarks

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4104541 *Mar 18, 1977Aug 1, 1978Jewell William RAutomatic electric power switch
US4130748 *Mar 17, 1977Dec 19, 1978Theben-Werk Zeitautomatik Gmbh & Co. Kg.Plug-type switch
US4219741 *Aug 18, 1978Aug 26, 1980Gunten Lee L VonRandom timer apparatus
US4297546 *Apr 14, 1980Oct 27, 1981Amf IncorporatedActuating means for switch operation in timing apparatus
US4311886 *Apr 18, 1980Jan 19, 1982Amf IncorporatedTiming apparatus for lamps and appliances
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Classifications
U.S. Classification200/38.00R, 200/35.00R, 200/38.0FB, 968/606, 29/809, 200/38.0DA
International ClassificationH01H43/00, G04C23/00, G04C23/02, H01H43/10, G04C23/34, H01H43/04
Cooperative ClassificationG04C23/02, G04C23/34
European ClassificationG04C23/02, G04C23/34
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 2, 1984AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: TELECHRON, INC., A CORP. OF MA
Owner name: TIMEX CORPORATION A DE CORP.
Effective date: 19840423
Aug 2, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: TELECHRON, INC., A CORP. OF MA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:TIMEX CORPORATION A DE CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004286/0316
Effective date: 19840423
Sep 28, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: CHASE MANHATTAN BANK, N.A., THE
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:TIMEX CORPORATION, A DE CORP.;TIMEX COMPUTERS LTD., A DE CORP.;TIMEX CLOCK COMPANY, A DE CORP.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:004181/0596
Effective date: 19830331