US2871599A - Traffic signal adaptor unit - Google Patents

Traffic signal adaptor unit Download PDF

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Publication number
US2871599A
US2871599A US42160054A US2871599A US 2871599 A US2871599 A US 2871599A US 42160054 A US42160054 A US 42160054A US 2871599 A US2871599 A US 2871599A
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adaptor
unit
signal
message
surface
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Walter J Kolb
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Walter J Kolb
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/09Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions
    • G08G1/095Traffic lights

Description

Feb. 3, 1959 w. J. KoLB TRAFFIC SIGNAL ADAPTOR UNIT Filed April 7, 1954 FIG,

FIG. 3

IN VEN TOR. Walter Jolb Unitedy States TRAFFIC SIGNAL ADAPTOR UNIT Walter J. Kolb, Chicago, 1li.

Application April 7, 1954, Serial No. 421,600

3 Claims. (Cl. 40-131) This invention relates to an improvement for lightedv It is an object of this invention to provide an adaptor l,

unit for a traiiic signal section as presently used,'which adaptor wili convert the circular lens area for a message to a rectangular area so that the message will have the same unifom letter height and will also have a greatly increased width making the message more readable.

It is a special object of this invention to provide a traflic signal message unit capable of being adapted to the incandescent lighting furnished by the optical units of the already installed traiiic signals to which the apparatus of this invention can be attached.

It is also a special object o f this invention to provide a traiiic signal message unit in which the message is written with neon illuminated tubing and in which installations the existing optical units have been removed. In such cases the plane of the neon tubing is inclined forward from the vertical to facilitate reading from an angle below the message signal.

A special feature of the apparatus of this invention is the use of reflectors at both sides of the adaptor unit to disseminate the available incandescent illumination over the entire converted message area. The reflectors are designed to spread the reiiected rays of the traffic signal optical unit principally horizontally thereby widening the illuminated message.

Another special feature of this invention is the provision of a traffic signaladaptor unit in which the message bearing surface is inclined forward five degrees from the vertical, and the top surface and visor for shielding the message bearing surface is inclined downward fifteen degrees from the horizontal.

The foregoing objects and features of this invention, as well as others inherent in the lapparatus of this invention, will be readily apparent from the following specifications and description of the accompanying drawings wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts in the several views.

Figure l is a front View of the broader message bearing signal with the adaptor unit and shield in place and the actual lens area indicated by dotted outline.

Figure 2 is a side view of the adaptor unit and shield attached to the front door of a standard housing for such a trafiic signal.

Figure 3 is a top view of the same showing the sleeve of the adaptor unit press fitted into and adaptor collar 2,871,599 'Patented Feb. a,` 1959 which holds the standard lens in the door of the standard housing.

Figure 4 is an enlarged sectional view of a portion of` Figure 5 is an enlarged vertical sectional view of the adaptor unit and shield along line 5 5 of Figure l, which shows the use of neon lighted tubing to spell the message signal, which eliminates the use of lettering on the front glass or a mask in front of or behind said front glass, and also permits removal of the optical lighting unit from the existing traffic signal installation.

Figure 6 is a fragmentary view of one reector.

Referring to the drawings Figure 1 gives the typical result of looking at a lighted message bearing the signal which has the adaptor unit and shield or hood attached to a standard traflic signal installation using incandescent illumination. The top of the adaptor is indicated by numeral 6, the shield or hood by 7, and the bottom of the adaptor by 8. The dotted circle 9 indicates the lens frame of the traffic signal unit and the dotted vertical lines 10 and 11 outline the back endsof the side wings 10a and 11a respectively of the adaptor unit. The message Walk is illustrated enlarged beyond the lens area because by reason of the reflectors installed on the side wings of the adaptor unit the message area actually is broadened approximately on a scale as illustrated.

The side view of Figure 2 shows the optical unit compartment 12 with a hinged door 13 to the compartment of a standard traffic signal. The circular sleeve of the adaptor unit is slip fitted or pressed into the adaptor collar 15 which' holds the lens 13a of the optical unit compartment 12. The same connection of the adaptor unit to the adaptor collar 15 is shown in Figure 3 except that it is a top View, revealing the rectangular shape of the top of the shield or hood 7 and the irregular shape of the top 6 of the adaptor unit. The use of a shield or hood 7 in conjunction with the adaptor is important because it shuts ofi the direct rays of the sunin the early morning or late afternoon when the message bearing signal is faced into the sun. For added protection of the observer of the signal the hood dips downward fifteen 'degrees from the horizontal in the same continuous plane as the top surface 6 of the adaptor. For the same advantage side shields 16 are provided so that direct light striking the front of the adaptor will not depreciate or lessen the advantages o-f the adaptor unit of this invention.

The horizontal sectional view of Figure 4 taken along line 4 4 in Figure l shows the circular sleeve 14 on the back of the adaptor unit pressed or slip fitted into the adaptor collar 15 which is held in turn by the hinged door 13 to the compartment 12. In practice the lens'13n to the optical unit compartment is first removed from door 13 and the adaptor collar 15 inserted in the ldoor after which the lens is replaced. The sleeve 14 has bayonet bolts 20 spaced around its outside surface which slide into the slots 21 when the sleeve is pressed or slip fitted into the adaptor collar 15. A slight turn of the circular sleeye 14 inside the adaptor collar 15, or preferably a slight turn of collar 15 around sleeve 14 will move the slot into locking position and fasten the adaptor unit to the door of the traflic signal unit. The method of attachment would be the same if the traflic signal unit had a single or multiple optical unit compartment.

Figure 4 also shows one of the reiiectors 17 in the side of the adaptor unit and a glass window 18 as the front face of the unit. Normally there would be two similar reiiecting surfaces 17 in the adaptor unit, one on each side of the opening in the back wall of the adaptor. The message of the converted tratiic signal unit will be either a lettered glass window, or a mask to fit behind a vreiiectors for use in the adaptor unit. 'advantage to have the reflecting surfaces deepest at the 'clear glass window 1S. lt is also within the scope of this ,invention to use a clear plasticwindow, for example, one

made out of Lucite, etc.

When it is desired to use neon tubing to signal a mesisagethe incandescent optical unit -is removed'from compartment 12 and reflector 17 are removed from the adaptor unit, but ya panel-19 of lneon tubing is disposed and primarily protects the tubingy from the weather.

Figure 6 is a front View of the re-ector on the right side of the adaptor unit when looking toward it with the dipping top surface `6 and turned up bottom surface 8 and inclined shield 7 removed. The reflecting surface 17 is shown as conically shaped around the lens opening that is outlined by circular sleeve 14. Any of the usual materials for reflecting light, such as mirro-rs, highly polished metal, foil, -etc., may be used in constructing l lt is an obvious points where the conical surfaces are attached to the sides '10a and 11a of the adaptor unit 'so as to obtain maximum reflection of light horizontally in order to widen the message.

'It should be apparent after reading the foregoing description ofthe elements and features of the adaptor 'unit and shield that it is first of all simple of construction.

Iin the adaptor unit parallel to glass window 1S as shown y .inFigure 5. In 'such cases the glass window 1S is clear Secondly it is a very useful invention, and thirdly, in

View of the present status of signaling tralc messages, it .is most practical,

For example, it is a device that may l e applied to all section traffic signals lnow installed or being manufactured. Also, it may be applied to a traffic signal section consisting of one compartment of a standard three section signal head or to vone compartment as a unilt by itself. And lastly, should it'become desirable the neon illuminated tubing message inserted as a panel in said adaptor unit parallel to the front glass Window with suitable transformers, relays and switches either in Vthe place of the optical unit or in the adaptor unit.

Aside from the many applications of the device of this linvention perhaps the greatest advantage of its use is the the adaptor unit of this invention attached to the same lens the message area has actually been converted to a rectangular area measuring 6 inches high and 11 inches wide. The message area beforehand was circular which wastes lighted area above and below a short word that has to bc proportionate in size and t within the limits of the inside diameter of the lens.

vAnother example to prove the value of this invention is a four letter word like Walk when lettered on a lens of the present standard trafc signal installations, or when a `mask in front of or behind the lens is used, the letters cannot exceed 2 inches in height. By use of the adaptor unit of this'invention it is possible to use a lettered glass panel 18, or with a 'mask behind a clear glass window converts the-message bearing area beyond all expectations 18, using letters 5 inches high proportionately spaced on `a glass area6 inches high and 11 inches wide.

The improvement made possible bythe use of reflectors where incandescent illumination is used. yAnd the attaching of the adaptor unit to existing installations that are converted over to the use of neon illuminated tubing :for any reason to change from incandescent illumination to neon illuminated tubing the optical unit of the traffic signal may be removed from the installation, or merely `disconnected from an electrical source as desired, and

permits the use of neon tube lettering as high as 4 inches because of thelarger lighted window glass 18.

The window or lettered glass 18 is tipped forward 5 degrees from a vertical position in order that dust and dirt will be less apt to cling to the outside surface of the glass, and also to put the message bearing surface more directly into line of vision of the pedestrian and motorist who normally are below the traffic signals.

The top surface of the adaptor unit and the attached shield are inclined .down 15 Vdegrees from a horizontal position so as to shield the message bearing area from the suns rays when in line Vwith the traffic signal, and also to more readily shed Waterfand snow.

What l claim is:

1. A traffic signal adaptor unit comprising a housing having six dening surfaces none of which are parallel, the two side surfaces angling outwardly from the back of said housing, the top surface inclining downwardly while the bottom .surface inclines upwardly Afrom the back to the front of said housing, the back surface having va circular opening which is fitted with a circular sleeve lprojecting rearwardly for attaching said adaptor to asource of light, the front surface being of transparent material and tipped forward slightly between the said down turned top surface and up turned bottom surface, which inclination of saidtop and bottom surfaces intensities the light directedupon said front surface, and said front surface having opaque lettering thereon.

2. An adaptor unit with means for attachment to .an external source of light comprising a housing .having a rear wall with a central circular opening therein, diverging side walls, converging top and bottom surfaces and a translucent front surface having opaque Vlettering thereon, said rear wall having a circular sleeve protruding rearward from said. central circular opening,.a circular adaptor collar capable of receiving said circular .sleeve in closeengagemenusaid adaptor collarhaving suitable means for -attaching said housing. to said source of light, and a conically shaped reflecting surface attached to each side of said central circular opening withinsaid housing.

3. An adaptor.unit with means for attachment to an external source of light comprising a housinghaving a rear wall with a central circular opening therein, diverging side walls, converging top and bottom surfaces and a translucent front surface having opaque lettering thereon, said rear wall having a circular sleeve protruding rearward from said central circular opening, a circular adaptor collar capable of receiving said circular sleeve in close engagement, said adaptor collar having rsuitable means for attaching said housingto said source of light, and a conically shaped reliecting surface attached to each side of said central circular opening within said housing, each of said reflecting surfaces extending divergently forward to meet said translucent front surface.

References Cited in the le ofthis, patent YUNITED STATES PATENTS D. 64,196 McOmber Mar. 11, .1924 841,553 Lynch .lan. 15, 1907 1,145,692 Lessing July V6, Y1915 1,415,595 McGrath May 9, 1922 1,508,207 Windle Sept. V4,1924 1,711,477 Vl-lalvorson Apr. v30, 419,29 1,726,148 Hake Aug. 27, 1929 1,804,651 Shipman May 12, 1931 V1,312,919 Balder July 7,1931 1,959,267 Foley May 14, 1934 2,261,571 Smith Nov. 4,1941

US2871599A 1954-04-07 1954-04-07 Traffic signal adaptor unit Expired - Lifetime US2871599A (en)

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3049614A (en) * 1959-06-29 1962-08-14 Gamewell Co Traffic signal adapter
US3514752A (en) * 1967-03-23 1970-05-26 Alexander Lurkis Compact traffic signal
US4791418A (en) * 1986-04-30 1988-12-13 Taliq Corporation Signal light

Citations (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US841553A (en) * 1905-11-03 1907-01-15 Frederick H Herhold Number-transparency for vehicles.
US1145692A (en) * 1912-02-10 1915-07-06 Samuel J Lessing Automobile number-light.
US1415595A (en) * 1920-01-19 1922-05-09 Mcgrath John Thos Signal device
US1508207A (en) * 1923-12-01 1924-09-09 Randolph T Windle Signal
US1711477A (en) * 1929-04-30 Traffic signal
US1726148A (en) * 1926-06-21 1929-08-27 Ludlow Mfg Company Advertising device
US1804651A (en) * 1929-03-27 1931-05-12 Shipman Frederic Reflector
US1812919A (en) * 1930-05-16 1931-07-07 Milton C Balder Electric sign
US1959267A (en) * 1931-12-04 1934-05-15 Thomas E Foley Electric indicator
US2261571A (en) * 1939-07-01 1941-11-04 Harold C Smith Vehicle signal

Patent Citations (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1711477A (en) * 1929-04-30 Traffic signal
US841553A (en) * 1905-11-03 1907-01-15 Frederick H Herhold Number-transparency for vehicles.
US1145692A (en) * 1912-02-10 1915-07-06 Samuel J Lessing Automobile number-light.
US1415595A (en) * 1920-01-19 1922-05-09 Mcgrath John Thos Signal device
US1508207A (en) * 1923-12-01 1924-09-09 Randolph T Windle Signal
US1726148A (en) * 1926-06-21 1929-08-27 Ludlow Mfg Company Advertising device
US1804651A (en) * 1929-03-27 1931-05-12 Shipman Frederic Reflector
US1812919A (en) * 1930-05-16 1931-07-07 Milton C Balder Electric sign
US1959267A (en) * 1931-12-04 1934-05-15 Thomas E Foley Electric indicator
US2261571A (en) * 1939-07-01 1941-11-04 Harold C Smith Vehicle signal

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3049614A (en) * 1959-06-29 1962-08-14 Gamewell Co Traffic signal adapter
US3514752A (en) * 1967-03-23 1970-05-26 Alexander Lurkis Compact traffic signal
US4791418A (en) * 1986-04-30 1988-12-13 Taliq Corporation Signal light

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