US3260806A - Direct drive push button rotary switch - Google Patents

Direct drive push button rotary switch Download PDF

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Publication number
US3260806A
US3260806A US387847A US38784764A US3260806A US 3260806 A US3260806 A US 3260806A US 387847 A US387847 A US 387847A US 38784764 A US38784764 A US 38784764A US 3260806 A US3260806 A US 3260806A
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Prior art keywords
wheel
indicia
push button
housing
window
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Expired - Lifetime
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US387847A
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Jeans Richard Terral
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Cubic Corp
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Cubic Corp
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01HELECTRIC SWITCHES; RELAYS; SELECTORS; EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE DEVICES
    • H01H19/00Switches operated by an operating part which is rotatable about a longitudinal axis thereof and which is acted upon directly by a solid external to the switch, e.g. by a hand
    • H01H19/001Thumb wheel switches
    • H01H19/003Thumb wheel switches having a pushbutton actuator

Description

July 12, 1966 R. T. JEANS DIRECT DRIVE PUSH BUTTON ROTARY SWITCH 5 Sheets$heet 1 Filed Aug. 6, 1964 INVENTOR. RICHARD T. JEANS Maui 4 47 y 2, 1966 R. T. JEANS 3,260,806
DIRECT DRIVE PU SH BUTTON ROTARY swmca Filed Aug. 6, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. RICHARD T JEANS BY July 12, 1966 R. T. JEANS 3,260,806
DIRECT DRIVE PUSH BUTTON ROTARY SWITCH Filed Aug. 6, 1964 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR RICHARD T. JEANS dwM United States Patent Ofi 3,260,806 Patented July 12, 1966 [ice 3,260,806 DRIVE PUSH BUTTON ROTARY SWITCH Terral Jeans, San Diego County, Calif., assignor to Cubic Corporation, San Diego, Calif. Filed Aug. 6, 1964, Ser. No. 387,847 7 Claims. (Cl. 200-11) DIRECT Richard tain electrical circuits which produce a signal correspondthe wheel.
More recently, it has been proposed to provide thumb wheel switches wherein the movement of the number 3,104,299 filed February 8, 1962, in the name of Koci, et al., and entitled Actuating Mechanism for A Thumb Wheel Type of Switch. The number wheel is enclosed u-ally depressed. Such tive to stretch a spring nism. When the push button is released, the spring causes the ratchet mechanism an increment corresponding to one feel of the the operator does not the operator has no frequently,
tension in obstruction around the exterior of the wafer blank and across the various contacts formed by the circuit. Since the movable through the wafer blank, it is exthe ambient environment. The exposed contacts are hazardous since they may produce sparks that may ignite an explosive atmosphere.
wheel to advance. In a preferred embodiment of the switch,
ceiving an indicator wheel. The space forms an enlarged opening in the side of the housing so as to permit access to the indicator wheel. A push button which protrudes from the housing is interconnected with a over cam or ramp surfaces on the wheel.
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the inside of a cover employed in one of the switches of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a side view of a portion of the operative elements of the switch; FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of the switch; and
FIGURE 5 is a side elevational view of the switch the cover of FIGURE 2 removed.
Referring to the drawings in more detail, the present invention is particularly adapted to be embodied in a rotary switch of the so-called thumb wheel variety. The switch 10 includes a front or face 12 having a window 14 which is eifective to display a character or indicia such as a letter, number, etc., corresponding to the set ting of the switch 16. In addition, the switch 113 may be arranged with a plurality of similar switches to form an array of juxtaposed windows 14 whereby the indicia exposed through the windows 14 will provide a multi-digit display.
The switch 16 may include means that enclose all of the operative parts of the switch 16. In the present instance, these means include a housing 16 that is a single integral structure. The housing 16 may be formed by any suitable means such as die casting, or machining from a solid member.
The present housing 16 is of a generally rectangular configuration having a substantially planar side wall 13. For reasons that will become more apparent subsequently, this side wall 18 is preferably made very thin. In addition to the side wall 18, the housing 16 includes edge walls 20, 22, 24 and 26, best seen in FIG. 5, that extend completely around the entire periphery of the side wall 18. The lateral widths of the edge walls to 26 are preferably only slightly greater than the width of the indicia to be displayed.
Referring now to FIG. 5, it may be appreciated that the side wall 18 and the edge walls 20 to 26, will at least partially define a cavity or space 23 which is accessible through an enlarged opening in the side of the housing 16. The cavity or space 28 may and shape. Howev r, it has been found desirable for the space 28 to have a width that is equal to the height of the edge walls, i.e. slightly greater than the width of the indicia to be displayed and a shape that is substantially circular.
The front of the edge wall 20 may be substantially plane whereby it will provide a face 12 that conforms to a plane or similar structure upon which the switch 10 is mounted. The center portion of the front wall 20 may include an opening or window 14. This window 14 extends completely through the edge wall 241 and opens into the space 28. As a consequence, tioned in front of the switch 10 may look through the window 14 and observe the contents of the space 28.
In addition, the housing 16 may include means for controlling the operation of the switch 10. In the present instance, these means include an extension 32 which projects outwardly from the housing 16. By way of example, this extension 32 may be disposed to project forwardly from the face 12 just below the window 14. This will insure the extension 32 from being conveniently disposed to an operator observing the window 14.
A passage may be provided axially through the extension 32 and which opens into space 28. The means 34 for controlling the operation of the switch 10 may be disposed in the passage inside of extension 32. One end of the means 34 may project from the end of the extension 32 so as to be convenient to an operator while the other end of the control means may extend into the space 28 so as to operate the switch 10.
An indicia or number wheel 36 may be disposed in the space 28 as seen in both FIGS. 3 and 5. The wheel 36 includes a periphery or rim 38 that extends completely around the wheel 36 so that it will be aligned with the window 14. The axial dimension of the rim 33 is approximately equal to the depth of the space 28 or to the height of the edge walls 20 to 26. This dimension is with an operator posiadequate to ban the height of the walls whereby a clearance space will be provided that is just permit the wheel 36 to rotate.
The center of the wheel 36 includes a hub 48 that has an axial dimension that is approximately equal to the width of the rim 3%. The hub 46 includes a passage that extends axially therethrough. This passage is adapted to receive a support pin 42. This pin 42 may be mounted on the side wall 18 or secured thereto. The pin 42 rotatably supports the number wheel 36 so that the wheel 36 will be free to rotate inside of the housing 16. As the wheel 36 rotates, the rim 3% will move past the window 14 so that various portions will be visible.
The rim 38 of the wheel 36 has a plurality of portions such as flat spots 44 that are adapted to carry characters or indicia, printed or engraved thereon. Although any type of indicia such as letters, etc., may be employed, in the present, a series of numbers are employed. Accordingly, the present number wheel 36 includes eleven faces or flats 44. One of these is blank and has no number thereon. The remaining ten flats 44 are numbered consecutively from 1) through 9.
In FIG. 3, the means 34 for advancing the wheel 36, and for locking it in position, are best seen. Although any suitable means may be employed, in the present instance, they include a plurality of cam surfaces such as ramps 46. A separate ramp 46 is provided for each of the indicia or flats 44 on the wheel 36.
Each ramp 46 extends radially outwardly from the hub 40 towards the rim 3%, and each includes an inclined surface 48 that slopes circumferentially around the wheel 36 and is separated from the adjacent surfaces by radial shoulders 59. This side of the wheel 36 is adapted to be disposed adjacent to the side wall 16 whereby ramps 46 will be disposed between the side wall 18 and the wheel normally just slightly less A thin flat member 52 similar to a shim or washer may be mounted on the hub 40 or the pin 42 whereby the washer member 52 will be free to rotate relative to the wheel 36. A resilient extension such as a finger 54 may be provided on the washer member 52. The end of this finger 54 is adapted to slide across the inclined surfaces 43 and successively drop behind the radial shoulders 56 whenever the washer member 52 rotates in one direction relative to the wheel 36. However, whenever the washer member 52 endeavors to rotate in the opposite direction, the finger 54 will become lodged behind one of the radial shoulders 50 and force the wheel 36 to rotate therewith in the same direction.
The flat washer member 52 may be secured to the control means 34 that are disposed in the extension 32 projecting from the face 12 of the housing 16. These control means include a pin 56 that is slidably disposed in the extension 32 whereby the outer end of the pin 56 will project beyond the end of the extension 32. The outer end may be slightly enlarged so as to form a push button 58 that is suitable for normal actuation. A spring 60 may be coiled around the pin 56 so as to normally bias it into a fully extended position, as best seen in FIG. 5.
The inner end of the pin 56 may be slightly flattened and interconnected with the flat washer member 52 by a link 62. The link 62 is preferably very thin so that it is free to pass between the wheel 36 and the side wall 18 even though clearance space is provided.
It may be appreciated that pushing inwardly on the push button 58 will be effective to cause the link 62 to rotate washer member 52 in a counter-clockwise direction (as seen in FIG. 3). When rotating in this direction, the finger 54 will engage a shoulder 50 and rotate the wheel 36 therewith. If the push button 58 is depressed through a full stroke, the wheel 36 will be rotated through an arc equal to the arc subtended by a flat 44.
When the push button 58 is released, the spring 60 will force the pin 58 to return to its extended position. During such movement, the washer member 52 will rotate clockwise, whereby the finger 54 will slide across an inclined surface 48 and drop behind the next succeeding shoulder 50.
A thin leaf spring 64 may be Wheel 36 rotating in a reverse sides of the housing 16. The spring 64 is sufli-ciently thin side walls 18. An interprojects away from the so as to engage the ramp 46.
washer member 52 rotates so as to advance the wheel 36 by one increment, the free end of the spring 64 will pass over a shoulder 50 and engage it. As a consequence, when the push button 58 is released, the free end of the spring 64 will become lodged behind a shoulder 50, whereby the in the reverse direction.
The spatial relationships between the spring 64 and shoulder 50 are arranged so that a flat 44 on the rim will be precisely aligned with the window 14.
particular indicia or number will be precisely aligned with the window 14 and readily visible to an operator disposed in front mediate portion side wall 18 When the For reasons it is desirable The cover entering the interior 28 of the switch 10.
With reference next to FIG. 2, the cover Although these contacts may be provided by any suitable means, in the present instance, they are in the form of a so-called printed circuit 74. Such a circuit is formed by electrically conductive strips that are bonded directly One portion of the circuit 74 includes a continuous circular portion that forms a fixed contact ring 76. This circular contact ring 76 is preferably 'positioned so that it will be substantially concentric with the axis of rotation of the wheel 36. This circular contact ring 76 may correspond to an electrical common or ground contact.
Another portion of the circuit 74 includes an annular array 78 of fixed contacts. This array 78 is also concentric with the fixed contact ring 76 and includes a separate segment 80 for each flat 44 or indicia provided on the periphery of the wheel 36.
other and extend from the contacts 78 and 80 across the cover 68 to the lip 72. The cover 68 may be fastened directly to the edge Walls 20 to 26 with the leads compressed between the edge clip 88 will just fit. It will be seen that this will be effective to lock the movable contact 86 onto the wheel 36 so that it will be carried thereby.
The clip 88 includes two separate fingers 92 and 94 The second finger tlOI'lCd to engage a single contact at a to use the present switch '10,
pin 56 in the extension 32 and positioning the washer member 52 concentrically about the pin 42. The leaf spring 64 is then positioned with the opposite ends thereof in the pockets 66. Following this, the number wheel 36 is placed around the pin 42 so that the ramps 46 will co-act with the spring 64 and the finger 54 on the washer member '52. The movable contact 86 is then seated in the recess on the wheel 36 and the cover 68 attached.
At this point, the fingers 92 and 94 on the movable contact 86 will engage the fixed contacts 76 and 8t) and form a continuous circuit therebetween. A plurality of electrical conductors may be attached external circuits and the contacts formed by the exposed ends 84 Oif the leads 82. A continuous electrical path will then be formed between the portion of the circuit window 14.
To change the electrical connections to the external circuit in order to correspond to another indicia,
the operator may not be viewing feel of the button wheel 36 has rotated.
wheel '36 is jammed or hung up 58, that the number In the event the for some reason do the push button 58 with added (force and, 1 function is serious, the wheel 36 can After the wheel 36 has tion, the fingers 92 It may be observed that all of the moving parts and all of the make and break electrical contacts of the switch 10 are enclosed within the space 28. Since the between any desired conductors 82 are extremely thin, electrically-conductive strips and can be made flush with the surface, they will not have an adequate thickness to interface with an airtight seal between the cover es and the housing 16. As a consequence, it will be possible to completely isolate the operative parts .from the surrounding atmosphere. it there are any dust particles, moisture, etc., in the atmosphere, it wil be impossible for them to enter into the space 28 and intenfere with the operation of the switch it).
To further increase the effectiveness of the sealing action, a flexible boot 96 consisting of an elastomeric material, such as rubber or the like, may be secured to the exterior of the extension 32 so as to completely surround the push button 58. Since the boot 96 is very fiexible, it will not interfere with the manual actuation of the push button 58, and will prevent leakage around the push button 58.
In the event, it is desired to provide a multidigit display, a large number of identical switches lid may be employed. As best seen in FIG. 1, an array of switches may be disposed in a vertical side-by-side arrangement with all of the windows 14 aligned with each other. Since all of the operative elements of the switch 10 are sealed inside of the housing 16, the switches 10 may be placed in intimate contact with each other. in addition, since the side wall and cover 68 are very thin, the wheels 36 will be closely spaced. This, in turn, will be efiective to allow the windows 14 and the indicia therein to be closely space-d whereby the indicia will torm a single, continuous, multi-digit display.
While only a single embodiment of the present invention has been disclosed, it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous changes and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the foregoing description and drawings are (for illustrative purposes only and are not to limit the scope of the invention which is defined only by the claims which follow.
What is claimed as new is:
1. -A switch of the class described including the combination of:
a housing at least partially enclosing a space;
a cylindrical number wheel rotatably disposed in said housing;
a cylindrical rim on the wheel;
a series of indicia spaced around the rim of the wheel;
a window in said housing aligned with the rim of the wheel, said window being positioned to permit viewing of only one indicia at a time;
a separate ramp on said wheel for each indicia, said ramps being radially disposed around said wheel;
a push button reciprocally mounted on the housing;
a detent interconnected with said push button, and
eflective to engage a ramp and advance the wheel and position the succeeding indicia in registry with the window whenever said push button is depressed; and
a second detent effective to ride over said ramp when said push button is depressed and preventing said wheel rotating in the reverse direction.
2. A switch of the class described including the combination of:
a housing member at least partially enclosing a space;
a wheel rotatably disposed in said space and including an annular rim;
a plurality or": cam surfaces disposed between the rim and the center of the wheel;
a series of indicia circumiferentially spaced around the rim of the wheel;
a cover member secured to said housing member and enclosing said space and the wheel therein;
a window in said housing member positioned to register with only one of the indicia at a time;
an annular array of contacts on one of said members,
said array including a separate contact :for each one of said series of indicia;
a movable contact mounted on said wheel and including at least one portion that engages pre-selected contacts in the array to establish electrical circuits corresponding to the indicia registering with the window;
a push button reciprocally mounted on the housing member; and
means extending between the rim and the other of said member, said means being operatively interconnected between the push button and the cam suniaces to advance the wheel and position the next succeeding indicia in registry with the Window as the push button' is depressed.
3. A switch of the class described including the combination of:
a housing member having a space therein;
a wheel rotatably disposed in said space;
a peripheral rim on said wheel and including a series of indicia circumferentially spaced around the periphery of the wheel;
a window in said housing member positioned to register with only one of the indicia;
a cover member secured to said housing member and sealing said space;
an annular array of fixed contacts on one of said members, said array including a separate contact for each of the indicia on the wheel;
a movable contact mounted on said wheel and including at least one portion that engages at least one pre-selected fixed contact in the array to establish an electrical circuit corresponding to the indicia registering with the window;
a push button reciprocally mounted on the housing member; and
means extending between said rim and one of said members, said means being operatively interconnected with the wheel and said push button and efiective to rotate the wheel and advance the wheel and position the succeeding indicia in registry with the window as the push button is pushed inwardly.
4. A switch of the class described including the combination of:
a housing member having a space therein;
a wheel member rotatably disposed in said space;
a series of indicia circumferentially spaced around the periphery of the wheel;
a window in said housing member ter with only one of the indicia;
a cover member secured to said sealing said space;
an annular array of contacts on one of said members, said array including a separatae fixed contact for each of the indicia on the wheel;
a movable contact mounted on the other of said Wheel and including at least one portion that engages at least one pre-selected fixed contact in the array to establish an electrical circuit corresponding to the indicia registering with the window; and
a push button reciprocally mounted on the housing member and operatively interconnected with the wheel member, said push button being effective to rotate the wheel member and advance the next indicia into registery with the window as the push button is pushed inwardly.
5. A switch of the class described bination of:
a housing having a side wall member and an edge wall, said edge wall extending around said side wall memher and partially enclosing a space;
a wheel rotatably disposed in said space;
a rim extending around the periphery of the wheel, said rim having a width that defines the maximum positioned to regishousing member and including the comaxial dimension of the wheel, said rim including a series of indicia circumferentially spaced therearound;
a window in said edge wall positioned to register with only one indicia at a time;
an imperforate cover secured to said edge Wall parallet to the side wall member to seal the space and the wheel therein;
a separate fixed contact on the inside of one of said members for each of said indicia, said contacts being disposed in the space in a circular array coaxial with the wheel;
a movable contact mounted on the wheel between said wheel and said member, said movable contact being carried by the wheel and including at least one portion that engages a fixed contact corresponding to the position of the indicia; and
a window in said housing member positioned to regising at least one portion that engages pre-selected contacts in said array to establish electrical circuits registering with said window;
a push button reciprocally mounted on said housing member;
a link extending between said rim and one of said members, and operatively connected to said push button; and
a washer member operatively interconnected between said cam surfaces and said link, for rotating said wheel and advancing said wheel to position the succeeding indicia in registry with said window as said push button is pushed inwardly.
7. A switch of the class described including the combination of:
a housing member having a space therein;
a Wheel rotatably disposed in said space;
a peripherial rim on said Wheel and including a series of indicia circumferentrally spaced around the periphery of said wheel;
a window in said housing member positioned to register with only one said indicia;
a cover member secured as to said housing member and sealing said space;
an annular array of fixed contacts on one of said members, said array including a separate responding to each of said indicia;
contact cora movable contact mounted on said wheel and includ- References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,414,191 1/1947 Coon 200-6 3,089,923 5/1963 Wright.
3,104,299 9/1963 Koci et a1 200-1l X 3,182,141 5/1965 Koci et a1. 20011 X 4 ROBERT K. SCHAEFER, Primary Examiner.
KATHLEEN H. CLAFFY, Examiner. J. R. SCOTT, Assisiant Examiner.

Claims (1)

1. A SWITCH OF THE CLASS DESCRIBED INCLUDING THE COMBINATION OF: A HOUSING AT LEAST PARTIALLY ENCLOSING A SPACE; A CYLINDRICAL NUMBER WHEEL ROTATABLY DISPOSED IN SAID HOUSING; A CYLINDRICAL RIM ON THE WHEEL; A SERIES OF INDICIA SPACED AROUND THE RIM OF THE WHEEL; A WINDOW IN SAID HOUSING ALIGNED WITH THE RIM OF THE WHEEL SAID WINDOW BEING POSITIONED TO PERMIT VIEWING OF ONLY ONE INDICIA AT A TIME; A SEPARATE RAMP ON SAID WHEEL FOR EACH INDICIA, SAID RAMPS BEING RADIALLY DISPOSED AROUND SAID WHEEL; A PUSH BUTTON RECIPROCALLY MOUNTED ON THE HOUSING; A DETENT INTERCONNECTED WITH SAID PUSH BUTTON, AND
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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3555211A (en) * 1969-03-06 1971-01-12 Beckman Instruments Inc Thumbwheel type rotary switch with improved manual lever operator
US3575577A (en) * 1969-09-15 1971-04-20 Lunar Electronics Inc Switch module

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2414191A (en) * 1945-06-02 1947-01-14 Simpson Elect Co Electric switch
US3089923A (en) * 1959-06-15 1963-05-14 Endevco Corp Sectional digital switch
US3104299A (en) * 1962-02-08 1963-09-17 Chicago Dynamic Ind Inc Actuating mechanism for a thumb wheel type switch
US3182141A (en) * 1963-07-25 1965-05-04 Chicago Dynamic Ind Inc Actuating mechanism for thumbwheel type switch

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2414191A (en) * 1945-06-02 1947-01-14 Simpson Elect Co Electric switch
US3089923A (en) * 1959-06-15 1963-05-14 Endevco Corp Sectional digital switch
US3104299A (en) * 1962-02-08 1963-09-17 Chicago Dynamic Ind Inc Actuating mechanism for a thumb wheel type switch
US3182141A (en) * 1963-07-25 1965-05-04 Chicago Dynamic Ind Inc Actuating mechanism for thumbwheel type switch

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3555211A (en) * 1969-03-06 1971-01-12 Beckman Instruments Inc Thumbwheel type rotary switch with improved manual lever operator
US3575577A (en) * 1969-09-15 1971-04-20 Lunar Electronics Inc Switch module

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