US3489342A - Keyboard - Google Patents

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Publication number
US3489342A
US3489342A US3489342DA US3489342A US 3489342 A US3489342 A US 3489342A US 3489342D A US3489342D A US 3489342DA US 3489342 A US3489342 A US 3489342A
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Prior art keywords
key
keyboard
formed
position
keys
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
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Maynard E Anderson
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ALYN DALE Inc
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ALYN DALE Inc
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L13/00Details of the apparatus or circuits covered by groups H04L15/00 or H04L17/00
    • H04L13/16Details of the apparatus or circuits covered by groups H04L15/00 or H04L17/00 of transmitters, e.g. code-bars, code-discs
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06CDIGITAL COMPUTERS IN WHICH ALL THE COMPUTATION IS EFFECTED MECHANICALLY
    • G06C7/00Input mechanisms
    • G06C7/02Keyboards
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01HELECTRIC SWITCHES; RELAYS; SELECTORS; EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE DEVICES
    • H01H13/00Switches having rectilinearly-movable operating part or parts adapted for pushing or pulling in one direction only, e.g. push-button switch
    • H01H13/70Switches having rectilinearly-movable operating part or parts adapted for pushing or pulling in one direction only, e.g. push-button switch having a plurality of operating members associated with different sets of contacts, e.g. keyboard

Description

Jan. 13, 1970 M, E. ANDERSON r1,4s94z KEYBOARD Filed May l, 1968 1 NVEN TOR.

BMAVNARD E. ANDERSON ATTORNEV United States Patent O 3,489,342 KEYBOARD Maynard E. Anderson, Pleasanton, Calif., assignor to Alyn-Dale, Inc., a corporation of California Filed May 1, 1968, Ser. No. 725,842 Int. Cl. G06c 7/02 U.S. Cl. 23S- 145 6 `Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLGSURE A keyboard for use in a key operated machine, said board being formed of resilient material and having a plurality of keys integrally formed therewith and attached thereto on one side, each key being operatively movable relative to an opening formed in the keyboard, the attachment of said keys imposing a resilient bias for returning each key to a home position.

This invention relates to the manufacture and construction of keyboards particularly of the kind wherein a plurality of keys are exposed through the keyboard and independently operative relative to the others.

In brief, the present invention involves providing a novel keyboard that may be inexpensively manufactured of resilient plastic materials. More particularly, the invention comprises a keyboard having a plurality of keys integrally formed therewith and attached thereto on one side, each key being operatively movable relative to an opening formed in the keyboard. The integral attachment of the keys, being of resilient material, imposes a bias for returning each key to a home position. The invention further contemplates a keyboard manufactured wherein each key is integrally formed therewith in a relative position displaced from its home position, and further including means for stopping each key at its home position while being exed under the bias of the resilient material from which the keyboard is made. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, each key is formed with a contact including a beveled edge which may be engaged with the edge of the keyboard to cam the key, moving it against the bias of the resilient attachment and allowing the key to be placed in a home position.

Therefore, one object of this invention is to provide a novel keyboard construction having a plurality of integrally formed keys, the attachments to the keyboard providing a guidance for the keys relative to openings through which the keys may be moved.

Another object is to provide a keyboard of the kind described that may be inexpensively manufactured by conventional molding techniques using relatively inexpensive resilient plastic materials.

Another object of the invention is to provide a keyboard of the kind described that is particularly adapted for use in a calculator having a plurality of slide bars disposed beneath the keyboard and supported therefrom.

A further object is to provide a keyboard of the kind described, a plurality of keys being Iformed integrally with the keyboard but in positions displaced from their normal home positions, whereby the resiliency of the material is used as a bias to return each key into a home position.

Other objects of this invention will become apparent in view of the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings forming a part of this application and in which like parts are identified by like reference numerals throughout the same,

FIG. 1 is a perspective View of a calculator machine having a keyboard constructed in a preferred manner contemplated by the teaching of this invention, portions 3,489,342 Patented Jan. 13, 1970 ICC of the keyboard and operating mechanism of the calculator being broken away to expose internal supports and operating mechanism;

FIG. 2 is a vertical section taken through the keyboard showing both the as molded and home positions of the keys, and indicating the manner by which each key is placed in the home position;

FIG. 3 is another section through the keyboard showing a typical position for one of the keys and the slide bar at a moment following an actuation of the key; and

FIG. 4 illustrates in vertical section the manner by which each key is engaged with the slide bar and retained in its depressed position.

Referring to FIG. 1 in particular, there is shown a calculator 10 comprised of a keyboard 11 formed of a resilient plastic material and having a plurality of numbered keys 12 integrally attached thereto on one side. Each key is operatively movable relative to an opening 13 formed in the keyboard, the resilient attachment of the keys imposing a bias for returning each key to its home position. However, key-board 11 and keys 12 are preferably formed as key 12a, shown in FIG. 2. This key occupies a position displaced from its normal home position, the position occupied by adjacent key 12b.

More particularly, and again with reference to FIG. 2, each of the keys is formed in a position displaced above the home position, a narrow clearance 14 existing between a lip 15 and a latching nger 16. It will be seen that as key 12a is moved downward, nger 16 overlaps the edge of lip 15. However, finger 16 may be positioned beneath lip 15 by applying a downward pressure to the top of the key, in the manner illustrated.

The resiliency of the material from which the keyboard is made should allow slight lateral displacement of the keys in the direction of their attachments to the keyboard. The movement required for placing the latch lingers 16 in a home position from the molded position is further enhanced by a beveled edge 17 formed on the under surface of the latching fingers. Beveled edges 17 serve to cam each key against the resilient bias of the material, thereby facilitating the movement necessary to position the keys into their home positions.

Keyboard 11 is of particular value and use with a calculator of the type shown having a plurality of slide bars 20 disposed beneath the keyboard. Each slide bar 20 is substantially aligned with a row of keys .12 and is positioned to be engaged and momentarily deflected by the actuation of any key in a row with which it is aligned. A plurality of elongate openings 21 are formed in each slide bar, each opening being operatively associated with a particular key as to receive the key shortly after it is pushed and the slide bar deflected. In addition, each slide bar is placed under a bias of a spring-powered finger 22 which tends to drive a particular slide bar beneath the row of keys with which it is aligned. However, each slide bar is held in a home or zero position by a latch 23 which engages an appendage 20a.

In operation, a deection of any slide bar by operation of one of the keys with which it is aligned and disengages the bar from latch 23. This condition is shown in FIG. 3. The deflecting key 12 is then received in the associated opening 21 as the spring-powered finger 22 drives the slide bar beneath the keys. Movement of the slide bar continues until the latch finger 16 of the depressed key engages the end of the slotted opening in which it is received as shown in FIG. 4. It will be seen that the slotted openings are formed of varying length and in proportion to the number which its operation is to place upon a numbered dial 24 of the calculator.

Inasmuch as the invention of this application is not concerned with the operating mechanism of the calculator but, rather, is directed to the construction and manufacture of the keyboard alone, a further description of the operating mechanism appears unnecessary. However, it will be apparent that the invention has particular application for calculator devices which employ a slide bar for actuating one or more numbered dials. In particular, keyboard 11 may be used as a mounting structure for supporting each of the slide bars 20. A low-cost support structure for the slide bars is easily provided by integrally molding a plurality of guide posts 25 on the underface of the keyboard. In addition, latches 23 may be integrally formed on the underside of the keyboard for engaging the appendage 20a on each side as to hold the slide in its home or zero position.

Although a preferred embodiment of this invention has been illustrated and described, various modifications and changes may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the attached claims, and each of such modifications and changes is contemplated.

What is claimed is:

1. In a key operated machine, a keyboard having a plurality of keys integrally formed therewith and attached thereto on one side, each key being operatively movable relative to an opening formed in said keyboard.

2. In a key operated machine, a keyboard formed of resilient material and having a plurality of keys integrally formed therewith and attached thereto on one side, each key being operatively movable relative to an opening formed in said keyboard, the attachment of said keys imposing a resilient bias for returning each key to a home position.

3. The machine of claim 2 wherein each key is integrally formed with said keyboard in a relative position displaced from its home position, and further including means for stopping each key at its home position while being exed under the resilient bias of said material.

4. The machine of claim 3 wherein said means for stopping each key comprises pairs of contacts, one contact of each pair being integrally formed with a key and the associated contact of each pair being integrally formed with said keyboard, each pair of contacts being formed in spaced apart relation such that said keys may be moved relative to openings formed in said keyboard to position the contacts formed with said keys in back of the Contacts formed with said keyboard, thereby placing each key under tension in its home position.

5. The machine of claim 4 wherein the contact formed on each key projects from the side of the key opposite to an integral attachment of said key to said keyboard, said contact extending beyond the opening with which each key is relatively movable and overlapping an edge of said keyboard peripherally of said opening.

6. The machine of claim 5 wherein each Contact formed on a key includes a beveled edge engageable with the edge of said keyboard to cam the key against the resilient bias of said material, allowing the key to be placed in its home position by moving the key relative to the associated opening in said keyboard.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1936 Degen 235-l45 OTHER REFERENCES STEPHEN J. TOMSKY, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. XR. 197-98

US3489342A 1968-05-01 1968-05-01 Keyboard Expired - Lifetime US3489342A (en)

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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2308184A1 (en) * 1975-04-16 1976-11-12 Northern Telecom Ltd multi-contact pushbutton switch has
US4032729A (en) * 1973-12-21 1977-06-28 Rockwell International Corporation Low profile keyboard switch having panel hinged actuators and cantilevered beam snap acting contacts
US4351988A (en) * 1980-12-08 1982-09-28 Ncr Corporation Keyboard switch assembly
EP0064041A1 (en) * 1981-04-09 1982-11-03 Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson Method of manufacturing a push button keyboard
US4571466A (en) * 1983-12-12 1986-02-18 Kokoku Rubber Industrial Company Limited Spring unit for a keyboard
US4729679A (en) * 1985-12-17 1988-03-08 Silitek Corporation Structure of the keyboard button basic pad
GB2211459A (en) * 1987-10-28 1989-07-05 Huo Lu Tsai Method of manufacturing a keyboard
US5333961A (en) * 1992-08-05 1994-08-02 Rockwell International Corporation Keyboard with top mountable key cap assemblies and method

Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2032168A (en) * 1936-02-25 Keyboard

Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2032168A (en) * 1936-02-25 Keyboard

Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4032729A (en) * 1973-12-21 1977-06-28 Rockwell International Corporation Low profile keyboard switch having panel hinged actuators and cantilevered beam snap acting contacts
FR2308184A1 (en) * 1975-04-16 1976-11-12 Northern Telecom Ltd multi-contact pushbutton switch has
US4351988A (en) * 1980-12-08 1982-09-28 Ncr Corporation Keyboard switch assembly
EP0064041A1 (en) * 1981-04-09 1982-11-03 Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson Method of manufacturing a push button keyboard
US4459256A (en) * 1981-04-09 1984-07-10 Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson Method of manufacturing a push button keyboard
US4571466A (en) * 1983-12-12 1986-02-18 Kokoku Rubber Industrial Company Limited Spring unit for a keyboard
US4729679A (en) * 1985-12-17 1988-03-08 Silitek Corporation Structure of the keyboard button basic pad
GB2211459A (en) * 1987-10-28 1989-07-05 Huo Lu Tsai Method of manufacturing a keyboard
GB2211459B (en) * 1987-10-28 1991-07-03 Huo Lu Tsai Manufacturing method of a keyboard
US5333961A (en) * 1992-08-05 1994-08-02 Rockwell International Corporation Keyboard with top mountable key cap assemblies and method

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