Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3301988 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date31 Jan 1967
Filing date10 Feb 1965
Priority date10 Feb 1965
Publication numberUS 3301988 A, US 3301988A, US-A-3301988, US3301988 A, US3301988A
InventorsWeitzman Milton J
Original AssigneeSlater Electric Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Light switch with indicating light in a translucent handle thereof
US 3301988 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 3l, 1967 M. J. WEITZMAN 3,301,988

LIGHT SWITCH WITH INDICATING LIGHT IN A TRANSLUCENT HANDLE THEREOF Filed Feb. l0, 1965 F|G.1 .4 2 Flea '4 ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3 301 988 ILIGHIn swrTCII wIrrI INDICATING LIGHT IN A TRANSLUCENT HANDLE THEREOF Milton .I. Weitzman, Bayside, N.Y., assigner to Slater Electric Inc., Glen Cove, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Feb. 10, 1965, Ser. No. 431,560 4 Claims. (Cl. 24m-167) The present invention relates to a two level. electrical switch of the type commonly known as a dimming switch which is provi-ded with a light which is operative when the switch is in its oi position to thereby indicate the position of the switch.

Additionally, the indicating light of the present Invention is so arranged t-hat it `operates at a decreased intensity when the switch is in its dim position thus indicating that fact and is off when the light is bright.

It has been common to provide smallneon lamps in the handles of electrical switches to indicate the'location of the switch when the lamp controlled thereby is unenergized but in general such indicating lamps have required quite complex structures since the switch handle is oscillatable and th-us some type of commutator ,device is necessary to carry the current to the lamp or in the alternative, flexible leads must lbe used which a-re subject to failure due to the repeated flexing thereof.

The present invention provides a structure wherein no flexible leads are required and wherein the neon lamp is readily mounted in the switch handle and current conducted to and from that lamp by means of a commutator device located on the axis of rotation of the handle and thus requiring a minimum of space while at the same time providing a reliably operating device.

It is an object of the invention to provide a two level switch having an indicator lamp mounted in the switch handle which lamp, in addition to indicating the location of the switch, serves to indicate the operative condition thereof.

It is another object of the invention to provide such a two level switch with an indicating lamp in which the current is conducted to the indicating lamp in such a manner as to assure that failure will not occur while at the same time providing a construction Aoccupying a minimum of space and requiring no complex mechanical arrangement for switching the indicator lamp in accordance with the position of the switch handle.

Other objects and features of the invention will be apparent when the following description is considered in connection with the annexed drawings, in which,

FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of the two level switch and indicating light of my invention with the cover removed;

FIGURE 2 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the switch of FIGURE 1 taken on the plane of the line 2-2 of FIGURE l. In this view, however, the cover is shown in place;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary transverse cross-sectional view taken along the plane `of the line 3-3 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a transverse cross-sectional View taken on the plane of the line 4-4 of FIGURE 1; and

FIGURES 5 and 6 are circuit diagrams of alternative circuits, the diagram of FIGURE 5 showing the mode in which the circuit is arranged in the switch depicted in FIGURES 1 through 4.

Referring now to t-he drawings, the switch comprises the lusual housing having the base 11, side walls 12 and 13 and end walls 14 and 15. In the usual manner there is mounted lon the housing 10 a cover 16 which, as will appear, has an opening therein through which the handle 17 extends, the handle being held in position hy the cover which is in turn held inposition by the mounting 'strap 18 which is secured to the housing by any suitable means such as rivets.

Extending upwardly from the hase 11 adjacent each end wall is a boss 19, these bosses supporting rubber bumpers 20 which act as end stops for the handle as 1t is oscillated from one position to another.

Mounted in slots 21 (FIG. 2) in the opposing faces of the bosses 19 is a U-shaped resilient member 22 having a depressed area therein as indicated at 23 which serves, as will appear, to hold the switch handle in its center position.

Formed in the inner surface of the side walls 12 and 13 and extending from the upper surface of the side walls toward the -base 11 are notches 24 which serve as journals for the shaft portion 25 of the handle 17. As is clearly indicated in FIGURES 1 and 3, the handle 17, in addition to having the shaft portion 25, is provided with the right angled extensions 26 which extensions cooperate with the bumpers 20 previously mentioned to cushion and limit the oscillation of the handle.

As will be seen especially in FIGURE 3 the shaft portion 25 is hollow as is the handle portion proper 17, the lower end of the handle ybeing provided with a cap 27 which ts into an opening provided in alignment with the portion 17. Also, the shaft 25 is provided on its lower surface with camming members 281, one of which is n-ot utilized in the present example and the other of which co Ioperates with a contact member 3i) and causes it to be moved into engagement with one or the other of a pair of contacts or to rest between those contacts. Mounted in the handle 17 is a neon lamp 31 the leads from which, designated 32 and 33, pass through grooves 34 (FIG. 3) in the sides of the cap member 27 and extend thence outwardly along the `bottom of the shaft 25 through holes 35 therein and are held in position by means of conductive pins 36 Iwhich are inserted in the central bores of the shaft portion 25 from the respective ends and serve to pinch the leads 32 and 33 between the inner surface of the bore and the inserted pin.

The side walls 12 and 13 are 37 adjacent the ends thereof, the apertures being enlarged toward the inner edge of the side walls to lprovide grooves 38 and 40 which grooves, together with the apertures, extend from the outer [face of the side walls toward the base and terminate at a point spaced from the base, as clearly seen in FIGURE 4.

Mounted in the upper right hand ones fof the slots 3S and 40, as seen in FIGURE 1, is a. terminal member 41 which comprises a portion 42 which is mounted in the slots and an additional portion 43 which extends at right angles thereto, the inner edge of the portion 43 resting on a shoulder portion of the corresponding boss 19, this shoulder portion being designated 44. Fixed to the inwardly extending portion 43 of the terminal 41 is a flexible contact Inember 45 which extends parallel to the side walls and lies between two contacts about to be described. A lead-in conductor 46 extends through an aperture in base 11 and the conductor is electrically connected to the terminal 41.

Another terminal member 47 similar to the member 41 is mounted in the grooves 38 and 40 associated with the aperture 37 at the right hand bottom of the switch housing as seen in FIGURE 1. This terminal 47 carries on its lower face a Contact 48 which mates with a similar contact 50 on the contact member 45. A lead-in conductor 51 extends through an opening in the base and through an opening in the inwardly extending right angles portion of terminal 47 and is soldered as indicated at 52 to that portion of terminal 47.

A third terminal 53 is mounted in a similar manner at the lower left hand of the switch as seen in FIGURE 1. This terminal member carries an arm 54 which extends provided with apertures D toward the right and downwardly as seen particularly in FIGURE 4 and carries on a portion 55, parallel to the base 11, a contact 56 which cooperates with a contact 57 mounted on contact member 45. Additionally, there is mounted on the terminal 53 a diode 58, the center electrode of which is connected by means of the conductor 6i) to the terminal 47, and the outer terminal of which is connected directly to terminal 53 and thus to the contact 55.

In order to supply current to the indicator lamp 31 the pins 36 engage conductive strips 61 which are placed in the journal notches 24. These conductive strips rest upon the bottom wall of the notch 24 and extend upwardly along the side walls. The two strips are identical but they are inserted facing in opposite directions and each is provided with an offset portion 62 which fits about a portion of the side wall 12 or 13 as the case may be, these portions being designated 63, see FIGURE 1. Additionally, each strip is provided with a bent-over end 64. The bentover end 64 of the right hand conductive strip 61 lies between the upstanding portion of terminal 47 and the corresponding groove in the side wall 13. In a similar manner the bent-over end of the left hand conductive strip 61 lies behind an insulating member 65 which is positioned in grooves in the side wall 12.

The left-hand conductive strip 61 is electrically connected by means of a conductor 66 to one terminal of a resistor 67 which resistor is mounted in a cavity in the upper boss 19, the opposite terminal of the resistor being connected by means of the conductor 63 to the terminal 41. This connection is made by placing a bared end of the conductor 68 on the ledge 44 on which the inner end of terminal 41 rests so that contact is made by pinching the bared conductor between the ledge and the horizontal portion of terminal 41.

As shown in FIGURES and 6 there are two modes of connecting the lamp 31 and resistor 67 in series therewith into the circuit. The preferred mode is shown in the drawings, FIGURES 1 through 4, and a schematic diagram thereof constitutes FIGURE 5. When the switch handle 17 is in its central position as shown in the drawings, there is no connection to the external load 7i), but the lamp 31 is energized due to the fact it is connected across the line from terminal 41 to terminal 47 specifically the circuit leads from the terminal 41 through conductor 68, resistor 67, conductor 66, conductive strips 61 through left hand pin 36, conductor 33 through the lamp 31, conductor 32, right hand pin 36 and right hand conductive strip 61 to terminal 47.

When the switch handle is in its upper position, as seen in FIGURES 1 and 2, terminal 41 is connected directly by means of the contact member 45 and contacts 50 and 48 to the terminal 47, thus energizing the external load 70. The load 70 being directly across the power source will be fully energized. The lamp 31 will of course be short circuited and will therefore remain deenergized.

When the switch handle 17 is placed in its lower position the contact member will move so that contact 57 engages contact 56 and the circuit will then extend from terminal 41 through contact member 45, contacts 57 and 56, to terminal member 53, thence through diode 58 and conductor 60 to terminal, 47. This time, therefore, the diode will be connected in series with the load across the power line and the load will be energized only by half wave alternating current and will operate a lamp at a reduced brilliancy. At the same time a shunt will be formed across the indicator lamp 31 during those periods when the diode is conducting so that the lamp 31 will also be energized by a half wave alternating current and will operate with a reduced brilliancy thereby indicating that the load 70 is operating at less than full power.

Although the circuit arrangement above described is preferred it is obvious that the indicator lamp may be connected in circuit in other manners and FIGURE 6 illustrates one such manner. In this arrangement the diode and its series resistor, instead of being connected directly across the power line, are connected from terminal 41 to terminal 53. With this arrangement the diode operates when the switch is open only and when so operative is provided with half wave A.C. current. When the switch handle is in either its upper or lower position the lamp 31 is shorted out and therefore is, as stated, deenergized.

It will be seen from the foregoing that I have provided a very simple means for conducting current to an indicator lamp which is located in a switch handle without the necessity of utilizing exible leads. It will be apparent also that my structure for accomplishing this purpose provides means for readily replacing the indicator lamp if this be necessary and also provides a structure which is readily assembled at low cost both for parts and for labor.

Although in the foregoing description the indicator lamp circuit arrangement has been described in connection with a two level switch, it will be understood that a substantially identical arrangement could be utilized in connection with the ordinary single-pole single-throw switch or with a single-pole double-throw switch. Thus I wish to be limited not by the foregoing description, but solely by the claims granted to me.

What is claimed is:

1. In an electrical switch of the type having a housing, a cover, terminals mounted in the housing for connecting the switch in one side of a line from an A.C. power source to a load, at least one movable and at least one fixed contact arranged to connect one of said terminals to another and a movable operating handle mounted in the housing to operate the movable contact; in combination, the operating handle comprising a hollow translucent manually operable member having hollow shaft portions extendingy perpendicular thereto, an indicator lamp having wire leads integral therewith mounted in said operating member to be visible from outside the switch housing, means mounting said hollow shaft portions in journals formed in the side walls in at least one of the cover and housing, each said lead from said indicator lamp extending into one of said hollow shaft portions adjacent the manually operable member, pins in said hollow shaft portions engaging said leads to hold said leads in position, heads on said pins, resilient means at each side of said housing connected to one of said terminals, said resilient means being urged into continuous contact with a corresponding pin head, said connection of said resilient means to said terminals causing said indicator lamp to be in series with the load and energized therethrough when the movable contact is out of contact with the fixed contact, said indicator lamp being shorted out and de-energized when the movable contact engages one of the fixed contacts, a cap at the inner end of said manually operable member, said cap having an outwardly extending pointed member, and a detent member mounted in the switch housing and cooperating with said pointed member to hold said handle in a central position.

2. In an electrical switch of the type lhaving a housing, a cover, terminals mounted in the housing for connecting the switch in one side of a line `from an A.C. power source to a load, at least one movable and at least one xed contact arranged to connect one of said terminals to another and a movable operating handle mounted in the housing to operate the movable contact; in combination, the operating handle comprising a hollow translucent manually operable member having hollow shaft portions extending perpendicular thereto, an indicator lamp having wire leads integral therewith mounted in said operating member to be visible from outside the switch housing, means mounting said hollow shaft portions in journals formed in the side walls in at least one of the cover and housing, each said lead from said indicator lamp extending into one of said hollow shaft portions adjacent the manually operable member, pins in said hollow Shaft pOrtOuS Iengaging said leads to hold said leads in position, heads on said pins, resilient means at each side of said housing connected to one of said terminals, said resilient means being urged into continuous Contact with a corresponding pin head, said connection of said resilient means to said terminals causing said indicator lamp to be in series with the load and energized therethrough When the movable contact is out of contact with the fixed contact, said indicator lamp being shorted out and de-energized when the movable contact engages one of the xed contacts, said switch including at least one xed contact, at least one movable Contact, and a diode connected between the switch terminals in one position of the movable contact, said operating handle having three positions in at least one of which the circuit to the external load is broken and said indicator is fully energized and in another of 'which said indicator lamp is shunted and completely de-energized.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITEDl STATES PATENTS 2,134,696 lll/1938 Bigman 20G-167 2,246,613 6/1941 Bigman 200-167 2,434,065 l/1948 Courtney 200-167 2,494,560 l/1950 Kaupp 200-167 X ROBERT K. SCHAEFER, Primary Examiner.

H. O. I ONES, Assistant Examinez'.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2134696 *25 Apr 19361 Nov 1938Bigman Morris LIlluminated switch
US2246613 *5 May 193824 Jun 1941Bigman Morris LIlluminated switch device
US2434065 *29 Dec 19456 Jan 1948Courtney Joseph FIlluminated safety switch
US2494560 *9 Apr 194717 Jan 1950Roberts Numbering Machine Co IGlow switch
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3614362 *28 Jul 197019 Oct 1971Cutler Hammer IncLighted toggle lever switch
US4055739 *19 Aug 197625 Oct 1977Cutler-Hammer, Inc.Lighted toggle lever switch
US4281232 *10 Mar 198028 Jul 1981Nihon Kaiheiki Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaSmall illuminating switch
US4321443 *25 Aug 198023 Mar 1982Eaton CorporationLighted toggle lever switch having articulated conductors
US4556863 *6 Dec 19823 Dec 1985Slater Electric Inc.Emergency light switch
US4739187 *12 Sep 198619 Apr 1988William A. MarinoSelf-contained switch for illuminating lamp with emergency signal capability
US4870232 *8 Aug 198826 Sep 1989Hoogland John AExtension control for a switch
DE2807672A1 *23 Feb 197830 Aug 1979Rau Swf AutozubehoerSwitch with inbuilt resistor for indicator lamp - has accommodating external recess in base and with one wire lead acting as fixed contact to keep switch small
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/315, 313/318.1
International ClassificationH01H23/00, H01H23/02, H01H23/16
Cooperative ClassificationH01H23/025, H01H23/168
European ClassificationH01H23/02B, H01H23/16E