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Publication numberUS3403237 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date24 Sep 1968
Filing date5 Apr 1967
Priority date5 Apr 1967
Publication numberUS 3403237 A, US 3403237A, US-A-3403237, US3403237 A, US3403237A
InventorsWysong Robert D
Original AssigneeRobertshaw Controls Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical switch having a one-piece actuator and spring arm structure
US 3403237 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Se t. 24, 1968 R.-D. WYSONG ELECTRICAL SWITCH HAVING A ONE-PIECE ACTUATOR AND SPRING ARM STRUCTURE 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 5, 1967 INVENTOR ROBERT D. WYSONG HIS ATTORNEYS Se t. 24, 1968 R. D. WYSONG 3,403,237

ELECTRICAL SWITCH HAVING A ONE-PIECE ACTUATOR I AND SPRING ARM STRUCTURE Filed April 5, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR ROBERT D. WYSONG HIS ATTORNEYS" Sept. 24, 1968 WYSQNG ELECTRICAL SWITCH HAVING A ONE-PIECE ACTUATOR AND SPRING ARM STRUCTURE Filed April 5, 1967 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIGS INVENTOR ROBERT D. WYSONG dwidm'm HIS ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,403,237 ELECTRICAL SWITCH HAVING A ONE-PIECE ACTUATOR AND SPRING ARM STRUCTURE Robert D. Wysong, Goshen, Ind., assignor to Robertshaw Controls Company, Richmond, Va., a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 5, 1967, Ser. No. 628,759 4 Claims. (Cl. 200--67) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This disclosure relates to an electrical switch construction having a housing means pivotally carrying a pair of lever means respectively having electrical contact means on the opposed ends thereof and being fulcrumed intermediate their opposed ends on stationary terminal means carried by the housing means, the housing means carrying a pivotally mounted actuator having resilient and integral arms extending therefrom and respectively bearing against the pivotally mounted lever means to pivot the same from one pivotal position thereof to another pivotal position thereof with a snap action to respectively engage or disengage like contact means of the lever means from cooperating stationary contact means of the housing means to or from other stationary contact means of the housing means. Each resilient arm is so constructed and arranged that the arm is symmetrical about its centerline so that the same not only generates a downward compressive force against its respective lever means, but also during transfer of movement, the same exerts a force longitudinally in the direction of movement of the arm to impart a crisp and instantaneous snap transfer movement to the lever means to move the same between its operating positions regardless of the direction of pivotal movement of the actuator means.

This invention relates to an improved electrical switch construction means.

In particular, the switch construction means of this invention comprises a novel low cost, manual push button type of electrical switch wherein the operating mechanism is reduced to a minimum number of relatively simple parts while still providing a unique snap acting operation not provided by similar types of electrical switches.

For example, the switch construction of this invention includes a housing means pivotally carrying a lever means having electrical contact means thereon that will cooperate with fixed contact means carried by the housing means. An actuator means is movably carried 'by the housing means and has integral resilient arm means bearing against the lever means in such a manner that the arm means generates a compressive spring force down- Wardly against the lever means While during movement of the actuator means, a spring force of the arm means also is generated longitudinally in the direction of movement of the arm means to impart a crisp instantaneous snap transfer movement to the lever means as the same is moved from one operating position thereof to another operating position thereof.

Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved electrical switch construction means having one or more of the novel features set forth above or hereinafter shown or described.

Other objects, uses and advantages of this invention are apparent from a reading of this description which proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof and wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a top perspective view of the improved electrical switch construction means of this invention.

FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 22 of FIGURE 1 and illustrates the switch construction means in one operating position thereof.

FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 and illustrates the switch construction means of FIGURE 2 during part of a switching transfer operation.

FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 3 and illustrates the actuator in another transfer position thereof.

FIGURE 5 is a view similar to FIGURE 4 and illustrates the switch construction means of FIGURE 2 in another operating position thereof.

FIGURE 6 is a cross-sectional view taken on lines 6-6 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 7 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 7-7 of FIGURE 6.

FIGURE 8 is an exploded perspective view of various parts of the switch construction means of FIGURE 1.

While the various features of this invention are hereinafter described and illustrated as being particularly adaptable for providing a push button, electrical switch construction means, it is to be readily understood that the switch construction means could readily be of a bat type, toggle type or other design whereby this invention is not to be limited to only the embodiments illustrated in the drawings, because the various features of this invention can be utilized singly or in any combination with each other to provide other types of electrical switch construction means for other uses as desired.

Referring now to FIGURES l8, an improved electrical switch construction means of this invention is generally indicated by the reference numeral 20 and comprises a housing means 21 carrying a first set of fixed terminal means 22, 23 and 24 and a second set of fixed terminal means 25, 26 and 27 each being received in a respective slot means 28 formed through the bottom wall means 29 of the cup shaped housing means 21 and being held in a fixed position therein not only by a press fit relationship as illustrated, but also by an outwardly bent or deformed tongue portion 30 on the respective terminal means engaging against a shoulder means 31 of the housing means 21 defined by the respective slot means 28 as illustrated in FIGURE 2.

Two like lever members 32 and 33 are provided for the switch construction means 20 and each has an intermediate depression or contour 34 formed in the bottom surface thereof and medially between opposed ends 35 and 36 thereof to rest on and pivot against the respective intermediate terminal means 23 or 26 at the rounded top edge 37 thereof that projects into the interior chamber 38 of the cup-shaped housing means 21, each set of terminal means 2224 and 25-27 being electrically insulated from each other by an intermediate wall 39 of the housing means 21 that divides the chamber 38 into two compartments or cavities 40 and 41 adjacent the bottom wall means 29 of the housing means 21.

The lever means 32 is an electrical current carrying member and has electrical contacts 42 and 43 secured thereto at the opposed ends 35 and 36 to respectively cooperate with the upper contact ends 44 and 45 of the fixed terminal means 24 and 22 in a manner hereinafter described. Similarly, the lever means 33 is an electrical current carrying member and carries electrical contacts 46 and 47 at the opposed ends 35 and 36 thereof to respectively cooperate with the upper contact ends of the fixed terminal means 25 and 27, only the upper contact end 48 of the terminal means 25 being illustrated in FIG- URE 8 while the upper contact end of the terminal means 27 is identical to the contact end 48 of the terminal means 25 that is illustrated.

Each lever means 32 and 33 has a notch means 49 formed in the side thereof and intermediate the opposed ends 35 and 36 thereof to receive an outwardly extending tongue or guide means 50 of the intermediate Wall means 39 of the housing means 21 as illustrated in FIG- URE 7 while the opposed side of the respective lever means 32 or 33 has an outwardly directed inter-mediate tongue means 51 received in a groove or recess means 52 of the outer side wall means 53 of the housing means 21 as illustrated in FIGURE 7 whereby the lever means 32 and 33 are properly positioned in the cavities 40 and 41 while still being adapted for pivotal movement on the intermediate terminal means 23 and 26.

As illustrated in FIGURE 2, each lever means 32 and 33 is substantially identical in configuration and has the opposed flat and substantially parallel end portions 35 and 36 respectively separated from each other by arcuate portions 54 and 55 having the concave sides thereof facing upwardly to respectively define wells 56 and 57 separated from each other at an intermediate upwardly facing convex point 58 for a purpose hereinafter described, the intermediate point 58 being disposed at the respective intermediate terminal means 23 or 26 as illustrated and being defined by the depression 34 previously described.

A manually movable actuator means 59 of the switch construction means 20 comprises an upper body portion 60 having outwardly directed opposed integral side pivot pin means or posts 61 adapted to be respectively snap fitted into circular recesses 62 formed in the interior surface 63 of the side wall means 53 of the housing means 21 to pivotally mount the actuator means 59 relative to the housing means 21.

The upper surface 64 of the actuator means 59 is exposed at the open end or opening means 65 of the housing means 21 in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 2 and defines a substantially V-shaped cross-sectional configuration providing opposed angularly disposed top sections 66 and 67 each being longitudinally serrated for facilitating finger engaging actuation thereof as will be apparent hereinafter.

The actuator means 59 carries two like, integral, resilient and substantially symmetrical arm means 68 for respectively actuating the lever means 32 and 33 in a manner hereinafter described, the arm means 68 being under compression between the body portion 60 of the actuator means 59 and the lever means 32 and 33 when the same are assembled together.

As illustrated in FIGURE 2, each arm means 68 is adapted to be received in its respective cavity portion 40 or 41 of the housing means 2 1 when the actuator 59 is pivotally mounted thereto in the manner previously described and has a free end 69 adapted to always bear against its respective lever means 32 or 33 while the other end 70 thereof is integral with the body portion 60 and aligned with the pivot point means 61 of the actuator means 59. Each arm 68 has an oblong opening 68A passing therethrough with the short dimension of the opening 68A being between the ends 70 and 69 thereof whereby each arm 68 is annular in cross section, Thus, it can be seen that each annular arm means 68 is arcuately shaped between the opposed ends 69 and 70 thereof and is symmetrical about its centerline to provide a resiliency thereto and a uniformity of action thereof regardless of the direction of movement of the actuator means 59 for a purpose now to be described.

When the various parts of electrical switch construction '20 of this invention have been assembled together in the manner previously described by merely inserting the parts in sequence through the open end 65 of the housing means 21, the switch construction means 20 is adapted to electrically interconnect the fixed terminals 24 and 27 respectively to the intermediate terminals 23 and 26 when the actuator means 59 is disposed in the position illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2. However, when the actuator means 59 is pivoted from the position of FIG- URE 2 to the position illustrated in FIGURE 5, the arm means 68 and lever means 32 and 33 are so constructed and arranged that the intermediate terminal means 23 and 26 are electrically disconnected from the respective terminal means 24 and 27 and are respectively placed into electrical connection with the respective terminal means 22 and 25 with a unique snap transfer action now to be described.

With the switch construction 20 having the actuator means 59 disposed in the position illustrated in FIGURES l and 2, the arm means 68 are under compression between the ends 70 and 69 thereof while the ends 69 are disposed in the wells 56 of the respective levers 32 and 33 to hold the right hand contacts 42 and 46 thereof respectively against the upper ends of the terminal means 24 and 27, the actuator means 59 being maintained in this position by the configuration of the concave cam surface means 54 of the levers 32 and 33 until the actuator 59 is physically pivoted from the position illustrated in FIGURE 2.

When it is desired to disconnect the terminals 23 and 26 from the respective terminals 24 and 27 and place the terminals 23 and 26 into electrical contact with the respective terminals 22 and 25, the operator merely pushes a thumb or finger against the top surface section 66 of the actuator means 59 that is projecting out of the opening 65 of the housing means 21 to pivot or rock the actuator means 59 from the position illustrated in FIGURE 2 in a clockwise direction to the position illustrated in FIG- URE 5. However, as the actuator means 59 is pivoting in the above manner from the position illustrated in FIG- URE :2 to the position illustrated in FIGURE 3, the ends 69 of the arms 68 begin to ride or cam up along the concave surface means 54 of the levers 32 and 33 while the levers 32 and 33 still remain in the operating position of FIGURE 2 even though the arms 68 are being placed under additional compressive force during such pivoting movement. As the ends 69 of the arms 68 pass slightly beyond the intermediate points 58 of the levers 32 and 33 in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 4, the slopes of the left hand concave cam surface means 55 of the levers 32 and 33 permit the compressed arm means 68 to relax slightly. The resulting vertical compression force of the arms 68 and the lateral spring force thereof caused by the arms resistance to such compressive force, now rapid- 1y causes the ends 69 of the arms 68 to ride down the slopes of the left hand cam surface means 55 of the levers 32 and 33 substantially to the center of the well means 57 thereof with a crisp snap action to cause the levers 32 and 33 to rapidly pivot on their respective terminal means 23 and 26 to the position illustrated in FIGURE 5 whereby the contacts 42 and 46 are substantially snapped away from the upper ends of the terminals 24 and 27 while the contacts 43 and 47 are substantially snapped into contact with the upper ends of the terminals 22 and 25.

With the actuator means 59 now disposed in the position illustrated in FIGURE 5, the arm means 68 and cam surface means 55 of the levers 32 and 33 are so constructed and arranged that the actuator means 59 will remain in the position illustrated in FIGURE 5 until the actuator means 59 is pivoted in a counterclockwise direction by the person pushing against the now upwardly extending top surface section 67 thereof in the manner previously described to again snap the actuator means 59 from the position illustrated in FIGURE 5 back to the position illustrated in FIGURE 2 with the aforementioned snap transferring action.

Therefore, regardless of the direction of movement of the actuator means 59, the arm means 68 thereof will function in the same manner because the arm means 68 are completely symmetrical about the centerline of the actuator means 59.

Accordingly, it can be seen that the improved electrical switch construction means 20 of this invention eliminates any walking action when the ends 69' of the actuating arms 68 reach a dead center position at the intermediate points 58 of the levers 32 and 33 so that there is no point in the movement of the actuator means 59 where all circuits controlled by the switch construction 21 are in an open position because the only movement of the levers 32 and 33 will be a substantially snap movement thereof whereby not only does the switch construction means 20 of this invention provide improved results, but also the switch construction means 20' of this invention provides a relatively low cost switch construction means having the parts thereof reduced to a minimum number thereof while being in a relatively simple form for rapid and easy assembly thereof. For example, it can be seen that the various parts of the switch construction means 20 can readily be assembled together by automatic assembling machines, if desired.

While the housing means 21 of the switch construction 20 previously described can be readily attached to the desired supporting structure in any desired manner for any desired purpose, the embodiment of the housing means 21 illustrated in the drawings includes a plurality of outwardly directed spring-like integral tongues 71 on opposed sides of the housing means 21, each tongue 71 having an inner end portion 72 disposed angularly relative to the respective flat side wall means 73 of the housing means 21 while the upper portion 74 thereof has an outer surface means 75 provided with a plurality of steps 76 that progressively extend inwardly toward the side wall means 73 as the same approach an outwardly directed peripheral flange means 77 surrounding the open end 65 of the housing means 21.

In this manner, the housing means 21 of the electrical switch construction means 20, can be telescoped into a substantially cooperating rectangular opening of a control panel or the like whereby the peripheral edge of such rectangular opening will inwardly cam the tongues 71 until the upper ends 74 thereof are adapted to snap outwardly against the peripheral edge of such rectangular opening to hold the control panel between the upper ends 74 of the tongues 71 and the outer peripheral flange 77 of the housing means 21. Thus, it can readily be seen that the switch construction means 20 of this invention can be readily assembled to and disassembled from a control panel or the like without requiring auxiliary fastening means.

In order to assure that the actuator means 59 of the switch construction means 20 of this invention will not have the arm means 68 thereof overstressed by an operator tending to press or push the actuator means 59 beyond the operating positions illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 5, the housing means 21 can be provided with an inwardly directed annular shoulder means 78 in the manner illustrated in FIGURES 2, 5 and 8 and against which the lower surface 79 of the body portion 60 of the actuator 59 will engage when the actuator 59 is either in the position illustrated in FIGURE 2 or in the position illustrated in FIGURE 5 to prevent overpivoting of the actuator means 59 beyond the counterclockwise position of FIGURE 2 or the clockwise position of FIGURE 5.

While the switch construction means 20 of this invention has been previously described and illustrated as being a double pole, double throw switch construction means with a complete snap action between the two current carrying positions thereof, it is to be understood that the various parts of this invention can be readily modified to produce other types of switching functions as desired whereby this invention is not to be limited to only the embodiment previously described.

While the form of the invention now preferred has been disclosed as required by the statutes, other forms may be used, all coming within the scope of the claims which follow.

What is claimed is: p

1. In combination, a housing means, lever means pivotally carried by said housing means and carrying electrical contact means, fixed electrical contact means carried by said housing means to be cooperable with said lever contact means, and actuator means carried by said housing means and being movable relative thereto, said actuator means having resilient integral arm means bearing against said lever means, said arm means having a transverse opening means passing therethrough to render said arm means resilient whereby said arm means has an annular configuration, said arm means and said actuator means being a one-piece structure and being so constructed and arranged that said arm means pivots said lever means between a contact closed position thereof and a contact open position thereof with substantially a snap action when said actuator means is moved from one position thereof to another position thereof whereby said contact means are placed into and out of electrical contact with each other.

2. A combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein said integral arm means has one end means integrally interconnected to said actuator means and the other end means remote therefrom and bearing against said lever means.

3. A combination as set forth in claim 2 wherein said arm means is arcuately formed between said end means thereof on both sides of said opening means to provide said resiliency thereof.

4. A combination as set forth in claim 3 wherein said opening means is substantially oblong with its short dimension being disposed between said end means of said arm means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,229,062 1/1966 Sharples et al.

FOREIGN PATENTS 544,174 1/ 6 Belgium.

OTHER REFERENCES Wichmann, Ger. Appl. No. 1,192,289, publ. 5/65, 1 sht. dwg., 2 pp. spec.

ROBERT K. SCHAEFER, Primary Examiner.

D. SMITH, IR., Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3229062 *11 Mar 196411 Jan 1966Lucas Industries LtdElectric switches
BE544174A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3519775 *10 Jan 19687 Jul 1970United Carr IncRocker switch centered by circular loop spring members coiled in compression
US3536872 *18 Mar 196827 Oct 1970Fiat SpaElectrical switch having actuating means maintained in uniform engagement with pivotable contact rocker
US3582584 *19 Aug 19681 Jun 1971Nibot CorpElectrical switch having integral plastic parts
US3582594 *15 Nov 19681 Jun 1971Mechanical Enterprises IncActuator useable for electric switches and the like
US3594529 *24 Jul 196920 Jul 1971Painton & Co LtdActuating assemblies and components therefor particularly suitable for electrical switches
US3597564 *17 Sep 19693 Aug 1971Lucas Industries LtdElectrical switch having integral operating member and body
US3681556 *26 Oct 19711 Aug 1972Mc Gill Mfg CoSnap-on rocker cap for electric switch
US3694607 *22 Oct 197126 Sep 1972Gen ElectricPlastic spring toggle action
US3718785 *2 Nov 197127 Feb 1973Int Standard Electric CorpMicroswitch with improved flexible loop sensing means for detecting transient objects
US4029925 *5 Apr 197614 Jun 1977General Motors CorporationElectric switch
US4121071 *17 Feb 197717 Oct 1978Stackpole Components CompanyElectric switch
US4123634 *20 Apr 197731 Oct 1978Cutler-Hammer, Inc.Snap-action switch with contact wiping action
US4440991 *7 Oct 19813 Apr 1984Carlingswitch, Inc.Electric switch with nested terminals
US4531030 *14 May 198423 Jul 1985Amp IncorporatedElectrical switch and actuating mechanism therefor
US4694129 *23 May 198615 Sep 1987Amp IncorporatedCircuit board switch having improved switch spring
US4778964 *8 Jun 198718 Oct 1988Nihon Kaiheiki Industrial Company Ltd.Subminiature switch with common and stationary switching contacts
US5168982 *12 Apr 19918 Dec 1992Nokia Mobile Phones Ltd.Switch device
US5412165 *19 Nov 19932 May 1995Eaton CorporationMultiple switch assembly with detented rocker actuator
US621508129 Mar 199910 Apr 2001Brigham Young UniversityBistable compliant mechanism
US675797524 Jan 20026 Jul 2004Brigham Young UniversityMulti-layered compliant mechanisms and method of manufacture
US8628337 *12 Apr 201214 Jan 2014Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.Attachment mechanism for electronic component
US20130164950 *12 Apr 201227 Jun 2013Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.Attachment mechanism for electronic component
EP0837484A2 *16 Oct 199722 Apr 1998Tenby Industries LimitedSwitch
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/437, 200/339
International ClassificationH01H23/00, H02B1/015, H02B1/048, H01H23/14
Cooperative ClassificationH01H23/145, H02B1/048
European ClassificationH01H23/14C1, H02B1/048