Patents Represented by Attorney Malcolm R. McKinnon
  • Patent number: 6433913
    Abstract: Improved electro-optic devices are provided which may be in the configuration of variable transmittance windows, variable transmittance eyeglasses, variable transmittance light filters and displays and other devices wherein the transmittance of light therethrough automatically varies as a function of light impinging thereon. The electro-optic devices include a self-erasing electro-optic medium, and the transmittance of light through such medium varies as a function of electrical signals applied thereto through the agency of at least one photovoltaic cell, enclosed within the electro-optic device, and obviating the necessity of providing external drive voltage or external bleeder resistors or external wiring. In addition, a method and apparatus are provided for making such electro-optic devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2002
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Frederick T. Bauer, Harlan J. Byker, David J. Cammenga, Thomas F. Guarr, David L. Poll, William L. Tonar, Scott W. Vander Zwaag
  • Patent number: 6239898
    Abstract: Electrochromic windows and panels are provided which have first and second spaced elements that are optically transparent to visible light. The first and second elements each have first and second sides, and the windows and panels define a sealed chamber disposed between the second side of the first element and the first side of the second element. The sealed chamber is filled with an electrochromic medium, and the transmission of visible light through the electrochromic medium is variable when an electrical potential is applied to electrically conductive coatings that are provided on the second side of the first element and the first side of the second element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2001
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Harlan J. Byker, David J. Cammenga, John K. Roberts
  • Patent number: 6184487
    Abstract: An improved inspection system for verifying that resistance welding electrodes have been properly dressed; that associated pairs of the electrodes are aligned with each other within predetermined tolerances; and that the pressure applied by a weld gun to the electrodes and material being welded is within predetermined standards. The system incorporates low pressure air apparatus that evaluates the back pressure resulting from the fit of collet geometry relative to the form of the electrode tip, and apparatus to verify the alignment of opposing electrodes with respect to each other and incorporating fiber-optic sensors that evaluate the alignment of collets with respect to each other. The system also provides apparatus for verifying that the proper pressure is applied to the workpieces by the electrodes during the welding operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Inventor: Paul R. Visscher
  • Patent number: 5998929
    Abstract: A control system is provided for controlling the energization of the headlamps on a first automotive vehicle, the headlamps being electrically energizable and each having a high beam state and a low beam state. The system includes means for collecting light emanating from a second vehicle and means for collecting ambient light. Sensing means is provided which is effective to selectively sense the intensity of the collected light emanating from the second vehicle and the collected ambient light. In addition, the system includes means controlling the state of the beams of the headlamps as a function of the sensed intensity of the beam of light emanating from said second vehicle, and means controlling the electrical energization of the headlamps as a function of the sensed ambient light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Jon H. Bechtel, Wayne J. Rumsey
  • Patent number: 5896092
    Abstract: An improved alarm system particularly adapted for use in attracting the attention of hearing impaired persons and/or for use in attracting the attention of persons in high decibel areas, it being understood that the system is applicable to other uses. The system incorporates an improved light reflector and improved Fresnel lenses which cooperate with a flash tube whereby the system projects as much of the available light as possible into a predetermined profile so that UL requirements are met with a minimum of wasted light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1999
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventor: Jon H. Bechtel
  • Patent number: 5883605
    Abstract: A vehicle having instrumentation indicative of parameters associated with the operation of the vehicle, which instrumentation includes variable intensity light emitting elements whereby the instrumentation will be appropriately displayed to the vehicle operator. A light sensing control system is provided for sensing varying light level conditions and generating corresponding electrical signals indicative of the varying light levels. The control system is responsive to the electrical signals and effective to vary the intensity of the light emitting elements over a range as a function of the varying light levels so that the instrumentation will remain visible to the vehicle operator, but not at a distracting brightness to the vehicle operator, during variable light level conditions. Another feature of the invention is the provision of a control for adjusting the intensity of the light emitting elements independently of glare causing light levels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1999
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventor: Robert C. Knapp
  • Patent number: 5814720
    Abstract: An improved air pressure sensor control system operable to sense the presence or absence of workpieces and other articles, to sense the position and orientation of such articles, to sense the size of such articles with respect to predetermined parameters, to sense multiple criteria and multiple applications, and to operate under adverse environmental conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Inventor: Paul R. Visscher
  • Patent number: 5808778
    Abstract: An electro-optic rearview mirror which has improved glare-reducing properties and in which the electro-optic medium in a darkened state has enhanced transmittance of visible light in the generally orange, red and near infrared wavelengths. If desired, the electro-optic rearview mirror embodying the invention may incorporate display means which shines through the electro-optic medium, the peak emission of the display means substantially corresponding with the enhanced transmittance of the electro-optic medium whereby the brightness of the display means is increased.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Frederick T. Bauer, Harlan J. Byker, David J. Cammenga, John K. Roberts
  • Patent number: 5689370
    Abstract: An improved electro-optic rearview mirror for motor vehicles, the mirror incorporating an improved display, such as "HEATED" or "OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR" or the like, and wherein the mirror colors and clears uniformly and the display is effected in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 18, 1997
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: William L. Tonar, Lyman G. Wakeman
  • Patent number: 5682267
    Abstract: An improved electrochromic rearview mirror for motor vehicles, the mirror incorporating an improved display which economically and efficiently displays information or images or symbols on the mirror in a reliable and aesthetically pleasing manner while providing excellent speed of reflective change, good high end reflectance, good uniformity of reflectance change across the surface area of the mirror, continually variable reflectance and good low end reflectance while displaying desired information or images or symbols throughout the range of reflectance of the mirror.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 28, 1997
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: William L. Tonar, Lyman G. Wakeman
  • Patent number: 5666028
    Abstract: An automobile headlamp and running light control system for controlling an operating state of automobile headlamps and tail/marker lamps, and determining an operating threshold for an automatic dimming rearview mirror system. The headlamp and running light control system including an ambient light sensing arrangement having an ambient light sensor which determines a present ambient light level in a vicinity of the vehicle, a first control arrangement for selecting an operating state of the vehicle lamps in accordance with an output of the ambient light sensor, a second control arrangement for determining the operating threshold of the automatic dimming rearview mirror system in accordance with the output of the ambient light sensor, and a lamp switching arrangement which activates and deactivates the vehicle lamps in response to the first control arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 9, 1997
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Jon H. Bechtel, David J. Schmidt, Robert C. Knapp
  • Patent number: 5602522
    Abstract: A visual signaling system is provided incorporating strobe light means which emits flashes of light at a constant rate, as distinguished from a random rate, despite variations in input voltage applied to the system. The system enables predetermined signals to be perceived by persons in high decibel areas or by heating impaired persons, and multiple signaling units may be incorporated in a multistation system whereby the strobe lights in each of the signaling units all flash simultaneously at a synchronized rate, as distinguished from independently or at random rates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 11, 1997
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventor: John R. Pacelli
  • Patent number: 5537003
    Abstract: A control system is provided for controlling the energization of the headlamps on a first automotive vehicle, the headlamps being electrically energizable and each having a high beam state and a low beam state. The system includes means for collecting light emanating from a second vehicle and means for collecting ambient light. Sensing means is provided which is effective to selectively sense the intensity of the collected light emanating from the second vehicle and the collected ambient light. In addition, the system includes means controlling the state of the beams of the headlamps as a function of the sensed intensity of the beam of light emanating from said second vehicle, and means controlling the electrical energization of the headlamps as a function of the sensed ambient light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 16, 1996
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Jon H. Bechtel, Wayne J. Rumsey
  • Patent number: 5504478
    Abstract: A radio frequency control system is provided which is particularly adapted for use in connection with an automotive vehicle. The system includes code generating means and a radio frequency transmitter operatively associated with the code generating means. A first antenna is provided which is connected to the transmitter, and a radio frequency receiver is provided which is connected to a second antenna. Decoding means is connected to the receiver and includes at least one output adapted to control a safety unit. At least one of the antennas is incorporated in a rearview mirror installed on a vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 2, 1996
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventor: Robert C. Knapp
  • Patent number: 5451822
    Abstract: An electronic control system for controlling automotive vehicle vision related equipment including an electrochromic rearview mirror comprising an electrochromic variable reflectance member the reflectivity of which varies as a function of electrical signal levels applied thereto, and an electrically energizable vehicle headlamp, the system including ambient light sensing means, glare causing light sensing means and sky light sensing means, each of said light sensing means being effective to generate an electrical signal indicative of the sensed light level, the system also including microprocessor means operable to apply electrical control signal levels to the electrochromic variable reflectance member to change the reflectivity thereof as a function of sensed ambient and glare causing light levels, the system also including means to effect energization of the vehicle headlamp as a function of the sensed sky light level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 19, 1995
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Jon H. Bechtel, David J. Schmidt
  • Patent number: 5448397
    Abstract: An automatic electrochromic rearview mirror for automotive vehicles, the mirror being particularly adapted for use as an outside rearview mirror and incorporating improved means enabling the mirror to survive, over a relatively long useful life, extreme environmental conditions, such as extreme heat and/or cold, ultraviolet light exposure, alternate wetting, freezing and thawing conditions, exposure to salt spray and other corrosive conditions as well as high pressure sprays such as may be encountered in car wash facilities. Mirrors embodying the present invention may be manufactured and assembled with a minimum of breakage of glass components and/or rupture of sealing components during the manufacturing and assembly operations, and also incorporate improved means for increasing the efficiency of heating elements which may be utilized for defrosting purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 5, 1995
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventor: William L. Tonar
  • Patent number: 5434407
    Abstract: An improved automatic rearview mirror for automotive vehicles, the mirror incorporating a light pipe effective to direct light from a convenient location to a conveniently placed light sensor and effective to optimize the performance and economy of the mirror.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 18, 1995
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Frederick T. Bauer, Jon H. Bechtel
  • Patent number: 5277536
    Abstract: An apparatus for curbside collection of co-mingled recyclable materials. The apparatus includes a wheel supported frame structure having first and second ends and first and second side portions. A number of receiving bins are positioned along the side portions of the frame structure s as to generally define a longitudinally walkway therebetween. A carriage assembly is mounted to the frame structure to allow movement of the receptacle generally along the walkway. The receptacle has a substantially stationary position where co-mingled recyclable materials are emptied into the receptacle from curbside. Once the receptacle is full, it may be moved along the walkway permitting the co-mingled recyclable materials to be separated and deposited into a receiving bin containing compatible recyclable materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 11, 1994
    Inventors: Kevin L. Baldwin, Michael L. Baldwin
  • Patent number: 5204778
    Abstract: An improved electronic control system for controlling the reflective state of automatic rearview mirrors for automative vehicles, the system including an electrochromic variable reflectance mirror element the reflectivity of which varies over a reflectance range as a function of electrical signal levels applied thereto. The system also includes a first sensing means effective to sense the ambient light level and produce a first electrical signal which is at least in part logarithmically related to the sensed ambient light level. A second sensing means is also provided which is effective to sense the glare causing light level and produce a second electrical signal which is at least in part logarithmically related to the sensed glare causing light level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1993
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventor: Jon H. Bechtel
  • Patent number: 5202787
    Abstract: Electro optic devices incorporating an improved configuration of elements which dramatically reduces light scattering and haziness with relatively inexpensive coated glass. The devices are liquid or gel containing electro optic devices, such as an electrochromic automatic rearview mirror for automotive vehicles, which has for at least one of its walls a sheet of glass coated with a transparent conductive coating. The combination of the coated glass, which has a tendency to have an optically rough surface, and the liquid or gel electro optic material reduces the scattering of any incident light by wetting out the rough optical surface of the coated glass, thereby improving the optical quality. The coated glass scatters between 0.2 and 4.0% of visible white light prior to assembly into the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1993
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Harlan J. Byker, William L. Tonar, Larry L. Barrett