Patents Assigned to United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
  • Patent number: 5979540
    Abstract: An apparatus for cooling electrical components contained inside an enclosed housing, which is positioned proximate to a dashboard of a vehicle, includes an inlet pipe which receives a forced air flow and an outlet pipe which expels air from the enclosed housing. The inlet pipe receives the forced air flow either from a fan or from an air intake mechanism which supplies filtered air to an intake manifold of the vehicle engine. The air intake mechanism also maintains the temperature of the vehicle battery at a predetermined temperature by use of heated air from the engine exhaust manifold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignees: Ford Motor Co., United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: Johnny Hugh Allison, Gerald Arthur Heath, David S. Wills, R. David Arndt, Mark Timothy Lecznar, Bruce Allen Williams
  • Patent number: 5920039
    Abstract: A speaker support bar supports a pair of speakers and speaker covers above a vehicle headliner. A lamp may also be mounted into the support bar. The speaker support is positioned vertically above the headliner, and thus the uniform appearance of the headliner is preserved. The speaker support extends between lateral support ends which transfer the weight of the speakers to the headliner over a wide area, and near the vehicle frame. Thus, the headliner is able to easily support the weight of the speakers. A seal incorporated into the headliner defines a sound chamber. The invention also facilitates the pre-assembly of the headliner and its sound system prior to attachment of the headliner to the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1999
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: Janice E. Cote, Anthony J. Finocchio, Edward C. Curtindale
  • Patent number: 5863370
    Abstract: A method for forming a headliner including a fluted paper central substrate includes forming the fluted paper substrate in a first forming tool. The formed substrate is then moved to a second bonding tool. A cover layer and an adhesive layer are actuated in the bonding tool to secure the cover layer to the substrate. The bonding tool preferably consists of a heated upper portion adjacent the cover layer and the adhesive, and a cooled lower portion which receives the base material. The use of the cooled bottom portion maintains the dimensional accuracy of the base layer during the bonding process. The heated upper layer ensures efficient and quick actuation of the adhesive to bond the cover layer to the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1999
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventor: Charles F. Munro
  • Patent number: 5850188
    Abstract: A remote keyless entry apparatus is disclosed for use with a vehicle. The apparatus includes a receiving unit disposed within the vehicle and a key fob transmitter for transmitting a plurality of signals to the receiving unit. The transmitter includes a transmitting unit for transmitting the plurality of signals to the receiving unit, a control unit operatively connected to the transmitting unit for controlling transmission of the plurality of signals and a diagnostic gathering and storage unit electrically connected to the control unit for supplying diagnostic data to the control unit. Additionally, the transmitter includes a key fob unit selectively connected to the control unit and to the diagnostic unit. The arrangement is such that in a first operative disposition of the key fob unit, the key fob triggers the control unit so that a first signal of the plurality of signals is generated by the transmitter unit for reception by the receiving unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul C. Doyle, David W. Gottschalk
  • Patent number: 5833499
    Abstract: An encapsulated electrical connector is molded to the end portion of a battery cable to provide a releasable electrical connection between the cable and a battery terminal. The dielectric molding includes a hinged cover that is automatically moved to a readily visible angulation when the connector is inserted onto the battery terminal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignees: Ford Global Technologies, Inc., United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: Philip Michael Gonzales, David Eugene May, Jeffrey Stone
  • Patent number: 5825153
    Abstract: A current measuring apparatus measures current flowing through a phase winding of a switched reluctance motor while dissipating very little power. The apparatus includes a control for controlling the current flowing through the winding. A gate is operatively connected to the control for switching the current flowing through the winding. The arrangement is such that in a first mode of the gate, the current flows through the phase winding. In a second mode of the gate, flow of the current through the winding is inhibited. The gate includes a sense means for sensing a fraction of the current when the gate is in the first mode thereof. A resistor of relatively high resistance is electrically connected in series with the sense means such that a voltage drop occurs across the resistor when the gate is in the first mode. The voltage drop signal is fed back to the control so that dependent on the signal, the current flowing through the phase winding of the motor is maintained in order to maximize motor efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul C. Doyle
  • Patent number: 5821935
    Abstract: A graphical user interface system for use in a vehicle includes a series of selection switches and multi-purpose adjustment switches. The selection switches enable a user to choose a vehicle subsystem and a display screen instantaneously displays the subsystem and all adjustable functions associated with that system. The adjustment switches are utilized to adjust the functions of the subsystem to change the operation. The arrangement and selection of the adjustment switches and the display strategy enable a user to readily adjust all of the functions of a particular subsystem without having to page through various menu screens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies, Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: Hollister A. Hartman, Jerome Go Ng
  • Patent number: 5810283
    Abstract: An improved apparatus and method for dispensing wire includes a shuttle system such that the wire may be rapidly and efficiently changed. In addition, improvements are made to the individual dispensing mounting plates and mandrels to facilitate the changing of the coils, and also to ensure smooth flow of the wire off of the coils.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventor: Patrick Joseph Shea
  • Patent number: 5804262
    Abstract: An improved material for forming vehicle trim panels includes natural fibers formed reinforcing mats. The natural fibers replaced the prior known use of glass fibers. Prior art glass fibers may sometimes cause skin irritation, and the natural fiber eliminates this problem. The fibrous mats are preferably placed on both sides of the central foam layer, and a decorative layer is placed outwardly of one of the fibrous mats. Various naturally occurring fibrous materials such as hemp may be utilized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive Inc.
    Inventors: Donald R. Stevens, Brian Eagen, Stuart G. Boyd
  • Patent number: 5804782
    Abstract: An electrical switch for use in an automotive vehicle includes a rotary carrier rotatable in response to engagement of a finger projecting from a movable main carrier. A detent structure is provided within a switch housing for engagement by a projection extending from the rotary carrier. The rotary carrier supports a conductive rotary contactor which is selectively actuable to conduct electrical current to a high beam headlamp conductive trace or a low beam headlamp conductive trace. The present invention provides a method for operating the electrical switch having a rotary mechanism. A channel is disposed between a plurality of conductive traces and the switch housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: LaVerne R. Newman, James B. Wright, LeRoy A. Poleschuk
  • Patent number: 5800219
    Abstract: In automotive applications, a storage battery is substantially box-like and includes a first surface and a second surface. An electrical terminal is disposed on the first surface. An apparatus is used no connect a battery cable to the battery. The apparatus includes a first conductor and a second conductor. The first conductor is adapted for attaching to the electrical terminal. The second conductor is adapted for attaching the battery cable to the first conductor. The conductors are shaped to conform with a change in contour between the first surface and the second surface of the battery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 1, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: Henry A. Siedlik, Zenon Hotra
  • Patent number: 5785532
    Abstract: A power distribution box extends through a bulkhead of an automotive vehicle. This power distribution box has a first electrical connector accessible from within an engine compartment. Furthermore, a portion of the power distribution box is accessible from the passenger compartment. In another aspect of the present invention, an electricity storage device, an electricity generating device, an ignition switch, an alternator and various other engine compartment and passenger compartment accessories are electrically connected to the power distribution box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 28, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: H. Winston Maue, Mohamad H. Zeiden, Luke P. Steigerwald
  • Patent number: 5783994
    Abstract: A vehicle security system combines anti-driveaway protection with vehicle entry signalling. Either a remote signalling device is used to generate a remote signal or an input device, mounted on the vehicle, is used to generate an access signal. An entry control unit receives and interprets the remote signal or the access signal and unlocks the vehicle doors when appropriate. At the same time, the entry control unit communicates with an engine controller that an appropriate signal has been received. In response, the engine controller enables the vehicle engine to be started so that the vehicle can be driven in a conventional manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 21, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: Philip J. Koopman, Jr., Roger D. Carroll, Richard Grzybowski, Paul Marshall
  • Patent number: 5764010
    Abstract: A control system for an automotive vehicle multi-functional apparatus employs an electronic control unit operably controlling a rear window wiper assembly. In another aspect of the present invention, an electronic control unit is operable as a multiplexed rear node for controlling a variety of liftgate devices and functions. In a further aspect of the present invention, an electronic control unit controls a single multi-functional electromagnetic device. The multi-functional electromagnetic device uses intermittent motion mechanisms to selectively operate differing devices driven therefrom. A method of operating the electronic control unit of the present invention is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 9, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: H. Wilson Maue, Shawn P. Slusser, Jeffrey L. Kulczycki, Ronald Zaleski
  • Patent number: 5759055
    Abstract: An interlocking terminal connection includes a pair of terminal plates each having a base portion with a hole for receiving a fastener. Each terminal plate further includes a pair of wing portions on either side of the base portion. The wing portions on a first terminal plate are displaced upwardly, while the wing portions on a second terminal plate are displaced downwardly. Each base portion includes a latch at the rearward end and a complementary latch window at its forward end. The base portion of the first terminal plate includes a plurality of downwardly deformed retaining members for preventing rotation of the terminal connection during mounting. Upon insertion of the first terminal plate into the second terminal plate, the base portions and wing portions interlock and the latch on each base portion is received within the latch window of the other base portion to prevent the release of the terminal plates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert G. Colantuano, Charles W. Kuster
  • Patent number: 5757268
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for controlling information to be displayed on a vehicle reconfigurable display includes the steps of prioritizing information. The control identifies each of the items which are desirably displayed and determines the space necessary to display all of those items. If the necessary space exceeds available space, then the control goes through a routine wherein it attempts to minimize the size of the display items, and prioritize the display items. Certain items must always be displayed, whereas other items need only be optionally displayed. The control may identify certain optional items as not to be displayed under certain circumstances. Further, the control may select between available sizes for other items to provide additional space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel Toffolo, William Rogers, Silviu Palalau
  • Patent number: 5748428
    Abstract: A pulse width modulation circuit includes a transistor pass element alternately switched on and off by an oscillator and connecting a power source to a load. Current through the transistor pass element is compared to a reference signal by a comparator. If the current through the transistor pass element exceeds the reference signal, the comparator generates a fault signal, and the transistor pass element is switched off for the remainder of the cycle. After a predetermined number of faults, the transistor pass element is switched off for a plurality of cycles. The pulse width modulation circuit prevents damage to the transistor pass element caused by the low initial resistance of the load and supplies sufficient current to slowly heat the load to steady state operation. This also allows for downsizing of the pass element for steady state conditions thereby saving product cost.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey T. Kelley, Bruce Wrenbeck
  • Patent number: 5747907
    Abstract: Bearing systems, such as magnetic bearings, are widely used today in a variety of applications. All bearing systems are, however, subject to failure. Therefore, backup bearing systems are often utilized in conjunction with a main bearing system in order to provide backup to the main bearings if they should fail. The backup bearing system for the re-centering of magnetic bearings includes a first conical member disposed about an axis and having at least one bearing disposed substantially therein; a second conical member spaced from the first conical member and disposed about the axis, the second conical member having at least one bearing disposed substantially therein; and an actuator assembly spaced from the second conical member and bearing in a first or operative position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventor: Robin M. Miller
  • Patent number: RE36181
    Abstract: An automobile door lock receiver module (30) and a plurality of keychain fob transmitter units (16) contain identification numbers, secret initial values, and secret feedback masks so as to authenticate encrypted messages from any of the assigned fobs, indicative of commands registered by closing switches on the fob. Each fob is synchronized with the receiving module by means of a truly random number concatenated with a secret initial value and encrypted, through a linear feedback shift register or other operations. A second secret initial value is encrypted and command bits are exclusive ORed into the low order bit positions; the two encrypted numbers are concatenated and encrypted to form a key word which is transmitted with the fob ID. Synchronization includes decrypting to recover the truly random number and the secret initial value concatenated therewith; the truly random number is compared with previously received random numbers in order to avoid copying of recently transmitted synchronization commands.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: Philip J. Koopman, Jr., Alan M. Finn
  • Patent number: RE36752
    Abstract: An automobile door receiver module (30) and a plurality of keychain fob transmitter units (16) contain identification numbers, secret initial values, and secret feedback masks so as to authenticate encrypted messages from any of the assigned fobs, indicative of commands registered by closing switches on the fob. Each fob is synchronized with the receiving module by means of a truly random number concatenated with a secret initial value and encrypted, through a linear feedback shift register or other operations. A second secret initial value is encrypted and command bits are exclusive ORed into the low order bit positions; the two encrypted numbers are concatenated and encrypted to form a key word which is transmitted with the fob ID. Synchronization includes decrypting to recover the truly random number and the secret initial value concatenated therewith; the truly random number is compared with previously received random numbers in order to avoid copying of recently transmitted synchronization commands.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2000
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: Philip J. Koopman, Jr., Alan M. Finn