Gerald A. Doty has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Abstract: A seat belt buckle having a buckle frame and a pivotal latching member mounted therein includes an improved actuating system which locks the latching member and which assists in ejecting a tongue plate from the frame when the latch mechanism is in its open position. The actuating system includes a stirrup-like linkage including a cylindrical ejector member joined at each end to a pair of pivotally mounted arms. A locking cylinder also extends between the arms. A generally U-shaped retainer includes flat plate-like walls which are pinned to the pair of arms. The ejector member making up the central portion of the stirrup is mounted for sliding reciprocation in a slider member which is attached thereto with a snap-lock action. The slider member includes a sliding tail which reciprocates back and forth in the buckle frame.
Abstract: A passive seat belt system is provided with a door mounted retractor operable by a remotely located inertia sensing device on the vehicle chassis. The door mounted retractor has an electrically operated means to lock the retractor reel against turning when operated by the inertia sensing device. The retractor is also provided with a mechanically operated web sensitive device to lock the reel against belt pay out at high reel angular accelerations. The web sensitive device includes an inertia wheel secured on the portion of reel shaft and mounted on the shaft so as to be rotatable with respect thereto. A coiled spring concentric with the shaft has its first end fixed to the shaft and its second end fixed to the inertia wheel so as to prevent relative rotation between the inertia wheel and the shaft. An annulus is mounted on the shaft so as to permit rotation of the shaft with respect thereto.
Abstract: A safety belt retraction apparatus is provided for use in a vehicle having at least one door and a chassis. The apparatus includes a safety belt retractor mechanism having a reel about which the webbing of the safety belt is wound. The reel is adapted to let out and take up the webbing. The safety belt retraction apparatus further includes a ratchet wheel associated with the take-up reel and a locking member mounted on a frame of the retractor mechanism for engagement with the ratchet wheel to stop protraction of the belt therefrom. An inertia member having a movable head is mounted on the frame, and the head is movable with inertia forces. The head is supported by a threaded adjustment member which is movable in discrete steps. The safety belt retractor mechanism also includes a transfer bar pivotally mounted on the frame and having a portion engageable with the head of the inertia member.
Abstract: A safety belt retractor is provided with a frame that rotatably supports a reel carrying a rolled safety belt and with a pair of ratchet wheels on the opposite ends of the reel. A locking bar is pivotally mounted with respect to the frame for travel into engagement with the ratchet wheels to prevent protraction of the safety belt from the reel. An inertia-sensitive device is mounted on the frame and is movable with respect thereto to actuate the locking bar for engagement with the ratchet wheels. A block-out device for preventing the locking bar from engaging the ratchet wheels when the vehicle door is opened includes a solenoid with a plunger movable in response to the opening of the car door. A rock lever is pivotally mounted with respect to the frame and operatively connected to the plunger.
Abstract: Disclosed is a safety belt buckle including a switch which is preferably located between the buckle frame and a bottom cover of the buckle. An ejector for the tongue plate slides on a bottom web of the buckle frame and the ejector is displaced by entry of a tongue plate into the buckle frame. The ejector includes a portion projecting through an opening in the buckle base to a switch mounted in a cavity in the bottom cover and this portion engages a movable switch contact to open and close the switch.
Abstract: A locking safety belt retractor includes an actuating mechanism which employs tension on the safety belt to shift a locking pawl into locking position in response to rapid deceleration of a vehicle accompanied by protraction of the safety belt. A clutch prevents overloading of the actuating mechanism.
Abstract: Seat belt retraction apparatus including a seat belt retractor mechanism including a reel about which the strap of a seat belt is wound and which carries ratchet wheels. The retractor mechanism is adapted to take up and let out the strap and is provided with an inertia weight locking mechanism to lock the reel against paying out the strap. The retractor mechanism is for mounting in a vehical door and the inertia locking mechanism will not lock the reel at a lower force level such as 0.7G, when the door is swung. However, the retractor mechanism will operate at this lower 0.7G level to lock the reel against belt pay out when the vehicle chassis decelerates at a 0.7G level as at the time of an accident. Preferably, an inertia operable switch is located on the vehicle chassis but at a location not effected by the swinging of the vehicle door. A magnetic force holds the inertia weight locking mechanism against locking as the door is swung at the lower force level of 0.7G and in a range up to 2.
Abstract: Seat belt retraction apparatus including a seat belt retractor mechanism, an inertia sensor and an electrical circuit interconnected with the inertia sensor and the retractor mechanism. The retractor mechanism includes a reel and a reel locking mechanism for locking the reel against unwinding of the strap of the seat belt wound around the reel. The illustrated reel locking mechanism includes a pawl which is engageable with ratchet wheels on the reel to prevent the reel from paying out the strap. This pawl is movable between a first position in which the pawl is out of locking engagement with the ratchet wheels and a second position in which the pawl engages the wheels to lock the reel against extension of the strap. An electromagnetic device including a coil is provided for controlling movement of the pawl. The inertia sensor is carried on the vehicle chassis and has a piezoelectric disc.
Abstract: A safety belt buckle includes a switch which comprises a compact, substantially enclosed subassembly. The switch is preferably located between the buckle frame and the bottom cover of the buckle. The switch includes a sliding plunger which is adapted to be displaced by entry of the tongue plate into the buckle frame.
Abstract: An improved tip assembly which includes a tongue plate insertable into a buckle is provided for a safety belt apparatus in which a continuous retractable belt length provides both a lap portion and a shoulder portion. The tip assembly through which the belt passes has a snubber slide engaged with the tongue plate and slidable relative thereto. When the belt is drawn by the passenger over his body, the belt shifts the snubber slide rearward on the tongue plate to where the belt is firmly gripped at normal loads between a surface of the tongue plate and a surface of the snubber slide, whereby that portion of the belt which extends across the passenger's lap cannot expand. At heavy deceleration loads, e.g. 150 lbs on the lap belt, a portion of the snubber slide deflects to decrease the gripping action to allow transfer of belt from the shoulder belt into the lap belt.
Abstract: A seat belt buckle having a buckle frame and a pivotal latching member mounted therein includes a single spring for biasing a push button toward an outer position and for ejecting a tongue plate from the frame when the latch mechanism is in its open position. The preferred spring is a coil spring which is loaded in tension in an extended configuration. In the preferred embodiment, the spring additionally provides biasing force to lock the latch mechanism in its latching position after insertion of the tongue plate into the buckle frame and provide biasing force to maintain the latching member in its open position prior to insertion of the tongue plate.
Abstract: In a passive restraint seatbelt assembly, a first belt, attached to the interior of the vehicle through an inertia sensitive locking retractor reel, and a fixed length slideable belt are joined by a snubbing slip ring which allows free sliding of the slideable belt therethrough in normal conditions but frictionally restrains the slideable belt in emergency situations. The snubbing slip ring is formed with a snubbing bar slideable within a housing by a reverse bend portion of a looped end of the first belt. During tension of the belts, the reverse bend tends to straighten out forcing the snubbing bar against the slideable belt.
Abstract: A safety belt buckle employs a pivoting latch plate for retaining a tongue plate tip within the buckle interior. A locking means for securing the latch mechanism in a latched position includes a sliding member mounted on the pivoting latch plate and urged forward by spring means.
Abstract: In a dual spool seat belt retractor system where one retractor reels in a shoulder belt and another retractor reels in a lap belt and at least one of the retractors, e.g., the shoulder belt retractor, has an associated tension relieving mechanism which relieves the winding spring tension from the belt worn by the occupant, a device associated with the tension relieving mechanism for releasing the mechanism from its tension relieving mode is actuated by a cable extending between the two retractors. One end of the cable is connected to the release device and the other end is connected to the lap belt retractor in a manner that is senses full lap belt retraction. In a preferred embodiment, the cable is looped partially around the windings of the lap belt retractor so that as the diameter of the lap belt winding increases during lap belt retraction, the cable loop expands causing the other cable end to pull on the release device.
Abstract: An improved tip assembly which includes a tongue plate insertable into a buckle is provided for a safety belt apparatus in which a continuous retractable belt length provides both a lap portion and a shoulder portion. The tip assembly through which the belt passes has a snubber slide engaged with the tongue plate and slidable relative thereto. When the belt is drawn by the passenger over his body, the belt shifts the snubber slide rearward on the tongue plate to where the belt is firmly gripped between a surface of the tongue plate and a surface of the snubber slide, whereby that portion of the belt which extends across the passenger's lap cannot expand. When the belt is retracted so that a run of the belt is substantially vertical, the weight of the tip assembly causes its front end to tip downward causing the slide to fall forward along the tongue plate releasing its grip on the belt, whereby the tip assembly freely falls to a lower position along the vertical belt run.
Abstract: A seat belt retractor having a tension relieving mechanism has a new and improved control and release means for operating the mechanism to release the tension relieving mechanism from its tensionless mode and allow seat belt retraction. Preferably, the control means includes a circuit means with a bimetallic member which is electrically energized by the electrical system of the vehicle when a door and/or user actuated switch is closed. The device eliminates the need for a heavy, bulky mechanical release linkage between the door and a tension relieving mechanism of a type currently used. The electrical switches can be closed with a minimal amount of force, and the door actuated switch does not add to the force needed to close the door of the vehicle.The device is used to release a tension relieving mechanism of the type having a clutch spring which frictionally grips a rotatable member connected to the retractor reel shaft.
Abstract: A new and improved tension relieving mechanism is provided which may be easily controlled and which has few operating parts. The tension relieving mechanism utilizes a coiled spring for clutching a turnable member connected to the seat belt reel shaft. Members associated with the seat belt retractor provide camming and stopping surfaces to engage end portions of the clutch spring to alternately expand and allow contraction of the spring coil to release or grip a frictional surface of the turnable member. With the clutch spring abutting a stopping surface and urged by the reel spring in a belt retraction direction so that the natural contraction of the clutch spring on the frictional surface is encouraged, the reel shaft is locked against rotation in the belt retraction direction providing a release of tension on the belt.
Abstract: In a seat belt retractor having a rewind spring and a tension relieving mechanism for removing spring tension from the belt worn by the user, a device for releasing the tension relieving mechanism to allow for belt retraction exerting a resistance to door closing which decreases from initial door-release device contact through full door closure. The release device includes a door-actuated lever, which pivots between a release position engaging the tension relieving mechanism and a non-release position, and a spring that biases the lever to its release position when the door is opened. The spring, having tension directed through its longitudinal axis is connected at one end to the lever outward of its pivotal axis and pivotably connected at the other end to the retractor frame at a location eccentric to the pivotal axis of the lever.
Abstract: A tension relieving mechanism for relieving the force exerted by a seat belt on a passenger employs a spring coil for frictionally gripping and holding a turntable with a belt reel shaft. A controllable actuating means having cams and stops controls the position of the spring coil and the diameter of the spring coil to either grip or release the grip on the turntable member in response to manipulation of the seat belt by the passenger. A remote control actuator also may change the spring coil diameter of release the tension relieving mechanism allowing automatic rewind of the belt with the opening of the vehicle door.
Abstract: A pressure indicating system for continually monitoring tire pressure in a moving vehicle in which a pressure sensing means attached to the wheel activates an alarm to alert a driver that the pressure in one of his tires is abnormally low. A magnet is shifted by the pressure sensing means to activate a Hall effect switch located on a non-rotating portion of the vehicle to trigger the alarm.The pressure sensing means also acts to relieve high pressure above a predetermined pressure from the tire to prevent over pressurizing of the tire. The alarm indicates which of the tires is at low pressure and preferably comprises an inexpensive electronic system having a flashing light for indicating which tire is at low pressure.