Special Application Patents (Class 200/52R)
  • Patent number: 6156987
    Abstract: A submersible, touch-operated signaler including at least a pair of facially confronting, electrically conductive plates. Strips of resilient, nonconductive material are interposed between the plates to maintain a substantially preset spacing therebetween and to yieldably resist movement of the plates toward each other. The strips are disposed in a plurality of vertically aligned and spaced rows with vertically aligned fluid-draining passages therebetween. Rigid edge containment brackets along adjacent margins of the plates secure the edges of the plates against movement away from each other. Openings extend through a rear electrically conductive plate which align with the vertically oriented passages between the resilient strips to provide free vertical fluid flow into and out of the space between the plates. The touch-operated signaler operates on low voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Assignee: Daktronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Jason C. Warne
  • Patent number: 6144289
    Abstract: An alarm signaling device (10) that is operable to produce an alarm signal in a room when triggered by a fire alarm control panel. The signaling device includes a silencing circuit (24) that can be activated by a person in the room to temporarily extinguish the alarm signal. The silencing circuit includes a timing circuit (30) and a switch (32) consisting of a pair of touch contacts (38, 40) that are activated by body resistance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Assignee: SPX Corporation
    Inventor: Vincent Victor Le Bel
  • Patent number: 6093896
    Abstract: A system (10) for establishing bypass of a failed battery cell (18) includes a failed cell sensor (26) which on sensing a failed cell generates an electric signal that destroys clamping relation of two retaining wire spools (24) to release retaining means (14,16). Such release enables a unitary plunger assembly (28) to be moved by a spring (49) to position a cylindrical pin contact (52) in electrical shorting relation to the first and second electrodes (57,58) connected across the cell (18).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2000
    Inventors: Jui-Yu Wu, Matthew B. Dalton
  • Patent number: 6028274
    Abstract: A safety switch with a contactor structure including first and second contactor contacts electrically connected to each other. The switch has an "on" state in which first and second terminal contacts are contacted with the first and second contactor contacts, respectively, to thereby electrically connect the terminal contacts therebetween, and an "off" state in which the terminal contacts are not electrically connected to each other by the contactor structure, whereby current cannot flow between the terminal contacts. The switch also has a cycle control mechanism with a normal-state in which the switch is free to cycle between the "on" and "off" states, and a welded-state in which one of the terminal contacts is welded to one of the contactor contacts and the other of the contactor contacts is separated from the other of the terminal contacts. When the cycle control mechanism is in the welded state, the switch is prevented from moving from the "off" state to the "on" state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2000
    Inventor: Timothy S. Harris
  • Patent number: 6005204
    Abstract: A motion actuated switch for operating a signalling apparatus for emitting a light or sound signal from within a novelty article, in which a switch body is defined by a cap attached to plate and the switch body being mountable within the novelty article. The plate has an electrically conductive first contact. At least a portion of the cap has an electrically conductive second contact. The cap and the plate define a cavity within the switch body. An electrically conductive sphere is disposed within the cavity for free movement therein and sized for at least momentarily contacting the first contact and the second contact upon motion of the novelty article. The switch is in electrical communication with a signalling apparatus by a first lead attached to the first contact and a second lead attached to the second contact.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1999
    Inventors: Andy Choi, Robert F. Glaser, Clifford T. Rosenberg
  • Patent number: 5977493
    Abstract: A touch panel for a swimming race comprises a rear panel, a front panel spaced from and opposed to the rear panel and movable vertically and horizontally relative to the rear panel, and a top edge panel having a first end portion connected to the rear panel and a second end portion connected to the front panel. A sensor is mounted in the space between the front panel and the rear panel and is actuable in response to rearward horizontal movement of the front panel for generating a signal. An elastic member is movably disposed in a space defined by the front panel, the rear panel and the top edge panel for biasing the top edge panel and the front panel vertically upwardly. A sliding member is disposed between the elastic member and the rear panel for reducing a friction between the elastic member and the rear panel during movement of the elastic member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventor: Hiroshi Tanaka
  • Patent number: 5955939
    Abstract: An improved alarm activation station protector for use with a depressible alarm activating member and which is capable of being accessed by individuals with varying degrees of hand and arm disability. A wall mounted frame member is formed in a generally "U" shape with first, second and third interconnecting sides and a centrally open area for receiving the depressible alarm activating member. A transparent protective cover includes first, second and third sides which slidably engage the frame member and an arcuate shaped body which permits the cover to be arranged over the alarm. Slidably interlocking means established between the frame member and protective cover permit the cover to be pushed upwardly with the use of a stubbed hand or arm portion and without the need of fingers to grasp the cover. The cover is elevated to a desired height, at which point the individual can activate the alarm by depressing the exposed alarm member inwardly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Inventor: John A. Taylor
  • Patent number: 5952630
    Abstract: A vehicle interior trim panel electrical switch assembly (10) includes a switch panel portion (16) with a continuous outer surface (18). Force sensitive resistor switches (20a-20g) are supported on the switch panel portion (16) and are secured to the inner surface of a skin cover having a continuous outer surface (18) and forming the outer layer of a soft feel composite. The force sensitive resistor switches are embedded in the soft feel composite either as being cast in a layer of flexible foam or being applied within preformed openings in a layer of flexible foam in certain embodiments in which case they are associated with a circuit module (34) that negates preloading effects due to thermal expansion caused by changes in ambient conditions. In a preferred embodiment the correction occurs due to a circuit configuration that corrects for such preloading effects on a deflection rate basis. The circuit module (34) for each switch (20a-20g) may also include a relay in high power applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Textron Automotive Company Inc.
    Inventors: Scott M. Filion, Bruce A. Batchelder
  • Patent number: 5920043
    Abstract: A vacuum cleaner includes a circuit breaking control device responsive to the correct positioning of a dust collecting bag in order to ensure that the vacuum cleaner is not operated without the dust collecting bag. A visible light may be provided to signal that, although the vacuum cleaner main power switch is on, the motors in the vacuum cleaner are not energized because the dust collecting bag is not in place.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1999
    Assignee: Kinergy Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Chieh-Chun Wang, Chia-Ming Lin
  • Patent number: 5901035
    Abstract: A very thin portable computer includes a computer housing for holding electronic components and a battery housing movably mounted external to the computer housing, the battery housing adapted for holding batteries for supplying power to the electronic components. The battery housing is rotatably mounted on the computer housing such that the battery housing rotates between a closed position wherein the battery housing covers the rear side of the computer and an open position wherein the battery housing exposes connectors on the computer housing and elevates the rear side of the computer housing to an angle convenient for typing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1999
    Assignee: Digital Equipment Corporation
    Inventors: Mark J. Foster, Michele Bovio
  • Patent number: 5872344
    Abstract: A switch housing surrounds a strut and cylinder, with the strut and cylinder being mounted between the rear lift gate window of a vehicle and an interior surface of the vehicle. A switch is disposed in the housing, and when the window is opened or broken, the strut moves relative to the cylinder to actuate the switch and thereby generate a lift gate open alarm signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1999
    Assignee: Chrysler Coporation
    Inventors: Remie Durand, Erik Larsen
  • Patent number: 5821488
    Abstract: A cable operated switching mechanism is provided with a positive locking method that latches a cam structure in place after the cable is pulled by an operator and does not permit the cam structure to return to its normal operating position until manual intervention is used to push a reset plunger. The cable operated switching mechanism provides this positive stop by incorporating a tab on a latching device which is associated with the reset plunger and moves with it when a reset button is pushed by an operator. The tab of the latching device slides along a first surface of the cam structure until the cable is pulled to activate the mechanism. Then, under the influence of a spring, the latching device moves upward to cause the tab to move into a blocking position relative to a second surface of the cam structure. The prevents the cam structure from moving from its actuated position to its normal operating position until a reset button is pushed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Honeywell Inc.
    Inventor: David E. Falcon
  • Patent number: 5646383
    Abstract: A Christmas tree switch for controlling the lights on a Christmas tree is placed into a Christmas tree ornament. The ornament can be hung in a convenient location any where on the tree and will provide a convenient way of turning the tree lights on and off.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 8, 1997
    Inventor: David Lloyd Deem
  • Patent number: 5610377
    Abstract: An electric microswitch includes a base and a cap. The base has a bottom pair of terminals downwardly extending that are hermetically sealed because they are integrally formed as part of the base, while the same terminals extend upwardly from the top of the base, and are in the form of spring contacts. The housing has a pair of apertured extensions that receive a pair of pins located on the housing. The cap includes internal stops that push the spring contacts together when the cap is acted upon while in a pivotable position so that contact pieces on the springs complete the circuit. When the housing is in a non-movable position, the spring contacts and contact pieces are hermetically sealed by the housing acting against a shoulder on the base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 11, 1997
    Assignees: Doduco GmbH+Co., Eugen Durrwachter
    Inventor: Winfried Lutte
  • Patent number: 5597990
    Abstract: Electrical switch, especially for detecting the presence of an electronic memory card in a card reader device. An electrical switch (10) includes a trigger button (14) which is slidingly mounted in a switch box (12), a mobile contact element (62) which is connected to the button (14) and which interacts with at least fixed contact element (50,52) carried by the box (12) of the switch, and a spring and the mobile contact element (44,62) elastically returns the button (14) to a stable inactive position, in which the value of the reutrn force (F) decreases when the actuation travel (C) of the button (14) exceeds a predetermined value (C1), characterized in that the predetermined value (C1) of the travel corresponds to the triggering of the switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 28, 1997
    Assignee: ITT Corporation
    Inventors: Alain Janniere, Aurelien Carvalho
  • Patent number: 5573382
    Abstract: A multi-speed electric fan comprising a fan assembly, a variable power controller and an electrostatically actuated signal generator. The fan assembly includes an electric fan motor having a pair of power supply inputs. The variable power controller has a pair of power inputs, a pair of power outputs, and an actuating signal input. The actuating signal controls the power output of the variable power controller. The signal generator preferably includes a conducting plate, having an insulated conducting lead, and an isolation housing, having an open top. The conducting plate is installed within the isolation housing in a manner such that the conducting plate is electrically isolated from the housing of the fan assembly and the conducting lead is in electrical connection with the signal generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 12, 1996
    Inventor: Furness W. Girard
  • Patent number: 5557080
    Abstract: A switching device for selectively actuating front and rear windows of a vehicle. The device includes: a case, a first switch assembly mounted on a front end of the case for raising and lowering the selected windows, and a second switch assembly for selecting between the front and rear windows controlled by the first switch assembly. The second switch assembly includes a switch which is biased into a first state in which the first switch assembly controls the front windows. The first switch assembly only controls the rear windows when an operator depresses an operation member of the second switch assembly while manipulating the operation members of the first switch assembly. In one embodiment, the second switch assembly is positioned such that the operation member is manipulated by a palm of the operator's hand. In another embodiment, the second switch assembly is positioned such that the operation member is manipulated by a thumb of the operator's hand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 17, 1996
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hiroshi Hayakawa
  • Patent number: 5541375
    Abstract: A switch structure is provided for use in computer pen-based applications which can be easily adapted to perform either as a "writing" pen, an "artist" pen, or a "CAD" pen. The switch structure includes a top compression spring, an actuator, a bottom compression spring, a pair of PCB-connectible terminal pins, a printed circuit board having a pair of fixed spaced-apart electrodes and a cover plate which are especially arranged within a housing. The pair of terminal pins are in engagement with a respective one of the pair of electrodes. In one preferred embodiment, one end of the bottom compression spring contactly engages the pair of terminal pins to produce an electrical connection between the pair of electrodes when the actuator is in its fully extended position. The components of the switch structure can be easily modified so as to be utilized in each of the three common pen applications, thereby reducing cost in manufacturing and assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 30, 1996
    Assignee: Illinois Tool Works Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Dam, Joseph J. Gierut, Richard D. McAffrey
  • Patent number: 5534671
    Abstract: A switch structure is provided for use in computer pen-based applications which can be easily adapted to perform either as a "writing" pen, an "artist" pen, or a "CAD" pen. The switch structure includes a top compression spring, an actuator, a bottom compression spring, a pair of terminals, and a cover plate which are uniquely arranged within a housing. The pair of terminals are disposed in the opposite sides of the housing. In one preferred embodiment, one end of the bottom compression spring contactly engages the pair of terminals to produce an electrical connection therebetween when the actuator is in its fully extended position. The components of the switch structure can be easily modified so as to be utilized in each of the three common pen applications, thereby reducing cost in manufacturing and assembly. The unique switch structure allows a circuit between the pair of terminals to reliably break at relatively small displacements of the actuator, with a relatively small amount of force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1996
    Assignee: Illinois Tool Works Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph J. Gierut, Julie Suvada Rutkowski, Robert Dam
  • Patent number: 5528008
    Abstract: A pressure controlled activating switch for a hand held tool comprises an elongated flexible barrel having an axial support member carried within the barrel and protruding from one end thereof. A plurality of gliding elements surround the axial support member and are mounted in the barrel for axial movement with respect to the barrel axis. A plurality of inserting elements are carried between the gliding elements and are moveable radially in the barrel. A connecting element is provided axially moveable within the barrel and is operatively disposed to activate a switch element. A spring or magnet maintains the gliding elements in a resting position and positioned with respect to the connecting element so that radial movement inwardly of the flexible barrel causes radial movement of the inserting elements which in turn causes axial movement of the gliding elements and connecting element to activate the switch element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 18, 1996
    Inventor: Michael Danek
  • Patent number: 5463692
    Abstract: A sandwich switch construction for a hearing aid includes a lower housing having a base surface with a first electrical lead formed thereon, and an elastomeric membrane with a second electrical lead formed thereon in alignment with the first electrical lead, a portion of the elastomeric membrane being spaced apart from the base surface such that the first electrical lead is not in communication with the second electrical lead; and an upper housing operable with the lower housing, the upper housing having contact mechanism for deforming the elastomeric membrane toward the base surface such that the first electrical lead is in electrical communication with the second electrical lead.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 31, 1995
    Assignee: Resistance Technology Inc.
    Inventor: Ricky L. Fackler
  • Patent number: 5448028
    Abstract: The soft interior trim panel (52) includes a substrate (54), a foam layer (56) and a flexible skin (58). An electrical switch (60) is supported by the trim panel (52) adjacent to the flexible skin (58). A contoured area (62) and indicia (64) indicate the location of a switch (60) under the flexible skin (58). A clear coat (65) is applied to protect the flexible skin (58) and the indicia (64). The switch (60) is closed by applying pressure to the flexible skin (58) on the contoured area (62). The contoured area (62) can be a depression or indentation as well as a raised area. The indicia (64) can be provided using luminescent ink.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 5, 1995
    Assignee: Davidson Textron, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott M. Filion, John A. Grimes, Marie J. Hersman, Maureen M. Lein
  • Patent number: 5438173
    Abstract: The present invention is a cell bypass switch particularly designed for aerospace applications. The cell bypass switch can sense a battery cell failure and automatically opens an alternate path around the failed cell, bypassing the failure and allowing the remainder of the battery system to continue its function. The cell bypass switch is designed to be placed in parallel with the battery cell it protects. The present invention includes two electro-mechanical actuator assemblies which are mounted on the top end of the housing for operating two plungers respectively. Each of the electro-mechanical actuator assembly includes two spool halves which are held together by a tight winding of a restraining wire that terminates in a bridge wire connecting two electrical terminals of the electro-mechanical actuator. Each spool, by virtue of the restraining wire winding, can restrain a spring loaded plunger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 1, 1995
    Assignee: G & H Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Edward Rudoy, Leslie Kerek
  • Patent number: 5410334
    Abstract: A pen-down sense switch for electronic styli is based on three geometric principles. The first is that a regular convex surface contacts any other surface possessing a larger (or a relative negative) radius of curvature at a single point. The second principle is that rigid bodies may be translated (within limits) without changing their size or shape. The third is that given a plane with a constant radius of curvature, three points which can contact its surface will uniquely determine its position. Within the physical environment and subject to the forces which typically act on stylus switches, machined, solid metal components can be made to be a better than first-order approximation to ideal geometric objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1990
    Date of Patent: April 25, 1995
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Liam D. Comerford
  • Patent number: 5403980
    Abstract: A touch sensitive switch pad. The switch pad includes a flexible film with a two conductive ink patterns on one side and an adhesive on the other. The adhesive backing can be of the peel off type such that a user simply peels off a protective backing to reveal the adhesive. The conductive ink patterns are disposed sufficiently close to each other such that there is a high probability that when a user touches the pad, a closed circuit occurs between the two patterns. Each conductive ink pattern is connected to an electrical contact which in turn can be connected to switching circuitry which is sensitive enough to sense the high resistance closed circuit. An extra adhesive-backed flap connected to the film and disposed in close proximity to the electrical contacts can be used to help protect the electrical contacts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 4, 1995
    Assignee: Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc.
    Inventor: Karl M. Eckrich
  • Patent number: 5399818
    Abstract: A battery switch has two identical, nested terminals separated by an insulator and having aligned openings for receiving a connecting bolt. The bolt when installed in the openings provides electrical connection between the terminals. Each terminal has a lug for connection to a battery cable or post, an extension portion attached to the lug and a receptacle for receiving the extension portion of the other terminal. The extension is offset from a central plane so the two terminals fit together along the central plane in a low profile configuration. The interfitting extensions and receptacles lock the terminals together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 21, 1995
    Assignee: GAMA Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Bernard J. Golbeck, John J. Golbeck
  • Patent number: 5369230
    Abstract: A switch apparatus for use with a device. The switch apparatus includes a letter ring, associated with an operation member, that rotates together with a selection dial. The letter ring contains inscriptions, such as marks or figures thereon. A decorative plate includes a pointer to indicate the selected function. A rotation of the rotatable operation member causes a plurality of electrical conductors to change their ON/OFF electrical state. The plurality of electrical conductors form a code pattern representing a code that is interpreted by a control circuit to determine an operation mode selected by the rotational operation member. The switch apparatus further includes a push button that is depressed to, for example, activate a modification of the operation mode based upon the data of the code pattern of the code.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 1992
    Date of Patent: November 29, 1994
    Assignee: Asahi Kogaku Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Masayuki Misawa
  • Patent number: 5365593
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a decorative and operative attachment for hearing aids that have a volume control. The attachment comprises a decorative element that is sized to conceal the hearing aid from view and an attaching device for attaching the decorative element to the hearing aid so that the decorative attachment may operatively control the volume of the hearing aid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 15, 1994
    Assignee: Jeanie HearRing, Inc.
    Inventors: Jean B. Greenwood, J. Stephen Tenbarge
  • Patent number: 5365026
    Abstract: A user interface controller for use by physically challenged persons has multiple function capabilities to operate an electronic device such as a computer or video game system. The controller provides activation of a plurality of first type control devices through a first type movement of a mouthpiece actuator, selection of one or more banks of second type control devices through a second different type movement of the mouthpiece, and activation of one or more second control devices within a selected bank of second control devices through puff and sip operations performed through the mouthpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 15, 1994
    Inventors: Jerry E. Cromer, Jr., Jerry E. Crower
  • Patent number: 5349569
    Abstract: A timing system for swimming race which records, displays, and prints the time of race. To provide a mask circuit in a control device which controls each signal, enables the timing system to exactly perceive a swimmer's touch. Furthermore, a top edge panel is provided on a touch panel so as to perceive a swimmer's touch at an oblique angle. A plurality of lane boxes are provided for backup of a touch signal and a starting block signal, in case of failure and misoperation of the control device. Further, a visual display device is provided in order that a swimmer can recognize a starting signal visually.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 20, 1994
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventor: Hiroshi Tanaka
  • Patent number: 5331123
    Abstract: A switch for a card reader assembly forming a portion of a radio transceiver. The switch is operative responsive to positioning of a card member at a support position of the card reader assembly. The switch is operative to move out of a first switch position and into a second switch position responsive to actuation forces exerted upon the switch by the card member. The actuation forces are exerted by the card member to position the switch at the second switch position only when the card member is positioned at the support position. A lever arm of the switch includes a force receiving surface for receiving actuation forces generated by the card member when positioned thereagainst. Application of the actuation forces generates twisting moments to cause pivotal movement of the lever arm about a pivot arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 19, 1994
    Assignee: Motorola Inc.
    Inventors: Martin J. Kimbell, Mark W. Schwartz
  • Patent number: 5324898
    Abstract: A detector assembly (20) detects motion by utilizing a plurality of motion detectors (22-28), each detector having a first finger (40) and a second finger (42 ). First finger (40 ) has a signal line (36) on the inner surface (32) and second finger (42) has a ground line (38) disposed on another portion of inner surface (32). Spacer (46) keeps fingers (40) and (42) out of physical contact in the normal position so that there is an open circuit between signal line (36) and ground line (38). When a moving object (50) strikes first finger (40), first finger (40) is deflected downward so that first finger (40) and second finger (42) make physical contact at contact point (48), thereby establishing a closed circuit between signal line (36) and ground line (38). In this fashion a detection pulse is generated. The substrate (30) of detector assembly (20 ) is made of a resilient, flexible material such as a synthetic resin, for enhanced sensitivity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1994
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Brian C. McCormack, James R. Cox, Richard H. Wallace, Kevin S. Hodge
  • Patent number: 5315900
    Abstract: A motor vehicle transmission control lever (2) is provided that carries switch means for controlling a system for braking the vehicle's engine or in combination: (i) switch means for controlling a cruise control system and (ii) switch means for controlling a system for braking the vehicle's engine. The switch means for controlling the cruise control system and the engine braking system are preferably mounted on a housing (10) secured to a handle or knob (6) that is secured to transmission control lever (2) for convenient operation by the operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 31, 1994
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventor: Terry E. Teeter
  • Patent number: 5291068
    Abstract: A touch sensitive switching apparatus for controlling the operation of an electrical load is disclosed. The apparatus includes a programmable controller and a touch sensor assembly. The controller is connected to the electrical load and is programmable to provide a repeatable sequence to operate the load wherein each step of the sequence is initiated by touching two contact surfaces of the touch sensor assembly. The controller can also be configured to duplicate a momentary switch wherein the load is energized as long as the contact surfaces of the touch sensor assembly are connected. The touch sensor assembly can be mounted in a wall panel. The assembly includes a conductive housing with a conductive rod positioned therein. A first fastener secures the rod within the housing, while a second fastener secures the assembly to the wall panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 1, 1994
    Assignee: Sterner Lighting Systems Incorporated
    Inventors: Thomas W. Rammel, Terrence R. Arbouw
  • Patent number: 5286078
    Abstract: An armrest comprising a supporting portion bounded above by a surface supporting the forearm of a user, and a terminal portion constructed in such a way as to house a first and a second switch panel located on opposite sides of the said terminal portion for the control of at least one corresponding service in the vehicle; the terminal portion is hinged onto the supporting portion to be rotated with respect to the supporting portion between a first working position in which the terminal portion extends longitudinally beyond the said supporting portion and in which the first switch panel is located on the same side as the supporting surface, and a second working position in which the terminal portion overlaps the supporting portion and the first and the second switch panels are located in contact with the supporting surface and in a position facing away from the said part of the supporting surface respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 15, 1994
    Assignee: Fiat Auto S.p.A.
    Inventors: Claudio Mottino, Nevio Di Giusto
  • Patent number: 5281780
    Abstract: A motor vehicle is provided with a system for detecting a side impact on the vehicle. The system comprises a reinforcing element located adjacent or engaging the interior of the outer skin of the vehicle in the region of the side of the vehicle. A sensor element is arranged to provide an output signal, in response to a side impact of the vehicle, when or after the reinforcing element is deformed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 25, 1994
    Assignee: General Engineering (Netherlands) B.V.
    Inventor: Yngve Haland
  • Patent number: 5274204
    Abstract: A pressure actuated electrical contact switch composed of two planar electrodes having substantially thinner contact members extending therefrom and disposed at an obtuse angle. The electrodes are bound together by electrically insulating epoxy and the contact members are arranged in proximate spaced apart relationship such that pressure on one causes mechanical and electrical contact with the other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1993
    Inventor: George Mauro
  • Patent number: 5262753
    Abstract: An electrical switch with pyrotechnic control includes a housing containing a pyrotechnic composition and at least two contacts applicable, for example, to fire an explosive charge in a military application such as a warhead. The switch includes a thin foil having at least one conductive part spaced in the vicinity of the pyrotechnic composition by a spacing washer directly opposite the contacts. Triggering of the composition throws the thin foil in contact with the contacts to complete an electrical connection. The switch is operable with a small amount of the pyrotechnic composition and has a reduced controllable response time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1993
    Assignee: Giat Industries
    Inventor: Bernard R. Duplaix
  • Patent number: 5262602
    Abstract: The invention provides an electrical switch which reduces arcing by utilizing slidably mating members. In addition the switch provides large area gold contacts. Because of the above characteristics the invention provides a switch that can handle high and low current and allows dry current switching. In addition the inventive switch provides a switch which closes an alternative circuit to indicate that the normal circuit is open.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1992
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1993
    Assignee: FMC Corporation
    Inventor: Lynton G. Mattson
  • Patent number: 5237133
    Abstract: A vehicular engine safety switch having two or more functional positions, which includes a removable restraining device such as a clip or a pin which is flexibly attachable to the body or apparel of the vehicle operator. In the primary functional mode, the clip is in place on the switch and the engine may be started. Movement of the operator from the switch by a distance determined by the length of a flexible lanyard removes the clip, and the switch returns under spring pressure to an OFF position. The engine may be restarted with or without the clip in place, the latter condition occurring, for example, if the operator has been ejected from the vehicle. The safety action of the switch is achieved by the interaction of a specially formed detent sleeve and spring-loaded detent ball, and a lock cylinder rotationally and axially spring biased relative to the detent sleeve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1993
    Assignee: Joseph Pollak Corporation
    Inventor: Carl Frank
  • Patent number: 5179256
    Abstract: A sensor adapted to sense a side impact in a vehicle comprises an elongate element extending between two substantially fixed points spaced apart along the side of a vehicle, a sensor being provided adapted to sense tension in or longitudinal movement of the elongate element caused by an impact which deforms the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1993
    Assignee: General Engineering (Netherlands) B.V.
    Inventor: Artur L. Haglund
  • Patent number: 5178264
    Abstract: A rolamite sensor for use in sensing deceleration of a vehicle includes two separate electrical circuits for actuating one or more occupant restraints such as air bags. The sensor has a base mounted on a chassis and a cover welded to the chassis to enclose the base. One surface of the base acts as a guide surface for a roller. A pair of thin metal bands are wrapped around the roller. The ends of the bands are fixed to the base. The roller is rollable on the guide surface under an applied force to cause the bands to engage firing contacts to complete the electrical circuits. The roller has a pair of spaced apart tubular metal caps supported on a non-conductive insert. Each band is welded to a respective one of the conductive metal caps of the roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1993
    Assignee: TRW Technar Inc.
    Inventor: Richard J. Russell, II
  • Patent number: 5166482
    Abstract: A detachable touch-control lamp switch, comprising an outer shell, a touch-control metal panel covered over the outer shell, a control circuit board fastened inside the outer shell to receive touch-control signal from the touch-control metal panel, and a socket fastened in the outer shell with the plug holes thereof exposed to the outside for connecting any of a variety of ornamental lamps through an appliance plug. Touching of the hand on the touch-control metal panel causes the control circuit board to send a signal to the connected ornamental lamp through the socket and the plug, so as to drive the connected ornamental lamp to turn on/off or to change the intensity of the light that the connected ornamental lamp produces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 1991
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1992
    Inventor: Chao Y. Li
  • Patent number: 5153364
    Abstract: A detecting device for detecting the positions where strings are operated, and an electronic musical instrument using the detecting device, such as an electronic stringed instrument or an electronic keyboard instrument, wherein each of frets, with which conductive strings are brought into contact, is formed of a two-layer structure of a conductive member and a resistance member provided on the conductive member. Voltage pulses are sequentially applied to either the conductive strings or the conductive members of the frets and a voltage pulse is detected from a conductive member or a string, thus detecting a position in which a string is stopped against the fret.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1992
    Assignee: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shigeru Uchiyama, Yoshiyuki Murata
  • Patent number: 5115179
    Abstract: A portable teaching apparatus comprises interlock cancellation switches and at least one operating switch for producing a signal which remains effective only when the interlock cancellation switch is depressed. A box-like body with the operating switch arranged on the front surface thereof include two parallel strips of apexes on the back side thereof. Slopes which steadily approach the front side and continued from the apexes are formed between the two strips of apexes. The operating buttons of the interlock cancellation switches are mounted on the slopes respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1988
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1992
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenjiro Fujii, Masao Oura, Kazuyuki Tuburaya, Shigehisa Hagura
  • Patent number: 5111129
    Abstract: The invention provides a self-contained cordless electric pool and spa vacuum cleaner which is easily maneuverable over both flat and highly contoured underwater surfaces. A pump impeller, powered by an electric motor, is used to draw water through a compact filter cartridge. The efficiency of the filter cartridge allows for the use of a small motor and small battery which, in turn, result in the small size of the vacuum cleaner. All electrical components are enclosed in a watertight chamber so as to allow the entire cleaner to be submerged under water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1992
    Assignee: Rainbow Lifeguard Products, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael L. Schuman
  • Patent number: 5101504
    Abstract: A headset assembly is described, of the type which includes a headband with earphones for delivering sound to the wearer, a microphone into which the wearer talks, and a "push-to-talk" switch that is operated when the wearer wishes to talk, whcih facilitates operation of the switch. The switch (24) has an actuator part (30) extending from one of the sides of the headset, such as the left side, to a location above the left shoulder of the wearer. The wearer activates the switch by lifting his left shoulder to press on the actuator part of the switch. The switch is preferably closed by depressing the actuator part, and extends in a downward-outward direction at an angle of about 30.degree. from the vertical, so the natural lifting of the shoulder causes the shoulder to move along the direction of depression of the switch actuator part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 1989
    Date of Patent: March 31, 1992
    Inventor: Vernon C. Lenz
  • Patent number: 5045649
    Abstract: A self-adjusting slide assembly is provided for mounting a weight on gear switch to an aircraft. The slide assembly is particularly adapted for mounting on a skid equipped helicopter for responding to vertical oscillatory deflection of a cross tube of the skid landing gear. A mounting bracket is attached to the underside of the helicopter for supporting a back plate and a pair of clamp plates. A C-shaped slide member has a flange mounted between the back plate and clamp plates so as to slide vertically. Take-off and landing stresses cause the cross tube to exhibit vertical oscillatory deflection between an upper arm and a lower arm of the slide member. A microswitch mounted on the lower arm is actuated when the cross tube contacts a bottom bumper on the lower arm while the helicopter is fully on skid gear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 1989
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1991
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.
    Inventors: William D. Ramsey, George H. Bailey
  • Patent number: 5045650
    Abstract: A finger switch is mounted at a player's finger so as to detect bedding and stretching actions of a player's finger. Such finger switch includes a thin plate made of a plastic material which is mounted on the back of the player's finger, a push button switch mounted adjacent the thin plate near a center portion of the player's finger, and a movable member which is moved in response to the bending and stretching actions of the player's finger. When the player bends his finger, the movable member is moved toward the push button switch so that the push button switch will be pushed and activated by the movable member. By mounting a plurality of such finger switches on the fingers of the player, a musical scale or a tone pitch of a musical tone to be generated can be controlled based on a combination of on/off states of the push buttons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1991
    Assignee: Yamaha Corporation
    Inventor: Hideo Suzuki
  • Patent number: 5043542
    Abstract: A condition settable combination gas cylinder and electric switch, the switch being mounted on the extended piston rod of the cylinder. The switch has an internal retainer within the switch housing and engageable by the cylinder housing in the first compression stroke of the cylinder, to shift the retainer and two electrical contacts thereon to a set position exactly suiting the cumulative buildout tolerance of the vehicle or other machine on which the novel combination is mounted. The retainer is locked there against reverse movement when the cylinder again extends and thereby withdraws from the switch. Another electrical contact is located on a switch plunger that moves axially back and forth with the retainer and switch housing. Thus, each repeat extension by the cylinder causes interengagement of the three electrical contacts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 27, 1991
    Assignee: Suspa Incorporated
    Inventors: Mary J. McCombs, Gary A. Babcock, Bennett L. VanderGriend