Multiple Switch Patents (Class 200/5R)
  • Patent number: 6148183
    Abstract: An electronic device (100) includes a housing (104), a substrate (257) seated in the housing (104), and a switch assembly (122) positioned in the housing (104). The switch assembly (122) has a body (200), contact pads (204), and contact arms (202). The contact pads (204) are carried on the substrate (257) and the contact arms (202) are carried on the body (200). The contact arms (202) abut the contact pads (204) and are deflected thereby. Such abutment electrically connects the switch assembly (122) to the substrate (257) without soldering.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: Motorola, Inc.
    Inventors: Philip S. Higdon, James Barber
  • Patent number: 6124555
    Abstract: Disclosed is a multiple-operation electric component in which a rotary electric component is incorporated on the outside of a multi-direction switch, and which is suitable for a reduction in height. In the multiple-operation electric component, a driver having a second movable contact plate as an engagement member is spline-connected to an operating lever of the multi-direction switch, and a plurality of projections are formed on the outer periphery of the second movable contact plate at predetermined intervals. An operating ring of a rotary switch is rotatably arranged on the outside of the operating lever, and a plurality of cutouts are formed on the inner peripheral surface of the operating ring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2000
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Sinzi Isikawa
  • Patent number: 6114637
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an improvement made on the structure of a switch manipulator for a liquid-crystal display apparatus. In a liquid-crystal display apparatus includes a liquid-crystal display unit accommodating a liquid-crystal panel and switches used to control the operation of the liquid-crystal display unit are stowed in a case, and at least an image display unit and a switch manipulator used to manipulate the switches are located on the face of the case, the switch manipulator includes at least two switches, the switches are separated from each other, a manipulation button is placed over the separated switches, and first and second button pressers are located near both ends of the manipulation button with substantially the center of said manipulation button as a fulcrum. When the manipulation button is pressed, one of the two switches is selectively turned on or off by the first or second button presser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2000
    Assignee: Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takuji Nakao, Katsuo Matsuyama
  • Patent number: 6111207
    Abstract: A multi-configurable office machine, which includes a control panel subassembly having a plurality of user-activated key-switches for controlling functions of the office machine. A first control panel cover is adapted for installation on the control panel subassembly, the first cover comprising a first cover structure providing user access to a first set of the key-switches when the first cover is installed on the control panel subassembly. A second control panel cover is adapted for installation on the control panel subassembly, the second cover comprising a second cover structure providing user access to a second set of the key-switches when the second cover is installed on the control panel subassembly. By installing a selected one of the panel covers, different groups of the key-switches are accessible to the user, thereby configuring the machine to a first configuration or a second configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: John H. Arterberry, Dan Scott Caputo, Paul M. O'Brien
  • Patent number: 6102394
    Abstract: A gaming device comprises a cabinet with a hinged door, a gaming unit housed within the cabinet for playing a game, and a button panel system. The button panel system includes a printed circuit board mounted to the door and disposed inside the cabinet; a plurality of switches removably mounted to the printed circuit board; a button panel detachably mounted to the door in proximity to the printed circuit board and exposed to a player; a plurality of buttons mounted to the button panel in a preselected arrangement; and a plurality of actuators coupled to the respective buttons and disposed to actuate a group of the plurality of switches in response to pressing the respective buttons, the group of the plurality of switches cooperating with the game played by the gaming unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2000
    Assignee: WMS Gaming, Inc.
    Inventors: Norman R. Wurz, James M. Rasmussen
  • Patent number: 6096985
    Abstract: A button assembly has at least one button that can selectively actuate one or more microswitches mounted to a printed circuit board in response to a biasing force. The at least one button is coupled to a plate comprising a loading member. The loading member is in contact with a housing. The housing has a plurality of latches which engage the printed circuit board, holding the button assembly together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2000
    Assignee: Thomson Licensing S.A.
    Inventors: Darin Bradley Ritter, Michel Alain Cadio, William Hofmann Bose
  • Patent number: 6097105
    Abstract: A driver switch 1 moves a slider 9 supported in a recess 12 provided on a control equipment main body 4 through an arm 8 integrated with a knob 7. On the slider 9, a movable contact 10 is provided, which contacts with stationary contacts formed on an auto circuit board 11 piled on a rear face of the control equipment main body 4 and can switch a manual operation and an auto operation. This output of the driver switch 1, in either case of the manual operation and the auto operation, controls a motor of the driver side window through the relay 18. An assistant side switch is a manual switch and controls directly the motor of an assistant side window through operating a manual circuit integrated with the control equipment main body 4 by the switch formed thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2000
    Assignee: Toyodenso Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hiroshi Oikawa
  • Patent number: 6087601
    Abstract: Switch apparatus in the form of a family of like bases and interconnected housings each carrying two switch actuators and switch circuits. Conductive traces on each printed circuit board are engaged by contact elements operable by movement of each switch actuator to provide signals to connector terminals extending through the base for engagement with an external connector. The base is keyed to the external connector to accept only a specific connector in a specific base to connector orientation. The base includes key members permitting the base to be mounted in only one specific mounting position and one specific orientation in a support. 180.degree. rotation of the base permits the base to be mounted in a different mounting position with different key members. A high current contact is carried on the base and actuated by a switch actuator to operate a high current device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: Valeo Electrical Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Caroline Callender, Karen E. Grossi
  • Patent number: 6072128
    Abstract: Rotary-controlled multipole electric switch fitted with a handle (4) and a housing (1) in which a cam device transforms the rotation of the handle into a translational movement of contact bridges (21). In order to ensure coordination between a cylindrical control core (13) and a slider 16 bearing contact bridges, the cam device is fitted with at least two notches (19, 20) offset around the axis of rotation X of the knob (4c), and with a control projection (14) applied respectively to the bottom of one notch in the OFF position and to the bottom of the other notch in the ON position by the force supplied by springs (24) acting on the slider and contact pressure springs (22).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2000
    Assignee: Schneider Electric SA
    Inventors: Rainer Ansorge, Andreas Cramer
  • Patent number: 6072135
    Abstract: A switch mechanism for an electronic mechanism, particularly in an automobile or other vehicle. The switch member or button has a pair of post members which are positioned on supporting members on a retainer member. The support members also position the switch member or button in the retainer member and hold it fictionally in alignment along its side surfaces. Pad members also can be provided on the support members. The switch mechanism minimizes noise, undesirable side-to-side movement and undesirable twisting movement of the button member. The switch mechanism also allows control of the "feel" of the button actuation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2000
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Kurt Francis O'Connor
  • Patent number: 6069327
    Abstract: A switch device including a case with an open bottom and a holder therein, a first movable contact member secured to the holder and provided with a movable contact section, a bottom plate for covering the open bottom of the case, a slide knob for performing switching operations, a slider joined to the slide knob through a slot formed in the case so as to reciprocate and having a thick-walled section which causes the movable contact section moving vertically as the slider reciprocates, and a printed board inserted into the case and provided with a first fixed contact which comes into contact with the movable contact which moves vertically, whereby electricity is conducted. The switch device makes it possible to minimize sliding at the contact section, so that the contact section does not wear after long use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2000
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hiroshi Ushimaru
  • Patent number: 6054655
    Abstract: A power window switch (1) for a motor vehicle comprises an actuation element (2) which is pivotally supported in a housing (6) and actuates switch contacts (57) by means of a corresponding sliding contact element (35), whereby said switch contacts are associated with connector contacts (53). In the pushing direction for the downward motion of the window, as well as in the pulling direction for the upward motion of the window, the actuation element (2) is respectively associated with a two-step pivoting motion (19), whereby the actuation element (2) acts on deflecting means (38, 78) to effect a linear back and forth motion of the sliding contact element (35), which successively actuates two switch contacts (57) of a switch matrix (49).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2000
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventors: Gerd Rudolph, Norbert Swidersky
  • 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: 5949149
    Abstract: A multifunctional switching apparatus, preferably used as a steering switch, comprises a first switching section selecting a specific combination from a plurality of combinations resulting from any possible combination between operating functions of a second switching section and operating functions of a third switching section. The second and third switching sections are operable independent of each other in the specific combination selected by the first switching section. One operating key is provided to control a plurality of switching sections. A display of the operation key is provided to make the judgement of operational function of each switch section easy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hitokazu Shitanaka, Ryoichi Taniuchi, Katsuya Saitou
  • Patent number: 5945646
    Abstract: A multi-switch control device is useful for controlling a variety of functions on a variety of vehicle subsystems or peripheral devices. The control device includes a specifically contoured base portion that enhances the usability of the device without distracting the vehicle operator from the task of driving. In one embodiment, a plurality of grooves are provided for receiving the fingers of the user of the device and a switch is provided within each groove that is readily usable by an individual regardless of the specific size of their fingers. Another embodiment includes a plurality of raised beads or grooves that provide a tactile indication of the position of the user's fingers on the device. The contoured portions also provide the ability of the user to make adjustments to a selected vehicle subsystem through conventional "touch-pad" technology.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1999
    Assignee: Lear Automotive Dearborn, Inc.
    Inventors: Robin Mihekun Miller, Jerome Go Ng, Hollister A. Hartman
  • Patent number: 5939683
    Abstract: A switch assembly having a sliding actuator adapted to be moved by a cam on a stalk lever. Initial movement of the actuator from a neutral position by user movement of the lever moves a first contact carried by the actuator to break a connection between a power bus and a fog lamp terminal strip in a planar array of strips. Further movement causes a second contact carried by the actuator to make a connection between another power bus strip and a high beam terminal strip. Continued movement of the sliding actuator causes rotational movement of a bi-stable rotor latched in one of its two bi-stable positions. Movement of the rotor causes a third contact on the rotor to shunt the second contact to make a second connection on another high beam strip and a fourth contact on the rotor breaks a second connection on the strip for the fog lamp electrically in series with the first connection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventors: Steven R. Hoskins, Sheldon J. Allen, Joseph E. Khoury
  • Patent number: 5933133
    Abstract: A low-impact keyboard for decreasing the risk of a repetitive stress injury to the user, having a plurality of keys and an impact absorbing mechanism. In a preferred embodiment, the keyboard includes a flexible circuit board beneath the keys and a circuit board support plate beneath the flexible circuit board. The impact absorbing mechanism is an impact sheet of a resilient material between the flexible circuit board and the circuit board support plate, below the contact point of each key.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 3, 1999
    Inventor: Daniel James Lohr
  • Patent number: 5923007
    Abstract: A switch assembly (100) includes a first switch (102), a second switch (104) and a third switch (106). The switch assembly further includes a rocker actuator (108) having a first rocker arm (152) and a second rocker arm (154) and a selector actuator (110). The rocker actuator pivots about a post (158) to actuate the first switch or the second switch. The selector actuator is disposed between the first switch and the second switch to slidingly actuate the third switch. In one application, a radiotelephone (800, 904) includes a switch assembly (840). A controller (914) responds to actuations of the rocker actuator and the selector actuator to control storage of data in a memory (926) and display of data in the display (818, 918).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 13, 1999
    Assignee: Motorola, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven C. Emmert
  • Patent number: 5920042
    Abstract: A seesaw sliding composite motion switch is provided. The switch includes at least two switch elements disposed on a printed wiring board, a holder placed on the printed wiring board, and a slider which moves in a sliding manner between the printed wiring board and the holder. The slider has lever swingingly supporting portions projecting from openings defined on the holder. A lever is supported by the lever swingingly supporting portions. First projections are disposed on the holder. Openings permitting swinging motion are defined on the lever and accommodate the first projections only at a neutral position of a sliding motion to thereby permit the lever to turn. Second projections are disposed on the holder and abut against the lever when it turns to thereby prevent the sliding motion of the slider. Balls are disposed on the slider. A swing return first cam portion is disposed on the lever and has one of the balls abutted thereagainst.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1999
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kazunori Gotoh
  • Patent number: 5909020
    Abstract: A switching device for connections between electric circuits is provided, which comprises a toggle contact element oscillatably movable about a fulcrum, an operating push-button, and spring means interposed between the toggle element and the operating push-button and having a longitudinal axis substantially parallel to the fulcrum and susceptible of being elastically deformed by the operating push-button according to a side deflection relative to its own longitudinal axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 1, 1999
    Assignee: Signal Lux Italia, S.p.A.
    Inventor: Flavio Gallone
  • Patent number: 5892192
    Abstract: An operation device for a vehicle, capable of being used in a vehicle air conditioner system. The operation device has front panels that have a light transmissive portion, and a flexible printed circuit board shaped to correspond to the arrangement of the front panels. The flexible printed circuit board includes a plurality of light emitting elements at positions respectively corresponding to the positions of the front panels. There are switching means, disposed at the rear of the printed circuit and arranged so that these switching means are operated in response to the operation of the front panels. The rear portion of the front panel can be moved together with light emitting elements in response to the operation of the front panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai Rika Denki Seisakusho
    Inventors: Kazuyoshi Ishiguro, Toshiki Akita
  • Patent number: 5883346
    Abstract: A multifunctional control device for an electronic apparatus having a control element that has a shaft that passes through a front panel and a slide element. The control element is biased to a centered position with respect to the opening in which it passes through the front panel. A plurality of electrical contact elements are arranged behind the front panel and are spaced from the slide element when the control element is in the centered position. The control element is adapted to permit transverse movement of the control element with respect to the front panel. The transverse movement of the control element is transmitted to the slide element to move the slide element within a plane parallel to the front panel and to engage at least one electrical contact element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1999
    Assignee: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventor: Norbert Stocken
  • Patent number: 5877463
    Abstract: A shuttle switch assembly for performing both functions of shuttle and mode is disclosed. The assembly comprises a circuit board. A main base is formed on the circuit board. The main base has a stator protrusively formed at the inner center of the main base and a shuttle axis rotatably formed around the stator. A holder is inserted in the shuttle axis and the holder is provided with a guiding hole having a predetermined length at a side of a periphery of the holder. A dome plate includes a plurality of dome switches on an upper side of the dome plate and the dome plate is installed on the holder; a guiding bracket positioned on an upper portion of the dome plate. The guiding bracket is combined with the holder and is provided with holes which correspond to the dome switches on the dome plate. A shuttle knob is combined with the guiding bracket and is provided with contacting apparatus on a bottom of the shuttle knob.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1999
    Assignee: Daewood Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Sung-Kwan Choi
  • Patent number: 5866862
    Abstract: A vehicle positioning switch such as a power seat switch is disclosed that combines two separate switch packages (seat switch and memory seat switch) into one switch package without significantly changing the seat switch package size. This simplifies wiring complexity, packaging and reduce costs to the customer and manufacturer. The switch is the integration of a memory seat switch into an eight way seat switch package. By mounting three tact switches to a memory PC board and attaching the PC board assembly to the front cover, separate memory functions are integrated into the seat switch package. The front cover now also serves as the guidance system for the memory buttons. The PC board is connected to the electrical distribution system by a wire harness that is routed around the actuator plate and circuit plate of the manual switch and connected directly to a motor control module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1999
    Assignee: UT Automotive Dearborn, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert C. Riffil, Joseph M. Hayes
  • Patent number: 5864105
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) and a method for controlling adjustment devices (12) which are operable to adjust an object such as a seat (14). Each of the adjustment devices (12) adjusts an adjustable aspect of the seat (14). A touch pad (22) has an array of manually touchable areas (24) and provides signals indicative of manual touches to the areas (24). A guide (44) is adjacent to the touch pad (22) and has surfaces (56, 60) which define a representation of the seat (14). The areas (24) of the touch pad (22) within the representation of the seat correspond to adjustment aspects of the seat (14). A matrix controller (28) receives the signals provided by the touch pad (22) and provides a touch indicating signal to a process controller (30). The process controller (30) processes information contained within the signal from the matrix controller (28) and generates control signals for controlling operation of the adjustment devices (12) responsive to manual touches to the areas (24) of the touch pad (22).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1999
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Scott S. Andrews
  • Patent number: 5861823
    Abstract: A data entry device is provided, having as its primary function the entry of numeric data. A secondary function is the entry of alphabetic characters. The device is operated with a single hand and requires no shift or function keys. The number of keys of the device is kept to a minimum to avoid visual clutter and to facilitate its use with one hand. The keys are designed to be easy to access and to be operated while wearing a glove.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: Granite Communications Incorporated
    Inventors: Gary J. Strauch, Paul Smola
  • Patent number: 5861589
    Abstract: An air-conditioning control switch for setting a direction in which conditioned air is to be blown from a vehicle air conditioner, which includes a defog mode switch section for defogging by at least blowing conditioned air to a vehicle window glass, a vent mode switch section for blowing conditioned air to the upper body of a person in the vehiche, and a foot mode switch section for blowing conditioned air to the lower body of a person in the vehicle. The defog mode switch section and the vent mode switch section are disposed substantially horizontally so as to be spaced apart, while the foot mode switch section is disposed downwardly of the defog mode switch section and the vent mode switch section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Sato, Yasuhiro Miyasaka
  • Patent number: 5844182
    Abstract: A power seat switch for use in a power seat system of a vehicle for electrically regulating a position and reclining posture of a vehicle seat. The power seat switch comprises a terminal block 1, a printed circuit board 2, module switches 3, an inner case 4, a first moving plate 5, a second moving plate 6, a case 7, a seat knob 8, and a reclining knob 9. The seat knob 8 and the reclining knob 9 are engaged with a plurality of protrusions 52, 62 extending from the first moving plate 5 and the second moving plate 6 and are mounted by superposing the knobs 8, 9 on the case 7. The terminal block 1 includes a connector housing 11 integral therewith. The plurality of module switches each have the same shape and are mounted on the printed circuit board 2 with different orientations. The power seat switch having this structure is small and inexpensive and can be easily mounted in a vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: Niles Parts Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Mineo Hirano, Hidetoshi Ohta, Yasuo Torii
  • Patent number: 5834714
    Abstract: A switch for making multiple contacts formed as an elastomeric molded body having a base with a ring of material molded therewith to the base, and attached to the base by a web. An interior cylindrical member is supported within the ring of material by another web. Electrically conductive media is formed on the ring and on the interior cylindrical member. The switch is mounted on a board having multiple stationary contacts that can be contacted by the conductive surfaces on the ring and the conductive surface on the interior cylindrical member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: Staco Switch, Inc.
    Inventors: John W. Berger, Ted L. Nichols, Andry Kertatama, James F. Gust
  • Patent number: 5834716
    Abstract: The invention includes a mechanism for multi-dome dual detent switches having at least a first and second collapsible dome structure. An elongated action bar extends across and bridges the first and second collapsible dome members. The action bar has a top surface and a bottom surface. A notch is formed in the top surface closer to one of the dome structures. A keycap positioned for pivotal movement between a first and second forward position, and a first and second rear position. The keycap includes an engagement bar extending downwardly near one end and positioned to be received in the notch formed in the top surface of the action bar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: Packard Hughes Interconnect Company
    Inventor: James Sungioun Lee
  • Patent number: 5828364
    Abstract: A case top for the housing of a mouse-type pointing device in a computer system, including two user actuable buttons on the case top, is made of a single piece of plastic. The case top includes securing arms which engage securing hooks extending from a case bottom of the housing, allowing the case top to be releasably fastened to the case bottom with a single screw. The buttons are attached to a main body of the case top by two spring arms concurrently formed with the case top. The two buttons actuate an integrated switch package having two momentary switches within the package. The integrated switch package consists of two pieces: a switch case, and a switch spring positioned therein. The switch package is mounted on a printed circuit board positioned within the interior of the housing of the pointing device. The switch case engages the case bottom of the housing to help secure both the switch package and the printed circuit board therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 27, 1998
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventor: Kabir Siddiqui
  • Patent number: 5821480
    Abstract: A switch apparatus includes a push button switch having a shaft portion and a rotary switch having a rotation operating portion which rotates about the shaft portion of the push button switch. The switch also includes a push button switch contact member and a rotary switch contact member. The push button switch contact member is actuated in accordance with a movement of the shaft portion of the push button switch. The rotary switch contact member is actuated in accordance with rotation of the rotation operating portion. The push button contact member and the rotary switch contact member are spaced from one another along the shaft portion of the push button switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Asahi Kogaku Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Katsuki Machida
  • Patent number: 5821483
    Abstract: An objective of the invention is to provide a power window switch apparatus for an automobile such that the circuit boards within the case which hold the electronic components could be soldered on one side only, thereby reducing production cost and making it easier to lead the wiring pattern around the boards despite the space limitations imposed by the car door. The freedom with which the circuit boards could be designed is also increased. Circuit boards are built into a case facing each other at right angles to the surface on which operating knobs are arranged in a row. This arrangement makes it easy to solder modular switches and wiring terminals of the connector to the circuit boards on one side only. It also makes it possible to increase the surface area of the circuit boards to the very limit of the height restriction imposed on the switch apparatus by the automobile door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Omron Corporation
    Inventors: Kiyotaka Yamaguchi, Yasuhide Tanaka
  • Patent number: 5819916
    Abstract: The invention includes a keycap having a top surface having a first and second end, and a body portion, said keycap being pivotally connected to a support for movement of the keycap from a first to a second position. A lever extending downward from the body portion of the keycap. The lever is sandwiched between and constantly engaged by a first and second opposed dome structures. Each dome structure has a conductive material on the underside thereof and the dome structure is supported on a substrate having an open circuit. In the first position for the keycap a first dome structure is collapsed and the electrically conductive element on the undersurface of the dome engages the open circuit to close the circuit. When the keycap is moved to a second position, the keycap pivots causing the lever to move in a rotational direction collapsing the second dome structure and said first dome structure biases the lever against the second dome structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Packard Hughes Interconnect Company
    Inventor: James Sungioun Lee
  • Patent number: 5817996
    Abstract: A multi-function electrical switch assembly (22) is disclosed that is mountable to a mosaic control panel (12) used in the controlling and monitoring of large complex traffic flow systems. The switch assembly has a bi-directional actuating mechanism including a shaft (24) that is movable axially as well as rotationally to actuate individual electrical switches (110, 112, 114, 115, 118, 120, 122, and 124). The switch assembly includes a housing (30) having an interior cavity (56) and interior walls (36, 46) to which individual switches are secured. The shaft (24) extends through the interior cavity (56) and has a rocker cam (224) and a linear cam (254) coupled thereto for actuation of various combinations of the switches. Return spring units (202) and (168) return the shaft (24) to its rotational and axial neutral positions when the shaft is released. An override spring unit (244) is coupled to the rocker cam (224) to absorb over-rotation of the shaft (24) and prevent damage to the switch mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1998
    Assignee: Mavell Corporation
    Inventors: Frank Alfred Ulrich, Klaus Titzrath
  • Patent number: 5813519
    Abstract: A lighted switch apparatus including a slider having two indicator portions spaced apart in the sliding direction, a pair of light-intercepting portions, each preventing light of a lamp from reaching the associated indicator portion located at the side towards which the slider is slid, and an opening formed between the pair of light-intercepting portions to allow transmission of the light from the lamp to the indicator portions of the slider and illuminate the indicator portions. In the lighted switch apparatus, when the slider is in the neutral position, both of the indicator portions are illuminated by the light transmitted through the opening. When the slider is slid in one direction, the indicator portion at the side towards which the slider is slid is prevented from being illuminated by the light-intercepting portion, whereas the other indicator portion is illuminated by the light from the lamp opposing the opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kazunori Gotoh
  • Patent number: 5786808
    Abstract: A digital positioning system for a joystick. The system uses a potentiometer having one input coupled to a constant supply voltage and a second input coupled to a joystick game port for generating a variable resistance representative of a current position of the joystick. A constant current source is coupled to the joystick game port for generating a current for converting the variable resistance representative of the current position of the joystick to a voltage level representative of the current position of the joystick. An analog-to-digital (A/D) converter circuit is coupled to the joystick game port and is used to convert the voltage level representative of the current position of the joystick to a digital representation of the current position of the joystick.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 28, 1998
    Assignee: VLSI Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Elie G. Khoury
  • Patent number: 5783787
    Abstract: An electrical switch assembly includes a printed circuit board having a planar switch pad thereon. An actuator is mounted for pivotal movement relative to the printed circuit board about a pivot axis spaced to one side of the planar switch pad. A planar switch contact on the actuator overlies the planar switch pad on the circuit board. The planar switch contact is disposed at a predetermined angle to the planar switch pad when out of engagement therewith in an inactive condition of the actuator, so that the entire surface of the switch contact engages the entire surface of the switch pad immediately upon initial engagement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 21, 1998
    Assignee: Molex Incorporated
    Inventor: Mark M. Data
  • Patent number: 5780794
    Abstract: A composite switch lever 2 for mounting on the steering column of an automobile is provided with a rotary light switch knob 25 for switching a light switch 24 and a rotary fog switch knob 28 for driving a fog light intermittence switch 29. The switch knobs 25, 28 are rotatably mounted on a lever shaft 13 and an outer cylindrical shaft 14. The switch knobs 25, 28 are coupled with each other through a related operation mechanism (A) composed of a connecting projection 32 and an interfering hole 33 for mechanically coupling the switch knobs 25, 28 with a predetermined idle angle. The composite switch lever 2 prevents a situation where a driver forgets to switch off lights upon getting out of the automobile or turning on a small light. The composite switch lever 2 also makes it possible to reduce the volume of wiring harness between plural switches and lights.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1998
    Assignee: Niles Parts Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Norio Uchiyama, Toshiaki Yokoyama
  • Patent number: 5781127
    Abstract: The invention comprises a finger actuated one handed keyboard having a palm rest portion for the palm of the operator's hand to rest upon, and at least three finger actuated sleeve receptacle assemblies. Each assembly has an outer lateral extending sleeve pivotally connected to a longitudinally extending inner half sleeve aligned for receiving the outer and inner portions, respectively of a finger; and a plurality of finger actuated key members with at least two key members aligned in front and behind the lateral outer sleeve and confronting the pivotal path of longitudinal movement of the lateral outer sleeve in either direction and adapted, upon longitudinal movement in either direction by the outer finger portion about the middle joint in either direction, to actuate either confronting key.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1998
    Inventor: Robert E. Kleve
  • Patent number: 5770825
    Abstract: In a switch device, a metal stamping has a first group of connector terminals arranged in one line among plural lines of arranged connector terminals and is constructed by one metal stamping together with a wiring pattern. The metal stamping is subjected to an insert molding process to form an insert molding. A second group of connector terminals, arranged in another line, among the connector terminals arranged in plural lines, are formed from parts of metal pieces which are separate from the metal stamping. The second group of connector terminals are press-fitted in the insert molding. In the switch device, the manufacture of the metal stamping requires minimal bending steps, and the manufacture can be achieved with the use of a simple stamping metal mold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1998
    Assignee: Omron Corporation
    Inventors: Kiyotaka Yamaguchi, Hiroyuki Kuroda, Kazuya Yoshikawa
  • Patent number: 5767463
    Abstract: The present invention provides a keyboard for typewriters, computers, and similar machines with improved ergonomics of control and a lower overall profile for the keyboard without a reduction in the range of key travel. The keyboard of the present invention includes a support base with a plurality of key shafts protruding outwardly from the support base. The key shafts are angled relative to the support base, for instance at a substantially 45 degree angle, and slanted away from a user of the keyboard. A keycap with a key guide slidably disposed about each key shaft is included wherein each keycap has an angled travel axis longitudinally along the key shaft. A plurality of switching elements is coupled to the support base with a switching element disposed beneath each key shaft. The keycap is moveable down and toward the user along the angled travel axis to operate the switching element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1998
    Assignee: Dell USA, L.P.
    Inventor: Jerry D. Gandre
  • Patent number: 5747759
    Abstract: A control unit for controlling devices or assemblies comprises a plurality of control elements located on a control surface. These control elements are provided with correspondingly assigned symbols for visually displaying the function of the respective control element and can be adjusted into at least two positions. In order to make reliable control easier, even under unfavorable light conditions, the control elements or an area directly adjoining them are provided with means for distinguishing the respective control element haptically. The control unit is suitable in particular for controlling a heating and/or air conditioning system in a motor vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1998
    Assignee: Behr GmbH & Co.
    Inventors: Karl Lochmahr, Werner Rauland
  • Patent number: 5744765
    Abstract: A selecting switch operating section provided to support movable contact points includes circular elastic support walls disposed along an arrangement circle of selecting stationary contact points, and a pushing portion. When the selecting switch operating section is pushed by an operating portion tilted integrally with the operating lever, at least one of movable contact points comes into contact with at least one of the selecting stationary contact points. Thus, it is not necessary to provide accommodation space for other members between the adjacent selecting stationary contact points. Also, it is possible to reduce the spacing interval between adjacent selecting stationary contact points in the arrangement circle, so that the diameter of the arrangement circle can be reduced and the entire lever switch can be reduced in size.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd.
    Inventor: Tetsuo Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 5742242
    Abstract: A notebook computer is provided with a collapsible keyboard structure in which, during operation of the computer, the keys are held in extended operating positions by the force of a pressurized fluid-filled flexible mat member having spaced apart orificed compartments against which bottom ends of vertically movable plunger portions of the keys downwardly bear. Position sensors monitor the stroke positions of the keys and, as the keys are depressed during computer use, responsively transmit corresponding position signals to a control system which utilizes the position signals to alter the fluid pressure within the mat member in a manner providing the keys with predetermined, selectively variable stroke force/distance characteristics. When the computer is turned off, fluid pressure within the mat member is relieved in a manner permitting the keys to collapse to retracted storage/transport orientations, thereby reducing the overall thickness of the keyboard until subsequent operation of the computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1998
    Assignee: Compaq Computer Corporation
    Inventor: Charles A. Sellers
  • Patent number: 5736696
    Abstract: An automotive light switch assembly having a rotatable/pull-push type user actuator extending from a housing adapted for dashboard mounting. The rotary actuation controls the on/off functions for both the parking and headlamps and the pull-push actuation controls the on/off function for the vehicle interior lights. A light pipe illuminates, from a stationary source a translucent lens on the rotatable/pull-push actuator to facilitate user location. Stationary translucent lenses are illuminated to indicate the particular function position that has been selected. A pair of spaced oppositely disposed wheel or disc-type actuators are provided below the rotatable/pull-push actuator for controlling respectively headlamp illumination distance and interior light intensity. A light pipe illuminates, from a stationary lamp source, a translucent lens on each wheel to indicate the wheel position. Stationary illuminated indicators display the function/level selected by each individual wheel position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1998
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventor: Vittorio Del Rosso
  • Patent number: 5736697
    Abstract: A switch device for controlling at least one electrical circuit comprises a pushbutton movable between a pair of preselected positions for effecting the operation of the switch device, an indicator movable in the switch device toward a viewable position for effecting a visual indication of one of the preselected positions of the pushbutton, and a resilient cantilever associated with the pushbutton and the indicator operable generally for moving the indicator into its viewable position upon the movement of the pushbutton to its one preselected position. The pushbutton includes apparatus for driving the resilient cantilever to effect its operation in response to the movement of the pushbutton to its one preselected position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1998
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Kennett R. Fuller, Lyle J. Bush, Sean A. Hicks
  • Patent number: 5735391
    Abstract: An improved switch includes two moving contact members which move in parallel planes. The switch may be moved to either of two positions to complete either of two circuits. The contact members are normally biased to a central neutral position. Since the contact members move in a plane, rather than pivoting on a yoke, there is greater tolerance in positioning the moving contact members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1998
    Assignee: United Technologies Automotive, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard Harrell, George B. Wolfe
  • Patent number: 5731558
    Abstract: A switching device is provided which comprises a casing, a printed wiring board disposed inside the casing, a plurality of fixed contacts formed on the casing, and a plurality of moving contacts for making an electrical connection or disconnection between said plurality of fixed contacts. Since many fixed contacts are not only disposed on the printed wiring board but also on the casing, the printed wiring board can be designed compact. Also the plurality of fixed contacts disposed on the casing has such a form of a terminal as to be electrically connectable to motors and a power source as well as to a connector extended to the switching device. Therefore, the number of places to be soldered for electrical connection between many fixed contacts, motors and power source can be reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1998
    Assignee: Ichikoh Industries, Ltd.
    Inventor: Tatsuo Kyoden
  • Patent number: 5719361
    Abstract: The invention includes a mechanism for multi-dome switch having first, second, third and fourth collapsible dome structures. An elongated action bar extends across and bridges a pair of collapsible dome structures. The action bar, each have a top surface and a bottom surface. A notch is formed in the top surface closer to one of the dome structures. Engagement nubs extend downwardly from the bottom surface of the action bar near both ends and are positioned to be received in a respective depression formed on the top surface of the collapsible dome. A switch pedal is positioned for pivotal movement between a first and second forward positions, and a first and second backward (rear) positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 17, 1998
    Assignee: Packard Hughes Interconnect Company
    Inventor: James Sungioun Lee