Vertically Reciprocable Patents (Class 340/624)
  • Patent number: 10269230
    Abstract: A portable, self-contained flood alarm which alleviates the shortcomings of the alarms of the prior art and offers an easy-to-use and reliable flood and water level alarm which will adequately warn users of potential flood conditions and possibly save their personal belongings, equipment and lives.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Inventor: Belinda J. Walbert
  • Patent number: 9805578
    Abstract: A portable, self-contained flood alarm which alleviates the shortcomings of the alarms of the prior art and offers an easy-to-use and reliable flood and water level alarm which will adequately warn users of potential flood conditions and possibly save their personal belongings, equipment and lives.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Inventor: Belinda J. Walbert
  • Patent number: 9163977
    Abstract: A portable, self-contained flood alarm which alleviates the shortcomings of the alarms of the prior art and offers an easy-to-use and reliable flood and water level alarm which will adequately warn users of potential flood conditions and possibly save their personal belongings, equipment and lives.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Inventor: Belinda J. Walbert
  • Patent number: 8910654
    Abstract: A system for preventing flooding caused by blockages in the drain lines of appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and the like included a sealed connection between a washing machine drain line and the sewer line drain, further including a washing machine drain line inlet attachment to a housing, the inlet line connecting to the sewer drain line and to a sealed vent pipe connected to the sewer line drain above the inlet attachment, and including a C-shaped loop in fluid communication with the sewer drain line and containing a float actuated control valve adapted to cut off power to the washing machine upon actuation; a kit containing components of the system and methods of installing the system and kit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Inventor: R. Kevin Dawes
  • Patent number: 8872651
    Abstract: A fueling environment is equipped with leak detection probes and liquid level probes. Each of the probes is associated with a wireless transceiver. The wireless transceivers send probe data to a site communicator wireless transceiver. To ensure that the site communicator receives the probe data, repeaters are used within the fueling environment. The repeaters receive the probe data, and some period of time after the sensor transceivers stop transmitting, the repeaters retransmit the probe data to the site communicator. The site communicator discards duplicative information and processes the probe data as needed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: Veeder-Root Company
    Inventors: Kent Reid, James J. Longworth, Donald A. Kunz
  • Patent number: 8786453
    Abstract: A portable, self-contained flood alarm which alleviates the shortcomings of the alarms of the prior art and offers an easy-to-use and reliable flood and water level alarm which will adequately warn users of potential flood conditions and possibly save their personal belongings, equipment and lives.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2014
    Inventor: Belinda J. Walbert
  • Publication number: 20140049396
    Abstract: A portable, self-contained flood alarm which alleviates the shortcomings of the alarms of the prior art and offers an easy-to-use and reliable flood and water level alarm which will adequately warn users of potential flood conditions and possibly save their personal belongings, equipment and lives.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 15, 2012
    Publication date: February 20, 2014
    Inventor: Belinda J. Walbert
  • Patent number: 8643496
    Abstract: A contact is provided for a fluid level detection apparatus. The contact includes a contact support spring for rotating in response to a change in fluid level. The contact support spring includes a cantilevered spring arm having a proximal end to be fixed to a holder and a free end, and a contact support which is provided at the free end. First and second contacts are attached to the contact support in first and second positions, respectively, the first position being set at one end opposite to an end at which the second position is set. The joining position of the contact support and cantilevered spring arm is set so that a pressing load applied to the first and second contacts on the contact support by the flexure displacement of the contact support spring falls within a predetermined range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Yazaki Corporation
    Inventor: Toshiaki Fukuhara
  • Patent number: 8477029
    Abstract: A modular device for determining attributes of a substance stored in a container having a sensing module, a transmitter module and a power source module. The sensing module is capable of sensing attributes of a substance and providing an output. The transmitter module is configured to transmit an output of the at least one sensing module when operably coupled to the sensing module. The power source module is capable of being operably connected to the sensor module and the transmitter module to power the sensor module and the transmitter module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Farhad Ashrafzadeh, Ali R. Buendia-Garcia, Richard A. McCoy, Yingqin Yuan
  • Patent number: 8471716
    Abstract: Signaling methods and apparatuses are described for preventing flood irrigation water from overflowing in a trench, field, or other area. Signaling devices may include indicators such as a reflector, a flag, a light, or a sound device provided on an end of an elongate member having its opposite end engaged with the ground. A stake is driven into the ground near the elongate member in the trench or other area where water will flow. A breakaway link such as a strip of paper is engaged to either the indicator or the elongate member and also to the stake, causing the elongate member to be bent downward, with the breakaway link located in the trench where water will flow. When exposed to the flow of water, the breakaway link weakens and eventually tears such that the elongate member springs upward carrying the indicator with it, signaling an operator that water has reached that location in the trench.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Inventor: Michael Hansen
  • Patent number: 8443664
    Abstract: An equalizing tank for a hydraulic motor vehicle brake system, with a housing including a housing upper part and a housing lower part, and with a device for monitoring the fluid level in the equalizing tank, the device including a switching unit which is fastened to the housing and has a plug-in connector and a contact carrier, a portion of which projects into a guide pipe which extends into an interior space of the tank, and a sensor element or switching element which is arranged on the contact carrier in the region of the guide pipe and which can be switched by a transmitter in a switching point at which the switching unit generates a signal for an electronic control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2013
    Assignee: Continental Teves AG & Co. oHG
    Inventors: Johann Ludwig, Hans-Jürgen Neumann, Swen Ottmann, Christoph Schiel, Peter Tandler, Werner Krebs, Barbara Schmidt
  • Patent number: 8299931
    Abstract: An inexpensive and simple-to-operate ice safety device is provided for deployment in a body of water. Once deployed, the ice safety device can be activated to check whether ice has formed to a predetermined thickness around the ice safety device. If ice has not formed to the predetermined thickness, the ice safety device indicates an unsafe condition. The ice safety device can be moored to a fixed location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Inventor: Zoe Eggleston
  • Patent number: 8289174
    Abstract: A sealing bolt for sealing a container lid to a container body, the sealing bolt including: a first identity element configured so as to provide a first identification signal when sensed with an ultrasonic reading device; a second identity element configured so as to provide a second identification signal when sensed with an ultrasonic reading device; and a third identity element. The third identity element includes the first and second identity elements and a third identification signal is formed by the intersection points created by an overlap of the first and second identification signals. The invention also concerns a method for sealing a container lid to a container body using such a sealing bolt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Assignee: The European Union, Represented by the European Commission
    Inventors: Marco Sironi, Piercarlo Tebaldi, Paolo Timossi
  • Patent number: 7880625
    Abstract: A liquid level warning device with a separate audible alarm is disposed in a liquid tank for indicating the amount of liquid in the tank. The device also includes a plurality of float switches disposed at pre-selected levels within the tank and a plurality of LED's for indicating the level of liquid in the tank. A separate audible alarm independent of the visual indicators sounds an alarm when the tank is at a pre-selected level. A float switch is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2011
    Inventor: Abdulmohsen Ahmed Almoumen
  • Patent number: 7574912
    Abstract: A liquid level measuring device includes an elongate handle and an elongate frame arranged in telescoping relationship. The frame is movable between a collapsed position for storage and an extended position for usage. A float is movable lengthwise along the elongate frame. A control rod extends lengthwise in the elongate frame and through a passage in the float. The control rod controls movement of the float relative to the elongate frame. An actuator actuates the control arm to move the float from the locked position to the unlocked position in response to a downward pressure between a lower end of the elongate frame and a bottom surface of the container so that the float is free to seek the liquid level in the container and to move the float from the unlocked position back to the locked position when the downward pressure is released.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2009
    Inventors: William F. Fling, John J. Fling
  • Patent number: 7561040
    Abstract: A fueling environment is equipped with leak detection probes and liquid level probes. Each of the probes is associated with a wireless transceiver. The wireless transceivers send probe data to a site communicator wireless transceiver. To ensure that the site communicator receives the probe data, repeaters are used within the fueling environment. The repeaters receive the probe data, and some period of time after the sensor transceivers stop transmitting, the repeaters retransmit the probe data to the site communicator. The site communicator discards duplicative information and processes the probe data as needed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2009
    Assignee: Veeder-Root Company
    Inventors: Kent Reid, James J. Longworth, Donald A. Kunz
  • Patent number: 7508312
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining a fluid level within an enclosed housing. The present invention provides an enclosed housing having a dynamic fluid level contained therein. The apparatus includes an electromagnetic radiation source for directing electromagnetic radiation rays toward the interior of the enclosed housing and an electromagnetic radiation detector for receiving and measuring reflected electromagnetic radiation rays. The electromagnetic radiation detector provides a detector output signal to a controller. The controller interprets the detector output signal to determine whether the fluid level has statically reached a desired level and then generates a controller output signal for indicating that the fluid level has statically reached the desired level. The method includes the steps of generating a logic signal in response to the measured electromagnetic radiation and analyzing the logic signals over a period of time to determine whether a predetermined fluid level has been reached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Assignee: Davco Technology, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Zdzislaw Chajec
  • Publication number: 20090050042
    Abstract: An improved bilge water level monitor, alert and control system for boats and other vessels. The system provides a method of detecting excessive leakage of water into the bilge and in response to the excessive water in the bilge, triggering an alarm to notify the operator and others and energizes bilge pumps to remove the excessive water. The system is designed with many redundancies in the sub elements and subsystems for safety. The system provides a means for reducing the likelihood of exhausting battery power in the event of a significant seawater leakage problem. The electrical power rating of the monitoring circuitry components is relatively low, thereby reducing the size and weight of those components relative to prior bilge pump monitoring and alert systems. There is no electrical wiring exposed to bilge water during system operation thereby reducing damage to the wiring components.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 30, 2006
    Publication date: February 26, 2009
    Inventor: Donald E. Waldecker
  • Patent number: 7418861
    Abstract: A liquid level sensor for measuring liquid levels in underground and above ground containers includes a frame formed to have an elongate hollow tubular configuration that encloses a cavity. A cam pivot has an end extending into the cavity from a first inner wall portion of the frame. A cam is arranged to be pivotal about the end of the cam pivot. A float is placed in the cavity. A spring is arranged to bias the cam arm into contact with the float to force a side portion of the float into a locked position in frictional engagement with the second inner wall portion of the frame. A cam actuator pivotally mounted in a lower end portion of the frame exerts a force on the cam arm to release the float from the locked position when the lower end of the frame contacts the container bottom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2008
    Inventors: John J. Fling, William F. Fling
  • Patent number: 7417552
    Abstract: A flood alarm is disclosed. In an illustrative embodiment, the flood alarm includes a float assembly and a telephone system interface module connected to the float assembly. A method of indicating a flood in a structure is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2008
    Inventor: Milan Vaskovic
  • Patent number: 7315250
    Abstract: An electrical field activated switch system includes a fluid container 14 having an aperture formed in a sidewall thereof. The floor of the primary tray 22 is positioned entirely beneath the fluid container and a secondary tray is positioned entirely within the primary tray and in proximity to and at an elevation beneath the aperture. A tube 30 is coupled between the aperture and the secondary tray. A housing 36 has an open bottom secured to the secondary tray with a cylinder 38 vertically oriented therein. A base 40 is supported upon the secondary tray floor. An electrical induction switch assembly includes two wires with stripped lower ends positioned within the cylinder with their lower ends being separated and in proximity to the base. A float is slidably received upon the cylinder with a magnetic plate secured to the float.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2008
    Inventor: Rodolfo Hernandez-Zelaya
  • Patent number: 7265677
    Abstract: System for indicating when a tank is full. The system includes a signal and control box. A container is connected to the tank. The container has a base, a float, an upper portion, and a lower portion. An orifice is arranged at the upper portion of the container. The float has an electrical contact connected to the signal and control box. The base of the container is arranged one of above a maximum filling level of the tank and substantially at the same level as the maximum filling level of the tank. A communication conduit is connected to each of the base of the container and an area of the tank which is in proximity to an upper portion of the tank. The system generates at least one warning signal after the tank is completely filled and when the container is partially filled by the communication conduit. This Abstract is not intended to define the invention disclosed in the specification, nor intended to limit the scope of the invention in any way.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2007
    Inventor: Jean-Luc Dupont
  • Patent number: 7116236
    Abstract: An oil tank sight glass monitor comprising a housing having an opening therein sized to receive the sight glass of an oil tank; an emitter for emitting a beam of light, the emitter being mounted to the housing on one side of the opening so that the beam of light is directed across the opening; a detector for detecting the beam of light generated by the emitter, the detector being mounted to the housing on the other side of the opening, in optical alignment with the emitter, so as to detect the beam of light emitted by the emitter; and an alarm for producing an audible sound when the detector fails to detect the beam of light generated by the emitter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2006
    Assignee: Antron Engineering & Machine Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Anthony F. Denietolis, Jr., James G. Burke, III
  • Patent number: 7111510
    Abstract: A liquid level detecting apparatus having detachable terminals and capable of holding down the formation of silver sulfide is provided. The apparatus includes a movable contact displaced in accordance with the fluctuation of a liquid level, electrodes slidingly contacted by the movable contact on a circuit board, a first resistance connected to the electrodes, and connecting portions which the terminals contact, a resistance value of the first resistance which varies when the movable contact is slidingly moved on the electrodes being outputted from the terminals via the connecting portions, wherein the sections of the connecting portions which contact at least the terminals are covered with second resistances.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2006
    Assignee: Nippon Seiki Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Nakagawa Tadoa, Sato Tetsuya
  • Patent number: 7068175
    Abstract: A water level warning device for use in conjunction with a bathtub or a sink, for audibly warning a user when the water flowing into the bathtub or sink has reached a predetermined level. The warning device comprises a cylindrical tube containing a floating ball and having a plurality of circular openings extending fully therethrough for allowing water from the bathtub or sink to enter the tube. The top of the tube has a pressure-activated sensor and a speaker in communication with the sensor. The height of the tube may be telescopically adjusted by the user, thereby allowing the user to set the level of water required to activate the sensor. In use, the floating ball floats upon the upper surface of the water entering the tube, and activates the sensor when the level of water reaches the top of the tube. Upon selective activation of the sensor, the speaker emits an audible alarm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Inventor: Larry Pennington
  • Patent number: 7009125
    Abstract: A linear slip to slip coupling has an input portion and an output portion with a common horizontal centerline. A fluid container has a threaded aperture. An adaptor has a threaded input end releasably coupled to the threaded aperture of the container. An unthreaded output end is coupled to the input portion. A nipple has an output end and an input end. The nipple is coupled to the output portion of the coupling. An end cap is coupled to the output end of the nipple. An induction switch subassembly is coupled to the coupling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2006
    Inventor: Rodolfo Hernandez-Zelaya
  • Patent number: 6972685
    Abstract: A liquid level detecting apparatus resistant to the deterioration and corrosion thereof is provided while holding down an increase in the manufacturing cost thereof. This apparatus 1 has fixed electrodes 3 on which a sliding contact point 5 is slidingly moved in accordance with a fluctuation of a float, and a first resistor 4 connected to the fixed electrodes 3, the fixed electrodes 3 being made of at least silver (Ag), palladium (Pd) and a glass component, a weight ratio of the silver (Ag) to palladium (Pd) being not lower than 75 wt. % to not higher than 25 wt. %, a sliding portion 7 of the fixed electrodes 3 on which the sliding contact point 5 is slidingly moved being covered with second resistors 8 a resistance value of which is lower than that of the first resistor 4.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2005
    Assignee: Nippon Seiki Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tetsuya Sato, Koichi Sato, Tadao Nakagawa, Kiyoshi Enomoto, Toshio Hayakawa, Yoshiyuki Shimazaki
  • Patent number: 6910498
    Abstract: A liquid level control system for detecting and responding to changes in the level of liquid in a container. The system includes a transmitter in radio communication with a receiver, which is in turn connected to a valve assembly. The transmitter unit is programmable to respond to changes in the level of liquid in a container and to emit a radio signal receivable by the receiver unit, which controls the release of liquid to the liquid container via the valve assembly. The signal may be suppressed by a timing circuit in the transmitter circuitry unless and until a liquid level change is sufficiently sustained. The receiver is also programmable to keep the liquid control valve open a predetermined amount of time or to close the valve upon receipt of a high liquid level signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2005
    Inventor: Michael L. Cazden
  • Patent number: 6783665
    Abstract: The unit includes a sensor means (20) positioned in the collection chamber to undergo activation when the water level reaches a predetermined maximum value; there is also provided an electrically operated withdrawal device (30) connected to the vehicle electrical system, to withdraw the water separated within the collection chamber through the bleed outlet, or to close the outlet; a microprocessor (40) is also provided, connected to the sensor (20) and to the switch (50) of the vehicle electrical power system, to electrically power the withdrawal device (30) when the sensor (20) is activated and the ignition key is in a first activation position (I).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2004
    Assignee: UFI Universal Filter International S.p.A.
    Inventor: Giorgio Girondi
  • Patent number: 6766688
    Abstract: A tank liquid level or volume gauge for use with volatile materials, such as propane, stored under pressure as liquid and released as gas, includes a float with a float magnet that couples with a liquid level indicator magnet across a fluid impermeable wall to provide indication of tank liquid level or volume. In another embodiment, when a predetermined tank liquid level or volume is reached during filling, the float actuates an inlet closure valve to increase inlet flow resistance, creating a shutoff signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2004
    Assignee: MIJA Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: James P. O'Shea
  • Patent number: 6753785
    Abstract: An oil tank sight glass monitor comprising a housing having an opening therein sized to receive the sight glass of an oil tank; an emitter for emitting a beam of light, the emitter being mounted to the housing on one side of the opening so that the beam of light is directed across the opening; a detector for detecting the beam of light generated by the emitter, the detector being mounted to the housing on the other side of the opening, in optical alignment with the emitter, so as to detect the beam of light emitted by the emitter; and an alarm for producing an audible sound when the detector fails to detect the beam of light generated by the emitter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2004
    Inventors: Anthony F. Denietolis, Jr., James G. Burke, III
  • Patent number: 6679286
    Abstract: A compact ball tap with 1 a water level switch which comprises a guide standpipe 5 vertically arranged in a tank T, a float 6 slidably installed on the guide standpipe 5, a valve 3, a lever 4 controlling an open-close action of the valve 3 connected with the float 6, and a water level switch 29 transmitting predetermined control signals when the float 6 shifts to a predetermined water level, wherein one float 6 is shared by the ball tap 1 and the water level switch 29.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2004
    Assignee: Yoshitake Inc.
    Inventors: Nobuhide Kato, Hiroyuki Mizuno
  • Patent number: 6657545
    Abstract: An automatic detecting and prewarning system for medicine instiller mainly includes a clamp for easily clamping on a flow-indicating cylinder of the medicine instiller, detecting means of an electronic sensor type mounted on the clamp, alarm means connected to the detecting means via a conductor, and a drop carrier pivotally connected to a lever to locate in the flow-indicating cylinder below a medicine dropper. After a fixed number of drops or flow per minute is set for the medicine instiller and input to the alarm means, medicine drops fallen from the medicine dropper one by one impact on and reciprocatingly sway the drop carrier to intermittently cut off the detecting means as a control signal to the alarm means. When an abnormal number of drops or flow per minute continues for a preset time, the alarm means is automatically enabled to emit warnings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2003
    Inventors: Yu-Yueh Lin, Kan-Jung Yang
  • Patent number: 6640628
    Abstract: This invention relates to a level-measuring device in which a signal generating device, a sampling device and a transmitting and/or receiving device are optimally connected to one another for various applications and signal shapes. The signal generating device generates both a radio-frequency transmit signal and a sampling control signal for sampling the radio-frequency signal. The sampling device, the signal generating device and the transmitting and/or receiving device being connected by a coupling device which comprises one of: a transformer; at least one line node; a &lgr;/4 coupler and a circulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2003
    Assignee: Endress + Hauser GmbH + Co. KG
    Inventors: Wolfram Lütke, Bernhard Michalski
  • Patent number: 6557412
    Abstract: A non-fouling liquid level detector and control especially for a sealed system likely to have iron particle contaminants. The device employs a float projecting above the liquid level and bearing above the liquid level a unmagnetized ferromagnetic tell-tale. A magnetic field is generated by a magnet positioned outside the sealed system. The magnetic field extends around the float and tell-tale through a magnetically permeable partition comprising a wall of the sealed system that is positioned between the magnet and the float. The float position is monitored by a magnetic field sensor such as a Hall Effect device positioned adjacent the magnet, outside the sealed system. The sensor responds to the movement of the tell-tale. The output of the sensor is employed to control the monitored liquid level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Inventors: William J. Barbier, Mark W. Doane
  • Patent number: 6536277
    Abstract: A water-monitoring apparatus includes a frame being installed by water. A reel is mounted on the frame. A tension cable is wound on the reel and including a lower end and an upper end. A buoy is connected with the tension cable. A control device is connected with the reel. When the water level changes, the control device rotates the reel so as to adjust a length of the tension cable extending from the reel for allowing the buoy to just float on the water surface. A detecting device is carried via the buoy for detecting at least one environmental characteristic and for producing at least one signal representative of the at least one environmental characteristic. A signal wire is electrically connected with the detecting device. The signal wire includes a helical section for automatically adjusting a distance between its two ends according to the position of the buoy. A monitor device is electrically connected with the signal wire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Assignee: Taiwan Water & Soil Instrumentation, Inc.
    Inventor: Hsu-Chen Chuang
  • Patent number: 6529134
    Abstract: The invention provides a device and method for remotely selectively securing a floating tank roof in a desired position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2003
    Assignee: HMT, Inc.
    Inventors: Joel L. Machen, John F. Hirschbuehler
  • Patent number: 6513378
    Abstract: An electro-mechanical liquid level float switch that continuously actuates a switch on sensing a change in the liquid upon reaching a threshold level, where the float-switch requires manual reset once the switch has been actuated. The float switch has an elongated stem with a reed switch embedded in one end of the stem, and a float with a magnetic portion. The float is constrained to move between a stop below the switch and an upper stop above the switch. When the float is abutted against the upper stop, it is aligned with the switch. Once aligned with the switch, the switch is actuated. The float is held is alignment with the switch by a magnet located in the upper stop, where the magnet can support the weight of the float. Once the switch is actuated it remains actuated, unless the float is physically separated from the magnet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2003
    Inventor: H. Worth Love, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6481278
    Abstract: A liquid level indicator apparatus provides direct readout of liquid level at high resolution using an array of vertically disposed Hall-effect magnetic switches. To overcome the limit to closer spacing of the switches imposed by their vertical dimension, they a disposed side by side horizontally and vertically by a distance less than the vertical dimension of each switch. They are mounted on a flat flexible substrate and then bent around into a hollow cylinder or prism shape. A floating magnet of annular shape surrounds the cylinder, or a magnet corresponding to the cylindrical or prismatic shape floats inside the surrounding circuit board. Several circuits are shown for displaying a liquid level readout resulting from the actuation of the switches by the magnet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2002
    Assignee: Predator Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen Kaylor, Duane Samuelson, Gordon Yowell, Alvin Seymour Blum
  • Patent number: 6480113
    Abstract: An alarm system comprising a housing, a float, a battery compartment, a speaker and an alarm where the housing can be connected to the side wall of any container by a suction device fixedly engaged to the housing. The float rises with the water and creates a connection by completing a circuit when making contact with two separate conductors. The float compartment may be sealed with a threaded cap which can engage threads on the bottom of the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2002
    Inventor: David W. Esposito
  • Patent number: 6429778
    Abstract: A water-monitoring apparatus includes a frame installed by water. A reel is mounted on the frame. A cable including lower and upper ends is wound on the reel. A buoy is connected with the cable. At least one sensor is used to detect a water quality parameter and to produce a signal representative of the water quality parameter. The at least one sensor is carried via the buoy and electrically connected with the lower end of the cable. The reel can be rotated to adjust a length of the cable extending from the reel so that the at least one sensor can always be immersed in the water. A signal relay includes a first block electrically connected with the at least one sensor and a second block electrically connected with a monitoring station wherein the first and second blocks are connected with each other in a non-contact electric manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Hycom Instruments Corp.
    Inventor: Hsu-Chen Chuang
  • Patent number: 6375835
    Abstract: A system for recovering oil from a body of water (e.g. river, lake, or sea) includes (i) an inlet unit 10 having a hopper-shaped main body and floaters 12 attached to the hopper by tugs 11; and (ii) a segregation tank 15 having (a) an inlet pipe 14 to receive oil-contaminated water from the inlet unit, (b) a first discharge pipe 17 with pump 20 therein for delivering oil to an oil tank, and (c) a second discharge pipe 18 for delivering water from the segregation tank. The discharge pipes include respective valves 21, 22 therein. A sensing unit 100 (e.g. ultrasonic transducer) and a panel sensing unit 110 are provided in the segregation tank for determining the level of oil in the tank. A controller including a microprocessor 200 controls the discharge valves 21, 22 in response to signals received from both sensing units 100, 110.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2002
    Inventors: Boyoung Lee, Jaeyun Jeong, Myongsu Kang
  • Patent number: 6374187
    Abstract: An underground storage tank monitoring system and method uses special micropower impulse radar probes, with one such probe being inserted into each storage tank. The micropower impulse radar probes use flexible waveguides which extend downward to the tank bottom such that micropower radar impulses travel to and from the liquid surface via a wave guide, with the lapse between emission and reception of the impulse indicating a distance from the probe, and thus a liquid level. Each micropower impulse radar probe is connected to a dedicated spread spectrum transmitter which collects level and status information from the probe, encodes and transmits it to a matching spread spectrum receiver nearby. The receiver converts the coded signals into electrical signals and forwards them to a processor, a modem and a back-up battery are located. The processor stores the liquid level information for later transmission, along with liquid dispensed and liquid replaced information, to a central monitoring site via the modem.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: Simmons Sirvey Corp.
    Inventors: John D. Knight, Charles Grempler
  • Patent number: 6370951
    Abstract: An apparatus for sensing a level of fluid within a container. The apparatus includes a first cantilevered arm having a first float coupled to the container. The apparatus additionally includes a second cantilevered arm having a second float coupled to the first cantilevered arm. The apparatus further includes a position sensing mechanism for sensing the relative positions of the first and second cantilevered arms and responsively determining the level of fluid within the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: DaimlerChrysler
    Inventors: Robert B. Kerchaert, Leon P. Brank, Christopher Barranger
  • Patent number: 6236323
    Abstract: A fluid level indicator (22) indicating the level of a fluid (14) in a chamber (12) having a piston (16) is disclosed. The fluid level indicator (12) has a housing (24) that is positioned adjacent to the chamber (12). A plurality of magnetic pins (28, 38) are moveably disposed within the housing (24). The magnetic pins (28, 38) have a first position and a second position. At least one of the magnetic pins (38) shifts from the first position to the second position when the piston (16) is aligned therewith, thereby indicating the position of the piston (16) within the chamber (12) and indicating the level of fluid (14) within the chamber (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2001
    Assignee: Bell Helicopter TEXTRON Inc.
    Inventors: Carlos Alexander Fenny, Darrel Bill Bryan
  • Patent number: 6229448
    Abstract: A tank level monitoring and alarm system comprises a passive level switch, a transmitter, a repeater, and a receiver. It provides easy installation, convenient calibration, and very low maintenance. A mechanical level switch for the specific vessel is installed. The contacts of the level switch are connected to the transmitter. When the switch is activated, the transmitter immediately broadcasts an alarm signal to the receiver. A relay output at the receiver is either opened or closed thus activating the alarm or other device attached to it. The relay output may also connect to a control apparatus, such as a signal transmitter to provide for remote operation of such devices as valves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2001
    Assignee: Innovative Sensor Solutions, Ltd.
    Inventors: Paul R. Bennett, Jr., J. Lawrence Taylor, III
  • Patent number: 6218949
    Abstract: A liquid level monitoring and control apparatus is described, which generates an alarm signal or a safety signal, discontinuing an operation such as heating, when the liquid level in a controlled vessel has reached a predetermined level. Several signals, similar or different, may be generated at different liquid levels. The operation of the. apparatus may be based on various physical properties, such as optical, magnetic, acoustic, electrical and conductivity properties. The apparatus comprises a floating actuator, the level of which is determined by the level of the liquid in the vessel, a sensing assembly comprising at least a member which can be actuated by the actuator, means for guiding the vertical displacement of the actuator and means for issuing the desired signal or signals when the actuator reaches a level close to that of the actuatable member. The actuatable member can be displaced to set the predetermined level of the liquid as desired by the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Inventor: David Issachar
  • Patent number: 6195012
    Abstract: A drip annunciator comprises a main body and a needle bottle capable of inserting into a drip bottle for outputting liquid. A buoyancy body is received in the needle bottle, which may move with the liquid level. The bottom of the buoyancy body is installed with a magnet and a magnetic sensor on a control rod at the lower side thereof. Thus, as the liquid level within the drip bottle has descended to a predetermined position, the magnet will actuate the magnetic sensor to be electrically conducted, and then the buzzer at another side emits an alarm or lights up an alarm light so inform one to update the liquid therewithin. Meanwhile, a rolling ball will seal the liquid opening to prevent air to flow inwards so as to safeguard the life of a patient. Besides, another soft tube can be disposed between the liquid transferring tube and the needle bottle, and an adjusting wheel and a screw rod screwedly through the central screw hole and having a tightening block are installed aside.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2001
    Inventor: Der Chuan Yang
  • Patent number: 6147614
    Abstract: A bathtub water level warning device for activating an audible and/or visible warning indicator when the water level in a bathtub approximately reaches a predetermined level, comprising a watertight case including a float element, a tubular stem element and a tubular pivot element. The alarm device is an independent device which floats free of the bathtub upon the bathtub reaching a filled condition, therefore allowing removal or inclusion of the device in a bathtub as desired by a user, such as during filling only. The alarm device includes a power source, a gravity switch, and an audible and/or visible warning indicator is internally mounted in the alarm device. Gravity causes the switch to close when the alarm device is in a substantially vertical orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Inventor: Dennis Hedley Parish
  • Patent number: 6140925
    Abstract: A magnetically actuated float switch for turning on and off an electrical load device which includes a mounting member, a moveable bracket member which is attached to the mounting member and which is moveable between a first bracket position and a second bracket position by an external force. The moveable bracket member further has a first magnetic end and a second magnetic end which define a space therebetween. The first magnetic end and second magnetic end are oriented in a repelling arrangement. Insertion of a magnet in the space between the magnetic ends of the bracket results in the moveable bracket being moved from the first position to the second position. The moveable bracket member is operatively arranged to change the state of a switch between a first and second state. The switch is in turn operably arranged to change the state of an electrical load device between an on state and an off state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2000
    Assignee: S. J. Electro Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Rory G. Lee, Alan J. Bergum