Pivoted Arm Patents (Class 340/625)
  • Patent number: 8878685
    Abstract: To provide reliable notification of a fault state when a power supply to a calculation processing portion is in the OFF state when a power supply to a communication processing portion is in the ON state. An isolating circuit, an inverting circuit inverting a signal branch-outputted through an output line of the isolating circuit, and a selecting circuit that uses the signal outputted from the output line of the isolating circuit as a first input and the inverted signal from the inverting circuit as a second input, to select either the first input or the second input, depending on a selection setting status thereof, to output the selected signal to the communication processing portion are provided. A +5 V voltage is applied through a resistor to the output line of the isolating circuit. This +5 V voltage is produced through the power supply supplied from the second double-wire transmission path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: Azbil Corporation
    Inventors: Kouji Okuda, Hiroaki Nagoya, Kouichirou Murata
  • Patent number: 8776574
    Abstract: A fluid level measurement apparatus supports multiple fluid level sensors of different types, each of which detects a level of fluid and produces an output indicative of the detected fluid level in a different way. The fluid level measurement apparatus is connected to any one of the supported fluid level sensors to measure the fluid level. The fluid level measurement apparatus includes a calculation circuit, multiple output circuits, a determination circuit, and a selection circuit. The calculation circuit calculates the fluid level from a detection voltage. Each output circuit generates the detection voltage based on the output of a corresponding fluid level sensor. The determination circuit determines the connected fluid level sensor. The selection circuit selects the output circuit corresponding to the determined fluid level sensor and allows the calculation circuit to obtain the detection voltage generated by the selected output circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventor: Isao Miyagawa
  • 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: 8643716
    Abstract: A method and system for steam leak detection. The method comprises obtaining real-time temperature data representing a heat dissipation of a steam pipe along a steam pipe route, processing the real-time temperature data in real-time to determine at least one indication of a potential steam leak based on the real-time temperature data and to generate a processed image for display, and displaying the processed image to depict the heat dissipation of the steam pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Power Survey LLC
    Inventors: David Kalokitis, Jonathan Lloyd Schepps, Peng Chang
  • 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: 8378833
    Abstract: A system for monitoring a level of product in a tank to detect one of a delivery and a drain operation is provided. The system comprises a monitor and a data center. The monitor is operably coupled to the tank and adapted to detect the level of product in the tank at a first rate and at a second rate. The data center is in communication with the monitor and adapted to receive a user inputtable threshold level of change. The monitor detects the level of product in the tank at the first rate until the threshold level of change is detected. Thereafter, the monitor detects the level of product in the tank at the second rate. The data center generates an alarm signal to indicate that one of the delivery and the drain has occurred.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: Robertshaw Controls Company
    Inventors: Wojtek Miller, John O'Brien Evans, II
  • Patent number: 8284064
    Abstract: A signal transmitter for a filling level sensor has two sliding contacts which are manufactured integrally with a holder and with spring elements. This leads to the manufacturing costs of the signal transmitter being particularly low. The sliding contacts are arranged on spring tongues and are connected to one another via a link. The spring tongues and the spring elements are therefore arranged in a row and allow the sliding contacts to be prestressed particularly uniformly against sliding tracks of the signal transmitter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Assignee: Contintal Automotive GmbH
    Inventors: Hans-Guenter Benner, Bernd Pauer
  • Patent number: 8267562
    Abstract: An apparatus, method and system for visually indicating a circuit breaker, such as a multi-pole circuit breaker, has been tripped are provided. An exemplary light guide comprises a plurality of light conduits adapted to transmit light from two or more light sources within a circuit breaker assembly to an exterior of the circuit breaker assembly; a beam that connects the light conduits; and one or more retention features coupled to one or more of the light conduits, wherein each retention feature is adapted to mate with a retention feature interface of the circuit breaker assembly. Numerous other aspects are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2012
    Assignee: Siemens Industry, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy Biedrzycki, Russell T. Watford, Brian Timothy McCoy
  • Patent number: 8193942
    Abstract: The disclosed invention is a method of detecting flow conditions in a fluid supply system and is particularly useful for detecting flow in a toilet system. The flow detection method uses a device comprising a processor associated with a flow sensor and a memory which stores predefined flow criteria. When the processor detects flow through the fluid supply system, the processor uses the flow criteria to characterize the detected flow. If such flow complies with predefined flow conditions, a flow event is noted and an alert is issued. Such alert is configured according to predefined alert-criteria stored in a memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2012
    Inventors: Matt White, Cary Frieden
  • Patent number: 8015871
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a sender unit for sensing the level of remaining fuel in a fuel tank utilizing a non-contacting sensor. The sender unit for sensing the level of remaining fuel in a fuel tank of a vehicle is fixed in the fuel tank to sense the level of the remaining fuel by detecting the position of a float that floats depending on the level of the liquid surface of the fuel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2011
    Assignee: Coavis
    Inventors: In-Seok Sohn, Kyeong-Hwan Kim, Mun-Sik Jeon, Hyung-Min Kim
  • Patent number: 7779099
    Abstract: A distributed intelligent system. The distributed network includes at least one gateway server configured for receiving meter data from one or more nodes of a distributed meter network and at least one subscriber station in communication with the at least one gateway server via a communication network. The at least one gateway server is further configured to selectively distribute the received meter data to the at least one subscriber station in accordance with a policy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2010
    Assignee: US Beverage Net Inc.
    Inventors: Prabhu R. Raghunathan, Patrick J. Danial, Mark E. Young
  • Patent number: 7683790
    Abstract: Snap hook assemblies in which additional components have been incorporated are detailed. The assemblies maintain the general shapes of carabiners rather than those of conventional versions of the incorporated components. Included among the incorporated components may be light sources, knife blades, compasses, can or bottle openers, and watches, for example, although other components may be incorporated instead.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2010
    Assignee: Abstrac Products, Inc.
    Inventor: L. Hanson Luquire
  • Patent number: 7581759
    Abstract: A fuel tank of a motorcycle is disposed in front of a rider's seat and above an engine mounted between a front wheel and a rear wheel. The fuel tank is formed such that an entire transverse section has a recessed shape viewed form the lower side thereof. The rear half of the fuel tank has a tapered shape toward rearward as viewed from the side. A lower opening of the fuel tank is closed by a bottom plate having a flat portion declining rearward, and a communication hole is formed so as to allow communication between the inside and outside of the fuel tank and insertion of a fuel pump and a fuel gauge, the communication hole being liquid-tightly closed by a lid member. A fuel gauge is fixed to the bottom plate near the front of the communication hole via a bracket, and the fuel pump provided with a fuel strainer attached to the rear end thereof is arranged behind the fuel gauge so as to extend along the longitudinal axis thereof. The fuel pump is mounted and supported on a stay extending from the lid member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2009
    Assignee: Suzuki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Manabu Kobayashi
  • 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: 7079037
    Abstract: An indicator for displaying either low liquid level or satisfactory liquid level conditions within a tank includes a sensor for detecting the liquid level conditions, a photodetector for detecting an ambient dark condition, a pair of indicator lights for indicating either the low liquid level or satisfactory liquid level conditions, and electrical circuitry operable to illuminate one of the indicator lights upon detection of the ambient dark condition by the photodetector and detection of either the low liquid level condition or satisfactory liquid level condition by the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2006
    Inventors: Herbert G. Ross, Jr., Bud Wilcox
  • Patent number: 7013728
    Abstract: A system for detecting the level of liquid in a tank includes a sensor part provided to the tank and for sensing a position of the liquid level in accordance with displacement of a float, and a sensor casing arranged in the tank to be isolated from liquid and for accommodating the sensor part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2006
    Assignee: Hitachi Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Okada, Masato Kumagai, Hironori Ohhashi
  • Patent number: 6915690
    Abstract: A fuel gauge includes an arm moving with the level of fuel in a fuel tank, a detection body for movably supporting the arm and including a rotor moving together with the arm and a stator for movably supporting the rotor, and a magnetic-flux detecting element arranged in the stator and for detecting the displacement amount of the arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2005
    Assignee: Hitachi Unisia Automotive, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Okada, Masato Kumagai
  • Patent number: 6768424
    Abstract: A system for identifying the location of a fire extinguisher includes a fire detector with a wireless transmitter. When the detector goes into alarm, it not only emits a local audible alarm, it also transmits wirelessly a signal receivable by a fire extinguisher locating unit. This unit includes a receiver and circuitry for detecting the received alarm indicating signal. It also includes audible output circuitry, for example, speech synthesis circuitry, and optionally, an optical indicator. Upon detection at the unit of the alarm indicating signal, the speech synthesizing circuitry can be activated to indicate verbally the location of the extinguisher. Simultaneously, if desired, the illuminatable output device, such as a light bulb or light emitting diode, can be energized to provide a visual indication of extinguisher location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2004
    Inventor: Gary J. Morris
  • Patent number: 6578417
    Abstract: A filling level sensor for a liquid container such as a fuel tank for a motor vehicle includes a lever arm having a first end on which a float is mounted and a second end mounted in a support part. A contactless magnetic sensor and a magnetic device are arranged so that the magnetic device moves in response to a deflection of the lever arm due to a change in fill level in the tank and the movement of the magnetic device changes a magnetic field acting on the magnetic sensor so that the magnetic sensor supplies an output signal corresponding to the filling level in the fuel container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventor: Karl Eck
  • 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: 6508121
    Abstract: A filling level sensor (2) for a fuel container (1) of a motor vehicle has two lever arms (4, 5). One of the lever arms (4) supports a float (10), while the other lever arm (5) is prestressed against the bottom of the fuel container (1). A detecting device (6) for detecting the filling level in the fuel container (1) determines the difference between the positions of the lever arms (4, 5). The detection of the filling level in the fuel container (1) is hereby rendered very accurate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2003
    Assignee: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventor: Karl Eck
  • Patent number: 6425288
    Abstract: In a lever transmitter for a fuel tank, two spring tongues, each with a sliding contact, are arranged on a contact plate of a potentiometer. The contact plate is prestressed against sliding tracks of the potentiometer by a spring element fastened to the carrier and having the sliding contacts due to vibrations are thereby reliably avoided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2002
    Assignee: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventor: Bernd Pauer
  • Patent number: 6417775
    Abstract: A method and system for monitoring relay status using a lighting control panel is disclosed. The lighting control panel is used, for example, to control lighting throughout a building. The method includes the steps of commanding at least one relay to an on or off position from the lighting control panel, monitoring the status of the at least one relay from the lighting control panel, and setting the state of an indicator on the lighting control panel to show relay OFF, relay ON, or relay failed based on a monitored relay status.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Mark F. Culler, Alexander E. Paris, Barry D. Ferg
  • 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: 6362742
    Abstract: A safety float device for air conditioning units for providing easy and convenient installation of a switch to air conditioning systems. The safety float device for air conditioning units includes a switch assembly having a housing, a switch disposed in the housing, and wires extending from the switch; and also includes a float assembly having an arm member movably connected to the switch, and further having a float support member securely attached to an end of the arm member, and also having a float member securely and removably attached to the float support member; and further includes a fastening assembly being securely attached to the housing of the switch assembly for removably fastening to an air conditioning unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2002
    Inventor: Raoul Serenil, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6326895
    Abstract: A fluid level sensor for a fluid tank of a marine vessel is provided. The sensor includes a sensor mount and further includes a circuit housing that is pivotally connected to the mount to pivot about a predetermined pivot axis. A float assembly is configured to supply an actuating angle substantially impervious to fluid tank tilt and/or fluid splash at least along an axis generally perpendicular to the pivot axis. A circuit in the circuit housing is responsive to the actuating angle from the float assembly to provide an output signal indicative of the fluid level in the tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Assignee: Bombardier Motor Corporation of America
    Inventors: David J. Hartke, Richard P. Kolb, James L. Holt
  • Patent number: 6267007
    Abstract: A filling level sensor has a carrier part (1) having a lever wire (3) which is attached to a bracket (2) and is axially guided by a bar-shaped apron (11). The bracket (2) has webs (9, 10) which protrude radially with respect to its pivotable and axially nondisplaceable bearing and over which flange elements (7, 8) of the carrier part (1) engage. As a result, the bracket (2) is at a constant distance from the carrier part (1) and is additionally of particularly simple design.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2001
    Assignee: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventor: Klaus-Peter G√ľnther
  • Publication number: 20010004240
    Abstract: The alarm system is capable of detecting both conductive and non-conductive liquid level increases, designed for indoor operation, and ideally suited for detecting basement flooding or leaky domestic steel oil tanks or other fluid containment devices. A float, positioned above any surface such as a contained area (sump or drip pan), rises with the presence of a liquid, allowing a spring-loaded switch to rise, triggering a 9-volt powered battery electric circuit. The electric circuit, enclosed in a plastic enclosure, activates an audible pulsating alarm when triggered. A battery voltage monitor incorporated in the electric circuit, tests the battery voltage on a continuous bases, and will trigger the unit into the alarm mode when the battery voltage is insufficient to sustain continuous operation. A simple convenient self check feature allows the user to simply check the unit at any time.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 15, 2000
    Publication date: June 21, 2001
    Inventors: Michael R.G. Freill, Peter E. Freill
  • Patent number: 6160482
    Abstract: An alarm apparatus is provided for a bathtub and includes a suction cup for attaching to a wall of the bathtub. An alarm housing is attached to a top portion of the suction cup. An alarm system is housed within the alarm housing. A float assembly is supported by the alarm housing for activating the alarm system. To use the alarm apparatus of the invention in a bathtub, the suction cup is applied to a wall of the bathtub approximately at a desired height on the wall. Water is added to the bathtub, and when the water level lifts the float assembly a sufficient amount, the alarm system is activated and sounds a warning alarm. The alarm system includes a battery power source, a sounder assembly electrically connected to the battery power source, a manually operated on-off switch assembly electrically connected to the sounder assembly, and a pair of float-responsive switch contacts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Inventor: Timothy W. Hill
  • Patent number: 6061238
    Abstract: An information processing apparatus includes a plurality of processor boards arranged parallelly on the main board and the DC--DC converters for generating operation voltages for processor devices each disposed between the adjacent processor boards. Further, a metal plate with high thermal conductivity is placed in close contact with an area of each of the processor boards where devices generating a large amount of heat are mounted. Heat dissipating fins are joined to the surface of each of the metal plates so that when the processor boards are mounted on the main board, the heat dissipating fins do not contact the DC--DC converter. The heat dissipating fins and the DC--DC converters are arranged so that they are vertically disposed one over the other with respect to the main board.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2000
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hideyuki Osakada, Yukihiro Seki, Tsunehiro Tobita, Junichi Taguri, Hiroshi Mochizuki
  • Patent number: 5850175
    Abstract: A liquid level detector utilizing a housing having a wall portion defining a inner chamber. The inner chamber communicates to the exterior of the housing through an opening which also permits liquid to enter the chamber. A floatation element is pivotally located within the housing and includes a bridging conductor which rotates upwardly. The bridging conductor is capable of contacting a pair of terminals which constitute a portion of an alarm circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1998
    Inventor: Hollis Yeilding
  • Patent number: 5831536
    Abstract: An alarm system to warn those pumping fuel into remote tanks that the fuel level is at the top of the tank, and thus prevent overflowing. This system is particularly useful for filling tanks in boats.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignee: Ray Zager & Company
    Inventor: Raymond Zager
  • Patent number: 5781117
    Abstract: The present invention is a water level detector or flood alarm device which will activate a warning once water has reached a pre-determined and potentially damaging or dangerous level. The present invention comprises a housing which maintains a conventional mercury activated float switch, an alarm coupled to the switch, a mounting device, and an attaching mechanism. The mounting device maintains the housing and includes a pivotal mechanism for enabling the housing to pivot and rotate. This pivoting and rotation will allow the housing to be angularly positioned, with respect to the ground, so that the float switch will be positioned horizontally and parallel with respect to the water. The attaching mechanism enables the device to be removably secured to any surface and to be maintained in a secured and installed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1998
    Inventor: Thomas L. Rish
  • Patent number: 5666851
    Abstract: A liquid level sender device for measuring a level of a liquid in a tank having a first wall and a bottom wall includes a bracket mounted to the first wall of the tank, a first potentiometer mounted on the bracket, a float arm movably connected to the bracket and cooperating with the first potentiometer to generate a first variable resistance which varies according to the position relationship between the bracket and the float arm, a float mounted on the float arm which moves according to the level of the liquid in the tank and moves the float arm accordingly, a second potentiometer mounted on the bracket, and a compensation arm biased against the bottom wall of the tank and movably connected to the bracket, where the compensation arm cooperates with the second potentiometer to generate a second variable resistance which varies according to the position relationship between the bracket and the compensation arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 16, 1997
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventor: Donald R. Bacon
  • Patent number: 5642097
    Abstract: A residential oil-fired furnace heating system includes an oil storage tank having a fuel level gauge, and a second fuel level indicator located in a zone remote from the fuel oil storage tank. The homeowner can read the oil level from the second indicator without having to go down into the basement or other area where the tank might be located. The second indicator can have an alarm device that is triggered when the indicator reading reaches the near-empty reading. The alarm device alerts the homeowner that it is time to reorder a new supply of fuel oil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 24, 1997
    Inventor: Phillip G. Martel
  • Patent number: 5623251
    Abstract: Disclosed is a device used to verify the identity of a selected fluid before permitting the selected fluid to be introduced into a storage vessel containing a liquid of known specific gravity. The device includes a container constructed from connecting walls to form a chamber having an opening through which a selected fluid may be introduced; a first float switch positioned in the container for generating a first signal when contacted by a fluid having a specific gravity greater than a first predetermined amount; a second float switch positioned in the container for generating a second signal in the presence of a fluid having a specific gravity greater than a second predetermined amount, where the first predetermined amount is less than the second predetermined amount, and the second float switch is responsive to the first signal from the first float switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 22, 1997
    Inventor: John H. Clark
  • Patent number: 5610591
    Abstract: A liquid level alarm system which activates an alarm when liquid in a container falls below a predetermined level. The system contains an alarm which is located outside of the container. The alarm is electrically connected to an activation device which is contained within a housing. A single-pull switch arm is connected to the activation device and protrudes from the housing. One end of a line is attached to the distal end of the arm. The other end of the line is wound about a spring reel mounted on an axle connected to a float. When the surface of the liquid is between a predetermined upper and lower level, the spring reel maintains the line taut directly below the switch arm. The line is of such length that should the liquid in the container drop below a predetermined level, the float will no longer be supported by the liquid, and the weight of the float will pull the arm down to activate the alarm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 11, 1997
    Inventor: Daniel J. Gallagher
  • Patent number: 5581062
    Abstract: A side-mountable liquid level sensor utilizes a rubber sealing grommet to temporarily hold the buoyant member within the cylinder of the liquid container opening to facilitate assembly. The buoyant member has an open slot with cooperating limit structure on the buoyant member and sensor rod to facilitate manufacture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 3, 1996
    Assignee: Standex International Corporation
    Inventor: Edward Gomez, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5503036
    Abstract: An obstruction detection circuit for detecting an obstruction of a sample probe of an automated sample aspiration/dispensation device and a method for detecting such an obstruction. In one embodiment the obstruction detection circuit includes a pressure sensor measuring the pressure in a fluid conduit connecting a pump and the sample probe orifice. The pressure within the connecting fluid conduit is measured by the pressure sensor shortly after the start of the aspiration or dispensation of a fluid volume by the automated sample aspiration/dispensation device. The pressure within the connecting fluid conduit is again measured after the completion of the aspiration or dispensation, and if the pressure has not returned to a predetermined range within a predetermined amount of time, an error condition is reported.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 2, 1996
    Assignee: Ciba Corning Diagnostics Corp.
    Inventors: Dinh Nguyen, Frank Robb
  • Patent number: 5493086
    Abstract: An engine oil regulating device may monitor and regulate a fluid level for stationary engines or compressors for gravity feed and pressurized oil applications. Oil may be received in a float chamber that may have a safety shutdown float and an oil level regulating float. The engine oil regulating device may also include a safety shutdown mechanism to actuate an alarm and/or a shutdown switch such as an ignition cut-off switch. The safety shutdown mechanism may be configured as a single switch or a plurality of switches. A two switch safety shutdown mechanism may utilize a side-by-side layout or a stacked layout. The safety shutdown mechanism may include a high-low level shutdown, low level shutdown only, or high level shutdown only. A testing mechanism such as a rotatable test knob assembly may be provided to test the safety shutdown mechanism. An engine oil level adjusting mechanism such as an adjustable threaded thumb valve orifice member may also be provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 20, 1996
    Assignee: Murphy Management Inc.
    Inventors: Frank W. Murphy, Jr., Eric Miller, David Nunneley, Charles R. Lawrence
  • Patent number: 5426271
    Abstract: A liquid level sensor is provided with a single piece pivotable device which is used to move a permanent magnet into and out of the detection zone of a magnetically sensitive component, such as a Hall effect element. The pivotable device comprises a buoyant portion, a magnet holding portion and a pivot portion with arms connecting the pivot portion to the buoyant portion and the magnet holding portion. The pivot portion of the pivotable device is shaped to be received over a fixed post attached to a container. The injection gate of the mold used to form the pivotable device is advantageously located so that the pressures throughout the mold cavity are positive to the action of the foaming agent to result in the buoyant portion of the pivotable device having a significantly lower density than the other portions of the pivotable device. This variable density in a single piece device permits a smaller overall size to be used without sacrificing the sensitivity needed to detect changes in a liquid level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 20, 1995
    Assignee: Honeywell Inc.
    Inventors: Richard A. Clark, Brad L. Cummins, Timothy K. Erickson, Brian D. Mc Bride, Gary R. O'Brien
  • Patent number: 5374790
    Abstract: A liquid level switch assembly is provided which can be adjusted as to what liquid level will actuate the switch. A support bracket is mountable to the tank and a float arm is pivotally mounted to the support bracket inside the tank by way of a pivot axle. A magnet is mounted to the pivot axle such that the magnet rotates as the float arm pivots to follow the liquid level on the tank but such that the angular position of the poles of the magnet can be adjusted relative to the float arm when the float arm is retained as the magnet is rotated. A reed switch is mounted on the support bracket near the magnet such that when the float arm is in a predetermined range of angular position relative to the horizontal, the reed switch is actuated by the magnet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 20, 1994
    Assignee: Rochester Gauges, Inc.
    Inventor: Agoston Horvath
  • Patent number: 5369395
    Abstract: A sensor (1) is provided for sensing the entrainment of a fluid of low specific gravity in a fluid of higher specific gravity, particularly the entrainment of refrigerant gas in refrigerant liquid. The sensor (1) is typically installed into a higher pressure liquid supply line (24) of a refrigeration system (26). The sensor (1) has a differential float (16) including a float member (54) pivoted about a pivot (56) in a chamber (14) coupled to the supply line (24). The float member (54) has a specific gravity greater than the specific gravity of both of the fluids in which it operates. However, the location of the pivot (56) intermediate of the length of the float member (54) gives a net specific gravity for the differential float (16) which is less than the specific gravity of one of the fluids.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 29, 1994
    Assignee: Refrigerant Monitoring Systems Pty. Ltd.
    Inventor: Clive G. Waller
  • Patent number: 5305639
    Abstract: A liquid petroleum gas (LPG) gauge sensor unit fits between the units of an existing magnetically-coupled LPG gauge and includes a magnetic field sensing switch, a mechanism to variably position the switch and an intermediate magnet. The intermediate magnet is positioned upon an axle-like mechanism upon which it is free to rotate and magnetically couples to the existing gauge base magnet which is, in turn, connected to a float that measures the liquid level. The existing indicator magnet in the gauge assembly magnetically couples with the intermediate magnet so that the gauge unit visually indicates the level of LPG within the LPG tank, despite the increased distance between the base and indicator magnets caused by the sensor unit. The magnetic field sensing switch is used to sense the position of the base or intermediate magnet and thereby sense the liquid level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 26, 1994
    Assignee: Scully Signal Company
    Inventor: Robert A. Pontefract
  • Patent number: 5294917
    Abstract: A float-operated switch assembly is mounted in an opening in the top of a tank. It includes a vertical non-magnetic pipe having a pair of floats normally hanging beside it. Each of the floats has a magnet thereon normally in a position proximate the pipe when the float is down. A magnetic field between this magnet and a switch operator support magnet inside the pipe normally holds the latter magnet in a set position. The floats are located at a height such that, when the liquid has risen to the desired upper limit, the rising liquid has caused the floats to swing up and outward from the pipe, pulling their respective magnets out of supporting relationship to the switch operator support magnet whereupon the support magnet drops and a switch is operated for activating a signal circuit. A manual test knob is provided to remotely, manually lift the floats.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 15, 1994
    Inventor: Larry C. Wilkins
  • Patent number: 5281858
    Abstract: A fluid level responsive switch apparatus used in a tank to monitor fluid level in the tank. The apparatus has a float buoy attached to a tilt switch containing three conductors activated by a conductive sphere. The first conductor activates the fluid controller for restoring fluid to the tank when the conductive sphere is in a low fluid level position, the second conductor delays the switching between the activating and deactivating conductors when the conductive sphere is in an intermediate level position and the third conductor deactivates the controller when the conductive sphere is in a high fluid level position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 25, 1994
    Inventor: Arthur Langved
  • Patent number: 5250768
    Abstract: A float switch for sensing a liquid level and switching between "on" and "off" states in response to the same. Overall, the device is carried within a hollow housing, with its movement restrained by the tethering action of a power cord. "Snap action" switching is achieved by the interaction between an actuator having camming surfaces formed on its exterior, and a spring-loaded switch mechanism. The switch mechanism includes a thin, flexible E-shaped snap member, having two legs bowed to form a leaf spring and having a bearing point located on the central leg. The actuator is carried in a tube within the housing and the switch mechanism is positioned adjacent the actuator's path of travel, so that a camming surface of the actuator can make contact with the bearing point. As the water level rises, an increasing proportion of the actuator's weight is carried by the bearing point, until the vertical component of the actuator weight exceeds the spring resistance of the snap member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1993
    Assignee: Johnson Service Company
    Inventor: Robert A. Van Fossen
  • Patent number: 5167156
    Abstract: A level detecting assembly that features a level detecting device which includes a float hinged by an arm for displacement in accordance with a level of fuel in a plastic fuel tank. The level detecting device also includes a reference rod extending from a holder positioned in the plastic fuel tank. The tank is supported by a band on a motor vehicle. The lower end of the reference rod abuts the inside wall of the tank at or in the vicinity of the band, so that deformation of the tank is prevented, and precise level detection is achieved. Also, an elastic member is provided at the end of the reference rod. The elastic member is dimensioned and arranged for preventing the downwardly biased reference rod from damaging the inside of the tank bottom. The assembly also features an outer skin preferably formed of an elastic material positioned between the band or bands and the tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1992
    Assignee: Fuji Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha Corp.
    Inventor: Yoshio Tozawa
  • Patent number: 5140303
    Abstract: A liquid level responsive sending unit is positionable in a vehicle fuel tank to deliver a signal to a fuel gage on the vehicle dashboard. An electrical damping circuit is provided on a circuit board carried on the sending unit, such that momentary fluctuations in a fuel level sensor float are smoothed out. The signal transmitted to the gage is a signal representing a time-averaged condition of the sensor. The damping circuit location in the fuel tank is advantageous as regards signal accuracy calibration, manufacturing quality control, ease of assembly, and access for component replacement purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1992
    Assignee: Carter Automotive Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul M. Meyer
  • Patent number: RE34679
    Abstract: A level measuring device for measuring the level of a liquid in a container. The device has an elongated support which extends approximately horizontally into the container and is fastened at a fastening end 6 to a wall 3 of the container while its other resting end 3 rests under initial spring pressure against the bottom 2 of the container. On the support there is fastened a carrier 12 on which a mechanical-electrical transducer is disposed and on which there is pivotally mounted a lever 13 which bears a float 14 and acts on the transducer. The support is developed as an elastic spring in the region between its fastening end 6 and the carrier 12.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 2, 1994
    Assignee: VDO Adolf Schindling AG
    Inventors: Hugo A. Ritzenthaler, Scott Polando