Dashboard Patents (Class 362/489)
  • Patent number: 6854350
    Abstract: A custom instrument gauge module is disclosed which replaces the OEM instrument cluster gauges sub-assembly and utilizes the original electronic circuitry for the unique customization of an existing instrument cluster. The custom gauge module is designed and calibrated to replace the original cluster graphics, gauges, and pointers, while maintaining the original cluster circuitry and, optionally, the molded housing. The flexible design and manufacturing of the custom gauge module allows the enhancement of existing instrument panels to have an upgraded appearance and additional functions, while maintaining and using the original cluster complex electronic circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2005
    Inventor: Craig A. Ayres
  • Patent number: 6851840
    Abstract: A lighting system for a vehicle having luminescent or “glow-in-the-dark” markings placed on an interior surface of the vehicle and a light source located remotely from the markings to illuminate the markings, particularly at night. The markings can be placed on any surface inside a vehicle, such as a gear shift know, door handle or steering column control stalk. Additionally, the light source can be placed in the roof of the vehicle, behind a steering wheel, or any other location having an unobstructed view of the markings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2005
    Assignee: Methode Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Rajkumar Ramamurthy, Joseph Khoury, Roland Ruegenberg
  • Publication number: 20040246736
    Abstract: A lighting device for a vehicle has at least two light sources, a primary light source for general illuminating or marking purposes and a secondary light source, namely a plasma lamp, for creating exciting and appealing lighting effects.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2004
    Publication date: December 9, 2004
    Inventors: Michael Desmond, Richard Plavetich
  • Patent number: 6824290
    Abstract: An illumination device is composed by arranging a shutter member on a light emitting side of an LED light source, capable of changing a condition of light illuminating the outside when a position or the shutter member is changed by slide or rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignee: Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazushi Noda, Hiroshi Ito
  • Patent number: 6820990
    Abstract: The present invention relates to illumination of an instrument for displaying information. In particular the invention relates to illumination for an instrument suitable for use in a vehicle. Such instruments, located on the dashboard of an automotive vehicle, require illumination to allow the driver to read the information when it is dark. An instrument suitable for use in a vehicle is thus provided, generally comprising a housing, an information bearing surface, a transparent protective cover having an interior surface and an exterior surface, and a first light source coupled to the protective cover. The protective cover acts as a light guide and is arranged to allow light to escape at a selected location into the interior of the instrument to illuminate a portion of the information bearing surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2004
    Assignee: Visteon Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul Simon Ewers, Maryline Thorailler, Pascal Guirauton
  • Publication number: 20040190302
    Abstract: A light distribution plenum for directing light to first and second control devices spaced from the plenum. The light distribution plenum includes a shell having an interior surface substantially defining a cavity. Also included is a light source receptor configured to receive light from a light source into the cavity in use. A first optical avenue is associated with the shell and is configured to direct a portion of the light to a first control device. A second optical avenue is associated with the shell, is spaced from the first optical avenue, and is configured to direct a portion of the light to a second control device. At least one selective optic is at least partially within the light distribution plenum and is configured to interact with at least some portion of the light. Also disclosed is an illuminated control assembly including a light distribution plenum and a motor vehicle including an illuminated control assembly. Further disclosed is a method of illuminating first and second control devices.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2003
    Publication date: September 30, 2004
    Inventors: Anthony Mascadri, John Heal
  • Patent number: 6789901
    Abstract: A system and method for providing images for an operator of a vehicle include the capability to receive electrical signals representing electromagnetic radiation at an image source and to generate a visual image based on the electrical signals. The system and method further include the capability to reflect different portions of the visual image with a magnifying optical element for presentation at different viewing locations, the visual image appearing as a virtual image, wherein at least one dimension of the visual image is larger than the magnifying optical element can use to present an image at one of the viewing locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventor: Alexander L. Kormos
  • Patent number: 6774773
    Abstract: A jet propulsion boat is equipped with a liquid crystal display unit displaying operation information. An ordinary movement of the jet propulsion boat is regarded as an ordinary state. When the need arises for abruptly reducing the speed of the transportation means or abruptly changing the direction of the transportation means, and the like it is regarded as a non-ordinary state. The liquid crystal display unit is caused to reverse a white-and-black display thereof when the jet propulsion boat shifts from the ordinary state to the non-ordinary state. It is possible to sensitively and directly notify the driver that the transportation means is in a non-ordinary state. As a result, it becomes easier to recognize that the jet propulsion boat is in a non-ordinary state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yusuke Funayose, Toru Hasegawa, Tomohiko Yashiro
  • Publication number: 20040125587
    Abstract: An automotive instrument includes a light transmission controller and a mode selecting switch. The controller controls light transmission of a light-controllable film according to a selected position of the mode selecting switch. The mode selecting switch has three positions: two manual mode positions and an automatic mode position. The manual mode positions are provided for adjusting the light transmission to a fixed level. The automatic mode position is provided for controlling the light transmission so that a dial plate maintains a predetermined level of visibility. The dial plate can be switched between different appearances. This switching can be performed during the vehicle is in operation based on the driver's preference.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 9, 2003
    Publication date: July 1, 2004
    Inventors: Toshiki Wada, Takaaki Muramatsu, Katsuhiro Kumazawa
  • Publication number: 20040085746
    Abstract: An instrument panel includes a transparent base board interposed between an indicator board on which indicator needles are movably mounted and a transparent cover. The base board defines a number of recesses for respectively and movably accommodating the indicator needles therein. Patterns, such as characters, digitals, scales and figures, are formed on the base board by means of CO2 etching. The base board defines a number of slots in an end thereof for receiving illuminators, such as light emitting diodes, which give off lights of different colors and intensities. The illuminators are connected to and controlled by a control circuit. A sensor is mounted to an automobile for detection of an operation parameter of the automobile and applies the operation parameter to the control circuit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 5, 2002
    Publication date: May 6, 2004
    Inventor: Shih Ling Chen
  • Publication number: 20040070964
    Abstract: A lighting fixture for an automobile instrument panel comprised of a backlight module; a light guide plate on the module; a light source and multiple semi-spherical grains on the guide plate sandwiched by a reflection plate and a diffusion plate; light being projected and evenly distributed on the light guide plate due to those grains; light intensity being increased by the reflection plate to be projected on the diffusion plate for the light to be evenly projected onto the instrument panel by light reflex and scattering to better illuminate the instrument panel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 9, 2002
    Publication date: April 15, 2004
    Inventor: Shu-Hui Lo
  • Patent number: 6717376
    Abstract: An embodiment of this invention relates to an intelligent lighting device that can receive signals and change the illumination conditions as a result of the received signals. The lighting device can change hue, saturation, and brightness as a response to received signals. One example of using such a lighting device is to display particular colors as a response to certain events. Among others, embodiments may include vehicle lighting systems, an information cube, a back lighting system for a display panel, and an indicator of a condition of a package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2004
    Assignee: Color Kinetics, Incorporated
    Inventors: Ihor A. Lys, Kevin Dowling, Eric Schanberger, Christian P. Blanc
  • Publication number: 20040017687
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an apparatus and method of perforating the cover layer or soft skin of an automotive trim panel such as an instrument panel with a laser to allow light to bleed through the perforations. The light source would preferably be a low heat generating or “cool” type source such as an LED. The light source would be attached to a suitable substrate or incorporated in to a flexible printed circuit and coupled to the vehicle electrical system. This method would enable fill switch integration to a trim panel and provide a seamless styling opportunity regarding the electrical controls. This method would help reduce cost and weight, improve quality, and promote new seamless styling theme.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 18, 2003
    Publication date: January 29, 2004
    Inventor: David M. Misaras
  • Publication number: 20030231508
    Abstract: A lighting system for a vehicle having luminescent or “glow-in-the-dark” markings placed on an interior surface of the vehicle and a light source located remotely from the markings to illuminate the markings, particularly at night. The markings can be placed on any surface inside a vehicle, such as a gear shift know, door handle or steering column control stalk. Additionally, the light source can be placed in the roof of the vehicle, behind a steering wheel, or any other location having an unobstructed view of the markings.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2002
    Publication date: December 18, 2003
    Inventors: Rajkumar Ramamurthy, Joseph Khoury, Roland Ruegenberg
  • Patent number: 6663249
    Abstract: An instrument panel includes a housing having an open end, an instrument body having a dial and arranged within the housing, a red light-emitting diode mounted on the dial, a green light-emitting diode mounted on the dial, a blue light-emitting diode mounted on the dial, a control means fitted within the housing and electrically connected with the red, green and blue light emitting diodes for selectively controlling the light emitting diodes to give light, and a cover mounted on the open end of the housing for keeping the instrument body within the housing, whereby the instrument panel can emit lights with different colors as desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Assignee: Pro-Plus Inc.
    Inventor: Chi-Hsiang Pan
  • Publication number: 20030206407
    Abstract: A display apparatus adapted to be mounted on an audio/video player or the like comprises a housing having a window. A backlight unit having a plate mounted in said housing and made of transparent materials which has a front surface and a back surface, and a plurality of reflecting pieces disposed on the back surface of said plate and being gradually enlarged by distance. A light set has a LED arranged beside the plate of the backlight unit nearby said the reflecting pieces of smaller sizes to emit light to the backlight unit and reflected by the reflecting pieces to the front surface of the plate. A screen is mounted in the housing and disposed in front of the front surface of the backlight unit corresponding in location to the window of the housing, the screen is capable of passing the light reflected by said backlight unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 2, 2002
    Publication date: November 6, 2003
    Applicant: SEKAKU ELECTRON INDUSTRY CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Tony Yang
  • Patent number: 6641276
    Abstract: A lighting device which is arranged on motor vehicles and/or in interiors of motor vehicles is proposed. It includes an electroluminescent layer assembly comprising at least one first electrode layer, a dielectric layer, an electroluminescent luminous layer and a transparent second electrode layer, wherein the electroluminescent layer assembly is arranged on a support and/or in a frame and the electrode layers are connected to an a.c. voltage control device. Preferably the electroluminescent layer assembly with the support and/or frame as well as the a.c. voltage control device with components and wiring arranged on a printed circuit board which is connected to the support and/or simultaneously constructed as a support for the electroluminescent layer assembly, and if necessary a transparent cover covering the electroluminescent layer assembly, form a compact structural unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2003
    Assignee: Magna Reflex Holding GmbH
    Inventors: David Macher, Heinz Ziorn, Johann Stark, Raimund Fritzl
  • Patent number: 6619822
    Abstract: An arrangement for providing indirect lighting to at least one coverable recess in a vehicle is provided. The at least one recess is arranged on the side of a control panel of a motor vehicle. In the recess electrical components are arranged and the recess is closed with a detachable cover. The inside of the detachable cover is equipped with a reflecting layer so that light from an existing light source in the vehicle is reflected into the recess so as to illuminate the electrical components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2003
    Assignee: Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche AG
    Inventors: Gerhard Bach, Joachim Selinger
  • Patent number: 6595667
    Abstract: A measuring apparatus in which the necessity of a light conductor for illuminating the front panel can be eliminated and cost reduction and slimming is realized, comprising: a circuit board 1; an instrument body 3 disposed on the circuit board 1 and including a drive shaft 2 extending forward; a pointer 4 to be fitted on the tip side of the drive shaft 2; a front panel 5 disposed between the pointer 4 and the circuit board 1 for illuminating at least the display portion 52; a light source 6 disposed in front of the circuit board 1 on the side where the drive shaft 2 resides with respect to the display portion 52; a reflector 7 to be disposed between the front panel 5 and the circuit board 1; and the circuit board 1 including a first reflecting portion 75 facing to the light source 6 for reflecting the illumination from the light source 6 toward the outer periphery, and a second reflecting portion 77 extending outward with an appropriate space interposed between itself and the front panel 5 so as to surround t
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: Nippon Seiki Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Masato Obata
  • Patent number: 6595656
    Abstract: A cabin lamp used in, for instance, an airplane having an LED module that is attached to a lamp housing and connected via a connector to a feeder element provided in the lamp housing. The LED module has a printed circuit board and a plurality of reflectors that are installed in a frame-shaped bezel detachably attached to a front end portion of the lamp housing. The printed circuit board is mounted with a plurality of light emitting diodes (LEDs), and the reflectors surround each of the LEDs so as to reflect the light from the LEDs substantially forward.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Takashi Yoda
  • Patent number: 6588924
    Abstract: In a display unit there is provided a front instrument panel (2) for inscription with symbols (9), which have an opaque portion (12) enclosed by a transparent portion (11), a so-called island. This opaque portion (12) is applied to a transparent backing (15) and fitted into an opening (13), made in the front instrument panel (2) to correspond to the contour of the symbol (9), at a distance from an edge region (20) of the opening (13). Use of the backing (15) makes it possible to dispense with connecting cross-pieces between the island and the front instrument panel (2). Furthermore, a process for producing the front instrument panel (2) intended for the display unit is provided, in which process firstly the opening (13) is made by punching and the backing (15) is formed by film-insert molding a transparent plastic behind the front instrument panel (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2003
    Assignee: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventor: Gerhard Friepes
  • Publication number: 20030123259
    Abstract: An instrument for a vehicle, by which an instrument board thereof can be seen as well at night as in the daytime is provided. In the instrument, an illuminating panel 50 including a prism sheet 50a transforms light from an LED 50b into planar light illumination for the instrument board 40, the prism sheet 50a on which prisms arranged in a sawtooth shape to form a prism alley P at a vehicle driver side thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 3, 2002
    Publication date: July 3, 2003
    Applicant: YAZAKI CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yoshiyuki Furuya, Takanori Watanabe, Ichiro Kataoka
  • Patent number: 6585385
    Abstract: A light conducting body has a generally conical through bore defined therein. The conical through bore includes a front bore part defined by a sloped surface and a rear bore part defined by a concave surface. A light conducting dial board is installed in the conical through bore with its front face facing forward and positioned in the vicinity of the junction portion between the front and rear bore parts. The dial board has a peripheral edge separated from the inner wall surface of the conical through bore thereby to define therebetween a circumferentially extending space. A light conducting supporting plate is attached to a rear surface of the dial board. The supporting plate is formed with a light transmitting portion which extends rearward and has an rear end intimately received in a recess formed in the rear end of the light conducting body. A plurality of light sources are positioned behind the rear end of the light conducting body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: Calsonic Kansei Corporation
    Inventors: Yasuyuki Nakagawa, Tatsuo Sato
  • Publication number: 20030112619
    Abstract: The present invention relates to illumination of an instrument for displaying information. In particular the invention relates to illumination for an instrument suitable for use in a vehicle. Such instruments, located on the dashboard of an automotive vehicle, require illumination to allow the driver to read the information when it is dark.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2002
    Publication date: June 19, 2003
    Inventors: Paul Simon Ewers, Maryline Thorailler, Pascal Guirauton
  • Patent number: 6575583
    Abstract: The present invention accurately detects the illumination on the surface of an instrument panel, to thereby enable an easy view of the instruments. A meter unit includes an instrument panel in which a speedometer and other instruments are arranged, and an information display panel for displaying various information by characters and other graphic symbols. The instrument panel has a translucent dial, on the back side of which illuminating lamps are installed. A light sensor is located in the speedometer adjacent to indicators which display various kinds of information. Since the actual illumination on the instrument panel can be accurately detected in accordance with a result of detection by the light sensor, the luminance of the illuminating lamp can be controlled on the basis of the result of the detection, to thereby provide proper illumination for the rider's easy view of the instruments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Koji Suzuki, Koji Kano
  • Patent number: 6575607
    Abstract: A user controllable lighting system for a vehicle instrument cluster, including: selection apparatus to select a color scheme for individual gage area components of the vehicle instrument cluster; illumination apparatus to illuminate the individual gage area components in accordance with selections made by the selection apparatus; and control apparatus operatively connected to the selection apparatus and to the illumination apparatus to receive the selections made by the selection apparatus and to furnish instructions to the illumination apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Melissa Marie Klemish, Andrew Michael Voto, Ronald Kenneth Selby
  • Patent number: 6543904
    Abstract: A display instrument, in particular for a vehicle, with a printed circuit board, at least one illuminable display area and at least one illuminating element which has an LED and can be fastened on the printed circuit board by a contact socket. To simplify the production of the display instrument, the contact socket has a support component for activation electronics for activating the LED.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventors: José Martinez-Gottschalk, Winfried Möll
  • Patent number: 6520654
    Abstract: A thin panel lit cluster including a graphics appliqué with a first and second side and at least one opaque section and one translucent section. A light-carrying panel with a first and second side is positioned such that the first side is adjacent to the second side of the graphics appliqué. The light-carrying panel has at least one opening defined in it and at least one light source is positioned to align with the opening. Opposite the light source, the light-carrying panel has a first light-redirecting area nearest its first side. In another position on the light-carrying panel, there is a second light-redirecting area nearest the second side of the light-carrying panel and opposite a translucent section of the graphics appliqué.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Assignee: Visteon Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel K. Angell, Don A. Kees, Paul S. Ewers, Thomas L. Jones, Michael J. Luettgen
  • Patent number: 6517213
    Abstract: An indicator device is intended to make an indication by illuminating a predetermined indicating surface, and comprises a light source (12) for emitting a light (L1) of the first wavelength and a fluorescent plate (22) disposed between the light source and the indicating surface for changing at least part of the light of the first wavelength projected from the light source into a light (L2) of the second wavelength longer than the first wavelength and projecting it towards the indicating surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2003
    Assignee: IDEC Izumi Corporation
    Inventors: Toshihiro Fujita, Akito Okamoto, Masaru Mamiya, Ikkan Nishihara, Shinichi Tanabe
  • Patent number: 6511194
    Abstract: In a pointer instrument (1) having a pointer shaft (12) that deflects a pointer flag (10), the pointer flag (10) can be illuminated by means of a light source (14). For this purpose, the light source (14) is formed, for example, as a light-emitting polymer (13), which is applied between the pointer flag (10), which is formed at the same time as an electrode, and a further, transparent electrode (15), and emits light of any desired coloration under appropriate electrical excitation. The pointer flag (10) can assume any desired shape as the result of using such a light source (14) that can be shaped. In particular, multiple curvatures can be represented without differences in brightness occurring in this case.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2003
    Assignee: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventors: Heinrich Noll, Frank Jansa
  • Patent number: 6502968
    Abstract: In a printed circuit board (1) for a display instrument, a support (3) is used for holding a light source (5). For this, the support (3) is fitted onto the printed circuit board (1), which has a conductor track (2), using a fixing means (7). This allows the light source (5) to be individually matched to different applications, and gives it a small physical height at the same time. In this arrangement, there is no need for the use of optical fibers, and this allows the reading accuracy of the instrument to be improved, particularly as a result of a uniform, high illumination level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2003
    Assignee: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventor: Ernst-Ulrich Simon
  • Publication number: 20030002273
    Abstract: A vehicle interior component and lighting assembly that includes a vehicle interior component having a fabric disposed over a substrate or foam layer, or both. An electroluminescent panel is located between the fabric and substrate/foam layer and directs light from the panel through the fabric. In this way, the light source can be effectively hidden when not in use and can be incorporated into the interior component in a manner that requires little space. The vehicle interior component can be any of a number of different interior articles, including, for example, a headliner, door panel, vehicle seat, rear deck, sun visor, and trunk panel. Also disclosed are vehicle interior illumination systems using touch switches and electroluminescent panels to provide back lighting of the switch and/or vehicle interior illumination through the switch.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 4, 2002
    Publication date: January 2, 2003
    Applicant: FEDERAL-MOGUL WORLD WIDE, INC.
    Inventors: James Burr Anderson, John Christopher Brown
  • Patent number: 6499852
    Abstract: A vehicle display lighting device the lighting device includes a light emitting assembly arranged along the outer circumference of the display dial in front of the front surface. The light emitting assembly directs lights across at least the front surface of the display dial. The lighting device also includes a control assembly for controlling the operation of the light emitting assembly. The light emitting assembly may one or more light sources for emitting light, and a transmitting assembly for radiating the light from the light source across at least the front surface of the display dial.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2002
    Assignee: Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Norihito Kino, Toshinori Takahashi, Satoshi Inagaki, Yoshiaki Ito, Makoto Tamaki
  • Patent number: 6464381
    Abstract: A vehicle interior component and lighting assembly that includes a vehicle interior component having a fabric disposed over a substrate or foam layer, or both. An electroluminescent panel is located between the fabric and substrate/foam layer and directs light from the panel through the fabric. In this way, the light source can be effectively hidden when not in use and can be incorporated into the interior component in a manner that requires little space. The vehicle interior component can be any of a number of different interior articles, including, for example, a headliner, door panel, vehicle seat, rear deck, sun visor, and trunk panel. Also disclosed are vehicle interior illumination systems using touch switches and electroluminescent panels to provide back lighting of the switch and/or vehicle interior illumination through the switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2002
    Assignee: Federal-Mogul World Wide, Inc.
    Inventors: James Burr Anderson, Jr., John Christopher Brown
  • Patent number: 6461006
    Abstract: A display is provided having five light-emitting elements, constituting a first light source, are provided on the surface of a wiring board. These sources illuminate a graduated board and a light-emitting indicator. A single light-emitting element, constituting a second light source, is provided on the surface of the wiring board as an illumination light source for use on the graduated board so as to oppose a concave portion of the light-guiding plate via the opening portion of the holder on an outside of one of the respective light-emitting elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2002
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventor: Makoto Matumoto
  • Publication number: 20020135995
    Abstract: There is provided a pointer type instrument which can reduce a light leakage to a side of a display board, and comprises a pointer 6 which includes an indication member 61 brightened by illumination light introduced from a back side of a rotation center region R and made of a translucent resin material, and a cover member 62 covering its outer periphery except for the back side of the rotation center region R and made of a light shielding resin material, and is driven to be rotated through a driving unit 2; a display board 3 which is disposed behind the pointer 6, is apart from the cover member 62 with a predetermined gap part S intervening, and includes a light passing part 33 corresponding to the rotation center region R; and a light source 5 disposed behind the display board 3, for generating the illumination light, wherein a leakage light prevention part 634 for suppressing a light leakage from the gap part S is provided on the back side (back side of a pedestal part 632) of the rotation center region R e
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 21, 2002
    Publication date: September 26, 2002
    Inventors: Atsushi Fujita, Tsuyoshi Sakai, Kiyoshi Nishimura
  • Patent number: 6454422
    Abstract: An article (10) comprises a transparent material (42) having interior and exterior surfaces (44 and 46). A coating of paint (48) is applied to the exterior surface (46) of the transparent material (42). Indicia (12) are formed in the coating of paint (48) by a plurality of interrelated line segments (50). Each line segment (50) of the plurality of line segments (50) extends parallel to each other line segment (50). The article (10) further comprises a light source (40) actuatable for directing light against the interior surface (44) of the transparent material (42) and through the line segments (50) to illuminate the indicia (12). The indicia (12) are discernible from the coating of paint (48) when illuminated by the light source (40) and are indiscernible from the coating of paint (48) when not illuminated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2002
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Alexander K. Williams
  • Patent number: 6422723
    Abstract: A portable cockpit illumination device for the purpose of supplementing existing cockpit illumination from an overhead type lamp assembly provides for an even illumination of all cockpit panel instruments. A portable design allows installation or removal from the cockpit in seconds without using any tools. Two modes of operation insure cockpit illumination under any flight conditions. An accessory power receptacle internal to an aircraft cockpit provides power during normal operation, and a self contained battery source provides cockpit illumination during emergency situations when no external power source is available. During normal operation, a charging circuit insures optimal battery performance. A plurality of light emitting diodes (LED's) wired in a series-parallel array receives power from a DC to DC buck converter, whereby an input source voltage is reduced to a lower output voltage. A rheostat controlled feedback voltage loop provides for load current and illumination control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2002
    Inventor: Robert Charles Walters
  • Publication number: 20020089837
    Abstract: A dial for an indicating instrument, in particular in a motor vehicle, is described in the application. This dial comprises an optically conducting basic body whose outside is shaped as a two-stage cone. Except for light passages (10) forming symbols, the outside is covered by an opaque layer (9), the light, which has previously been coupled into the basic body (2), exiting there. The special feature consists in that the basic body (2) is produced by injection molding, and this permits the production of a non-planar outer surface, the opaque layer (9) itself being produced on the outer surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 18, 2001
    Publication date: July 11, 2002
    Inventors: Bernward Kneer, Ingo Kopsieker
  • Patent number: 6416875
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a multi-component article which comprises at least two components, each component being produced from a different polymer composition, and at least one polymer composition comprises a hydrogenated block copolymer comprising at least two distinct blocks of hydrogenated vinyl aromatic polymer, and at least one block of hydrogenated conjugated diene polymer, characterized by: a hydrogenation level such that each hydrogenated vinyl aromatic polymer block has a hydrogenation level of greater than 90 percent and the hydrogenated conjugated diene polymer block has a hydrogenation level of greater than 95 percent, with the proviso that when more than one component is prepared from compositions comprising hydrogenated block copolymers, each composition differs compositionally such that the vinyl aromatic polymer block content of the compositions differs by at least 20 percent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignee: Dow Global Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Gary D. Parsons, James P. Maher
  • Publication number: 20020085367
    Abstract: An instrument cluster 100 including a backplate 110, a mask 112, the backplate 110 and the mask 112 formed as a single component using a single shot of injection molding, and a dial 114 formed onto the backplate 110 using a second shot of injection molding.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 28, 2000
    Publication date: July 4, 2002
    Inventors: Jerome Francis Maxwell, Thomas Lee Jones
  • Patent number: 6409355
    Abstract: A combination instrument for a motor vehicle, having a front frame and a display panel and a plurality of display instruments and warning lights which are arranged on a printed circuit board and are provided for displaying information on the display panel. The front frame is produced integrally with light shafts which lead from the warning lights to the display panel. In the region of the warning lights, the display panel is formed by a diaphragm screen which is adhesively bonded to the front frame and is produced as a film. The light shafts simultaneously serve as spacers for the printed circuit board.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventors: Ernst-Ulrich Simon, Hans Kolibius, Stephan Zech
  • Patent number: 6404463
    Abstract: A display device is created in particular for a combination instrument of a motor vehicle and has an electro-optic display device; at least one scale device for at least one analog display device which is arranged adjacent to the electro-optic display device, with one section of the scale device covering at least one section (10a; 10b) of the electro-optic display device; and a luminous layer applied to the scale device by which the section of the scale device covering the electro-optic display device as well as the remainder of the scale device can each be lighted at least in part. In this way, space can be saved between the electro-optic display device and the scale device and an esthetic transition is achieved in terms of illumination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Peter Knoll, Ralf Sybrichs, Bernhard Herzog
  • Patent number: 6404333
    Abstract: An eyes up instrument having a transparent display is disclosed which is mountable on or above the dashboard of a vehicle to allow the instrument to be read by a vehicle operator without lowering his eyes to the vehicle instrument panel. The display of the instrument is transparent and therefore does not interfere substantially with the view of the operator. The compact design of the instrument and use of a miniature crossed coil gauge supported in the display itself allow it to be mounted unobtrusively on a dashboard even in applications where transparency is not required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Invotronics Manufacturing
    Inventors: Craig A. Ayres, John A. Ayres, Thomas Blossom
  • Publication number: 20020041491
    Abstract: A light conducting body has a generally conical through bore defined therein. The conical through bore includes a front bore part defined by a sloped surface and a rear bore part defined by a concave surface. A light conducting dial board is installed in the conical through bore with its front face facing forward and positioned in the vicinity of the junction portion between the front and rear bore parts. The dial board has a peripheral edge separated from the inner wall surface of the conical through bore thereby to define therebetween a circumferentially extending space. A light conducting supporting plate is attached to a rear surface of the dial board. The supporting plate is formed with a light transmitting portion which extends rearward and has an rear end intimately received in a recess formed in the rear end of the light conducting body. A plurality of light sources are positioned behind the rear end of the light conducting body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2001
    Publication date: April 11, 2002
    Inventors: Yasuyuki Nakagawa, Tatsuo Sato
  • Patent number: 6341883
    Abstract: A display device for displaying transmission selected speeds and ratios is provided. In order to create a display device in which the space requirement for the display is reduced, it is proposed to use as the display elements the scale elements such as scale numbers or divisional lines of a display instrument. In preferred embodiments, the display instrument is a tachometer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2002
    Assignee: Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Dieter Kraxner
  • Publication number: 20020001185
    Abstract: In an indicating instrument (1) with a translucent dial (8), an illuminated pointer (4) is arranged, out of the viewing direction of a viewer, behind the dial (8) on its rear, inner side (7). An additional covering glass for protecting the pointer (4) can thus be dispensed with.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 1999
    Publication date: January 3, 2002
    Inventors: HEINZ GUNTHER WILHELM, MICHAEL DOBLER, BENOIT BAUER, HEINZ TURCK, HELMUT WOLLF, FRANK POHLMANN, STEPHAN ZECH
  • Patent number: 6324463
    Abstract: A system for indicating the operational status and parameters of a cruise control system for use in a human operated vehicle. The system includes apparatus for storing and recalling a preset speed for the cruise control system. The system further includes apparatus for indicating this preset speed to the operator, along with apparatus configured to indicate to the user whether or not the cruise control system is engaged. One embodiment is a system for use with vehicles with digital speedometers. In this embodiment, the system includes digital memory for storing the preset speed, and a digital display configured to show the preset speed and the operational status of the cruise control system. Another embodiment is for use with vehicles having analog speedometers. The analog system includes an array of LEDs and detectors arranged around a speed indicating dial and under the speedometer needle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Inventor: C. Kumar N. Patel
  • Publication number: 20010030871
    Abstract: A vehicle interior component and lighting assembly that includes a vehicle interior component having a fabric disposed over a substrate or foam layer, or both. An electroluminescent panel is located between the fabric and substrate/foam layer and directs light from the panel through the fabric. In this way, the light source can be effectively hidden when not in use and can be incorporated into the interior component in a manner that requires little space. The vehicle interior component can be any of a number of different interior articles, including, for example, a headliner, door panel, vehicle seat, rear deck, sun visor, and trunk panel. Also disclosed are vehicle interior illumination systems using touch switches and electroluminescent panels to provide back lighting of the switch and/or vehicle interior illumination through the switch.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 26, 2001
    Publication date: October 18, 2001
    Inventors: James Burr Anderson, John Christopher Brown
  • Patent number: 6302551
    Abstract: A meter for a vehicle has a scale plate, a pointer and a plurality of light sources. A first light source lights a scale plate up from a backside thereof. A second light source lights the scale plate up through a light guiding plate. A third light source lights a pointer up from a base thereof. The first light and the second light have different colors. The first and second lights and the third light are activated with time lag. The light sources produce a novel appearance on the meter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2001
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventor: Makoto Matumoto