With Supplemental Power Source Patents (Class 368/64)
  • Patent number: 9442525
    Abstract: Wearable devices are provided. The wearable device may include a body enclosed by: a front shaped as a rounded square or a rounded rectangle; a back opposite to the front; and an upper side, a lower side, a left side and a right side, which couple the front and back and are between the front and back. The wearable device may also includes: an upper band coupled to the upper side; a lower band coupled to the lower side; a display placed on the front of the body; a camera module disposed on the upper side; and a key disposed on the lower side, the key being operated by being pressed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jongmin Choi, Hongmoon Chun
  • Patent number: 9086685
    Abstract: A control circuit selects a drive pulse group corresponding to the detected voltage of a power cell from among plural drive pulse groups each including plural types of main drive pulses, and selects a drive pulse according to the detected condition of rotation of a stepping motor from among main drive pulses included in the selected drive pulse group or a correction drive pulse having larger energy than the main drive pulses. When the control circuit selects a main drive pulse initially by selecting the drive pulse group, the control circuit selects the main drive pulse having the largest energy in the selected drive pulse group. A drive pulse group selection circuit drives the stepping motor by the main drive pulse in the drive pulse group selected by the control circuit or the correction drive pulse via a main drive pulse output circuit and a correction drive pulse output circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2015
    Assignee: SEIKO INSTRUMENTS INC.
    Inventors: Kosuke Yamamoto, Akira Takakura, Kenji Ogasawara, Saburo Manaka, Kazumi Sakumoto, Keishi Honmura
  • Patent number: 9036455
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece is operated with a power-supply voltage from a secondary battery charged with a voltage from a solar panel. An oscillation circuit generates and supplies a clock signal to a CPU when the voltage charged to the battery is lower than a first voltage. A reset circuit resets the CPU when the voltage charged to the battery does not exceed a second voltage higher than the first voltage, and cancels the reset of the CPU when the voltage charged to the second battery exceeds the second voltage. The CPU starts an operation when the voltage charged to the secondary battery exceeds the second voltage and the reset is cancelled, and performs a time-of-day display on a display unit when the voltage charged to the secondary battery is equal to or higher than a third voltage higher than the second voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: SEIKO INSTRUMENTS INC.
    Inventors: Kazuo Kato, Akira Takakura, Tomohiro Ihashi, Takanori Hasegawa, Toshitaka Fukushima
  • Publication number: 20140369171
    Abstract: An electronic clock contains a clock module with at least one display panel and a transforming module. The transforming module is mounted in a power supply space of at least one switch on a wall. The clock module is fitted on a rear end of each switch, and the at least one display panel correspond to a displaying portion of each switch. The transforming module is electrically connected with supply mains in the power supply space of the at least one switch so as to output power to the clock module. The at least one display panel is electrically connected with the clock module, and the clock module is electrically coupled with the transforming module so as to receive power outputted by the transforming module, hence the clock module produces electronic signals to display time or/and date on the at least one display panel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2013
    Publication date: December 18, 2014
    Inventor: CHOU WEN HUNG
  • Patent number: 8873344
    Abstract: A power consumption control device includes a power consumption control unit that receives the output potential of a photovoltaic cell generating an electromotive force, receives the output potential of a secondary battery charged by the electromotive force of the photovoltaic cell, causes a timepiece device to transition to a power saving state where a clock operation of measuring time is stopped when the output potential difference of the secondary battery is not greater than a predetermined threshold value, and the secondary battery is in a non-charging state indicating a state where the output potential difference of the photovoltaic cell is not greater than the output potential difference of the secondary battery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Shimizu, Kazumi Sakumoto, Kenji Ogasawara, Kosuke Yamamoto, Keishi Honmura, Saburo Manaka, Akira Takakura
  • Patent number: 8831257
    Abstract: An exterior power supply for a hearing aid has a battery-shaped conductor, two thin power contacts, and a DC power source. The battery-shaped conductor is received in a battery container of the hearing aid and has a top electrode and a bottom electrode. The thin power contacts are mounted to the battery-shaped conductor and respectively and electronically connected to the top and bottom electrodes of the battery-shaped conductor. Each thin power contact has a thickness matching a gap between an opening and a door of the battery container of the hearing aid. The DC power source is electronically connected to the battery-shaped conductor through a power wire and the thin power contacts to output DC power to the top and bottom electrodes of the battery-shaped conductor. Therefore, the hearing aid obtains DC power from the battery-shaped conductor and the button cell is not replaced frequently.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Inventors: Chum Lee, Huey-Ling Kao Ulrey
  • Patent number: 8699304
    Abstract: An electronic device includes a primary power supply portion generating power by converting a first energy into electric energy as a second energy; a secondary power supply portion storing the electric energy obtained by the power generation; a charge detection portion detecting a state where the secondary power supply portion is not charged with the electric energy; a clocking portion clocking time and stopping display of clocked time when an operation input is detected; and a low power consumption state control portion which measures a time of a state where the operation input is detected and the charging is not performed, and stops the operation of the clocking portion when the measured time exceeds a preset time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventors: Kazumi Sakumoto, Keishi Honmura, Saburo Manaka, Kosuke Yamamoto, Kenji Ogasawara, Hiroshi Shimizu
  • Publication number: 20130329532
    Abstract: A watch assembly is provided with a watch housing, a watch movement, a watch display, as well as a special compartment holding a spare battery assembly and a standardized charging plug which enables the watch assembly to be connected to an auxiliary mobile device, such as a telephone, to be temporarily charged via the spare battery. Thus, a telephone can be a mobile device, such as a telephone, can be tethered to the watch assembly and utilize the mobile device while holding it in the palm of his or her hand.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 11, 2013
    Publication date: December 12, 2013
    Inventor: Yeoshua SORIAS
  • Patent number: 8351302
    Abstract: A line current power supply delivers operating current to a clock designed to be powered by a conventional electrochemical cell disposed in a power source compartment within the clock housing, and at the same time supplies recharging current to a rechargeable electrochemical cell for powering the clock in the absence of an external power supply. The rechargeable cell is contained within a cylindrical enclosure having a shape such that it can fit into the power source compartment of the clock, and having contacts allowing it to be substituted for the conventional electrochemical power source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Inventor: Jeremy Laurence Fischer
  • Publication number: 20120201102
    Abstract: A line current power supply delivers operating current to a clock designed to be powered by a conventional electrochemical cell disposed in a power source compartment within the clock housing, and at the same time supplies recharging current to a rechargeable electrochemical cell for powering the clock in the absence of an external power supply. The rechargeable cell is contained within a cylindrical enclosure having a shape such that it can fit into the power source compartment of the clock, and having contacts allowing it to be substituted for the conventional electrochemical power source.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 9, 2011
    Publication date: August 9, 2012
    Inventor: Jeremy Laurence Fischer
  • Publication number: 20120120772
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece with internal antenna maintains sufficiently high reception performance of circularly polarized waves even when having a metal external case. The timepiece has a cylindrical case; a crystal that covers the opening on the face side of the case; a drive mechanism that arranged inside the case; a metal antenna; and a dielectric. The antenna houses the drive mechanism and has a cylindrical side part, a bottom part that covers the opening on the back side of the side part, and an antenna electrode that contacts the inside of the side part. The back cover covers the back side of the case and is also the bottom part. The dielectric extends circumferentially to the side part, and contacts the antenna electrode in the face-back cover direction. A slot extending circumferentially is formed in the antenna electrode. Part or all of the slot is covered by the dielectric.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2011
    Publication date: May 17, 2012
    Applicant: SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Teruhiko Fujisawa
  • Patent number: 8111590
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece comprises a drive module configured to drive a hand, an electricity generation module, first and second capacitor modules, the second capacitor module having smaller capacitance than the first capacitor module, and an auxiliary drive control module which causes the drive module to perform the auxiliary driving when the charge level of the second capacitor module exceeds a third level indicating an amount of electricity which enables the auxiliary driving, and waits until the charge level of the second capacitor module exceeds the third level after performing the auxiliary driving.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2012
    Assignee: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshinori Asami, Tomoo Kasuo
  • Patent number: 7729207
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece with a generator function, including a generator, a battery or the like that stores electrical energy produced by the generator, a timekeeping controller that is driven by the stored electrical energy, a time display that is controlled by the timekeeping controller and displays time, a generator output detector that detects peaks of an electrical characteristic of the power generated by the generator, a remaining operating time calculator that integrates the average values corresponding to detected peaks and calculates a remaining operating time, and a remaining operating time display that displays the remaining operating time calculated by the remaining operating time calculator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2010
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Takashi Kawaguchi
  • Patent number: 7715280
    Abstract: The invention provides a rechargeable electronic timepiece that restarts the operation of a clock circuit by inputting a power source, thereby securely confirming the clock operation. The electronic timepiece includes a first power source (2), a clock circuit (8) connected to the first power source, a power source input detecting circuit (86) for detecting an input of a second power source (3), a switch circuit (7, 9) for connecting the first power source and the second power source, and a control circuit (87) for controlling the switch circuit to connect the first power source and the second power source so that the first power source is charged by the second power source thereby operating the clock circuit when the power source input detecting circuit detects an input of the second power source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2010
    Assignee: Citizen Holdings Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Akiyoshi Murakami, Motoki Funahashi, Masahiko Hitomi, Yoichi Nagata
  • Publication number: 20100061193
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece, comprises a timing section to perform timing of time based on an oscillation signal; an electric wave receiving section to receive an electric wave; a voltage detecting section to detect a power source voltage supplied from a power source section; and a stop control section to stop a receiving function of the electric wave receiving section and continue a timing operation of the timing section when the voltage detecting section detects that the power source voltage becomes lower than a first level range, and then to stop the timing operation of the timing section when a warning period for urging a user to perform the power generation by the power generating section elapsed in a state where the power source voltage is lower than the first level range without changing to a lower level than a second level range lower than the first level range.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 1, 2009
    Publication date: March 11, 2010
    Applicant: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tomoo Kasuo, Fumiaki Ochiai
  • Patent number: 7660975
    Abstract: An electronic apparatus wherein an abnormal control routine of the control unit can be prevented, or an abnormal control routine that has been started by the control unit can be rapidly halted is provided. An electronic apparatus having a control unit, peripheral circuits whose operations are controlled by the control unit, and a rechargeable battery for feeding operation power to the control unit and the peripheral circuits, wherein an initialization signal RT4 is continuously output to the control unit during a period of time (during time t1 to t4) that the voltage fed to the control unit is equal to or less than the voltage V1 for assured operation of the control unit, and is equal to or greater than the start voltage VX for starting the operation of the control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2010
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Hidenori Nakamura, Shinji Nakamiya
  • Patent number: 7508738
    Abstract: A display device is provided for a watch movement provided with a final gear train intended to drive, at least in a mediated way, means of displaying the time and an energy source driving the final gear train. In one implementation, the display device comprises a display disk for an additional function, and a display gearing of which one moving part carries the display disk. The display device also comprises a second energy source connected mechanically to the display gearing and operating means for the display gearing, designed so as to cause the gearing to be driven by the second energy source when the information for display has to be changed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Assignee: Eterna SA
    Inventors: Willy Meier, Paul Gerber
  • Patent number: 7327638
    Abstract: Using an oscillating unit (601) that can start oscillation with a low voltage, an oscillation signal (S1) of the oscillating unit (601) is amplified via a waveform shaping unit (603), and is fed to a boosting control unit (105). A boosting unit (103) is caused to perform a boosting behavior by a boosting clock (Sa) with the same frequency as an oscillation frequency of the oscillation signal (S1) just after the oscillating unit (601) starts. Thereby, a whole electronic timepiece (100) can be self-actuated, even if a generation voltage is low. Further, the oscillating unit (601) is constituted such that a operating current always becomes constant. Thereby, the electronic timepiece can be provided with an electricity-generating unit (101) such as a solar cell with a one-stage constitution having a low open voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2008
    Assignee: Citizen Holdings Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoichi Nagata
  • Patent number: 7009914
    Abstract: In detecting power generation of an electronic timepiece having a conventional power generating unit, voltage output by the power generating unit is limited by output from a storage unit since the power generating unit and the storage means are connected when the power generation state is detected, and voltage equal to or larger than voltage output from the storage unit cannot be detected. An electronic timepiece is provided which can overcome the problem and can check an operation of the power generating unit securely irrespective of the state of the storage means. In an electronic timepiece driven by power stored from a power generating unit (1) into a storage unit (4), the electronic timepiece includes a power generation detecting unit (2) that detects a power generation state of the power generating unit (1) and a switch unit (7) that separates the power generating unit (1) and the storage unit (4) when the power generation state of the power generating unit (1) is detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2006
    Assignee: Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Haruhiko Higuchi, Akiyoshi Murakami, Motoki Funahashi
  • Patent number: 6912181
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece without system failure at the time of transfer from the power-saving mode to the display mode is provided. A power-saving control circuit 400 controls drive of a date dial displaying a date when updating a date display, which has been stopped in a power-saving mode, to a current date at the time of transfer from the power-saving mode to the display mode. The power-saving control circuit 400 outputs a date dial drive inhibiting signal, which prohibits drive of the date dial 75, to a date-updating control circuit 300, if a voltage VDD of a power source unit B is less than or equal to a low threshold voltage V1. It outputs a date dial deceleration driving signal, which drives a date dial 75 with a predetermined speed slower than a normal update speed when transferring to the display mode, to a date-updating control circuit 300, if a source voltage VDD is equal to or less than a high threshold voltage V2.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2005
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporatioin
    Inventors: Akihiko Maruyama, Akihiro Sawada
  • Patent number: 6882596
    Abstract: The manual control device for executing functions of an electronic watch (1) particularly a diary watch, includes a certain number of sensors (C1 to C7) wherein one touch sensitive pad of each sensor is placed for example on an internal face of the crystal (4). When a user's finger (20) is placed on the watch crystal in a determined zone of the sensitive pad of a sensor to be activated, it causes an electronic circuit (14) of the device to execute an instruction or a function. In a first mode selected by the electronic circuit, at least two sensors are grouped such that the electronic circuit executes the same operation when a finger is placed on the crystal in a determined zone of the sensitive pad of one sensor or the other. However, in a second mode selected by the electronic circuit, each sensor (C1 to C7) activated by the finger (20) provides measuring signals to the electronic circuit (14) for the execution of a different specific operation for each sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2005
    Assignee: Asulab S.A.
    Inventors: Jean-Charles Guanter, Gian-Carlo Poli
  • Patent number: 6829199
    Abstract: An electronically controlled mechanical timepiece, which is an electronic apparatus, includes a generator driven by a mainspring to generate electrical energy, and a rotation controlling unit driven by the electrical energy to control the rotation rate of the generator. The rotation controlling unit includes a brake controlling unit that compares a rotation detection signal indicative of the rotation rate of the generator with a reference signal to control braking on the generator, and a generator halting unit that applies a brake and halts the generator if the braking amount applied to the generator in a predetermined time is smaller than, or equal to, a first predetermined braking value. Because the generator is halted if a predetermined amount of cumulative brake applications are applied within the predetermined time, the generator is not halted in response to temporary disturbances while it is assuredly halted when the rotation becomes slow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2004
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Eisaku Shimizu, Kunio Koike, Hidenori Nakamura
  • Patent number: 6819634
    Abstract: When an external switch means (1) is operated, a setting means (4) receives an output signal G1 therefrom and outputs setting signals S for varying the internal resistance of an adjusting means (5). When the internal resistance of the adjusting means (5) is varied, the potential (voltage value) at point A of the input value to a sensing means (6) is varied because it is the product of the generation quantity (current) of a power generating means (11) and the internal resistance. When the potential at point A exceeds a threshold value (H), the sensing means (6) outputs a sensing signal K of L level. When the sensing signal K of L level is outputted, the operation of the electronic timepiece changes to a power save mode where the drive of the second hand is stopped, for example. Thus the operation of the electronic timepiece changes to a power save mode when the power generation level of the power generating means (11) is equal to or lower than a specified level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2004
    Assignee: Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kiyotaka Igarashi
  • Patent number: 6816439
    Abstract: To extend the clock operation duration of a multi-functional rechargeable electronic watch, and to provide a rechargeable electronic watch that would not affect the feeling of use of said rechargeable electronic watch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hisashi Kawahara, Haruhiko Higuchi
  • Patent number: 6785192
    Abstract: A reproduction apparatus and a reproduction method by which an error of time information that arises from interruption of power supplied to a timer that manages the term of term-managed contents data is minimized to allow accurate term management of the contents data. The timer produces time information when power is supplied to the timer from a cell, but the timer stops operating when no power is supplied thereto. The time information produced by the timer is stored into a memory, and the memory holds the stored time information when no power is supplied to the timer. When power from the cell is restored to the timer, the timer is set accordingly to the time information stored in the memory, so that the timer may thereafter produce correct time information thereby allowing term management of the term-managed contents data to be performed accurately.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2004
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Yoshitaka Ukita, Kenji Irie
  • Patent number: 6693852
    Abstract: An electronic device in which a braking torque can be increased while reduction in power generation is suppressed, and in which a rotor is prevented from stopping or rotating at an excessive speed. Such an electronic device includes a generator which is driven by an mechanical energy source and a rotation controller which controls the rotational period of the generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Kunio Koike, Eisaku Shimizu, Hidenori Nakamura
  • Patent number: 6678216
    Abstract: To provide a power accumulation structure of a simple construction, in which a planetary mechanism is not used, for a timepiece using a spring as power. A power accumulation structure of a simple construction not using a planetary mechanism is a power accumulation structure using a threaded mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2004
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventor: Takashi Takahashi
  • Patent number: 6570824
    Abstract: Generator of the clockwork type including a stator formed of at least three coils (11a, 11b, 11c) and a rotor formed of two flanges (81, 82) carried by a shaft (5) and supporting an even number of magnets (91, 92). The rotor is formed of at least two distinct parts prior to assembly with the stator. In order to assemble the rotor, its shaft is introduced into a central space (13) defined by the coils coaxially to the axes of said coils, which thus allows the coils to be closer together so that the distance separating any two adjacent coils is less than the diameter D of said shaft (5) at its center.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Asulab S.A.
    Inventor: Jean-Jacques Born
  • Patent number: 6563766
    Abstract: A voltage detection and a remaining battery voltage display for a secondary power source so as to notify the user of the remaining battery voltage of the secondary power source at the optimal timing and in an accurate manner. A voltage correlated to the power source capacity of the secondary power source is detected as a detection voltage. The detection voltage is directly output if a rapid charging is not being detected. If the rapid charging is being detected, the detection voltage is output after being corrected for an amount of the apparent voltage boost which occurs in the secondary power source due to the rapid charging. The detection voltage thus obtained is compared with a predetermined reference voltage so as to discriminate the remaining capacity of the secondary power source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Shinji Nakamiya
  • Patent number: 6532195
    Abstract: Clock saver apparatus and methods which enable the restoration of clock operations in the event that a power outage is brief and without requiring that an operator reset the clock are described. In one embodiment, the clock is restored to a time setting equal to the time at which the power outage was detected. For example, if the power outage is detected at 11:08:32 a.m., then the restored time after restoration of power is set at 11:08:32 a.m. In another embodiment, the clock is restored to a time setting equal to the time at which the power outage was detected plus the determined time duration of the power outage. For example, if the power outage is detected at 11:08:32 a.m., and if the power outage duration is 15 seconds, then the restored time after restoration of power is set at 11:08:47 a.m.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2003
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Jesse Spalding Head
  • Patent number: 6469959
    Abstract: Generator of the clockwork type including a rotor formed of two flanges 8 supporting magnets 9 and arranged at the end of shaft 5 having a diameter D at its centre. The stator is formed of three coils 11a, 11b, 11c carried by a support made in two parts 21 and 22 allowing the coils to be mounted in a separate manner between the rotor flanges upon the assembly of the rotor with the stator. Accordingly, the distance separating two adjacent coils can be less than the diameter D of the rotor shaft after the assembly of the generator. This allows the magnet-coil coupling to be increased by increasing the dimensions of the coils so that the overlapping surface between the flanges 8 which carry the magnets 9 is optimum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2002
    Assignee: Asulab S.A.
    Inventor: Jean-Jacques Born
  • Patent number: 6466519
    Abstract: An electronic apparatus includes a power generator (20) as a power supply, a capacitor (30) for accumulating generated power, a logic circuit (170) driven by the power from the capacitor, and a power supply cut-off circuit (31). When the power generator starts operating,the power supply cut-off circuit (31) does not supply power to the logic circuit (170) until a voltage of the capacitor (30) reaches a preset voltage. When the voltage of the capacitor (3) becomes equal to or greater than the preset voltage, power is supplied from the capacitor to the logic circuit. Accordingly, a leakage current when power generation starts is prevented, and most of the generated power is accumulated in the capacitor. The capacitor, can rapidly accumulate electricity, and the time until activation of an electronic circuit driven by the capacitor is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2002
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Hidenori Nakamura, Kunio Koike, Eisaku Shimizu
  • Patent number: 6466518
    Abstract: A time measurement device includes a first motor (1300) for indicating standard time, a second motor (1400) for indicating a chronograph, a generator (1600) which generates driving power for driving the first and second motors by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy, and a zero reset mechanism (1200) for mechanically resetting the chronograph to zero. A compact time measurement device, operable from a low power, is thus provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2002
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Hidehiro Akahane, Kenichi Okuhara, Akihiko Maruyama, Nobuhiro Koike
  • Patent number: 6463010
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece comprises a battery, capable of charging, a charging section for charging the battery, a timepiece control circuit performing time keeping operation by using a stored electric power in the battery, a display for displaying time kept by the timepiece control circuit, a voltage detecting circuit for detecting a voltage of the stored voltage of the battery, and a charging detecting section for detecting a state of charging to the battery, and this timepiece, when the voltage of the stored voltage declines below a first prescribed voltage which is higher than an operation stop voltage of the timepiece control circuit, and non-charging state is detected for a prescribed time period, executes a forcible stop upon the time keeping operation by lowering or shutting off a current for the timepiece control circuit, and lifts the forcible stop when a prescribed operation return condition is satisfied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2002
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Shinji Nakamiya, Teruhiko Fujisawa, Sho Matsuzaki
  • Patent number: 6343051
    Abstract: A reliable power supply control function in a portable electronic device which includes a limiter circuit, or includes the limiter circuit and a voltage step-up circuit, to reduce power consumption. It is detected whether or not a voltage generated by a power generator 40 or a voltage accumulated in a power supply device 48, 80 exceeds a preset limiter-ON voltage. When the voltage generated by the power generator 40 or the voltage accumulated in the power supply device 48, 80 has become not lower than the preset limiter-ON voltage, a voltage of electrical energy supplied to the power supply device is limited to a predetermined reference voltage set in advance. When it is determined based on a detection result of a status-of-power-generation detecting section 91 that power is not generated by the power generator 40, detecting operation of a limiter-ON-voltage detecting circuit 91A is prohibited. Power consumption required for operating the limiter-ON-voltage detecting circuit can be thus reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2002
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Yabe, Makoto Okeya
  • Patent number: 6118258
    Abstract: An autonomous low power consumption electrical apparatus that has a supply device (8) comprising a single photo-voltaic cell, an electrical accumulator (7), and a voltage booster (10, 11, TR1, TR3) connected between the power source (9) and the accumulator for charging the accumulator. The voltage booster is controlled by a pulse signal having a predetermined frequency. To allow the apparatus to start when the accumulator is completely discharged, the pulse signal can be generated, at least temporarily, by an oscillator that can operate at a very low voltage, that is, the voltage of the single photo-voltaic cell. When the apparatus is a timepiece, the oscillator (2) can be replaced by the oscillator of the time-keeping circuit (1) of the timepiece as soon as the accumulator (9) is sufficiently charged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2000
    Assignee: Asulab SA
    Inventors: Pierre-Andre Farine, Jean-Pierre Wattenhofer
  • Patent number: 6069846
    Abstract: An electronic watch comprises electric power generator (10) for generating electric energy from external energy, electric power storage means (30) for storing the electric energy generated, and clock means (20) for executing time display operation by use of the electric energy supplied from the electric power generator (10) or electric power storage means (30). The electronic watch is further provided with arithmetic means (80) for calculating a ratio of a voltage generated by the electric power generator (10) to a voltage of the electric energy stored by the electric power storage means (30), switching circuit (40) for executing connection or disconnection among the electric power generator (10), electric power storage means (30), and clock means (20), and controller (50) so that connection or disconnection within the switching circuit (40) can be controlled by controller (50) according to the ratio as calculated by the arithmetic means (80).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2000
    Assignee: Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoichi Nagata
  • Patent number: 6061304
    Abstract: An electronic watch is provided with an electric power generator for generating electric energy by external energy, electric power charger for charging the electric energy generated by the electric power generator, a watch driving system comprising a watch driving circuit and a time display sub-system, operated by electric energy supplied by the electric power charger, a stored electric power detector for detecting an amount of electric energy charged in the electric power charger, and a controller. Operation of at least the time display sub-system of the watch driving system is suspended when the amount of electric energy stored as detected by the stored electric power detector falls below a preset standard value, and thereafter, operation of the suspended portion of the watch driving system is resumed upon detecting conditions for reactivation, such operation being continued at least for a period when preset conditions are met.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2000
    Assignee: Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoichi Nagata, Hisato Hiraishi
  • Patent number: 6041022
    Abstract: A mechanical-electric energy converter comprising a wheel for transmitting energy which rotates at a low speed. The teeth of the driving wheel shift the rotor of the generator from its position of equilibrium, causing it to oscillate around the wheel. This converter can produce high angular velocities without a speed-increasing gear train.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2000
    Assignee: Patek Philippe S.A.
    Inventors: Mai Xuan Tu, Michel Schwab, Jean-Pierre Musy
  • Patent number: 6041021
    Abstract: An electronically controlled mechanical timepiece includes: a voltage-controlled oscillator (25) including a generator that uses a rotor (12) driven by a spring (1a) to rotate, and a brake circuit (23) for controlling the rotation cycle of the generator (20); and a rotation control circuit (50) for controlling the rotation cycle of the generator (20) by controlling the brake circuit (23). The rotation control circuit (50) includes a phase-comparison circuit (54) for comparing the phases of rectangular-wave pulses fr output from a VCO (25) and time standard signal fs, and a brake control circuit (56) for inputting, based on an output from the phase-comparison circuit (54), a signal for controlling the brake circuit (23) to a voltage-controlled oscillator (25). By providing the VCO (25) and the phase-comparison circuit (54), PLL control is realized to enable a rapidly responsive system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2000
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Osamu Shinkawa, Kunio Koike
  • Patent number: 6021097
    Abstract: An analog-type electronic watch with an electrical generating apparatus, this watch having a load compensation function means, and completing avoiding the adverse influence of magnetic noise which accompanying electrical generation operation. This watch has an electrical generator which operates intermittently, an electrical generation detection means which detects electrical generation by the electrical generator based on a prescribed relationship to the operation of a drive judging means, and a control means which, when the driving judging means detects electrical generation by the electrical generator, supplies a compensation drive pulse to a drive circuit, regardless of the judgment results of the driving judging means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Assignee: Citizen Watch Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Fumio Kanno, Kenji Miyasaka, Kohichi Satoh, Kiyotaka Igarashi, Haruhiko Higuchi
  • Patent number: 5974002
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece comprises a casing formed of a thermally conductive material and having a first outer case portion and a second outer case portion connected together to define a space therebetween. The first outer case portion is exposed to the atmosphere and has a first temperature, and the second outer case portion is disposed in physical contact with the wrist of a user during use of the electronic timepiece and has a second temperature different from the first temperature. A thermoelectric element is disposed in the space of the casing for generating an electromotive force due to heat transfer between the first and second outer case portions resulting from the difference between the first and second temperatures. The thermoelectric element has a first support member at one end thereof connected to the first outer case portion of the casing and a second support member at a second end opposite the first end and connected to the second outer case portion of the casing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventor: Keisuke Tsubata
  • Patent number: 5923619
    Abstract: A generator, for miniature power consuming devices in particular, comprises a rotor wheel (4), which is coupled to a driven shaft and which has magnetized poles, a stator (5) having a plurality of windings for providing an electric voltage, a driving means (2, 33) for driving the driven shaft (3), and a transmission means having a resilient body (34) for providing a resilient transmission between said driving means and said driven shaft. Interrupting means (37) are provided for at least substantially interrupting the transmission between said driving means and said driven shaft as a function of the spring tension of said resilient body. The interrupting means preferably comprise a number of leaf springs, arranged around a disc, or a free-wheel clutch (37).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 13, 1999
    Assignee: Kinetron B.V.
    Inventors: Petrus Matheus Josephus Knapen, Paulus Adrianus Ferdinand Maria Goemans, Bernardus Johannes Meyer
  • Patent number: 5889735
    Abstract: A thermoelectriocally powered wristwatch has an endothermic plate affixed to the underside of a case back for absorbing external heat, and a thermal conduction plate for conducting the absorbed heat through heat transfer pins to a thermoelectric conversion element which converts the absorbed heat to electricity for powering the wristwatch. Thermal conduction preventive packings formed of a material having low thermal conductivity, such as plastic or rubber, are interposed between the endothermic plate and the case back and between the case back and the thermal conduction plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1999
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventors: Masayuki Kawata, Akira Takakura
  • Patent number: 5889734
    Abstract: In an electronic timepiece using power supply means consisting of a solar cell and an electric double layer capacitor, whose output voltage varies, as a power supply, a plurality of driving pulse preparation means for preparing driving pulses for driving a stepping motor are arranged. Each driving pulse preparation means prepares a driving pulse group having a combination of pulse widths, which combination is different from that of remaining ones of the driving pulse preparation means. A varying output voltage of the power supply means is detected, and one of the plurality of driving pulse preparation means is selected in accordance with the detected output voltage. A driving pulse for minimizing the current consumption is selected and supplied to the drive circuit of the stepping motor. With this arrangement, the stepping motor can always be driven at a minimum current consumption, and the driving time can be prolonged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1999
    Assignee: Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Koichi Sato
  • Patent number: 5798985
    Abstract: An electronic watch comprises a power supply 1 for generating electric energy by using external energy, a booster portion 2 having at least two booster circuits for sequentially repeating charging by the power supply 1 and boosting and discharging a charged voltage, a storage portion 3 for storing a charge discharged by the booster portion 2, a clock output portion 6 connected to an output terminal of the storage portion 3 and also connected to the power supply 1 by way of a reverse-blocking diode 8 for blocking the stored voltage from reversely flowing to the power supply 1, and a first voltage comparator portion 4 serving as a control portion, wherein the first voltage comparator portion 4 outputs a control signal for switching between charging and discharging of each booster circuit constituting the booster portion 2. Accordingly, effective charging can be made without being influenced by an internal resistance of the power supply 1, thereby reducing the variation of the stored voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1998
    Assignee: Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Fumio Nakajima
  • Patent number: 5705770
    Abstract: A thermoelectric module includes a switching circuit for switching the connection between a first thermoelectric element and a second thermoelectric element between series connection and parallel connection, a voltage detecting circuit for controlling the switching circuit by detecting the voltage of the second thermoelectric element, and a storage battery circuit for storing electricity utilizing the voltages generated by the first thermoelectric element and the second thermoelectric element connected by the switching circuit. A voltage generated from an applied temperature difference is detected by the voltage detecting circuit. If there is a sufficient temperature difference, the first thermoelectric element and second thermoelectric element are connected in parallel by the switching circuit to charge the electricity in the storage battery circuit using the doubled current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1998
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventors: Kenji Ogasawara, Keisuke Tsubata
  • Patent number: 5684761
    Abstract: An improved swinging type generator for use in automatic wrist watches is disclosed. It contains: (a) a base with a center shaft hole, (b) a stator mounted on the base containing at least one layer of ring-shaped coil plate having at least one periodic-wave-shaped induction coil arranged on and along a circumference of the ring-shaped coil plate; (c) an unbalanced-and-weighted swinging magnetic rotor having a central rotary shape. The rotary shaft is mounted in the shaft hole of the base, and the unbalanced-and-weighted swinging magnetic rotor includes a magnetic ring having a plurality of magnets arranged in a head-to-tail manner along a circumference of the magnetic ring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 4, 1997
    Assignee: Industrial Technology Research Institute
    Inventors: Shih-Chou Chen, Tung-Chuan Wu, Chen-Sheng Weng, Ray-Ten Chen, Chang-Chun Chen
  • Patent number: 5657297
    Abstract: A clock apparatus has a first clock unit, a backup power supply unit, a second clock unit, and a control unit. The first clock unit is used to count time, and the backup power supply unit is used to supply a backup power voltage to the first clock unit, when a general power supply unit does not supply a general power voltage to the clock apparatus. The second clock unit has a higher accuracy than the first clock unit. The control unit is used to adjust the time counted by the first clock unit in accordance with a specific period counted at the second clock unit, and the control unit is also used to control the resetting of an operation of the second clock unit, when the general power supply unit starts to supply the general power voltage to the clock apparatus after the general power supply unit has been stopped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 12, 1997
    Assignee: Fujitsu Limited
    Inventor: Yasufumi Honda
  • Patent number: RE38110
    Abstract: An electronically controlled mechanical timepiece includes: a voltage-controlled oscillator (25) including a generator that uses a rotor (12) driven by a spring (1a) to rotate, and a brake circuit (23) for controlling the rotation cycle of the generator (20); and a rotation control circuit (50) for controlling the rotation cycle of the generator (20) by controlling the brake circuit (23). The rotation control circuit (50) includes a phase-comparison circuit (54) for comparing the phases of rectangular-wave pulses fr output from a VCO (25) and time standard signal fs, and a brake control circuit (56) for inputting, based on an output from the phase-comparison circuit (54), a signal for controlling the brake circuit (23) to voltage-controlled oscillator (25). By providing the VCO (25) and the phase-comparison circuit (54), PLL control is realized to enable a rapidly responsive system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Osamu Shinkawa, Kunio Koike