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  1. Erweiterte Patentsuche
VeröffentlichungsnummerUS3811018 A
PublikationstypErteilung
Veröffentlichungsdatum14. Mai 1974
Eingetragen25. Juni 1973
Prioritätsdatum25. Juni 1973
VeröffentlichungsnummerUS 3811018 A, US 3811018A, US-A-3811018, US3811018 A, US3811018A
ErfinderKaplan J
Ursprünglich BevollmächtigterMach Components Corp
Zitat exportierenBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Externe Links: USPTO, USPTO-Zuordnung, Espacenet
Multidirectional joy stick type lever actuated switches
US 3811018 A
Zusammenfassung
A multidirectional lever actuated self neutralizing switch having a base comprising a tapered pin which extends into a recess provided in one end of the lever, the angular relationship between the tapered surface of the pin and the surface of the recess when the switch is in an off position being predetermined to define the maximum degree to which the lever can be pivoted about the pin to cause the lower surface of an actuator plate affixed to the lever to actuate a self-restoring switch when the lever is so pivoted. The upper surface of the actuator plate is juxtaposed on a leaf spring when the switch is in the "off" position. Subsequent to the actuation of a switch and the termination of the juxtaposition of the spring vis-a-vis the plate by pivoting the lever; that is, when the lever is released, the pressure exerted on the plate by the spring causes the lever to resume its off position and the upper surface of the actuator plate to again be juxtaposed on the spring.
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United States Patent [191 Kaplan MULTIDIRECTIONAL JOY STICK TYPE LEVER ACTUATED SWITCHES [75] Inventor: Joseph Kaplan, Jericho, N.Y.

[73] Assignee: Machine Components Corporation,

Plainview, Long Island, N.Y.

[22] Filed: June 25, 1973 [2]] Appl. No.: 373,500

[52] [1.5. Cl......l 200/6 A Primary ExaminerJames R. Scott Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Robert F. Hargest [451 May 14, 1974 [5 7] ABSTRACT A multidirectional lever actuated self neutralizing switch having a base comprising a tapered pin which extends into a recess provided in one end of the lever, the angular relationship between the tapered surface of the pin and the surface of therecess when the switch is in an off position being predetermined to define the maximum degree to which the lever can be pivoted about the pin to cause the lower surface of an 1 actuator plate affixed to the lever to actuate a selfrestoring switch when the lever is so pivoted. The upper surface of the actuator plate is juxtaposed on a leaf spring when the switch is in the off position. Subsequent to the actuation of a switch and the termination of the juxtaposition of the spring vis-a-vis the plate by pivoting the lever; that is, when the lever is released, the pressure exerted on the plate by the spring causes the lever to resume its off position and the upper surface of the actuator plate to again be juxtaposed on the spring.

12 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEDIAY 14 I974 SHEET 1 (1F 2 I minnow 14 @914 1181 1.018

SHEET 2 0F 2 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention. relates to multidirectional lever actuated switches. A multidirectional lever actuated switch is known which consists of a complex mechanism wherein a moveable electrical contact is caused to engage a fixed electrical contact by pivoting a ball and socket type lever which is operably connected to or engages the moveable contact along a predetermined path to cause the moveable contact to engage the fixed contact. In one example of such a switch, as described in Kight, U.S. Pat. No. 2,227,350, pivoting of the lever is facilitated by affixing the lever to a ball which operably engages a socket in a holding block affixed to the housing of the switch. in order to assure that such a switch functions properly great care must be taken during the manufacture of the ball and socket to assure that there is substantially no play between the two. In some cases it is necessary to include means for reducing friction such as a bearing member to facilitate pivoting the lever and reduce the wear of either or both of the ball and socket.

In those cases where one end of the lever is operably connected to a sliding member which causes the moveable contact to'engage the fixed contact it. is necessary to assure that there is a proper interrelationship between the end' of the lever and the sliding member in order to assure that the switch functions properly. For example, in a switch of the type described in Schaad et al, U.S. Pat. No. 3,235,679, wherein the end of an actuating lever is affixed to a slide member to which is affixed the moveable contact, one end of the lever comprises a truncated sphere which operably engages the walls of a recess in. the slide member. To prevent rotation of the leverand otherwise assure that the switch functions properly the sphere and recess must be manufactured so as to substantially eliminate any play between the two.

In a switch of the type described in Schaad et al supra, proper alignment of the mov'eable contact with the fixed contact is accomplished by means of a complex mechanism including spring biased detent balls operably affixed to the slide member which balls mate with a recess in the'switch housing whenever the contacts are in alignment. To neutralize the switch, the lever is pivoted to break contact between the fixed and moveable contacts, the detent balls being moved to another recess in the housing.

Other known ball and socket-type lever actuated switches are described in Rayner, U.S. Pat. No. 3,639,705, Rothweiler et al, U.S. Pat. No. 3,666,900, Elliott et al, U.S. Pat. No. 3,030,459 and Dillon et al, U.S. Pat. No. 3,679,846.

Efforts have been made to produce a switch which is simple in construction and can be manufactured at a substantially lower cost than prior art switches, asfor example, the ball and socket-type switches described above. For example, in a switch of the type described in Christensen, U.S. Pat. No. 3,290,455 the ball and socket type lever has been replaced with a switch wherein the pivoting of an actuating lever depends upon the interrelationship between one end of the lever which engages the bottom of a recess into which said end extends. Such a structure requires that the end of the lever and bottom of the recess be manufactured to close enough tolerances to assure proper operation of the switch. in addition, the degree to which the lever must be pivoted, relative to the longitudinal or long axis of the lever when the lever is positioned in the neutral "which the lever extends. To neutralize a self-centering switch of the type described in Christensen supra requires a mechanism including a spring biased hemispherical actuator plate which mates with, and moves relative to in response to pivoting of a lever, the collar affixed to the switch housing. Another such selfcentering switch is described in Johnstone et al, U.S. Pat. No. 3,483,337 wherein an actuator plate having conical protrusions which mate with conically shaped depressions is used to neutralize the switch. The selfneutralizing features of the switches described in Christensen and Johnstone et al are such that the curved surfaces of the actuator plate must be manufactured such that the plate properly mates with the surface of the collar and depressions, respectively, to assure that the switch is properly neutralized. In addition to the foregoing problems, prior art switches of the type described in Christensen supra do not readily lend themselves to being used with push-button type switches since the only means for retaining the actuator plate in place is a helical type spring. If one were to depress rather than pivot the lever, the spring would become compressed and the actuator plate would non-selectively actuate all of'the push-button-type switches.

[t is an object of the present invention to provide a multi-directional self-neutralizing leveractuated switch which is simple in construction.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a multidirectional lever actuated switch having a minimum number of mechanical parts.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a multidirectional lever actuated switch comprising push button type switches which cannot be actuated by compressing the lever.

Still a further object of the present invention is to provide a multidirectional lever actuated switch in which individual switches may be precisely selectively actuated by means of the interrelationship of substantially flat surfaces.

Yet a further object of the present invention is to provide a multidirectional lever actuated switch which is indexed to be self neutralizing, that is, to return to a neutral or of position from any ofa plurality of positions, by means of the interrelationship of substantially flat surfaces.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The above and other objects of the present invention can be accomplished by the provision of a multidirectional lever actuated self neutralizing switch having a base comprising a tapered pin which extends into a recess provided in one end of the lever. Alternatively,

the switch may comprise a lever the end of which com- 7 surface of an actuator plate affixed to the lever to actuate a self-restoring switch when the lever is pivoted. The upper surface of the actuator plate is juxtaposed on a leaf spring or piece of resilient spring metal when the switch is in the neutral or off position. Although not necessary,advantageously the spring and upper surface of the actuator plate are substantially flat. At least a portion of the plate engages the spring and thereby bends the spring as the lever is pivoted about the pin such that when whatever means are used for retaining the lever in a predetermined position is released, the spring returns or springs back to its original cross-sectional configuration and causes the lever to assume its neutral or of position; that is, the pressure of the spring biases the actuator plate until the 7 upper surface of the plate is once again juxtaposed on the spring.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other objects will become apparent from the detailed discussion which follows and from the accompanying drawing, in which FIG. I is an isometric view of one embodiment of the multi-directional lever actuated switch of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of one embodiment of the multidirectional lever actuated switch of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a front sectional view taken along line III-III of FIG. 2.

FIG. 3a is a'front elevational view of one embodiment of the tapered pm of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of one embodiment of the actuating mechanism of the multidirectional lever actuated switch of the present invention.

FIG. 4a is an exploded view ofa further embodiment of the actuating mechanism of the multidirectional lever actuated switch 'of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a front sectional view taken along Line III- -III of FIG. 3 depicting one embodiment of the multidirectional lever actuated switch of the present invention in an actuated position.

FIG. 6 is a front sectional view of a further embodiment of the multidirectional lever actuated switch of the present invention FIG. 6a is a plan view of one embodiment of the mul- .tidirectional lever actuated switch of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a plan view ofa cross-shaped actuator plate of one embodiment of the multidirectional lever actuated switch of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS with the center of said opening when said switch is in the off position; (c) a tapered pivot pin internal of and connected to said housing, the longitudinal axis of which is aligned with the center of said opening when said switch is in the off position, said pin having a collar concentric with the wide portion of said pin, said pin extending into said recess, the face of said collar nearest said recess being juxtaposed on said surface when said switch is in the off position; (d) a leaf spring internal of and connected to said housing intermediate of said top and said base having an upper portion facing said top and a lower portion facing said base; (e) means extending through said opening for pivoting said pin and said member relative to each other; and, (f) an actuator plate internal of and connected to said means intermediate of said spring and said base and having an upper surface and a lower surface, said upper surface juxtaposed on said lower portion of said spring when said switch is in the off position, and operably connecting said means to said housing, the angular relationship between the longitudinal axis of said recess and the tapered surface of said pin when the switch is in the off position being predetermined to define the maximum degree to which said pin and said member can be pivoted relative to each other to cause said lower surface of said actuator plate to actuate one of said switches when said means is so pivoted. In one embodiment of the present invention the tapered pin is connected to the base and the pivoting means is an elongated lever one end of which extends into the housing and comprises the member. Alternatively, the member may be connected to the base and the pivoting means is an elongated lever one end of which extends into the housing and comprises the tapered pin.

Looking now at FIGS. 1 to 5 wherein like reference characters denote corresponding parts there is depicted a multidirectional lever actuated switch 2 comprising sides 4 and 6 each affixed to a top 8 and base 10 by any well known means as, for example. by screws or rivets. Base 10 comprises single-pole, double-throw push button-type self-restoring switches l2, l4, l6 and 18 (not shown) and pivot member 20 which includes a tapered pin 22 having a collar 24 concentric with the wide portion 26 of pin 22. The single-pole doublethrow push-button switches are by way of example only, many features of the present invention being applicable to such standard types of switches as doublepole double-throw, double-pole single-throw, singlepole single-throw, etc. Switches 12, I4, 16 and 18 comprise suitable electrical lead connecting means ]3, I5, 17 and 19 (not shown) which may be, for example, connected electrically to drive two reversible motors. Intermediate of top 8 and base 10 and affixed to sides 4 and 6 by means of retaining rods 28 and 30 is a leaf spring 32 having a hole 34 therein the center of which is aligned with the longitudinal or long axis 36 of pin 22 and the center of hole 38 in member 8. A lever 40 extends through holes 34 and 38 into switch 2. One end 42 of lever 40 contains a recess 44, advantageously cylindrical in shape, the diameter of recess 44 being substantially equal to the diameter d of the wide portion 26 of pin 22 and the depth of recess 44 being greater than the height h of pin 22 to allow for the pivoting of the lever about the pin without such pivoting being restricted as a result of the top of the pin engaging the base of the recess. The end 42 of lever 40 is substantially flat, and when switch 2 is in the off position as depicted in FIG. 1, isjuxtaposed on the surface 50 of collar 24, which surface is also substantially flat, such that pin 22 extends into recess 44. As noted above, and referring to FIG. 4a, alternatively the switch may comprise a lever 40a the end of which comprises a tapered pin 22a which extends into a recess 44a in the base 10a of the switch.

Intermediate of spring 32 and base is an actuator plate 52 having a hole 54-thereinthrough which lever 40 extends, and the plate 52 is concentric with lever 40. Actuator plate 52is affixed to lever 40 as for example by meansofretaining washer 53 and comprises an uppersurface 56 and lower surface 58, the juxtaposing of upper surface 56' on lower surface 60 of leaf spring 32 providing a means for indexing the switch such that his self-neutralized from any of a plurality of positions by means of the interrelationship of substantially flat surfaces. For example, as can be seen from FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, surface43of1 end 42-of lever 40 is maintained in contact withsurface 50 of-collar 24, none of switches 12, 14', 16 and l'8 beingi actuated when the switch is in the neutralorfoff position as aresult of the actuator plate 52 being affixed tolever 40, the surface 56 juxtaposed on the surface 60-. In addition, in view of the surface 43 of end 42 of lever 40 being juxtaposed on surface 50 of collar 24'noneof contacts 12, 14, 16, 18 can be actuated by depressing-lever 40 since any such depression is vpreventedas a result of the contact between surfaces 43 and 50. Referring to FIG. 5 it can be seen that by pivoting lever 40 about pin 22 alongany of the axes which thelever may be pivoted until. the substantially flat surface 47 of recess 44 contacts the tapered surface of pin 22, actuator plate 52 may be caused to actuate any of switches l2, l4, l6, 18. If desired, lever 40 can be pivoted about pin 22 until surface 47 contacts the surface of pin 22, and then rotated in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction, relative to the longitudinal or long axis36 of pin 22 to rapidly alternatively actuate switches 12, 14', l6, I8, 12, 14, 16, I8, etc. As can be seen from FIG. 5, the maximum de-' gree to which lever 40 can be pivoted. relative to the long axis 36 of pin 22 is determinedby the angular relationship between the. tapered surface 21 ofpin 22 and the surface 47 of recess 44. For example, in FIGS. 3a and 5, the surface of pin 22 extends at an angle a of 12 relative to the long axis 36 of pin 22. Since the recess 44 depicted in FIG. 5 is cylindrical, surface 47 is parallel to the long axis of pin 22 when the switch is in the neutral or of position.- Hence, since lever 40 may be pivoted about pin 22 until surface 47 engages the surface of pin 22, lever 40 may be pivoted 12 relative to the long axis of pin 22. Therefore, if it is determined that the lever 40 must be pivoted 12 relative to the long axis of pin 22 for the lower surface 58 of actuator plate 52 to actuate any of switches 12, 14, 16, I8, then if the recess is cylindrical a pin 22 is provided having a surface which extends at an' angle a of 12 relative to the long axis 36 of pin 22. Of course an angle a of 12" is by way of example only, it being contemplated that the angle a will be determined by the degree to which the lever must be pivoted to actuate one or more switches.

In an alternative embodiment, and referring to FIGS. 6 and 6a, a guide track 142 may be provided to limit the directions in which the levermay be pivoted; that is, to define the axes along which the lever may be pivoted. For example, guide track '142 provides X-Y axes along which lever 114 may be moved to selectively actuate push button switches I22 and 128 as described in greater detail hereinafter. As can beseen from the foregoing, a simple switch is provided in which individual switches may be precisely selectively actuated by means of the interrelationship of substantially flat surfaces.

In addition to causing actuator plate 52 to actuate any of switches 12, 14, 16 and 18, the pivoting of lever 40 about pin 22 simultaneously causes spring 32 to bend away from base 10 as depicted in FIG. 5. As such, the present invention provides a simple selfneutralizing switch as a result of the inter-relationship between the actuator plate and leaf spring. For example, when lever 40 is released, the force which the spring 32 exerts on actuator plate 52 as a result of being caused to yield as described above causes lever 40 to move to a neutral or off" position. Such self-centering movement is facilitated as a result of the tendency of the spring to recover or spring back upon release of the lever, thereby causing the upper surface 56 to again become juxtaposed on surface 60 of leaf spring 32.

In theembodiment of the present invention depicted in FIG. 6 actuator plate comprises a first step 102 and a second step 104 formed by a first cylinder 106 which comprises the upper surface 108 of the plate 100 and a second cylinder 110 which comprises the lower surface 112 of plate 100. The circumference of the first cylinder 106 is less than the circumference of the second cylinder 110. Such a stepped arrangement is particularly useful when the switches of the present invention comprise more than two push button type switches along each of one or more of the axes along which the lever may be moved. For example, referring to FIGS. 6 and 6a it can be seen that by pivoting lever 114 about pin 116 such that lever 114 rides in guide track 118 one arm of the cross-shaped member I20, as depicted in FIG. 7, which is affixed to the lower surface of actuator plate 100 engages and actuates switch 122 which is advantageously nearer said arm when said switch is in the off position than is any other switch actuated by said arm, while simultaneously step 102 of plate 100 causes spring 124 to bend away from base member 126 as depicted in the drawing such that actuator plate 100 becomes spring biased. As was the case regarding lever 40 described above, when lever 114 is released, the force which the spring 124 exerts on actuator plate 100 as a result of being bent causes lever 114 to move to a neutral or off position as described above in connection with lever 40. However, alternatively lever 114 may be pivoted about pin 116 such that lever 114 continues to ride in guide track 118 such that member 120 engages and actuates switches 122 and 128, the resistance to pivoting of lever 114 being increased as a result of step 104 of plate 100 simultaneously causing spring 124 to become bent further from base member 126 than was the case when spring 124 was bent by step 102 as depicted in the drawing thereby causing a greater force to be exerted on actuator plate 100. Such increased resistance informs the operator of the switch that he is advancing the switch from a condition where only switch 122 is actuated to a condition where switches I22 and 128 are actuated. In addition, said greater force facilitates the juxtaposition of surface 108 of plate 100 on surface 130 of spring 124. Although FIG. 6 depicts actuator plate 100 as having two steps 102 and 104 for use in connection with the operation of switches 122 and 128, respectively, the actuator plate can comprise more than two steps advantageously where there are more than two such switches.

The cross-shaped member 120 is particularly useful in switches comprising more than two push button type switches along each of one or more of the axes along which the lever may be pivoted. For example, as noted above, by pivoting lever 114 along guide track 118 switch 122 or switches 122 and 128 may be actuated. Alternatively, and by way of example, by pivoting lever 114 along guide track 132 switch 134, or switches 134 and 136 may be actuated.'Similarly, by pivoting lever 114 along path 138 or 140, one or more switches (not shown) may be actuated as were switches 122, 128 and 134, 136. In such cases each arm of the cross-shaped member is aligned adjacent to at least two push button switches such that when the lever is pivoted at least one arm of the member actuates one or more of the adjacent switches.

The multidirectional lever actuated switch of the present invention is particularly suitable for use in com- ,pact switch packages for commercial, aerospace and military equipment. Typical applications include, without limitation, multi-speed, bidirectional motor control, control of X-Y positioning of film viewing equipment and accurate positioned control of microscope, inspection and machine tool tables.

The embodiment which has been described herein is but one of several which utilize this invention and is set forth here by way of illustration butnot of limitation. it is apparent that many otherembodiments which will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art may be made without departing materially from the spirit and scope of this invention.

Iclaim:

l. A multidirectional switch comprising:

a a housing having a top having an opening therein and a base opposite said top, said base comprising at least one switch;

b a member internal of and connected to said housing having a surface having a recess therein the longitudinal axis of which is aligned with the center of said opening when said switch is in the off position;

c A tapered pivot pin internal of and connected to said housing, the longitudinal axis of which is aligned with the center of said opening when said switch is in the off position, said pin having a collar concentric with the wide portion of said pin, said pin extending into said recess, the face of said collar nearest said recess beingjuxtaposed on said surface when said switch is in the off position;

d a leaf spring internal of and resiliently supported within said housing in a floating relationship with respect to said housing, said spring being positioned intermediate of said top and said base and having an upper portion facing said top and a lower portion facing said base;

e means extending through said opening for pivoting said pin and said member relative to each other; and,

f an actuator plate internal of and connected to said means intermediate of said spring and said base said actuator plate to actuate one of said switches when said means is so pivoted.

2. The switch described in claim 1 wherein said means is an elongated lever one end of which extends into said housing and comprises said member, and said pin is connected to said base.

3. The switch described in claim 1 wherein said means is an elongated lever one end of which extends into said housing and comprises said pin, and said member is connected to said base.

4. The switch described in claim 2 wherein said spring and said upper surface are substantially flat. 7

5. The switch described in claim 2 wherein there are at least two push button type switches along at least one of the axes along which said lever may be pivoted.

6. The switch described in claim 5 wherein a crossshaped member is affixed to said lever and is juxtaposed on the lower surface of said actuator plate and each arm of said member is aligned adjacent to at least two push button switches such that when said lever is pivoted at least one arm of said member actuates one or more of said adjacent switches.

7. The switch described in claim 6 wherein the first switch actuated by an arm of said member when said lever is pivoted is nearer said arm when said switch is in the off position than is any other switch actuated by said arm.

8. The switch described in claim 7 wherein said actuator plate comprises a first cylinder which comprises the upper surface of said plate and a second cylinder which comprises the lower surface of said plate, the circumference of said first cylinder being less than the circumference of said second cylinder.

9. A multidirectional switch comprising:

a a housing having a top having an opening therein and a base opposite said top, said base comprising a plurality of push button-type self restoring switches and a tapered pivot pin the longitudinal axis of the pin being aligned with the center of said opening, and the wide portion of said pin extending away from said top, said pin having a collar concentric with said portion;

b a leaf spring internal of and affixed to said housing intermediate of said top and said base having a hole therein and having an upper portion facing said top and a lower portion facing said base;

c a lever operably affixed to said housing and having one end extending through said opening and said hole, said one end having a cylindrical recess therein the diameter of which is substantially equal to the diameter of said wide portion and the depth ofwhich is greater than the height of said pin a predetermined amount, said one end juxtaposed on the face of said collar nearest said recess when said switch is in the off position, and said pin extending into said recess;

d an actuator plate affixed to and concentric with said lever intermediate of said spring and said base and having an upper surface and a lower surface, said upper surfacejuxtaposed on said lower portion of said leaf spring when said switch is in the off position; and,

c said lever having a second end extending from said opening external of said housing for pivoting said lever about said pin, the angular relationship between the tapered surface of said pin and the longitudinal axis of said recess when the switch is in the off position being predetermined to define the maximum degree to which said lever can be pivoted about said pin to cause said lower surface of said plate to actuate one of said switches when said member is so pivoted. 10. The switch described in claim 9 wherein a crossshaped member is affixed to said lever and is juxtaposed on the lower surface of said actuator plate and each arm of said member is aligned adjacent to at least two push button switches such that when said lever is pivoted at least one arm of said member actuates one or more of said adjacent switches.

cumference of said second cylinder.

Patentzitate
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Referenziert von
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US5313853 *14. Dez. 199224. Mai 1994Grand Haven Stamped Products Company, Div. Of Jsj CorporationFlat spring biased shifter
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US6590171 *2. Juli 20028. Juli 2003Itt Manufacturing Enterprises, Inc.Hand control for machinery
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Klassifizierungen
US-Klassifikation200/6.00A
Internationale KlassifikationH01H25/04, G05G9/047, G05G9/00
UnternehmensklassifikationH01H25/04, G05G2009/04733, G05G2009/04744, G05G2009/04766
Europäische KlassifikationH01H25/04