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Патент USA US2117047

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May 10, 1938/
J. H. WHEELOCK
2,117,047
CIRCUIT CONTROLLING DEVICE
Filed D80. 26, 1931
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May 10, 1938.
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J, H, WHEELOCK
2,117,047
CIRCUIT‘ CONTROLLING DEVI CE
Filed Dec. 26, 1931
3 Sheets-Sheet 2
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john H. LU’heelock
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May 10, 1938.
.1. H. WHEELOCK
2,117,047
CIRCUIT CONTROLLING DEVICE
Filed Dec. 26, 1931
5 Sheets-Sheet 3
Inuenior
john H. wheelock
5’
Atiorine
Patented May 10, 1938
2,117,047
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
2,117,047
CIRCUIT CONTROLLING DEVICE
John H. Wheelock, Fitzwilliam, N. H., assignor to
Signal Engineering & Manufacturing Com»
pany, New York, N. Y., a corporation of Massa
ohusetts
Application December 26, 1931, Serial No. 583,319
2v Claims.
The present invention relates to circuit con
trolling devices, and has for its object to pro
vide a device of this character that is adapted
to interrupt the flow of electrical currents with
out destructive arcing between the contacts
thereof.
The device of the present invention relates
particularly to a circuit controller, of the type
employing a pivoted magnetic armature, adapt
10 ed by its movement to carry contacts into and
out of engagement, the device in its operation
being characterized by the substantial elimina
tion of destructive arcing between its contacts,
due to an improved manner of breaking the arc
” in the travel of the contact carrying armature.
Other results obtained by the invention are re
duction of the operating current required, as well
as reduction in size of parts, as compared to prior
devices of the same current carrying capacity.
The above and other advantageous features of
the invention will hereinafter more fully appear
from the following description with reference to
the accompanying drawings, in which:
5
(Cl. 175—375)
gization of the winding 3 permitting the arma
ture 4 to fall back into the position of Fig. 4,
under the influence of gravity.
‘
The armature A carries upwardly extending
contact arms 5 and B, terminating in contact tips UK
5a and 6a, and the insulating base I carries
stationary contacts ‘I and 8 spaced apart sub
stantially the same distance as the contact tips
5a and 6a, respectively. As indicated in Fig. 2,
current from a suitable source 9 is supplied to
the stationary contacts 1‘ and 8 through conduc
tors Ta and 8a, respectively, an electrical load
10, represented by any current consuming device
being connected in one of the conductors ‘la or
8a‘.
The terminals of the energizing winding
3 are also shown as being connected to the source
9 through conductors 3a, a control switch ll be
ing provided in one of the conductors 3a where
by the winding 3 may be energized, or deener
gized, at will.
20
Assuming that the parts occupy the position
of Fig. 4, that is with the winding 3 deenergizecl
due to the switch I! being open, it is to be noted
Fig. 1 is a view in side elevation of a circuit
that the ?exible contact arms 5 and 6 are so
controlling device embodying the invention, with
formed that the contact tip 5a. is considerably
nearer to the stationary Contact '1 than the up
per contact tip 6a is to the stationary contact
its contacts closed.
2 is a view in front elevation of the device
shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a View similar to Fig. 1, showing the
30 contacts of the device partially open.
Fig. 4 is a View similar to Fig. 1, showing the
contacts of the device entirely open, with the
circuit broken.
Fig. 5 is a view in front elevation showing a
modi?ed form of the device.
Fig. 6 is a view in side elevation of the device
shown in Fig. 5.
Fig. 7 is a view in front elevation showing a
further modi?cation of the device particularly
~10 adapted to handle heavy currents.
Fig. 8 is a view in side elevation of the device
shown in Fig. '7.
Like reference characters refer to like parts
in the different ?gures.
Referring ?rst to Figs. 1 and 2, the invention
is shown, for purposes of illustration, as being
embodied in a relay, the essential elements of
which comprise an insulating base I carrying a
U-shaped magnetic core 2, the shorter leg of
which is surrounded by an energizing winding
3 with a magnetic armature 4 pivotally sup
ported by the lower end of the longer core leg.
With the structure shown, energization of the
winding 3 is adapted to attract the armature A
and hold it in the position of Fig. 1, deener
8.
Therefore, when energization of the winding
3 by closure of the switch I 1 causes the armature
4 to be swung upwardly toward the shorter core
leg, the contact 5a ?rst engages the stationary
contact ‘I, while the contact tip 6a is still sep
arated from the contact 8, as indicated in Fig.
3, this sequence of operation being of importance,
as will hereinafter appear. In this position of 35
parts, no current from the source 9 is ?owing
through the load l0, although both of the con
tact tips 511 and 6a are under voltage from one
side of the source 9, through the series connec
tion of the contact arms 5 and 6. As the arma
ture 4 completes its upward movement, as in
dicated in Fig. 1, the contact tip 5a slides some
what on the stationary contact ‘I, the accom
panying flexure of the arm 5 maintaining the
contact pressure. Therefore, when the upper
contact tip 6a. engages the stationary contact 8,
with some flexure of the arm 6, the connection
of the load In to the other side of the source 9
is completed and current flows through the load
while the winding 3 remains energized.
Upon deenergization of the winding 3, as by
opening the switch H, the armature 4 is free
to move downwardly, under the in?uence of grav
ity, aided to some extent by the tendency of the
de?ected contact arms 5 and 6 to resume their
2
2,117,047
normal un?exed condition. As the armature it
starts its downward movement, the contacts are
disengaged in the reverse order of their closing,
so that the contact tip to leaves the stationary
contact 8 while the contact tip 5a still remains
in engagement with the stationary contact 'i, as
indicated in Fig. 3. Under conditions of current
flow through the load Iii, there always exists a
tendency for an arc to be drawn between the
10 contact tip E0; and the stationary contact 8, as
the bus bar H with the arms l9 the same length
as the upper contact arms l5 and with the arms
20 slightly longer than the arms l6.
With the
armature 4 in an open position as shown, the con
tact arms l5 and I9 are in engagement with two
sets of spaced stationary contacts 2| and 22
located on opposite sides of the pivotal axis of
the armature 4. At the same time, the lower
set of contact arms 26 are in engagement with a
series. of spaced stationary contacts 23, all con 10
the tip 6a leaves the contact 3, but with the de
vice of the present invention this arc is quickly
extinguished before it attains su?ilcient intensity
to be destructive to the contact surfaces, owing
to the separation of the contact tip 5a from the
other stationary contact ‘I, as indicated in Fig. 1i.
In considering the operation of the device as
described above, it has been found that the break
ing of heavy currents can be accomplished with
out destructive arcing between the contacts, be
nected to a bus bar 24 carried by the insulating
base Ia. With the bus bar 24 connected to one
side of the source 9, obviously current will be dis
tributed to separate circuits leading from the con
tacts 2| and 22.
Upward movement of the armature 4 upon
energization of the winding 3 will ?rst cause par
tial opening of the different load circuits as the
longer arms l5 and i9 separate from the station
cause of certain inherent characteristics of the
device, which may be brie?y summarized as fol
separation of the shorter contact arms 20 from
the stationary contacts 23 causes breaking of all
the circuits with an accelerated increase of air
gaps. As the armature 4 completes its closing
lows. In the ?rst place, when the contact tip 6a
?rst starts to leave the stationary contact 8, upon
deenergization of the Winding, the rate of down
ward movement of the armature is at a minimum,
with the armature speed increasing rapidly from
zero as it falls. Therefore, it follows that any
arc between contact tip 6a and contact 8 is formed
ary contacts 2| and 22, respectively, after which
movement, immediately following disengagement
of the contacts 20 from the contacts 23 as de
scribed above, the contact arms |6 on the upper
side of bus bar I‘! engage a series of spaced sta
tionary contacts 23a connected by a bus bar 24a,
at the time of their ?rst separation, when the
armature starts to drop and the air gap in the cir
which is connected to the same side of the source 30
cuit is small.
contact arms l5 and I9 under voltage, so that
when these arms engage the second series of
But before any such are can reach
a destructive intensity, the air gap is suddenly
increased at another point in the circuit by the
separation of the contact tip 5a from the contact
‘I, at a speed very much greater than the initial
speed of separation of the contact tip 6a from the
contact 8. In other words, by the time the con
tact tip 5a leaves the contact '|, the freely falling
armature has accelerated to the point where the
separation between these contact surfaces occurs
at relatively high speed, and this accelerated in
crease in the air gap breaks the load circuit.
Another factor entering into the separation of
‘ the contact tip 5a from contact ‘i, without ap~
preciable arcing, resides in that any arc initially
drawn between the contact tip to and contact 8
reduces the voltage at which the circuit is subse
quently broken between contact tip 5a and contact
1. Furthermore, the provision of separate con
tact arms on the armature 4 cooperating with
separate stationary contacts connected to oppo
site sides of the source 9 makes it possible to con
trol the circuit without the utilization of ?exible
-1 221 conductors leading to the movable contacts, and
this general arrangement is applicable to meet a
Wide variety of circuit conditions. As shown in
Fig. 2, the armature 4 carries two pairs of similar
contact arms 5 and 6, each connected to the arma
ture by a bar l2 insulated therefrom at I3, and
since the opposed ends of the contact carrying
bars l2 are separated by an interposed insulating
spacer It, the circuits controlled by the respec
tive pairs of arms 5 and 6 are electrically inde—
pendent of each other.
This places all of the longer
spaced contacts 2|a and 22a current will be dis
tributed to the separate circuits leading from
these contacts. Obviously, downward movement
of the armature 4, upon deenergization of the
winding 3, will ?rst cause disengagement of arms
l5 and I9 from contacts 2 la and 2211, followed by
the disengagement of arms Hi from contacts 23a.
Thus, the device of Figs. 5 and 6 is adapted to
break a multiplicity of circuits without destructive
arcing, due to the accelerated increase in air gaps
in all the circuits being broken, in either direction
of movement of the armature.
Referring now to Figs. '7 and 8, there is shown
a further modi?cation of the device for control
ling a large number of separate load circuits, this
form of the device being particularly adapted to
handle heavy currents in a single piece of appa~
ratus. As best shown in Fig. 7, the device em
ploys a pair of energizing windings 3a, 3a with
corresponding armatures 4a, 4a supporting be~
tween them a common
from at 26. The bus
short contact arms 21
of stationary contacts
bus bar 25 insulated there
bar 25 carries a series of
adapted to engage a series
28 connected by a bus bar
29, the bus bar 29 being in turn connected to one
side of the source 9, as indicated. The movable
bus bar 25 also carries two series of oppositely
extending long contact arms 36 and 3| of equal
length with respect to the pivotal axis of the
armatures 4a, the upper arms cooperating with
spaced stationary contacts 32 mounted on the
insulating base la.
Referring now to Figs. 5 and 6, there is shown
a modi?cation of the device for controlling a
number of separate load circuits in parallel, with
both positions of the armature 4 being utilized
to cause the engagement of different contacts.
As best shown in Fig. 6, a number of pairs of con
tact arms l5 and I6 are mounted on the upper side
of a common bus bar I? carried by the armature
4 and insulated therefrom at Hi.
9 as the bus bar 21!.
In addition,
75 other pairs of contact arms is and 29 extend below
The lower set of arms 3| co
operates with a series of stationary contacts 33
mounted on separate brackets 34 supported by
the base la, the air gaps between the contact arms
30 and 3| and the stationary contacts 32 and 33
respectively, being the same.
As will be evident from a comparison between
1i and 8, the air gaps between the short con—
tact arms 21 and the stationary contacts 28 are
substantially the same as the air gap between an
arm 5 and contact ‘J, so that the operation of the 75
2,117,047
device of Fig. 8 is the same as the operation of
the device of Fig. 4, with respect to the making
and breaking of the circuit, without destructive
arcing. As indicated in Fig. 7, all the stationary
tion, a source of electrical energy, a current con~
contacts 32 and 33 are connected separately and
in parallel to the other side of the source 9
suming device connected to one side of said
source, and a circuit controlling device providing
through electrical loads 35, so that pulling up of
the armatures 4a in response to energization of
the windings 3a results in ?rst energizing the bus
10 bar 25 from one side of the source as the contact
arms 2‘! engage contacts 28, and then completing
the circuit simultaneously through all of the loads
35 as the arms 30 and 3| engage the stationary
contacts 32 and 33, respectively. Obviously, upon
deenergization of the windings 3a, the dropping
back of the armatures 4a will result in breaking
the large number of load circuits without destruc
tive arcing, due to the accelerated increase in
air gaps between the arms 21 and contacts 28,
which air gaps are in parallel with all of the load
circuits.
30
3
I claim:
1. Apparatus for controlling the flow of current
in an electrical circuit comprising, in combina
a pair of spaced stationary terminals insulated
from each other and connected to the other side
of said source and to said current consuming de
vice, respectively, said circuit controlling device 10
further providing a pivoted member free to fall
in one direction of movement and electrically
connected contacts movable with said pivoted
member co-operating with said stationary ter~
minals for creating a gap in said circuit at one 16
terminal at one speed, and for increasing the gap
in said circuit at the other terminal at an ac
celerated speed determined by the rate of falling
of said pivoted member.
2. Apparatus for controlling the ?ow of current 20
in an electrical circuit comprising, in combina
From the foregoing, it is apparent that by the
present invention there is provided an improved
circuit controlling device characterized by the
substantial elimination of destructive arcing be
tween its contacts, due to the provision of means
for successively creating gaps in the load circuits
a pair of spaced stationary terminals insulated 26
from each other and connected to the other side
of said source and to said current consuming de
at an increasing rate.
vice, respectively, said circuit controlling device
As a result, a device em
bodying the present invention is adapted to han
dle heavier currents than prior devices of the
same rating, with a reduction in the current re
quired for energizing the operating Winding. This
latter advantage is due to the fact that the device
may operate with a smaller air gap between ar
mature and core when employing the principle of
an accelerated increase of air gap in the circuit
being broken.
tion, a source of electrical energy, a current con
suming device connected to one side of said
source, and a circuit controlling device providing
further providing a
electrically connected
engagement with said
circuit therebetween,
pivoted member carrying
?exible contact arms for 30
terminals to establish said
said contact arms being
adapted to successively disengage said terminals
at different rates of contact separation, in re
sponse to free movement of said pivoted member
under the in?uence of gravity.
JOHN H. WHEELOCK.
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