Патент USA US2123459код для вставки
J. R. ANDERSEN 2,123,459 ELECTRIC SIGN` SYSTEM Filed April 17, 1936 mb‘wh flash Off Voltage 0 31a/vanto@ `Patented July l2, `1938` 2,123,459 UNITED STATES 4 PATENT OFFICE 2,123,459 ELECTRIC SIGN SYSTEM Johan Rlberg Andersen, Brooklyn, N. Y. 'Application April I7, 1936, Serial No. 74,992 a claims. (ci. 1v1-35o) This invention relates generally to electric signs; and more particularly to signs Where let~ ters for pictorial representations of objects, are formed on a display bank of electric lamps, and 5 are caused to change position intermittently on > the bank with such vfrequency as to give the im pression that the letters or representations are in continuous movement from one end of the display bank to the other. Preferably, the inven 10 tion` utilizes neon or similar gas tubes for the production of the traveling letters or pictorial representations, the energization of these tubes being controlled by the movement of a sheet or ribbon of material perforated or otherwise w marked to correspond with the letters or pictorial “flash-ori” and “flash-off” ranges up to about 30 volts. \ - The voltagenecessary to maintain ionization or glow is from five to six volts less than the “flash-on" voltage. The D. C‘. current supply 5 may be regulated to provide this lower voltage substantially constant. Now lamps of this type cannot start ionization directly from this con stant voltage; but must have some additional voltage applied thereto to provide additionalv ñve 10 or six volts required to start ionization. In the present invention, this additional voltage is pro vided by periodically interrupting the D. C. cur- ' rent, and interposing in the circuit thereof, a transformer for each lamp, which transformer, i5 at each interruption, raises the voltage of the bank. “flash-on” point necessary to set up ionization 'I'he main object of the invention is to eliminate ' of the lamp connected thereto. the contacty boards, relays and similar devices Each lamp is provided with a transformer; 20 heretofore Afound necessary i’or the operation' and the transformers of each row are connected . representation to be reproduced in the display of this type of changeable sign. ' so that the circuit of each lamp includes the Another object of the invention is to provide primary of one transformer and the vsecondary a display system in which all contact making and of another transformer. Preferably, the ratio of breaking points are eliminated, and in which the windingsin each transformer is 1:5, the pri~ 25 the wiring is substantially decreased over any--' mary having the lower number of turns. 25 thing ofthis character heretofore in use. In the drawing the sign is designated generally A further object of the invention is to simplify by the reference numeral l. As shown in the the >design of devices of this character so that drawing, there are eight horizontal rows of lamps the cost of installation and maintenance of de in the sign. It will be understood that the num a@ vices of this general type may be greatly reduced. ber of horizontal rows and the number of lamps 3 ‘ Other objects of the invention will become ap in each row, will depend upon the `desired detail parent as the detailed description thereof pro in the picture to be formed on thel sign. ceeds.The lighting of the lamps is controlled by a In the drawing: ' p strip t of transparent sheet material mounted on w Figure 1 is a diagrammatic lay-out of a bank rollers t and i for movement through a light 35 of lamps constituting the sign proper; and the box 5 in which is mounted, below the plane of « mechanism for controlling these lamps to form movement of said strip, a series of light sensi the moving letters or pictorial representations. tive cells 6, only one of which is shown in Fig Figure 2'is an enlarged wiring diagram illus ure 2 of the drawing. .'I'he`strip‘2 is marked in l ' m trating the principle of operation involved in the accordance with the letter or other representa- 40 control of the lamps; and e to be shown by illumination of lamps on the Figure 3. illustrates graphically the voltage tion sign i. For example, the letter L outlined by .changes in a direct current supply, which ef opaque circular areas on the strip 2 is reproduced fects the successive lighting of the lamps in the by illumination of correspondingly arranged ' w rows in the sign. lamps on the sign I. 45 It is 4generally known that luminous gas tubes Direct current for energizing the lamps is sup- . of the neon lamp type require a. certain voltage plied by the mains 'i and 8. The positive main between the electrodes before ionization and glow‘can be secured.v This certain voltage for ‘l is connected to _a wire 9 which extends across 50 convenience `will be termed the “flash~on" `volt . age. Once ionization has started, the voltage may be lowered appreciably before ionization and glow ceases. It will be convenient to consider the Voltage at which ionization ceases as the “flash 55 od” voltage. ‘The voltage difference between the bank of lamps in the sign i. _ A positive feed wire i@ extends between the two horizontal'rows 5 A and B of the lamps, and is connected to alter nate transformers in the row A, For example, the positive wire I0 is connected to the trans formers T-I, T-3, 'IL-5, etc. in row A. The return wire ii for the wire I0 and connected 55 2 f 2,128,459 of the photo-electric cell 6, the resistance of this will increase due to absence of light, thus de creasing the current flow in winding 24. There fore, the current in winding 26 will be trans mitted to winding 21, thus causing the lamp L-I transformers and lamps is connected to _the transformers T---2, T--4, T--6, etc.; and this wire II is connected by wire I2 to the negative main 4. \ The wire I0 also supplies positive current in the same order to the transformers and lamps ’ to light up. ' in the row B of the sign, the wire I2’ being the return wire for the series-connected transform ers and lamps in the row B. It will be apparent 10 from the drawing that the wire Iß supplies posi tive current-to the transformers and lamps in the two rows A and B; wire II forming the re turn for row A, and wire I2' forming the return for row B. 16 Similarly, wire I2' forms the~ return for the transformers and lamps in row C. Wire I3 is ` the positive feed for rows C and D, while wire I4 is the return for rows D and E; and so on down all of the rows of lamps and transformers in 20 the sign. This arrangement obviously 'effects an . enormous saving in wiring, in comparison with those systems wherein each row of lamps is pro vided with positive and negative wires connected to the mains independently of the positive and 25 negative wires in the other rows. As shown in the drawing, a motor N rotates the shaft I5 by means of the gears I6 and I1, to operate theinterrupter CB and the strip roller 3. Wires I8 and I9 connect the interrupter CB 30 to the return main 8, the rate -of interruption be _ing timed with the movement of the strip 2. The strip 2 passes through the light box 5, and its unperforated parts obstruct the passage of light from a lamp 20 to a bank of light sensitive 35 circuit controllers arranged within the box on the side of the strip opposite to the lamp 20. The number of circuit controllers corresponds to the number of horizontal rows of lamps in the sign I; and only 'one is required to control the light 40 ing of the lamps in each row. For example, the circuit closer 6 of Figures l 'and 2 controls the starting of the ionization in row A of the lamps in the sign I. A description of this particular control will sufiice to explain the operation of all the- others, since all are operated in the same 46 manner. , A transformer 2I is coupled to the return main 8. The secondary of this transformer 2i is con nected at one end by wire 22 to one terminal of the circuit controller 6. A wire 23 connects the other end of the secondary of transformer 2I through- the secondary 24 of a. transformer 25 to the other terminal of the circuit controller 6. A balanced resistance R, with the same resist ance as the light sensitive circuit closer when un der illumination through strip 2, is interposed, with a winding 26 similar to secondary 24, as a bypass for the transformer 2I. The necessity of the balancing- resistance R, and the winding 28 as a bypass, is based on the assumption that a transparent tape with opaque letters is used. The value of the resistance R is of the same value as that of the photo-electric cell 6 when this is under illumination through the transparent tape. The winding 26 is in inductive relation to winding 24. It has the same number of -turns `as winding 24, but`- is so connected that its flux Y counteracts that of winding 24. When an im pulse is started from transformei- 2l, and no opaque letters on the tape are opposite the photo electric cell, we get the same amount of current in winding 26 and 24. These currents will neu tralize each other, thus preventing any current from flowing in winding 21. If, however, there is an opaque area in front The primary 21 of transformer 25 is connected at one end by wire 2B to the positive wire 9 which is connected to the center of the trans former T-I in row A of the lamp bank. The other end of. primary 21 is connected by wire 29 to the primary of the transformer T-I. In connection with the operation of the sign it will be convenient to consider the' operation of the lamps and transformers in row A; and,v in 15 this connection consider the operation of the'de vice under the- control of the yopaque representa tion of'the letter “L" on the strip 2 as it moves from right to left as shown in Fig. 1 of the draw ing. As shown in this figure. the letter “L" has 20 its opaque areas spaced apart transversely of the strip 2 to correspond with the transverse spac ings of the lamps in the sign I. Let it be as sumed now that the letter “L” on the strip ap proaches the light box 5 from the right hand side 25 thereot» As soon as the vertical leg of the letter “L” overlies the bank of circuit controllers 6, all the ` lamps in the first transverse row of the sign be gin to glow. The circuit for the top circuit 30 closer and lamp row A of the sign is illustrated in Figure 2. It will be apparent from the draw ing that interrupted direct current flows from the mains 1 and 8 through all the lamps in the sign, but its voltage being below the “flash-on” 35 value is insuflicient to start ionization. Each let ter of the sign is composed of a number of single lamps. These lamps are arranged in horizontal and vertical rows. It takes 5 vertical rows to make one letter like H to L. As one interruption 40 will transmit one vertical row five interruptions are needed to transmit each letter, and the speed of the tape is adjusted accordingly. When the circuit closes through the top cir cuit closer 6, the transformer 25 through the 45 primary of lamp transformer T-I adds its irn-v pulse to the interrupted current from the mains 1 and 8. This increases the voltage to the “ilash on” point and lamp L-I begins to glow. As the strip 2 moves to the left, the opaque areas of the 50 letter Lmove away from the circuit controller 6, and the circuit which includes it becomes broken. However, the interruptions in the current are timed so that the rise in vol/tage in the trans >former T--2 added to the steady voltage through 55 the mains "I and 8 sets up ionization of the lamp L-2. The other lamps, in the same transverse row are similarly energized, so that all in that row glow notwithstanding the factY that the vertical leg of the letter L on the strip 2 is no 60 longer over the row of circuit closers 6. In this manner all the transverse rows of lamps in the sign become ionized in succession, and give the effect of movement of the letter from one end of the sign to the other. In an actual installation of this device, it was found that the voltage loss through the primary winding was approximately two volts when the lamps were glowing. Whenß. lamp was turned oñ by interruption in the-current, it was found 70 that a voltage of nearly ten volts would be in-duced in the secondary winding of the trans former. This secondary winding is so connected that when the lamp in series with the primary winding was turned on the direction of the cur 75 3 . rent in the secondary winding was opposed to the l ythey maintain' discharge at a lower voltage than interrupted D. C. in the circuit. In this condition that ,necessary to start a discharge therein,_a no ionization could :take place in the next lamp at that time. However, when the first lamp flashes Gl oil“, the impulse in the second is added to that of -the interrupted D. C. to produce a total voltage higher than the “iiash-on” voltage, and start the glow in the second lamp. In this way the im pulses travel from lamp to lamp. ' , These starting impulses are of'very short du ration, but are of sufficient strength to start the ionization. Due to the time-lag between the pri mary and secondary windings, the secondary im ' pulse does not appear before the interrupted di f rect current has been restored to full strength. The ratio of 1:5 in the transformers eliminates all- possibility of reversal of impulses. In the secondarywindings the voltage loss should be made as small as possible. ‘ 20 _ In Figure 1- .of the drawing, the transformer circuits to lthe different `light sensitive circuit closers are merely indicated in diagram. It will source of current of a voltage s'uñicient to main tain discharge in said lamps but insuñicient to start a discharge therein, connections from each lamp to the opposite terminals of ,said source, each of said connections,> except the connections of the first lamp in the row, having therein a transformer secondary associated with a trans .tonner primary of the preceding lamp connec-` 10. tions and a transformer primaryassociated with a. transformer secondary of a succeeding lamp, the relation of the voltage of the secondaries included in the connections to the lamps with re-- spect to the voltage-applied to the lamps being 15 such that the _voltage induced in the secondary of its transformer by the transformer primary will oppose the voltage of the source when current ~ in the primary‘is established and aid the voltage of the source when current in the primary is in 20 terrupted, the connections of the ñrst lamp inthe row including the- primary of a transformer for be understood, however, that hook-up for each the secondary of the succeeding lamp, means for circuit closer is substantially the same as that periodically interrupting the supply of current shown in Figure 2. It is not essential that the control strip 2 be transparent and have the let ters formed thereon by opaque areas. It is con- - templated that the same 'result may be secured by »using opaque strip with transparent letters formed thereon. The character of theistrip would depend upon the construction of the light sensitive circuit closers which may be of any well-known type. However, the circuit .shown in the draw ing is designed for use with a transparent strip having ‘opaque letters thereon. The resistance of the photo-electric cell increases with decreas ing light. When the cell is illuminated through the transparent strip, the impulses through the windings 26 and 24 counterbalance each other. 40 When the opaque area appears the circuit through the cell is broken and the impulse through the winding 26 actually transmits that impulse to winding 21. It is to be understood that the invention is not to be considered as limited to the specific con from said source to all oi’ said lamp connections 425 for a period suiiicient to extinguish any lamp which is in4 discharge condition and for again kestablishing said supply of current while the voltage is still present in the secondary included in a lamp connection due to the interruption of 30 the discharge, if any, in the preceding lamp con nection and means operating in time relation to ‘ said interrupting means for determining `after eachiinterruption whether the ñrst lamp in the row should be discharged or not after the current 35 ' from said source to the connections'is yreestab lished. , , 2. The apparatus set forth in claim 1 in which the last` named means comprises a light sensitive circuit controller, a source of light for energizing said controller, and means movable between said 40 source and controller for blocking the' passage of light to said controller.4 ‘ 3. The apparatus set forth in claim 1 in which the last named means includes: a light sensitive struction and arrangement described herein, circuit controller, a source of light for energizing 45 lsince it -is evident that many changes may be; said controller, and an endless transparent sheet made without departing from the scope oi’ the -of material movable between said source of light invention as defined by the claims'appended and said controller and provided with means for « 50 hereto. ' blocking the passage of light rays from said What I claim is: 1. In an electric sign system, a row oi' glow 4 discharge lamps having the characteristics that source to said controller. i J OHANRIBERG ANDERSEN.