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Патент USA US2127608

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Aug. 23, 1938...
Filed Nov. 6, 1954
4.; 47
Patented Aug. 23, 1938
Lee L. Manley, Philadelphia, Pa., assignor, by
mesne assignments, to Hugh H. Eby Inc.,
Philadelphia, Pa., a corporation of Pennsyl
Application November 6, 1934, Serial No. 751,679
8' Claims. (Cl. 200-—11)
This invention relates to switches, and partic
ularly to multiple switches controlling simulta
neously a plurality of circuits.
It is among the ‘objects of this invention: to
5 provide a switch of simplicity and ease of manu
facture; to provide a switch of compactness and
small diameter, while maintaining both low con
tact resistance and negligible electrostatic
capacitance between adjacent contacts; to pro
vide a switch having multiple contacts which is
possessed of de?nite self-indexing; to provide a
switch assembly arranged for, a single-hole
mounting while providing a maximumnumber of
contacts; to» provide a multiple-contact switch
15 with soldering connections so designed as to
maintain low capacity; to provide a switch with
integral connectors so designed as to reduce sub
sequent soldering and connecting steps or oper
ations; to provide a multiple switch in which the
20 clearance between contacts is such as to‘ enable
the number of ‘contacts to be a "maximum; to
reduce the cost of manufacturing and assembling
multiple switches; to provide an edge of metal
as a contact in a multiple switch; to provide in a
25 multiple switch assembly a movable contactor
having substantially axial pressure upon the ?xed
contacts; to provide a multiple switch assembly
in which a contactor is so arranged with the
?xed contacts as to rotate in operation, to reduce
30 wear and friction and to reduce contact resist
ance;~to provide a multiple switch with ter
minals in- staggered relation so as to facilitate
attachment of connectors without increasing
capacity; to provide a switch contact element
35 with a terminal so spaced from the switch as to
be directly attachable to the controlled instru
mentality without the use of an intermediate
connector; to provide improved contact elements
in a switch; to provide contacts of a switch that
Fig. 1 represents a bottom or re?ected plan of
one form of multiple switch according to this
Fig. 2 represents a vertical section taken on
line 2—2 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 represents a transverse section through
the form of ‘device of Figs. 1 and 2, taken on line
3--3 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 represents a transverse section of the
switch of the preceding ?gures, taken on line 10
4-4 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 5 represents a fragmentary section through
the ?xed plate of the switch with one form of
contact threaded therethrough;
Fig. 6 represents a similar view with the con 15
tact element clinched into engagement with the
?xed plate;
Fig. 7 represents a fragmentary section taken
at line 1-1 of Fig. 2 through the moving and
?xed contact elements according to one form 20
thereof; and
Fig. 8 represents a modi?cation and simpli?ca
tion of the movable contacting means and com
prises a vertical section through the respective
elements and contacts.
There are many situations in which it is desired
to have double-throw circuit closures of 4, 6 or 8
poles, as for instance in short-wave radio re
ceivers. The requirements for such switches are,
however, quite rigid, including as necessary ele 30
ments the minimum of capacity, the minimum
of contact resistance, the utmost in compactness,
and low cost of production with long life. It is
also essential that the indexing of the switch be
Switches of the type to which this invention
relates may have provision for ?xed or stator
contacts to the number of perhaps 24, and such
number or even a higher number is contemplated
with this invention, although for clarity of dis 40
40 are formed, instead of being punched and formed, ' closure the switch of the invention is shown as
to reduce the cost of construction; to form'switch
_ contacts of wire; to provide switch elements that
having 18 contacts. With 18 ?xed contacts it is
possible to obtain a six-pole, double-throw switch.
are threaded into a support‘ instead of, being eye ' By omitting contact or by failure to attach con
letted or staked;tto provide a switch with a plu
nectors as desired, any smaller number of poles 45
45 rality of contacts so arranged as .to minimize the. may be used.
metallic dust path between ‘contacts ‘due to nor
For purposes of illustration an embodiment of
mal wear; to provide a contact surface of silver or the
invention will be presumed to have a rela
the like at low cost; to provide‘a contact for a
switch that may be punched, swaged, coined or tively ?xed and immovable plate 25 made of an 50
50 molded so as to o?er an edge of metal to the
moving contactor; and other'objects which will
become more apparent as'the description pro
In the accompanying‘ drawing, forming, part
56 of this description,
insulating material such as ?ber or a phenolic
condensation product.
The plate 25 is mounted '
upon the reduced end 26 of a bushing or sleeve'2'l
having a threaded shank 28 arranged to be moved
axially into a single opening of a panel or the,
like. to center and anchor the switch in the man 55
ner commonly employed with‘such devices. The
bushing 21 has an axial bore 30 and the reduced
portion 26 is turned over or ?anged upon a disc
3| as at 32. Disc 3| has a pair of spaced up
standing ears or stops 33 and 34, and, if desired, a
depending ear 35 disposed in a suitable opening
in the stator plate 25, to anchor the disc. Plate
25 carries ?xed contacts to be described.
The movable part of the switch assembly in
10 cludes a shaft 36 rotatably disposed in the bush
ing 21, having peripheral groove 31 into which a C
washer 3B is inserted to abut the end of sleeve 27
and thereby to prevent axial shaft movement in
one direction. The shaft 36 extends axially be~
yond the ?ange 32 of the bushing 21 and has a
shoulder 40 against which the stop disc 4| having
the integral radial lug 29 is frictionally held by
the insulating plate 42 formed of any suitable
material, such as ?ber or a phenolic condensation
product or the like, and which in turn is fric
tionally held by a washer 43, the latter being suit
ably secured to the end 'of shaft 36, as at 44. It
will be understood that a suitable knob or other
rotating means (not shown) will be attached to
25 the free end of shaft 36, and that the radial lug
or stop 29 will be positioned between the upstand
ing stops or ears 33 and 34, so as to positively
limit the oscillations of plate 42. In a common
form or‘ switch, the cooperating stops are so
30 spaced as to permit oscillation of the movable
plate through an arc corresponding to the.dis
tance between adjacent contacts on ?xed plate 25.
A unique feature of the present invention is
that no connections are made to moving contac
tors, eliminating the necessity for inefficient and
troublesome spring or pig-tail means for estab
lishing a positive electrical path to moving con
tact members. Plate 42 carries contactors to be
described, but these contactors function as bridg
ing members to establish an electrical connection
between a pair of fixed contacts.
Present-day switches not only have widely dis
proportionate contact resistance between adja
cent circuits, but the ?xed contacts, owing to
for example, the disc-shaped plate 25 has an
annular row or series of equally spaced apertures
45, close to its periphery, and in number as many
as the maximum number of contacts to be em
ployed. A second annular series of apertures 46 Cl
is more closely grouped inwardly of and with each
aperture in radial alignment with the respective
outer apertures. Each pair of radially spaced ap
ertures 45 and 46 forms the locating and anchor
ing means for an associated contact.
A wire or
drawn conductor 41 of suitable metal of any
desired cross section, such as square or polygonal
for instance, is formed or bent to the pro?le
shown in Fig. 5, in. which a short leg 48 merges
at substantially a right angle into the contact
area 50, at the outer end of which the wire is
bent downwardly at 5| in substantial parallelism
with the leg 48. The leg 5| may be short and be
formed into a soldering terminal. In the same
operation that shapes the contact initially to the
form shown in Fig. 5, or in a separate operation,
the angular edges of the contact area 50 may be
rendered less sharp, as by rounding them, for in
stance as shown in section in Fig. 7, or by coining.
Contacts 4‘! may be plated with silver or other 25
metal to improve their surface conductivity.
A plurality of contact elements according to
Fig. 5 is operatively associated with appropriate
pairs of apertures, as by threading the longer
shank 5| of each contact downwardly through an 30
outer hole 45, until its short leg 48 seats in hole
46, and thereupon, as by a single punching opera
tion, the longer leg or shank 5| is bent around as
at 52 in Fig. 6 to be clear of the plate 25, and in
one form the end is bent to form the soldering 35
connection 53 of the form shown, or of any de
sired form. The end of short leg 48 is bent over
toward the outer opening 45, and clinched to the
plate to ?rmly anchor the contact. It is a fea
ture of this assembly that the inner ends of the
contacts are bent radially outwardly instead of 40
inwardly, since the preferred bend does not cause
the increase in total inter-contact capacity of
the contact assembly which would result were the
ends to be still more closely clustered by such in
ward radial bending.
The hooked end 53 of the contact element may
their wide lateral extent, are so limited in num
ber that the maximum number of poles for
double-throw circuit control is inadequate for the
requirements of the art. 'The number of contacts '
is limited by the necessity for maintaining a wide assume any form desired in accordance with re
gap or clearance between the side edges of the ?at quirements, and it is a feature that, whereas one
contact may have the form shown in Fig. 6, the
contacts in order to keep the inter¢contact elec
trostatic capacity at a minimum. As such adjacent contact may have a terminal end of a
switches are constructed, it is impossible to in~ different ‘outline, or may be bent up or down out
of lateral registration with the ?rst-mentioned
crease the relatively small number of poles avail
hook, so that alternate terminals may be verti
able without an undesirable increase in one or
more dimensions of the switch unit, or without cally staggered to facilitate attaching of con 55
an even less desirable increase in capacity. In nectors (not shown). It will be understood that
some types, knife edges operating relatively to the where desired the terminal lug may be obviated
and the contact extended as a connector.
?at contacts are resiliently connected to eccen
It is a feature of importance in the forms of
tric anchors, so that the resilient urge is asym
?xed plate which have been described, and in the 60
metrical of the ?xed contacts and therefore un
even and varied, and also causes a train of metal many obvious modi?cations thereof that those
dust to be formed across‘ the gap between the‘ skilled in the art may evolve, that the contacts
may be attached to a previously prepared plate,
?xed contacts. This obvious disadvantage be
comes worse as the gap between the ?xed con
tacts is reduced by increasing the number of cir
cuits to be controlled by the switch without
greatly increasing the size of the switch.
It is a broad feature of this invention to pro
70 vide ?xed contacts exposing an edge to the mov
ing contactor, and having small area in the di
rection of movement of the moving contactor.
This is satisfactorily accomplished by the use of
wires as contacts.
In the form of contact shown in Figs. 5 and 6,
and this may be a single or a gang operation, as
desired; or the contacts may be suitably'held in 65
a mold, and the plate molded into anchoring en~
gagement with the contacts.
The form of ?xed contact disclosed is relatively
thin transversely in a direction parallel to the
upper surface of plate 25, and is preferably of
such thickness perpendicular of the plate that
the upper contact surface is well spaced from
said plate surface. Regardless of the transverse
width, it is preferable that the vertical or per
' pendicular dimension be such as to form ample
clearance for the middle of the moving contactor, frictionally in an aperture 66‘ of plate 42, so as
normally to be retained therein, and may have
to be described, especially while the edges there
depending stud 82 of slightly greater diam
of are engaging the contact surfaces.
Referring to Figs. 2 and 7, there is shown one eter than the inner diameter of the small end
83 of coil spring 15, so as to be frictional-1y en
form of substantially universally adjustable ro
gaged thereby. when the stud 82 is forced into
tatable contactor that is of economical and'e?i
cient construction and operation. The movable the small end.
In the assembly of Fig. 8 the axial thrust is ‘
plate 42, already described, is provided with an
annular series of equally spaced apertures. The "spread over the entire area of ‘the contactor ‘l6, 10
and the contactor is therefore completely free
10 apertures are preferably the same in number as
the maximum number of poles in the switch. to adjust itself to any condition of seating that
Each opening 66 may form a guide surface of may be required, thus insuring good electrical
itself or it may be provided with a guiding eye
let such as that shown at 61, having a ?ange
58 on the contact side of the plate 42, and serv
ing as a guide for the slidable shank, pin or
support 10 of a moving contactor. Pin 10 has
a pointed head ‘H, arranged to engage recess
‘E4 in contactor 12. Contactor 12 may have any
20 pro?le or outline. desired, but is preferably a
single-based spherical segment.
The shank 10 has a ?ange 1011 or other suitable
device to check axial motion of conically coiled
spring 13, and is surrounded by the spring 13,
25 the small end of the spring abutting the ?ange
10a, and the large end of. the spring engaging
the ?ange 68 of the eyelet 61, if provided, or the
lower surface of the movable plate 42 if the open
ing 66 is the guide of itself. It will be observed,
in Fig. 7, that the contactor ‘I2 is evenly spaced
from and is symmetrical relative to the contact
portions 50 of a pair of wire or edged contacts,
and that the thrust of the spring 13 is axial with
respect to the shank ‘I0 and thus symmetrical
35 relative to the spaced contacts. The contactor
12 might be cooked so as to be asymmetrical, but
owing to symmetrical axial pres-sure, the con
tact resistance is equalized and good contact is
established with each of the spaced contacts.
With'this form of contactor, lateral thrust on
the wiping surface is resisted both by the side
walls of the eyelet 61, and by the conical form
of the resilient element. It is desirable that con
tactor 12 be as close to movable plate 42 as. rea
sonably possible so as to decrease the tendency
toward lateral sway. To this end the spring may
be compressed to a point where the turns of the
coil lie in the form of a ?attened cone or even
in a plane, and the spring is preferably so designed
that the coil may be compressed to lie in a plane
without coil interference. It is also contemplated
that the contactor ‘l2, pivotally engaging the
shaped head ‘II of the shank 10, may also carry
directly the ?ange 10a against which the spring
13 abuts.
In the previously discussed forms of contactor
mountings, the contactor is prevented from mov
ing any substantial amount in the line of wiping
relative to movable plate 42. In each case the
lateral thrust on the contactor is transmitted
through the axial pin. In Fig. 8 there is shown
a modi?cation of the bridging contactor that
is not only simpler and less expensive to make,
but which also has greater universal resilience
and freedom, and in which all thrust is trans
mitted directly by a spring element.
In one form of this modi?cation, as shown in‘
Fig. 8, a conicalVcoil spring 15, which may be of
wire, ?at ribbon or wire tape, has its large end
seated within the hollow contactor 16, the rim
11 of which is spun, bent, crimped or turned into
engagement with the large end of spring 15 so
as to anchor the latter in the contactor.
A short pin ‘I8 has a ?ange 8B and on the
75 upper side has a stud 8| arranged to engage
contact. -
By forming the coil spring of ribbon, inter
ference between adjacent turns is prevented‘dur 15
ing compression of the spring, and the spring
is substantially self-aligning. The latter feature
enables it to resist lateral deformation, thereby
improving the operation of the switch in vwhich
it is used by maintaining the contactors substan 20
tially in their normal positions relative to plate
42. Referring to Fig. 8, the large end of spring
15 applies a substantially uniform pressure to
contactor ‘l6, insuring even pressure on the con
A feature of interest and importance in a pre
ferred form of the invention, in which electrical
connection between ?xed contacts is accom
plished by means of a universally adjustable ro
tatable contactor, is the fact that rotation of 30
the contactor is secured during the switching
operation. Each contactor is normally in elec
trical contact with a pair of ?xed contacts in
cluding a pole contact, and oscillation of plate
42 moves the contactor over the pole contact,
to engagement with the other pair including the
same pole contact. The ?xed contacts are nor
mally disposed radially on the plate 25, and they
are therefore outwardly divergent. With the ro
tatable contactor in engagement with. a pair of 40
outwardly divergent contacts, the axial pressure
urging the contactor downwardly between the
?xed contacts has a resultant force in a direc
tion substantially bisecting the angle between the
adjacent contacts. If the play in the contactor 45
is appreciable, there may be a movement in the
direction of this force. When the contactor
slides over the pole contact and away from the
outside contact of the ?rst pair, this force is
effective to establish a contact point between 50
the contactor and the pole contact, that is out
of alignment with the axis of the contactor in
its line of oscillation, thus causing rotation of
the contactor about this point as a pivot. As
these points are constantly shifting with switch 55
ing operations, there is continued oscillation and
rotation of the contactor to maintain uniformly
distributed wear.
The pressure exerted by the conical spring
urges the contactor downwardly between adjacent 60
?xed contacts. During rotation of the rotor in
operation of the switch, the spring is further
compressed as the contactor passes over the in
tervening contact. Due both to the force exerted
by the spring and to the relative shapes of the 65
contactor and the contact, the switching mecha
nism _moves with a de?nite mechanical and
audible snap from one conductive position to
another, and thus urges the contactor toward and
into a position intermediate two adjacent con 70
tacts. The resulting automatic self-indexing is
an important feature of the present invention.
I claim:
' ‘I
1. _A multiple switch including plural contacts
formed of wire and radially self-secured at 75
equal intervals around a circle upon an insulating
element, plural spherically rounded contactors
of size sui?cient to bridge two adjacent contacts
and simultaneously actuated by a movable in
sulating disc, pins in said insulating disc, a coni~
cally coiled spring anchored to each of said con
tactors and positioned at its small end upon one
of said pins to urge said contactor toward said
contacts, whereby said switch is automatically
indexed into each of its conductive positions, each
said contactor being out of direct physical contact
with its pin and arranged for self seating on ad
jacent contacts and for limited response to the
resultant thrust radially of said circle pursuant to
15 axial thrust on divergent contacts to secure ?rm
electrical engagement and low contact resistance.
2. A multiple switch having plural contacts
formed of wire and radially self-secured and
equally spaced in a circle upon a ?xed insulating
20 plate, plural spherically rounded contactors large
enough to electrically connect two adjacent con
tacts, and means for simultaneously actuating all
of said contactors including a movable insulating
plate, pins equally spaced in a circle upon said
movable plate, and a resilient member anchored
to each of said contactors and positioned upon
one of said pins to permit independent motion of
said contactor toward and into a position inter
mediate adjacent contacts, and into a circuit
closing position of small contact resistance with
two adjacent divergent contacts out of alignment
with the initial thrust of the resilient member.
3. A multiple switch including a stator and a
rotor, divergent radial contacts on the stator, a
contactor on the rotor engaging a pair of said
divergent contacts, the rotor and contactor being
resiliently connected in operative association and
the contactor having a contact surface substan
tially curved in the direction of relative move‘
ment of the rotor and stator so as simultaneously
to engage juxtaposed divergent contacts with part
of the curved contact surface below the level of
adjacent divergent‘ contacts, the operative as
sociation of the rotor and contactor being such
45 that the contactor may respond to and adjust
itself in intimate electrical engagement with the
said juxtaposed divergent contacts as a resultant
of substantially axial pressure on divergent ?xed
contacts, of the radial outward urge on the con—
50 tactor due to such axial pressure, of the relative
rotative urge on said
rendering it capable. of rotation, lateral shifting
and turning relative to said rotor and arranged
for self seating in engagement with said pair of
contacts as a resultant of the axial thrust and the
reaction of the domed contactor from the
divergent contacts.
5. In switches a wiping contact assembly in
cluding a substantially hemispherical segment, a
tapered helical coiled spring having its larger
end engaged with the segmental contact, a rotor 10
having a pin, the smaller end of the coil engaging
said pin, the coil and contact arrangement being
such as to enable axial movement, bodily lateral
movement and oscillation about an axis transverse
of the axis.
6. In switches, in combination a stator and a
rotor, the stator comprising an insulating mem
ber and a plurality of radially disposed relatively
divergent ?xed substantially rounded elongated
contacts, the rotor comprising an oscillatable
member having a wiping movement relative to the
?xed contacts of the stator, the member compris
ing a substantially arcuate surface arranged to
simultaneously engage adjacent ?xed contacts
with a portion of the arcuate surface below the
level of the fixed contacts and arranged to slid
ingly wipe such adjacent contacts, resilient means
arranged to impart substantially axial thrust on
the member to urge it to frictional ‘engagement
with adjacent divergent radial stator contacts, 80
said member and resilient means being so ar
ranged that the said member can oscillate about
an axis substantially radial of the axis of said
rotatable member.
7. A contact member comprising a hemi 35
spherical hollow dome having an inturned flange,
a tapered coil spring having its large end en
gaged in the dome beneath the flange, a pin en—
gaging the small end of the spring, rotor means
having an aperture, said pin disposed in the aper 40
ture, the connection between dome and pin being
only through the spring.
8. In switches, a self seating wiping contactor
having driven arcuate switching movement and a
curved contact surface, said contactor comprising
a driving member, means resiliently coupling the
member and the contactor in such a manner as
to enable motement of the contactor to a seated
contacting position as a resultant of substantial
axial pressure on the contactor, lateral bodily
pressure in one direction, transverse tilting pres—
sure on the contactor in another direction and
disposed contacts mounted
upon the stator, a rotor, a domed contactor,
means resiliently operatively associating the con
tactor with the rotor so as to impart a thrust
substantially axially of the contactor to urge the
latter to intimate contact with a pair of said
livergent contacts, said contactor including means
rotative torque of the contactor, and a stator,
divergent radial contacts on the stator arranged
to be engaged by the contactor and having such 55
clearance between contacts and between the con
tact peaks and the stator as to contribute by
reaction toward the development of said pressure
and torque.
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