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Aug. 23, 1938. o, s. FIELD 2,128,205 SNUBBING DEVICE FOR THREE-POSITION RELAYS Filed Feb. 1, 1935 F|G.1. » V //7 o o» 37 (y s5 s4 * s5 24 € 7,25 f 0*“26 “56 ,27 6 2a _ 29 1-‘ 1/1’ " 19 ,J so \ 4 LN 20 17 1a 1a - 5 15' 7T kg ’ 14 ' / 4/ 9 FIG. 2. a7v a? ?ZCTLé} ?'NsvEg?zaa BY MM /%4, ATTORNEY 2,128,205 Patented Aug. 23, 1938 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,128,205 SNUBBING DEVICE FOR THREE-POSITION RELAYS Oscar S. Field, Rochester, N. Y., assignor to Gen eral Railway Signal Company, Rochester, N. Y. Application February 1, 1935, Serial No. 4,590 10 Claims. This invention relates to relays, and more par ticularly to a dampening device for relays of the three-position type. In certain types of relays, the movable contact operating ‘element, or armature is operated to one extreme position in response to one charac ter of energization of the relay and to another extreme position in response to a diiierent char acter of energization, but when the relay is de 10 energized, a biasing means returns the armature from either of these extreme positions to a center position. The contacts closed when the armature assumes one extreme position are usually opened when the armature reaches its center position ' and different contacts are closed by the other ex treme position, but upon de-energization of the relay, it is found that the center biasing means imparts such velocity to the armature during its operation from an extreme to a center position that the momentum carries the armature su?i ciently beyond center to momentarily close the contacts associated with the other extreme op erated position. Such momentary closing of ‘these contacts is of course unwarranted by the condition of the relay, and obviously may cause improper control of circuits or apparatus af fected by the position of the relay contacts. (Cl. 200-87) , ber when the armature is at or near its center biased position. However, as the action of the dampening means to restrict ‘movement of the armature beyond the center position is not de sirable when the armature is at rest in the center position, the dampening device is arranged to be ineffective to restrict the inherently slow move ments starting from a center position, but to become e?ective to prevent beyond center move ments only under dynamic conditions. Speci? cally, the armature-carried member does not operably coact with the stationary member in a static condition of the armature, but the inertia of a part of the armature-called member when the armature is accelerated toward its center po 15 sition effects movement of the armature-carried member into a position wherein it does coact with the stationary member to absorb the mo mentum obtaining in the moving armature upon 20 reaching a center position. The novel features considered characteristic of the present invention are set forth with par ticularity in the appended claims. The invention itself however, both as to its organization and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be un derstood from the following description of a speci?c embodiment when read in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which:— Fig. 1 shows diagrammatically an elevational View of the armature'portionof a three-position vane type relay having the present invention ap overrunning of the armature in traveling from ' plied thereto. In view of the above and other considerations, it is an object of the present invention to pro vide a dampening means for relay .armature or other devices operable to three positions, so ar ranged as to prevent an objectional degree of either extreme position to the center biased po 35 sition. Another object of the present invention is to provide such a dampening means which does not in any manner restrict the movement of the armature from a static center position to either 40 extreme position. Other objects of the present invention include provision of apparatus for obtaining the above objects which is simple and compact in order to obtain the advantages of greater reliability and e?iciency in operation as well as economy in man ufacture. The foregoing objects and others which will be obvious as the description of the present inven Fig. 2 is a side elevational view of a portion of Fig. 1. 35 Fig. 3 is a view similar to a portion of Fig.1 1 but illustrating an instantaneous unbalanced condition obtaining during operation of the pres ent device. The present invention has been shown in the drawing as applied to the movable parts or the armature assembly of a three-position polyphase relay such as used for railway signalling purposes, but it is understood that the present invention is equally applicable to other relays or members of various other devices which are actuated in either of two directions from a biased center position. tion progresses are in general accomplished as In Fig. 1, a horizontal shaft 4 is rotatably car follows2— The tendency of a three-position device such ried by suitable anti-friction bearings not shown, as an armature to overrun its center position is herein prevented by a dampening means com which shaft 4 carries an actuating vane 5 ?xed thereto and a T-shaped .arm 6 also attached thereto but spaced longitudinally on the shaft 4 prising a member carried by the armature in a manner to coact at ‘times with a stationary mem according to the arrangement of the other relay parts not shown herein. The means for actu 65 2 2,128,205 ating the vane 5 is immaterial to the present in vention, it merely being necessary to understand that the vane 5 is operated either in a clockwise or a counter-clockwise direction from its center position. However this vane may be operated in the same manner as a similar vane of a relay shown in detail in Patent No. 1,882,846 granted October 18, 1932 to W. K. Howe. The arrangement illustrated for biasing the shaft 4 from either extreme operated position to its center position comprises two weights 1 and 8 attached to outer ends of respective arms 9 and III, which arms operate about a common pivot pin H at their inner ends, the pivot pin 15 H being held by an upwardly extending boss of a stationary member l2 which may be part of the frame structure of the relay. The outer por tions of the arms 9 and H] are connected by bear ings l5 and IE to respective connecting arms l3 20 and I4, the upper ends of the arms l3 and I4 being provided with slots I‘! and I8 receiving pins I9 and 20 respectively which pins are carried at the ends of oppositely extending horizontal 25 arms of the T~shaped member 6. It will now be obvious that when the shaft 4 is rotated in a clockwise direction, the weight ‘I is raised through the medium of the connecting arm l3, while the weight 8 is not moved, the pin 20 merely moving downwardly in the slot I8, so 30 that the raised position of weight ‘I furnishes the biasing force necessary for returning the shaft be obvious, the upper horizontal surface should be as close as practical to the pivot support 34. The shaft 4 may obviously be rotated in either direction from its center position shown in Fig. 1 without interference in any manner by the present dampening arrangement as long as the start of such movements is at a reasonable rate of acceleration, the only means holding it in the center position being the weights 1 and 8. Now considering that the relay is energized in J a manner to operate the shaft 4 in a counter clockwise direction to its extreme left hand posi— tion, the pendulum member 35 being free to ro 'tate about its pivot 34, now moves relative to the member 6 to still hang vertically from its pivot 34. However upon deenergization of the relay, the upper end of member 6 moves in a clock wise direction toward its center position due to the action of the biasing weight 8, and the in ertia of the pendulum weight 36 due to the ac celeration obtaining during this movement of the member 6 causes the lower end of the pendulum member 35 to lag the movement of its pivot end, thereby operating the pendulum member 35 into an unbalanced position out of its vertical align- 1: Ll ment, This displacement of the member 35 from its vertical alignment will be retained until the mem ber 6 reaches its center position and a condition such as shown in Fig. 3 will momentarily exist. In Fig. 3 it is obvious that the lower edge of the 4 back to its illustrated center position. In a very similar manner, the weight 8 is lifted by a counter-clockwise rotation of shaft 4, while the pin l9 moves downwardly in slot [1, to there by bias the armature towards its center position per edge of the pendulum member 35 at a point to the left of the pivot 34, and the momentum or from its counter-clockwise rotary position. A movable contact ?nger 24 is diagrammatical absorbed by the impact resulting from the en~ gagement of these two members, thereby stop 1y shown as assuming a center position in ac cordance with the center position of the vane 5, the contact 24 being carried by an insulating block 25 rotatably mounted in a suitable manner by a center pivot pin 26. A downwardly extend ing arm 21 is attached to the insulating block 25 and the lower end of arm 21 is connected by bearing 29 to one end of a connecting arm 28, the other end of arm 28 being connected by bear ing 30 to the upwardly extending portion of the T-shaped arm 6. With this arrangement, it will 50 be obvious that a clockwise rotation of shaft 4 will rotate the insulating block 25 in a counter clockwise direction thereby moving the movable contact ?nger 24 downwardly, while a counter clockwise rotation of shaft 4 will result in an upward movement of contact 24 in a similar man ner. The present dampening device is arranged about the extreme upper end of the upwardly extending arm of the T-shaped member 6, and 60 comprises a pivot pin. 34 suitably attached to the extreme upper end of the member 6, which pin 34 carries a pendulum member 35 arranged to rotate freely thereabcut. The lower end of the pendulum member 35 carries a weight 36, while the upper end is enlarged to present a flat hori zontal surface, which surface barely clears the lower edge of a stationary member 31 when the member 6 is at rest in the position illustrated in Fig. 1. The member 31 has a wedge-shaped lower end and is suitably fastened to a stationary upright member 38 as shown in Fig. 2, which member 38 may be the frame of the relay. The pendulum member 35 should be mounted on the member 5 at a point considerably above its cen ter of gravity, and for reasons which will later stationary member 31 will be engaged by the up kinetic energy obtaining in the moving parts of the relay upon reaching a center position will be ping the member 6 in its center position. The member 35 of course returns immediately to a vertical position due to gravity, which re turn movement is obviously accelerated by its impact on the stationary member 31 so that a beyond-vertical movement may result, but it is contemplated that this will cause an engagement 115 between the stationary member 31 and a point on the upper edge of the pendulum member 35 located to the right of the pivot 34, thereby inter fering with rebounding of the member 6. The action of the present dampening means 4 during a movement of the member 6 from its clockwise rotated position to a center position is very similar to the action just described, or that is, the lower end of the pendulum member 35 will lag the motion of its pivot end, resulting in a displacement of the member 35 out of ver tical alignment upon reaching a center position. This displacement of member 35 from vertical is in the opposite direction to that illustrated in Fig. 3, but the resulting impact with the stationary member 31 is effective to stop member 6 in the same general manner. The dampening means for a three-position rc lay armature thus provided is obviously operable to prevent overrunning of the relay armature (i5 beyond its center position ordinarily due to the momentum imparted to the moving parts by the biasing means. In the present dampening means, the momentum of the moving parts is ob viously absorbed by the impact of the armature carried member with the stationary member when the armature reaches its center position, thereby stopping the armature abruptly as the reaction to this impact results in a motion of the arma ture carried member which acts to prevent a re 2,128,205 active movement of the armature. This pre vents the bobbing of the armature so objection able in ordinary resilient centering means. A very important feature of the present dampening means is its arrangement whereby it does not restrict or in any way add to the effort required to gradually move the armature from a static center position. 10 form of the present invention is given solely by the way of example, and is not intended, in any It is also to be understood that various modi?cations, adaptations and alterations may be applied to 15 meet the requirements of practice, without in any manner departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention, except as limited by the appended claims. Having thus described my invention what I 20 claim is:— 1. In a centering means for a three-position relay armature or the like, in combination with a pivoted armature shaft biased to a center posi tion from operated positions either side of the 25 center position, an upwardly extending arm car ried by the shaft, a wedge-shaped stationary member positioned above the center position of the arm, a pendulum-like member pivotably car ried at the upper end of the arm, and lugs ex 30 tending horizontally from the pendulum-like member and operable into positions coacting with the stationary member by a response of the pendulum-like member to acceleration of the arm toward its center position. 2. In a centering means for a three-position relay armature and the like, in combination with a pivoted armature shaft biased to a center posi tion from operated positions either side of the center position, an upwardly extending arm on 40 the shaft, a pendulum member pivotably mount ed on the arm, a stationary member above the pendulum member, and means on the pendulum member engageable with the stationary member only when the pendulum member is moved out of 45 vertical alignment. 3. In a dampening means for a three-position armature, in combination with a rotatable arma ture biased to a center position from operated positions either side of the center position, an arm 50 on the armature, a pendulum member rotatably carried by the arm, and a stationary member coacting with the pendulum member only when the pendulum member is not in a state of equi librium. 55 either direction from a biased center position, the combination of an arm on the armature, a pendulum member on the arm, a stationary mem ber positioned in the path of the pendulum mem ber only when the pendulum member is operated out of vertical alignment by acceleration of the armature arm. 6. In a dampening means, in combination, a The above rather speci?c description of one manner whatsoever in a limiting sense. 3 4. In a dampening means for a three-position armature, in combination with a rotatable arma ture biased to a center position from operated positions either side of the center position, an arm on the armature, a pendulum member rotatably 60 carried by the arm, and a stationary member stationary member, a pendulum member actuable relatively to the stationary member at a pivot 10 support located above its center of gravity, the stationary member coacting with the pendulum member only when the center of gravity of the pendulum member is out of vertical alignment with its pivot support. 15 7. In an inertia dampening means for vane type relays and the like, in combination, a sta tionary abutment, a pivoted member freely rock able on its pivot, means for bodily moving the pivoted member and its pivot past the abutment, 20 the pivoted member and the abutment being spaced so that the pivoted member clears the abutment when moved at a uniform rate of speed, the pivoted member being non-symmetrical about its pivot and arranged to contact the abutment when it is su?iciently accelerated as it is moved vpast the abutment. 8. In an inertia dampening means for vane type relays and the like, in combination, a sta tionary abutment, a pivoted member freely rock 80 able on its pivot and having a substantially flat faced part above its pivot, means for bodily moving the pivoted member and its pivot past the abutment in a direction substantially parallel to the flat face, the pivoted member and the abut ment being spaced so that the flat faced part clears the abutment when moved at a uniform rate of speed, the pivoted member being non symmetrical about its pivot and arranged to con tact the faced part and the abutment when the pivoted member is sufliciently accelerated as it is moved past the abutment. 9. In a relay having an armature operable from a biased position, the combination of an arm on the armature, a pendulum member on the arm, a 45 stationary member positioned in the path of the pendulum member only when the pendulum mem ber is operated out of vertical position by accelera tion of the armature arm. 10. In dampening means for a relay armature 50 and the like, in combination with a pivoted arma ture shaft biased to a position from an operated position, an upwardly extending arm carried by the shaft, a wedge-shaped stationary member po sitioned above the biased position of the arm, a 55 pendulum-like member pivotably carried at the upper end of the arm, and lugs extending hori zontally from the pendulum-like member and operable into positions coacting with the sta positioned to clear the pendulum member only tionary member by a response of the pendulum 60 like member to acceleration of the arm toward its when the pendulum member is in a state of stable biased position. equilibrium. 5. In a, relay having an armature operable in OSCAR S. FIELD.