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Патент USA US2129446

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Sept. 6, 1938.
Filed June-22, 1953
4 Sheets-Sheet 1
Piper BA/LfV Paw/MW
Sept. 6, 1938.
Filed June 22, 1933
B. P 355,741 F/aQ
4 Sheets-Sheet 2
Sept. 6, 1938.
Filed June 22, 1953
wmMUW wM
4 Sheets-Sheet 3
Patented Sept. 6, 1938
Percy Bailey Renshaw, Liverpool, England, as
signor, by mesne assignments, to Automatic
Telephone & Electric Company Limited, Lon
don, England
Application June 22, 1933, Serial No. 677,029
In Great Britain June 30, 1932
10 Claims.
The present invention relates to traffic control
signals for use at road crossings or the like and
rying it into effect, reference being had to the
accompanying drawings, in which Figs. 1 and 2
is more particularly concerned with a progres
sive type tra?ic control system by means of which
a number of controllers located at successive
crossings on a main road may be regulated from
a master timer in a certain phase relationship
show by way of example a master timer arranged
to regulate three controllers of which the circuit
connections for one areshown in detail, Fig. 3
shows one form of individual traf?c actuated
controller and system which may be controlled
by the master controller, and illustrates in more
detail the embodiment shown in brief in the rec 10
to each other, so that if the average speed of
10 the traf?c is known it is possible to time the
control signals so as to ensure a substantially
continuous flow of trai?c along the main road.
Systems of this type have been found to give
good results in use but their operation is not
particularly ?exible in that they require the
controllers to be individually set as regards their
time periods in the cycle, and a further disad
vantage is the danger that all controllers will
cease to function in the event of a breakdown at
(Cl. 177-337)
the master timer.
From the point of view of the traf?c engineer
in charge of the system, individual setting of
the controller is undesirable and de?nitely pre
cludes quick adjustment of the time cycle since
each controller requires a personal Visit. By far
the more satisfactory arrangement is for com
plete control to be exercised from some master
point where the necessary tra?ic data and tim
ing charts for the whole system are readily avail
30 able. It is also desirable that service shall be
maintained even if the master timer fails and al
though this latter event is extremely improbable,
the possibility of a complete stoppage of all con
trollers along an important route should pref
erably be eliminated. Accordingly the object of
the present invention is to provide an improved
system of the type described which obviates the
shortcomings mentioned and provides in a par
ticularly reliable manner the improvements men
40 tioned.
According to one feature of the invention in
a progressive system of traffic control the indi
vidual controllers are operated by impulses trans
mitted thereto at different times from a master
timer so that their phase relationship may be
altered at the master timer.
According to another feature of the inven
tion in a progressive system of traffic control in
the event of a complete failure of the master
50 timer the individual controllers which are nor
'mally regulated thereby continue to function ow
ing to the provision of independent timing ap
The invention will be better understood from,
the following description of one method, Q; @841.’
tangle of heavy dash lines in Figure 2; Fig. 4
illustrates another form of individual tra?'lc ac
tuated controller, in which traflic actuating de
vices may be employed in each road, and. illus
trates an arrangement whereby certain maximum 15
periods of right of way may be controlled by
the master timer.
It should be explained generally that the‘ sys
tem comprises a master timer from which sepa
rate pairs of conductors radiate to each con
troller for the purpose of regulating their time
periods in relation. to each other. The control
lers may be conveniently of the general type dis
closed in British speci?cation No. 355,741 but
for the purpose of the illustration in Figure 1 25
and Figure 2 may be arranged to operate at ?xed
time periods independent of the tra?ic flow, that
is to say, there is no question of extending their
normal period as a result of a continuous flow
of traffic passing over a road contact or the like. 30
These controllers will be set to operate at rather
long periods, considerably in excess of that re
quired in the progressive system, but the periods
will be curtailed by the right amount upon the
reception of socalled “light” and “heavy” pulses 35
over the control leads from the master timer.
Referring now to the circuit shown, the sys
tem is arranged for operation from A. C. mains
and suitable rectifying arrangements are pro
vided for obtaining direct current to operate the 40
relays and neon lamps. In the drawing the al
ternating current mains designated I0 and II
are shown incoming from the left hand side of
Fig. 1 and for the operation of the master timer
a tapping is made from these leads by way of 45
the fuses FUS and main switches MNS to the
primary winding of the transformer XFR. This
transformer is provided with three secondary
windings, two of which connect with the ther
mionic valve ampli?er VLV which supplies di 50
rect current of the order of 400 volts to the ter
minals designated + and — in a circle, for the
purpose of ?ashing the neon lamp N. The third
winding on the secondary side of the transform
d1’ XFR connects with the full wave metal rec 56
ti?er bridge MRA which supplies direct current
of the order of 50 volts to the terminal points
impulse relay A. The cam assembly is more
over, a standard unit which may be used in dif
marked + and —~ in a square, for the purpose of
ferent circumstances and controls 22 spring sets
with six different positions. The full number of
cams is not employed in the present instance and
the chart shown in Fig. 2 shows the effect of the
operating the relay F and the driving magnet
DSM. Essentially the master timer comprises a
rotary step-by-step switch DST of the type used
various cams which are used in this particular ar
rangement. The cam contacts which are oper
ated in each of the six positions are designated
operated step by step from a neon lamp im
pulser, the speed of which may be altered, by. .irnthe ?gure by a black circle or a bar.
in automatic telephone systems which may be
completely immersed in .oil and. arranged to be
varying the setting of the resistance switch 112 ‘
connected in series with the condenser QBQ' ».
As regards the automatic stepping. circuit, 1
"If it is assumed with regard to controller No. 2,
. that thecamshaft is in its ?rst position, cam con
tacts Ci, C9. and C22 will be operated, thereby
should be explained that when the neon lamp N ‘ lighting the green signal lamps GNS for the north
south- road, and the red signal lamps REW for
15 ?ashes as the result of the.charging. of the con
denser QB to the required voltage, relay E is oper
the east-west road,-while at the same time over
ated in series therewith, thereby at armature ,el
cam contacts Cl, a circuit is complete from the
' operating relay F, and at armature,~ e2‘ connect:
valve‘ recti?er I VLV‘ by way of a tapping on the
ing negative potential to the wipers "of the switch
' common resistance I3 for charging the condenser
Relay F on operating, at armatureflcome ~QA. 'Afterthe initial period of for example, 10 20
pletes the circuit for the driving magnetDSM, seconds has elapsed, the condenser QA will be
at armature ft supplements the connection-to the charged sufficiently to cause the'neon lamp IN to
wipers of the-switch DST‘, at armature f3 shunts ?ash over, thereby operating relay A which at
armature al energizes the solenoid S which ad
the neon lamp N_' and‘ relay'E by way of re
vances thecam shaft into its second position. In 25
25 sistance- YB, and‘at armature -,f4~flashes the master
this position, as will be evident from the chart,
fail alarm lamp MFA. .Relay E‘ thereupon re
the signal l'am-ps already lit‘ are maintained and
leases and- upon the release of relay F after its
20 DST.
slow period due-to the copper slug? on its core,
the driving magnet is de-energized to advance
30' the wipers on torthe next set of‘ bank contacts.
over cam‘ springs C2 and‘ the adjusting switch
shown a charging circuit is again completed for
the condenser.
Four such adjusting switches are 30
This action continues automatically so long as
the system is in service; One bank-and wiper of
the switch DST'is'allotte'd to each controller to
shown in the drawings and it should be explained
that the terminals of these switches connect with
suitable tapping points on the common resistance
be regulated; and the’ control leads extend from
l3. To meet the requirements of the invention
the resistance now connected in circuit must be
very high to ensure that the condenser charges
slowly, and for this reason the adjusting switch in
the appropriate contacts in‘ the associated bank.
Bank la connects with controller No. I- of which
only the regulating relays have been ‘shown in the
dotted rectangle; this controller may be located
adjacent to the master timer. -Bank 20. connects
40 with controller No. 2 ‘shown in Fig. 2, and bank 3a
connects with controller No. 3; whichis not shown
as it is: assumed to‘ be identical with controller
No. 2.
In the drawings each control lead.‘ is shown as
., making‘. two connections with its associated bank,
one of which is directand the other extends by
way of'a resistance. Consequently as the switch
rotates so-called light‘ ‘and'heavy ‘pulses are‘de
livered over the control leads to the respective
controllers in‘ turn.
The control. leads may comprise light gauge
wires, for example, telephone lines, and terminate
in- the controllers ‘on a pair. of relays B and. C
shown in Fig. 2 connect'edsin series one of whichv
Asa result of the operation‘ ofione
or both of these relays fromthe light and heavy
pulses the signallights of the controller. are regu
, is marginal.
lated; accordingly.
In- this particular example the complete cycle
time of‘the system is represented"by>t25 ‘steps of‘
the rotary'switch DST in the‘master. tim'er.
stepof the switch therefore rep-resents 4% of the
total cycle. time ~ so’ that by. varying. the connec
tion of the‘ control leads to: the banks the phase
relationshipbetween the di?erentsets of control
signals may-xbe- adjusted to a very ?ne degree.
Each ofi't'hecontrollers, which are. all identical,
comprises: essentially va battery. of cams mounted‘
on a'commonashaft" and arranged to close contact
springs‘in'a-particular order. .As regards theiNo.
2 controllerfshown‘inr Fig. 2‘it shouldbe ex
plained thatthe cam shaft is rotated step by'step
under'the control’ of‘ a. solenoid S which is im
question is preferably'turned round into its ex
treme position where it will be understood that it
connects with the end of the common-resistance 4:0
During progressive working this particular
timing circuit will have practically no effect on the
operation of the controller since with the normal
operation of the master timer a light pulse is de—
livered over the control leads before it becomes
operative. As already explained this light pulse
is obtained by including a high resistance in the
pulse leads at the banks of the master timer,
and as a result relay B only is operated in the
controller, thereupon at its armature bl in con
junction with the cam contacts C1 completing low
resistance charging'circuit for the condenser QA.
Almost" immediately therefore the neon lamp IN
flashes and‘ causes the controller to step to posi
tion’ 3. Non-inductive resistances are connected
across the control leads as shown in order to
guard against. false operation owing to surges and
inductive discharges.
In accordance with the change of the cam con
tacts, the green lights for the north-south road
are now replaced with amber lights ANS, and
over cam contacts C3 and the adjustable resist
ance switch a circuit is completed for the con
denser QA to control the duration of the amber 65
signal. With this arrangement although the
phase of the amber signal may be changed when
an adjustment is made in the cycle at'the master
timer, its'actual duration remains constant since
it is determined by the setting of the local ad .70
justing switches and is not influenced by the re
lays connected to the control leads.
pulsedatpredeterminedtime.periods from aineo'n'
In case it should be desired to show the amber
signal simultaneously to both roads, as is the re
lamp .timingdevice,‘comprising the. lamp IN ' and
quirement of certain administrations, this may be 75
achieved by bridging the amber circuits by means
of the strap and switch [4 shown in the drawings‘
After the duration of the amber warning period
the solenoid S again operates to step the cam
and at springs 'CSS3 connects potential to the
common lead Hi to operate a relay CS in all con
trollers, which thereupon at armatures csl dis
shaft to position 4 and the control signals are
connect the respective controllers from the alter
nating current mains. This method of control is
then completely reversed while over cam springs
preferred to the alternative, whereby the relay is
04 a charging circuit is completed for the con
denser QA which provides an initial timing period
of 10 seconds for the east-west road. When this
10 period has elapsed, the solenoid S steps the cam
shaft to position 5 and although the signals pre
operated to connect up the controller since a fail
ure at the master timer might then result in the
viously showing are retained, the charging circuit
for the condenser QA is completed by way of the
very high resistance as a result of the adjusting
15 switch associated with cam contacts C5 being
turned into an extreme position.
Here again this second comparatively long time
period has practically no effect upon the con
troller during normal progressive operation since
20 a heavy pulse will be received from the master
> timer meanwhile, which results in the operation
of both relays B and C, and the latter at arma
ture cl in conjunction with the cam contacts Cl8
steps the cam shaft into its ?nal position 6.
25 this manner the controllers are stepped progres
sively depending on the connections to'the banks
‘ of the timing switch, and providing the master
timer is functioning correctly, the time periods
of their “stop” and “go” signals will be directly
30 regulated therefrom.
If, however, for any reason the master timer
should fail in such a manner that no further im
pulses are delivered over the control leads, the
individual controllers will continue to function
35 satisfactorily at somewhat longer time intervals as
a result of the charging circuits completed over
the cam contacts C2 and C5. Moreover, in case
a particular line fault on. the control conductors
should maintain operated one or both of the signal
40 relays at the controller, the latter will continue to
function at somewhat shorter time intervals as
determined by the initial timing circuit com
pleted over cam contacts Cl and C4.
In addition to the normal operation of the
system and the necessary safeguards against fail
ure, it is also possible to provide special features
such as for example causing all controllers to show
a red signal to all approaches» thereby effecting a
complete hold up of the traffic. This condition
may be brought about instantaneously from the
master timer by the operation of the 'manual
switch which closes the contact marked ARS in
the drawings, thereby connecting potential to a
common wire [5 extending to all controllers which
55 results in the operation of a relay AR in each.
Relay AR, at armature arl disconnects the oper
ating circuit for the controller which is thus
brought to rest in the position to which it is set,
at armature arZ opens the circuit of the green and
60 amber signal lamps and at armature m3 bridges
the circuit of the red signal lamps so that both
sets are lighted. It will be appreciated from a
consideration of the chart that in all positions of
the controller one or other of the red signals will
65 be showing and therefore the connection de
scribed will be effective no matter in what posi~
tion the controller is brought to rest.
For the purpose of switching the controllers on
and off a further common wire I6 is provided
70 which connects with the switch contact CSS3 at
the master point and a relay CS in each con
troller. The operation of the switch CSS dis
connects the master timer insofar as its control
function is concerned by opening the circuit to
75 the valve recti?er VLV at springs CSSI and CSSZ,
individual controllers becoming disconnected.
Arrangements are also provided by means of a 10
special manual switch at each controller whereby
the all red feature may be brought into action at
that particular point only. When this manual
key is operated, the springs ABS! and ARSZ are
actuated, thereby disconnecting the circuit for the 15
green and amber signal lamps and also connect
ing together the red signal lamps so that both
sets show simultaneously regardless of the posi
tion of the controller.
In case it should become necessary under cer 20
tain circumstances for a particular controller to
be operated‘ manually, the required circuit
changes are brought about by the operation of a
further key which actuates the springs MAN! and
MANZ to disconnect thetiming circuit of the con
troller and also connects the solenoid S in circuit
with a push» button PB. The operation of the
push button by the officer in charge causes the
controller to step through its cycle and any de
sired time periods may be allowed.
As already explained, a supervisory lamp MFA
is provided which is located in a conspicuous posi
tion at the master timer and arranged to ?ash in
synchronism with the stepping switch. Failure
of the switch to step due to some mechanical 35
trouble will therefore be evident by the failure of
the supervisory lamp to light and the traffic engi
neer is thus acquainted of the fault.
An indica
tion is also given of the blowing of the main fuse
or similar trouble in which event the lamp is ex
In case the master'timer. is switched on at a
time when certain of the controllers are out of
phase, the correct phase setting between each will
be restored when the stepping switch in the 45
master timer has made one complete revolution.
The application of the progressive system of
control to an existing system of road-pad-operat
ed controllers is also contemplated according to
the invention. In this connection it will be real
ized that when a system of road-pad-operated
controllers for example of the type described in
British speci?cation No. 356,102 previously re
ferred to, is working under heavy traf?c condi
tions, the occurrence of the maximum timing pe
riodwill be the rule rather than the exception,
and under these circumstances the controllers
become in e?ect ?xed time controllers working
on their maximum timing limits. In the appli
cation of the invention to such systems it is pro 60
posed to associate each controller with a master
timer in much the same manner as that disclosed
in'the accompanying drawings and arranged so
that control will only be exercised therefrom
when the controller attains its maximum timing
limit. For this purpose it is proposed to so modi
fy the existing controllers that when the maxi
mum timing limit is reached the signals will not
immediately change but rather the circuits will
be put into a condition such as to be responsive 70
to the regulating pulses from the master timer.
This is best achieved by placing the maximum
timing circuit in each controller under the con~
trol of the relay which is operated from the mas
ter timer. With this arrangement when a number
of ' controllers attain their maximum timinglimit
they will be-temporarily held'in this condition
and thereupon released progressively under the
control of the relays operated fro-m the master.
timer. It will be understood however, that the
master timer and associated control relays are
operated continuously but their operation is only
effective when the controllers in question are
signal. Thus, the right of way is being given to
thehighway ‘and vehicles may proceed on that
street. At the same time, contact 65 is closed 10
The actual circuits might be similar'to those
shows a traffic control arrangement of generally
similar type provided with neon lamp timers.
Referring now to Figurev 3 illustrating an en
15 largement of the diagram outlined in heavy dash
lines in Figure 2, the operation of this embodi
ment of a road pad operated controller will be
described. In this illustration road pads or traf
?c detectors are omitted from the main street
20 designated as A and provided only in the cross
street designated as B. The right of way is ac
corded to cross street B upon actuation of a traf
?c detector in this street ‘and after a period of
right of way in this street which varies between
2.5 a minimum and a maximum depending upon the
frequency of further traffic actuation in this
street the right of way'is automatically trans
ferred to the main street A. It is accorded to this
street for a minimum period before it can be
30 transferred again to street B, in response to actu
ation in the latter street. Timing means is also
provided so that in the event of absence of actua
tion on street B for a relatively long period the
right of way may be automatically transferred to
35 the cross street to care for pedestrian tra?ic or
any cross traf?c which-may have failed to actuate
the road pad. The apparatus can readily be ar
ranged to disconnect this timing means so that
right of way will remain continuously on street A
40 until actuation by traf?c on street B.
The construction of the apparatus illustrated in
allowing current to flow from wire 98 through
contact 65, resistance I05, wire I06, wire I01, wire
I08, condenser I09 and wire 99, and the voltage of
condenser begins to build up at a rate determined
by the value of resistance I05. Assume that this 15
resistance is adjusted so that condenser I09 is
charged up to the critical voltage of tube H0 in
thirty seconds. However, even though condenser
I09 reaches the critical voltage of tube H0, tube
H0 does- not become conducting because its dis 20
charge circuit is open at contact 93 and in addi
tion is open at armature III and contact II2.
In applying applicant’s invention to this appara
tus the discharge circuit also includes the con
tacts c2 of the master control relay C and is held 25
open until contacts 02 close. Thus, the system
remains inactive and right of way continues to be
shown to the highway.
If a vehicle approaches on the cross street op
erating one of the vehicle actuated control de 30
vices located there, the circuit between wires I0
and II willbe closed momentarily allowing cur
rent to flow from wire 98 through wire I I3, relay
II4, circuit II and I0, wire H5 and wire 99. This
would effect only a momentary closure of relay 35.
H4 were it not for the locking circuit consisting
of contact IIS, armature II'I, wire II8, contact
62, (contact 62 being made in position F), and
wire II9, this locking circuit being made when
relay II4 operates. When relay II4 operates, it 40
closes contact between armature II I and contact
I I2 partially, completing the circuit shunting con
Fig. 3 is similar to that illustrated as a part of
denser I09 through wire I20, so that as soon as
the individual controller in Figure 2 particularly
contacts 02 of the master control relay have
closed the circuit through the tube H0 is com 45
pleted. Tube IIO becomes conducting and the
energy stored in condenser I09 discharges
in the arrangement of the cam shaft and means
for operating the cam shaft and in the use of a
condenser and discharge tube timing arrange
ment. In Figure 3 it will be noticed that there
are 16 cams and 56—'II represent contacts operat
ed by these cams.
The scheme of representation shown under
through relay 9'! operating it momentarily. This
closes contact between armature I00 and contact
IOI, energizing magnet 29 which in turn rocks
the notching mechanism.
As soon as the core
numeral 12 is as follows: In one position, for ex
of the solenoid has been fully attracted, circuit
ample, A, contacts 51, 60, 62, 63 and 61 are closed.
If magnet. 29. is now energized and de-energized
between wires 89. and 90 is made which shunts
resistance I2I directly across‘ the terminals of
condenser I09. Resistance I2I is of a very low
the cams will be notched or shifted to position B.
As will appear later, when all traffic has ceased
on street B, the apparatus will eventually come
to rest in position F. In this position contact 56
is closed lighting the A street green signal, and
contact 59 is closed lighting the B street red
working on their maximum timing limits.
disclosed in British speci?cation No. 355,741 which
andwire 99., Wires 98 and 99 are connected to a
source of. power.
Contacts 62 and 63 remain closed. Contacts 51,
value, its only purpose being to prevent arcing,
60 and 61 are now open, but contacts-58, GI and 69
are closed. The operation is similar as the cams
when switching mechanism 94 closes. This al
lows any energy remaining in condenser I 09 to be
are notched successively to positions C, D, E and
F. In this ?gure the notching magnet 29 is again
indicated and whenever energized, operates the 3
switch members 93, 94, and 95 which represent
schematically the 3 circuit closers operated by
the plunger of solenoid 29. Member 93 is the one
dissipated in resistance I2I, tube IIO becomes
non-conducting, the energizing circuit of relay 60
9‘! is consequently broken, armature I00 sepa
which is made as soon as the motion of the
plunger starts and 94v and 95 are the two which
are made at the end of the motion of the plunger
upon energization of the solenoid.
Elements 96
and 91 represent relays, and whenever either re
lay is energized, magnet 29 is energized because
current flows from wire 98 through wire 3|, mag
net 29, wire 30, and, in case relay 91 was ener
gized, through armature I00, contact IOI, wire
rates from contact IM and magnet 29 becomes
de-energized. This allows the notching mecha
nism to return to its normal position, and in so
doing, to shift or notch the cams from position F
to position A.
In position A, contact 51 is closed, lighting the
A street yellow signal, and contact 60 is closed,
lighting the B street yellow signal. At the same
time contact 93 is closed insuring that the dis 70
charge circuit of condenser I09 through the tube
IIO shall remain closed regardless of subsequent
I02 and wire 99 and, in case relay 96 was ener
action to relay II4. At the same time contact
61 is closed allowing current to ?ow from wire
V gized through armature I03, contact, I04, wire I02
98. through contact 61, resistance I22, wire I23,
wire I24, wire I25, conidens‘eril26" and wire 99,
and in a similar manner the voltage of condenser
I26 begins to build up at‘a rate determined by the
value of resistance I22. Assume that the period
required is 2 seconds. At the end of two seconds,
condenser I26 reaches'the critical voltage of tube
I 21 and the energy stored in condenser I 26 dis
charges through tube I2'I and relay 96. Relay 96
operates, closing circuit between armature vI03
and contact I04, energizing magnet 29, which in
turn rocks the notching mechanism. When the
ceed, as'previously described, and the cams will
be moved from position E to position F.‘ We have
reached the'c‘onditionv described at the beginning,
and charging of condenser I09 starts, contact-65
being made. But. after condenser I09 has reached
the critical voltage of tube IIO, it does not dis
charge through said tube because the discharge
circuit is open, as described previously.
I have ‘thus described the- operation of the
device assuming that only ‘one car approached
on the cross street. It will be‘ noticed that after
solenoid core has moved to its extreme energized . right‘ of way has been showing on the highway for
a certain length of time, right of way is im
position, switching device 95 closes circuit be
tween wires SH and 92, placing resistance I20 di
15 rectly across the terminals of condenser I26. Re~
sistancev I20 is similar to resistance I2I' and per
forms the same functionyfor condenser I26 that
resistance I2I performs for condenser I09. The
remaining energy of condenser I26 being dissi
pated in resistance I28, relay 96 becomes de-ener
gized, de-energizing magnet 29 which allows the
notching mechanism to again move forward the
cams, which shift from position A to position vB.
In position B, contact 58 is closed lighting‘ the
25 A street red signal, and contact 6I is closed light
ing the B street green signal. The right of way
is ‘now being given ,to B street and the vehicle
which approached there may cross. In position
B, contact 69 is closed and current ?ows into con
30 denser I26 through resistance I29, and condenser
I26 reaches the critical voltage of tube I2'Iin 3
seconds. At this moment tube I2'I becomes again
I09, but,-no"discharging of condenser I09 can take
place iuntil‘it has been charged to the critical
voltage of tube H0, and this cannot take place
until‘right of way has been showing on the high
way for ya certain length of time.
If right of way-has been transferred to the cross
streetin response to a vehicle approaching there,
and a second 'vehicle approaches on the cross
street before the end of the '7 second period which
is timed in position C, relay I I4 will operate, caus 30
ing armature I32 to touch contact I35, which
shunts resistance I36 across the terminals of
condenser I26,’ atthe same time interrupting the
charging circuit of condenser I26.‘ It, will be
advancing the cams from position B to position C‘.
noticed that the length of time circuit between 35
In moving from position B to position C, there is
wires I0 and II remains closed depends entirely
no change in the signal lights, contact ‘58 and
upon the length of time the wheel of the vehicle I
6| remaining closed.
is on ramp 5. And this again
upon the speed of the vehicle.
vehicle is travelling, the longer
time, and the faster the vehicle
Contact 62, however, is
open, which breaks the locking circuit of relay
II4 which drops to its de-energized position. In
addition, contact 'II is closed, and since relay
‘I I4 is de-energized, current flows from wire 98
through resistance I30, contact I3I, armature I32,
contact ‘II, wires I23, I24 and I25, condenser I26
and wire 99, and similarly the voltage of con
denser I 26 begins to build up at a rate determined
by resistance I30. Assume that this resistance is
set so that condenser I26 builds up to the critical
voltage of tube I21 in '7 seconds. Assuming that
no further cars approach on the cross street,
then after’! seconds, condenser I26 will discharge
through tube I 21, performing the very same steps
of the notching operation described'previously.
This notches the cams from position C to posi
tion D.
In position D, contacts 51 and 60 are again
made, lighting both the A and B street yellow
lights. In addition, contact 68 is made which
closes the charging circuit of condenser I26
through resistance I33. Assuming that resist
ance I33 is set to charge condenser I26 upv to the
critical voltage of tube I2‘I in 2 seconds, then con
denser I26 will discharge after 2 .seconds and the
lock in, closing the discharge circuit of condenser 20
in the very same manner previously described,
conducting and the notching operation proceeds
s. in
mediately'callable to the cross street, should a;
vehicle approach there. But if a vehicle should 15
approach on the crossstreet atv any time after
the cross street‘has- lost right of way, and before
right'of Way has been given to the highway fora
certain length‘of time, relay “4 will operate and
notching operation will proceed again as described
previously, shifting the cams from position D to
position E.
In this position, contacts 56 and 59 are made,
lighting the A street green signal and B street
red signal, and the right of way has returned to
70 the highway. At the same time contact ‘I0 is
made which charges condenser I26 through re
sistance I34 as previously described. Assume that
the period timed, as determined by the setting
of resistance I34, is 5 seconds. Then after 5
75 seconds, the advancing operation will again pro
depends entirely
The slower the
is this length of 40
is travelling, the
shorter is this length of time. Consequently, ad
justableresistance I36 is shunted across the ter
minals of condenser I26 for a period of time de
pendent entirely upon the speed of the vehicle 45
operating relay II4. If the vehicle is moving
slowly, this time will be longer and practically all
the energy stored in condenser I26 will be dissi
pated in resistance I36, and thus when the ener
gizing circuit is re-established, charging of con 50
denser I26 will start with practically no stored
energy in the condenser, and the time required
to charge it up to the critical voltage ‘of tube I2'I
will be practically 7 seconds. I‘f‘the vehicle is
travelling fast, the time of discharge, and con
sequently the amount of discharge will be small.
Thus, when the energizing circuit is re-estab
lished, charging of condenser I26 will start with
some remaining stored energy, and the period
timed will'be the‘ period necessary to charge con 60
denser. 126 from the voltage existing at the mo
ment to the critical voltage of tube I2‘I. The
time period will be shorter by the amount of
ti'methat' would have been'necessary to charge
condenser I26 from zero voltage to- the voltage to
which it had been reset. Thus it appears that
the amount of reset depends upon the length of
time the energizing circuit is interrupted.
As soon as‘ tra?ic ceases to approach on B
street, condenser I26 will discharge through tube
I2‘I, ‘notching or advancingthe cams to position
D, and from then on the operation is asdescribed
Should vehicles approach continuously on B
street, continually resetting condenser I26, right 75'
ofpway would remain ‘indefinitely-on the cross
street to the disadvantage-of the highw'ayrunless
some limitation is~imposed upon the length of
time the cross street may retain right of way. It
of right of way to the B street in the absence
of tra?ic‘actuation can be disconnected by means
of va switch which may conveniently be placed in
the ‘timing circuit between cam contacts '66 and
will be noticed that in position C, contact“ is timing resistance I39’.
closed which allows charging current to ?ow into
In describing the operation of the system, I
condenser I09 through resistance I31. Assume have shown the device as exhibiting the signal
that resistance I31 isso adjusted that condenser lights in the usual sequence, namely, green, yel
I09 will reach the critical voltage of tube “0m 20 low, red, ‘yellow, green. It frequently is desirable
seconds. This condenser is notresetby approach
to omit the showing of yellow when the shift is 10
ing vehicles, and if traf?c'continues at the end from red to'green, and continue to show a red
of 20 seconds, condenser I09 will discharge . light while a yellow light is being ‘given to the
through'tube I I0,‘operating relay 9'! which ener
street ‘which is losing right of Way. ‘ This can be
gizes magnet 29, and the mechanism, notches to easily accomplished by providing that the cam
15 position D as described previously, provided con
under contact 51 operates the contact only in 15
tacts 02, forming a part-of the discharge circuit position A, that the cam under contact 58, oper
through the tube, are closed. It will be seen ates the contact through position B, C‘, and D,
that themaster timer through relayC is able to that the ‘cam under contact 59 operates the con
controlthe transfer of right of wayfrom'street B tact through positions E, F, and A, and that'the
20 by-the maximum timer. Thediiference is that cam under contact '60 operates the contact in
relay 9‘! also operates armature I38>which touches position D only. Obviously by'su'itable arrange
contact I39 which allows ‘current to-?ow through ment of the cams any other desiredsignal se
relay H4, operating it. The energizing circuit quence'may be obtained.
made at armature I38 is only-momentary and
For the purpose of manual-operation a switch
25 relay I I4 would not‘remainenergized, (its locking
I40 vis opened, ‘thus disconnecting the timing
circuit ‘being broken at contact 62) were it not'for mechanism from the lights. The lights may be
contact device 9-3 which is made as soon as ‘notch
operated vmanually by simply ‘pressing push but
ing mechanism 26 begins-to move.
This com
pletes circuit between wires ‘I8 and ‘I9 whichpro
30 vides a temporary locking circuit. Contact'62 is
made. in position D and as a matter of fact, is
made slightly before the notching mechanism
has completed its clockwise notching movement,
and is so *adjusted that contact‘62 is made just
before circuit between‘wires 18' and ‘His broken,
maintaining relay H4 in ‘an energized position.
Thus, while some vehicles have lost right of Way
before they have had su?icient time to cross the
intersection, the system remains in such'a condi
40 tion that without requiring any‘addition'al ‘actu
ation of the B street vehicle actuated device,
right‘of way will'revert to B ‘street at-‘the'end of
the highway right of way period.
It will be noticed that right of way is being
45 given to -B street in position B although the re
settable timer has not begun to‘ operate. This
period, in this case -3 seconds, is the period pro
by omitting'the direct connection'between relay
91' and'armature III which would be employed
where this controller is used as an isolatedlsys
temlindependent of any master control and ‘by 45
running this circuit through'the contacts 02 of
the "master ~control relay C.
It will be'noted as
vided to allow ‘one or more'vehicles'which may be
described above that the discharge tube 'I'I0'and
waiting» on B street to get into ‘motion, and pre
sumably the last of such waiting vehiclesis actu
ally-in motion when the‘ mechanism’ notches the
the relay-'91 are a part of the timing 'circuit'serV
ingas armaximum timer in position C of the cams
through‘ the 'cam‘contact 64 and also serving as a
minimumtimer ‘on street A'in positioniF ‘of'the
camsthroug'h the cam contact 65. Thus it will
beseenthatthe ‘operation of the maximum'timer
cams to. position C.
If no vehicles are waiting on B street, ‘right
of way will be given to the highway ‘and may re
55 main ‘there inde?nitely, thuspreventing'pedes
trians fro-m crossing the highway. It is some
times desirable to provide-a system-‘which will
occasionally shift right of way'to the‘ cross street
even though there are no vehicles waiting there
60 on, stopping the highway traffic and ‘allowing
pedestrians to- cross the‘highway. Thls'may ‘be
accomplished‘ through contact’ Eli-which is made
in position F. ' This
through resistance I39’, and this resistance is
65 adjusted so that condenser I26 is‘charge'd to the
critical voltage'of tube I-2'I‘ in Zminutes. "This
notches the cams to position A-‘and~ fromithen ‘on
they automatically advancethemselves through
the succeeding positions. Of- course, should vehi
70 cles approach while cams are in position C, they
will reset condenser‘ I26, as-v described. previously.
But ‘if no vehicles at'all-a-pproach right of way will
shortly be returned to the highway and highway
traffic may proceed.
ton III, which, uponeach functioning, energizes
magnet'29 thus advancing the cams through their
cycle ‘andrin so doing transfers right of way from
one-‘vehiclelane to the other.
‘Referring further to Figure 3 and the con
densed illustration shown in Figure 2 themaxi
mum'timing circuit in this case‘ is that associated
with'the'condenser I09 and the'discharge circuit
therefor-‘has 'to be closed over contacts '63 or
'arma'ture‘I‘I I. In the arrangement contemplated
according to the invention this discharge circuit
would ‘only be completed by the relay responsive
to the controlling pulses from the master timer. 40
As‘illustrated this control may be provided‘for
It will be obvious that this "automatic transfer‘
in position C’ on the cross street will be controlled 55
by the ‘master ‘control relay C and it will alsocbe
seen‘that the'completion of the time‘rperiod to
permit transfer of right of way to the cross street
in response to cross street‘ actuation will‘in'posi
tion‘F' also'be under the control ofmaster ‘control
relay C, thus‘permittin'g the‘ master timer to con
trol the transfer of right of way to the cross street
in response'to ‘actuation and also to control‘ the
retransfer' of'right of way to the main street in
the’event ofrtra?ic on the cross street being suf
?ciently heavy to produce extension of’ the cross
street right‘o‘f way period up to the maximum.
Referring now to Figure 4 the present‘inven
tionvis'shownlv-applied to "govern operation of a
tra?ic signal controller of the full-actuated type,
having: detectors in'both main and cross streets.
Such'a'full-actuated controller is disclosed in
British Patent ‘356,102, and application of the
invention to this type controller provides for
controlling the instant of releaseofl right of way
from each street if the right of way is prolonged
up to a maximum.
In Figure 4 there is represented timer I39 of
British Patent 356,102 and when current is applied
at its terminals E, E it times the maximum dura
tion of right of way for traf?c on one of two in
tersecting streets, for example, ‘A street, causing
release of right of way from A street by the sepa
ration of armature 51 from contact 56 at the end
of the maximum time period. Timer I3‘! is the
corresponding maximum timer for the other or
B street controlling release of right of way from
B street by its armature 86 and contact 81. Each
of these timers serves as a time delay relay, the
15 time delay period being determined by a con
denser-gas discharge tube timing unit. When
current is applied to terminals E, E of timer I39,
relay I1 is energized closing armature 2| against
contact 2|] to complete a charging circuit for con
When con
denser 24 has acquired a voltage above the con
ducting potential of gas discharge tube 26, and
assuming the contact 02 closed, a circuit parallel
20 denser 24 over high resistance I 9.‘
ling condenser 24 is completed through tube 26
25 and relay 2'! is energized by the charge stored
in the condenser. Relay 21 looks in via its con
tacts 30 and its armature 51 breaks at contact
56 a control circuit for causing transfer of right
of Way. When current is disconnected from ter
30 minals E, E relay I‘! is deenergized, at contact 20
the condenser charging circuit is interrupted, and
at contact 32 a circuit is completed via low re
sistance 33 to completely discharge the condenser
in preparation for timing the next interval.
In accordance with the present invention as
shown in Figure 4, the circuit through tube 24
and relay 2'! parallelling the condnser is not com
pleted unless or until relay C is energized by the
master timer to close its contacts 02. Thus, after
40 the condenser charging period of the maximum
timer I39 is completed, the instant at which right
of way may be released from A street by operation
of relay 2'! to separate contacts 56—51 is deter
mined by the time of operation of relay C by the
master timer. Similarly, termination of the B
street right of way by maximum timer I31 is
governed by the time of operation of relay B. In
this way at one or more full-actuated controllers
the transfer of right of way at the end of the
maximum period may be controlled by a master
timer in accordance with the invention.
The term “controller” is used herein broadly
to designate the mechanism located at the indi
vidual intersection for .operating the signals
through their cycle of right of way indications
and in the present embodiment this controller
includes a timing device for determining the
time periods of display of the di?erent right of
Way and cautionary change indications in. the
cycle, but which timing device is normally
superseded in effect by an external timer in de
termining the period of the right of way indi
cations in certain parts of the cycle. This ex
ternal timer is designated herein as “master ‘
timer” or “master timing means” for convenience
in distinguishing from the individual or local
controller and as representative of its functions
of maintaining the cycle of the individual local
controllers in predetermined time relation. The
master timer it will be observed includes a tim
ing device providing closely spaced periodic im
pulses, and a cyclic switching device having dis
tributing units for providing impulses at differ
ent preselected points in the cycle to the indi
75 vidual controllers, all the units being operated
in unison step by step by the impulses of the tim
ing device. In this respect the master timer
acts as a common timing means for the several
individual local controllers.
In the embodiment
shown in Fig. 3 the controller is operated by its
timing device subject to modi?cation of the tim
ing by tra?ic actuated means.
It will be understood that various changes in
construction and rearrangement of the parts of
my system might be made without departing from 10
the spirit of my invention as de?ned in the
I claim:—
l. A signalling system for interfering lanes at
a crossing including signals to accord and in 15
terrupt right of way over said lanes, means, when
operative, operating to cyclically accord right of
way to the respective lanes for periods of time for
the control of traf?c, said means including a de
vice for predetermining the time of the begin 20
ning and ending of the said periods, a control
station, means including timing mechanism at
said station for sending spaced impulses spaced
cyclically, the said second cyclic operation being
of less duration than the ?rst cyclic operation, 25
and means responsive to said impulses to affect
said device to shorten said periods by advancing
the time of ending of said periods.
2. A signalling system for an intersection of
tra?ic lanes, including signals to accord and in 30
terrupt right of way in said lanes, controller
means operating to cyclically accord right of way
alternately to the respective lanes, said means in
cluding a timing device for determining the time
periods of said accord of right of way, a control 35
station, means including timing mechanism at
said station for sending cyclically spaced impulses, the said second cyclic operation being of
less duration than the ?rst cyclic operation, and
means in said controller responsive to said im~ 40
pulses to a?ect said device to shorten said periods
at a certain point in the cycle of the ?rst cyclic
operation to normally control said ?rst cyclic op
3. In a tra?ic control system for a plurality of 45
intersections of tra?ic lanes having at each in
tersection a signal and controller operating the
same through a cycle for according‘v right of way
successively to such lanes at such intersection,
a central master timer normally operating 50
through a shorter time cycle than the cycle of
said controller for controlling the phase relation
between such controllers and maintaining them
in step with the master time cycle, said master
timer comprising a periodic impulse generator, a 55
step-by-step rotary switch having a plurality of
contact positions and connected to be stepped
periodically and cyclically through such positions
in the master time cycle by said impulse genera
tor, said switch having a plurality of contact 60
banks and cooperating energized wipers, and a
common driving magnet operated by said gen
erator, for operating said wipers in unison from
step to step on said contact banks, each said
controller including timing means operating dur 65
ing a part of its cycle to time accord of right of
way and cause transfer of right of way from one
lane to the next at the end of its timing period,
each bank having a plurality of spaced contacts
arranged to be successively energized by one of 70
said wipers, and means connecting one of said
contacts in each of said banks to a separate one
of said controllers to accelerate the respective
timing means of the several controllers at prede~
termined positions of said switch normally to 75
control the relation of such transfers of right of
waybypsuch controllers to the master time cycle.
4. A signalling system including, in combina
tion, a plurality of signallingameans ,to-be in
stalled:one adjacent each of apluralityofiinter
sections of traffic lanes and adapted/to ‘accord
and interrupt right of ,way in said lanes, a plu
rality of controllers forsaid intersections and
connected each to one of said signalling means
to operate the same through a time cycle to
transfer right of :way alternatelybetween the in
tersecting lanes, impulse responsive means indi
vidual to each controller and adapted onaccord
of right of way to one lane to be operated to cause
15 transfer of right of way to another of the inter
predetermined-state .of charge on the ‘same to
activate said driving means, and control means
adapted vwhen'operated in a part of said con
troller cycle :for connecting said resistance be
tween said. condenser and power leads, and
means forming apart of said .master timing
meansand connected to said controller to oper
ate periodically said control means, and further
means in said controller including a higher re
sistance and normally ‘connected to said con 10
denser to similarly vary the charge on the same
butat a considerably slower rate than said ?rst
named charge‘varying means such that if said
?rst namedcharge varyingmeans fails to oper
, atezthe slower rate chargingmeans will vary the 15
secting lanes by said signal and thereby control
the time cycle of the signal, a ‘master timing
charge on said condenser to the point where said
driving meansis activated.
means connected to all of said controllers and
'7. A signalling system including in combina
tion, signalling means at‘an intersection of traf
?c lanes and adapted to accord and interrupt
right ‘of way in such lanes, a cyclically operat
ing electrically driven controller for operating the
comprising a cyclic step by step. rotary switching
20 device for supplyingimpulses to said impulsere
sponsive means in the several controllersat vdif
ferent predetermined points in its .cycle ,for de
termining the time phase relation of .such trans
fer of right of way by said controllers, said
I25 switching device including a plurality of impulse
units one for each controller to havea different
phase relation with said switching. device, driving
means for stepping said switching device and
impulse units in unison through ‘such cyclepa con
denser, power leads and a resistance connected
to said condenser to vary its charge overanin
terval of time, an electronic :tube 'connected‘to
said condenser and operable'responsive to a pre
determined state of charge on’said condenser to
35 activate-said driving means, :means acting upon
operation of said tube .to ‘reset ‘said condenser
charge, and means'for adjusting said resistance
to vary said time interval and proportionately
vary the time cycle of all said controllers.
signalling means to transfer right of way between
thelanes'periodically at a certain time rat-e, mas~
ter timing means, av single circuit connecting said
master timer to said controller, said master timer
operating cyclically to‘transmit to'said controller
electrical impulses'of different values at differ
ent times over said circuit, means forming a part
of said controller and responsive to only one of
said impulses to cause said controller to operate
more-rapidly through portions of its cycle, and
further means forming a part of said controller
and responsive to the other impulse to cause said
controller to operate more rapidly through an
other portion of its cycle.
8. A traf?c control system for a plurality of
intersections of tra?ic lanes, including in combi
nation right of way signalling means at each in
5. A signalling system, includingiln combina
tion. signalling means-to be :installed adjacent
tersection, traffic actuated means in one of the ,
an intersection of tra?ic lanesand adapted to
lers one at eachintersection and connected to
accord andinterrupt right of way in said;lane's,
a cyclically operating controller for said inter
45 section and connected to said :signalling :means
to control the same,.master timing means con—
nected to said controller to control the .operation
thereof, said controller including -a condenser,
said signalling means and adapted to operate the
power leads and a resistance connectible to said
50 condenser to vary the charge on the same over an
interval of time, a switchingdevice connected to
said signals to operate the same, driving :means
for said switching device, an electronic tube con
nected to said condenser and operabl‘e'responsive
lanes at each intersection, a plurality of control
same through a cycle in which right of way is
accorded alternately to the lanes for time periods, ‘
means forming a part of each said controller and
connected ‘to be operated by actuations of the
traf?c actuated means associated therewith to
prolong the accordof right of way in the lane
of said trai?c actuated means beyond said time
period, means in each said controller to provide
when 'operative'a maximum time limit to such
prolonged :accordof ‘right of way in such lane,
and:a‘:masteri'timerrconnected to all of said con
to activate said driving means, and'control‘means
trollerslfor periodically rendering said maximum
limit=means operative in the several controllers
when operable connecting said ‘resistance be
in .:pre-‘determined.time relation, whereby if traf
to a predetermined state of charge .on the same
tween said condenser and power leads, and
means forming a part of' said master 'timing
60 means to operate periodically said, control means.
?c .ractuation at the respective intersections is
su'?icient'toprolong right of way up to themaxi~
mum limitthe periods of accord of right of Way
6. A signalling system, including in combina
in'the lanes of vthe'tra?ic ‘actuated means will
tion, signalling means to be installed'at an inter
be-maintained‘in pre-determined time phase re
lation ‘at the several intersections.
9. A "traffic control system 'for a plurality of
intersections of "tra?ic-lanes having at each in
tersecti'on‘ signalling means, traf?c actuated
means: in the lanes, a controller connected to said
actuatedameans and to said signalling means for
section of trailic lanes and adapted‘ to accord‘and
interrupt right of way in said lanes,.agcyclically
operating controller for said intersection ‘and
connected to said signalling means to control the
same, master timing means‘connected to said
controller to control the operation thereof, said
controller including a condenser, power leads
70 and a resistance connectible to said condenser to
vary the charge on the same over an interval of
time, a switching device'connected to said sig
nals to operate the same, driving‘means for‘said
switching device, an electronic tube connected
to said condenser and-operable’responsivetoa
operating-said signalling means to transfer and
accord right of Way'to the lanes alternately for 70
time periods in‘response to actuation of said traf
?c‘ actuated-‘means, said time periods being ex
tendable‘v in responseto further actuation in a lane
having right of way, maximum timing means
comprising: a; condenser, means for; charging said 75
condenser at a slow rate and means when con
nected to said condenser responsive to a prede
termined charge on said condenser to limit ex
tension of said time periods, and a master timer
operating for cyclically connecting said respon
sive means to said condenser in each controller
in a predetermined time relation with the others
whereby transfers of right of way occurring by
operation of said maximum timing means at all
10 intersections take place in predetermined time
10. A traffic control system for the intersection
of interfering tra?ic lanes includingsignalling
means adapted to accord and interrupt right of
15 way in the lanes, tra?ic actuated means in the
lanes, a controller connected to said signalling
means and said traffic actuated means and hav
ing alternate signal control positions through
which it is adapted to operate to cause said sig
20 nalling means to accord right of way alternately
in the respective lanes in response to actuation
of the tra?‘ic actuated means, said controller in
cluding a timing device energized in one such
alternate position forv timing such accord of right
of way and prolonging such accord of right of
way responsive to actuation of the tra?'ic actu
ated means during such accord of right of way to
the lane of the latter tra?ic actuated means, cir
cuit means for operating the controller from such
one position to the other to cause the signalling
means to interrupt such accord of right of way 10
when the circuit of said circuit means is com
pleted, a second timing device operating at the
end of a maximum time period in such one po
sition to prepare said circuit for completion and
maintaining said circuit so prepared thereafter 15
while said second timing device remains operated
in such one position, and said system including
a cyclic master timer for periodically completing
said circuit when prepared.
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