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Nov. 5, 1946.
J. M. BRADY
2,410,421
SOLAR OPERATED ELECTRIC SWITCH
Filed Nov. 27, 1945
HHH
Il
FIG. I
IN VEN TOR.
JAMES M. BRADY
2,410,421
Patented Nov. 5, 1946
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
2,410,421
SOLAR OPERATED ELECTRIC SWITCH
James M. Brady, Washington, D. C.
Application November 27, 1943, Serial No. 511,927
13 Claims.
(Cl. 20o-138)
(Granted under the act of March 3, 1883, as
amended April 30, 1928; 370 O. G. 757)
1
The invention described herein may be manu
factured and used by or for the Government for
governmental purposes, without the payment to
me of any royalty thereon.
My invention relates to solar operated time sig
nal devices and more particularly to solar oper
ated time signal devices for setting the hands
of clocks.
In order, over a period of time, to maintainthe
2
of the various stations is disruptive to intelligible
reception.
Inasmuch as automatic weather stations are
unattended for prolonged periods, it is desirable
to have a system installed for the resetting of
the clocks, but because the stations may be iso
lated and a considerable distance from the cen
tral receiving station, a wire network system car
rying pulses from a standard clock, of the type
accuracy of clocks operated by spring mecha 10 previously described, is not feasible.
It is, therefore, an object of my invention to
nisms, it is necessary, because of the mechanical
provide a solar operated time signal device for
limitations of such instruments to realign pe
sending an electric current to the reset mecha
riodically the hands of the clocks in accordance
nism oi a clock, which may be disposed in the
with the setting of a standard clock or the time
signals derived from a, standard clock. Unless 15 immediate vicinity of the clock.
Another object of my invention is to provide a
such resetting is performed a deviation will ap
solar operated time signal device which is re
pear >in the clock setting which in time becomes
sponsive only to the heat rays of the sun and is
progressively greater.
`
-
not affected by ambient temperature.
In clocks actuated by synchronous electric mo
tors, the accuracy of the clock is contingent upon 20 A further object of my invention is to provide
a solar operated timing device which is simple in
the electric power source. Deviations in the set
construction and operation.
tings will result because of intermittent current
It is known that by the use of sun dial, the -time
interruptions in the power line and the clock
of day may be determined by observing the shadow
must be reset to restore the proper time indica
25 thrown by a style onto a calibrated dial as the
tion.
sun traverses its daily transit. If, however, a
The need for individual and manual resetting
heat senstive device is so oriented and shielded,
of clocks has been obviated by the use of elec
that it is responsive to the heat of the sun’s rays
trically operated resetting mechanism, as exem
only at a particular instant during the course of
pliñed in clocks of the Western Union type, which
are periodically reset by electric current pulses 30 the day, this device if made to close an electrical
circuit, may be applied to actuate the electrical
conveyed over wires to reset mechanisms incor
reset mechanism of a clock.
porated in the clock structure. The timing of
Accordingly, I have provided a cylinder having
- these current pulses is governed by a standard
a lens disposed at one end thereof which gathers
clock situated at a central station and by the
and focuses the sun’s rays to a point on the other
use of a Wire network a plurality of such clocks
end of the tube. A bimetallic switch is located at
may be synchronously regulated.
,
the focal point of the lens, which comprises two
Clocks may be so situated, however, that it is
bimetallic
elements having cooperating electrical
difficult or impractical to feed over wires the cur
contacts connected thereon. The elements are
rent pulses needed to operate the resetting
40 exposed to the rays of the sun and are arranged
mechanism of the clock.
to operate in a differential manner so that only
For example, in "programming clocks” em
when the rays impinge on one of the elements
ployed in conjunction with automatic weather
will the -contacts meet. Thus, the switch will not
`stations for the purpose of timing and electrically
switching the radio transmission of meteorol
ogical data, it is of importance to maintain the
accuracy of these clocks. Otherwise, in prepar
ing to receive the transmitted data at a point re
mote from the station, at what is believed to be
program time, it may be found that the trans
mission is already in progress or that it has either
transpired or been delayed.` Where it is intended
to receive the data of a group of weather sta
tions in a predetermined time sequence, the lack
respond to ambient temperature variations since
' such variations -affect both elements equally. The
tube is held on an adjustable mount permitting
orientation in any chosen position in respect to
the transit of the sun, hence causing the switch
to close at any specific, predetermined interval
of time. The closed switch connects an electrical
power source to the reset mechanism of the clock,
thereby resetting it.
The novel features that I consider character
istic of my invention are set forth with particu
of synchronism among the programming clocks 55 larity in the appended claims. The invention,
2,410,421
3
4
however, both as to its organization and its methe
to the ends of the elements 2| and 22 and serve
as the terminals or" the switch. At the ends of the
bimetallio elements 2| and 22 opposite to that
containing the terminals are mounted the switch
ing contacts 29 and 39, contact 29 being directly
ods of operationy together with additional objects
and advantages »thereof will be understood from
the following description of a specific embodi
ment when read in connection with the accom
panying drawing in which:
attached to element 22 while contact 30 is at
Figure 1 is a longitudinal section showing an
tached to a spring arm 3I which is 'secured to
embodiment of my invention.
Figure 2 is a plan view one of the baiiies disposed in the cylinder shown in Figure l.
Figure 3 illustrates one of the other elements
bushing 32 mounted on element 2I.
Adjusting screw 34 is provided for the purpose
of varying the initial spacing between the con
tacts 28 and 29 thereby permitting adjustment
of the switch to any desired sensitivity.
of Figure 1 namely the bimetallic switch, Figure
3A being a plan view and Figure 3B being an
When the bimetallic switch is not acted upon
end view.
Referring to the drawing and more particularly
to Figure 1, a hollow cylinder IIJ, made of brass
or similar material, has its interior surface black
by the sun’s rays, ambient temperature changes
will cause the elements 2l and 22 to flex to a de
gree and in a direction relative to the tempera
ture. However, since both elements are identical
ened and one end threaded to receive a metal
and flex to the same degree and in the same direc
sleeve II which is similarly threaded’along its
tion. the spacing between the contact points 23
inner surface. A convex lens I2 is secured to one 20 and 29 will remain undisturbed and at a distance
end of sleeve II and by rotating sleeve I I, the
point of focus of lens I2 may be readily adjusted.
initially set by adjusting screw 34.
The insulation strip 23 is pro-vided with a slot
Disposed along the longitudinal axis of the
33 (shown in dotted lines) which allows the solar
cylinder are a plurality of disc shaped bañles I3,
radiation to penetrate and fall upon elements
I4, I5, and I6 the planes of which are normal 25 2l and 22, The length of the slot 33 is such as
to the longitudinal axis. The baiiies are provided
to allow for variations in the sun’s inclination
with elongated orifices the size of which becomes
day by day. The switch is mounted on the tube
progressively smaller so that the baffle I6 at
so that the 'slot 33 coincides in position with the
the end of the cylinder opposite to that carrying
orifice in baille I6.
the lens I2 has an oriñce in the form of a nar
row slit.
30
Fixedly secured to the baliie Iii is a binietallic
switch I‘I (to be described in detail in connection
with Figure 3), inclosed in a metal housing 3è.
The switch is connected in series with battery
In operation the radiation in the form of a spot
falls ñrst upon element 2 Ii, which heats and bends
bringing contact 28 to bear `upon contact 29,
thereby closing the switch and operating the reset
mechanism as described in connection with Fig
ure 1. When the spot, which moves with the ap
I8 which provides the operating voltage for the
parent motion of the sun, falls upc-n element 22,
resetting mechanism (not shown) housed in clock
the element will bend in the same »direction es
I9. The cylinder I0 is positioned in respect to the
element 2I had moved previously thereby drawing
sun by any suitable means, as for example, a
contact 29 away from contact 2S and opening the
mounted ball and socket swivel (not shown) at 40 switch.
tached to the cylinder, thereby permitting any
It is desirable to make the period during which
desired orientation.
the switch is closed as brief as possible. rIhis
In operation, the rays of the sun 2D -strike the
may be attained by placing the elements 2l and
convex lens I2 at a time of day determined by
22 in close proximity. Since the angle subtended
the orientation of vthe tube and are converged
by the disc of the sun at a point on the earth’s
and brought to a focus at the bimetallic switch
surface is one half of a degree `and the earth
'Il disposed at the opposite end of the cylinder
I0. The baiiies function to restrict the solar rays
to a `conical path thereby preventing the possibil
ity of reiiection from the interior surface of the ~
tube. The switch is operated by the sun’s heat
and the battery voltage is applied to the reset
mechanism in the clocl; which adjusts the hands
of the clock to a position in accordance with the
time signal device.
Figure 2 shows a plan view of one of the baffles
which is provided with an elongated oriiice. The
makes rone complete revolution in 24 hours, the
sun will cross the 1/¿ degree angle ‘in two minutes.
By disposing "the elements ‘2l` and 22 a sixteenth
of an inch apart >the timing interval becomes less
than one minute duration.
The local current to set the clock will be con
trolled by the time signal device once per 24» hours
unless several such devices are employed. Since
the deviation of a well constructed clock during a
daily period is not appreciable, such a device even
dimensions of the oriñce are such as to‘allow for
if made occasionally inoperative by clouds ob
the vertical variation over a period of time in the
scuring the sun, is sufficient to meet most clock
inclination of the sun’s rays but to restrict their 60 requirements.
lateral movement in the tube.
Although I have shown and described a specific
Figure 3 shows the details of the bimetallic
embodiment of my invention, I do not desire to
switch, 3A being a plan View and 3B being an end
be limited thereto, as various other modifications
view. The corresponding parts in both Yfigures
3A and 3B are numbered identically.
The elements 2l ‘and 22 are identical each
being composed of a sandwich of two thin strips
of `metals having disparate thermal coeiiicie‘nts.
The elements are mounted on an’insulating strip
23, which in turn is mounted upon a base 211, thus
elevating vthe bimetallic elements 2I and 22 from
the base 24 and permitting vertical 4movement
of the same may be made 4without departing from
the spirit and scope of theiappended claims,
I claim:
1. A‘solar operated time signal device compris
ing in combination, a light converging lens means,
a heat responsive electrical switch dispo-sed sub
stantially at the focal point of «said lens means,
a source of `electrical energy controlled by said
switch, ‘said lens and said switch being ‘adapted
toward or‘away from the base 24.
to be positioned in a plane intersecting the'tra‘n
The elements 2| and 22 are pivoted by screws 25
sit
of the sun at any desired point thereon, and
and 26 respectively. Lugs 21 and 28 are secured 75
means for light shielding said switch whereby it
2,410,421
5
whereby said switch may be actuated when the
is responsive at the instant the sun is positioned
at said point.
sun reaches a desired point’of its transit.
'
. 8,. In anelectrical switching means responsive
~l A.2. A solar operated time signal device compris
toa moving light source, the combination includ
'ing> in. combination an elongated housing,> said
A'housing being disposed in a plane intersecting the Ul ing two substantially identical bimetallic heat re
sponsive elements provided with electrical con
transit of the sun at any desired point thereon,
tacts spaced from each other when both of the
a ray concentrating lens means disposed at one
elements aforesaid are subjected to like tempera
end of 'said housing, a heat responsive electrical
ture, the said contacts being caused to engage
>switch disposed within said housing substantially
each other when the temperature of one of said
at the focal point of said lens means whereby said
elements is raised and to again separate when
yswitch is responsive at the moment the sun
the temperature of the second of said elements is
-reaches said point in its transit. _
raised; means to direct heat from said moving
3. A solar operated time signal device compris
light source only upon the first of said contacts
ing in combination a substantially cylindrical
when the said source is in a predetermined posi
housing, said housing being adapted to be' posi
tion relative to the said switching means and to
4tioned in a plane intersecting the transit of the
direct light only upon the second of said' elements
`sun to any desired point thereon,.a ray converg
when the said source is in a second predetermined
ing lens means disposed at one end of said hous
position.
1
>
ing, means for adjusting the point of focus of said
9. A heat responsive electrical switch compris
lens means, a heat responsive electrical switch 20 ing a base; a pair o-f heat responsive bimetallic
disposed within said housing at substantially the
focal point of said lens means whereby it is re
sponsive at the moment the sun reaches said
' point in its transit.
4. The combination in apparatus for deriving
electrical time signals from solar energy corn->
prising a heat responsive electrical switch and
shielding means arranged to expose said switch
at a single point in the transit of the sun whereby
said switch operates when the sun occupies said
point.
elements, disposed substantially parallel to each
.other and each secured at one end to the said
base; a contact secured to the free end of each
of said elements, the free ends of said elements
being adapted to move simultaneously in one
direction with increases in ambient temperature
and simultaneously in the other direction with
decreases in ambient temperature, so that under
30 like temperatures the contacts are at all times
spaced from each other a substantially equal
amount; said contacts moving toward each other
5. A solar-operated time signal device com
and into engagement upon raising the tempera
prising in combination, a cylinder adapted to be
ture of one of said elements higher than that of
positioned in a plane intersecting the transit of
other, and said contacts moving away from
the sun at any desired point thereof, a light 35 the
each other and out of engagement when the sec
converging lens disposed at one end of said cyl
ond element is subjected to a temperature higher
inder, a heat responsive electrical switch disposed
than the first element; and means to subject said
within said cylinder at the focal point of said
elements alternately to a higher temperature; so
lens, a plurality of baiñes coaxially disposed in
that irrespective of changes in ambient temper
spaced relationship within said cylinder, said baf
atures the two. contacts will remain out of en
fles having centrally located elongated oriñces of
progressively smaller size, the baille having the
largest orifice being disposed adjacent Vto said
lens and the bañie having the smallest orifice
being disposed adjacent to said switch, and a
source of electrical energy controlled by said
switch.
`
6. The combination in a heat responsive elec
trical switch insensitive to ambient temperature
gagement, but upon subjecting only one element
to a higher temperature electrical engagement
between the contacts will take -place and upon
subjecting only the other element to a, higher
temperature the said contacts will move out of
electrical engagement.
l0. A solar operated electrical switching de
vice comprising an elongated tube; provided with
a light converging lens means; a heat responsive
. comprising a pair of identical bimetallic elements 50
arranged to fiex in the same direction in response
to heat, a first electrical contact aiiixed to one of
said elements, a second electrical contact añixed
to said other element superposed in spaced rela
tionship with said first contact, means for suc
cessively directing heat to one of said elements
whereby said contacts connect and then to the
other of said elements whereby said contacts
separate.
switch, positioned substantially at the focal point
of said lens means, said switch being provided
with an elongated bimetallic electrical engaging
element and a similar disengaging element, said
elements being disposed in substantially mutually
parallel relationship; an electrical contact on
each of said elements; said elements being sim
ilarly oriented so as to move simultaneously in
the same direction when both are subjected to
equal decreases of temperature and to move si
'7. A solar operated time signal device com 60 multaneously in the opposite direction when both
prising in combination an elongated tubular
are subjected to equal increases in temperature;
housing adapted to be positioned in a plane in
the electrical engaging element being adapted to
tersecting the transit of the sun at any desiredl
move toward the electrical disengaging _element
point thereof; light converging lens means dis.
posed atone end of said housing; a heat respon 65 when the former is subjected to a higher temper
ature than the latter, and the latter being adapt
sive electrical switch disposed within said hous
ed to disengage itself from the former when the
ing substantially at the focal point of said lens
latter is subjected to a higher temperature than
means; a plurality of baflles coaxially disposed in
the former; means to concentrate the rays of the
spaced relationship within said housing, said baf
fles having centrally located elongated oriñces of 70 sun on the electrical engaging element when the
progressively smaller size, the baffle having the
largest orifice being disposed adjacent said lens
sun is in one position so as to cause the two con
tacts to engage each other and to concentrate the
sun’s rays on the other element when the sun is
means and the ballie having the smallest orifice
in another position so as to cause disengagement
being disposed adjacent said switch; and a source
of electrical energy controlled by said switch; 75 of said contacts.
7
2,410,421
11. A heat responsive switch comprisingl `a
base; an insulating strip secured thereto: two
similarly oriented' bimetallic elements secured to
the insulating strip at one end and spaced from
the base at the other; a contact `secured to one
of 'said elements; a second contact normally
spaced from said ñrst contact 'secured to the free
end of the second element so that when both of
said elements are subjected to the same tempera
ture, the contacts will be .spaced from each other,
the vfree ends ‘of the two elements moving simul
taneouslyin one direction with increases in tem
.perature of both elements and simultaneously in
the ‘opposite direction with decreases in temper
lic elements individually to increased tempera.
tures.
13. A solar operated time signal device com
prising _an elongated hollow casing; a ray con
verging lens means at one end thereof; a heat
responsive electrical switch at the other end
thereof; a plurality. of spaced baffles positioned
across said casing and intermediate said lens
means and switch, said baffles, starting with the
baille nearest the lens means, having elongated
Aorifices of progressively smaller size, said elon»
gated orifices being oriented so lthat their long
diameters are mutually parallel and are in the
ature of both elements, one element moving so as 15
same planeysaid casing being substantially light
proof except through the lens means; said casing
second element moving so as to cause disengage
axes `ofthe orifices aforesaid are in a plane which
intersects the transit of the sun at a particular
‘to cause engagement between the two contacts
when said element >alone is subjected to a higher
temperature than the second element and the
being adapted to be positioned so that the long
ment of the contacts when said element alone is 20 point thereof; whereby the electrical switch may
be subjected to the sun’s rays at the same instant
subjected to an increase in temperature.
each day for aiplurality 0f days.
12. 'I'he combination set forth in claim 11,
wherein there are means to ‘subject the bimetal
JAMES M. BRADY.
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