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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.