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NOV- 19, 1946.
2,41 1,478
Filed sept. 15, 1944
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
I./ A.
mlWf/M .27 1,
_ Nov. 19, 1946. v
Filed Sept. 15, 1944
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
171a” P. Sui/1 1/07?
:Patenteri Nov.- 19.11946.
r 2,411,418 .
PAT-euro F'F‘ICE
- ‘UNITED...
Alan P. Sullivan, Elizabeth, N. 1.. asslgnor to
‘Cities Service 011 Company, New vYork, N. Y.,
‘ a corporation oi’ Pennsylvania. .:
Application September 15,1944, Serial No.‘ 554,224 -'
11 Clalmm (Cl. 200-6).‘
This invention - relates to electrical circuit
1-1 oiiFi'g'. 6, with certain parts broken my
- switching means, and more particularly to im
- better to show underlying ones; '
provements in multi-position rotary switches.
Fig. 8 is a perspective view of a series of parts
The principal‘ object 01' the invention is to‘ '
r‘ provide a rotary switch which may have two
which'may be assembled to provide a two-deck
circuit closing positions, or many,_and in which
the contacts may be arranged in single pole or
multi-pole disposition, depending only upon the
_ number of substantially identical setsxoi parts
which are disposed in, each deck, and the num
ber of declrs 01' parts which are pancaked to
gether in the final assembly.
_ i
Fig. 9 is a side-view,‘ largely in section, of a
switch assembled from the parts of Fig. 8, and
Fig._10 is a cross-sectional view taken on the
lines _'l0-_-l0 of Fig.- 9.
The devicewhich is illustrated in ‘Figs. 1 to 5
‘inclusive is what is generally known in the art
_ as a singledeck switch having three contact posi
It is a further object of the invent-ion to pro
vide a- multi-position‘rotary switch having its
tions. Referring to these ?gures, it will be seen
that the switch comprises three pairs or ?xed
contacts i8 and i9 which are disposed radially
1 circuit-making and breaking contacts enclosed
within a housing- which is formed by the con
on the ends of a, cylindrical supporting member
tact-supporting and separating insulators, and.
20-, with ‘the inner ends of each pair aligned
in overlapping spaced relation, (Figs. 3' and 4)
which serves to exclude dust and dirt, and to
minimize the eifect of rapidly changingatmos
and with the outer ends of the contacts pro
pheric conditions upon the contacts.
20 jecting beyond the outside surface of the sup
Another object of the invention is to- provide
porting block so as to be readily'accessible for
a‘ switch of this kind in which the ?xedcorr
connection to an electrical circuit. In the fin
tacts extend through the housing in;such fash
,ished switch these contacts are preferably
ion that their outer ends are readily accessible.
clamped in ?xed position by a pair of similar in
for permanent interconnection among themselves 25 sulating spacers 2i and 22, the end plates 23
, or to the conductors of an electrical circuit of
and 24, and suitable bolts or rivets 25. The mov
which they areto form’ parts.
able contact of the device consists of a silver pin
. It is a further object of the invention to pro‘
which is mounted in an insulating drum 2'!
vide a deck switchv which may be made in smaller
in such a position that it may be caused to bridge
sizes than any of the conventional devices' of 30 any one of the pairs of ?xed contacts I8, L9,
this kind having a comparable number of con- .
to close an electrical circuit or which they are
parts, by the rotation of a drum supporting shaft
tact points that arenow available, and the'parts
_ of which may be inexpensively manufactured and
28 in its bearings in the end plates. '
It is generally preferable in a device of this
cheaply assembled inv small manufacturing lots.
‘ The foregoing and other objects of theinven
35 kindto provide detent means which serve to.
tion, as well as its various features, will be bet
ter understood from a consideration ‘of thefol»
hold the movable contact in bridging relation
with any selected pair of ?xed contacts. This
function is served in the illustrated switch by a
lowing description. in the light of the accompany- .
ing drawings, in which
spring arm 29 which :is secured to the rear
Fig. v1 is a perspective view of a series of parts
which may be assembled together‘to provide ‘a
end of drum 2] and shaft .28 by va bolt 30, and
which has a rib 3i in its forward end, overlying
single deck switch;
, _
‘and pressed against. the outer edge of the rear
end plate 24, so thatit may lie in any one of
Fig. 2 is a‘ side view of a switch assembled from
Q the parts of Fig. 1;
the three notches 32 which are formed in the end
45 plate in positions corresponding to those of the
Fig. 3 is a sectional ‘view taken on' the line
3-3 01.’ Fig. 2;.
three pairs of fixed contacts.
Fig. {i is a sectional view taken on the line 4—4
‘ -Fig. 5 is a perspective view, on a much en
larged scale, or a‘ pair 01' the ?xed "contacts of Y
the switch of'Figs. 2 to 4 inclusive; '
. Fig. 6 is a side-view, partly in section, oi‘ a
This switch is adapted to be mounted on a panel
in unconventional fashion. Thus its front end
plate 23 is provided with a stud 34 ‘of such‘ length
50 that it may pass through an opening in the
' supporting panel, and is threaded to receive a
\ modi?ed form of the‘switch of Figs. 1 to 5;
' Fig. 7 is a sectional view taken on the. line 55
conventional locking nut '35 as shown in Fig. 2.
The ?xed contact supporting member 20 (Fig.
1) preferablytakes the form of a short cylinder
of insulating material having -four shallow ra
dial slots 36 in each of its end faces, with the
preferably threaded to receive the threaded ‘ends
slots aligned to receive the ?xed contacts iii-and
. of bolts 25 which of course serve to hold the parts
IS. ‘The depth of the slots at the outer’edge '
in assembled relation.‘
of the support is about equal to the thick-
‘At this stage of the assembly the parts should
ness of the ?xed contacts, and preferably they 5 be held together‘ rather loosely, with bolts 25 not
slope inwardly at a slight angle (Fig. 4) . . This
turned down tight, in order to allow for insertion
ring may be made of any insulating material
of the ?xed contacts I8, l9 in the slots 36 of the
?xed contact-support 20. In ‘carrying out this
which lends itself to easy working, and which’
has su?‘lciently good electric insulating qualities
. operation the contacts are inserted in the slots
and adequate mechanical strength. In the il- 10 with their silvered sides facing each other, and‘
lustrated device it comprises nothing more than a
short section of phenolic resin tubing having
three holes 37 drilled therein to receive the bolts
25, and having the contact receiving slots 36
milled in its end faces.
are pushed in until their inner ends abut body
42 of the drum 21. When this has been done the
contacts are backed‘ oif slightly, to just the extent
which is necessary to allow for a free turn of the
l5v drum.v The assembly of the several parts being
' The ?xed contacts are made of phosphor bronze
now complete, the bolts 25 may be turned down
or other suitable spring metal which preferably
tight to clamp the contacts in the positions thus
has one side silver-coated for better electrical
conduction. Fixed contact l8 comprises a tab of
The ?xed contact support 20 and the two in
the spring material having its outer‘ end turned 20' sulating spacers 2|, 22 are so proportioned as to
back upon itself to form a: hook 38 which serves
thickness that upon assembly in the foregoing
to receive the end of an electrical conductor in ~
fashion the ?xed contacts l8, l9 necessarily over
the ?nished device, and opposite edges turned
lie the opposite sides of flange“ of drum 21,
back slightly at its inner end, as indicated at 39
and are so disposed that movable contact pin 26
(Fig. 5), so that the silvered side of the contact 25 is adapted to wipe between them and spring them
is of slightly dished cross section. ‘Between these
apart slightly to make good electrical contact
end portions, however, the contactissubstantially
with them. In this connection, it will be evi
?at so that it may lie snugly in one of the slots
dent that the turned back edges 39, M of the
3'5. of supporting member 20.
?xed contacts are directed away from each other
The second ?xed contact I9 is preferably some- 30 in the ?nished unit (Figs. 4 and 5) so that these
' what longer than the ?rst one, and has a hole
40 formed in its ?at outer end to facilitate the
attachment of an electrical conductor. The‘ inner
end of this contact is also turned up slightly along
edges are spaced slightly farther apart than their
center sections. This arrangement‘ assures that‘
movable contact pin 26 will sweep between the
irmer ends of ?xed contacts in the operation of
its edges as indicated at M, in a direction away 35 the switch and will not catch against their edges.
from the silvered side, precisely as was the end
It will also be noted (Figs. 2 and fl) that the
of the ?rst contact.’
hooked ends 38 of ?xed contacts i8 face. toward -
The rotating drum 2? serves primarily'to supsupporting ring 20 so that each of them forms a
port the movable contact in properly spaced relasmall pocket into which the end of an electrical
tion to the ?xed contacts i8, i9, and to insulate 4° conductor may readily be inserted and soldered
it from the ‘shaft and other parts. It may ac- -
in place. The outer ends of the other ?xed con
coljdingly be made of any Suitable insulating material such as phenolic resin. As here shown, the
tacts I9, which were purposely made somewhat
longer than contacts l8, extend well beyond the
drum has a body portion 42 (Fig. 4) with an up-
. outer surface of supporting ring 2!) so that they
standing peripheral ?ange d3 which is of such 45 are readily accessible for the soldering on of elec
thickness as to be capable of passing between the
trical conductors without interference with ?xed
inner ends of the spaced pairsv of ?xed contacts
contacts l8.
l8, I9. The movable contact pin 26 is preferably
It is a feature of this switch (Fig. 4) that the
made of pure silver, and extends crosswise of this‘
inner ends of the ?xed contacts 83, i9, and of
?ange, being secured in position either by fric- 50 course the entire movable contact 26, lie wholly
tion alone or more permanently by having its ' ‘within a closed housing which is formed by the
opposite ends slightly upset. ‘ A second peripheral
support 20, spacers 2 i, 22, and the two end plates
I ?ange 44 is formed on the body of the drum in
23 and 24. While the housing is not gas proof,
such position that it may abut against the rear
the openings around the shaft are so small that
end plate 24 in the ?nished device. Other con- 55 rapid changes in atmospheric conditions are not -
structional details of this drum and of various
quickly transmitted to the interior of the switch,
other parts of the switch assembly will be readand little dust can enter through them. The
ily apparent from Figs. 1 to 5, and will be conswitch is therefore substantially dust-proof, and
sidered in somewhat greater detail hereinafter.
little or no trouble is occasioned by the entry of
' In assembling the switch, the drum 21 is ?tted 6e dirt and other matter to foul the contact points.
on shaft 28 with its. rear .end ?ush with the rear
It will readily be evident that the structure
end of the shaft. The rear end plate 24 is then
is not limited to a three-position switch of the
applied over the end of the drum until its inner
kind heretofore described. If fewer contacts are
face abuts against ?ange 44, and these several
wanted, then all that is needed is a ?xed contact
parts are held in assembled relation by a collar 65 supporting ‘member 20 having correspondingly 45, which also serves to con?ne the inner end of
fewer contact receiving slots 36. On the other
the detent spring 30, and by bolt 29.
Y ‘
hand, where more than three circuit closing posi— ,
In the next stage of the assembly, front end
tions are required, it is only necessary to use a
plate 23, insulating spacer 2i, ?xed contact sup-
supporting ring having an appropriately larger
port 20, and insulating spacer 22, are sandwiched 70 number of radial slots and a corresponding num
together in that order as shown in Figs. 1 to 4,
her of pairs of ?xed contacts, in assembling the
and are ?tted over drum 2'! and shaft. 28 with
switch.- Such a switch is illustrated in Figs. 6
the holes 46, 41, 31, and QB in these several eleand 7, where it will be seen that the ring 20a
ments aligned with each other and with the holes
has slots for receiving nine pairs of ?xed con
49 in the rear end plate 23. The latter holes are 75 tacts, and that the rear plate 24a is provided
with nine detent notches 32a. each of which is
aligned with one of the pairs of ?xed contacts,
In all of the foregoing switches it will be noted
that an insulating spacer 2 l , 22 has been employed
"a, Isa. The spacer rings Ha, Ha, movable . between
each end plate 25, 28 and the adjacent
contact 26a, drum ‘21a, and other parts of this
supporting member 23. Where the
switch are, however, identical with the like parts 6
switch is to be made up in small manufacturing
of Figs. 1 to 5 inclusive, and the assembly \of
lots this practice has some advantage in that
these parts may be carried out in the general
the end plates may be simple screw machine
manner heretofore described.
The switches which have been described above I
each include but a single ?xed contact support,
and are what are known as "single deck” assem
blies. In many cases more than one deck of ?xed
parts and the spacers may be cut from standard
forms of insulated tubing. If desired, however,
these spacers may be formed integrally with the
end plates, which can be synthetic resin castings
or die cast metal parts. In the former case, of
course, the end plates constitute their own insu
lation while in the latter, the metal end plates
may be lnsulated'from the ?xed contacts by any
contacts is required in order to provide for com
plicated circuit connections. The switch of the
present invention lends itself readily to multi
decking, of which one example is shown in Figs.
conventional means.
8 to 10 inclusive. In this unit two ?xed contact
Since certain changes may be made in the illus
members MD are employed, each having three
trated and preferred embodiments of. the inven
sets of contact receiving slots 3612, with the rings
insulated one from another by a spacer 21b. This 20 tion, it is intended that the foregoing shall be
construed in a descriptive, rather than a limited
‘spacer, and that between the ?rst ?xed contact
support and front end plate 23!) may be identical
I claim:
with spacer 2| of Fig. l; and spacer 22b, which
1. A multi-position switch comprising a cylin
separates the second ?xed contact support from
supporting member of insulating material '1
the rear end plate 24?) may be identical with
spacer 22 of Fig. 1.-
having radially directed slots formed in its end
faces with each slot in one face lying opposite
Drum 21b is generally similar to that of Figs. 1
slot in the other face; a plurality of ?xed con
to 4, except insofar as it is provided with an
tacts, each disposed in one of said slots, said con
additional movable contact 26b,_and in that the
two movable contact pins are mounted in lugs 30 tacts being arranged in opposingpairs with their
inner endsaprojeoting from the inner cylindrical
50 which extend only part of the way around
wall of said supporting member and lying in
body 42b, and that a similar lug 5| has been sub?
overlapping spaced relation, and with their outer
stituted for the abutment ?ange ll of Fig. 1.
ends adapted for connection to an electrical cir
It will be perfectly evident, however, that periph
cuit; a rotatable shaft extending centrally
eral ?anges, such as 43 and 44 (Fig. 1), maybe
through said supporting member; Journal means
employed instead of the lugs where that is
said shaft; a movable contact carried by said
desired; and contrariwise, that lugs comparable
shaft, said movable contact being so disposed that
to SI and SI may be-employed in the switch of
it may be caused by rotation of said shaft to
Figs. 1 to 5, in lieu of the continuous ?anges
any one of said pairs of ?xed contacts;_
l3 and II there shown.
(0 and means
for holding said contacts in assem-"
In the assembled device (Fig. 9) entire reliance
_ bled relation.
is not placed upon lug 5| to hold the shaft against
2. A multi-position rotary switch comprising a
axial movement. Part of this function is per
?xed contact supporting member of generally cy
formed by a pin 52, which is secured to shaft 28b
lindrical proportions, said member having a plu
and abuts against the forward end of the stud‘
rality of radially directed slots formed in substan
portion “b of front plate 23b, This pin serves
tially aligned relation in its opposite end sur
the further function of limiting rotation of the.
faces ; a plurality of ?xed contact elements, each
shaft by contact with abutments 53 which is
disposed in one of said slots and projecting into
formed by cutting away part of the end of stud
“b as is shown in Figs.v B and 9. If desired, of 50 the bore of said member, the inner ends of the
?xed contact elements at one end of said member
course, the abutment may be omitted, and pin ?ll
lying in overlapping spaced relation to the corre
extended so that it projects completely ‘through
sponding portions of the contact elements located
supporting shaft, in which case the switch may
at the other end thereof; a pair of end plates cov
be shifted between. any two sets of contacts by
the ends of said member and being adapted
the rotationof the shaft in either direction.
to clamp said contacts in ?xed relation; means
Obviously, too, lug 5| may be replaced by a
for securing said end plates and supporting mem
?ange comparable to N of Fig. 1 in which case
ber together; a shaft extending through the bore
pin 53 may be omitted.
. of said member, and being Journaled in said end
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art
plates; and a movable contact element carried
that the switch may be assembled from common
by said shaft, said movable contact being so dis
_ parts having a single deck or two decks as shown,
posed that it may be caused by rotation of said
or, that one or more additional decks may be
shaft to bridge any opposing pair of ?xed con
included, and that the drum may be provided with
to close an electrical circuit of which they
additional movable contact pins 26 to match the
are parts.
added decks. Again, it will be evident that the’
number of pairs of fixed contacts which are
included in any deck may be more or fewer than
3. A multi-position rotary switch according to
claim 2 characterized in that said supporting
member and said end plates form a substantially
closed housing which is adapted to exclude dust
those shown; and that both the ?xed and mov
able contacts may be inter-connected in accord
and dirt from the inner ends of said ?xed con
ance with conventional switching practice to pro 70 tacts.
vide almost any combination with may be required
4. A multi-position rotary switch according to
for complete circuit control. Further, it will be
claim 2 characterized in that the'outer ends of
appreciated that the detent spring 30 may be
said ?xed contacts project from the outer cylin
omitted entirely, or that some other form of
drical wall of said member for connection to an
detent may be employed.
76 electrical circuit; and in that said supporting
ering the ends of said member; and means for
member and said end plates form a substantially
closed housing which is adapted to exclude dust
and dirt from the inner ends of said ?xed con
securing said end plates and. member together
ments each disposed in a slot in one of said mem
bers with the inner ends of the elements at one
approximately equals the minimum depth of said
slots,_said elements being adapted to be inserted
ing one such contact for each supporting mem- -
trally through said supporting member; journal
and» for clamping said contacts in ?xed position;
each of said ?xed contacts being substantially
?at between its ends and being adapted to be
5. A multi-position rotary switch according to
inserted in said slots after said member and end
claim 2 further characterized by the provision of
plates have been assembled.
a'drum secured to said shaft and con?ned within
9. A ?xed contact assembly for a rotary switch
the bore of said member by said end plates; and
comprising a contact supporting member of gen
in that said movable contact element comprises
a pin which is secured to said drum with its ends 10 erally cylindrical proportions, said member hav
ing radially directed slots formed in aligned re
adapted to sweep between and in- contact with
lation in its opposite end surfaces; a pair of in
the inner ends of opposing ones of said ?xed con
sulating spacers of generally cylindrical propor
tact elements.
tions covering the end surfaces of said member;
6. A rotary switch comprising a plurality of
a pair of end plates; means for securing said
substantially identical ?xed contact supporting
member, spacers and end plates together in
members, of generally cylindrical proportions,
aligned relation; and a plurality of ?xed contact
each said member having radially directed slots
elements, said elements being substantially ?at
formed in substantially aligned relation in its op
between their ends and of a thickness which
posite end faces; a plurality of ?xed contact ele
in said slots after the assembly of said member,
end of each member lying in overlapping spaced
spacers, and said end plates.
relation to the inner ends of the elements at the
10. A multi-position-switch comprising a cy
other end of that member; said members being
disposed in aligned relation, an insulating spacer 25 lindrical supporting member of insulating ma
terial; a plurality of ?xed contacts disposed in
of generally cylindrical proportions‘ separating
arcuately spaced relation upon the opposite ends
said members; a pair of end plates covering the
of said supporting member, said'contacts being
ends of said members and being adapted to clamp
arranged radially in opposing pairs with the in~
said contact elements in ?xed relation; means for
securing said end plates, said members and said 30 ner ends of each pair projecting from the inner
cylindrical wall of said member and lying in
spacer together; a shaft extending through the
overlapped spaced-apart relation, and with their
bore of .said members and spacer; and being
outer ends adapted for connection to an elec
journaled in said end plates; and a plurality of
trical circuit; a rotatable shaft extending cen
movable contacts carried by said shaft, there be
ber; each movable contact being so disposedwith
respect to one of said supporting members that
it may be caused by a rotation of said shaft to
bridge any opposing pair of .?xed contacts carried
by that member.
7. A rotaryswitch according to claim 6 char
acterized in that said ?xed contact supporting
members, said spacer and said end plates form a
substantially closed housing which is adapted to
exclude dust and dirt from the inner ends of
said ?xed contacts.
8. A ?xed contact assembly for a rotary switch
comprising a contact supporting member of gen
erally cylindrical proportions, said member hav
ing radially directed slots formed in aligned re
lation in its opposite end faces; a plurality of
?xed contact elements, each disposed in one of
said slots with its inner end projecting into the
bore of said member and lying in overlapping
spaced relation to the end of the contact in the
opposing slot; said contacts being of a thickness
which is approximately equal to the depth of the
shallowest parts of said slots; end plates cov
means for said shaft; a movable contact carried
by said shaft and so disposed that it may be
caused by rotation of said shaft to bridge any
one of said pairs of ?xed contacts; and means
40 for holding said contacts in assembled relation.
11. A ?xed contact assembly for a rotary
switch comprising a contact-supporting member
of generally cylindrical proportions; an insulat
ing spacer of generally cylindrical proportions
45 covering an end surface of said member, the
abutting end surfaces of said spacers and said
supporting member de?ning a plurality of radi
ally directed and arcuately spaced slots; 2. pair
of end plates; means for securing said member,
50 spacer, and end plates together in aligned rela-_
tion; and a plurality of ?xed contact elements,
said elements being substantially ?at between
their ends and of a thickness which approxi
mately equals the minimum depth of said slots,
55 said elements being adapted to be inserted in
said slots after the assembly of said member
spacers and said end plates.
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