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Dec. 17, 1946.
Filed April" 1e, 1943
Haq/wf P 64556K
Patented Dee. 17, 1946
Frank P. Gasser, Bever] y Farms, Massi, assigner
to Gasard Patents Inc
poration of New York ., New York, N. Y., a cor
Application April 16, 1943, Serial No. 483,253
4 Claims.
(Cl. ZOO-122)
This invention relates to starting switches for
electric discharge lamps. More particularly the
tacts is carried by a bimetallic element.
shown a fluorescent electric discharge tube I0 of
a standard type comprising an elongated pellucid
vitreous envelope I2 which is internally coated
with a suitable luminescent composition, such as
size, the starting contacts may be rapidly opened
invention pertains to a switch of the character
described in which at least one of a pair of con
a mixture of phosphors. The tube is ñlled with a
Fixtures for fluorescent electric discharge
gaseous ionizable medium at a proper pressure,
lamps are usually provided with sockets for start
the ends are sealed off. Two spaced i'ilamentary
ing switches. These sockets are so arranged in
electrodes I4 are enclosed within the tube. These
the fixtures that both the diameter and height of
the switches are limited to small dimensions. As 10 electrodes may be fashioned from or coated with
material which will emit electrons when raised
a result, much dimculty has been experienced in
to an elevated temperature of or approaching in
so designing the switches that, despite their small
Said tube IIJ is of a type adapted to be used in
a ñxture and with an electric supply and starting
circuit requiring the use of a four-terminal
starting switch such as the switch I6 which em
after the lamp ñlaments have been raised to in
candescence in order to quench sparking more
rapidly and obtain a maximum surge voltage.
Another difficulty has been that the distance
between the bimetallic strip and the heating
means therefor changed during operation of the
switch and adversely affected the heat transfer.
Heretofore, complicated conñgurations of the
strip have been resorted to for overcoming such
diii‘ìculty, but these conñgurations have consid
erably increased the manufacturing and assem
bly costs of the switches.
bodies my invention. One of the electrodes I4 is
connected to a terminal I8 of a power source, such
as an alternating current line, through a lead-in
wire 20, in which there is series-connected a
standard, manually operated switch 22 and a bal
last reactor 24. The other power terminal 26 is
connected by a lead-wire 28 to one terminal 38 of
my improved starting switch. The diametrically
improved switch of the character described in
opposite terminal 32 of said switch is connected
by a lead-Wire 34 to the other electrode I4 of the
which the bimetallic element is so shaped and
the heating means so constructed and arranged
relative to the bimetallic element that the con
lyopposed pair of switch terminals 36, 38 are con
nected across the other ends of the electrodes I4
It is an object of my invention to provide an
discharge lamp. The remaining two diametrical
Another object of my invention is ‘to provide a
switch of the character described which com
prises relatively few and simple parts, is easily -»
fabricated, durable and e?ncient to a high degree.
Other objects of this invention will in part be
obvious and in part hereinafter pointed out.
The invention, accordingly, consists in the fea
tures of construction, combinations of elements,
and arrangement of parts which will be exem
The starting switch I6 comprises a base disc 44
of insulating material from which the terminals
shown). A tubular shell 46 cooperates with the
shown one of the various possible embodiments of
the lamp, insofar as they have been above de
scribed, are conventional and that other standard
supply and starting circuits and other starting
switches embodying my invention may be em
These terminals, as well as the
terminals 30, 32, are adapted to be detachably re
ceived in a conventional starting socket (not
and of which the scope of application will be in
In the accompanying drawing, in which is
circuit, starting circuit, and starting switch for
40 36, 38 project.
pliñed in the construction hereinafter described,
dicated in the appended claims.
by lead-wires 40, 42.
It may be mentioned that the current supply
without aiïecting heat transfer.
this invention.
Fig. 1 is a schematic circuit diagram for a fluo
rescent electric discharge lamp with the starter
a to provide an enclosure for the opera
A conductor wire 48
connected to the terminal 3G projects upwardly
from the base 44 inside of the shell 45. A similar
ly disposed conductor wire 5D is connected to the
terminal 38. Said two wires have angularly dis
switch embodying my invention shown in per 50
Fig. 2 is Ya sectional view of the switch taken
substantially along the line 2-»2 in Fig. 1; and
posed portions 52, 54 received in apertures in a
partition 56 of insulating material in such man
ner as .to support said partition vertically in the
, Fig. 3 is a top plan view of said switch.
Referring now to .the drawing, I have there '
as a drop of solder (not shown), adhered on the
shell 46. Any suitable means, such, for example,
angularly disposed wire portions 52, 54, may be
Although any suitable heating means may be
employed to rigidly i'lx the partition. Vertical
employed with the bimetallic strip A to effect
extensions 58, 60 of the conductor wires 48, 50 on
the foregoing operation, I prefer to employ a
the other Vside of the partition 56 may serve to
receive the operative elements of the switch.
In accordance with my invention, said opera
tive elements comprise two contacts 52, S3 which
may consist of horizontally arranged electrically
conductive heavy metal wire elements which af
ford large contact areas and are thus capable of
opening a great number of times before they
become pitted.
In the illustrated form of my invention, the
two contacts 52, 53 are closed when the hand
switch 22 is open. It will be understood, however,
that when my invention is embodied in other
types of switches, these contacts may be disposed
in spaced relationship when the hand switch is
heating means which is so constructed that it
can be maintained in close and constant heating
transfer relationship to the leg 66 of said bi
metallic strip. One such heating means com
prises a helical resistance wire heating coil 1D
encircling and running llongitudinally of said
leg 66. One end of the heating coil is welded
to a short vertical conductor wire l2 electrically
connected to the terminal 32. The other end
of the heating coil is connected to a similar con
ductor wire 'id electrically connected to the ter
minal 3û.` The latter end of the heating wire
passes through an aperture 'it in the parti
tion 56. 'I‘he leg 66 is disposed substantially
diametrically of vthe heating coil 'E0 and said
heating coil is sufficiently large so that when
Pursuant to my invention one of the contacts
said leg 66 is flexed by heat generated by the coil
62 is carried on the free end of a ñat bimetallic 20 the strip will not touch the coil.
strip A of special but simple configuration. The
It will be appreciated that by arranging the
strip is so fashioned and arranged that, upon
coil liì and leg ââ‘in the foregoing manner, I
energization of a heating means associated there
am able to effect a good heat transfer between
said coil and strip which will not be affected
includes a vertical leg @li on whose upper end 25 by movement of the strip, since as the strip
the contact 52 is welded. A second leg 56 is
moves away from one segment of the coil, it
with, the contacts 62, 63 will open.
Said strip
integral with and extends horizontally away
approaches an opposite segment of the coil.
from the bottom of the leg 6d. A third leg 53,
I It may be mentioned that the switch I6 may
integral with and angularly disposed relative to
be disposed in different positions depending upon
the leg B6, is Welded to the upright wire portion 30 the position of the receiving socket therefor.
58 to firmly hold the bimetallio strip A in position.
It will, therefore, be apparent that, where in the
It will be evident as the description proceeds
foregoing description various operative elements
that the third leg 63 of the bimetallic strip A
have been described as arranged vertically or
may be omitted and that, in general, said bi
horizontally, these terms are not limitative. The
metallic strip should be of such shape as to 35 usual condenser i8 is connected across the ter
provide two legs which are relatively angularly
minals 36, 38.
disposed, one of the legs being supported and
The switch operates in the following manner:
the other leg serving to support a contact.
When the hand switch 22 is closed, current flows
l vAlso in accordance >with my invention, suitable
through va low impedance path, including the
heating means, hereinafter described in detail, 40 ballast reactor 2li, one of the lamp electrodes I4,
are arranged in heat transfer relationship with
switch terminal 343, electrode wire ¿58, bimetallic
a leg of the bimetallic strip which is disposed
strip A, contact S2, contact 63, bimetallic strip
in angular relationship to the leg on which the
B, electrode wire 50, switch terminal 38, other
contact 62 is carried.`
By employing this construction I am able to
obtain a rapid deiiectionof the free end of the
leg SLB of the bimetallic strip A which carries
the contact E2, within a shell ¿i6 of limited height.
Such result is achieved because the leg lìàwhen
the leg 66 is heated, swings about the bend conr 50
necting the two legs t@ and t8. Thus the contact
62 swings about a center comprising the sup
porting point of the leg 56 rather than that of
the leg 6d. In the illustrated example this sup
portingpoint is the bend between the legs Et
and 68.'
lamp electrode lll, switch terminal 32, resistance
coil lil, switch terminal 3B, and thence back to
the current source. After a short while, which is
determined by the time required to heat the
electrodes i@ to incandescence and which can be
changed by altering the resistance of the coil
l0, the heat generated by said coil will cause the
bimetallic strip A to flex sufficiently to open the
contacts E2, B3. This will break the low imped
ance series path between the two electrodes I4
and cause surge potential to be applied to said
electrodes. If a discharge in the lamp is struck
at this time, the lighting current passing through
The other contact et is supported in any suit
the coil l!) will keep the contacts 62, 63 open.
able manner. For example, it may be welded
If no discharge is struck, no lighting current will
to the upper end of a vertically `disposed bimetal
flow through the heating coil, and the coil will,
lic strip B whose lower end is secured to the con 60 therefore, cool off, permitting the contacts 52,
ductor wire portion 6E. A feature of my inven
53 to close after a short time lag. This cycle
tion is the provisionof indentation or offset te
of actions will be repeated until either the lamp
in the short unbent strip B which points in the
lights or the switch 22 opened.
direction the strip fiexes upon application of
It will thus be seenV that there is provided a
heat and thus serves as an indicating symbol 65 device in which the-several objects of this inven
to aid an operator in assembly of a switch.
tion are achieved, and which is well adapted to
The groove may be formed when the straight
meet the conditions of practical use.
strip is cut to length.
As various possible embodiments might be made
Preferably both bimetallic strips are so fash
ioned and arranged that upon a change in tem 70 of the above invention, and as various changes
might -be made in the embodiment above set forth,
perature arising from any source other than
it is to be understood that all matter herein
the heating means, both contacts 62, 63 will
set forth or shown in the accompanying draw
move in the same direction. >This will com*
ing is to be interpreted as illustrativeand’not
pensate for changes in room temperature and
heating of the switch by the tube ID.
in a limiting
Having thus described my invention, I claim
Z-shaped bimetallic strip, the central leg of which
as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent:
is parallel to said base, one of the end legs of
1. A starting switch for an electric discharge
lamp comprising a pair of contacts, a bimetallic
said strip being supported from said base, the
other end leg of said strip carrying one of the
contacts, a helical resistance coil of low imped
ance encircling and running longitudinally of
portions, means to support one of said portions,
said central leg to repetiti'vely open and close the
and heating means disposed in heat transfer re-contacts for starting the lamp, and a member to
lationship with said one portion and open to
support the second contact from said base.
the atmosphere, one of said contacts being car
4. A starting switch for an electric discharge
ried by the other of said portions, said heating 10
lamp comprising a base, a pair of contacts, a flat
means including a helical resistance coil enciru
bìmetallic strip including two straight integrally
cling and running longitudinally of said other
strip including two straight angularly disposed
connected, adjacent, angularly disposed portions,
one of which lies parallel to said base, means
2. A starting switch for an electric discharge
lamp comprising a base, a pair oi contacts, an 15 to support said one portion from said base, heat
ing means disposed in heat transfer relationship
L-shaped flat birnetallic strip one of the legs of
with said one portion to open and close the con
which is parallel to and supported from said
tacts for starting the lamp, said heating means
base, a helical resistance coil of low impedance
comprising a helical resistance coil of low im
encircling and running longitudinally of said one
leg to repetitìvely open and close the contacts 20 pedance encircling and running longitudinally of
the portion of the strip parallel to the base, one
for starting the lamp, one of the contacts being
of said contacts being carried by the other of
carried by the other leg, and a member to sup
said portions, and a member to support the sec
port the second contact from said base.
ond contact from said base.
3. A starting switch for an electric discharge
lamp comprising a base, a pair of contacts, a 25
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