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Патент USA US3056917

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United States Patent O?tice
1
3,056,907
Raphael J. Costanzo, Bridgeport, Conn, assignor to Har
TOUCH CONTRULLED CIRCUIT
vey Hubbell, Incorporated, Bridgeport, Conn, a cor
poration of Connecticut
Filed Oct. 16, 1958, Ser. No. 767,661
3 Claims. (Cl. 317-149)
This invention relates to a touch-controlled circuit,
that is, a circuit in which the operator may control the
operation of the circuit by merely touching one or more
elements, without requiring the throwing of a switch
or the like, and has for an object to provide an improved
and simpli?ed arrangement for controlling a load circuit
and one which may be readily adjusted for more e?fective
operation under different conditions, and one which will
provide more positive action under a greater magnitude
of changing conditions.
Another object is to provide a touch-controlled circuit,
including a relay controlling the load circuit in which
improved means is provided for operating the relay which
will effect a more positive and reliable operation or" this
relay.
3,056,907
Patented Oct. 2, 1962
2
or closed, it will shift it to the other position. Thus, if
the switch 13 is open when the coil 18 is energized it
will close this switch and it will remain closed and there
fore put the lights 11 on or operate the load, and it will
remain closed until the coil or winding 18 is again
energized, when the switch 13 will open and remain open
to put the lights out or stop operation of the load until
the coil is again energized, and so on. The operation
of the switch is effected by operation of the armature 19
10 of the relay through the core 20 energized by the Wind
ing 18 operating through suitable latch mechanism 21,
which as indicated above, on energization of winding
18 will shift the movable contact of the switch 13 from
either the closed to the open position or vice versa, de
pending on its position when the coil or winding 18 is
energized.
Connected across this operative coil or winding 18 of
the relay is a recti?er or diode 22 in series with a
resistor 23. Recti?er 22 is preferably a silicon recti?er,
as this has been found to be more reliable in operation
in this combination and provide more effective and
satisfactory results. The operative coil 18 of the relay
is connected in series with the AC. supply 10 and the
Another object is to provide a control of this type
cathode and anode of a cold cathode electric discharge
which has a high degree of safety and provides a system 25 tube such, for example, as a thyratron 24;. The grid or
which lends itself extremely well to use in explosion
control electrode 25 of this tube is connected through a
proof areas, and makes it possible to eliminate the use
high resistance 26, preferably a high adjustable resist—
of all the bulky and complicated switches in sealed en
ance, such, for example, as a potentiometer, with a touch
closures now presently on the market to protect against
element or area 27 through the lead connection 28, the
these conditions.
30 resistance 26 being thus in series with the grid and
With the foregoing and other objects in view, I have
devised the construction illustrated in the accompanying
drawing forming a part of this speci?cation. It is,
touch element or area.
This touch element as shown in
FIG. 1 may be a substantially rectangular plate, or such
a rectangular plate may be elongated to the form of a ?at
however, to be understood the invention is not limited
tape or strip 29, or this touch element or area could
to the speci?c details of construction and arrangement 35 comprise two of these tapes or strips 29‘ and 30 separated
shown, but may embody various changes and modii
cations within the scope of the invention.
In this drawing:
a short distance so that they are insulated from each
house lighting for a room or the like, in which the
together but insulated from each other the same as in
other but are placed side by side and closely adjacent.
In this arrangement one of these strips, in the present
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a touch circuit em
case the strip 29, is connected to the grid 25, while the
bodying this invention;
40 other tape or strip 30 is gounded, as indicated at 31;
FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 are plan views of diiierent types of
or, if preferred, the two strips or tapes 32 and 33 could
touch elements which may be employed in this circuit;
be arranged in the folded arrangement of FIG. 4, of
FIG. 5 is a section of the preferred type of latching
the size of a rectangular plate, the element 32 corre
type relay which may be used in this circuit, showing
sponding to the tape or strip 29 and the element 33
the load control switch in the open position, and
45 corresponding to the tape or strip‘ ‘30, the element 32
FIG. 6 is a similar section showing the control switch
being connected to the grid 25 by the lead 28 and the
closed.
element 33 being grounded at 34. Each element as
The drawing (FIG. 1) indicates the control for a load
shown comprises branches 35 and 36 respectively ar
circuit such, for example, as a lighting circuit, as in
ranged in alternate arrangement side by side and close
operator by merely touching a plate or strip of metal
FIG. 3.
may put the lights on or OE. With the latching type
The operation is as follows:
relay for controlling the load circuit, if the lights are
The electric discharge device or tube 24 is so designed
on, then he can put them 0E by touching this plate or
that it will not ?re under ordinary conditions with the
strip, and if the lights are off he can put them on by 55 alternating current voltage supplied from the supply 10.
merely touching this plate or strip. It will, however,
That is, the potential supplied to the cathode and anode
be understood that this touch circuit is not limited for
or plate of this tube by a leakage from the cathode builds
use for controlling a lighting circuit, but may be used
for other applications where a touch control may be
up a negative voltage or potential on the grid 25 which
prevents the tube from ?ring under ordinary conditions.
desired, although it is particularly adapted and e?ective 60 If the operator touches one of the touch elements, that
is, either the plate 27, elongated plate or strip 29, the
for use in controlling a lighting circuit.
The circuit as shown in FIG. 1 includes means for
connecting it to the usual A.C. supply indicated at 10,
two strips 29 and 39, or the two elements 32 and 33,
depending on which type of touch element is used, and
which may be the usual 110 to 115 volt circuit used for
connected to the grid 25, this discharges the grid 25
house lighting systems. The load indicated by the circle 65 or makes it more positive and reduces its negative volt
11 may be one or more lamps controlled by a mechanical
age below the ?ring voltage of the tube, and it will ?re,
latching relay 12 including a control switch 13 for con
energizing the coil 18 of the relay 12, and will operate
trolling the circuit represented by the conductor con
the switch 13. As indicated above, instead of the touch
nections 14 and 15 connected to the leads 16 and 17
element being a relatively small plate 27, this plate may
from the AC. supply 10. By “latching relay” is meant 70 be elongated into a narrow strip or tape 29 extending
a relay in which, when the operative coil or winding 18
around the moulding, for example, in a room; or for
of the relay is energized When‘the switch 13 is either open
long strips, two or more may be used close together, as
3,056,907
3
the possibility of a skip operation in the latching relay
shown in FIG. 3, but in this case one of them should
be grounded for more reliable operation, but they are
so narrow and arranged so close together that it is prac
tically impossible for the operator to touch one without
and gives a more uniform contact operation.
In other
words, it increases the length of time of the unidirec
tional pulse which results in more positive action. It
does this because, as the grid is triggered or allowed
touching the other, and that, of course, grounds the grid
25 of the tube 24, which causes it to ?re and operate
the relay. The same is true of the folded-up arrange
ment of the contact strips as shown in FIG. 4.
Other types of recti?ers or diodes 22. could be used,
but the silicon recti?er is preferred as it has better op
erating characteristics and will carry larger current surges
for comparative size. This recti?er is used acoss the
coil or winding 18v because it causes the current to per
sist longer when the tube 24 is ?red, preventing chatter
or continuous off and on operation of the relay, and 15
to become more positive, and allows the electrons to
flow from the cathode to the plate, this initial pulse
does not have a wave form which will consistently trig
ger a latching relay. By the insertion of a diode across
the relay, a pure unidirectional pulse now becomes ap
parent. This is due to the low forward current-carrying
characteristics of the diode and its extremely high re
verse current-carrying ability plus its high peak inverse
voltage characteristics.
.
As above suggested, the use of this diode and resistor
for bypassing the operative winding of a relay is not
thus persists long enough to operate the relay satisfac
torily. The potentiometer or the adjustable resistance
limited to use in latching type relays, as it could be used
26 between the grid and the touch element adds a sui‘l
ciently high resistance so there is no danger of injurious
voltage on the touch element, and it also permits ad
justment of the resistance to stabilize the different touch
elements used in different set-ups, or to compensate or
for counting or sorting operations by use in conjunction
with conventional relays where such operation is desired.
The signi?cant points or improvements in the present
purpose or set-up are the diode connected across the op
erative coil of the relay, the varying resistor placed be—
tween the grid and the touch area (this, by the way,
effect the most effective- operation under varying condi
tions encountered in different applications. By this ad
being very important in this combination), and also the
justable resistor the touch strips and the controls can 25 improved means of accomplishing the operation of the
touch area by connecting one side to the grid through
be arranged to control the ?ring of the tube, and there
fore operation of the relay, to permit operation by touch
this resistor and one side to the ground, and therefore
at any one point or location along the strip or strips,
grounding the grid by the operator touching the two
by increasing or decreasing the resistance from the grid
parts of the split area.
to the touch area.
The characteristics of the various elements will of
course be determined for the conditions or set-ups in
30
By using the variable resistor between the grid and the
touch area it is possible to control Varying lengths of
touch or control areas. As suggested above, a resistor
of the ?xed or variable type may be used, the variable
type being used where it is desired to vary or control the
ance, and the resistor or potentiometer 26 could be from 35 length, width or distance of the touch areas, but if the
5 to 10 megohms, or it could be a ?xed resistor of the
length of the touch area has been predetermined for
proper characteristics employed after the proper or re
the given set-up or application involved, then a ?xed
quired resistance has been determined for the set-up or
resistor of the proper value and designed for this par
conditions in which it is installed. This could be what
ticular length can be used to prevent the possibility of
might be called an adjustable or variable ?xed resistor. 40 anyone changing the resistance after the installation has
volved. Thus, for example, in an ordinary house light
ing system the relay 12 could be of 1380‘ ohms resist
That is, instead of having the resistor itself adjustable
to determine the proper amount for a given touch ?eld,
a series of different ?xed resistors of different values
may be tried until the proper one for the ?eld is indi
cated. This would prevent someone, as a child, for
instance, from changing the proper resistance in any
given set-up after it had been determined, and thus in
terfering with the proper functioning of the installation
involved.
been made, and thus interfere with proper functioning
of the installation involved. This, however, is in effect
adjustable resistor application.
As previously suggested, this control is well adapted
for use in explosive proof areas, as the touch area or ele
ments may be within this area and there is no arcing
or signi?cant voltage to cause explosive reaction, and
the relay may be located in any remote location outside
the explosive proof area.
By varying the resistance between the grid and the 50 Having thus set forth the nature of my invention, I
touch area it is possible to control the length of such
claim:
area that will ‘be most effective for any given set-up or
1. In a touch controlled circuit, a cold cathode elec
tric discharge tube including a cathode, an anode and a
installation. The touch area can be so constructed as
to be a solid length, a split length or a laminated length,
control grid, means for connecting the cathode and
with one split area connected to ground. This enables ' anode "to an alternating current supply, a load control
the obtaining of more positive action under a greater
' relay including an operative winding connected in series
magnitude of changing conditions.
with the said supply, the cathode and the anode, a recti
By use of the recti?er across the coil of the mechanical
latching relay it is possible to maintain a much more
?er connected across said winding, a touch element com
prising a pair of separated conductors placed side by side
and closely adjacent whereby both may be simultaneously
stable unidirectional pulse, which gives more positive 60
control. This is accomplished with this arrangement
touched by a single ?nger of a user, means connecting
by using only three components. Also by extending the
one of said conductors to the grid, and means ground
tape or touch area around a room or predetermined area
ing the other conductor, the discharge tube having char
it makes it possible to obtain in?nite switchings along
acteristics whereby it will remain non-conductive under
the length of the tape. Also, due to the minute po 65 the voltage of the source of alternating current until
tential which is on the touch area, this type of system
the charge on the control grid is increased positively
lends itself extremely well for use in explosion-proof
by grounding the touch element conductor connected
areas, thus eliminating the use of all the bulky and com
therewith and then will ?re with a pulse discharge through
plicated switches in sealed enclosures now presently on
the relay winding and recti?er.
the market for use to protect against these conditions. 70 2. In a touch controlled circuit, a cold cathode elec
This touch area can be a length of wire, metallic tapes,
tric discharge tube including a cathode, an anode and a
or any wire or tape of conducting material, such, for
control grid, means for connecting the cathode and anode
example, as copper or aluminum or suitable metal al
to an alternating current supply, a load control relay in—.
loys. This system using the recti?er and resistor across
cluding an operative winding connected in series with
the operative coil or winding of the relay eliminates 75 the said supply, the cathode and the anode, a recti?er
8,056,907
5
connected across said winding, a touch element compris
ing a pair of separated narrow elongated conductor tapes
arranged side by side and closely adjacent whereby a
user automatically touches both simultaneously, means
connecting one of said tapes to the grid, a potentiometer
connected in series with said tape and the grid, and means
6
touched by a single ?nger of a user, means connecting
one of said strips to the grid through a relatively high re
sistance, and means grounding the other strip, the dis
charge tube having characteristics whereby it will remain
non-conductive under the voltage of the source of alter
nating current until the charge on the control grid is in
grounding the other tape, the discharge tube having char
creased positively by grounding the touch element strip
acteristics whereby it will remain non-conductive under
connected thereto and then will ?re with a pulse dis
the voltage of the source of alternating current until
charge through the relay winding and recti?er.
the charge on the control grid is increased positively by 10
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
grounding the touch element conductor tape connected
therewith and then will ?re with a pulse discharge through
UNITED STATES PATENTS
the relay winding and recti?er.
1,840,055
2,062,269
Rentschler ____________ __ Ian. 5, 1932
Knowles ____________ __ Nov. 24, 1936
trol grid, means for connecting the cathode and anode
2,810,066
Green _____‘ __________ __ Oct. 15, 1957
to a source of alternating current, a lighting circuit, a
2,848,659
Cutler _______________ __ Aug. 19, 1958
latch type relay including a switch controlling said light
ing circuit and an operative winding controlling said
2,870,329
Aubert ______________ __ Jan. 20, 1959
2,896,131
Schumann ____________ __ July 21, 1959
3. In a touch controlled circuit, a cold cathode electric
discharge tube including a cathode, an anode and a con 15
switch and connected in series with said source and the 20
OTHER REFERENCES
cathode and anode, a recti?er connected across the said
Parrish:
“Electronic
Design,” November 15, 1956;
winding, a touch element comprising a pair of separated
pages 22-25.
narrow elongated conductor strips placed side by side
and closely adjacent whereby both are automatically
Sandretto: “Radio-Electronics,” September 1957; pages
61-63.
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