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Патент USA US3078047

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Feb._ 19, 1963
3,078,03 7‘
Filed Oct- 17, 1961
2 sheets-sham 1
Feb. 19, 1963
Filed Oct. 17, 1961
FIG .4
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
r‘: V
Patented Feb. 19, 1963
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a setting ring employed
in the embodiment shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an end view of a numeral drum employed
in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, and
FIG. 5 schematically shows a modi?cation of FIG. 2.
Umberto Finzi, 6 Via Gramsci, Parabiago, Miian, ltaly
Filed (lot. 17, 1961, Ser. No. 145,719
Claims priority, application Italy Nov. 18, 196i}
2 (Jiaims. (tCl. 235-132)
In the embodiment shown in FIGURES 1 and 4 a set
of numeral drums 1 of a decadal revolution counter of
This invention relates to a timing device, by which I
known type is provided, the drums being operatively
mean a device adapted to de?ne any desired time interval,
coupled together through snap-transfer gears of conven
that is, a device which, on receipt of a triggering signal 10 tional design, generically denoted by 1b.
is capable of emitting, after a period of time of a selected
The input drum is driven from a synchronous motor 2
value, an end signal, the said triggering and end signals
and the further drums are step-wise rotated by the above
de?ning the desired time interval.
mentioned transfer gears so that a subsequent drum snaps
Operation and approximation obtained in determining
through one step (digit) each time the preceding drum
time intervals by the device according to this invention are 15 goes from digit nine to zero, as is conventional in the
independent both of the duration of the time interval be
art. The synchronous motor 2 is energized with an alter
tween the triggering and ?nal signals and of the time
nating current delivered by an adjustable frequency oscil<
of origin of said interval.
later 3 energized in turn from an electrical network 4.
The nature of the signal emitted by the device can be
The oscillator 3 is of a type known per se and is provided
More particularly, the signal may 20 with a setting knob 3a by means of which the frequency
consist of an electric impulse suitable for energizing a
of the current energizing the motor 2 can be adjusted
of various species.
machine-stopping device, for example, or, generally, any
device operating at predetermined time intervals.
within a desired range, so that the speed of the motor
can be varied, even in a continuous manner, from a mini
mum to a maximum value dependently upon the fre
The timing device according to this invention is based
on the discovery that any time interval T can be expressed 25 quency of the current delivered by the oscillator 3.
by the relation:
Conveniently a branch of the network 4 energizing the
oscillator 3 has interposed therein a switch 5 which is
switched to its opening and closing position by a change~
wherein DT is variable between 0 and 1 and n is a whole
over relay 6 including a pair of energizing windings 6a,
number representing a power of ten.
30 6b fed in parallel from the network 4 through a lead 7.
The same time interval T can moveover be expressed
The relay 6 is controlled in turn by an electric circuit
by a relation of the type:
including an electromagnet 8 operating a switch 9 adapted
to switch-in the lead 7 for energizing the winding 6a of
wherein D1‘ is constant, 11, in being any whole numbers.
The ?rst relation can even be written as follows:
the relay 6 which opens the switch 5.
The winding 65 is fed from the lead 7 through a switch
17, such as or" the push-button type, the closure of which
eiiects energization of the winding 6!) and closure of
T: 101101"
the switch 5 which switches-in the oscillator into the net
while in second relation by assuming DT=1 the result is: 40 work 4 to start the time interval T to be signaled.
The electromagnet 8 is energized by an electric circuit
controlled by the decadal counter including a signal—
T = n +5
( 2)
emitter iii, a selector switch 11 and a set of contacts 12,
Considering the above, the invention provides a timing
13, l4, 15 which can be selected by means of the switch
device comprising a decadal revolution counter, means 45 11 and are connected in parallel to each other to the net
controlling the said counter to cause it to totalize a series
work 4 through a lead to. The contacts 12 . . . 15 are
of constant consecutive elementary time intervals, and an
associated with respective numeral drums 1 on the deca
electronic circuit controlled by the said counter to deliver
dal counter and are operated (closed) by the action of
an end signal each time the counter has totalized a num
cams 1a carried by the said numeral drums each time the
ber of elementary times the sum of which represents the
respective drum has just performed its transfer operation
required time interval.
on the adjacent subsequent drum. FIG. 4 shows the mo
According to a ?rst embodiment of this device corre
ment in which a drum 1 is snapping through zero-line A
sponding to the mathematical relation (1) written above,
in its transfer action and in which the cam 1a momen
tarily closes the contact 12.
the counting speed of the counter is adjustable, the said
counter totalizing the required time interval by summing
Operation of the device for obtaining a signal of any
a series of equal elementary time intervals the value of
kind on the signal-emitter 10 after a time interval T start
which is obtained by dividing the required time interval
ing from any desired moment is effected by ?rst selecting
the rotational speed of the motor 2 by means of the fre
by a power of 10.
According to a further embodiment, corresponding to
quency control 3a of the oscillator 3.
the mathematical relation (2) written above, the counting
Upon selection of the desired rotational speed of the
speed of the decadal counter is constant, the said counter
motor 2 the switch 11 is adjusted to a selected contact
totalizing the required time interval by summing a series
12 . . . 15, the closure of which will operate the signal
of elementary time intervals of a predetermined constant
unit value and an end fraction (if any) of the elementary
time interval.
The invention will be described with reference to the
accompanying drawings given by way of a non limiting
emitter after the prescribed time interval T has elapsed
starting from an initial moment To which is determined
by closure of the contact 17 which switches-in the oscil
lator 3 into the network 4.
The numeral drums and associated contacts 12 to 15
can be provided in any desired number, numbered 1 to n,
selection of any of them by displacement of the brush on
ing to a ?rst embodiment of this invention;
the switch 11 determining the value of n in the relation:
FIG. 2 shows diagrammatically a timing device accord
example, wherein:
FIG. 1 shows diagrammatically a timing device accord
ing to a further embodiment of this invention;
interval T has elapsed the preselected contact 12 . . . 15
10 to a change-over relay 22, respectively, including a
pair of energizing windings 22a, 22b adapted to open and
close, respectively, a contact 23 controlling energization
is momentarily closed by the cam on its respective numeral
of the motor 2.
drum (in the example shown contact 15), whereby an
impulse is released which triggers the signal-emitter 1t}
numbering engraved thereon (FIG. 3) and each of the
Considering the above it will be clear that after starting
the motor 2 by acing upon the contact 17, when a time
The setting-rings 18 are each provided with a decadal
and energizes the relay 8 which closes the contact 9 ener
slip-rings 19‘ is provided in a location between “nine”
gizing the winding Go on the relay 6, whereby the con
tact 5 is opened cutting off current supply to the oscil
later 3 thereby stopping the motor 2.
Assuming the oscillator 3 has been set to 60 rpm.
speed of “unit” drum 1, time intervals of 1 sec., 10 sec.,
and “zero” with a contact leaf 24 projecting on the inner
cylindrical surface of the setting ring.
The pairs of
contacts 24 are momentarily short-circuited by the con
tact-brushes 1a whereby the slip-rings 19 arranged on op
posite faces of each of the setting rings 18‘ are momen
100 sec. and 1000 sec. can be “picked-up” from contacts
tarily electrically connected with each other each time
12, 13, 14, 15, respectively. At 120 rpm. speed intervals
the contact-brush 1a snaps over the contact leaves 24.
of 0.5, 5, '50 and 500 seconds will be obtained, and so on.
Thus, after a time interval T has elapsed the device is
capable of emitting a signal which can be utilized in any
When all the contact-brushes 1a are simultaneously in
front of the contact leaves 24 on their respective setting
desired manner, and moreover stops at a suitable position
(0 position) for a subsequent signaling cycle which is
rings 18, all the slip-rings 19 carried by the rings 18 are
short-circuited. Under these conditions the signal-emitter
10 is triggered and delivers an end signal, the relay wind
ing 22a being energized to open the contact 23 in order
vtriggered as soon as any external signal effects energiza~
‘tion of the winding 6b to thereby close the contact 5.
to cut-off supply of current to the motor 2.
Energization of the winding 61)‘ can be effected either as
in the example shown by means of a key 17 which is
It will be apparent from the above that angular ad
justment of the setting rings 18 about the rotational axis
of the numeral drums 1 serves for composing by the
‘operable‘by hand, or electrically from any device known
Zper 'se capable of ‘being automatically released at the start 25 numbering engraved on the setting rings and 'zeroizin'g
“of any time interval T.
line on the counter a number corresponding to the ele
mentary time intervals which should be totalized.
To prevent the device from stopping, thereby to obtain
The ?rst ring 13 corresponding to the'speediest"(“unit”)
isochronous signals at time intervals T, it will be su?icient
drum has engraved thereon a centesimal instead of decadal
to cut-off the electro magnet 8 between the signal-emitter
10 ‘and oscillator 3, leaving the contact 9 constantly 30 scale and is angularly set on composing the number'so
that the conventional stationary aligning pointer on the
counter (zeroizing line for the numeral drums) registers
vThe above description mentions the use of 'a synchro
with the value of the last signi?cant ?gure in the number
nous motorconnected with a variable frequency generator
expressing the required time interval, or fraction of unit,
for operating the decadal counter. Of course this arrange
when the ?gure is fractional. Upon composing as above
ment of the components should not be understood as a
the number of units of the required time interval T, the
‘limitation of the scope of this invention, for any even
motor 2 is started by closing the contact 23 by energiz
inon-electric'motor of which the rotational speed can be
ing the winding 2211 on the relay 22; energization can be
varied at will can be substituted for the synchronous
effected by means of a switch in ‘the form of a manually
motor 2. Once the selection of speed has been effected,
operable key 25.
the speed will be kept constantduring the full time in
7 After the time interval T has elapsed, that is, when
terval T during which the device operates. A speed—re
the set of numeral drums 1 have composed on the zeroiz
ducing or multiplying gearing can be interposed between
ing line the same number selected by adjustment of the
the motor and counter, if necessary.
It will moreover be obvious that the device can be
equipped instead of with a motor with any generator of
rings 18, all the slip-rings result momentarily electrically
series-connected whereby the signal-emitter 10 is triggered
isochronous impulses spaced by a time internal DT, which
and relay winding 22a is energized cutting oif the motor 2.
can be collected and totalized by the counter.
.In the embodiment shown in FIGURES 2 and 3, in
which components similar to or corresponding with the
previously described ones are provided with the same
In order to determine another time interval T the
numeral drums should be zeroized, which can be effected
automatically by means of known devices which are not
shown on the drawing. In this case also, while the motor
reference numerals, the timing device is arranged to total
ize the required time interval T by summing a series of
constant unitary elementary time intervals and any end
fractions of the ‘said elementary time intervals.
To this end the device still comprises a decadal counter
including a plurality of ‘numeral drums 1 with snap-trans
fer mechanisms 1b therebetween' operated by‘ a constant
speed motor, more particularly a synchronous motor 2
fed with a constant-frequency alternating current. The
'2 is allowed to further run and the numeral drums are
numeral drums 1 are each provided with a contact brush
1a arranged at a circumferential location such as to
‘constant speed.
Instead of equipping the device with the said motor,
a generator of isochronous impulses can be provided, the
said impulses being collected and totalized by the counter.
In the embodiment shown in FIG. 5, which is closely
related with that shown in FIGURES 2 and 3, similar
momentarily close an electric contact as the respective
drum-snaps from “nine" to “zero” in its transfer operation.
Setting rings 18 are arranged concentrically with the
respective drums 1 around the latter and are held in
a coaxial position by suitable guide means, not shown on
the drawing for the sake of clearness, which admit of
independent angular displacement of the rings about
automatically zeroized after each time interval T has
elapsed, the device is capable of delivering a plurality
of isochronous signals.
It will be understood that adoption of the synchronous
motor 2 in order to drive the counter is not to be under
stood as a limitation of the scope of this invention, for
the said motor can be replaced at will be any electric
or mechanical motor provided the said motor rotates at
references are used to indicate similar components. In
the ?gure, a warning-signal emitter 10a is additionally
provided, series-connected between the line 21 and the
terminal brush Zita associated with the last setting ring
their common axis, in order to vary their angular setting
with respect of the zeroizing line of the numeral drums. 70 in the counter. The intermediate brushes 20 have each
associated therewith a switch 30 for electrically con
The setting rings 18 are made of a dielectric material and
necting the brush to the second line 21a of the supply
are provided at opposite front faces with slip-rings 19 for
brushes 20 which connect in series the slip-rings w.
In operation, assuming the counter setting rings have
The ?rst and last brushes are connected with a lead
21 on the supply network and through the signal-emitter 75 been set for a total time interval of, say, 9876 elemen
tary time intervals and the switches 30 are all open, the
signal emitter 10 will be triggered when the numeral drums
reach the positions in which digits 9, 8, 7 and 6, respec
gearing interposed between the motor and counter. In
tively, are displayed, forming together the number 9876
set by means of the setting rings. The warning-signal
emitter 10a will be energized ‘at the same time, together
thrown-in in the change-speed gearing and of the output
such a case, the desired “time units” to be totalized by the
counter will result from a selected combination of a “gear"
frequency of the oscillator.
In an alternative embodi
with the emitter 10, on account of that the two emitters
ment, the oscillator can be wholly replaced by a suitable
variable transmission and electro-magnetically controlled
are in series-connection between the lines 21 and 21a.
clutch interposed between the motor and counter, the
energizing winding for the clutch being controlled by the
for example, is preliminarily closed, the circuit including 10 switch 5 in FIG. 1.
If, however, the switch 30 associated with “tens" drum,
the said switch and Warning-signal emitter will result
closed already when a total of 9870 elementary time inter
What I claim is:
1. Timing device comprising a decadal revolution
vals has been totalized, that is, in advance by six “units”
counter including a plurality of numeral drums with trans
with respect of emitter 10. Alternatively, by preliminarily
fer gears therebetween, a contact-closing member on each
closing the switch 30 associated with “hundreds” drum, 15 drum, motor means capable of driving the input drum of
the warning-signal emitter 10a will be triggered in the
the counter at a predetermined counting speed thereby to
position 9800 of the counter, hence 76 time units before
cause the counter to totalize a series of consecutive ele
the main signal emitter 10 is triggered.
mentary time intervals corresponding to one turn of the
While the invention has been described in its simplest
input drum and of decimal fractions of said elementary
embodiments, it is to be understood that the various com 20 time intervals corresponding to one counting step of the
ponents can be selected or designed by a skilled person
input drum, a similar plurality of setting rings con
correspondingly to the speci?c application of the device.
centrical with the respective drums, a pair of mutually
insulated slip-rings on each setting ring arranged for being
As to the decadal counters, those having transfer gearing
of Geneva type are particularly suitable on account of
electrically momentarily connected therebetween by the
their desired “stepping” operation. Zeroizing and setting
25 contact-closing member on the respective drum during a
operations can be carried out on the counter, oscillator 3
and setting rings 18 either manually or through remote
control means of any suitable character. Electric motors
2 having a low-inertia rotor are particularly suitable for
practicing the invention; in any case, an automatically re
leasable brake is recommended for the motor capable of
counting step of the latter, brushes associated with the slip
rings series-connecting the pairs of the latter, and an elec
tric signaling circuit including the pairs of slip-rings in
the series-connection whereby the circuit is triggered to
emit a signal when all contact-closing members are simul
taneously effective on the respective pairs of slip-rings.
instantaneously stopping the latter when the signal emitter
2. Timing device as de?ned in claim 1, including a
10 is triggered by the counter. An electro-magnetically
warning-signal emitter selectively electrically connectable
with the brushes which interconnect the slip-rings on sub
actuated brake, for example, can be resorted to, repre
sented in FIG. 5 by its energizing winding 31 bridging the 35 sequent setting rings thereby to be energized in the eifec
tive condition of the contact-closing members on the drums
emitter 10 and relay winding 22a. In this manner, the
which follow the input drum.
motor is positively momentarily braked and stopped at the
same time as the emitter 10 is triggered by the decadal
Referring particularly to the embodiment shown in FIG. 40
1, in which a variable-speed motor is employed for driv
ing the counter at a selected speed, the variable oscillator
3 can be advantageously supplemented by a change-speed
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
Roesen ______________ __ Sept. 2, 1930
Schwartz ____________ __ Oct. 29, 1940
Grosdo? _______________ __ Jan. 3, 1950
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