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Патент USA US3078745

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Feb. 26, 1963
Filed NOV. 13, 1959
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
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Rosem- D. EMERY
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BY 7M1,
Arron/v5 YS/
Feb. 26, 1963
Filed NOV. 13, 1959
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
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Rose/er D. EMER Y
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Patented Feb. 26, 1963
including a base member 14 and a cover member 15 and
Robert D. Emery, Euclid, Ohio, assignor to Eaton Man
utacturing Company, Cleveland, Ohio, a corporation of
Filed Nov. 13, 1959, Ser. No. 852,838
6 Claims. (Cl. 74-128)
This invention relates to actuator devices for step-by
in which a pair of push-buttons 17 and 18 are recipro
cably mounted in a side-by-side relation. The switch 11
is secured to the base member 14, as by screws 19, and
has a stem 21) which extends through the actuator hous
ing and is engaged therein by a disk-like element or star
wheel 21. The housing has opening means providing
parallel guideway portions on opposite sides of the rota
tion axis of the wheel 21 and in which the push-buttons
step rotation of elements such as control stems of switches, 10 1‘7 and 18 are reciprocably operable. The push-buttons 17
valves or other stem controlled devices, and it is an ob
and 18 form part of ratchet means for rotating the star
ject of the invention to provide a novel actuator device
wheel 21, and the stem 2% of the switch 11, in a step-by
having push-buttons for selectively rotating an element by
step manner and in either direction of rotation. An indi
steps in either direction.
cator wheel or dial 23 is mounted for rotation with the
Another object of the present invention is the provi 15 stem 26' and has markings thereon such as numbers or
sion of an actuator device of the above mentioned char
the like which serve to indicate the rotative position of
acter having push-button ratchet means eifective to rotate
the stern of the switch 11.
a disk-like element or star wheel a fraction of a turn for
The ratchet mechanism of which the push-buttons 17
each reciprocation of a push-button through a power
and 18 form a part, and which will be described in detail
stroke and a return stroke, the device preferably having 20 hereafter, is effective to rotate the stem 20 a fraction of
one push-button controlling rotation of the star wheel in
a turn in a clockwise direction, when viewed as illustrated
one direction and another push-button controlling rotation
in FIG. 1, upon the reciprocation of the push-button 17.
in the other direction.
Upon each reciprocation of the push-button 18 the stem
Still another object is the provision, in a novel position
2t? will be rotated a fraction of a turn in a counterclock
selecting ratchet-type actuator for stepping a shaft or 25 wise direction. The stem 2t) may thus be selectively ro
stem to diiierent rotative positions, of spring biased
tated by repeated steps in either direction.
T-shaped pawls carried by push-buttons and arranged for
The actuator device may be advantageously used for
limited swinging movement with respect thereto, so that
operating switches, or controls of/automobile air condi
the pawls are effective to act against a star wheel during
tioning units, heaters or the like, and when so used is pref
power strokes of the push-buttons and to ride over the
erably mounted behind a dashboard or instrument panel
star wheel during return strokes of the push-buttons, and
26 indicated in dot-and-dash lines in FIGS. 2 and 3 and
in which the pawls are disposed outside of the circum
having a window 27 through which the markings on the
ference of the star wheel and out of engagement there
with when the push-buttons are in their rest positions so
that rotation of the star wheel by one of the pawls will
be free of opposition by the other of the pawls.
As another object of the invention aims to provide a
novel two-direction ratchet device which is sturdy and
reliable in use, which is easily assembled and smooth in
operation, and which is readily manufactured to exhibit
these qualities without undue attention to manufacturing
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be
apparent from the following detailed description of the
preferred embodiment thereof described with reference
to the accompanying sheets of drawings forming a part
of this speci?cation, and in which:
indicator wheel 23 may be seen.
The push-buttons are
arranged to project through an opening 28 in the panel
26 for convenient operation.
Turning now to a more detailed description of the ac
tuator device 16 the base member 14 comprises parallel
side walls 30 and 31 between which the push-buttons 17
and 18 are ‘disposed for reciprocation through power and
return strokes. The side walls 30 and 31 are joined by a
bottom portion 32 in which there is provided a circular
depression 33, receiving the rotatable disk-like member
or star wheel 21 over which the push-buttons are arranged
to slide during their reciprocation. The cover member
15 is secured to the base member 14 as by screws 34 and
35 and has a down-turned ?ange or back portion 36.
The stem 29 conveniently has a flat side 38 and extends
FIG. 1 is a plan view of an actuator device embodying
through a complementary opening 39 in the disk 21 and
the present invention with the indicator wheel removed,
having a ?at side 40. The stem 20 will thereby be con
strained to rotate together with the star wheel 21 upon
FIG. 2 is a front elevation of the actuator device of
FIG. 1 showing the same with a variable position switch
to be actuated thereby,
FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the actuator device,
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view illus
trating the ratchet means of the invention and taken along
the section line 4-4 of FIG. 1,
FIG. 5 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 4 but showing
the relationship of parts at a given time during the opera
rotation of the latter by ratcheting action of the push
buttons 17 and 18.
The details of the push-buttons are best illustrated in
FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 and include a handle portion 42, and a
socket 43 at the opposite end of each push-button. A
pair of push-button return springs 44 are received in the
sockets 43 and are retained in surrounding relation to
a pair of guide pins 45, which pins are suitably secured
tion of the device,
to the ?ange portion 36 of the cover member 15 as by
60 riveting or the like.
FIG. 6 is a top plan view of one of the push buttons,
FIG. 7 is an elevational view of one of the T-shaped
Each of the push-buttons 17 and 18 is provided with an
pawls, and
upwardly extending projection or lug 47 which extends
PEG. 8 is a plan view of the star wheel.
through one of a pair of slots or elongated openings 48 in
Although the actuator device 1d of this invention is
the cover member 15. The projections or lugs 47 serve
susceptible of various modi?cations and may be put to 65 to limit the movement of the push-buttons 17 and 18 dur
ing the reciprocation thereof.
a variety of uses, the embodiment described herein is par
ticularly useful for actuating stem controlled devices such
Each of the push-buttons is provided with a recess 50
as electric switches, valves or the like and is illustrated
connectinty with a tapered through opening 51 de?ned by
and described hereafter in conjunction with a representa
a vertical wall 52 and a sloping wall 53, the wall 52 serv
70 ing as an abutment wall in a manner to appear herein
tive switch 11.
The actuator device 10 comprises a body or housing
after. A transverse groove 55 intersects with the recess
50 and accommodates a cross arm 56 of one of a pair
tions 761 . . . 70’, and the disk or star wheel 21 will
of T-shaped pawls 58, best illustrated in FIG. 7.
The pawls 58 are each provided with a depending por
therefore be rotated only a fraction of a turn upon each
tion 59 which is adapted to extend into one of the tapered
openings 51 of the push-buttons 17 and 18. The cross
sixth of a turn in this instance.
arms 56 of the pawls 58 are rounded on one side and ?at
on their other sides as indicated at 60 and 61 respec
tively. The cross arms 56 are adapted to cooperate with
the transverse grooves 55 to provide a pivotal swinging
reciprocation of a push button, the fraction being one
From the foregoing detailed description of an actuat~
ing device 10 embodying this invention, and from the
accompanying drawings, it will now be apparent that
there has been provided a novel and effective mechanism
for selectively rotating the operating stem of a stem con
support for the depending portions 59 extending through 10 trolled device selectively in either direction, and by steps
or increments of rotation. The construction described,
the tapered openings 51 of the push-buttons.
utilizing swinging T-shaped pawls carried by reciprocable
A ?at leaf spring 63 is secured in each of the recesses
50 as by a rivet 64, and is arranged to bear against the
flat side 61 of the T-shaped pawl 58 associated with the
push-button, and the springs 63 serve to retain the T
push-buttons, results in a particularly effective and smooth
acting ratchet or stepping device which, because of the
direct pushing action of the pawls and the absence of parts
shaped pawls 58 in their respective openings 51. The
requiring precision ?tting, lends itself to inexpensive and
leaf springs 63 further cooperate with the ?at sides 61
easy manufacture.
Although the invention has been described with some
what detailed reference to a speci?c embodiment thereof
of the cross arms 56 urging the pawls 53 to assume the
position shown in FIG. 4, with the depending portions
59 disposed against the vertical abutment Walls 52 of
the openings 51.
The disk-like member or star wheel 21, illustrated in
FIG. 8, has a plurality of circumferentially spaced ?ange
projections 79“ . . . 7t)f on one side thereof and dis
posed in a radiating relation to the rotation axis of the
it is understood that the invention is not limited thereby,
but rather includes all those changes, modi?cations and
adaptations as are reasonably embraced within the scope
of the claims hereof.
Having described my invention, I claim:
1. An actuator device comprising support means; a
Each of the projections 7t)a . . . 76‘, which may
wheel mounted on said support means for rotation on a
be conveniently struck up from the disk, have radially
rotation axis and adapted for connection with a member
to be rotatably driven; guideway means on said support
extending surfaces 71 and 72 which are adapted to co
operate with the T-shaped pawls 58. It will be observed
that the ends 75 of the depending portions 59 of the
pawls 53 extend below the lower surface 76 of the push
buttons 17 and 18 and are illustrated in FIG. 4 as being
in position to engage the surface 71 of the projection 7 0a
of the disk 01' star wheel 21 upon inward reciprocation
of the push-button 17. Inward movement of the push
button 17 will bring the end 75 of the pawl 58 associated
therewith into contact with the surface 71, and continued
inward movement of the push-button will move the pro
means and extending in a direction transverse to said
axis and o?set therefrom; said guideway means providing
a stroke path extending in a chordal relation across said
wheel on one side thereof; push-button means compris
ing a push-button reciprocably operable is said guideway
means and along said path through a work stroke and
a return stroke; said wheel having circumferentially
spaced projections on said one side thereof and disposed
in a radiating relation to said rotation axis; said push
button having an opening therethrough transversely there
of, and groove means at the end of said opening remote
the rear end of the slot 48 stopping its motion with the 40 from said wheel; an abutment on said push-button at the
rear side of said opening with respect to movement of
‘projection 70a assuming the position previously occupied
the push-button in the work stroke direction; pawl means
by the projection 70*’. During the inward working stroke
comprising a substantially T-shaped pawl having a stem
of the push-button 17, the pawl 58 applies thrust to the
disposed in said opening, and a cross-arm on the stem
projection 74)11 to rotate the wheel 21 and slides along
and received in said groove means for swingably suspend—
this projection during such thrust engagement and wheel
ing said pawl in said opening; said cross-arm having a
contact portion on the side thereof remote from said
Referring to FIG. 5, the device 10 is there shown with
stem; and a leaf spring mounted on said push-button and
the push-button 17 at a position during its return or out
effective against said contact portion for retaining said
ward stroke under the in?uence of its return spring 44.
cross-arm in said groove means and for urging said pawl
In this ?gure the projection 70a is now seen to be in the
toward said abutment; said pawl having a free end por
position previously occupied by the projection 70b and the
tion projecting from said opening for thrust and ratchet
projection 701 is engaged by the end 75 of the depending
jection 7t)Z1 until the lug 47 of the push-button engages
portion “59 of the pawl 58. The latter, pawl 53, is adapted
ing co-operation with said projections during said work
and return strokes respectively; said free end portion
to swing against the resilient biasing action of the leaf
being movable along one of said projections with a slid
spring 63 toward the sloping or inclined wall 53 of the
ing and wedging engagement during said thrust co-opera
opening 51, thereby permitting the pawl to ride over the
tion and in response to the work stroke of said push
projection 70i during the return stroke of the push-button
button for imparting rotation to said wheel.
17. Upon the completion of the outward or return stroke
2. An actuator device as de?ned in claim 1 wherein
of the pushbutton 17 the pawl 58 will be resiliently urged
into its rest position with the depending portion 59 thereof 60 said wheel comprises a disk and said projections com
prise ?anges formed integral with said disk.
lying against the vertical abutment wall 52 of the open
ing 51.
3. An actuator device as de?ned in claim 1 wherein
said guideway means comprises parallel guideway por
tions on opposite sides of said axis, and said push-button
the depending portions 59 of the pawls 58 are disposed 65 means comprises a pair of said push-buttons operable in
said guideway portions; said pawl means comprising
radially outwardly of the periphery 80 of the star wheel
When the push-buttons 17 and 18 are in their respec
tive rest or outward positions as illustrated in FIG. 1,
21. Each of the pawls 58 is therefore out of engagement
with the star wheel 21 and the latter is capable of being
pawls carried by the respective push-buttons and swing
able relative thereto; the work stroke movement of one
push-button being e?ective to rotate said wheel a fraction
rotated a fraction of a turn upon reciprocation of either
of the push-buttons 17 and 18 without interference or 70 of a turn in one direction, and the work stroke movement
of the other push-button being effective to rotate said
opposition by the pawl 58 associated with the other of
the push-buttons. The described construction thereby
permits selective step-by-step rotation of the disk 21,
wheel a fraction of a turn in the opposite direction.
4. An actuator device as de?ned in claim 3 and com
and of the stem 20, in either direction of rotation.
prising a pair of return springs effective against the re
spective push-buttons to cause the return strokes thereof
The disk 21 described herein is provided with 6 projec
for returning said push-buttons to rest positions; said
of said second push-button in said second guideway means
in opposition to said return spring means being e?ective
to engage said second pawl with a thrust surface of said
Wheel for rotating the Wheel in the opposite direction;
and movement of said push-buttons in the return direc
tion by said return spring means being effective to locate
pawls being normally maintained in engagement with
their associated abutments by their associated leaf springs
whereby said pawls are located out of the path of move
ment of said projections when the push-buttons are in
said rest positions.
said pawls in positions for subsequent engagement with
5. An actuator device comprising a base; a rotatable
star wheel on said base and having circumferentially
others of said surfaces for further rotation of said wheel
spaced radially extending projections on one side of the
in response to subsequent actuations of said push-buttons.
wheel and providing thrust surfaces thereon; ?rst and 10 6. An actuator device as de?ned in claim 5 wherein
second guideway means on said base and extending in
said pawls are located outwardly of the path of circum
a chordal relation across said one side of said wheel on
ferential movement of said projections when said push
opposite sides of the rotation axis of said wheel; ?rst
buttons are in said rest positions.
and second push-buttons reciprocably movable in said
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
?rst and second guideway means; return spring means 15
urging said push-buttons toward rest positions; said push
buttons having openings therethrough and abutment
Doran _______________ .._ Feb. 26, 1901
means forming one side wall of said openings; pawl
Waldo _______________ __ Dec. 6, 1904
means comprising ?rst and second T-shaped pawls hav~
ing ‘depending portions extending through said openings
in said ?rst and second push-buttons respectively; said
pawls having cross-arms pivotally engaged with said push
buttons and presenting ?at surfaces; and leaf spring means
attached to said push-buttons and bearing against said
flat surfaces so as to urge said pawls toward a thrust posi
tion adjacent said abutment means but permitting swing
ing of the pawls away from the abutment means for
ratcheting over said projections during return movement
of said push-buttons by said return spring means; actua
tion of said ?rst push-button in said ?rst guideway means 30
in opposition to said return spring means being e?ective
to engage said ?rst pawl with a thrust surface of said
wheel for rotating the wheel in one direction; actuation
Reisbach _____________ __ Jan. 26,
Wolters _____________ __ Mar. 23,
Packwood ____________ __ Jan. 18,
Benja?eld ____________ __ Nov. 18,
Chandler ____________ __ July 18,
Allen _______________ -._ Oct. 15,
Barth _______________ __ Feb. 10,
Caldwell ____________ __ Mar. 27,
Homkes _____________ __ July 21,
Emery ______________ __ Jan. 24,
France ______________ __ July 28, 1920
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