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Патент USA US3097802

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July 16, 1963
Filed Jan. 15, 1962
?ezzgy (5,’ rVam'ak
United States Patent 0 "ice
Patented July 16, 1963
numeral wheels have male hub portions 36 journaled on
the shaft 12 and these portions are so arranged as to serve
Henry H. Harada, Grand Blanc, Mich., assignor to Gen
eral Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation
of Delaware
Filed Jan. 15, 1962, Ser. No. 166,207
8 Claims. (Cl. 235-117)
as bearings for female hub portions 38. In the assembly
of the wheels the ends of the male hub portion 36 are
adapted frictionally to engage shoulder portions 40 formed
on the adjacent wheels. The annular end surface 42 of
each female hub portion 38 is spaced a given distance
‘from an annular surface 44 on an adjacent male hub
portion. Because of this spacing, there is clearance or
This invention relates to counting devices and more par
rticularly to instruments such as odometers which include 10 more than enough room for the web portion of a pinion
carrier 46-. A side view of this pinion carrier is best seen
coaxially mounted numeral wheels.
in FIGURE 4, its outer diameter being equal to that of
'It is customary in the ?eld of automotive mileage indi
the numeral wheels and its periphery being supplied with
cating devices such as odometers to transfer the rotation
a notched tab 48‘ by means of which the pinion carrier
count of a numeral wheel by way of a pinion gear to the
15 may be held by exterior structure in a non-rotative posi~
next numeral wheel of higher order. . ‘Successive wheels
tion with respect to the axis of the shaft 12 and the
are so driven by pinion gears and each gear is customarily
numeral wheels of the counting device. The pinion car
supported by a pinion carrier ?xed in position between
rier has a notch 50 in its periphery freely to receive and
each set of adjacent numeral wheels. Heretofore, ar
rangements of this type have been such that friction has 20 retain a cylindrical disk portion 52 of a pinion gear 55.
The pinion gear carrier 46 also bears arcuate ridges 58
developed in operating the counting devices. This fric
one being on each side of the pinion carrier. These arcu
tion is negligible but adequate to in?uence the operation-—
ate ridges for each pinion carrier are limited in arcuate
i.e.--it adversely affects the smoothness of operation.
extent as best seen in FIGURE 4 thereby opposingly to
Such adverse a condition is appreciated in the disclosure
of the United States Patent 1,826,391, granted October 6, 25 contact the hubs 60‘ and 62 of the corresponding pinion
.1931, in the name of C. B. Dinsmore.
In that patent,
Because of this contact with hubs 60‘ and 62, the
friction to rotate each successive wheel at the same time
as rotation is imparted to the latter by a pinion gear, but
pinion gear 55‘ is bodily held in a predetermined ?xed
position by one of ‘the tabs 48.
Each numeral wheel does not engage the shaft for its
will now be described in detail in the speci?cation and
45 an automobile and properly in registry with an opening
the hubs of adjacent numeral wheels engage, tending by
each pinion gear tends to cock and the numeral wheels 30 full hub length but is relieved as at 66 or 68 to prevent
any possible binding.
tend axially to separate and wobble during the rotation
The interior left rim of each numeral wheel is supplied
transfer period. These conditions become more severe
two driving teeth '70 for engaging appropriate teeth
because of cumulative wear and tend to reduce the other
72 formed on a pinion gear 55. The other side of each
wise expected useful life of the device.
An object of the present invention is to provide an im 35 pinion gear 55 is also provided with teeth 74 for engag
ing a full circular series of teeth 76 ‘formed inside the
proved multiple wheel counting device in which cocking
right—hand rim of the adjacent or driven wheel. The spe
or misalignment of parts in prevented and longevity of
ci?c design of the teeth in the pinion gear and wheels is
the device in service is assured.
of no moment here but may be like that commonly known
A feature of the invention is a counting device having
numeral wheels with nesting lhubs. Another feature is 4.0 in this ?eld. The smooth surfaced hub portions 60 and
6-2 above mentioned are cylindrical in form and are re
such a device having pinion gears each of which is radially
ceived within annular recesses 84 and 86 formed in the
positioned by annular shoulders on adjacent numeral
adjacent wheels.
wheels, these shoulders facing outwardly from the com
Assuming that the assembly 10 of numeral wheels and
mon axis of the wheels.
shaft 12 is mounted behind the instrument panel 80 of
These and other important features of the invention
82 in the panel for viewing by an operator, data indicat~
ing the miles traveled by the vehicle involved may be
transmitted by the cable and gear arrangement custom
FIGURE 1 is an elevation view of an odometer wheel
assembly largely concealed by a panel and in which assem 50 arily used to convey rotation to the teeth 32 of the ?rst
numeral wheel 14. At the tenth revolution of this wheel,
bly the present invention is embodied;
the pinion gear will cause the rotation of the second or
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged view, partially in section, of
adjacent numeral wheel 18' so that the latter will rotate
the right-hand end portion of the assembly shown in FIG
[then pointed out more particularly in the appended claims.
In the drawings:
one digit for every ten revolutions of the ?rst wheel and
:FIGURE 3 is an enlarged sectional view of a pinion 55 after ten revolutions of the second wheel the third wheel
18 will be rotated one digit to indicate 100 revolutions
gear arrangement shown in FIGURE 2; and
all as is customary in such devices.
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view looking in the direction
‘It will be noted that the male hub portions 36 and the
of the arrows 4-4 in FIGURE 2.
female hub portions 38 are so arranged with respect to
As is customary in devices of the type herein consid
each other that, if desired, the shaft 12 could be omitted
ered, a wheel assembly indicated generally at 10 includes
entirely. The wheel hubs are actually in nested arrange
a shaft 12 coaxially retaining a ?rst numeral wheel 14
ment and suppont each other. The broad hub support
and a last numeral wheel 16 as well as intermediate nu
thus supplied to each wheel inhibits any wobbling or non
meral wheels 18. The shaft 12 is provided with an annu
coaxial movement of the series of wheels and because of
lar thrust ring 20 at one end and a second annular ring
2-2 at the other end. A coil spring 24 is preferably but 65 this ?rm coaxial arrangement, there is no possibility of
the pinion gears 55 cocking during transfer periods of
not necessarily used between the 1last wheel 16 and the
rotative motion. When the teeth of the pinion gears and
ring 22 to retain the coaxial wheels in contacting relation
the numeral wheels mesh to transfer motion, the pinion
ship and against the thrust ring 20. The ?rst wheel 14
gears tend to move inwardly but are stopped by the shoul
bears an extended hub portion ‘30 bearing an annular
series of gear teeth ‘32 thereon for engagement with a 70 ders '90 and 92 formed on adjacent numeral wheels. The
arcuate ridges 58 are made free of these shoulders and as
driving mechanism such as a gear and cable arrangement
best seen in FIGURE 2.
connected to the transmission of an automobile. The
With this construction, all the parts in the counting
device except the spring 24 may be made of plastic and
such plastic may be nylon, or it may be a butadiene, sty
rene, acrylonitrile interpolymer. These plastics are given
merely as suitable examples.
4. A multiple wheel counting device as set forth in
claim 2, said pinion carrier being clear of said pinion
gear except for said circular portion.
5. A counting device having at least three coaxial nu
meral wheels, two of said wheels having male hub por
tions and two having female portions, said male hub por
tions being arranged as bearings for said female hub por
T tions, a ?xed pinion carrier surrounding each of said male
A most important advantage in the odometer wheel as-v
sembly is in the nature of the pinion carrier plates 46.
It will be noted that each plate 46 does not need to be
cut accurately as the numeral wheels take the load trans
hub portions and interposed between adjacent wheels, a
mitted by the pinion gears. In devices of this nature as 10 peripheral notch in said carrier, a pinion gear having a
heretofore provided, the numeral wheels and elements for
holding the pinion gears are necessarily made with a high
order of accuracy which fact is re?ected in the cost.
I claim:
circular portion freely retained within said notch, op
posed hubs onsaid pinion gear, said carrier having op
f posed. surfaces in registry with said notch and engaging
said opposed pinion hubs, the said male and female hub
portions being arranged to determined running clearances
1. A multiple wheel counting device comprising a
shaft, two numeral wheels having‘ hubs coaxial with said
shaft, one of said hubs having a reduced diameter portion
for said wheels and pinion gear in the direction of the axis
constituting a male portion journaled on said shaft, the
other of said hubs having an annular portion constituting
tioned to serve as a means for transferring rotary motion
of said wheels, and teeth on said adjacent wheels posi
through said pinion gear.
a female portion journaled on said reduced diameter por 20
6. A counting device as set forth in claim 5, said wheels,
tion, a ?xed pinion carrier mounted between facing por
pinion carrier and pinion gear being made of plastic
tions of said wheels and surrounding said male portion,
a pinion gear rotatably retained by said pinion carrier to
serve as a transfer mechanism of rotative motion between
adjacent wheels having annular shoulders arranged to re
strain motion of the said opposed hubs of said pinion gear
said wheels, and the end of said male portion engaging
said other hub to determine clearance space for said two
numeral wheels as measured in a direction parallel with
the axis of said shaft and relative to said pinion carrier
and pinion gear.
2. A multiple wheel counting device, numeral wheels
coaxially mounted therein and having coaxial hubs, one
toward the axis of said wheels.
8. A counting device as set forth in claim 5, a shaft,
. the male hub portions of said numeral wheels being jour
naled on said shaft, and other portions of said numeral
of said hubs on one of said wheels having a male portion,
the other of said wheels having a hub with a female por
tion journaled onsaid male portion, a ?xed pinion car
rier mounted between said two wheels and surrounding
said male portion, a pinion gear having a circular por
tion rotatably retained by said pinion carrier to serve as a
transfer mechanism of rotative motion between said
wheels, and the end of said male portion engaging said
other wheel'to determine clearance space for said two 40
wheels as measured in a direction parallel with the com
mon axis of said wheels and relative to said pinion carrier
and pinion gear.
wheels being coaxial ‘with said shaft and'cooperating with
the latter in de?ning annular clearance spaces to promote
free running of said wheels with respect to said shaft.
References Cited in the ?le vof’this patent
Dinsmore‘ ________ __‘____ Nov. 20, 1928
Mac-Neil ____________ __ Apr. 23, 1929‘
Tittensor ______ __'__._'__ Mar. 24, 193-1
. ‘Bliss _______________ __. Feb. 17, ‘1953
Harada __________ _'___‘_._ Nov. 10, 1953
Manke‘ ______________ .... July 3, 1956
Herr _________________ .._ Oct. 3, 1961
'Italy ____- ___________ _- ‘Mar. '16, 1957
Germany ____________ __ Aug. 2, 1951
3. A multiple wheel counting device as set forth in
claim 2, said gears having annular shoulders for support 45
ing said pinion gear against motion of the latter toward
the common axis of said annular wheels.
7. A counting device as set forth in claim 5, said two
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