Vehicle signaling system



H. E. METCALF 2,188,058 VEHICLE SIGNALING SYSTEM Filed March 19, 1938 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 J'Tf'yE/NG 65,918 1 INVENTOR, HERBERT E. METCALFI I I I. f l, . ATTORNEYS. Jan. 23, 1940- H. E. METCALF VEHICLE SIGNALING SYSTEM 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 19, 1938 INVENTOR, HERBERT E. METCALF. Patented Jan. 23, 1940 UNITED STATES VEHICLE SIGNALING SYSTEM Herbert E. Metcalf, Walnut Creek, Califi, assignor, by mesne assignments, to Signacator Systems, Inc., Oakland, Calif., a corporation of California Application March 19, 1938, Serial No. 196,814 3 Claims. My invention relates to vehicle signaling systems and more particularly to such a system having hand and automatic switches operating in parallel to energize right and left indicators from a power source. Among the objects of my invention are: to provide a combined hand and automatic switch signaling system wherein only one indicating lamp can be illuminated at the same time, irrespective of switch positions; to provide, in a combination of hand and automatic switches utilized for vehicle signaling, a hand switch overriding the condition of the automatic switch; and to provide a simple and efficient over-riding hand switch in a vehicle signaling system. This application is a continuation in part of my prior application, Serial No. 170,611, filed October 23, 1937, entitled Vehicle signaling system with manual over-ride, since matured into United States Patent No. 2,126,940, dated August 16, 1938, and utilizes the same broad idea disclosed therein but with difierent apparatus. Other objects of my invention will be apparent or will be specifically pointed out in the description forming a part of this specification, but I do not limit myself to the embodiment of the invention herein described, as various forms may be adopted within the scope of the claims. In the drawings: Figure 1 is a schematic and diagrammatic representation of a vehicle signaling system wherein the hand and automatic switches are in neutral position. Figure 2 is a similar diagram showing a left hand circuit energized by the automatic switch alone. Figure 3 is a similar diagram showing the left hand circuit energized by both switches. Figure 4 is a similar diagram showing the automatic switch in aposition to energize the left hand circuit and the hand switch in a position to energize the right hand circuit. In my above referred to application I have pointed out the fact that in electric vehicle signaling systems wherein an automatic switch is attached to the steering gear of a vehicle to indicate right and left turns, and wherein a hand switch is utilized to indicate the same turns, it is possible for both indicating circuits to be energized at the same time, at least for an instant, when one ofthe switches is energizing, for example, the right hand circuit, and the other switch is energizing the left hand circuit. In-that prior application I have described and claimed a particular type of hand switch wherein a resistor is substituted for the visual indicator not energized so that, even if the automatic switch should turn to energizing position of that particular circuit, the current will pass through the resistor and not through the indicator. Thus at all times, when the hand switch is utilized, only the indicator selected by the hand switch can ever be illuminated. I also pointed out in that above-identified application that it was desirable to substitute this resistor for the visual indicator, because current through the automatic switch is utilized in that type of system to release the hand switch from its energizing position, irrespective of which circuit the automatic switch energizes. The present application differs from the prior filed application only in that in the present application I do not substitute for the visual indicator not selected by the hand switch a resistor as such, but arrange contacts on the hand switch so that, when the hand switch is operated to right or to left, auxiliary connections are made so that whichever way the automatic switch turns it will energize the indicators on one side only, namely, that side selected by the hand switch. In other words, in the present application I am using in place of the resistor, the indicators already energized by the hand switch. My invention may be more fully understood by direct reference to the drawings. Referring to Figure 1, the automatic switch comprises disc i directly driven from the steering mechanism of the vehicle and attached thereto in any convenient manner. I have not shown any means by which to attach this switch to the steering mechanism as this portion of the system is no part of the present invention. Automatic disc I is preferably made of insulating material and carries a conductive segment 2. An automatic common brush 3 is positioned in constant contact with segment 2, and automatic lateral brushes 4 and 5 are positioned around the periphery of automatic disc I out of contact with segment 2 and on each side thereof when the vehicle is proceeding in the straight ahead path. As the steering gear is turned over a predetermined angle, segment 2 will connect with common brush 3 to lateral brush 4 or 5 in accordance with the direction of the vehicle turn. Common brush 3 of the automatic switch leads through common brush line 1 to a releasing so1e noid 8 wound around release core 9, placed in magnetic relationship to a magnetic pawl l0 mounted on a spring I I cooperation with central notch 12 Ma hand switch disc 14. Under normal circumstances pawl ill will remain in central notch 12, centering the disc. Hand switch disc M is provided with an operating handle IE, to which balanced return springs it are attached. Hand switch disc I4 is also provided with'lateral notches l1, into which pawl Ill will drop as disc I4 is rotated to right or left, thus holding the hand disc in right or left position as the case may be. The circuit through solenoid 8 is completed through source wire H? to source l9, the other end of which is grounded as is customary in automotive vehicles. In practical installations the ignition switch may be placed in series with a source 19, so that the signaling system is im'operative whenever the ignition is turned oif and operative only when the ignition is on. Hand switch disc i l carries a pair of spaced lateral conductive segments 29 and 2 l, and when disc M is in the central position as determined by spring 45 and pawl ii registering with notch l2, a hand switch common brush 22 is positioned between spaced segm nts 20 and 2! so that it does not make contact with either. Common brush 22 is connected through balancing resistor 2 to source l9. Segment 2! has bearing thereon a left hand indicator brush connected to left hand indicator lamp 255, which is then grounded. Likewise, right segment 29 is provided with a right indicator brush 2'! which is connected to right indicator lamp 29, which is then grounded. Contacting the ends of segments 2G and 2!, adjacent hand switch common 10111511 22, are right and left automatic switch brushes 3% and 3!, connected respectively to automatic lateral brushes on automatic switch disc 5 by intermediate circuit wires. Thus it will be seen that all connections made by the automatic switch are subject to the posh tion of the hand switch. In order to more fully explain the operation of the device, I have shown three conditions in Figures 2, 3 and 4. In Figure 2 the hand switch is in central position. The vehicle has made a turn to the left and consequently the automatic switch segment 2 is connecting automatic switch brushes 3 and i. A circuit is, therefore, provided through the left indicator lamp 25 as follows: Beginning with source l9 current will flow through solenoid 8 to common automatic brush 3, thence to lateral brush l, and thence to brush 3i on the hand switch, through lateral segment 2! on the hand switch into indicator brush and thence through lamp 2%. Under these conditions pawl it will be pulled out of notch IE but no change will occur in the hand switch, because the hand switch is already neutralized and springs iii are centering this disc. A similar circuit can be tracedthrough the right hand indicator lamp when the automatic switch is turned to the right. Thus, with no operation of the hand switch, indicators 26 and 29 will faithfully show the turning of the vehicle. In Figure 3 the hand switch has been moved to energize the left hand lamp 2% from source 29 through the following circuit: namely, through balancing resistor it to hand switch common brush 22, through lateral segment 2i and from thence through lamp 2% via brush If this setting of the hand switch has been made before a turn is made and before the automatic switch has completed any circuits, pawl ill will be in notch I! and will hold the hand switch disc in position to energize lamp 26 until some circuit is made through the automatic switch. In Figure 3, I have shown the automatic switch completing a circuit to left lamp 26, thus supposing that a turn has been made in the same direction as that preset and preindicated by the hand switch. Under these circumstances current will flow in two circuits to lamp 2%, one the circuit already described for the hand switch, and the other through the automatic switch as follows: From source 89 through solenoid 8 to common brush 3 on the automatic switch, thence to lateral brush t, thence to automatic brush 3! on the hand switch, and thence through segment 2| to left lamp 26. The two circuits energizing lamp 26 are in parallel and I utilize balancing resistor E l to cause current to flow through solenoid 6. As current flows through solenoid 8 pawl iii will be lifted out of notch ll and the hand switch disc will be centralized by the extended spring 56. The drawing in Figure 3 shows the hand switch at the instant of release and before it is moved to central position. After it is moved back. to centralposition, however, lamp 25 will remain illuminated, due to the closed circuit through the automatic switch. Figure 3, therefore, represents the condition which will occur when the hand switch is preset to make a left hand turn and the left hand turn is actually made. The hand switch will release, due to the use of the balancing resistor 2 3, and the hand switch will return to neutral without disturbing the illumination of indicator 26. One other condition may arise, namely, the hand switch may be set to make, for example. a right hand turn. The operator may then, without bothering to change the setting of the hand switch, make left hand turn, and it is this condition which normally would light both lamps. Both lamps, how-ever, cannot be illuminated with the present switches, and Figure 4 shows this condition. In Figure 4 the hand switch disc M has been preset to illuminate right hand lamp 229. The turn, however, was actually made to the left, so that; the automatic switch is connecting central brush 3 to lateral brush 6. Under these circumstances segment 2| is not in contact with any hand switch brush and left hand. lamp Z8 is completely isolated so that it cannot be illuminated under any circumstances. It is necessary, however, under this condition, that current flow through solenoid 8. so that hand switch disc i l may be released, and this is accomplished because both lateral brushes 4 and 5 of the automatic switch are connected to automatic switch brushes 30 and 3! on the hand switch; and when the hand switch is in this position, both of these brushes are in contact with hand switch segment 20. Thus current will flow through solenoid 8 as follows: Beginning with source 59, through solenoid B to central brush 3 in automatic switch, thence to brush i in automatic switch to brush 3! on the hand switch, through segment 29 in hand switch and throng lamp 29. Lamp 29, of course, is being simultaneously energized through balancing resistor '24, the circuits being in parallel, and by the use of the balancing resistor suiiicient current to release pawl l0 will flow through solenoid 8. Pawl l8 will then be retracted and the hand switch M will return to central position. AS it returns to central position, however, segment 2i swings across automatic switch brush 3! and indicator brush 25, thus illuminating left hand lamp 25. Right hand lamp 2!! will be out out, because common brush 22 of the hand switch is isolated. Thus, when the turn to the left is actually made, left connection of the automatic switch releases the hand disc 14, and as hand disc M returns to central position, the energization is shifted from lamp 29 erroneously connected up by the operator, and current is switched to lamp 26 indicating the turn actually made. Thus, with the connections in the circuit as shown, the automatic switch will release the hand switch, irrespective of which indicator is being energized by the hand switch, and will set up, after release of the hand switch, the proper indication of the turn actually being made. Whenever the hand switch is thrown to right or left, the opposite lamp is always isolated. Thus it is impossible under any circumstances to illuminate both lamps at once. I claim: 1. In combination, a vehicle signaling system comprising a steering gear switch automatically and selectively energizing a pair of intermediate circuits from a power source upon movement of said steering gear, a hand switch movable at will of the operator to selectively energize a pair of indicator circuits each including an indicating device, means for holding said hand switch in energizing positions, means actuated by current passing through said steering gear switch for releasing the hold of said holding means, a pair of spaced segmental contacts movable by motion of said hand switch, a power brush connected to said power source positioned between said contacts when said switch is in central position and connected to a segment when said hand switch is moved to right or left, a pair of indicator brushes in contact one with each segment and to an indicator when said hand switch is in central position, a pair of intermediate brushes in contact one with each segment at a point between said indicator brushes and said power brush when said hand switch is at central position, said intermediate brushes being connected one to each intermediate circuit energized by said steering gear switches, said brushes being spaced relative to each other to completely disconnect one indicator circuit and to connect the other indicator circuit to both intermediate circuits and to said power source when said hand switch is moved to either left or right position. 2. In combination, a vehicle signaling system comprising a pair of indicator circuits each including a signal device, a steering gear switch automatically and selectively connecting a pair of intermediate circuits to a power source .in accordance with a turning movement of the steering gear of a vehicle, a hand switch selectively movable to two positions at the will of the vehicle operator, resilient means for cen tralizing said hand switch between said two positions,.means for holding said hand switch in the selected position, contact means on said hand switch for separatelyco-nnecting said interme diate circuits to said indicator circuits when said hand switch is in centralposition and for connecting both of said intermediate circuits to said power source and to an indicator circuit selected by movement of said hand switch to one of the two positionsand means operated by current passing through said automatic switch only for releasing the hold 01 said holding means whereby said hand switch returns to neutral position. 3. In combination, a vehicle signaling system comprising a power source, a pair of signaling circuits each including a signal device, an automatic switch member moved by turning of the vehicle steering gear, a central brush on said automatic switch connected to said power source, lateral brushes on each side of said central brush, each lateral brush being connected to an intermediate circuit, a conductive member on said switch member bridging said central brush to a lateral brush in accordance with the turn made by said vehicle, a hand switch member movable by the vehicle operator to two positions, resilient means for centering said hand switch member between said two positions, a power brush bearing against said hand switch member and corn nected to said power source, intermediate circuit brushes on each side of said power brush and connected each to an intermediate circuit, an indicator brush outwardly spaced from each in-. termediate brush and each connected to an in dicator circuit, a pair of spaced conducting segments on said hand switch member connecting one indicator brush to one intermediate brush on each side when said hand switch memberis in central position, and connecting said power brush with both intermediate brushes and one only indicator brush when moved to either of the selectable positions of said hand switch member, means for holding said hand switch member in the position selected by the operator of the vehicle, and means operated by current passing through said automatic switch only for releasing the hold of said holding means, whereby said hand switch returns to neutral position. HERBERT E. METCALF'.



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Cited By (2)

    Publication numberPublication dateAssigneeTitle
    US-2656426-AOctober 20, 1953Auto Lamp Mfg CoSwitch for use in turn-indicating signaling systems
    US-3576530-AApril 27, 1971Ford Motor CoTurn indicator system actuatable by either of two switch means