Búsqueda Imágenes Maps Play YouTube Noticias Gmail Drive Más »
Iniciar sesión
Usuarios de lectores de pantalla: deben hacer clic en este enlace para utilizar el modo de accesibilidad. Este modo tiene las mismas funciones esenciales pero funciona mejor con el lector.

Patentes

  1. Búsqueda avanzada de patentes
Número de publicaciónUS3581276 A
Tipo de publicaciónConcesión
Fecha de publicación25 May 1971
Fecha de presentación22 Mar 1968
Fecha de prioridad22 Mar 1968
Número de publicaciónUS 3581276 A, US 3581276A, US-A-3581276, US3581276 A, US3581276A
InventoresNewman Laverne R
Cesionario originalEssex International Inc
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Vehicle light control and warning indicator system
US 3581276 A
Imágenes(2)
Previous page
Next page
Descripción  (El texto procesado por OCR puede contener errores)

United States Patent Inventor Laverne R. Newman St. Clair Shores, Mich. App]. No. 715,314 Filed Mar. 22, 1968 Patented May 25, 1971 Assignee Essex International, Inc.

Fort Wayne, Ind.

VEHICLE LIGHT CONTROL AND WARNING INDICATOR SYSTEM 16 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.

Primary Examiner-Alvin H. Waring Attorney-Bah, Freeman and Molinare ABSTRACT: An automatic lamp disconnecting system for vehicle lighting systems having a lamp energizing circuit including a normally open relay switch in series with a manual lamp control switch. Magnetic means for closing the relay switch is energized through the vehicle ignition switch and through a separate holding circuit comprising, in series connection, the relay switch, the lamp control switch, and a normally closed thermal time delay switch which has a heating element responsive to energization of the vehicle lamp only when the ignition switch is opened to effect opening of said time delay switch a predetermined time after opening of the ignition switch.

HEAD/AMP, .SW/TCH M /5 HEADLAMP By 9455 .SW/TCH 20 /2 24 22 2 ,3/ /c;/v/r/0/v 29 1 sw/rcH 7'0 /6N/7/0/V the ignition system has been turned off by the ignition switch 12. The normally open contacts 18 of the relay 16 are connected in the energizing circuit of the lamp 14 between the stationary contact of the control switch 15 and the terminal 19 of the lamp 14. The coil 20 of the relay 16 is grounded at one end and at the other end is connected to the junction point 21 of two unidirectional conducting elements or diodes 22 and 23. The other side of the diode 22 is connected to the ignition switch 12 at its junction point 24 with the ignition circuit supply conductor 13. Also connected to the junction point 24 is one end of the coil 25 of an auxiliary electromagnetic relay 26 which has normally closed contacts 27. The other end of the relay coil 25 is grounded as is the stationary contact of the relay contacts 27. The time delay switch 17 is depicted as a thermally actuated device comprising a movable contact 28 in the form of a bimetal strip, a stationary contact 29 normally engaged by the movable contact 28, and a heating element or resistance winding 30 which is in a heat transferring relation with the movable contact 28. The heating element 30 is con nected at one end to the movable contact of the relay contacts 27 and at the other end to ajunction point 31, which in turn, is connected to the movable contact 28 and to one side of the diode 23. The stationary contact 29 of the time delay switch 17 is connected to the lamp 14 at terminal 19.

In operation, the closing of the ignition switch 12 will energize the relay coil 25, thereby opening the relay contacts 27. At the same time, the relay coil 20 is energized from the battery through a first relay energizing circuit composed of the supply line 11, ignition switch 12, diode 22, and coil 20 to ground. Energization of the coil 20 causes the relay contacts 18 to close. If the control switch is closed, the illuminating lamp 14 is energized through a lamp energizing circuit composed of the control switch 15 and the relay contacts 18. By operating the control switch 15, the lamp 14 may be turned on and off as desired. Although the lamp 14 is connected to the junction point 21 by the .diode 23 and the contacts 28 and 29 of the time delay switch 17, the blocking action of the diode 23 prevents energization of the lamp 14 through the ignition switch 12 and thediode 22. It will also be apparent that the opened relay contacts 27 prevent energization of the heating element 30 whenever the ignition switch 12 is closed.

When the control switch 15 is left closed after turning off the ignition switch 12, the coil of the main relay 16 will remain energized through a second relay energizing circuit extending from the battery 10 through the supply line 11, the control switch 15, relay contacts 18, terminal 19, contacts 28 and 29, junction point 31, diode 23, junction point 21, and relay coil 20 to ground. Thus, the lamp 14 will remain energized until either the control switch 15 or the relay contacts 18 are opened. As the diode 22 blocks any current flow from the junction point 21 to the junction point 24, the ignition system and the coil of the auxiliary relay 26 will be deenergized when the ignition switch 12 is opened. The relay contacts 27 close upon deenergization of the coil 25 to energize the heating element of the time delay switch 17 from the battery 10 in a circuit comprising the supply line 11, control switch 15, relay contacts 18, terminal 19, contacts 28 and 29, junction point 31, heating element 30, and relay contacts 27 to ground. The current flow through the heating element 30 causes the heating element to heat the movable contact 28. After a predetermined time interval, the movable contact 28 is sufficiently heated to disengage from the contact 29. Upon opening of the contacts 28 and 29, the second energizing circuit of the relay coil 20 is interrupted to cause the relay contacts 18 to open thereby energizing the lamp 14 and the time delay switch 17. The lamp 14, the time delay switch 17, and the relay coil 20 will remain deenergized until the ignition switch is closed even though the contact 28 upon cooling again en gages the contact 29 since relay contacts 18, which have now been opened, prevent the reinitiation of current flow from the battery 10 to the contacts 28 and 29. Thus, no current will be drawn by any part of the light control system in its inactive condition.

If desired, the light control system shown in FIG. 1 may be provided with a manually operated bypass switch 32 to permit operation of the lamp 14 without using the ignition switch 12. The switch 32 may be connected between the supply line 11 and the junction point 24 in shunt with the ignition switch 12. It will be obvious that if the switch 32 is closed the relay coil 20 will be energized to permit energization of the lamp 14 through the control switch 15 and the relay contacts 18. When the switch 32 is only momentarily closed, the lamp 14 will be automatically deenergized after a predetermined time interval. If the switch 32 is maintained closed, the lamp 14 will remain energized as long as the control switch 15 is not opened.

DESCRIPTION OF SECOND PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 2 illustrates another embodiment of the invention wherein components similar to corresponding components of the FIG. 1 circuit are identified by the same reference numerals with the prefix 1. In this embodiment, the relay 26 of the FIG. 1 embodiment has been eliminated by the substitution for the relay contacts 27 of an auxiliary switch 127 associated with the ignition switch 112. The switch 127 is controlled in such manner that when the ignition switch 112 is closed, the switch 127 will be opened. Also a relay 116 with dual-coil electromagnetic actuating means has been substituted for the single coil relay l6 and the two diodes 22 and 23 of the FIG. 1 embodiment. The magnetic structure of the relay 116 includes two coils 120A and 120B which are arranged and connected so that when; either is individually or simultaneously energized they will actuate the relay contacts 118 to a closed position.

As shown in FIG. 2, the energizing circuit for the illuminating lamp 114 extends from the battery through the supply line 111, relay contacts 118, junction point 140, control switch 115, terminal 119, and lamp 114 to ground. One end of the relay coil 120A is grounded while the other end is connected at the junction point 124 with the ignition switch 112 and the ignition circuit supply conductor 113. One end of the relay coil 120B is grounded while the other end is connected to the lamp terminal 119 through the junction point 131 and the contacts 128 and 129 of the time delay switch 117. The heating element 130 of the time delay switch 117 is connected at one end to the junction point 131 and at the other end to the stationary contact of the auxiliary switch 127 which has its movable contact grounded.

The operation of the second embodiment is generally the same as described in connection with the first embodiment. The closing of the ignition switch 112 opens its associated switch 127 while at the same time the relay coil 120A is energized to cause closing of the relay contacts 118. The illuminating lamp 114 may then be energized as desired by closing the control switch 115. The relay coil 1208 will also be energized in a second relay energizing circuit through the contacts 128 and 129 of the time delay switch 117 whenever the illuminating lamp 114 is energized, but the opened switch 127 prevents energization of the heating element 130.

If the control switch is left closed after the ignition switch 112 has been opened, the relay coil 1208 will remain energized through a holding circuit extending from the battery 110 through the relay contacts 118, the control switch 115, and the contacts 128 and 129 of the time delay switch 117. However, the closing of the auxiliary switch 127 upon opening of the ignition switch 112 permits the heating element 130 to become energized. After a predetermined interval, the movable contact 128 is sufficiently heated to disengage from the contact 129. The opening of the contacts 128 and 129 deenergizes the relay coil B which permits the relay contacts 118 to open thereby deenergizing the lamp 114.

The light control system shown in FIG. 2 includes a manually operated bypass switch 141 connected between the supply line 111 and the junction point 140. It will be obvious that the lamp 114 may be energized through the control VEHICLE LIGHT CONTROL AND WARNING INDICATOR SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to automotive vehicle light control systems and more particularly to improved time delay control systems which will automatically deenergize the illuminating lamps of an automotive vehicle after a predetermined time delay in the event the lamps have been left energized when the ignition switch is turned off.

Heretofore, various time delay control systems for automatically disconnecting vehicle lighting systems have been proposed to provide temporary lighting for a driver parking his vehicle in an unlighted area or to prevent excessive discharge of the vehicle battery when the lighting system is inadvertently left energized. In one prior art control system disclosed in the Jerome C. Meyer U.S. Pat. No. 2,606,626, issued Aug. 12, 1952, a thermal time delay switch controlled by a switch associated with the driver's seat disconnects the vehicle lamps when the driver leaves his seat. Other systems such as disclosed in the William Poznik U.S. Pat. No. 2,669,664, issued Feb. 16, 1954, employ a thermostatic switch responsive to the temperature of the vehicle engine to deenergize the lighting system upon cooling of the vehicle engine. Still other prior control systems such as disclosed in the Paul C. Crum U.S. Pat. No. 2,751,507, issued June 19, 1956, require the replacement of the usual headlight control switch with a specially constructed self-opening switch with detent means controlled by a time delay device.

Several prior patents have proposed control systems in which a thermal time delay switch has its heating element controlled by the ignition switch to deenergize the headlamps a predetermined length of time after the ignition switch is turned off..Such a system shown in the William H. Long U.S. Pat. No. 2,793,301, issued May 21, 1957, is not entirely satisfactory since the heating element remains energized after the lighting circuit has been deenergized. This disadvantage is obviated by providing the time delay switch with a detent or latch for mechanically maintaining the time delay switch in its open or operated position as shown, for example, in the Irving D. Shapiro U.S.'Pat. No. 2,806,980, issued Sept. 17, 1957. However, the latter type of system requires installation of the time delay switch in a location readily accessible to the vehicle driver since the delay switch must be manually reset after its operation.

Accordingly, an improved lamp control system constructed in accordance with the principles of my invention, is inexpensive, convenient and safely operated. The operation of such system is completely automatic and any manual resetting or actuation of ancillary switches or other mechanisms is obviated. Moreover, a system employing the principles of my invention, may be readily adapted to existing headlight circuits without the necessity of replacing the headlight control switch with an elaborate mechanical switch. Also, once the headlights have been automatically deenergized no current flow obtains in any portion of the system which might result in the continued discharge of the battery over an extended period of time. The control system of this invention is also easily and inexpensively adapted for automatic deenergization of an accessory such as a spotlight and the lighting system may be operated when the ignition switch is in the off position.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In a principal aspect of the present invention, there is provided an improved time delay control system for a vehicle illu minating lamp comprising normally open relay contacts and the vehicle lamp control switch connected in series in the lamp energizing circuit. Electromagnetic actuating means for the normally open relay contacts are connected to the vehicle battery through a first relay energizing circuit including the vehicle ignition switch and through a second relay energizing circuit including in series connection the normally open relay contacts, the lamp control switch and a normally closed time delay switch. The relay actuating means thus may be initially energized by closing of the ignition switch but will be maintained energized independently of the ignition switch by the second relay energizing circuit. The electrical operating winding of the time delay switch is connected to the vehicle battery through a circuit including the second relay energizing circuit which is arranged to energize the operating winding in response to opening of the ignition switch. The operating winding is thus responsive to energization of the second relay energizing circuit only when the ignition switch is turned off to effect opening of the time delay switch a predetermined length of time after opening of the ignition switch. The time delay switch when opened interrupts the second relay energizing circuit to deenergize both the relay actuating means and the operating winding of the time delay switch. Although the lamp control switch remains closed, the relay actuating means cannot be reenergized until the ignition switch is again closed thereby maintaining the illuminating lamp and all operating elements of the control system deenergized. Preferably, the time delay switch is of the bimetal operated type having a heating element while the first and second relay energizing circuits include unidirectional conducting elements such as diodes to prevent current flow from one relay energizing circuit to the other. These and other features and advantages may be more fully understood in the detailed description which follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the course of this description, reference will frequently be made to the attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an electrical schematic diagram of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is an electrical schematic diagram of an alternate embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is an electrical schematic diagram of another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is an electrical schematic diagram of an additional embodiment of the invention.

7 DESCRIPTION OF THE FIRST PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIG, 1, thereof, there is shown one embodiment of the invention which illustrates its basic principles and operation. As shown in FIG. 1, the novel vehicle light control system is adapted for use with a conventional automotive electrical system including a battery 10 or other direct current source of electrical energy having a grounded negative terminal and a positive terminal connected to a main supply line 11, an ignition switch 12 connected between the supply line 11 and an ignition supply conductor 13 for the ignition system of an internal combustion engine, a grounded illuminating lamp l4, and a manually operated lamp control switch 15 with one side connected to the supply line 11. The ignition switch 12 may be of the key-operated type usually provided in automotive vehicles to control the ignition, starting and accessory circuits. Although identified as an ignition switch 12 connected to an ignition supply conductor, it will be apparent that the switch 12 may also be the accessory portion of an ignition switch in which case the conductor 13 would be the accessory supply conductor. It will also be apparent that the switch 12 may be the operation controlling switch for vehicle driving prime movers other than internal combustion engines. The lamp 14 is representative of one or more of the exterior illuminating lamps such as headlamps, parking lamps, and tail lamps found in the usual vehicle lighting system. The control switch 15 is shown as a single pole, single throw switch but may be a conventional three-position light switch of the push-pull type.

In accordance with this invention as embodied in FIG. 1, there is provided a main electromagnetic relay 16 and a time delay switch 17 for automatically interrupting the energizing circuit of the lamp 114 at a predetermined time interval after switch 115 whenever the bypass switch 141 is closed. The

DESCRIPTION OF THIRD PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 3 illustrates still another embodiment of the invention wherein components similar to corresponding components of the FIG. 1 circuit are identified by the same reference numerals with the prefix 2.

In this embodiment, the heating element 230 of the time delay switch 217 has a low resistance value and is connected between the movable contact 228and the diode 223 in series with the coil 220 of the main relay 216. No auxiliary switch such as the relay switch 27 of'FlG. 1 or the switch 127 of FIG. 2 is necessary in this embodiment.

As shown in FIG. 3, the energizing circuit for the illuminating lamp 214 extends from the battery 210 through the supply line 211, control switch 215, relay contacts 218, terminal 219 and lamp 214 to ground. The coil 220 of the relay 216 is grounded atone end and at the other end is connected to the junction point 221 of two diodes 222 and 223. The other side of the diode 222 is connected at the junction point 224 with the ignition switch 212 and the ignition circuit supply conduc' tor 213. The other side of the diode 223 is connected by the heating element 230 and the contacts 228 and 229 of the time delay switch to the terminal 219.

In operation of the third embodiment, the closing of the ignition switch 212 will energize the relay coil 220 through the diode 222 thereby resulting in the closing of the relay contacts 218. The diode 223 blocks any current flow to the heating element 230 and the illuminating lamp 214 through the ignition switch 212 but the illuminating lamp 214 may be energized as desired by closing the control switch 215. No substantial current will flow through the heating element 230 from the terminal 219 while the ignition switch 212 remains closed because the voltage at terminal 219 is substantially equal to that at the junction point 221.

If the control switch 215 is left closed after the ignition switch 212 has been opened, the relay coil 220 will remain energized through a second relay energizing circuit extending cludes a supply stationary contact and terminal 350, a tail lamp stationary contact and terminal 351, a parking lamp stationary contact and terminal 352, and a stationary headlamp contact and terminal 353, as well as a movable contact bridging member 354. In the illustrated full line or "of position of the bridging member 354, the latter is disengaged from the stationary contacts. In the parking lamps on" position of the bridging member 354 as indicated by the dotted lines 354A, the bridging member 354 connects the tail lamp contact 351 and the parking lamp contact 352 to the supply contact 350. In the headlamps on" position of the bridging member 354 as indicated by the dotted lines 3548, the bridging member 354 connects the tail lamp contact 351 and the headlamp contact 353 to the supply contact 350. The tail light contact 351 and the parking light contact 352 are connected, respectively, to the terminal 355 of the tail lamp 314T and the terminal 356 of the parking light 314?. The headlamp contact 353 is connected at the junction point 357 to the movable contact 358 of the usual foot operated dimmer switch 359. The dimmer switch 359 may be the conventional ratchet type of switch in which the movable contact 358 alternately engages the stationary contacts 360 and 361 and remains in its last actuated position until moved to the opposite contact. The stationary contact 360 and 361 are connected, respectively, to the terminal 362 of the headlamp from the battery 210 through the control switch 215, the relay contacts 218, terminal 219, the contacts 229 and 228, the heating element 230 and the diode 223. The current flow in this holding circuit through the heating element 230 causes the heating element to heat the movable contact 228. After a predetermined interval of time, the movable contact 228 is sufficiently heated to disengage from the contact 229. The opening of the contacts 228 and 229 deenergizes the relay coil 220 which permits the relay contacts 218 to open and thereby deenergize the lamp 214.

An adjustable variable resistor 242 may be connected in parallel with the relay coil 220 at the junction point 221, to provide for adjustment of the time interval in which the time delay switch 217 opens its contacts. It will be apparent that a change in the resistance value of the resistor 242 will change the current flow through the heating element 230 of the time delay switch 217 and hence the period of time delay.

DESCRIPTION OF FOURTH PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 4 illustrates an additional embodiment of the invention wherein components similar to corresponding components of the FIG. 1 circuit are identified by the same reference numerals with the prefix 3. In this embodiment, the usual lighting system for automotive vehicles is illustrated as including grounded high beam headlamps 314HB, grounded low beam headlamps 314LB, grounded parking lamps 314P, and grounded tail lamps 314T. Selective energization of these illuminating lamps is controlled by a conventional manually operated lamp control switch 315. The control switch 315 in- 314HB and the terminal 363 of the headlamp 314LB. The vehicle electrical system is also shown as including a battery 310 having a grounded negative terminal and a positive terminal connected to a main supply 311. The main supply line 311 is connected to ajunction point 324A which, in turn, is connected to a double circuit ignition switch 312 having contacts 312A and 3128 mechanically linked to each other. When the double circuit ignition switch is closed, both of its contacts are simultaneously closed and current flow is provided from junction 324A to ignition supply conductor 313 through contact 312A and current flow is also established from junction 324A to junction 3248 through contact 3128. Upon closing the double circuit ignition switch 312 and its contact 3128, current flow is also provided from junction 324A through the contact 312B tojunction 314 and thence to the accessory conductor 315. An interior-mounted courtesy or dome lamp 364 is also connectedto main supply line 311 and two door-actuated switches 365 and 366 are connected between the dome lamp 364 and ground. When at least one of the vehicle doors is open, at least one of the door-actuated switches 365 or 366 is closed to energize the lamp 364.

In accordance with one'feature of this invention, there are provided two electromagnetic relays 316 and 326 and a time delay switch 317 for automatically deenergizing the lamps of the exterior lighting system at a predetermined time interval after the ignition switch 312 has been turned off with any lamps of the lighting system energized. The normally open contacts 318 of the main relay 316 are connected in the energizing circuit of the lighting system between the supply line 311 and ajunction point 367 which is connected to the supply contact 350 of the control switch 315. The coil 320 of the main relay 316 is grounded at one end and is connected at the other end to the junction point 368 of a diode 322 and the movable contact 328 of the time delay switch 317. The other side of the diode 322 is connected to the ignition switch 312 and the ignition circuit supply conductor 313 at the junction points 324A and 324B. Also connected to the junction point 3248 is one end of the coil 325 of the auxiliary relay 326 which has its other end grounded. The stationary contact of the normally closed contacts 327 of the relay 326 is connected to ground through an adjustable variable resistor 369. The heating element 330 which is in a heat transferring relation with the bimetallic movable contact 328 is connected between the movable contact of the relay contacts 327 and the junction point 368. A diode 323 is connected at one side of the terminal 355 of the tail lamp 314T and is connected at its other side to the stationary contact 329 of the time delay switch 317 at the junction point 370.

The fourthembodiment of the invention thus far described operates in substantially the same manner as does the first embodiment. The closing of the ignition switch 312 will energize the relay coil 325 thereby opening the relay contacts 327. At the same time, the relay coil 320 is energized through the ignition switch 312 and the diode 322 to cause closing of the relay contacts 318. Although the tail lamp 314T is connected to the junction point 368 by the diode 323 and the normally closed contacts 328 and 329 of the time delay switch 317, the lamp is not energized through this circuit because of the blocking action of the diode 323. The heating element 330 also is not energized since the opened relay contacts 327 prevent energization of the heating element 330 whenever the ignition switch 312 is closed.

After closing of the ignition switch 312, the illuminating lamps may be energized as desired. If the bridging member 354 of the control switch 315 is moved to the parking lamps on position indicated at 354A, the parking lamp 314? and the tail lamp 314T will be energized since the lamp energizing circuit to the supply contact 350 of the control switch 315 will be completed through the supply line 311, relay contacts 318, and the junction point 367. Similarly, the headlamps 314LB and 3l4I-IB may be selectively energized throughthe dimmer switch 359 when the bridging member 354 of the control switch 315 is moved to the headlamps on position indicated at 354B.

If the bridging member 354 of the control switch 315 remains in either of its operated positions 354A or 3548 after opening of the ignition switch 312, the relay coil 320 will remain energized through a holding circuit extending from the battery 310 through the supply conductor 311, relay contacts 318, junction point 367, supply contact 350 of the control switch 315, terminal 355, diode 323, junction point 370, contacts 329 and 328 of the time delay switch 317, and junction point 368. The diode 322 blocks any current flow from this second relay energizing circuit to the ignition circuit supply conductor 313 and to the coil 325 of the auxiliary relay 326. The relay coil 325 is thus deenergized upon opening of the ignition switch 312 and the relay contacts 327 close to energize the heating element 330 of the time delay switch 317. After a predetermined time interval adjustably set by the variable resistor 369, the movable contact 328 is sufficiently heated by the heating element 330 to disengage from the contact 329. The opening of the contacts 328 and 329 deenergize the relay coil 320 which in turn causes the relay contacts 318 to open. The opening of the relay contacts 318 interrupts the lamp energizing circuit to the control switch 315 thereby deenergizing the illuminating lamps. The illuminating lamps, the time delay switch 317, and the relay coil 320 will remain deenergized until the ignition switch 312 is closed again.

The light control system shown in FIG. 4 further includes a manually operated bypass switch 371 generally similar in construction to that of the control switch 315. The bypass switch 371 comprises a stationary supply contact 372 connected to the battery 310 by the supply conductor 311, a stationary tail lamp contact 373 connected to the terminal 355 of the tail lamp 314T, a stationary parking lamp contact 374 connected to the terminal 356 of the parking lamp 314P, a stationary headlamp contact 375 connected to the junction point 357, and a movable bridging member 376. In the illustrated full line or off" position of the bridging member 376, the latter is disengaged from the stationary contacts. In the parking lamps on" position of the bridging member 376 as indicated by the dotted lines 376A, the bridging member 376 connects the tail lamp contact 373 and the parking lamp contact 374 to the supply contact 372. In the headlamp on" position of the bridging member 376 as indicated by the dotted lines 3768, the bridging member 376 connects the tail lamp contact 373 and the headlamp contact 375 to the supply contact 372. In the event a component of the light control system should fail, the bridging contact member 376 of the bypass switch 371 may be shifted to either of its on positions to provide direct energization of the illuminating lamps. The bypass switch 371 also may be used to energize the headlamps without use of the ignition switch 312.

In accordance with another feature of the invention, the light control system shown in FIG. 4 includes means for automatically energizing the low beam headlamp 314LB in the event the relay 316 fails to close its contacts 318 when the ignition switch 312 is closed. For this purpose, the main relay 316 is provided with the normally closed contacts 377 which are opened when the relay coil 320 is energized. The movable contact of the contacts 377 is connected to the junction point 3248 while the stationary contact is connected at the junction point 378 with one end of the coil 379 of a safety relay 380 which is grounded at the other end. The normally open contacts 381 of the safety relay 380 are connected between the supply line 311 and the terminal 363 of the low beam headlamp 314LB. In normal operation of the light control system as described above, the relay contacts 377 will be opened whenever the relay coil 320 is energized. Thus, the relay coil 379 will not be energized from the supply line 311 through the ignition switch 312. If, however, due to a failure of the relay 316 the relay coil 320 fails to open the contacts 377 when the ignition switch 312 is closed, the relay coil 379 will be energized through the ignition switch 312 and the relay contacts 377. The energization of the relay coil 379 causes the relay contacts 381 to close thereby energizing the low beam headlamp 314LB directly from the supply conductor 311 as long as the ignition switch 312 remains closed. A pilot light 382 or other indicator may be connected to the junction point 378 in parallel with the relay coil 379 to warn the vehicle driver of the failure of the relay 316.

A spotlight 383 or other accessory with its control switch 384 may be used with the light control system shown in FIG. 4. The accessory control switch 384 is connected between the junction point 367 and the terminal 385 of the spotlight 383 while the terminal 385 is connected by a unidirectional conducting element or diode to the junction point 370. The diode 386 is connected to block current flow from the junction point 370 to the spotlight terminal 385 and to permit current flow in the opposite direction. It is apparent the spotlight 383 may be energized when both the relay switch 318 and the accessory control switch 384 are closed following closing of the ignition switch 312. If the accessory control switch 384 is left closed after the ignition switch 312 has been opened, the relay coil 320 will remain energized through a circuit extending from the battery 310 through the relay contacts 318, the accessory control switch 384, diode 386, and contacts 329 and 328 of the time delay switch 317. .The heating element 330 of the time delay switch 317 is also energized through this same circuit and after a predetermined time causes the opening of the contacts 328 and 329 to deenergize the relay coil 320. Thus, the spotlight 383 is automatically controlled by the light control system of FIG. 4 in the same manner as are the illuminating lamps.

If desired, the light control system shown in FIG. 4 may also be provided with means for giving a warning signal when an operator of the vehicle leaves the vehicle while the illuminating lamps are left energized. For this purpose, the auxiliary relay 326 may be provided with normally closed contacts 387 connected between the junction point 367 and the terminal 388 of a pilot light 389 or other electric warning indicator device. Another electric warning device such as a sounder 390 may be connected between the terminal 388 and the terminal 391 of the door switch 365 which is preferably associated with the vehicle door on the operator's side. If, after the ignition switch is opened, the relay coil 320 remains energized due to one or both of the control switches 315 and 384 being closed, the pilot light 389 will be energized through the relay contacts 318 and 387. If the door switch 365 now is closed by opening of the vehicle doors, the sounder 390 will also be energized. A unidirectional conducting element or diode 392 may be connected between the dome lamp 364 and the terminal 391 to prevent energization of the sounder 390 through any door switch other than the switch 365. Also, a unidirectional conducting element or diode 393 is connected between the terminal 391 and the sounder 390 to prevent reverse current flow through the sounder 390 and pilot light 389 from the power supply line 311 via the dome lamp 364 when contacts 387 are open.

It is to be understood that the foregoing embodiments are merely illustrative of the application of the principles ofthe invcntion. Various modifications may be made to these embodiments without departing from the true spirit of the invention.

I claim:

I. An automatic lamp disconnecting system for an automotive vehicle electrical system having a source of electrical energy,

a prime mover controlling system for a vehicle driving prime mover including a prime mover controlling switch connected between the source of electrical energy and a prime mover operating circuit,

and a lighting system including an exterior illuminating lamp and a control switch for controlling the flow of current from the source of electrical energy to the illuminating lamp,

wherein theimprovement comprises:

a relay having normally open contacts and electromagnetic actuating means operative when energized from said I source to close said normally open contacts;

a lamp energizing circuit between said lamp and said source including said normally open contacts and said control switch in series connection;

a first relay energizing circuit connecting said relay actuating means to said source through said prime mover controlling switch for energizing said actuating means to close said relay contacts upon closing of the prime mover controlling switch;

a second relay energizing circuit independent of said prime mover controlling switch to maintain the actuating means of said relay energized following opening of the prime mover controlling switch, said second relay energizing circuit connecting the actuating means of said relay to said source and including said relay contacts and said control switch in series connection; t

normally closed time delay switch connected in said second energi'zing circuit for automatically deenergizing the actuating means of said relay, if energized, a predetermined time after opening of prime mover controlling switch;

and operating means for the time delay switch connected to said second relay energizing circuit and responsive to energization of said second relay energizing circuit only when said prime mover controlling switch is opened to effect opening of said time delay switch a predetermined time after opening of the prime mover controlling switch.

2. The improvement set forth in claim I wherein said time delay switch is of the thermally actuated type including a movable bimetal operated contact and an electric heating element.

3. An automatic lamp disconnecting system for an automotive vehicle electrical system having a source of direct current electrical energy,

a prime mover controlling system for a vehicle driving prime mover including a prime mover controlling switch connected between the source of electrical energy and a prime mover operating circuit,

and a lighting system including an exterior illuminating lamp and a control switch for controlling the flow of current from the source of electrical energy to the illuminating lamp,

wherein the improvement comprises:

a relay having normally open contacts and electromagnetic actuating means operative when energized from said source to close said normally open contacts;

a lamp energizing circuit between said lamp and said source including said normally open contacts of the relay and said control switch in series connection;

a first .relay energizing circuit connecting the actuating means of said relay to said source through said prime mover controlling switch;

a normally closed time delay switch provided with an operating winding and means to open the delay switch after a predetermined period of energization of the operating winding;

a second relay energizing circuit connecting the actuating means of said relay to said source independently of said prime mover controlling switch, and including in series connection said relay contacts, said control switch and said delay switch;

a normally closed auxiliary switch controlled by said prime mover controlling switch and arranged to open in response to closing of said prime mover controlling switch;

and an operating winding energizing circuit connecting the operating winding of said delay switch to said source, and including in series connection said relay contacts, said control switch, said delay switch, said operating winding and said auxiliary switch.

4. The improvement as set forth in claim 3 wherein said time delay switch is of the thermally actuated type including a bimetal operated contact and said operating winding is a heating element in a heat transferring relation with the bimetal operated contact.

5. The improvement as set forth in claim 3 wherein said time delay switch is of the thermally actuated type including a movable bimetal operated contact and said operating winding is a heating element in a heat transferring relation with the bimetal-operated contact, said operating winding energizing circuit including a variable resistance in series with said heating element for adjustably regulating the current flow therethrough and hence the period of time delay.

6. The improvement as set forth in claim 3 wherein said electromagnetic actuating means includes a magnetic structure having a single coil connected to said source by each of said first and second relay energizing circuits; said first relay energizing circuit including a first unidirectional conducting element connected in series with said prime mover controlling switch; said first unidirectional conducting element being poled in a direction to prevent current flow from said source through said second relay energizing circuit to said prime mover operating circuit; and said second relay energizing circuit including a second unidirectional conducting element connected in series with said delay switch; said second unidirectional conducting element being poled in a direction to prevent current flow from said source through said first relay energizing circuit to said illuminating lamp.

7. The improvement as set forth in claim 3 wherein said electromagnetic actuating means includes a magnetic structure having a first coil connected to said source by said first relay energizing circuit, and a second coil connected to said source by said second relay energizing circuit, either coil when energized operating to close said relay contacts.

8. The improvement as set forth in claim 3 including a normally open bypass switch connected in parallel circuit with said normally open contacts of the relay, said bypass switch being manually operated for energization of said illuminating lamp independently of said relay contacts.

9. The improvement as set forth in claim 3 including a normally open bypass switch connected in parallel circuit with said prime mover controlling switch, said bypass switch being manually operated for energization of said electromagnetic actuating means independently of said prime mover controlling switch.

10. An automatic lamp disconnecting system for an automotive vehicle electrical system having a source ofdirect current electrical energy,

a prime mover controlling system for a vehicle driving prime mover including prime mover controlling switch connected between the source of electrical energy and a prime mover operating circuit,

ill

and a lighting system including a headlamp, a tail lamp and a manually operated multiple position control switch with supply, headlamp and tail lamp terminals for controlling the flow of current from the source of electrical energy to the headlamp and tail lamp, said multiple position control switch having an off position in which said supply terminal is disconnected from the other terminals and an on position in which said supply terminal is connected to said headlamp and tail lamp terminals,

wherein the improvement comprises:

a main relay having a set of normally open contacts and electromagnetic actuating means including a coil operative when energized from said source to close said normally open contacts;

a lamp energizing circuit connecting said headlamp and tail lamp to said source through said multiple position control switch including the normally open contacts of said main relay connected between said source and the supply terminal of said multiple position control switch, said lamp energizing circuit further including conductors connecting said headlamp and said tail lamp, respectively, to said headlamp and tail lamp terminals of the multiple position control switch; 7

a thermal time delay device including a heating element and a normally closed, bimetal-operated delay switch arranged to open after a predetermined period of energization of said heating element;

a first relay energizing circuit connecting the coil of said main relay to said source through said prime mover controlling switch;

a second relay energizing circuit connecting the coil of said main relay to said source through said multiple position control switch and the normally open contacts of said main relay and including said delay switch connected between the coil of said main relay and said tail lamp ter' minal of the control switch;

said first relay energizing circuit including a first unidirectional conducting element connected in series with said prime mover controlling switch and said coil of the main relay to prevent current flow from said source through said second relay energizing circuit to said ignition circuit;

said second relay energizing circuit including a second unidirectional conducting element connected in series with said delay switch and said coil of the main relay to prevent current flow from said source through said first relay energizing circuit to said tail lamp terminal of the multiple position control switch;

an auxiliary relay'having a set of normally closed contacts. and electromagnetic means including a coil operative when energized from said source to open said normally closed contacts;

heating element energizing circuit includes a variable resistance in series with said heating element for adjustably regulating the current flow therethrough and hence the period of time delay.

12. The improvement as set forth in claim 10 including a normally open bypass switch connected between said source and said headlamp terminal of the multiple position control switch, said bypass switch being manually operated for energization of said headlamp independently of the normally open contacts of said main relay.

13, The improvement as set forth in claim 10 wherein said main relay includes a set of normally closed contacts opened in response to energization of the coil of said main relay, safety relay means having switch means operative when said safety relay means are energized to connect said headlamp directly to said source, and means for connecting said safety relay means to said source including in series connection said prime mover controlling switch and the normally closed contacts of said main relay.

14. The improvement as set forth in claim 10 wherein said auxiliary relay includes a second set of normally closed contacts, an electric warning indicator, and a warning indicator energizing circuit connecting said warning indicator to said source through said normally open contacts of the main relay,

said second set of normally closed contacts and the supply terminal of said multiple position control switch.

15. The improvement as set forth in claim 14 wherein said warningindicator energizing circuit includes, in series connection with said warning indicator, a normally open door-actuated switch which is closed upon opening a vehicle door.

- 16. The improvement as set forth in claim 10 further including an auxiliary lamp, a manually operated auxiliary lamp control switch with supply and auxiliary lamp terminals for controlling the flow of current from the source of electrical energy to the auxiliary lamp, an auxiliary lamp energizing circuit connecting said auxiliary lamp control switch in series with said normally open contacts and said second relay energizing circuit, said auxiliary lamp energizing circuit including a third unidirectional conducting element connected in series with said delay switch and said auxiliary lamp control switch to prevent current flow from said source through said delay switch to said auxiliary lamp.

Citas de patentes
Patente citada Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US3388288 *13 Abr 196611 Jun 1968Delman CoVehicle light control system to deenergize the light circuit a predetermined time after the ignition is deenergized
Citada por
Patente citante Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US3798500 *3 May 197119 Mar 1974Chrysler CorpTime delay headlamp control system
US3899770 *1 Abr 197412 Ago 1975Ford Motor CoMultiple input warning system for a motor vehicle
US3993914 *31 Mar 197523 Nov 1976Unican Security Systems, Ltd.Motor vehicle headlight control apparatus
US4194175 *22 Sep 197818 Mar 1980Eklund Walter AAutomobile headlight alarm system
US5708243 *16 Dic 199613 Ene 1998United Technologies Automotive, Inc.Multi-position, multi-directional electric switch mechanism
US6728393 *19 Dic 200227 Abr 2004Gentex CorporationVehicle lamp control
US68618095 Sep 20021 Mar 2005Gentex CorporationHeadlamp control to prevent glare
US686832212 Ago 200315 Mar 2005Gentex CorporationImage processing system to control vehicle headlamps or other vehicle equipment
US690646710 Jul 200314 Jun 2005Gentex CorporationContinuously variable headlamp control
US692447014 Ago 20032 Ago 2005Gentex CorporationVehicle vision system
US6947577 *19 Dic 200220 Sep 2005Gentex CorporationVehicle lamp control
US714961315 Mar 200512 Dic 2006Gentex CorporationImage processing system to control vehicle headlamps or other vehicle equipment
US730232611 Dic 200627 Nov 2007Gentex CorporationImage processing system to control vehicle headlamps or other vehicle equipment
US761332725 Oct 20073 Nov 2009Gentex CorporationVehicle automatic exterior light control
US7622818 *19 Oct 200724 Nov 2009Vertical Power, Inc.Backup electrical power system for solid-state aircraft power distribution systems
US765321514 Oct 200526 Ene 2010Gentex CorporationSystem for controlling exterior vehicle lights
US797353327 Feb 20085 Jul 2011Vertical Power, Inc.In-circuit testing for integrity of solid-state switches
US8552842 *21 Dic 20048 Oct 2013Xylem Ip Holdings LlcRF wireless permanently mounted searchlight
Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.340/425.5, 340/457.2, 315/82
Clasificación internacionalB60Q9/00
Clasificación cooperativaB60Q9/001
Clasificación europeaB60Q9/00B
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
11 Jul 1988AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: ESSEX GROUP, INC.
Owner name: UNITED TECHNOLOGIES AUTOMOTIVES, INC., A CORP. OF
Effective date: 19880223
11 Jul 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: UNITED TECHNOLOGIES AUTOMOTIVES, INC., A CORP. OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ESSEX GROUP, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004933/0578
Effective date: 19880223