US 3584163 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Arthur White Llnntrisant, Wales [211 App]. No. 754,323  Filed Aug. 21,1968
 Patented June 8,1971  Assignee A. B. Electronic Components Limited Abercynon, Glamorgan, Wales  Priority May 10, 1968  Great Britain [3 l 22356/68  ROTARY SWITCH WITH MOUNTING MEANS FOR A PLURALITY OF MOVABLE CONTACTS, AND INTEGRALLY FORMED INDEXING MEANS 4 Claims, 13 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.CI 200/11, 200/166  Int. Cl. H0111 19/54 H0lh 19/10, HOIh 11/06  Field of Search 200/1 1,
11.10, 11.24, 11.21, 166 CM, 166 SD, 166 B3, 166 87,44, 168 A, 11.11, 11.23; 338/174  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,416,119 12/1968 Van Benthuysen et a1. 338/174 3,258,547 6/1966 Rector..... 200/l66(B3)X 3,263,034 7/1966 Reif 200/1 1.(24)
Primary Examiner-Robert K. Schaefer Assistant Examiner-Robert A. Vanderhye A ttorney- Holman and Stern ABSTRACT: In an electrical switch of the type having groups of fixed contacts carried by a stator and arranged to be connected together in pairs by one or more movable contacts carried by a rotor, a spindle for rotating the rotor and indexing means for locating the rotor at predetermined positions in relation to the stator. The rotor is formed as an integral onepiece molding comprising the spindle, a supporting disc for the movable contacts, with the disc having a plurality of integral pips spaced therearound for locating the movable contacts, and integrally molded indexing forms. A detent cooperates with the indexing forms to complete the indexing means. The rotor may also include an integrally molded stop to limit the rotational movement by cooperating with one or more fixed stops. Also, the spindle may be extended beyond the disc to terminate in a reduced diameter bearing portion in an aperture in the stator.
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SHEET 2 BF 3 ARTHUR WHITE DOM-"WV- PATENTEDJuN Bi I 3584163 SHEET 3 0F 3 wim /v05 ROTARY SWITCH WITH MOUNTING MEANS FOR A PLURALITY OF MOVABLE CONTACTS, AND INTEGRALLY FORMED INDEXING MEANS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to rotary electrical switches of the type comprising groups of fixed contacts arranged to be connected together in pairs by one or more movable contacts carried by a rotor, a spindle for rotating the rotor and indexing means consisting of cooperating parts on the rotor and on a housing for locating the rotor at predetermined positions in relation to the fixed contacts.
Hitherto, the assembly of the parts of such a switch has been intricate and time consuming. It is an object of the invention to provide a switch which is of a simplified form so that the number of parts to be assembled is reduced.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention consists in an electrical switch of the type described in which the rotor is formed as an integral one piece molding comprising a spindle, a supporting disc for the movable contacts, a plurality of movable contact locating pips spaced around the disc and indexing forms for cooperating with a detent to constitute indexing means.
Preferably, the rotor also includes an integrally molded stop to cooperate with one or two stops on the housing to limit movement of the rotor.
Conveniently, the fixed contacts are in the form of tags mounted on a stator assembly by a staking technique, with one end of the tag extending clear of the stator to cooperate with a printed circuit or to have wiring attached thereto, and the other end being anchored to the stator.
Conveniently the one end is offset from the staking position to improve access thereto for assembly.
The invention also consists in an electrical switch having fixed contacts of this form;
The invention still further consists in the form of the movable contacts and their relationship with the molded rotor, as
The invention will be further described with reference to the accompanying drawings of a preferred embodiment, wherein:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an end elevation of a 3 pole switch constituting one form of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a section on the line X-X of FIG. 1;
FIG. 2a is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 2;
FIG. 3 is an opposite end elevation of the switch of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an elevation of a base plate of the switch of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a sectionon the line Y-Y of FIG. 4;
FIG. 5a is a further sectional view of the same detail;
FIG. 6 is a section on the line Z-Z of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6a is a further sectional view of the same detail; and
FIGS. 7 to are end elevations of the rotor showing how it can be adapted for l, 2, 3 or 4 pole operation respectively.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to the drawings, and in particular FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 it can be seen that the switch comprises a base plate or stator 1, a housing 2, and a rotor 3. The housing 2 carries a bushing 4 with a bearing surface 5 cooperating with a portion of a spindle 6 forming an integral part of the rotor 3. The spindle 6 is formed with a flat 7 to enable it to be turned by any suitable form of hand control knob.
The rotor further comprises a disc 8, to be described in more detail hereinafter, and an extension 9 of the spindle which terminates in a reduced diameter bearing portion 10 cooperating with a suitable aperture 11 in the base plate 1.
The housing 2 is assembled to the base plate 1 by means of tags 12 which cooperate with slots 13 (see also FIG. 4) in the base plate and are deformed into V-form to stake them into position.
The face of the disc 8 which is near the base plate is formed with a ring of twelve pips 14 (see also FIGS. 7 to 10) which are equally spaced around a circle. On its opposite face, the disc 8 has an upstanding rim which is formed with indexing forms 15, which are twelve in number in the preferred embodiment illustrated, and which cooperate with an indexing detent spring 16 located in the housing 2 to provide up to twelve different positions for the rotor with respect to the housing.
In the three pole version of the switch illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3, only four positions are necessary and the movement of the rotor is restricted to an appropriate one third are of a circle by means of indentations in the housing 2, illustrated at 17, and cooperating with a stop molded integrally with the disc 8 of the rotor. This stop is illustrated at 18 in each of FIGS. 7 to 10.
The pips 14 support a number of spring contacts 19 corresponding to the number of poles of the switch, and these spring contacts are held in position by being loaded between the disc 8 and the base plate 1 which carries fixed contacts located along inner and outer rings to be bridged by the moving contacts 19. The protruding tags of the fixed contacts have beenv omitted from FIG. 2 for clarity of illustration, but the lines 20 and 21 illustrate respectively the distances to which these tags would projects for printed circuit and conventional wiring uses respectively.
FIG. 2a illustrates a minor variation of the structure of FIG. 2 wherein an insulating layer 22 is introduced between the base plate or stator l and the housing or cam 2.
FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate the location of the outer ring of the fixed contacts, equal in number to the number of positions given by the indexing forms 15, Le. twelve as illustrated, and of the inner fixed contacts equal in number to the number of poles of the particular switch, three in the example under discussion. FIGS. 5 and 5a show an outer fixed contact 23 having a projecting tag 24 and a short end 25 projecting through a single aperture in the base plate 1. Location of the contact is by means of portions 26 extending beyond the end of the aperture, and also by means of staking, as illustrated at 27 at both sides of the projecting portions just as they emerge from the base plate 1. There are thus four staking points for each contact. It is to be noted that the tag is in fact offset and located between the staking points on either side thereof, as illustrated in FIG. 5a. This provides for better access to the staking points during assembly of contacts to the base plate. The stator and fixed outer contacts are designed primarily for automatic assembly. It is to be noted that the contact shape provides easy access to the staking positions and also permits the stator to be manufactured with easily produced large rectangular holes, in contradistinction to similar types of switches which have hitherto required very narrow slots which are difficult to form in the thick materials normally used for this type of base plate.
Inner fixed contacts 29 are located by passing a tag 30 and a short free end 31 through separate narrow slots in the base plate 1 and staking as shown at 32 at all four comers of the rectangle of which two opposite sides are formed by the free end and the tag as they pass through the base plate 1.
FIGS. 7 to 10 illustrate how the 12 pips 14 may be used to provide support for l, 2, 3 or 4 spring contacts 19 depending on whether the switch is to be used for 1, 2, 3 or 4 pole operation. With the 12 outer fixed contacts illustrated, the switch may thus be used for up to twelve way operation with a single pole, up to six way operation with double pole, up to four way operation with three poles, and up to three way operation with four poles.
Starting with the bushing 4 and the indexing spring 16 assembled in the housing 2, the switch is assembled by inserting the unitary rotor into the housing 'and passing the spindle through the bushing. The spring contacts 19 are then located in the appropriate positions determined by the pips 14, with these positions being illustrated in FIGS. 7 to 10, and the base plate I with the fixed contacts already assembled into position is then introduced so that the tags 12 pass into the slots. These tags are then deformed to lock the switch into the assembled position, At the same time as the tags 12 are introduced into their appropriate slots, the bearing portion of the rotor is passed into its aperture 1 1.
By combining the contact carrier, the spindle and the indexing forms 15 into one integral molding, there is achieved a combination of excellent and accurately spaced bearing surfaces and reliability of the components because errors in production are reduced to a minimum. Further, the molding in of the stop 18 also saves complication.
Various modifications may be made within the scope of the invention.
I. An electrical switch including a housing, a stator carried by the housing, a rotor within the housing, and a spindle for rotating the rotor, said 'rotor being an integral one-piece molding including a spindle and a supporting disc having a surface facing the stator, the disc having a number of integral pips spaced around the surface facing the stator, the opposite sur face of the disc having a plurality of indexing forms, a detent spring within the casing cooperably with the indexing forms to provide a plurality of different positions for the rotor with respect to the housing and the stator, a plurality of spring contacts located radially and circumferentially of the disc by each spring contact including means in engagement with two of the pips and held in position by being loaded between the disc and the stator, an outer ring of fixed contact positions equal in number to the number of indexing forms on the surface of the stator facing the pips, fixed contacts filling at least some of the contact positions, an inner ring of fixed contact positions equal in number to the number of poles of the switch on the surface of the stator facing the pips, and fixed contacts filling at least some of the contact positions of the inner ring, with said spring contacts bridging the fixed contacts of the outer and inner rings.
2. The electrical switch as claimed in claim 1, in which said housing is provided with at least one stop and said disc with an integral molded stop cooperable with said one stop to limit rotary movement of the rotor.
3. The switch as claimed in claim 1, in which the fixed contacts are secured to the stator by staking, with each fixed contact having one free end extending clear of the stator to make external connection and one end staked to the stator.
4. The switch as claimed in claim 3, in which said one free end is staked to the stator when it passes therethrough and is offset from the staking position over a major proportion of its length.
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