|Numéro de publication||US3911666 A|
|Type de publication||Octroi|
|Date de publication||14 oct. 1975|
|Date de dépôt||21 oct. 1974|
|Date de priorité||21 oct. 1974|
|Numéro de publication||US 3911666 A, US 3911666A, US-A-3911666, US3911666 A, US3911666A|
|Inventeurs||Haber Terry M|
|Cessionnaire d'origine||Haber Terry M|
|Exporter la citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Citations de brevets (5), Référencé par (11), Classifications (10)|
|Liens externes: USPTO, Cession USPTO, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Haber [451 Oct. 14, 1975 [5 ACTUATING MECHANISMS FOR WRIST INSTRUMENTS  Inventor: Terry M. Haber, 3050 S. Bristol,
Apt. 8-C, Santa Ana, Calif. 92707 22 Filed: om.21, 1974 211 Appl. No.: 516,688
 US. Cl. 58/50 R; 58/23 R; 340/279;
' 200/61.48; ZOO/61.51; ZOO/61.53  Int. Cl."" G04B 19/30; G04B 19/34 . Field of Search 58/23 R, 23 BA, 50 R;
240/6.43, 2.1; 200/D1G. 2, DIG. 9, 61.45 R, 61.58 R, 61.48, 61.51, 61.53; 340/279  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,508,044 4/1970 Hochberg 58/50 R 3,681,587 8/1972 Brien 240/643 X 3,729,923 5/1973 Brigliano et a1. 58/23 BA 3,823,550 7/1974 Bergey 58/50 R 3,841,080 10/1974 O'Donald 58/50 R X Primary Examiner-Stephen .1. Tomsky Assistant Examiner-U. Weldon Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Ralph B. Pastoriza ABSTRACT In an instrument adapted to be worn on the wrist including a power source, a display, means for illuminating or activating the display and actuating means for connecting the power source to the illuminating or activating means to energize the same, the improvement wherein the actuating means comprises either an inertia actuated switch means operative in the presence of a deliberate, rapid acceleration and/or deceleration of the wrist having a predetermined minimum magnitude and/or a pressure actuated switch means operative in the presence of pressure applied thereto by the wrist for momentarily connecting the power source to the illuminating or activating means.
3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures US. Patent Oct. 14, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,911,666
ACTUATING MECHANISMS FOR WRIST INSTRUMENTS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to actuating mechanisms for wrist instruments and, more particularly, to mechanisms worn on the wrist which may be actuated to close an electrical switch without the use of another hand.
2. Description of the Prior Art Electronic quartz watches have become the most widely publicized and glamor-oriented segment of contemporary time keeping. Electronic quartz watches may be divided into two distinct categories, one being analog and the other being digital. Analog quartz electronic watches contain movable hands which tell time in a conventional manner. Digital quartz electronic watches presently utilize either light emitting diodes (LEDs) or liquid crystal displays (LCDs) as the message media and each contains no moving parts.
The advantages of digital quartz electronic watches over analog quartz electronic watches are numerous. Since they have no moving parts and no friction, they have a potential loss of less than five seconds per year. Furthermore, there are no maintenance requirements with the exception of a periodic power cell replacement. The watches are extremely simple, requiring minimal manual assembly by semi-skilled laborers. Finally, the unique and contemporary nature of the digital display integral'to both LED and LCD timepieces makes them a most pleasing change in an industry which has remained essentially unchanged for centuries.
In the case of a light emitting diode display, the diodes normally remain de-energized because the energization thereof is the greatest source of power drain and if the LEDs remained illuminated, the power cells would have to be replaced too frequently. On the other hand, while liquid crystal displays are visible at all times, they do not have a great deal of contrast and a light is typically incorporated to increase the contrast of the display. Again, the light does not remain on at all times since this would represent too great a power drain.
Thus, with both LEDs and LCDs, it is necessary to manually illuminate or activate same in order to see what time it is. The conventional approach to this problem has been to incorporate a manual switch on the watch housing, which switch is pressed to illuminate or activate the display. Unfortunately, the use of a manual switch, which must be activated by the hand other than the one on which the watch is positioned, is often inconvenient and many times impractical or impossible. Thus, when driving a car, carrying packages, etc. it would be a substantial improvement if the watch could be activated without the use of two hands. While some consideration has been given heretofore to a solution to this problem, no satisfactory solution is presently available.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention, there is provided actuating mechanisms for wrist instruments which may be manipulated to close an electrical switch without the use of two hands. The present mechanisms have the capability of operating repetitively and only when desired. The present actuating mechanisms require deliberate movements of a type which do not normally occur so that the instances of unintentional activation of the display are minimized.
The present actuating mechanisms are designed for use in instruments adapted to be worn on the wrist and including a power source, a display, and means for illuminating or activating the display, the actuating means being operative to connect the power source to the illuminating or activating means to energize same. According to one embodiment of the invention, the actuating means comprises inertia actuated switch means operative in the presence of a deliberate, rapid acceleration or deceleration of the wrist having a predetermined minimum magnitude for momentarily connecting the power source to the illuminating or activating means. According to another embodiment of the invention, the power source, the display and the illuminating or activating means are mounted in a single housing and the instrument includes a band, the opposite ends of which are connected to the housing, the band being positionable around the wrist and including clasp means opposite the housing, and the actuating means comprises pressure actuated switch means mechanically connected to the band and operative in the presence of pressure applied thereto by the wrist to momentarily connect the power source to the illuminating or activating means. According to a still third embodiment of the invention, the instrument includes both an inertia actuated switch means and a pressure actuated switch means, either one of which may be used to momentarily connect the power source to the illuminating or activating means.
OBJECTS It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide actuating mechanisms for wrist instruments.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide mechanisms worn on the wrist which may be actuated to close an electrical switch without the use of another hand.
It is a still further object of the present invention to provide an actuating mechanism for wrist instruments including an inertia actuated switch means.
It is another object of the present invention to provide an actuating mechanism for wrist instruments including a pressure actuated switch means.
Still other objects, features, and attendant advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments constructed in accordance therewith, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like numerals designate like parts in the several figures and wherein:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of an electronic quartz watch modified to include actuating mechanisms constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the watch of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a rear plan view, partially broken away, of the apparatus inside of the housing of the watch of FIG. 1, showing the inertia actuated switch means of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of inertia actuated switch means;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view, partially broken away, of the clasp of the watch of FIG. 1, showing the pressure actuated switch means of the present invention; and
FIG. 6 is a side view, partially in section, of an alternate embodiment of the watch of FIG. 1 showing a slightly different technique for connecting the pressure actuated switch means of FIG. 5 into the circuit of FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings and, more particularly, to FIG. 1 thereof, the present invention will be described in its preferred embodiment as being applicable to an electronic quartz watch, generally designed 10, adapted to be worn on the wrist. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the'art that the present invention is equally applicable to any other type of instrument adapted to be worn on the wrist and including a power source which activates a display, on command.
Watch 10 includes a housing 11 and a band 12 including two band sections 12A and 128. First ends of band sections 12A and 12B are connected to opposite ends of housing 11, band sections 12A and 128 being positionable around the wrist. Band 12 also includes a clasp 13 connected to the other ends of band sections 12A and 12B and being positioned opposite housing 11 for securing band sections 12A and 12B around the wrist.
Referring now to FIG. 2, positioned within housing 11 are one or more power cells 15 which provide the operating power for the remaining components. Such components also include a quartz crystal oscillator 16 which provides a highly stable output frequency. The output of oscillator 16 is applied to electronic circuitry 17 which utilizes the accurate frequency to calculate time in a manner known to those skilled in the art. Both quartz crystal oscillator 16 and electronic circuitry 17 receive their power from power cells 15. The output of electronics 17 is applied to a display 18, also shown in FIG. 1, so that the correct time may be displayed.
As discussed previously, the display may consist of either light emitting diodes or liquid crystal display elements. In either event, the output of electronics 17 is applied thereto so as to select the correct time display. On the other hand, in the case of light emitting diodes, the diodes normally remain deenergized and an external command must be given to energize same. In display 18 is a liquid crystal display and a light 19 is therefore associated therewith to increase the contrast of the display. In this case, while display 18 would remain on at all times, light 19 would remain off until it receives the external command.
For the above purposes, watch 10 includes a timer 20 connected to the output of power cell 15, the output of timer 20 being applied via an on/off switch 20' to an actuating mechanism 21. In the case of an LED display, the output of actuating mechanism 21 would be applied directly to energize such display. In the case of the LCD display shown in FIG. 2, the output of actuating mechanism 21 is applied to light 19. Manual actuation of mechanism 21 connects power cell 15 to light 19 for a time interval determined by timer 20. Timer 20 is included so that the display remains visible for a preset time, after which the display is extinguished. In the watch of FIG. 1, there is provided a manually operable pushbutton switch 22 functioning, as will be described more fully hereinafter, when manually depressed, to illuminate light 19 in place of using the actuating mechanism. On/Off switch 20' permits the actuating mechanism 21 to be cut out of the circuit when it is not desired to use the same.
Referring now to FIG. 3, housing 11 may have positioned therein a thin, non-conductive, disc-shaped member 25 for supporting the components described hereinabove. Thus, member 25 may have a pair of cavities 26 for receipt of power cells 15. For purposes of explanation, power cells 15 are of a type in which the entire back 27, the perimeter 28 and the outer portion 29 of the front thereof forms a first terminal whereas the central portion 30 of the front thereof forms the second terminal. Portions 27-29 of power cells 15 are electrically connected directly to housing 11 which is electrically conductive and forms the first terminal of the electrical circuit.
Portion 30 of power cells 15 is shown schematically in FIG. 3 as being connected via a lead 32 to timer 20 which is connected via a second lead 33 to light 19 for display 18. The other side of light 19 is connected to another lead 34 so that contact between lead 34 and housing 11 will complete the electrical circuit shown in FIG. 2 for energization of light 19.
According to conventional practice, watch 10 includes a terminal 35 positioned at the base of a bore 36 in member 25. Switch 22, an elongate, generally cylindrical member which is mechanically and electrically connected to housing 11, extends into bore 36 but is normally biased by conventional means (not shown) so as to be spaced from terminal 35. Terminal 35 is connected to lead 34 in a manner to be described more fully hereinafter. Accordingly, when button 22 is de pressed, and brought into contact with terminal 35, terminal 35 is connected to housing 11, thereby completing a circuit to portions 27-29 of power cells 15.
According to the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 3, lead 34 may be connected to portions 2729 of power cells 15 by means of an inertia actuated switch means, generally designated 40. Switch means 40 includes an electrically conductive, movable contact 41, one end of which is connected to terminal 35 and the other end of which is positioned closely adjacent to but spaced from perimeter 28 of one of power cells 15. More specifically, member 25 typically has an additional cavity 42 therein in which quartz crystal oscillator 16 is mounted. Member 25 has an additional bore 43 positioned therein, bore 43 intercepting one of cavities 26 and cavity 42. Contact 41 may be a thin, metal, leaf spring, one end of which is made integral with or connected to terminal 35 and the body of which extends into and around cavity 42, the other end 44 of contact 41 extending into bore 43, adjacent to but spaced from power cell 15. Furthermore, lead 34 may be connected to contact 41 at any convenient place along the length thereof. In this manner, the entire length of contact 41 forms a continuation of terminal 35 and it is only necessary for any portion of contact 41 to touch housing 1 1 or one of portions 27-29 of one of power cells 15 to complete the before-described electrical circuit. It should be noted, however, that oscillator 16 is surrounded by a dielectric sleeve 48 to prevent electrical contact with contact 41.
Member 25 has a still further bore 45 therein which connects with bores 36 and 43. Positioned within bore 45 is a movable hammer means 46. Hammer means 46 may be en elongate, generally cylindrical member having rounded ends and a diameter slightly smaller than that of bore 45 so that it is freely movable therein. One end of bore 45 is sealed by terminal 35 whereas the other end of bore 45 faces end 44 of Contact 41.
In operation, inertia actuated switch means 40 is operative in the presence of a deliberate, rapid acceleration and/or decelerationof housing 11 having a predetermined minimum magnitude for momentarily connecting lead 34 to power cells 15 to complete the electrical circuit between power cell 15 and light 19 or display 18. For this purpose, spring 41 is normally biased, by adjusting the configuration thereof, so as to be spaced from perimeter 28 of cell 15, in between cell 15 and movable hammer means 46. By adjusting the thickness and stiffness of contact 41, no practical amount of inertia will cause movement of end 44 thereof into contact with perimeter 28 of cell 15. Furthermore, hammer means 46 would be selected so that its weight alone is insufficient to move end 44 of spring 41 into contact with perimeter 28 of power cell 15. These factors prevent switch means 40 from being unintentionally actuated in the presence of normal movements of the wrist.
On the other hand, movable hammer means 46 should have a sufficient density so that in the presence of an acceleration or deceleration of predetermined minimum magnitude in the direction of the longitudinal axis of hammer means 46, hammer means 46 strikes end 44 of contact 41, driving end 44 into contact with perimeter 28 of cell 15, as shown in phantom in FIG. 3. Such an acceleration or deceleration of predetermined minimum magnitude can be caused by a flicking of the wrist, not a naturally occurring movement, so that switch means 40 is actuated only when desired and with a minimum of undesired occurrences. Switch of FIG. 3 can be used to de-actuate the means 40 during periods of unusual physical exertion, such as when participating in a sports event. In the specific embodiment of FIG. 3, switch 20 is schematically shown in lead 33 between the actuating means and power source second terminal 30.
Contact 41 and hammer means 46 may be made from any suitable materials. Contact means 41 must be electrically conductive and a suitable material is silver. Since hammer means 46 should have a high mass in spite of its small size, suitable materials are tungsten and brass.
Inertia actuated switch means 40 of FIG. 3 was designed primarily to render it compatible with existing electronic quartz watches. However, if such limitation is neglected, a more generalized configuration for an inertia actuated switch means is shown in FIG. 4, such switch means being generally designated 50. More specifically, inertia actuated switch means 50 includes an electrically conductive housing 51 having a generally trapezoidal shape. Switch means 50 includes a first electrical terminal 52 electrically connected to housing 51 and a pair of second electrical terminals 53 and 53 which are electrically insulated from housing 51. Electrical leads 54, 55, and 55 permit connection to terminals 52, 53, and 53'. respectively. Switch means 50 also includes an electrically conductive, movable contact 56 which may be a leaf spring, one end of which is mechanically and electrically connected to housing 51 and the body of which extends through the center of housing 51 so as to be spaced from both terminals 53 and 53'. The free end of movable contact 56 may have electrically conductive weights 57 on opposite sides thereof, positioned so as to contact terminal 53 or 53 as contact 56 moves from one side of housing 51 to the other.
In operation, the combination of spring 56 and weights 57 would have the same operating characteristics as contact 41 and hammer means 46 of switch means 40. Thus, in the presence of a deliberate, rapid acceleration and/or deceleration of housing 51 in one of the opposed directions of arrows C, one of weights 57 will be moved into contact with one of terminals 53 or 53 completing an electrical circuit between lead 54 and one of leads 55 or 55, which would normally be connected together. A particular advantage of switch means 50 is that it operates in the presence of an acceleration or deceleration in either of two opposed directions whereas switch means 40 operates in the presence of a suitable force in only one direction.
Referring now to FIGS. 1, 3 and 5, actuating mechanism 21 may include, in addition to or instead of switch means 40 or 50, a pressure actuated switch means, generally designated 60, connected to clasp 13 or one of band sections 12A or 12B, and being operative in the presence of pressure applied thereto by the wrist to momentarily complete the circuit between power cell 15 and display 18 or light 19. More specifically, lead 34, shown in FIG. 3, may be connected to a jack socket 61 0 mounted in member 25, jack socket 61 being operative to receive a jack plug 62 connected to one end of an electrical lead 63. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, electrical lead 63 runs along one of band sections 12A or 12B, either internally or externally thereof, and the other end thereof is connected to switch means 60.
Recalling that it is only necessary to connect lead 34 to housing 11 in order to complete the electrical circuit between power cell 15 and display 18 or light 19, the same result is achieved by connecting electrical lead 63 to clasp 13 or band 12 since all such elements are typically made from metal, are electrically conductive, and are connected to housing 11. Thus, positioned on the inside surface of electrically conductive clasp 13 is a strip of dielectric tape 64 having a window 65 in the center thereof. Positioned on top of dielectric tape strip 64, above window 65, is a metallic terminal 66 which is connected to electrical lead 63, at 67. A further strip of dielectric tape 68 covers the entire assembly.
In operation, dielectric tape strip 64 maintains a small space between the inner surface of clasp 13 and terminal 66. On the other hand, the spacing is small enough that when pressure is applied to terminal 66, in a direction to urge it towards clasp 13, such as may be exerted by pressing clasp 13 between the wrist and a rigid support surface, terminal 66 readily flexes through window 65 and into contact with the inner surface of clasp 13. In this manner, a connection is completed from portions 27-29 of power cells 15 through housing 11, band 12, clasp 13, terminal 66, electrical lead 63, jack members 61 and 62, electrical leads 32-34, light 19, and timer 20 to portion 31 of power cell 15 to activate light 19 in the manner described previously.
Referring now to FIG. 6, there is shown a technique for connecting pressure actuated switch means to housing 11 which eliminates the necessity for an electrical lead 63 between housing 1 1 and switch means 60.
More specifically, while band section 12B remains electrically connected to housing 11, band section 12A is electrically insulated both from housing 11 and from band section 128. This may be achieved by connecting one end 70 of band section 12A to an electrically insulating pin 71, the opposite ends of which are connected to housing 11, and by positioning an insulating washer 73 between each side of end 70 of band section 12A and housing 11 to complete the electrical insulation. Thereafter, lead 34 of FIG. 3 may be connected to one end of a spring 74, the body of which is mounted in but electrically insulated from housing 11. On the other hand, the other end of spring 74 rests against end 70 of band section 12A so as .to complete an electrical connection between lead 34 and electrically conductive band section 12A.
At the other end of band section 12A, clasp 13 would be an electrically insulating member so as to normally prevent contact between sections 12A and 128. On the other hand, connection could be made through window 65 and terminal 66 as described-previously. Thus, in the presence of a pressure applied to switch means 60, band sections 12A and 12B are electrically connected, completing the circuit from electrical lead 34 to housing 1 l and portions 27-29 of power cells 15 to actuate light 19, described previously.
While the invention has been described with respect to the preferred physical embodiments constructed in accordance therewith, it will be apparent to those skilled in theart that various modifications and improvements may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, itis to be understood that the invention is not to be limited by the specific illustrative embodiments, but only by the scope of the appended claims. In this respect, the term illuminating" when used is meant to include activating" such as used with LEDs as well as illuminating the liquid crystals as described herein.
1. ln a timepiece adapted to be worn on the wrist and including a power source having first and second electrical terminals, a display, means for illuminating said display, and actuating means for connecting said power source to the illuminating means to energize same, the improvement wherein said actuating means comprises:
inertia actuated switch means including a movable contact; spring said movable contact being designed and mounted to be biased out of contact with said first terminal, said illuminating means being connected between said movable contact and said second terminal so that engagement of said first terminal by said movable contact completes a circuit from said power source through said illuminating means; and
movable hammer means, said movable contact being positioned between said movable hammer means and said first terminal, said hammer means being adapted to move said movable contact into engagement with said first terminal in the presence of a deliberate rapid acceleration and/or deceleration of said wrist having a predetermined minimum magnitude.
2. In a timepiece according to claim 1, the improvement wherein the weight of said hammer means is insufficicnt to move said movable contact into contact with said first terminal in the absence of an acceleration or deceleration thereof in the direction of movement thereof in excess of said predetermined minimum magnitude.
3. In a timepiece according to claim 1, an On/Off switch connected between said power source and actuating means for breaking the connection between said movable contact and said second terminal when it is desired not to use said inertia actuated switch means.
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|Classification aux États-Unis||368/225, 340/669, 200/61.51, 200/61.48, 968/448, 200/52.00R, 200/61.53|