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Publication numberUS3560964 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date2 Feb 1971
Filing date31 Dec 1968
Priority date31 Dec 1968
Publication numberUS 3560964 A, US 3560964A, US-A-3560964, US3560964 A, US3560964A
InventorsStuart W Bedell, Robert L Clenner
Original AssigneePhilco Ford Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Keyboard unit
US 3560964 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 2, 1971 5, w, BEDELL ETAL 3,560,964

" KEYBOARD UNIT Fild D80. 31, 1968 I 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS Ira/m7 n4 9505.41 Ruiz/Q7 z. (MW/v59 ATTORNEY Feb. 2, 1971 s, w, BEDELL ETAL 3,560,964

' I KEYBOARD UNIT Filed Dec. 31. 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet z m .205 2/0 vZ I 23 f// maaoeenwnfl INVENTORS ITUAAT lV. 550514 Y 14 05547 1. CZIA A Z' A TTOR/VE'Y United States Patent 3,560,964 KEYBOARD UNIT Stuart W. Bedell and Robert L. Clenner, Houston, Tex., assignors to Philco-Ford Corporation, Philadelphia, Pa., a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 31, 1968, Ser. No. 788,193 Int. Cl. G08c 9/00 US. Cl. 340-365 10 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A multiple page keyboard unit used in computer oriented display terminals for control, switching, and similar purposes. A keyboard is covered by the pages of any one of a plurality of special books, the keys of the keyboard protruding through apertures in the pages. The function of a given key is determined both by the book which is in place on the keyboard, and by the page to which that book is opened. This is accomplished by an arrangement of switch means which senses both the identity of the book and the page to which the book is opened.

BACKGROUND It has been proposed in the past to actuate a switching system by a page overlay. In a well-known system of this kind the user applies a selected overlay sheet to a keyboard and thereby selects for subsequent actuation certain switches from a larger number of switches in the keyboard apparatus. Also known are book type switching devices, in particular one wherein the user opens a combined book and switch unit to a certain page, thereby selecting or actuating certain switches disposed in the book and switch unit. In either case the selected and actuated switches then control other devices in a computer or control unit.

.These earlier systems can control only limited numbers of ultimate functions, because of inherent limitations of a single keyboard overlay sheet, and of a switch array within a single book. There has been a need for a switching system having the capacity to control a very large number of functions.

NATURE OF THE INVENTION According to the invention, keyboard circuitry is controlled by initial selection of one control book from a series of different control books, subsequent selection of a certain page in the selected control book, and final operation of certain keys, associated with the selected page of the book and forming part of the computer oriented display terminal. The selected book is placed on a keyboard, as an overlay, preferably with the keys extending through the pages. The book is opened to the selected page, and certain keys are then operated. This procedure and arrangement greatly amplify the total capacity of the terminal and keyboard apparatus, with respect to the number of functions controllable thereby, while making it most convenient for the user to control these numerous functions.

In order to allow the indicated operation, each book has cams or the like whereby the several sheets are linked with one another, said cams serving also as switch actuators which control page-selected switches. The binding of the book itself provides a further set of switch actuators for the control of book-selected switches. The keys of the keyboard, associated with the book, control a third set of switches, which are manuallly selected. By means of these several sets of switches and the interlocking arrangements for them, the unit can control enormous numbers of output functions, while the entire system is kept within compact space, covered by a single book.

3,560,964 Patented Feb. 2, 1971 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING DETAILED DESCRIPTION According to the invention, and as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a book 10 of special page and hinge construction is placed on flat keyboard 11 of keyboard apparatus 12. Said apparatus serves as a display and switching terminal in a computer oriented system, which system may also include other apparatus, not shown. The system, and particularly keyboard appartus 12, is controlled by the application of book 10 to the keyboard, as will be described, and can also be controlled-in a mechanically similar way but with different arrangements of individual switches-by any one of a group of additional books 13-, 14, 15. These further books are normally kept in reserve, for example next to keyboard apparatus 12 is indicated.

Structural details of the new device can be described most conveniently in connection with the normal operation thereof, which is as follows.

The user selects a book 10 from supply 13, 14, 15 and places the selected book on keyboard 11. It is immaterial for the moment to what page the book has been opened. For example the book may initially have one group of sheets 17 at left, any one or more of which, as shown at 18, can then be turned over, and there will then be a sheet or sheets 19 at right. The pages and sheets are perforated by wide, aligned openings or clearance holes 20. Keyboard 18 has manually operable switch-operating members or push buttons 21, in adjacency to one another and which are both accessible and visible through these holes. In the illustrated embodiment the buttons project through these holes, thereby facilitating manual access thereto. The user secures accurate position of the book, for precision indexing with certain additional switch means to be described presently, and for this purpose the book has a rigid cover and hinge board 22, cooperable with conventional fasteners 23 to secure this board to keyboard 11 in accurately aligned position. When the book is properly positioned on the keyboard a control switch 23A activates certain control circuits (not shown).

The cover board, as best shown in FIG. 2, has apertures 22A at positions matching the page apertures 20, thereby allowing keys 21 to be reached manually. Board 22 also has a series of switch actuators 24, which as shown comprise a series of small holes, one of the holes being closed so that when the book has been secured to the keyboard and indexed with respect thereto, one of several book identifier switches 27 on keyboard 11 is actuated by the illustrated small push button. Other push buttons of this series would be actuated only by the particular arrangement of switch actuators 24 which is peculiar to another one of the books 13, 14, 15. In this way, application of any one book to the keyboard determines the function performed by each manually operable switch operating member 21 on manual operation thereof.

As the user turns the pages of the book, provided by this invention, he transfers pages from 17 to 19, or vice versa, until he has found the desired page and control position, for control of some predetermined group of functions. It will be understood that each page can be cross-referenced with such a group of functions, for example by suitable legends (not shown) on labels 20A, applied to the pages.

In accordance with the invention the several sheets are interconnected, to form a book, by special hinge means, comprising earns 25 rotatable on stationary bearing means 25A. For example, two such cams are shown for each sheet. The cams have flat spots 28 thereon, and are so arranged that when the book is opened to any one page, a corresponding and unique set of fiat spots 28 is exposed to underlying page selection switches 29, as is believed to be clear from inspection of FIGS. 3 and 4.

The book-controlled selection of keyboard switches, effected in unit 24, or the page-controlled selection effected in cam unit 25, or both selections, can be indicated conveniently by indicator lights 30, also provided in keyboard 11. It will be understood that the switch operations which cause any one or more of indicator lights 30 to light up can also be used in well known ways, and through circuitry not shown herein, to preselect a certain one or more of a larger number of switches 31 disposed on the underside of keyboard 11 and associated with push buttons 21 on this keyboard.

In further accordance with the invention, and for the users convenience, the selection of different push-button switches resulting from the action of book identifier switches 27 and page identifier switches 29, can be indicated by providing predetermined push button apertures 20, on various pages in the book, with suitable indicating labels 20A, 20B, 20C, 20D. An example is shown in FIG. 3 where one book and page selection is illustrated. The corresponding label 20E of another such selection is shown in FIG. 4. When book has been applied to the keyboard, and when it has been opened to the position shown in FIG. 4, only push button 21Eidentified by label Eis preselected for actuation, by means of the book and page selector switches. Each page carries similar identification of the particular switches which that page preselects for actuation.

The user proceeds to operate the push-button switches of the selected keyboard arrangement. For example in the position of FIG. 3 he can first depress push button 21A, then push button 21B, and so on, as identified by the corresponding labels 20A, 20B and so on. He can also operate these particular push buttons in different sequence, if desired or required for individual purposes the particular nature of which is not relevant to this invention. However, if he depresses any push buttons other than those preselected, in accordance with this invention, they remain inactive due to the preestablished book and page selection. For example in the position of FIG. 4, if the user depresses all thirty-two push buttons, only one of them-21Eis effective to produce an electric output through the corresponding switch. Arrangement can be made in well-known ways, to cause this push button to indicate its effective and activated position, by internal illumination thereof, visible through a transparent wall of the push button.

While it is not thought necessary to draw and describe details of the circuitry used in connection with the above-indicated operations, a convenient explanation of the basic functions of our new mechanism, and of circuitry therein, may be had by reference to the logic diagram of FIG. 5. One of the book-controlled switches 27 is active when book 10 is in proper position, and one of the page-controlled switches 29 is active when the book is opened to a certain page. The output effects of these switches are utilized in a first AND gate S1 for keying the logic circuit. When the user then operates suitable keys, selected by these actions, a further output effect is added to that from 8-1, in a second AND gate 8-2. The final output (solid-line arrow) is used for the control of a predetermined computer or control function, while suitable indicator actions and the like are produced (broken-line arrow), causing the lighting up of indicators, for example 30 and 21E in FIG. 4.

The switch selection at 27, illustrated in FIG. 5, is effected by application of a particular control book to keyboard 11. Another book may select another one of the switches in row 27, and some books may select two or more switches, thereby providing a substantial number of possible control functions in the first input line (at right in the drawing) which enters AND gate S-l. Similarly, large numbers of permutations are possible at 29, and again at 21, although the schematic drawing, in the interest of simplicity, shows only one connecting line from each group. By cooperation of these groups and their gates 8-1, 8-2, hundreds of thousands of functions can be selected and controlled by means of the new apparatus illustrated in the drawings. In such apparatus the open book 10 has 32 key apertures 20, 10 sheets (that is, 20 pages), and 10 book selection switch actuators 24. It will be noted that, while providing the aforementioned, large number of selectable functions, the apparatus covers only the area of a single, compact book.

We claim:

1. In combination with electrical control apparatus including at least one keyboard having a plurality of manually operable switch-operating members disposed substantially in coplanar array, apparatus for determining the function to be performed by individual members in response to manual operation thereof, including: a plurality of sheet means each of which is adapted to occupy a control position in the general plane of said members, said sheet means being constructed to afford manual access to said members individually when in said control position; a plurality of switch-actuating devices movable between two positions to preselect different functions to be performed by individual ones of said members; and means hingedly associating said sheet means with one another and having cam surfaces configured to operate said switch-actuating devices in accordance with which sheet means occupies said control position.

2. In combination with electrical control apparatus including at least one keyboard having a plurality of manually operable switch-operating members disposed in adjacency, apparatus for determining the function to be performed by individual members in response to manual operation thereof, including: a plurality of sheet means each of which is adapted to occupy a control position in which it cooperates with said members said sheet means being constructed to afford manual access to said members individually when in said control position; a plurality of switch-actuating devices movable between different positions to preselect different functions to be performed by individual ones of said members; and means linking said sheet means with one another and arranged to operate said switch-actuating devices in accordance with which sheet means occupies said control position.

3. A combination in accordance with claim 2, and further characterized in that each sheet means includes indicia indicative of the function to be performed by individual switch operating members, when any selected sheet means occupies said control position.

4. Apparatus for use in combination with a keyboard having a plurality of manually operable switch-operating members disposed in substantially coplanar array, said apparatus comprising: a plurality of sheet means each of which is adapted to occupy a control position in the general plane of the members of such an array, said sheet means being constructed to afford manual access to said members individually when in said control position; and hinge means linking said sheet means with one another to form a book and including cam surfaces configured to operate apparatus effective to preselect different functions to be performed by individual ones of such members.

5. Apparatus as described in claim 4 wherein each sheet means has a series of apertures, each aperture allowing one of said switch operating members to extend through the same.

6. Apparatus as described in claim 5, characterized in that each sheet means has a plurality of rows of said apertures and that said keyboard has two corresponding groups of switch-operating members, each of said groups having a corresponding plurality of rows of keys, extending through one side of said book when the book is opened.

7. Apparatus as described in claim 6, additionally including indicator means on said keyboard to indicate the book, sheet, and switch-operating member or members in said control position.

8. Switch control apparatus comprising a plurality of sheets and means uniting said sheets in booklike form, said uniting means including a first system of switch actuators to operate a book-identifying set of switches in external control apparatus, and a second system of switch actuators to operate a sheet-identifying set of switches in said apparatus, and said sheets being constructed and 6 arranged to constitute overlays for a third system of switch actuators in said apparatus.

9. Apparatus as described in claim 8, wherein each of said sheets is apertured so that keys, forming part of said apparatus, can extend through said sheets.

10. Control apparatus as described in claim 9, additionally having indicia on said sheets to identify individual ones of said keys extending through said sheets.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,995,726 8/1961 Rickard 340365 3,187,321 6/1965 Kameny 340 365 THOMAS B. HABECKER, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 340-375

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U.S. Classification341/23, 340/815.89
International ClassificationG06C7/02, G06F3/023
Cooperative ClassificationG06F3/0238, G06C7/02
European ClassificationG06C7/02, G06F3/023P