US 3581029 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Douglas G. Noiles 114 Elm Place, New Canaan, Conn. 06840  Appl. No. 758,820  Filed Sept. 10, 1968  Patented May 25, 1971 R  TV ON TIME CONTROL 2] Claims, 10 Drawing Figs.  US. Cl 200/38, 307/141  Int. Cl H0lh 7/08  Field of Search 200/38, 38 (A), 38 (D), 38 (D1), 42;307/141,141.4, 141.8; 68/12  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,359,760 12/1967 Toma 68/12 2,139,821 12/1938 Greenwood et al... 300/38(Dl)X 3,187,122 6/1965 Schmid 200/38(A) 3,260,807 7/1966 Rulseh et al. ZOO/38(D) 3,348,008 10/1967 Miller ZOO/38X 3,454,730 7/1969 Miller 200/38 Primary ExaminerH. 0. Jones Att0rneyMattern, Ware and Davis ABSTRACT: A control comprising a securable case having an internal outlet into which a TV set may be plugged with the TV set plug secured within the case. ON and OFF pushbuttons are provided. When the ON button is depressed, the TV set may be operated for up to a predetermined total time. During this time, an accumulator wheel driven by a timing motor through a clutch rotates up to a predetermined angular position. When this position is attained, the internal outlet of the device is disconnected from the power line. When the OFF button is depressed, the outlet is not supplied with power and the accumulator wheel is not driven by the timing motor. Each 24 hours a reset wheel upon attaining a predetermined angular position causes the accumulator wheel to be reset to its initial position.
TV ON TIME CONTROL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It is very difficult to regulate the amount of time children spend viewing television. Everyone agrees that unlimited television viewing is harmful to the childs emotional and mental growth. Various educators, psychologists, and other authorities have differing views as to the amount of time children should be allowed to view television at given ages. Many parents attempt to regulate the viewing hours of their children, but this regulation is the occasion for many difficulties. Overly strict regulation may result in the child missing programs of educational importance and psychological problems due to the parents mechanistic attitude. On the other hand, a permissive attitude will lead to nearly unlimited viewing. An attitude somewhere between these two extremes often leads to arguments and ill will over particular ad hoc decisions.
Ideally, a parent should specify the total amount of viewing permissible and the child, within the limits of his ability, should be able to choose what programs he or she will watch at what times. Hithertofore, this has been practically impossible for the above reasons. Therefore, one of the objects of the present invention is to automate this idealized procedure.
There are other applications for apparatus of the type described in the present application wherein it is desired that a particular quantity be metered on demand up to a particular total accumulated quantity over predetermined time intervals. An application that comes to mind is the feeding of livestock, where it may be desirable to provide up to a certain total quantity of food or weight gain during predetermined time intervals. Another application is the turning on of lights in a home for preselected time intervals during a 24-hour period. The apparatus of the present invention is readily adaptable to these applications.
It will be seen that the objects of the present invention differ from the TV, gas, and electric meters of the prior art wherein a certain quantity is vended upon insertion of a coin into the mechanism. According to the present invention, it is desired to vend up to a predetermined total quantity during each of a plurality of predetermined time intervals.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Objects of the Invention It is, therefore, an object of the invention to provide apparatus for vending a first quantity on demand for a predetermined total measured amount of a second quantity consumed during the availability of said first quantity.
Another object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the above character which is reset at predetermined time intervals.
Still another object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the above character wherein said first quantity is electrical energy.
A further object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the above character wherein said second quantity is time.
Still a further object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the above character wherein said first quantity is electrical energy and said second quantity is time.
A yet further object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the above character in which said first and second quantities are the same.
Another object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the above character in which said first and second quantities are time. 5
Still another object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the above character for controlling the ON time of electrical apparatus.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the above character for controlling the ON time of a television set.
A further object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the above character utilizing a single timing motor.
A yet further object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the above character utilizing a single electrical switch.
A still further object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the above character not using expensive electrical relays.
Still another object of the invention is to provide apparatus of the above character that is simple, inexpensive to manufacture, easy to operate, and reliable.
Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.
The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combinations of elements, and arrangements of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter set forth. The scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In general, the apparatus of the invention comprises an accumulator mechanism, which, when energy is supplied to an external device, accumulates the total amount of the quantity being measured. This could, for example, be the total number of watt-hours of electrical energy utilized, or the amount of feed supplied to a feeding trough; but in the apparatus particularly described herein, it is the amount of time an electrical outlet is energized. After a predetermined amount of the measured quantity has been measured, the quantity being supplied by the device, in the particular case disclosed electrical energy, is no longer supplied until, at the conclusion of a predetermined interval of time, the accumulator is reset. In the embodiment disclosed, the accumulator is reset every 24 hours and may be preset to allow up to 5 hours of TV ON time.
An important feature of the invention is that an electrical outlet is secured within a lockable case such that a TV plug plugged into it is within the case and inaccessible. Another important feature of the specific apparatus disclosed is that only a single synchronous motor is required which drives both the accumulator and the resetting mechanism. Furthermore, a single switch controls the electrical outlet and no relay or other expensive device of that kind is required.
THE DRAWINGS For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. I is a perspective view of a TV ON time control according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a front view of the TV ON time control of FIG. I removed from its securable case and enlarged to a scale one and a half times its actual size;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3 drawn to scale;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view similar to FIG.
FIG. 7 is a perspective back view of a portion of the apparatus of FIG. 2;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary front perspective view of a portion of the apparatus of FIG. 2;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary cross section taken along the line 9-9 of FIG. 4; and,
FIG. 10 is an electrical circuit diagram of the TV ON time control of FIG. I.
The same reference characters refer to the same elements throughout the several view of the drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A preferred embodiment of a TV ON time control, according to the invention, is illustrated in FIGS. I through 10. Referring to FIG. I, a securable, generally rectangular case I2 may be'conveniently formed of wood', plastic, metal or the like. A transparent faceplate 14 is locked in place by a tumbler lock 16. Faceplate 14 isprovided with three transparentwindows, pilot light opening 18, half-circle accumulator dial window 20, and full-circle 24-hour clock dial window 22.
The control is provided with a conventional line cord 24 which may be plugged into a household electrical outlet. The TV line cord 26 passes through a slot 28 in case 12. An ON pushbutton 30 and an OFF pushbutton 32 are provided. A dial 1 secured within the case. Pilot light 50, which is located behind pilot light window 18 (FIG. 1) is illuminated when ON button e 30 is depressed and TV ON time is still available.
In FIG. 2 the control mechanism 42 is shown with the dial plates 34 and 38 removed for convenience. However, their associated indicia are also shown in correct relative position so as'to aid in understanding the mechanism.
Synchronous motor 52 is connected across line cord 24 and is, therefore, continuously energized. It drives pinion gears 53 and 54 mounted on the output shaft 55 thereof counterclockwise. Pinion gear 53 is engaged with reset gear, or reset wheel, 56. The number of gear teeth are chosen such that reset wheel 56 rotates once each 24 hours.
Pinion 54 drives clutch gear 58 mounted directly behind an accumulator wheel 60, both being commonly 'mounted for rotation about a shaft 62.
Also mounted on shaft 62 for axial movement therewith is a switch bracket 64 to which electrical switch 66 is affixed.
Switch 66, a commercial miniature snap-action switch, in-
cludes an actuator button 68 which is actuated by spring lever 70. e
.As willbe explained in detail below, when ON button 30 is depressed, shaft 62 moves forward, bodily moving bracket 64 and switch 66 forward to engage spring lever 70 with the back surface of accumulator wheel 60; thus closing switch 66 to supply power to outlet 46. A latch mechanism latches shaft 62 in this position until OFF button 32 'is depressed or the mechanism is automatically reset.
When the ON button 30 is depressed, clutch gear 58 is moved into driving engagement with accumulator wheel 60 and; accumulator wheel 60 rotates in the clockwise direction untildog-receiving openings 72-72 become engaged with the dogs mou'nted on mm 74, 76. Accumulator wheel 60 then moves forward, as does spring level 70, opening switch 66. The forward motion of accumulator wheel 60 also disengages clutch gear 58 from accumulator wheel 60.
Once each 24 hours thedog-receiving openings 78-78 of reset wheel 56 are engaged by another set of dogs on arms 74, 76. This allows reset wheel 56 to move forward. Lever 80 is pushed outwardly by wheel 56 and its opposite end tips inwardly against shaft 62 and accumulator wheel 60. This disengages the dogs on arms 76-76 from accumulator wheel 60 and a torsion spring 82 rotates accumulator'wheel 60 counterclockwise until stop 84 comes to rest against am 74. The rearward movement of shaft 64,, as will be explained below, also disengages clutch gear 58 from accumulator wheel 60 if it is engaged during this reset operation and by bodily moving shaft 62 backward also unlatches the latch to allow ON button 30 to rise to its unactuated position.
In order to prevent accumulator wheel 60 from turning counterclockwise when the mechanism is turned off, and all of the preset TV ON time has not been used, an 'antibackup mechanism is provided comprising gear teeth 86 on accumulator wheel 60 and brush bristles 88 mounted on bellcrank 90.
The antibackup mechanism is disengaged during the reset operation when pin 92 mounted on reset wheel 56 engages bellcrank 90 and moves brush bristles 88 out of engagement with gear teeth 86.
The total amount of time that the TV may be utilized between the reset operations is determined by the angular position of stop 84. To this end, stop 84 is threaded in a metal collar 94 and may be fixed with respect to accumulator wheel 60 at any angular position within annular cutout 96. I
More particularly and referring to FIGS. 3 and 6, main plate 44 is affixed against shoulders 98 of case 12 by means of screws 99 (FIG. 2). A latch plate 100 is affixed to main plate 44 by means of screws 102 and is spaced therefrom by spacers 104.
Shaft 62 is freely mounted in a nylon bushing 106 mounted in latch plate 100. Shaft 62 is biased forward by compression spring'108, which acts between switch bracket 64 and bushing 106. The forward travel of shaft 62 is limited by latch 110, which presses against nut 112 threaded to the end of shaft 62. Nylon clutch gear 58 includes an integral bushing portion 114 freely rotatable and axially movable in main plate 44. As previously stated, clutch gear 58 is freely rotatable about shaft 62.
Nylon' accumulator wheel 60 is freely rotatable about a cylindrical nylon bushing 116 which is freely mounted on shaft 62. Clutch gear 58 and accumulator wheel 60 are normally biased apart by a leaf spring 118, which is preferably keyed to a flat splined portion 120 on bushing l 16 (FIG. 4).
As can be seen in FIGS. 3, 6, and 8, accumulator wheel 60 normally rides against dog 122 on arm 74 and a similar dog 124 on arm 76.
Dial plate 34 is mounted on accumulator wheel 60 by means of screw 125.'
Clutch faces 126 and 128 are affixed to clutch gear 58 and accumulator wheel 60, respectively. These are preferably high-friction material. I have found that the suedelike inside of DuPonts CORFAM material works well for this purpose; strips 126 and 128 being glued to the nylon gear 58 and wheel 60.
Referring now to FIG. 7, as well as FIG. 3, the latch mechanism, generally indicated at 130 in FIG. 7, works as follows: As previously explained, latch 110 is normally drawn forward by the action of spring 108. It rides against portion 132 of an ON slide 134 of which ON button 30 is that portion which protrudes above the case 12 (see FIG. 1). When ON button 30 is depressed, moving slide 134 downward against a spring 136, latch 110 moves into cutout 138.
Conversely, when OFF button 32 is depressed, its OFF slide moves downward against the action of spring 142, cam surface 144 moves latch 110 outwardly, allowing ON slide 134 to pop up under the action of spring 136. Latch 110 is now against surface 132 of ON slide 134 and shaft 62 cannot move forward. ON slide 134 and OFF slide 140 are guided in their motion by means of bridge 146, tabs 148-148, a generally rectilinear latch guide 150, also mounted on shaft 62 between slides 134 and 140, and lip 141 and cooperating cutouts 143-143. Latch guide 150, threaded on shaft 62 and locked by nut 112, also serves to prevent rotation of shaft 62, and thereby maintains angular position of switch bracket 64.
Again referring to FIGS. 3 and 6, when the ON slide 134 is pushed downward, shaft 62 moves forward, compressing leaf spring 1 18, which produces less force than compression spring 108, thus engaging clutch faces 126 and 128. Accumulator wheel 60 is therefore driven clockwise, as shown in FIG. 2, against torsion spring 82.
As previously explained, if the OFF button 32 is depressed, latch 110 moves rearwardly, disengaging clutch faces 128 and 126 under action of leaf spring 118. Accumulator wheel 60 then remains in its fixed position under the action of the bristles 88 against the gear teeth 86.
When the clutch is drivingly engaged, as shown in FIG. 6, and ON time still remains, latch 110 does not bottom on cutout 138 of ON slide 134 or the bottom flat portion of incline 144 of OFF slide 140. However, when dogs 122 and 124 are received in opening 72-72 on accumulator wheel 60, the dogs bottom in the openings. And under the action of leaf spring 118, the clutch faces 126 and 128 are separated.
During reset, when reset lever 80 tilts to the position 80a, shown in FIG. 6, shaft 62 is pushed rearwardly to unlatch latch 130, allowing ON slide 134 to return to its normal position as shown in FIG. 7. Bushing 116 is pushed rearwardly to separate clutch faces 126 and 128 if ON time remains in the accumulator (as shown in FIG. 6). Lever arm 80 also pushes accumulator wheel 60 rearwardly, disengaging it from dogs 122 and 124 so that it is able to rotate counterclockwise freely under the action of torsion spring 82 to reset to its initial position with stop 84 against arm 74, as shown in FIG. 2. Spline 120 on bushing 116 is to push leaf spring 118 away from accumulator wheel 60 during reset to reduce frictional drag on accumulator wheel 60.
Still referring to FIGS. 3 and 6, pinion gears 53 and 54 may be integral or formed in two pieces, preferably of nylon, as shown. They include a spacer portion 152.
Reset wheel 56 is preferably formed of nylon and is freely rotatable about a shaft 154 affixed to main plate 44. Reset wheel 56 is biased forward by means of compression spring 156 against dog 158 of arm 74 and dog 160 of arm 76. Integral with reset wheel 56 is a large-diameter bushing portion 161 and a small-diameter portion 162. Dial plate 38 is affixed to portion 162 by adhesive or the like and the shoulder 164 formed between portions 161 and 162 is adapted to be engaged by a U-shaped cutout portion 166 of lever 80 (see FIG. 2). As can also be seen in FIG. 2, the dog-receiving opening 78-78 on reset wheel 56 are located at different diameters so that they are engaged by dogs 158 and 160 at only one angular position.
As will be obvious to those skilled in the art, and is conventional, when this angular position is attained, reset wheel 56 will abruptly and smartly move forward under the action of spring'l56 to the dotted position 56b shown in FIG. 6. This will tilt reset lever, 80 about pivot pins 168-168 to reset the accumulator wheel 60, as previously described.
Dogs 158 and 160 are provided with inclined surfaces for camming reset wheel 56 back to its initialed position shown in solid lines in FIG. 6 after reset.
Now particularly referring to FIGS. 2 and 8, arms 74 and 76 are welded or otherwise affixed to a bridge bracket 170. Bridge bracket 170 is affixed to main plate 44 by screws 172-172.
Screw 174 mounted on bridge bracket 170 acts as a stop, limiting the motion of bellcrank 90 to which brush bristles 88 are mounted as best seen in FIG. 5. Bellcrank 90 is biased clockwise, as seen' in FIG. 5, by means of torsion spring 176. An unthreaded portion of stud 178 mounts it to bridge bracket 170, as best seen in FIG. 3. Bellcrank 90 is rotatably mounted on nylon bushing 180 mounted on stud 1178. As previously described, brush bristles 88 are disengaged from gear teeth 86 on accumulator wheel 60 when pin 92 mounted on reset wheel 56 engages be'llcrank 90 somewhat before the time when dogs 158 and 160 fall into dog-receiving openings 78-78 on reset wheel 56. Lever 80 is retained in position on stud 178 and, as previously described, pivots about pivot ends 168.
The electrical circuit of the control is shown in FIG. 10. As can be seen there, motor 52 is-connected across line cord 24 and operates continuously. When switch 66 is closed, pilot lamp 50 is energized, indicating that power is available at outlet 46 and that viewing time is being accumulated. Normally, the TV set ON-OFF switch is left on, and the TV set is turned ON and OFF by means of switch 66.
In the event of a power failure, reset wheel 56 must be set to the correct time so that, as preferred, the reset operation will take place between 3 and 4 am. This is accomplished, referring to FIG. 3, by pushing on dial plate 38 to push reset wheel 56 rearwardly to position 56a, thus disengaging pinion gear 53 from reset wheel 56 so that reset wheel 56 is free to be rotated to a new time indication.
Now referring to FIGS. 1 and 9, in order to securely lock the case 12, the front panel 14 fits into a channel 190 (see FIG. 4) in the top of case 12 and is then rotated downwardly and inwardly against shoulder 182. The key is then turned until latch portion 184 of keylock 16 is turned into groove 186 in the case 12. The device is now locked.
In order to operate the TV set when the preset amount of accumulated time has been used up, the key may be turned clockwise, rotating latch portion 184 to the position shown in dotted lines at 184a in FIG. 9. ln this position a rearwardly depending tab portion 188 pushes against spring lever 70, thus depressing pushbutton 68 to close switch 66. The device may be opened by turning the key to turn latch portion 184 to the position shown at 184b.
Those skilled in the art will realize that I have thus provided a quite simple mechanism for achieving the purposes of the invention as applied to TV viewing; that is, allowing the use of a predetermined amount of accumulatable time during each reset interval. While the reset interval described is 24 hours, it could be I week or any other convenient period. The total amount of accumulatable hours being more or less, depending on the length of the reset period. Further, I have achieved these objects using but a single synchronous motor, no electrical relays, and only a single set of switch contacts, thus providing a device that may be manufactured even in small quantities at relatively small cost and in large quantities at such small cost that it could readily be incorporated direction into a television set without substantially increasing the price of the set.
It will also be understood that if, for example, the quantity being measured was watt-hours, the accumulator wheel 60 would be driven by a watt hour-meter, rather than being driven by a synchronous motor.
It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above construction without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.
Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. Apparatus of the class described, comprising: A. first means for controlling the availability of a first quantity on demand; B. second means a. for measuring a second quantity when said first quantity is demanded and b. for causing said first means to terminate the availability of said first quantity when said second quantity measured reaches a predetermined amount; and,
C. third means for resetting said second means to zero measured quantity at predetermined time intervals whereby said first quantity is made available for said predetermined amount of said second measured quantity during each of said time intervals.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said first quantity is electrical energy.
3. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said second quantity is time.
4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said first quantity is electrical energy and said second quantity is time.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said first and second quantities are the same.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said first and second quantities are time.
7. Apparatus for controlling the ON time of a television set,
A. a control for demanding use of the television set;
8.- accumulator means for measuring the total time the television set has been ON up to a predetermined total accumulated ON time;
C. means controlled by said accumulator means for turning the television set ON on demand of said control only until said predetermined'total accumulated ON time has been measured by said accumulator means; and,
D. reset means for resetting said accumulator means to zero accumulated ON' time at regular intervals. 8. Apparatus for controlling the ON time of a television set,
. A. a securable case; B. an electric al outlet mounted within said case into which the line cord of a TV set maybe plugged with the plug thereof within said case;
C. an ON .control within said case and operable from without said case for demanding energization of said outlet;
D. accumulator means within said case for conditioning said outlet for energization on demand from said ON control for up to a predetermined total accumulated time; and,
E. reset means for resetting said accumulator means to zero accumulated ON time at regular intervals.
9. Apparatus as defined in claim 8 and:
F. key operated means operable from without said case for conditioning said outlet for energization at any time.
10. Apparatus as defined in claim 8 further defined in that said ON control has stable ON and OFF conditions and wherein said. reset means resets said ON control to its OFF condition when resetting said accumulator means.
1 1. An ON time control, comprising:
A. a switch adapted to control the supply of power to an ex-' ternal device;
B. a timer energized when power is supplied to the external device and adapted to interrupt the supply of power controlled by said switch when power has been supplied for a predetermined total time; and,
C. reset means forresetting said timer'to zero accumulated time at predetermined time intervals without regard to the total time that power has been supplied to the external device. 1
, 12. An ON time control, comprising:
A. a timing motor;
B. a switch including a switch operator adapted to control the supply of power to an external device;
C. an accumulator wheel, operatively connected to said switch such that power may be supplied to said external device thereby when said accumulator wheel is tuming G. reset means operatively engaged with said reset wheel to reset said accumulator wheel'to its initial position each time said reset wheel is at a predetermined angular position.
13. The ON time control defined in claim 12 wherein said clutch comprises:
a. a clutch wheel; and said control further comprises:
H. a common shaft on which said clutch wheel and said accumulator wheel are mounted and free to rotate.
14. An ON time control as defined in claim 13 wherein said switch is mounted on said shaft and is adapted to move with said clutch wheel when said clutch wheel engages said accumulator wheel, said switch operator then engaging said accumulator wheel to turn said switch ON.
15. An ON time control as defined in claim 14; and,
l. latch means for latching said clutch and switch with said clutch engaged with said accumulator wheel, said ON and OFF means actuating said latch.
to. An ON time control as defined in claim 15 wherein said accumulator wheel includes do -enga ing means; and,
og means against whrc sat accumulator wheel 15 biased, said dog means falling into said dog-engaging means when said terminal angular position is reached, thus allowing said accumulator wheel to move forward on said shaft, disengaging said accumulator wheel from said clutch wheel and opening. said switch.
17. An ON time control as defined in claim 16; and,
K.va reset lever actuated when said reset wheel reaches said predetermined angular position to disengage said accumulator wheel from said dogs; and,
L. spring means for resetting said accumulator wheel to its initial position. v
18. An ON time control as defined in claim 17 wherein said reset lever upon disengaging said accumulator wheel from said dogs also moves said shaft to disengage said latch.
19. An ON time control as defined in claim 18 wherein said reset wheel includes dog-engaging means; and,
M. second dog means engageable with dog-engaging means on said reset wheel; and,
N. spring means biasing said reset wheel into engagement with said second dog means, thus allowing said reset wheel to move forward to actuate said reset lever.
20. An ON time control as defined in claim 19; and,
0. an antibackup means normally engaged with said accumulator wheel to prevent resetting thereof; and,
P. means on said reset wheel for disengaging said antibackup means when said second dog means are engaged with the dog-engaging means on said reset wheel.
21. An ON time control as defined in claim 11 further defined in that said reset means resets said timer to zero accumulated time without regard to whether power is then being supplied to the external device.