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Dokumentenidentifikation EP1111632 20.07.2006
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001111632
Titel Schalter, insbesondere selbsteinstellender Pedalgehäuseschalter
Anmelder Methode Electronics Malta Ltd., Mriehel, MT
Erfinder Ganado, Steve Leone, Balzan, MT
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 60028520
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, CH, CY, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, IE, IT, LI, LU, MC, NL, PT, SE
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 15.02.2000
EP-Aktenzeichen 001030139
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 27.06.2001
EP date of grant 07.06.2006
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 20.07.2006
IPC-Hauptklasse H01H 3/16(2006.01)A, F, I, 20051017, B, H, EP

Beschreibung[en]

The device concerns a switch, in particular a self-adjusting pedal-box switch, with facilities for self-adjustment of the switch during mounting, and with adjustment protection. The switch is inserted into a pedal box panel above the pedal shaft, and perpendicular to the plane of the pivot bearing of the moveable foot-pedal body.

During vehicle assembly, when installing switches which are used in particular to monitor the positioning of clutch or brake pedals and as brake light switches, many problems occur with the adjustment needed to ensure correct operation. This applies in particular to accurate adjustment of the switch position and contact travel required to take account of the tolerance involved in manufacture of the pedal housing. This leads to the need for switches with adjustable lengths which often fail to provide the required precision. Moreover, installation and adjustment of such switches is time consuming and thus more expensive.

Self-adjusting switches can be prone to the following problems:

  • Accidental or unintentional maladjustment during shipment of parts, vehicle assembly or servicing;
  • Fatigue or gradual slackening of the adjustment system;
  • Maladjustment of the switch by excessive pressure on the pedal.

This has led to various designs of quick-fit, self-adjusting switches which are often still not satisfactory.

Object of the invention is to develop a switch of the above mentioned type with the capability of self-adjustment only at the time of installation and with a simple construction so that it can be installed and adjusted for correct functioning in a single operation during vehicle assembly.

This object is accomplished with a switch according to the generic part of claim 1 with the following features:

  • a) the switch has a housing with fixed contacts which are connected via terminals to the outside of the housing,
  • b) in the switch housing is a moveable contact bridge carrier, which pivots on a spindle when the switch is installed and which is positioned parallel to the pivot bearing spindle of the pedal body,
  • c) the contact bridge carrier is constructed in two parts, consisting of a rotor with a contact bridge, which is located in the switch housing and rotates against the force of a return spring, and a swivel plunger, which can be adjusted incrementally and which is pivoted on the same spindle as the rotor and works together with the shaft of the pedal body or with a pedal flag attached to the pedal body,
  • d) the rotor has external stops , which work together with moveable locking pins on the switch housing, which are arranged perpendicular to the direction of movement of the rotor, when the switch is mounted in the pedal box carrier, in order to lock the rotor body until just before the switch reaches its final installed position,
  • e) the locking pins on the switch housing are held in a locked position by the edges of an U-shaped mounting slot in the pedal box carrier, when the switch is inserted into the slot, and are released by clearance notches in the mounting slot when the switch is in its final installed position.

Specific advantageous developments of the invention are found in the patent claims 2 to 10.

The device has the advantage that these switches cannot accidentally or unintentionally be maladjusted before it is installed. Furthermore, when the switch, in the condition as when delivered by the manufacturer, is installed in the vehicle in a prepared mounting slot in a suitable carrier (for example in a pedal box carrier), the moveable switch parts are automatically adjusted so that after installation the switch is fully adjusted and ready for operation. The return spring for the rotor of the contact bridge carrier ensures that before the installation of the switch, the contact bridge carrier is in the correct position for the adjustment of the switch when the switch is mounted. This adjustment is achieved by the swivel plunger, which is secured by a ratchet on the rotor in its delivered state, touching the pedal body, or a flag mounted on the pedal body, via the rotor. The rotor is secured in its delivered state by the locking pins on the switch housing, which are pushed inwards by the long edges of the mounting slot during insertion of the switch. Therefore the rotor cannot rotate with the swivel plunger during the automatic adjustment of the swivel plunger to its end position. The adjustment protection for the rotor of the contact bridge carrier is maintained until the switch has reached its installed position in the pedal box carrier. At this time the locking pins, which up to now have secured the rotor of the contact bridge carrier in the switch housing against accidental or unintentional adjustment, are released by a clearance notch in the long edges of the mounting slot and free the rotor of the contact bridge carrier for turning during in-service operation of the switch. At the same time the switch is locked in its installed position by engagement of the locking pins in the clearance notches directly opposite each other on the long edges of the mounting slot.

A preferred embodiment of the invention is shown in the drawings.

Fig. 1
shows a perspective view of a switch with arrangement for self-adjustment during assembly in a pedal box carrier,
Fig.2
shows a vertical longitudinal section through the switch in the delivered state ready for assembly and the transverse section of Fig. 2 is shown by cutting line II-II in Fig. 3,
Fig.3
shows another section through the switch according to the cutting line III - III in Fig. 2 and
Fig.4
shows a perspective exploded view of the switch components.

The switch 1 according to Fig. 1 to 4 serves in particular to indicate the functioning position of foot pedals in vehicles and especially when used as a brake light switch.

The switch 1 has an arrangement for self-adjustment only during assembly of the switch into the pedal box carrier 2 that is mounted above the pedal shaft 5 perpendicular to the plane of the pivot bearing 3 of a moveable foot pedal body 4.

The switch 1 has a housing 6 with fixed contacts 7 that are connected to the terminals 7a (Fig. 4) on the exterior of the housing.

There is a moveable contact bridge carrier 8 in the switch housing 6 which is pivoted on a spindle 9, which is parallel to the to the pivot bearing spindle 3 of the pedal body 4 when in the installed position.

The contact bridge carrier 8 is constructed in two parts: a contact bridge 12 with a rotor 11 which rotates against the force of a return spring 10 and, inside the rotor 11, a swivel plunger 13 which can be adjusted incrementally and which is pivoted on the same spindle 9 as the rotor 11.

The return spring 10 is a compression coil spring or torsion spring with one end 10a supported on the inside of the switch housing 6 and the other end 10b on the rotor 11.

During normal operation the rotor 11 and the swivel plunger 13 are fixed together. The rotor 11 has external lugs 14 which, during the mounting of the switch 1 onto the pedal box carrier 2, work together with the moveable locking pins 15 on the switch housing 6. The locking pins 15 are perpendicular to the direction of movement of the rotor 11. In this way the rotor body 11 is secured by the locking pins 15 until shortly before reaching the final installed position.

The locking pins 15 on the switch housing 6 are moved into the locking position for the rotor 11, by insertion of the switch into the U-shaped mounting slot 16 in the pedal box carrier 2. The locking pins 15 are released by the clearance notches 16a (Fig. 1) in the mounting slot when the switch is in the final installed position.

The switch housing 6 is constructed in two parts - a bottom housing section 17 with the spindle 9 for the contact bridge carrier 8 that includes a rotor 11 and swivel plunger 13, and a top housing section 18 with the contacts 7, 7a fixed to the housing and a support for the return spring 10 for the contact bridge carrier 8.

On the bottom housing 17 there are parallel, U-shaped external guide rails 19, 20 which overlap the edges of the U-shaped mounting slot 16 on the pedal box carrier 2, and serve to secure the switch 1 in the installed position in the pedal box carrier 2.

The locking pins 15 for the rotor 11 are formed from the eye-shaped ends 22 of a U-shaped fastening spring 21. The eye-shaped ends 22 protrude through slots 23 in the form of guide openings in the side walls of the bottom housing 17 (Fig. 3 and 4) between the guide rails 19, 20, and are pushed inwards by the long edges of the mounting slot 16 during insertion to the end stop.

The switch housing 6, the rotor 11 and the swivel plunger 13 of the contact bridge carrier 8 are made in the form of a sector of a circle, referenced to their spindle 9.

The rotor 11 of the contact bridge carrier 8 is constructed as a hollow body with a cut-out for the swivel plunger 13 and has inward facing ratchet teeth 24 that engage with the protruding spring-loaded indexing pin 25, radial to the spindle 9, on the outer circumference of the swivel plunger 13.

Moreover, the rotor 11 of the contact bridge carrier 8 is guided by separate guide lugs 30 (Fig. 4) sliding in arc-shaped slots on the inner side of the switch housing 6.

A radial lug 26 on the rotor 11 serves as anchorage for the contact bridge 12.

The swivel plunger 13 is incrementally adjustable along the ratchet teeth 24 between two end stops in the cut-out of the rotor 11. Furthermore, it has an outward facing guide shoe 27 to position it on the shaft 5 of the pedal body 4 or an attached flag 28. During the operation of the switch, the guide shoe 27 also serves as an end stop for the movement of the contact bridge carrier against the switch housing 6.

During the installation of the switch 1 into the mounting slot 16 of the pedal box carrier in the direction of the arrow 29 in Fig. 1, the following sequence of events occur:

During the insertion of the switch 1 into the mounting slot 16 in the direction of the arrow 29 in Fig. 1, the locking pins 15 of the U-shaped fastening spring 21, which protrude outwards between the parallel guide rails 19, 20 of the switch housing 6, are pushed together by the long edges of the mounting slot 16 in the pedal box carrier 2. During this action the swivel plunger 13 of the switch 1 meets the flag 28 or a projection on the shaft 5 of the pedal body 4 and is thereby gradually pushed into the cavity of the rotor 11.

As the swivel plunger 13 is bound with the rotor 11 by the indexing pin 25 engaging with the inner ratchet 24 of the rotor 11, the rotor 11 moves with the swivel plunger 13 through a distance "T" in Fig. 3, until the two side stops 14 on the outside of the rotor 11 contact the locking pins 15 of the fastening spring 21 thus preventing the rotor 11 from being pushed further into the switch housing 6.

When the switch 1 is pushed further into the mounting slot 16 the force on the swivel plunger 13 increases, and the indexing pin 25 moves over the ratchet 24 on the rotor, and is thus automatically adjusted.

Immediately before the switch 1 reaches the end of the mounting slot 16 the locking pins 15 are released.

In this manner, the adjustment range "L" of the swivel plunger 13 (Fig. 2) relative to the rotor 11 is set to the required distance in a single operation, without any risk that the switch 1 could be later put out of adjustment during the life of the vehicle. During shipment of the switch, the locking pins 15 are not activated so that the swivel plunger 13 cannot be set prior to assembly in the vehicle. The switch 1 can, however, be readjusted by pulling back the swivel plunger 13 with a force greater than that required to set the length adjustment.

It should be noted that the force required to depress the pedal body 4 with the pedal flag 28 is much greater than the force required for the operation of the switch 1 and for setting its length adjustment. Therefore the pedal flag 28 can be considered as being rigid.

List of reference numbers

1
switch
2
pedal box carrier
3
pivot bearing spindle
4
pedal body
5
pedal shaft
6
switch housing
7
contact
7a
terminal
8
contact bridge carrier
9
spindle
10
return spring
10a
end of spring
10b
end of spring
11
rotor
12
contact bridge
13
swivel plunger
14
stop
15
locking pin
16
mounting slot
16a
clearance notch
17
bottom housing
18
top housing
19
guide rail
20
guide rail
21
fastening spring, stopper spring
22
ends of fastening spring
23
slot
24
locking ratched, internal teeth
25
indexing pin
26
radial lug
27
guide shoe
28
pedal flag
29
arrow, insertion direction
30
guide lugs
T=
dimension in Fig. 3
L=
adjustment range in Fig. 2


Anspruch[en]
  1. Switch, in particular self-adjusting pedal-box switch, with facilities for self-adjustment of the switch during mounting and with adjustment protection, when the switch is installed into a pedal-box carrier that is mounted perpendicular to the pivot plane of a spindle and above the moveable pedal body, characterised by the following features:
    • a) the switch (1) has a housing (6) with fixed contacts (7) which are connected via terminals (7a) to the outside of the housing,
    • b) in the switch housing (6) is a moveable contact bridge carrier (8), which pivots on a spindle (9) when the switch is installed and which is positioned parallel to the pivot bearing spindle (3) of the pedal body (4),
    • c) the contact bridge carrier (8) is constructed in two parts, consisting of a rotor (11) with a contact bridge (12), which is located in the switch housing (6) and rotates against the force of a return spring (10), and a swivel plunger (13), which can be adjusted incrementally and which is pivoted on the same spindle (9) as the rotor (11) and works together with the shaft (5) of the pedal body (4) or with a pedal flag attached to the pedal body (4),
    • d) the rotor (11) has external stops (14), which work together with moveable locking pins (15) on the switch housing (6), which are arranged perpendicular to the direction of movement of the rotor (11), when the switch (1) is mounted in the pedal box carrier (2), in order to lock the rotor body (11) until just before the switch (1) reaches its final installed position,
    • e) the locking pins (15) on the switch housing (6) are held in a locked position by the edges of an U-shaped mounting slot (16) in the pedal box carrier (2), when the switch (1) is inserted into the slot (16), and are released by clearance notches (16a) in the mounting slot when the switch is in its final installed position.
  2. Switch according to claim 1, characterised in that the switch housing (6) consists of two parts, a bottom housing (17) with spindle (9) for the contact bridge carrier (8) with rotor (11) and swivel plunger (13), and a top housing with the contacts (7, 7a), that are fixed to the housing, and a support for the return spring (10) of the contact bridge carrier (8).
  3. Switch according to claims 1 and 2, characterised in that on the bottom housing (17) there are parallel, U-shaped external guide rails (19,20) which overlap the edges of the U-shaped mounting slot (16) on the pedal box carrier (2)
  4. Switch according to claim 1 to 3, characterised in that the locking pins (15) for the rotor (11) are formed from the eye-shaped ends (22) of a U-shaped fastening spring (21), which eye-shaped ends (22) protrude through slots (23) in the side walls of the bottom housing (17) between the guide rails (19,20), and are pushed inwards by the long edges of the mounting slot (16) during insertion to the end stop of the rotor (11).
  5. Switch according to claims 1 to 4, characterised in that the switch housing (6), the rotor (11) and the swivel plunger (13) of the contact bridge carrier (8) are made in the form of a sector of a circle, referenced to their spindle (9).
  6. Switch according to claim 5, characterised in that the rotor (11) of the contact bridge carrier (8) is made as a hollow body with a cut-out for the swivel plunger (13) and has inward facing ratchet teeth (24) for engagement with a spring-loaded indexing pin (25), which protrudes from the outer circumference of the swivel plunger (13) radially to the spindle (9).
  7. Switch according to claim 1 to 6, characterised in that the rotor (11) of the contact bridge carrier (8) is guided by separate lugs (30) sliding in arc-shaped slots on the inner side of the switch housing (6).
  8. Switch according to claim 7, characterised in that a radial lug (26) on the rotor (11) serves as anchorage for the contact bridge (12).
  9. Switch according to claims 1 to 8, characterised in that the swivel plunger (13) is incrementally adjustable between two end stops in the cut-out of the rotor (11).
  10. Switch according to claims 1 to 8, characterised in that the swivel plunger (13) has an outward facing guide shoe (27) to position it on the shaft (5) of the pedal body (4), which guide shoe (27) during the operation of the switch (1) also serves as an end stop for the movement of the contact bridge carrier (8) against the switch housing (6).






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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