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Pat_2353082 - Gyrating Warning Lights

US Pat. 2353082


by Gordon E. Roedding and Robert N. Falge [assigned to General Motors Corporation]
Filed: Aug. 4, 1941; Serial No. 405,324
Patented: July 4, 1944

Figure 1 shows the lighting fixture installed in the nose of a locomotive.
Figure 2 is a close-up front view of the lighting fixture.
Figure 3 is a side view with the parts broken away and in section.
Figure 4 is a view of a centering cam (used to lock light into straight- ahead position).
Figure 5 is a view in section taken on line 5-5 of Figure 3.
Figure 6 is a view showing location of parts effecting the centering of the oscillating units.
Figure 7 is a plan view of the light fixture.
Figure 8 is a rear view of a reflector-bulb assembly.

The light fixture is made of a plurality of light sources, some of which are normally stationary 6, and some which are mounted as to be oscillatable 8.
(Bulbs are denoted as 86 and the reflectors are denoted as 91.)
Although the light sources 6 are normally stationary, their aim can be adjusted via their mounting (10 and 12 to face plate 14).
Immediately behind the face plate 14 are a pair of pivots 18.
A D-shaped frame 22 (see Figure 7) is oscillatably mounted to these pivots via bearings 20.
A verticle slot 24 is located to the back of the oscillatable frame 22. Guides 26 are located on the sides of slot 24 to increase the wear resistance.
An electric motor 28 is mounted in housing 16. The shaft of this motor is geared to any desired ratio to crank 30. Crank 30 carries a pin 32 on which is mounted spherical member 34. Member 34 engages guides 26.
As crank 30 rotates in response to the rotation of motor 28, frame 22 oscillates back and forth. Figure 7 shows one extreme position of oscillation of frame 22.

A frame 36 carrying oscillatable light sources 8 is also mounted on pivots 18. Pivoted to frame 36 at 38 is a latch member 40 having a general L-shape. The horizontal tip of member 40 is adapted so it can engage a notch 42 in frame 22.
Spring 44 biases member 40 into the latching position with frame 22. This can be seen in Figure 3. In this latched position, oscillation of the frame 22 in response to the rotation of the motor 28, will also oscillate the the frame 36 through latch member 40, causing oscillation of light sources 8. The dotted lines in Figure 7 show one limit of the oscillation of lamps 8.

In order to engage frame 36 to frame 22, a solenoid 72 is used. This solenoid is momentarily activated, each activation rotating a cam 56 through slightly more than 1/8 of a revolution. This rotation of cam 56 is accomplished through a pawl 64 attached to solenoid plunger 70 and two ratchets 62 on both sides of cam 56.
Figure 3 and Figure 6 best illustrate the operation of the solenoid unit.
Figure 3 shows oscillatable mode with plate 22 latched to plate 36. Notice that cam 56 is flush against wear plate 76. Spring 44 enhances this latching action in this mode.
On momentarily activating solenoid 72, the cam rotates to the position indicated in Figure 6. Disengagement of plates 22 and 36 accomplished, ending the oscillatable mode. Not only is this accomplished, but the oscillatable plate 36 is put into its centered or straight-ahead position via a centering cam 46 having a V-shaped notch 48. A lever 50 carrying a projection or roller 52 is pivotally attached to latch member 40. Spring 84 causes the roller to find the bottom of the V-shaped notch.

This light fixture design makes it possible to service the unit from inside the locomotive while in motion. Figure 8 shows how bulbs may be accessed via slots 95 and 96 which secure the bulb sockets 88 to the reflector projections 98. (Bulb sockets 88 mounted to socket base 90 by a means such as solder 89)
Figure 5 shows an alternative way of securing the socket base 90 to the reflector 91. Screws 99 are removably fastened to the reflector base.

Reference is made to the need to have a moving light source, such as this light fixture, which can frighten animals off the track as well as serving as a warning light for humans. The swinging beam of light is very effective in frightening birds, cows and other animals off the track and keeping them off.
To the railroads, not only is it a question of physical damage or personal injury, but a financial burden as well. An animal not worth a great deal to an owner suddenly becomes invaluable when it is struck by a train.