Vibrating and audible alarm clock

US005089998A
United States Patent [19]
[11] Patent Number:
Rund
[45]
Date of Patent:
5 a 089 9 998
Feb. 18, 1992
[54] VIBRATING AND AUDIBLE ALARM CLOCK
Primary Examiner—Vit M. Miska
[76] Inventor:
ézgmey’ Agent’ or Firm-manly’ Sokoloff’ Taylor &
Richard Rund, 12A Four Winds, 4
Mt. Davis Road, Pokfulam, Hong
man
Kong, Hong Kong
[57]
[21] Appl. No.: 680,222v
.
[58]
[56]
An alarm clock comprising a housing, electronic clock
.
[22] F?ed'
[51]
[52]
ABSTRACT
means including time and alarm setting means, tine
Apr’ 4’ 1991
indicator signal means, alarm signal generating means,
Int. Cl.5 .............. .. G04B 23/02; G04B 19/06
US, Cl. .................................... .. 368/72; 368/230;
368/ 250
Field of Search .................................. .. 368/71-74,
368/230, 250, 251, 255
.
References Cmd
4
and alarm off signal input means, wherein the reception
of an alarm of signal disables the generation of the alarm
signal, battery means connected to said electronic clock
means for supplying power to said electronic clock
means, a time display mounted in the face of said hous
ing and connected to said time indicator signal means,
?rst solid state switch means connected and responsive
US- PATENT DOCUMENTS
to said alarm signal generating means, sound generating
4,637,732
1/1987 Jones et al. ....................... .. ass/109
means dislwsed in Said musing’ vibratiml generating
4,920,525
4/1990
means mounted to the interior of said housing, alarm
5,023,853
6/1991 Kawata ............................. .. 368/230
Master , _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ " 36g/250
mode Switch means for selectively switching between
alarm off and audible and vibratory alarm modes.
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
7 Claims, 3 Drawing Sheets
2205665 12/1988 United Kingdom .
IO
ll
/
(r
LIGHT
l2
gm
HWR MINUTE
22 24
ls Q46
SNOOZE '
ALARM STOP
LOCK ,
ALARM SET '
> 20
~VIBRAT|NG ALARM
‘AUDIBLE ALARM
TIME SET
24 24°
58
2
l
59
US. Patent
Feb. 18, 1992
W[QLW m@E:
m
w
\\m
mg
i
n
4.AM“A WWEO
6
2no. .mLm
P
A
hAH
5,089,998
-l/
Rmmm
fr“(I
Sheet 1 of 3
MnWW"F
IEmGa . ,RQ.I| U mwm
M.“
A,
G
\\
B
2
I_
AMmm
‘I 4WM
FIG.2
K
FIG.3
‘5 K70
US. Patent
Feb. 18, 1992
Sheet 2 of 3
FIG. 4
[44
4o‘
?
+15
I—'J
{
5,089,998
\
l’, 4‘
_
44/c
40»
P42
_
4;
_/42
'
L4?
{5
a
“ II
LIGHT
‘
FIG.6
I /42
$47
F | G. 5
1
5,089,998
2
more than one person sleeping in a room and one must
VIBRATING AND AUDIBLE ALARM CLOCK
be woken up much earlier than the other.
The Dines Clock is also adapted for use in other
environments where a normal alarm would not be heard
(for example, in noisy environments) or in a situation
where a normal alarm would not be appropriate. For
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The ?eld of the invention is alarm clocks.
2. Prior Art
The instant invention is an alarm clock having two
modes of operation; namely, a virtually silent mode and
such purposes, the clock may be clipped to the clothing
of the user or may be kept in the user’s pocket.
Other prior silent alarms includes the alarm clock
shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,028,882 issued to Hrand
Muncheryan which features a silent- alarm having a
an audible mode.
Alarm clocks having only an audible alarm mode are
well known.
resonator unit disposed a substantial distance away from
the clock and connected thereto by conventional wir
ing. This, of course, is not convenient for travel and
mode have been known for some time. An example of 15 provides quite a bit of awkwardness for a sleeper who
such a clock is described in United Kingdom Patent No.
might get tangled in the wiring. U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,093,944
2,205,665 issued to Michael J. Dines. The Dines Vibra
and 4,180,810 both also issued to Muncheryan illustrate
tory Alarm Clock is a portable electronic clock having
variations on the same theme.
the shape of a flattened cube with rounded corners,
A recently issued patent, U.S. Pat. No. 4,920,525,
with its front side extending lower than the backside. 20 issued to Jack B. Meister, also features an alarm clock
The purpose of the comparatively small depth of the
having a silent alarm. The Meister Clock has its clock
clock (as compared to its other dimensions) and for the
circuitry, clock battery source, and operator panel all
front extending lower than the back is to allow for the
contained in a separate module separate from the
clock to be placed under a pillow more comfortably for
clock’s housing. The clock module of Meister includes
the user. The controls of the Dines Clock are on the 25 an operator panel positioned adjacent to the display and
Similarly, alarm clocks having a vibratory (or silent)
having time setting switches mounted thereon, hinged
face and include a 3-detent switch with a time set posi
?ap for removably covering the panel while permitting
tion, an alarm set position, and a lock position, another
viewing of the display, whereby the clock module may
3-detent switch having an alarm off position, an alarm
be in placed as a pocket watch separate from the quiet
on position, and a snooze position. The Dines Clock
also has on its face hour and minute setting buttons for 30 alarm.
setting the current time and the time for the alarm to go
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
off when the ?rst of the above-described switches is set
The
present
invention is an alarm clock comprising a
in the time set and alarm set positions, respectively, and
housing, electronic clock means including time and
a large alarm stop button to stop the alarm once alarm
has started. The face of the Dines Clock also has an 35 alarm setting means, time indicator signal means, alarm
signal generating means, and alarm off signal input
LCD display for visual display of the current time and
means, wherein the reception of an alarm of signal dis
the time for which the alarm is set, including an indica
ables the generation of the alarm signal, battery means
tion of whether snooze has been chosen. On the face of
connected to said electronic clock means for supplying
the clock there is a button used for turning on a light to
4-0 power to said electronic clock means, a time display
illuminate the LCD display. The Dines Clock also has a
mounted in the face of said housing and connected to
face plate hingedly attached to the front of the clock to
said time indicator signal means of said electronic clock
protect the controls on the face of the clock.
means, ?rst solid state switch means connected and
Within the housing of the Dines Clock is a generally
responsive
to said alarm signal generating means, sound
conventional electronic clock mechanism including an
alarm signal generating circuit. This electronic clock
mechanism and the LCD display combine together to
45
generating means disposed in said housing, vibration
generating means mounted to the interior of said hous
ing, alarm mode switch means for selectively switching
between alarm off and audible and vibratory alarm
and the clock is set according to conventional methods.
modes, whereby when said alarm mode switch means is
The clock circuitry is powered by a 1.5 volt battery, 50 set to the alarm off mode, said alarm off signal is applied
such as the LR44 battery manufactured by Toshiba,
to said alarm off signal input means, said sound and
which battery is mounted in the housing.
vibration generating means being selectably connected
In the Dines Clock the alarm pulse from the clock
to said first solid state switch means through said alarm
circuit triggers the opening of a second circuit which
mode switch means, said sound generating means gen
includes a pulsing circuit and a motor. This separate 55 erating an audible alarm when said sound generating
display time or alarm time as is well known in the art, ‘
circuit is powered by a separate battery power supply,
typically two AA size 1.5 volt batteries such as manu
factured by Eveready Battery Company, Inc. Thus, the
means is connected to said ?rst solid state switch means
and said alarm signal generating means generates an
alarm signal, and said vibration generating means gener
motor is turned on in a pulsating fashion by the alarm
ating perceptible vibrations when said vibration gener
pulse from the clock’s circuitry. Where as most motors 60 ating means is connected to said first solid state switch
are typically mounted symmetrically toa cam in the
means and said alarm signal generating means generates
Dines Clock the motor driveshaft is mounted eccentri
an alarm signal.
cally to a cam so that when the motor is operated sub
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
stantial vibrations are imparted to the housing of the
clock to which the motor is physically mounted.
65
FIG. 1 is a front view of the alarm clock of the pres
Clocks such as the Dines Clock are particularly
ent invention.
adapted for use by the deaf who cannot hear normal
FIG. 2 is a side view of the present invention along
audible alarms and is also adaptable for the use when
lines 2-2 of FIG. 1. Shown in phantom lines in FIG. 2
5,089,998
3
4
are the recessed face and bottom surfaces of the alarm
housing. Similarly, the back surface 27 of the housing 11
clock of the present invention.
is provided with conventional access means (not
shown) for access to the battery compartments.
FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate the cover plate which is
attached to the housing of the invented alarm clock.
The cover plate includes a panel 42 having a hole 41
through which the LCD display 12 may be seen and
FIG. 3 is a rear view of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a front view of the cover plate used in con
nection with the present invention.
FIG. 5 is a side view of the cover plate taken along
lines 5-5 of FIG. 4.
'
FIG. 6 is a front view of the present invention with
the cover plate affixed to the invention in the closed
position.
FIG. 7 is a right side view of the invention with the
cover plate affixed in the open position.
FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram of the circuitry of the
present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
INVENTION
10
through which the light switch may be pushed. At the
bottom edges of the left and right sides of the panel 42
extend projections 47 which, when the cover plate is
attached to the housing, engage holes formed in exten
sions 17a and 17b of the housing and shown in FIGS. 1
through 3. The cover plate 40 also has a lip 44 at its top
center to facilitate opening and closing of the cover
plate.
'
FIG. 8 illustrates schematically the electronic cir
cuitry of the present invention. With the exception of
The subject invention is illustrated in the attached
the LCD display 12, loudspeaker 63, batteries 56, 64 and
drawings which are referred to herein. Throughout the
65, motor 66, capacitors 67, 68 and 69, and the user
drawings and the description below the same reference 20 accessible control portions of switches 14, 16, 18, 20, 22,
numeral will be used to identify identical elements.
and 24, all the elements shown in FIG. 6 are mounted
With reference to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, numeral 10 desig
on a printed circuit board which is mounted, with a
nates the complete assembly of the invention. The in
series of screws, into the interior of housing 11.
vention comprises a housing 11 formed from a rigid
The circuitry of the present invention comprises a
plastic, such as ABS plastic. In the preferred embodi 25 conventional electronic clock mechanism, in this case
ment, the height (when viewed from top to bottom in
CMOS integrated clock circuit module chip 51, having
FIG. 1) is about 25 inches; the width (when viewed
terminals for connection to quartz oscillator 53, minute
from left to right in FIG. 1) is about 3 1/16 inches; and
count-up switch 16, hour count-up switch 18, alarm
the depth (when viewed from left to right in FIG. 2) is
stop switch 20, snooze switch 220, alarm set switch 22c,
about 1% inch. Recessed from the most forwardly dis 30 time set switch 22d, and alarm off switch 240. The clock
posed portion of the housing is the face 13 of the clock.
circuit module also has power input terminal 54, alarm
Disposed in the face are push button light switch 14,
signal output terminal 55, clock display signal outputs
push button minute setting (or count-up) switch 16,
57 and ground terminal 52.
push button hour setting (or count-up) switch 18, and
The clock circuit module performs in the conven
push button alarm stop switch 20. Also disposed in the 35 tional manner. Its power is received from 1.5 volt bat
face are a 4-detent slide switch 22 having stops for set
tery 56, a LR4-4 type battery disposed in the housing,
ting the time, setting the alarm, locking all time setting
with its positive terminal connected to input terminal 54
modes, and setting the snooze alarm, and a 3-detent
and its negative terminal connected to ground terminal
slide alarm mode switch 24 with positions for arming
52. The clock circuit module keeps time by counting the
the vibrating alarm, arming the audible alarm, and for 40 oscillations of oscillator 53. The actual time may be set
keeping the alarms turned off. Lastly, set in the face is
when a time set enable signal is being received through
LCD 12 having appropriate alphanumeric displays indi
switch terminal 22d. Repeated closures of switches 16
cating the current time, the time the alarm is set for, an
and 18 by the user, when the time set enable signal is
indication whether the alarm is armed and whether the
received (i.e., when switch 22 is set to terminal 22d),
snooze feature has been set.
With reference to FIG. 2, the relationship between
the face and the forward most edge of the housing 11 is
shown. In a preferred embodiment 'face 13 is disposed
approximately l inch from the foremost edge of the
45 cause the clock circuit module to count minutes and
hours, respectively, upward until the actual time (or
running time) is set. The time that the clock should
provide an alarm signal may be set by similar closures of
switches 16 and 18 when the alarm set enable signal is
housing. Bottom surface 15 is disposed at an angle to the 50 being received when switch 22 is set to 22c.
bottom most edge of side 25 of housing 11. The purpose
While the alarm set enable'signal is received, the
of recessing the face is to prevent accidental touching of
alarm time (or the alarm time being set) is displayed on
the clock’s controls. The recessing of the bottom sur
LCD 12 by virtue of signals transmitted through out
face 15 improves the ability to grip the clock.
puts 57. When the time set enable signal is received the
In addition, the recessing of face 13 and bottom sur
time being set is displayed on LCD 12. At all other
face 15 allows for easy mounting and rotation of the
times, the running time is displayed on the LCD.
cover plate 40 (shown in FIGS. 4 and 5) from a closed
When switch 22 is set to 22b (the lock position), or
position to protect the clock's face and to prevent acci
when it is set to 22a (the “snooze”) position, closures of
dental adjustments to the clock’s controls (as shown in
switches 16 and 18 have no effect on the clock circuit.
FIG. 6), to an open position in which the cover plate
Provided that switch 24 is not set to the alarm off
acts as a pedestal for display of the clock as shown in
FIG. 7).
Disposed in side 25 is hole 28 which serves as an
position (220), when the running time matches the alarm
time an alarm signal is transmitted through output ter
minal 55 for approximately one minute, or until alarm
stop switch 20 is closed, causing the alarm signal to be
outlet for the sound generated by the speaker of the
audible alarm.
65 interrupted until the running time matches the alarm
Housing 11 is split in a conventional manner (not
time again. If switch 22 is set to the snooze position
illustrated) to allow disassembly and reassembly of the
(22a), once the running time matches the alarm time the
housing to provide access to the interior of the clock
alarm signal will be transmitted for one minute periods
5
5,089,998
6
every three minutes until switch 22 is set to the lock
position or switch 24 is set to the alarm off position.
When switch 22 is in the snooze position, a “snooze”
mode is disabled. The motor circuit is completed, how
ever, and if the alarm signal is output from terminal 55,
icon display signal is transmitted through output termi
Motor 70 has a weighted cam mounted eccentrically
to the motor‘s drive shaft so that when the motor is
nals 57 to LCD 12 on which the snooze icon is dis
played. Similarly, an “alarm on” icon is displayed
whenever switch 24 is in any position besides the alarm
off position (240). When switch 24 is in the alarm off
position a signal is input into terminal 75 of the clock
circuit module and the alarm signal is disabled.
In all these respects the clock circuit module 51 and
LCD 12 operate in a conventional manner.
The clock of the present invention differs from con
ventional alarm clocks in the manner in which it com
bines audible and vibratory (i.e., virtually silent) means
transistors 58 and 59 are turned on and motor 70 runs.
running, it causes substantial vibrations to be imparted
to the housing 11.
These vibrations can catch the attention of a sleeping
user who has the clock place under the user’s pillow.
This is helpful to not only the hearing impaired; it is
helpful to the hearing enabled who must be awakened
without disturbing others who share the same room.
The clock of the present invention has other uses of
course. For example, if the clock is slipped into a user’s
pocket, the user may, at the user’s choice, be silently or
audibly reminded of an important time of day. A user
needing to be reminded of a certain time while attend
for communicating the alarm to the user.
Alarm signal output terminal 55 of clock circuit mod
ule 51 is connected to the base of npn transistor 58
ing a lecture or a meeting may set the alarm for vibra
(manufacturer’s code no. L7), the emitter of which is
tory alarm mode and have the alarm go on without
connected to ground. Transistor 58’s collector is con 20 disturbing others.
nected to alarm mode switch 24, which, as discussed
The circuitry of FIG. 8 helps subdue noise signals
above, has three positions. Positions 24a and 24b con
which when the alarm modes are used tend to interfere
nect transistor 58 to either the audible or vibratory
with the accuracy of the clock circuit module.
alarm means.
The invention is also provided with, as shown in
When switch 24 is set to the alarm off position (24c) 25 FIG. 8, two small light bulbs connected in series from
the collector of transistor 58 is disconnected from the
ground to one side of switch 14, the other side of which
two alarm means, and at the same time a connection is
is connected to the positive tenninal of battery 65. The
made from the positive terminal of battery 56 to alarm
mode input terminal 75 of the clock circuit module, and
bulbs are mounted on the printed circuit board so that
they are positioned on either side of LCD 12. When
no alarm signal is sent to the base of transistor 58. In
switch 14 is closed by the user the LCD is illuminated
such event, transistor 58 remains off and neither the
so that it may be read in the dark.
audible or vibratory alarm is activated.
Above there has been described a vibratory and audi
Switch connector 240 is connected to the anode of
ble alarm clock. It will be understood that various other
diode 61 and one side of speaker 63. Speaker 63 is
changes of the details, materials, steps, arrangements of
mounted on the interior of housing side 25 adjacent hole 35 parts, and uses, which have been herein described and
28. The cathode of diode 61 and the other side of
illustrated in order to explain the nature of the inven
speaker 63 are connected to the high side of batteries 64
tion, will occur to and may be made by those skilled in
and 65, which are two 1.5 volt AA batteries connected
the art, upon a reading of this disclosure, and such
in series, with the negative side connected to ground.
changes are intended to be included within the princi
(Diode 61 serves to block inductive kick, and resulting 40 ples and scope of this invention.
damage to the other circuit elements, if switch 24 is
I claim:
moved from 24a to some other position during opera
1. An alarm clock comprising:
tion of the speaker.)
'
Switch connector 24b is connected to the base of pnp ,
transistor 62 (manufacturer’s code no. 8550) and to one 45
a substantially ?at, rectangular housing;
side of capacitor 59 (100 pF in the preferred embodi
electronic clock means disposed in said housing, said
electronic clock means including time and alarm
setting means, time indicator signal means, alarm
ment). The other side of capacitor 59 is connected to
signal generating means, and alarm off signal input
ground. (Capacitor 59 prevents transistor 62 from being
means, wherein the reception of an alarm off signal
turned on by noise.) The emitter of transistor 62 is con
nected to the high side of batteries 64 and 65, and the
collector is connected to one terminal of dc motor 70.
The other side of motor 70 is connected to ground. Dc
motor 70 is mounted along the interior of bottom 15 of
the housing. Across the terminals of motor 70 are three
disables the generation of the alarm signal;
capacitors connected in parallel, capacitors 67, 68 and 55
69 respectively having values of 47 uF, 47 pF, and
0.047 pF, respectively.
When switch 24 is set in the audible alarm position
(240), transistor 62 is turned off and the vibratory alarm
mode is disabled. However, the audible alarm mode is
enabled and when the alarm signal is output from tenni
nal 55, transistor 58 is turned on and loudspeaker 63 will
be caused to sound as long 'as the alarm signal is present.
And of course, a hearing user will hear the alarm. The
speaker may be a ceramic speaker, a piezo beeper or a 65
coil speaker.
When switch 24 is set in the vibratory alarm position
(246), the speaker circuit is open and the audible alarm
?rst battery means disposed in said housing and con
nected to said electronic clock means for supplying
power to said electronic clock means;
a time display mounted in the face of said housing and
connected to said time indicator signal means of
said electronic clock means;
'
?rst solid state switch means disposed in said housing,
said ?rst solid state means being connected and
responsive to said alarm signal generating means;
sound generating means disposed in said housing;
vibration generating means mounted to the interior of
said housing;
alarm mode switch means for selectively switching
between alarm off and audible and vibratory alarm
modes, said alarm mode switch means mounted in
said housing and having user accessible means, said
alarm mode switch 'means being connected to said
?rst solid state switch means, said sound generating
means, said vibration generating means and said
7
5,089,998
8
3. The alarm clock of claim 2 wherein said vibration
generating means comprises a dc motor with a weight
eccentrically disposed on its drive shaft.
4. The alarm clock of claim 3 wherein said vibration
generating means further comprises capacitive means
disposed across said dc motor’s terminals.
5. The alarm clock of claim 4 further comprising
second solid state switch means disposed in said hous
ing, said second solid state switch means being con
nected between said vibration generating means and
said ?rst solid state switch means through alarm mode
switch means, whereby said vibration generating means
is responsive to said alarm signal when said alarm mode
alarm off signal input means, whereby when said
alarm mode switch means is set to the alarm off
mode, said alarm off signal is applied to said alarm
off signal input means;
said sound generating means being selectably con
nected to said ?rst solid state switch means through
said alarm mode switch means, said sound generat
ing means generating an audible alarm when said
sound generating means is connected to said ?rst
solid state switch means and said alarm signal gen-I
erating means generates an alarm signal; and
said vibration generating means being selectably con
switch means is set to selectively connect said second
solid state switch means to said ?rst solid state switch
nected to said ?rst solid state switch means through
said alarm mode switch means, said vibration gen
means.
6. The alarm clock of claim 5 wherein said ?rst solid
erating means generating perceptible vibrations
state switch means is a npn transistor with its base con
when said vibration generating means is connected
nected to said alarm signal generating means, its collec
to said ?rst solid state switch means and said alarm 20 tor connected to said alarm mode switch means, and its
signal generating means generates an alarm signal.
2. The alarm clock of claim 1 further comprising
second battery means disposed in said housing and con
emitter connected to ground.
7. The alarm clock of claim 6 wherein said second
solid state switch means is a pnp transistor with its base
connected to said alarm mode switch means, its emitter
nected to said sound generating means and said vibra
tion generating means for supplying power to said 25 connected to the positive side of said second battery
means and its collector connected to one terminal of
sound generating means and said vibration generating
said dc motor, with the negative side of said second
means, wherein said ?rst battery means does not pro
vide power for said sound generating means and said
vibration generating means.
battery means and the other terminal of said do motor
being connected to ground.
30
35
45
50
55
65
t
t
i
t
i
Download PDF
Similar pages