V 20`
United States Patent [191
[11] Patent Number:
[45] Date of Patent:
Hale
[54] RADIO-TAPE RECORDER FOR
3038935
AUTOMOTIVE USE
[76] Inventor:
[51]
Primary Examiner-Raymond F. Cardillo
Int. Cl.4 ............................................ .. G11B 31/00
369/7
Assistant Examiner-James E. Tomassini
Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Samuels, Gauthier, Stevens &
Kehoe
[58] Field of Search ................. .. 369/7, 10, ll, 12, 29;
360/68
[56]
References Cited
[s7]
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
2,557,245
4,149,043
4,388,712
4,588,857
360/68
5/1986 Arsem ......................... .. 369/29
adapted to permit direct recording of radio transmis
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
0053734
ABSTRACI‘
An audio device for automotive use is disclosed in
which radio transmissions can be received and directly
recorded on magnetic tapes, cassettes or discs. The
device includes an in-dash combination AM-FM radio
receiver and tape or cassette deck which is specially
6/1951 Zillger ................................... .. 369/7
1/ 1979 Itoh ..................................... .. 369/10
6/1983 Timm .
4,424,538 l/1984 Greene
5/1982 Fed. Rep. of Germany .
©1983, Tandy Corporation, Fort Worth, Texas 76102.
LRE Catalog 730, Lafayette Radio Electronics Corpo
ration ©1972, Syossett, L.I., NY 11791.
Feb. 20, 1986
[52] US. Cl.
Dec. 15, 1987
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Radio Shack 1984 Catalog, 1984 Catalog Number 367,
Arthur D. Hale, 32 Portuguese Bend
Rd., Rolling Hills, Calif. 90274
[21] Appl. No.: 831,318
[22] Filed:
4,713,801
sions on blank tape cartridges or cassettes.
6/1982 European Pat. Off. .
2256456 5/1974 Fed. Rep. of Germany .
7 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures
V
20’
US. Patent
Dec. 15,1987
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Sheet 1 0f 1
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4,713,801
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4,713,801
1
RADIO-TAPE RECORDER FOR AUTOMOTIVE
USE
’
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
2
these patents refers to the tape portion of the device as
a “tape recorder.”
A closer inspection of these patents shows, however,
that no provision is made in either one for using the
5 device to record radio transmissions. Indeed, as the
In recent years, technological advances have made it
introductory portion of US. Pat. No. 4,149,043 notes, in
possible to reduce radio receivers and tape decks to
compact sizes suitable for installation in automobile
dashboards. Combination in-dash radio receivers and
either cartridge or cassette tape players have become
increasingly popular. In many top of the line automobile
conventional automobile radio/tape player systems it
would be impossible to record radio transmissions be
cause of the “selective operations” design of these sys
tem's. Namely, in these systems, a power source is con
nected to the radio with a moveable contact switch
such that when a cassette is inserted into a slot on the
models, these combination radio-tape decks are now
included as standard equipment. For most other passen
ger cars, these devices are available as factory-installed
tape player, the switch is changed over to supply power
to the tape player instead of to the radio. When a push
optional extras; or else they can be purchased from 15 button control is used to eject the cassette from the tape
other audio manufacturers and installed by the owner or
player, the moveable switch is moved back into its
by an audio specialty shop.
original position thus supplying power to the radio but
not to the tape player. There is, accordingly, no way
These combination radio-tape decks typically permit
a driver or a passenger while travelling in the car to
that these conventional systems can be used to record
quickly and easily switch between AM and FM radio 20 radio transmissions: when the radio is on, the tape
reception as well as between the radio reception mode
and playing a pre-recorded cartridge or cassette on the
player is off and vice versa.
The invention of U5. Pat. No. 4,149,043 does not
tape player. Often it would also be desirable, however,
remedy this de?ciency. The improvement which is the
for the driver or passenger to also be able to directly
subject of this patent consists of a modi?cation in the
conventional systems such that a driver can switch from
record news, music or other radio transmissions on a
blank cartridge or cassette. For many years, the tech
the radio mode to the tape player mode and back with
nology has been available for directly coupling a radio
out having to alternately insert and eject a cassette or
cartridge. The device described in the ’043 patent uti
receiver to a tape recorder, and numerous portable
models of such combination devices are on the market.
lizes a movable switch connected to the radio and to a
Noone, however, has devised an adaptation of these
temporary stopping mechanism in the tape player.
radio-tape recorders-tape players suitable for in-dash
Through one simple control, for example a lever or
installation in an automobile or similar passenger vehi~
cle.
For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,916,122; 4,109,115; and
4,396,941 all show combination radio receivers, tape
recorders and tape players. Each of these patents is
directed to a compact and portable combination device
push/button, the driver can disconnect the radio and
engage the tape player so as to play a pre-recorded
35
cassette or cartridge previously inserted into the tape
player. Using the same control, the driver can switch
the power back to the radio thereby stopping the tape
player, and the cassette or cartridge in play, without
which permits the user to choose between AM and FM
radio reception, or playing a pre-recorded cartridge or 40 ejecting the cassette or cartridge. While this device may
greatly facilitate switching between the radio and tape
cassette. In addition, the user can elect the use the de
player modes, there is still no provision for simulta—
vice to record AM or FM radio transmissions directly
neously supplying power to both the radio and the tape
onto a blank cartridge or cassette. The latter mode
player so as to permit the recording of radio transmis
permits the user to hear the radio transmission, if he so
desires, simultaneously with recording that transmis
sion.
45
sions.
The disclosures of US. Pat. Nos. 3,916,122;
None of these devices, however, is suitable for in~
dash installation in an automobile. Although these de
4,109,115; 4,149,043; 4,388,712; and 4,396,941, as dis‘
cussed above, are incorporated herein by reference.
vices are compact enough to be easily portable, they are
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The object of this invention is to provide a compact
combination radio receiver, tape player and tape re
corder suitable for in-dash installation in an automobile
still too large for an automobile dashboard. The con 50
trols, the frequency indicators and the cartridge/cas
sette chambers for each of the devices are located on at
least two if not on three faces of the device, which
would render at least some of the controls or the indica
tors or the chambers inaccessible after installation in an
automobile dashboard. The antennas attached to these
More speci?cally, it is an object of this invention to
provide an in-dash mounted audio device by which a
prior art devices would protrude so as to create an
interference as well as a hazard to the driver or passen
driver or passenger travelling in a car can directly re
cord radio transmissions on a blank cartridge or cassette
or similar passenger vehicle.
of magnetic tape.
ger of an automobile; and, in vany event, these antennas
would not provide adequate reception for purposes of 60 It is a further object of this invention to provide an
quality recording inside an automobile.
audio device by which a driver or passenger travelling
US. Pat. Nos. 4,149,043 and 4,388,712 do show radio
receivers specially adapted for in-dash mounting in the
in a car can directly record radio transmissions while
continuing to listen to the radio broadcast.
dashboard of an automobile. In both of these patents,
Still another object of this invention is to provide an
the radio receivers are combined with tape decks, as 65 audio device for automobile use by which a driver can
discussed above, so that a driver or passenger travelling
readily switch from a radio receiving mode to simulta
in a car can choose between listening to the radio or
playing a pre-recorded cartridge or cassette. Each of
neously receiving and recording a radio transmission
and back to the radio receiving mode.
3
4,713,801
4
cassettes which have a playing or recording time rang
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
ing from 15-45 minutes per side. It is contemplated,
however, that this device can be designed and adapted
to play or record tape cartridges, micro-sized cassettes,
and compact laser discs. The face of slot 22 may option
ally be equipped with ?exible rubber or plastic dust
covers to help keep foreign objects out of the internal
mechanism. By inserting a tape cassette into slot 22 in
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a combination
AM-FM radio and tape player/recorder according to
this invention.
FIG. 2 is a simpli?ed block circuitry diagram illus
trating the essential internal circuitry components of
this invention.
the correct orientation (which may be either forward or
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
sideways depending on the internal construction), the
tape becomes ready to be operatively connected to
DRAWINGS
either the tape player or tape recorder of this invention,
FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of an in-dash mount
able AM-FM radio and tape player/recorder according
Forward face 12 of this device also includes a set of
to this invention. The device includes a generally rect
push-button function selector controls for the tape
angular housing 10 fabricated from metal or plastic 5 player/recorder of this invention. At a minimum, these
controls should include a Play button 24, a Pause button
which houses the internal electronic components of the
26, and a Record button 32. Optionally, these controls
radio and tape player/recorder. The controls for the
may also include a Fast Forward button 28 and a Re
radio and tape player/recorder, the slot for receiving a
wind button 30.
cartridge or cassette, and the station selector display (all
as described below) are all positioned on one forward 20
face 12 of said rectangular housing. Means for electri
cally engaging the device to the automobile electrical
system are positioned on a different face of the housing.
In a preferred embodiment, the electrical engagement
means comprises wire or socket means (not shown)
located along the back face of the rectangular housing
opposite forward face 12. Means for engaging an an
tenna to improve radio reception, for example a lead
wire, may also be positioned along said back face of the
A key distinguishing feature of this invention as con
trasted with prior art automobile in-dash radio/tape
players is that until one of the function selector control
buttons is pushed, a tape cassette inserted into slot 22 is
not operatively engaged by the tape player/recorder
mechanism. In order to switch from the radio-playing
mode to playing a pre~recorded tape cassette with this
invention, the automobile driver or a passenger first
properly inserts the cassette into slot 22. Then he de
presses the Play button 24. Pushing Play button 24
30 simultaneously disengages the power source from the
rectangular housing.
radio receiver and engages the power source to the tape
The controls include an On/Off knob 14 for control
player mechanism as further illustrated in FIG. 2.
ling the power supply. Knob 14 also controls the vol
To return to the radio-playing mode of operation, the
ume of sound when either the radio or the tape player is
driver or passenger simply pushes the Pause button 26.
on. Knob 14 may be of the pull-push-turn variety or else
both power and volume of sound can be controlled by 35 One push of the Pause button disengages the power
source from the tape player and simultaneously recon
turning the knob clockwise to turn on power and in
nects it to the radio receiver. The cassette, however,
crease volume and counterclockwise to reduce volume
remains inside slot 22 so that merely pushing the Play
and turn off power. Both types of controls are conven
button 24 converts the device back to the tape-playing
tional and wellknown in the art.
The controls also include a radio frequency adjust 40 mode. On the other hand, by pushing the Pause button
a second time in a row, the cassette is ejected from slot
ment knob 16 used to adjust AM and FM radio recep
22 necessitating reinsertion of the cassette to return to
tion. A lever 18 on the side of knob 16 is used to select
tape playing.
AM or FM reception. When lever 18 is in the “up”
position (as shown in FIG. 1), the radio will be turned
for AM reception. When lever 18 is ?ipped into the
“down” position (not shown), the radio will be turned
to receive FM transmissions. By turning knob 16 clock
wise or counterclockwise, the radio can be tuned to
receive radio transmissions across the entire AM and
FM commercial frequency bands. A station selector
display 19 shows the range of AM and FM radio fre
quencies, and an indicator bar 21 shows the frequency
adjustment. Optionally, selector display 19 may be in
ternally lighted for greater ease of reading. In another
embodiment, a digital frequency display may be substi
tuted for display 19.
Optionally, the radio receiver of this invention may
also include a plurality of push-button radio frequency
adjustors 20 which can be pre-set to automatically tune
the radio, upon pushing the appropriate button, to a
certain desired reception frequency. All of the above
descrlbed frequency control features, and many varia
In order to use the device of this invention for record
45 ing radio receptions, the automobile driver or a passen
ger ?rst properly inserts a blank tape cassette (or a
pre-recorded cassette which is capable of being simulta
neously erased and re-recorded) into slot 22. Then he
depresses the Record button 32. Pushing Record button
32 engages the power source simultaneously to both the
radio receiver and the tape player/recorder mechanism,
as further illustrated in FIG. 2. This control permits
simultaneous activation of the radio and tape recorder
in such a way that radio signals are received, ampli?ed
for transmission through the automobile speakers, and
at the same time are ampli?ed for recording on the tape
cassette. This unique feature of this invention makes it
possible for an automobile driver who suddenly hears a
song, news broadcast, or other radio programming that
he wishes to record to do so simply by pushing one
button with only a momentary interference with recep
tion of the broadcast. The interference would last no
longer than the very brief time required for switching
tions thereof, are also conventional in the art and thus
the electrical contacts as shown in FIG. 2.
require no further elaboration.
To return to the radio-playing mode of operation
Forward face 12 of this device further includes a slot 65
after a desired radio broadcast has been recorded, the
22 of suitable size for inserting a magnetic tape cartridge
driver or passenger simply pushes the Pause button 26.
or cassette. In the preferred embodiment, slot 22 is
designed to accommodate conventionally sized tape
One- push of the Pause button disengages the power
5
4,713,801
source from the electrical contact which serves both the
radio receiver and the tape player/recorder and simul
taneously reconnects it to the electrical contact which
6
player/recorder system, and the audio output system.
Referring again to FIG. 1, pushing the Record button,
function selector button 32, results in shifting the slide
serves only the radio receiver. The cassette, however,
remains positioned inside slot 22 so that merely pushing
switch selector contact from contact position 66 to
the Record button 32 converts the device back to the
and the tape player/recorder systems with substantially
uninterrupted radio reception. In this mode of opera
tion, however, magnetic head 48 will be activated so as
to transmit audio signals from the radio receiver to the
magnetic tape. Pushing the Pause button results in shift
ing the slide switch selector contact back to position 66,
recording mode for recording another radio broadcast.
On the other hand, by pushing the Pause button a sec
ond time in a row, the cassette is ejected from slot 22. At
this point, another blank cassette may be inserted into
slot 22 or else a prerecorded cassette can be inserted for
Playing
Many variations on this device will be readily appar
ent to those skilled in the art, and all such variations and
modi?cations are intended to be encompassed by this
invention. For example, as noted above, the tape
player/recorder of this invention may include a Fast
Forward function selector button 28 and a Rewind
function selector button 30. These controls would facili
position 70 thereby simultaneously activating the radio
thereby continuing substantially uninterrupted radio
reception but terminating the tape recording function.
Accordingly, this invention provides an easy and
convenient method for an automobile driver while in
transit to selectively record portions of radio broadcasts
without interrupting the radio reception or interfering
with his driving.
Having described my invention, what I claim is:
tate a driver or passenger replaying a song or other
1. An in-dash mountable audio apparatus having a
radio broadcast which had just been recorded. The tape 20 housing with a front face, said housing containing the
player/recorder may also optionally be equipped with a
following electrical systems;
digital tape location selector to facilitate ?nding a par—
(A) a radio reception system comprising an antenna,
ticular portion of a prerecorded cassette. It is contem
a radio tuner, and a radio signal preampli?er;
plated that the tape player/recorder of this invention
(B) a tape player and recorder system comprising a
may also include a microphone jack or plug designed to 25
magnetic head, a motor drive, and a preampli?er;
accommodate a hand-held microphone for purposes of
(C) an audio output system comprising a variable
recording dictation while in transit. These are all con
resistor, a main ampli?er, and at least one speaker;
ventional and well-known features of tape players/
recorders which can be readily adapted to this inven
tion.
FIG. 2 is a block circuitry diagram showing the es 30
sential internal electrical components of this invention.
Also shown in FIG. 2 is an external power source 40
and an antenna 42. The power source 40 for this device
will typically be the automobile battery. It is also envi
sioned, however, that the radio-tape player/recorder
and,
(D) a power supply system comprising a power
source, a main switch and a three-way switch hav
ing three electrical contact positions wherein: the
?rst of said contact positions electrically engages
the power supply only to the radio reception sys
tem and the audio output system; the second of said
contact positions electrically engages the power
supply only to the tape player and recorder system
and the audio output system; and the third of said
contact positions electrically engages the power
supply simultaneously to the radio reception sys
tem, the tape player and recorder system, and the
audio output system; and ?rst, second and third
manually-actuated controls accessible at said front
can be powered by its own internally-contained battery.
Antenna 42 may either be of the external variety which
protrudes from the hood or body of the automobile or it
may be embedded in the automobile windshield.
More speci?cally, FIG. 2 shows the following com
ponent parts of the audio system of this invention: (A) a
radio reception system comprising an antenna 42, a
- face, said controls being separately and alternately
radio tuner 44, and a radio signal preampli?er 46; (B) a
operable to adjust said three-way switch respec
tape player/recorder system comprising a magnetic
tively to one of the ?rst, second and third of said
head 48 for picking up audio signals from or transmit 45
contact positions.
ting audio signals to a magnetic tape 50, another pream
2. The audio apparatus of claim 1 wherein said ?rst
pli?er 52, and a motor drive 54; (C) an audio output
second and third manually - activated controls are push
system comprising a variable resistor 56 for controlling . buttons positioned on an external face of said apparatus.
the level of audio signals, a main ampli?er 58, and one
3. The audio apparatus of claim 1 including rectangu
or more speakers 60; and (D) a power supply system
lar housing means enclosing said electrical systems and
comprising a power source 40, a main switch 62, and a
further including power control means, volume control
three-way slide switch 64 having electrical contact
means, AM/FM band selector means, station selector
positions 66, 68 and 70.
display means, radio frequency adjustment means, cas
Contact position 66 electrically engages the power
sette slot means, and function selector means in which
supply only to the radio reception system and the audio
all of said ?rst, second and third manually-actuated
output system. Contact position 68 electrically engages
controls are positioned on a single external face of said
the power supply only to the tape player/recorder sys
housing means.
tem and the audio output system. Referring back to
4. The audio apparatus of claim 1 additionally includ
FIG. 1, pushing the Play button, function selector but
ing antenna means electrically connected to said radio
ton 24, results in shifting the slide switch selector
reception system.
contact from contact position 66 to position 68, thereby
5. The audio apparatus of claim 1 additionally includ
activating the tape player system. In this mode of opera
ing Fast Forward and Rewind push button function
tion, magnetic head 48 will be activated so as to pick up
selector controls.
audio signals from the magnetic tape. Pushing the Pause
6. The audio apparatus of claim 1 additionally includ
button, function selector button 26, results in shifting
ing microphone engagement means for recording dicta
the slide switch selector contact back to position 66, 65 tions.
thereby restoring radio reception. Similarly, contact
7. The audio apparatus of claim 3 additionally includ
position 70 electrically engages the power supply simul
ing push button radio frequency adjustment means.
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taneously to the radio reception system, the tape
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