Title of Invention

COVER FOR AN ELECTROMAGNETIC SWITCH

Abstract Provided is a cover for an electromagnetic switch that allows a spare fuse retaining portion to be formed in the cover without interfering with other components and without requiring any modification to the switch case. The cover (11) is integrally formed with a partition wall (15) that separates the terminal ends (10) of a pair of cables (7a, 7b) connected to the terminals (6a, 6b) of the switch main body (2) from each other, and is provided with a spare fuse retaining portion (spare fuse retaining slot 21) for retaining a spare fuse (20).
Full Text TECHNICAL FIELD
The present invention relates to a cover for an electromagnetic switch, and in
particular to a cover for covering primarily a cable connecting portion of an
electromagnetic switch used for a starter circuit of a vehicle engine.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
As a switch for a starter circuit of an automobile is known an electromagnetic
switch that includes a solenoid, a plunger that reciprocates under the action of the
solenoid and a spring, a contact set that is engaged and disengaged in dependence on the
movement of the plunger, and a switch case accommodating these components. An
electromagnetic switch of this type is typically provided with terminals for securing the
terminal ends of cables leading to a starter motor and a battery and a fuse mounting
portion for receiving a fuse, and is often additionally provided with a detachable cover
for covering and protecting the terminals and fuse mounting portion. It is known to
retain a spare fuse in the switch main body (See Japanese utility model laid-open
publication H6-43963), and in the cover (See Japanese utility model laid-open
publication S64-55534).
In the known electromagnetic switch disclosed in Japanese utility model
laid-open publication H6-43963, the switch case is formed with a recess for preventing
the spare fuse retained inside the cover from interfering with the switch case when the
cover is fitted on the switch case. It is however not desirable for the structure of the
switch case to be required to be modified so as to accommodate for the provision of a
spare fuse retaining portion in the cover as it would create an additional restriction on
the design of the electromagnetic switch.
Also, in the case of the electromagnetic switches disclosed in Japanese utility
model laid-open publications H6-43963 and S64-55534, when the fuse has blown due to
over-current or prolonged use, the worker (vehicle operator or mechanic) may encounter
some difficulty in replacing the fuse depending on the size of the fuse. For instance,
when a so-called mini fuse is used for the compact design of the electromagnetic switch,
because the head of the fuse is relatively small for the magnitude of the retaining force
of the fuse mounting portion, it is virtually impossible for the worker to pull out the fuse
from the fuse mounting portion by pinching the head of the fuse with fingers. Even
when the fuse consists of a blade fuse of a normal size, when the surrounding area is
crowded with connectors and other components, it is sometimes impossible for the
worker to pull out the fuse with his fingers.
The inventor has proposed to equip the electromagnetic switch with a fuse
puller similar to a pair of pincers, but it creates the problems of the added cost for
providing a separate fuse puller and the absence of a space for accommodating the fuse
puller. For instance, when the fuse puller is included in a tool box, there is a risk of
losing the fuse puller during the use of the tool box such as when changing a tire or a
risk of failing to carry the tool box on the vehicle. It is conceivable to store the fuse
puller within the cover, but the cover becomes so big in size that a difficulty arises in
the layout design around the electromagnetic switch.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In view of such problems of the prior art, a primary object of the present
invention is to provide a cover for an electromagnetic switch that allows a spare fuse
retaining portion to be formed in the cover without interfering with other components
and without requiring any modification to the switch case.
A second object of the present invention is to provide a cover for an
electromagnetic switch that allows a spare fuse retaining portion to be formed in the
cover without substantially increasing the overall size of the electromagnetic switch.
A third object of the present invention is to a cover for an electromagnetic
switch that allows a spare fuse retained in the spare fuse retaining portion of the cover
to be visible from outside so that the presence of a spare fuse of a correct amperage may
ensured without fail.
A fourth object of the present invention is to provide a cover for an
electromagnetic switch that may also serve as a fuse puller so that the need for an
additional space for stowing a separate fuse puller may be eliminated.
A fifth object of the present invention is to provide a cover for an
electromagnetic switch that may also serve as a fuse puller so that the fuse puller may
be available when needed without fail.
A sixth object of the present invention is to provide a cover for an
electromagnetic switch that may also serve as a fuse puller so that the need for an
additional cost for providing a separate fuse puller may be eliminated.
According to the present invention, at least some of these objects and other
objects can be accomplished by providing a cover for an electromagnetic switch, the
electromagnetic switch including a pair of terminals to which a pair of cables are
connected and a fuse mounting portion for holding a fuse in a functional manner,
characterized by that: the cover is integrally formed with a partition wall that separates
terminal ends of the cables from each other, the partition wall being provided with a
spare fuse retaining portion for retaining a spare fuse.
Because the spare fuse itself serves as a part of the partition wall that separates
the terminal ends of the cables connected to the terminals of the electromagnetic switch,
the spare fuse retaining portion can be provided in the cover without affecting the
existing layout of the electromagnetic switch.
According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the cover is
made of transparent plastic material, and an upper surface of the spare fuse opposes an
inner surface of an upper wall of the cover. Thereby, the presence of a spare fuse can be
recognized from outside the cover, and the amperage marked on the upper surface of the
spare fuse is visible without removing the cover so that the failure to place a spare fuse
of a correct amperage in the spare fuse retaining portion can be avoided.
Typically, the partition wall includes a pair of opposing wall segments, and the
spare fuse retaining portion comprises a slot defined between the opposing wall
segments. Preferably, the wall segments extend inwardly from an outer wall of the
cover in a mutually parallel relationship. Thereby, the structure of the cover is
simplified, and the outer profile of the cover can be made smooth and identical or
similar to that the conventional cover. This may minimize the tooling cost, and provides
a compatibility to the existing design of the cover.
For the convenience of removal and insertion of a spared fuse from and into the
spare fuse retaining portion, each wall segment may be provided with a cutout at an
inner edge thereof to expose a part of the spare fuse retained by the spare fuse retaining
portion and permit the exposed part to be accessible for removal and insertion of the
spare fuse from and into the spare fuse retaining portion.
According to another aspect of the present invention, the cover is provided
with an engagement portion which is adapted to engage a part of a fuse that is mounted
in the fuse mounting portion for removal of the fuse from the fuse mounting portion so
that the fuse can be removed from the fuse mounting portion without requiring a
separate fuse puller. Typically, the engagement portion includes an engagement
projection adapted to be engaged in a recess formed in the fuse. However, the mode of
engagement between the engagement portion and the spare fuse is not limited by such
an arrangement, and may consist of any other known arrangement.
To minimize the effort required to pull out a fuse from the fuse mounting
portion, a main part of the electromagnetic switch may be provided with a part that
serves as a pivot point for a lever action when pulling out the fuse from the fuse
mounting portion by engaging the engagement projection of the cover in the recess of
the fuse. The part that serves as a pivot point for a lever action typically comprises an
upright rib extending from the main part of the electromagnetic switch and separating
the two terminals from each other. To facilitate the engagement between the
engagement portion and fuse, the engagement portion may further include a guide
projection which provides a guide action when fitting the engagement projection of the
engagement portion into the engagement recess of the fuse by engaging an outer profile
of the fuse.
Preferably, the cover comprises a fuse covering portion covering the fuse that
is mounted in the fuse mounting portion, and the engagement portion is provided on the
outer face, in particular the upper face of the fuse covering portion. Thereby, it becomes
possible to engage the engagement portion with the fuse mounted in the fuse mounting
portion as an action that is continuous with the action of removing the cover from the
electromagnetic switch, and this allows the removal of the fuse to be effected in an
efficient manner.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS
Now the present invention is described in the following with reference to the
appended drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of an electromagnetic switch and a cover thereof
embodying the present invention;
Figure 2 is a side view of the electromagnetic switch with the cover shown in
section;
Figure 3 is a view of an essential part of the spare fuse retaining slot as seen in
the direction indicated by an arrow A in Figure 2;
Figure 4 is a view showing the mode of engaging the engagement portion of
the cover with the fuse;
Figure 5 is a view showing the state of engagement between the engagement
portion of the cover and fuse; and
Figure 6 is a view showing the mode of removing the fuse.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Figure 1 illustrates an electromagnetic switch for selectively activating an
automotive engine starter circuit embodying the present invention. This electromagnetic
switch 1 includes a solenoid, a plunger that reciprocates under the action of the solenoid
and a spring, a contact set that is engaged and disengaged in dependence on the
movement of the plunger, and a switch case (electromagnetic switch main body) 2
accommodating these components. As this structure is similar to that disclosed in Patent
Document 1, detailed description of the structure thereof is omitted.
On the upper face of the switch case 2 are mounted a connector 3 for
connecting a control wire, a fuse mounting portion 5 for receiving a fuse (mini fuse) 4
and connecting it to an internal circuit, and a pair of cable terminals 6a and 6b for
connecting terminal ends of cables 7a and 7b. The terminals ends of the cable 7a from a
starter motor and the cable 7b from a battery which are fitted with crimp contacts 10 are
connected to the corresponding cable terminals 6a and 6b, respectively, by using
threaded bolts 8, and the cable terminals 6a and 6b are separated from each other by an
upright rib 9 extending from the switch case 2.
Each crimp contact 10 connected to the terminal end of the corresponding
cable 7a and 7b is integrally formed with a threaded bolt fastening portion 10a, a cable
end crimp portion 10b, and a cable sheath retaining portion 10c, and the threaded bolt
fastening portion 10a is perpendicularly bent from the cable end crimp portion 10b and
cable sheath retaining portion 10c so that the cable end crimp portion 10b and cable
sheath retaining portion 10c of each crimp contact 10 project from a side of the switch
case 2 and the cables 7a and 7b extend downward therefrom.
The fuse mounting portion 5 and cable terminals 6a and 6b of the
electromagnetic switch 1 are covered by a detachable cover 11 made of transparent and
electrically insulating plastic material and shaped as a box having an open bottom end.
The cover 11 is provided with a pair of slits 13 formed on mutually opposite
sides of the cover 11 to receive corresponding ribs 12 formed on the corresponding
sides of the switch case 2 so as to position the cover 11 with respect to the switch case 2,
a slot 14 for receiving the rib 9 provided upright on the upper face of the switch case 2
so as to separate the pair of cable terminals 6a and 6b, a partition wall 15 separating the
cable end crimp portion 10b and cable sheath retaining portion 10c of one of the crimp
contacts 10 from those of the other crimp contact 10, and a fuse cover (fuse covering
portion) 16 covering the fuse 4 and fuse retaining portion 5.
A tongue piece 19 is formed on each side of the fuse cover 16, and a lower end
of the tongue piece 19 is provided with a hole 18 adapted to receive a projection 17
provided on the corresponding side of the switch case 2 so that the cover 11 can be
securely retained by the switch case 2 by the projections 17 resilient engaging the
corresponding holes 18 by virtue of the resiliency of the tongue pieces 19. The cover 11
can be readily removed from the switch case 2 by pinching the upper ends of the tongue
pieces 19 toward each other by using fingers and causing the lower ends of the tongue
pieces 19 to move away from each other and the projections 17 to be dislodged from the
corresponding holes 18.
The partition wall 15 is provided with a pair of parallel wall segments that
define a retaining slot 21 therebetween for retaining a spare fuse 20, and this retaining
slot 21 is adapted to retain the spare fuse 20 by applying a slight pressure to the spare
fuse 20 by virtue of the resiliency of the material that forms the cover 11. According to
this arrangement, because the spare fuse 20 retained in the retaining slot 21 forms a part
of the partition wall 15 that separates the cable end crimp portion 10b and cable sheath
retaining portion 10c of one of the crimp contacts 10 from those of the other crimp
contact 10, the retaining portion for a spare fuse 20 can be provided in the cover 11
without affecting the existing layout of the electromagnetic switch. A cutout 22 is
provided on the inner edge of each wall segment of the partition wall 15 to allow the
spare fuse 20 to be held between fingers when moving the spare fuse into and out of the
retaining slot 21.
The upper end surface of the fuse cover 16 is provided with an engagement
portion 25 adapted to engage a head portion 4a and engagement recesses 4b of the fuse
4. The engagement portion 25 comprises a pair of engagement projections 26 which are
provided on a side adjacent to the connector 3 in a mutually spaced relationship and a
pair of substantially L-shaped guide projections 27 which are provided on either side of
the engagement projections, again, in a mutually spaced relationship. The width of each
engagement projection 26 and the space between the engagement projections 26 are
selected so as to correspond to the pair of recesses 4b provided on a side of the fuse 4.
the guide projections 27 are dimensioned so as to firmly hold the head portion 4a of the
fuse 4 when the engagement projections 26 are fit into the corresponding engagement
recesses 4b.
The spare fuse 20 is received in the retaining slot 21 with its upper face facing
upward similarly as the fuse 4 that is actually in use, and the upper face thereof faces
the inner surface of the upper wall 23 of the cover 11. Therefore, the presence of a spare
fuse can be recognized from outside the transparent cover 11, and the amperage marked
on the upper surface of the spare fuse is visible without removing the cover 11 so that
the failure to place a spare fuse of a correct amperage in the spare fuse retaining portion
can be avoided. As illustrated in Figure 3, the opposing surfaces of the retaining slot 21
defined by the two wall segments of the partition wall 15 are additionally provided with
mutually opposing ribs 24 (which are omitted from illustration in Figure 2) that leave a
space therebetween corresponding to the thickness of the lead terminals of the spare
fuse 20 so that the possibility of placing a spare fuse 20 in the retaining slot 21 upside
down can be avoided.
The mode of operation of the illustrated embodiment is described in the
following with reference to Figures 4 to 6.
When the vehicle operator has turned on the starter switch to start the engine of
the vehicle, the fuse 4 may blow owing to an excessive electric current flowing through
the electromagnetic switch for some reason so that the engine would not crank. It may
be possible to crank the engine by replacing the fuse 4. The worker (vehicle operator or
car mechanic) then pinches the upper ends of the tongue pieces 19 toward each other,
and remove the cover 11 from the electromagnetic switch 1. As illustrated in Figure 5,
the worker holds the removed cover 11 with a hand 30 and pushes the engagement
portion 25 against a side of the fuse 4. As illustrated in Figure 5, by pushing the head
portion 4a of the fuse 4 into the space defined between the guide projections 27 so as to
properly position the engagement portion 25 with respect to the fuse 4 as illustrated in
Figure 5, the engagement projections 26 are fit into the engagement recesses 4b.
The worker then turns the cover 11 in counter clockwise direction as shown in
Figure 6. This causes the lower end of the fuse cover 16 to engage the upright rib 9,
and the continued rotation of the cover 11 causes the fuse 4 to be pulled out of the fuse
mounting portion 5 owing to the lever action of the cover 11 around the pivot point
given by the point of the mentioned engagement (indicated by P in Figure 6). In other
words, according to the illustrated embodiment, owing to the lever action provided by
the upright rib 9 serving as a pivot member, removal of the fuse can be effected
quite effortlessly.
Once the fuse 4 is removed from the fuse mounting portion 5, the worker picks
out the spare fuse from the cover 11, and fits this spare fuse 20 into the fuse mounting
portion 5.
The present invention has been described in terms of a concrete embodiment,
but the present invention is not limited by this embodiment and can be implemented in
variously different ways. For instance, the fuse of the electromagnetic switch in the
foregoing embodiment consisted of a mini fuse, but may also consist of a regular blade
fuse. The engagement portion may also be like a pair of pincers that hold the head
portion of the fuse from the both sides, and may be stowed in other parts of the fuse
cover. Also, the structures and shapes of the electromagnetic switch main body and
cover may be appropriately modified without departing from the spirit of the present
invention which is set forth in the appended claims.
The contents of the original Japanese patent applications on which the Paris
Convention priority claim is made for the present application are incorporated in this
application by reference.
WE CLAIM :
1. A cover (11) for an electromagnetic switch, the electromagnetic switch comprising a pair
of terminals (6a, 6b) to which a pair of cables (7a, 7b) are connected and a fuse mounting
portion (5) for holding a fuse (4) in a functional manner, characterized by that:
the cover is integrally formed with a partition wall (15) that separates terminal ends (10)
of the cables from each other, the partition wall being provided with a spare fuse retaining
portion (21) for retaining a spare fuse.
2. A cover for an electromagnetic switch as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cover is made
of transparent plastic material, and an upper surface of the spare fuse opposes an inner surface
of an upper wall (23) of the cover.
3. A cover for an electromagnetic switch as claimed in claim 1, wherein the partition wall
(15) has a pair of opposing wall segments, and the spare fuse retaining portion comprises a slot
(21) defined between the opposing wall segments.
4. A cover for an electromagnetic switch as claimed in claim 3, wherein the wall segments
extend inwardly from an outer wall of the cover in a mutually parallel relationship.
5. A cover for an electromagnetic switch as claimed in claim 4. wherein each wall segment
is provided with a cutout (22) at an inner edge thereof to expose a part of a spare fuse retained
by the spare fuse retaining portion and permit the exposed part to be accessible for removal and
insertion of a spare fuse from and into the spare fuse retaining portion.
6. A cover for an electromagnetic switch as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cover is
provided with an engagement portion (25) which is adapted to engage a part of a fuse that is
mounted in the fuse mounting portion for removal of the fuse from the fuse mounting portion.
7. A cover for an electromagnetic switch as claimed in claim 6, wherein the cover
comprises a fuse covering portion (16) covering the fuse that is mounted in the fuse mounting
portion, and the engagement portion (25) is provided on the outer face of the fuse covering
portion.
8. A cover for an electromagnetic switch as claimed in claim 7, wherein the engagement
portion (25) is provided on an upper face of the fuse covering portion (16).
9. A cover for an electromagnetic switch as claimed in claim 6. wherein the engagement
portion has an engagement projection (26) adapted to be engaged in a recess (4b) formed in the
fuse.
10. A cover for an electromagnetic switch as claimed in claim 9, wherein a main part (2) of
the electromagnetic switch is provided with a part (9) that serves as a pivot point for a lever
action when pulling out the fuse from the fuse mounting portion by engaging the engagement
projection of the cover in the recess of the fuse.
11. A cover for an electromagnetic switch as claimed in claim 10, wherein the engagement
portion has a guide projection (27) which provides a guide action when fitting the engagement
projection of the engagement portion into the engagement recess of the fuse by engaging an
outer profile (4a) of the fuse.
12. A cover for an electromagnetic switch as claimed in claim 10. wherein the part that
serves as a pivot point for a lever action comprises an upright rib (9) extending from the main
part of the electromagnetic switch and separating the two terminals from each other.

Provided is a cover for an electromagnetic switch that allows a spare fuse retaining portion to be formed in the cover without interfering with other components and without requiring any modification to the switch case. The cover (11) is integrally formed with a partition wall (15) that separates the terminal ends (10) of a pair of cables (7a, 7b) connected to the terminals (6a, 6b) of the switch main body (2) from each other, and is provided with a spare fuse retaining portion (spare fuse retaining slot 21) for retaining a spare fuse (20).

Documents:

310-kol-2005-abstract.pdf

310-kol-2005-assignment.pdf

310-kol-2005-claims.pdf

310-KOL-2005-CORRESPONDENCE-1.1.pdf

310-kol-2005-correspondence.pdf

310-kol-2005-description (complete).pdf

310-kol-2005-drawings.pdf

310-kol-2005-examination report.pdf

310-kol-2005-form 1.pdf

310-kol-2005-form 13.pdf

310-kol-2005-form 18.pdf

310-kol-2005-form 2.pdf

310-KOL-2005-FORM 27.pdf

310-kol-2005-form 3.pdf

310-kol-2005-form 5.pdf

310-KOL-2005-FORM-27.pdf

310-kol-2005-gpa.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-abstract.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-assignment.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-claims.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-correspondence.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-description (complete).pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-drawings.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-examination report.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-form 1.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-form 13.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-form 18.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-form 2.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-form 3.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-form 5.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-gpa.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-priority document.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-reply to examination report.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-specification.pdf

310-kol-2005-granted-translated copy of priority document.pdf

310-kol-2005-priority document.pdf

310-kol-2005-reply to examination report.pdf

310-kol-2005-specification.pdf

310-kol-2005-translated copy of priority document.pdf


Patent Number 236285
Indian Patent Application Number 310/KOL/2005
PG Journal Number 42/2009
Publication Date 16-Oct-2009
Grant Date 15-Oct-2009
Date of Filing 12-Apr-2005
Name of Patentee KABUSHIKI KAISHA HONDA LOCK
Applicant Address C/O KABUSHIKI KAISHA HONDA LOCK 3700 AZA-WADAYAMA, OAZA-SHIMONAKA, SADOWARA-CHO, MIYAZAKI-GUN, MIYAZAKI
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 SHIRAGATA YUJI C/O KABUSHIKI KAISHA HONDA LOCK 3700 AZA-WADAYAMA, OAZA-SHIMONAKA, SADOWARA-CHO, MIYAZAKI-GUN, MIYAZAKI
PCT International Classification Number F02N 11/00
PCT International Application Number N/A
PCT International Filing date
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 2004-119981 2004-04-15 Japan
2 2004-328405 2004-11-12 Japan