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Publication numberUS3272982 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date13 Sep 1966
Filing date26 Mar 1963
Priority date25 May 1962
Publication numberUS 3272982 A, US 3272982A, US-A-3272982, US3272982 A, US3272982A
InventorsStewart John K
Original AssigneeStewart John K
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Infrared remote controller
US 3272982 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 13, 1966 J. K. STEWART 3,272,982

INFRARED REMOTE CONTROLLER Filed March 26, 1965 INFRA RED TRANSMITTER FIG. 2a

(37 {5 LB 1 i 5 27A 28A FORWARD 2/ s L c 35' I [AI-1 32 I LL: c i L 3/ 28B REVERSE I o 1 FIG. 2b 1 i INVENTOR JOHN K. STEWART ATTORNEY? United States Patent 4 Claims. (at. 246-187) This invention relates to a control device for controlling the distance between two railroad vehicles.

-In my copending Canadian patent application Serial 8l3,839 filed December 28, 1960, there is described a surveying system in which a satellite car precedes a main rail car and projects an infra-red beam to a receiver on the main rail car for the purpose of survey-ing the track. The satellite car, according to my earlier invention, is preferably driven by an electric motor which received its power via a cable from a generator on the main rail car. This transmission of power along the cable between the main rail car and the satellite car imposed several problems and it is a feature of the present invention to provide a control system which can be used with a satellite car which has a self-contained prime mover and electric power source and consequently the present invention permits of the dispensation of the power cable between satellite and main cars.

According to the present invention a distance control means for use in railroad surveying system including a main rail car and a satellite rail car having a prime mover comprises a high frequency beam sounce; means on the main car for directing a command high frequency beam towards the satellite rail car; a beam receiver on said satellite rail car to receive the command high frequency beam; and means on the satellite rail car responsive to the intensity of the receiver beam to control the prime mover to selectively drive the satellite car towards or away from said main rail car whereby to regulate the distance therebetween.

Preferably, means is provided on the main rail car for selectively controlling the intensity of the command beam.

According to a preferred form of the invention, the command beam is an infra-red beam and the means on the satellite car which are responsive to the intensity of the received beam to control the prime mover, include a photoelectric cel-l receiver and a pair of relays adapted to actuate at different values of an amplified signal from the photoelectric cell to operate means to respectively select a forward or reverse driving condition for the prime mover.

Conveniently, the relay which selects the reverse driving condition of the prime mover operates at a higher value of amplified signal than does the relay which selects the forward driving condition.

The present invention also contemplates the safety feature of providing a timing means which stops the prime mover a predetermined length of time after its forward operation has been initiated by the command signal.

The following is a description by way of example of one embodiment of the invention, reference being had to the accompanying drawing in which:

FIGURE 1 is a schematic representation of projector unit mounted on the main rail car and FIGURES 2a and 2b together schematically represent the receiver and control circuit on the satellite car.

Referring now to the drawings:

In FIGURE 1 an alternating current supply is provided for an infra-red transmitter 10 through an on-off master switch 11. Next in series with the master switch 11 is a spring biased switch 12 which operates between the contacts 13 and 14 to complete the circuit to the transmitter 10 through the resistance 16, and provided the contact 14 is selected, by the switch 12 through rheostat 1 8 and resistance 19. The motor 20 is merely a chopper motor which rotates a chopping device in front of the transmitted beam from the transmitter 10 to fix the frequency of the transmitted command beam. Mounted on the satellite car is a photoelectric cell receiver which receives the trans mitted command signal from the transmitter 10 and the received signal is amplified by an amplifying circuit represented by 26 and the amplified signal is applied to the relays 27, 2 8.

In FIGURE 2 13 the contacts 27A of the relay 27 and the contacts 28A and 28B of the relay 28 are illustrated in series with forward and reverse valve means 30 and 3-1 which respectively initiate the prime mover 32 to drive the satellite car forward or in reverse.

The relay 28 needs a much stronger signal from the amplifier 26 to cause it to operate than does the relay 27, and indeed these relays are calibrated for a purpose which will be hereinafter apparent.

In operation the operator selects the switches on the master switch 11 and by operating a dial (not shown) selects the distance at which he wishes the satellite car to be spaced from the main rail car. The dial is directly mechanically coupled to the rheostat '18 and thus the selection on the dial alters the setting of the rheostat and thus the value of its resistance. For forward travel of the satellite car, that is, when it is desired for the satellite car to move away from the main rail car so that it will precede it along the track, the switch 12 is closed against contact 14 which completes the circuit to the infra-red transmitter 10 through the rheostat 1 8 and the resistances 19 and 16. It will be observed therefore that the value of the intensity of the transmitted infra-red beam will be governed by the position of the rheostat. This transmitted command beam is received by the photoelectric cell 25 amplified at 26 and applied to the solenoid 27 across normally closed switch 33 and to solenoid 28. Since this amplified signal is too weak to operate the solenoid 28, the solenoid 27 operates to close the normally opened contacts 27A and complete the circuit through the normally closed contacts 28A to the valve system 30 which in its turn, causes the prime mover 32 to operate to drive the satellite car away from the main rail car. Naturally, as the satellite car proceeds further away from the main car, the intensity of the transmitted command beam received by the photoelectric cell 25 diminishes and when it reaches a value too low to hold relay 27 in, the relay drops out, opening the contact 27A thereby breaking the circuit to the valve system 30 and causing the satellite car to come to a halt. As the main rail car overtakes the satellite car slightly, the intensity of the received command signal is again increased and the relay 27 is again operated resulting in the driving of the satellite car forward once more.

When it is desired to return the satellite car to the main rail car, the switch 12 is depressed against its spring bias to make the contact 13, thereby short circuiting the rheostat 18 and the resistance 19 to permit the transmitter 10 to transmit a command signal at full light intensity. The full light intensity of the command beam is of suflicient strength to operate the solenoid 2 8 to open contact 28A and close contact 288, This immediately actuates the valve system 31 to cause the prime mover 3 2 to drive the satellite car in reverse, that is to say, towards the main rail car and thus the satellite car is brought towards the main car until switch 12 or switch 11 is again opened.

A time delay relay 34 is preferably provided with its contact 33 in the circuit to drop out the relay 27 by causing switch 33- to open after a predetermined length of time has elapsed to prevent the satellite car from running away from the main rail car in the event of failure of any part of the system; Since the details of the time delay relay are well known and form no part of the present invention such details are not shown.

The valves 30 and 31' has not been discussed in detail since it is quite clear that the prime mover 32 means may comprise a gasoline motor which drives an electrical generator, and/ or a hydraulic pump and the satellite car can be powered by either hydraulic motor, such as 32, or an electrical motor. Valves 30 and 31 are used in the case of hydraulic motor and in the event that electrical motors were used the equivalent electrical switches would replace the valves 30 and 31. For purposes of illustration FIG. 2b shows fluid conduit lines 35, B5, 86, 37 and 38 which would be employed if the prime mover 32 were a hydraulic motor. In this example, when a signal is transmitted to valve 30 for causing the prime mover 32 to move in the forward direction, the valve opens high pressure conduit 36 to the prime move-r 32 along line 37 while the low pressure fluid passes from prime mover 32 along line 38 and through valve 31 to drain 35. Conversely when a signal is transmitted to valve 31 for causing the prime mover to move in the opposite, or reverse direction, valve 31 opens to allow high pressure fluid from conduit 36 to flow to the prime mover along line 38 while the low pressure fluid passes along line 3-7 and through valve 30 to drain 35-.

Although the present invention has been described with the transmitter device on the main car it will be clear that the invention is also intended to cover the situation in which both transmitter and receiver are mounted on the satellite car and in which a reflector is mounted on the main rail car.

What 1 claim as by invention is:

1. Distance control means for use in a railroad sur: veying system including a main rail car and a satellite rail car having a prime mover, which control means comprises a high frequency beam source; means on the main car for directing a command high frequency beam towards the satellite rail car; a beam receiver on said satellite rail car to receive the command high frequency beam; and

means on the satellite rail car responsive to the intensity of the received beam to control the prime mover to selectively drive the satellite car towards or away from said 5 main rail car, whereby to regulate the distance therebetween.

2. A device as claimed in claim .1 in which the high frequency beam is an infra-red beam and in which the means on the satellite car responsive to the intensity of the received beam to control the prime mover, includes a photoelectric cell receiver and a pair of relays adapted to actuate at different values of an amplified signal from the photoelectric cell to operate means to respectively select a forward or reverse driving condition for the prime mover.

3. A device as claimed in claim 2 in which the relay which selects a reverse driving condition operates at a higher value of amplified signal than does the relay which selects the forward drive condition.

4. A device as claimed in claim 1 in which means is provided to stop the prime mover after a predetermined length of time has elapsed after forward operation of the prime mover has been initiated by a received high frequency signal even while such signal is still being received.

References Cited by the Examiner r ARTHUR L. LA POINT, Primary Examiner.

a LEO QUACKEN'BUSH, S. T. KRAWCZEWICZ,

Assistant Examiners.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1934484 *31 Jan 19317 Nov 1933Gen ElectricCamera
US2188293 *29 Apr 193723 Jan 1940Willams Allison RAutomatic vehicle control system
US2252525 *31 Aug 193912 Aug 1941Erasmus Errol Du PreezRailway train control system
US3011580 *29 Oct 19585 Dec 1961Gen Motors CorpAutomatic vehicle control system
US3026498 *19 May 196020 Mar 1962Galliers Edward GSafe trailing distance warning systems for vehicles
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3777241 *24 May 19714 Dec 1973Wenger CControl specifically for animal buildings
US4275659 *8 May 197930 Jun 1981Franz Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen-Industriegesellschaft M.B.H.Apparatus for operating transport vehicles movable on a track carried by a train of railroad cars
US4371814 *9 Sep 19811 Feb 1983Silent Running CorporationInfrared transmitter and control circuit
US4578665 *31 May 198425 Mar 1986Yang Tai HerRemote controlled surveillance train car
US5037045 *18 Jan 19906 Aug 1991Nakanishi Metal Works Co., Ltd.Self-propelled carrier conveyor having carrier distancing control
US5467716 *8 Mar 199421 Nov 1995Giat IndustriesTelescoped-type munition
WO1988004060A2 *26 Nov 19872 Jun 1988Starpeak Computers LtdLocating system
Classifications
U.S. Classification246/187.00C, 318/16, 318/480, 361/175, 246/29.00R, 104/307, 250/206
International ClassificationB61L3/06, B61L3/00, B60L3/00, G01S11/00, G01S11/12
Cooperative ClassificationB60L3/00, B60L2200/26, B61L3/065, G01S11/12
European ClassificationG01S11/12, B60L3/00, B61L3/06A