PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP1073080 12.01.2006
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001073080
Titel Mehrrichtungseingabeeinrichtung
Anmelder Alps Electric Co., Ltd., Tokio/Tokyo, JP
Erfinder Isikawa, Shinzi, Tokyo 145, JP
Vertreter Klunker, Schmitt-Nilson, Hirsch, 80797 München
DE-Aktenzeichen 60024536
Vertragsstaaten DE, FI, FR, GB
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 17.07.2000
EP-Aktenzeichen 003060399
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 31.01.2001
EP date of grant 07.12.2005
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 12.01.2006
IPC-Hauptklasse H01H 25/06(2006.01)A, F, I, ,  ,  ,   

Beschreibung[en]

The present invention relates to a multi-directional input device suitable for use in portable telephones and the like.

A conventional multi-directional input device will be described with reference to Figs. 13 to 15. This multi-directional input device is provided with a shaft 52 disposed at one end of a box-shaped casing member 51 formed of synthetic resin moldings and a rotary electrical element 53 generating an electrical signal of a pulse signal (rotational quantity signal) attached to the shaft 52.

A driving body 54 formed of synthetic resin moldings and accommodated within the casing member 51 is provided with a pair of supporting walls 54a having a spacing therebetween. Sleeve-like bearings 56 press-fitted into both ends of a roller-like operating member 55 are rotatably attached to the pair of supporting walls 54a so that the operating member 55 is rotatable.

The shaft 52 is inserted into non-circular holes 56a formed in the center of one of the bearings 56, so that the rotary electrical element 53 is operative by the rotation of the shaft 52 via the bearings 56 during the rotation of the operating member 55 while the driving member 54 is movable in the axial direction by using the casing member 51 and the shaft 52 as guides thereof when the operating member 55 is moved in the axial direction.

A sliding type electrical element 58 comprising a variable resistor and having a sliding portion 57 is attached directly beneath the casing member in a pile, so that the sliding portion 57 is inserted into a hole 54b of the driving body 54.

This sliding type electrical element 58 detects positional information in response to the displacement.

First and second driving plates 59 and 60 respectively having rectangular holes 59a and 60a formed at the centers thereof are arranged to be overlaid on each other while the sliding portion 57 is inserted into the holes 59a and 60a.

Between the first driving plate 59 and the casing member 51, a spacer 61 is arranged. Springs 62 and 63 are respectively strung between the first driving plate 59 and the casing member 51 and between the second driving plate 60 and the casing member 51 to thereby pull the sliding portion 57 in the neutral state.

Next, operation of such a conventional multi-directional input device will be described. When the operating member 55 is moved in the direction of the arrow "X1", the driving member 54 moves against the spring 62 together with the sliding portion 57 and the first driving plate 59 to thereby operate the sliding type electrical element 58; when the operation of the operating member 55 is cancelled from this state, the first driving plate 59, the driving member 54, and the operating member 55 are returned to the original neutral position by the spring 62.

Then when the operating member 55 is moved in the direction of the arrow "X2", the driving member 54 moves against the spring 63 together with the sliding portion 57 and the second driving plate 60 to thereby operate the sliding type electrical element 58; when the operation of the operating member 55 is cancelled from this state, the second driving plate 60, the driving member 54, and the operating member 55 are returned to the original neutral position by the spring 63.

By operating the operating member 55 in the axial direction in such a manner, positional information is detected in response to the displacement so as to determine a frame advancing speed of images or the like.

Next, when the operating member 55 is rotated, the rotary electrical element 53 is operated via the bearings 56 and the shaft 52 so as to generate a rotational quantity signal.

Consequently, frame advance can be performed according to the speed determined by the movement in the axial direction.

In the conventional multi-directional input device, since the sliding type electrical element 58 generating an electrical signal is arranged beneath the casing member 51, there is a problem in that thickness is increased so that a thin shape is difficult to achieve.

There is also another problem in that the number of parts is increased because the driving body 54, the first and second driving plates 59 and 60, and two springs 62 and 63 are necessary for operating the sliding type electrical element 58, resulting in increased cost and low productivity.

An example of a conventional input device can be found in JP-A-10 255596 entitled 'Multi-directional input Device'.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a multi-directional input device which is thin while being inexpensive and having improved assembly efficiency.

According to the present invention, there is provided a multi-directional input device according to claim 1.

Preferably, the operating portion is arranged nearer to the rotary electrical element than to the push-switch.

Preferably, the casing member is provided with a bottom wall to which the push-switch is attached.

Preferably, an L-shaped movable member having a first and a second arm is rotatably held so that the shaft urges the first arm so as to rotate the movable member and the push-switch is operated with the second arm by the rotation of the movable member.

Preferably, the push-switches are respectively arranged at both ends of the operating member so that the push-switches are respectively operated by the movement in the axial direction of the operating member.

Preferably, the stopper is formed in the casing member.

Preferably, a concave portion is formed in the casing member to form the stopper therein while a convex portion is formed in the rotating member to cause the convex portion to abut part of the concave portion so as to stop the rotation of the rotating member.

Preferably, a multi-directional input device further comprises a supporting member made of an insulating material and provided with the fixed contact, wherein the fixed contact is attached to the casing member by attaching the supporting member to the casing member.

Preferably, the stopper is formed in the supporting member.

Preferably, a concave portion is provided in the supporting member to form the stopper while a convex portion is provided in the rotating member so that rotation of the rotating member is stopped by abutting of the convex portion to part of the concave portion.

Preferably, a multi-directional input device further comprises a movable contact plate formed of one metallic plate and provided with the movable contact, wherein the rotating member is formed of the movable contact plate.

Embodiments of the invention are now described, by way of example with reference to accompanying drawings, in which:

  • Fig. 1 is a plan view of a multi-directional input device according to the present invention;
  • Fig. 2 is a sectional view of an essential part of the multi-directional input device according to the present invention;
  • Fig. 3 is a sectional view at the line 3-3 of Fig. 1;
  • Fig. 4 is a front view of a supporting member of the multi-directional input device according to the present invention;
  • Fig. 5 is a sectional view of an essential part in the attached state of the supporting member of the multi-directional input device according to the present invention;
  • Fig. 6 is a front view of a rotating member of the multi-directional input device according to the present invention;
  • Fig. 7 is a backside view of the rotating member of the multi-directional input device according to the present invention;
  • Fig. 8 is a side view of the rotating member of the multi-directional input device according to the present invention;
  • Fig. 9 is a schematic representation showing relationship during the normal rotation between the supporting member and the rotating member of the multi-directional input device according to the present invention;
  • Fig. 10 is a schematic representation showing relationship during the reverse rotation between the supporting member and the rotating member of the multi-directional input device according to the present invention;
  • Fig. 11 is a plan view of an essential part of a push-switch of the multi-directional input device according to the present invention;
  • Fig. 12 is a sectional view of an essential part in the attached state of a movable member of the multi-directional input device according to the present invention;
  • Fig. 13 is a sectional view of an essential part of a conventional multi-directional input device;
  • Fig. 14 is a plan view for showing operation of a sliding type electrical element of the conventional multi-directional input device; and
  • Fig. 15 is an assembly view of the conventional multi-directional input device.

A multi-directional input device according to the present invention will be described with reference to Figs. 1 to 12. Any of Figs. 1 to 12 relates to the multi-directional input device according to the present invention: Fig. 1 is a plan view thereof; Fig. 2 is a sectional view of an essential part thereof; Fig. 3 is a sectional view at the line 3-3 of Fig. 1; Fig. 4 is a front view of a supporting member; Fig. 5 is a sectional view of an essential part of the supporting member in the attached state; Fig. 6 is a front view of a rotating member; Fig. 7 is a backside view of the rotating member; Fig. 8 is a side view of the rotating member; Figs. 9 and 10 are schematic representations showing relationship between the supporting member and the rotating member; Fig. 11 is a plan view of an essential part of a push-switch; and Fig. 12 is a sectional view of an essential part of a movable member in the attached state.

Then the multi-directional input device according to the present invention is described with reference to Figs. 1 to 12. Any of a pair of substantially T-shaped casing members 1 and 2 is formed of synthetic resin moldings. The casing member 1, which is one of the casing members 1 and 2, comprises a bottom wall 1a; a pair of supporting walls 1c vertically extending from the bottom wall 1a and spaced apart from each other, a pair of supporting walls 1c, each having a hole 1b formed therein for inserting a shaft; a recess 1d formed in the bottom wall 1a; a fitting hole 1e formed in the bottom wall 1a; and a pair of L-shaped fitting portions 1f spaced apart from each other.

The other casing member 2 also comprises a bottom wall 2a, a supporting wall 2c vertically extending from the bottom wall 2a and having a hole 2b formed therein for inserting a shaft; a recess 2d formed in the bottom wall 2a, a fitting hole 2e formed in the bottom wall 2a, a pair of L-shaped fitting portions 2f spaced apart from each other, and a through-hole 2g formed in the bottom wall 2a in the vicinity of the recess 2d.

A coupling member 3 formed of a metallic plate comprises a plate portion 3a and plural fitting legs 3b disposed from opposing ends of the plate portion 3a and arranged to oppose each other. The fitting legs 3b of the coupling member 3 are inserted into the fitting holes 1e and 2e of the casing members 1 and 2 so that the coupling member 3 unitarily combines two casing members 1 and 2 together by opening the end portions of the fitting legs 3b.

A roller-like operating member 4 formed of synthetic resin moldings, for example, comprises a roller-like operating portion 4a disposed in the center thereof and shafts 4b and 4c extending from both ends of the operating portion 4a in the axis direction of the center of the operating portion 4a.

The none-circular-columnar shaft 4b, which is one of shafts 4b and 4c of the operating member 4, is inserted into the holes 1b of the supporting walls 1c in the casing member 1 to be attached thereto while the other circular-columnar shaft 4c is inserted into the hole 2b of the supporting wall 2c in the casing member 2 to be attached thereto, so that the operating member 4 is rotatable and movable in the axis direction as well.

As shown in Figs. 2 and 3, an actuation member 5 having a none-circular hole 5a in its center is formed of synthetic resin synthetic resin moldings, etc., to have the shape of a gear. The shaft 4b is inserted into the hole 5a in the state in that the actuation member 5 is placed between the pair of supporting walls 1c of the casing member 1, so that the actuation member 5 is arranged so as to rotate simultaneously together with the rotation of the operating member 4.

A movable contact 6 formed of a metallic plate and having the springing property is L-shaped as shown in Fig. 3. The movable contact 6 is press-fitted into the bottom wall 1a of the casing member 1 to be attached thereto while opposing a fixed contact 7 attached to the bottom wall 1a.

When the actuation member 5 is rotated, as shown in Fig. 3, the movable contact 6 is brought into and out of contact with the fixed contact 7 by reciprocating movement between the position shown by the solid line and the position shown by the dotted line owing to concave-convex portions of the actuation member 5 so as to generate an electrical signal that is a pulse signal.

That is, a rotary electrical element "K" generating an electrical signal is formed of the actuation member 5, the movable contact 6, and the fixed contact 7.

As shown in Fig. 4, a supporting member 8 formed of synthetic resin moldings comprises a base portion 8b having a recessed portion 8a; a hole 8c formed in the substantially central portion of the base portion 8b; a stopper 8d formed of a concave portion which is formed in a recessed wall of the base portion 8b; and a pair of projections 8e and a pair of retaining portions 8f, both pairs being formed beneath the base portion 8b.

A pair of fixed contacts 9a and 9b are embedded in the supporting member 8 and are exposed in the bottom of the recessed portion 8a so as to surround the hole 8c.

Such a supporting member 8 is attached to the casing member 2, as shown in Fig. 5, by retaining the retaining portions 8f on the bottom wall 2a so that the pair of projections 8e are inserted into holes (not shown) of the bottom wall 2a in the casing member 2.

Also, when the supporting member 8 is attached thereto, the shaft 4c penetrates the hole 8c while terminals of the fixed contacts 9a and 9b are protruding downwardly via the through-hole 2g.

As shown in Figs. 6 to 8, a rotating member 10 is formed of a movable contact plate made of one metallic plate having movable contacts 10a and comprises a cylindrical portion 10c having a circular hole 10b formed in its center and a convex portion 10d formed in the outer periphery. As shown in Figs. 9 and 10, the rotating member 10 is arranged within the recessed portion 8a of the supporting member 8, so that the movable contacts 10a are brought into and out of contact with the fixed contacts 9a and 9b while the convex portion 10d is positioned within a concave portion of the supporting member 8 so as to be able to abut the stopper 8d.

As shown in Fig. 2, such a rotating member 10 is attached by inserting the shaft 4c into the cylindrical portion 10c.

A circular-disc-shaped washer 11 formed of a synthetic resin, as shown in Fig. 2, is attached by fitting it to the shaft 4c. Also as shown in Fig. 2, the shaft 4c is inserted into an elastic member 12 formed of a rubber O-ring while the elastic member 12 is attached so as to be positioned on the cylindrical portion 10c of the rotating member 10.

When the elastic member 12 is attached, by elasticity of the elastic member 12, the movable contacts 10a are elastically urged to the fixed contacts 9a and 9b while the washer 11 is elastically urged to the supporting wall 2c; furthermore the cylindrical portion 10c of the rotating member 10 is elastically urged to the shaft 4c so that frictional force between the rotating member 10 and the shaft 4c is applied.

Then when the shaft 4c is rotated by rotating the operating portion 4a, the rotating member 10 is rotated in the normal or the reverse direction by frictional force between the shaft 4c and the rotating member 10.

When the rotating member 10 is rotated, as shown in Figs. 9 and 10, it rotates together with the shaft 4c until the convex portion 10d of the rotating member 10 abuts the stopper 8d so as to generate a signal of the normal rotational direction or a signal of the reverse rotational direction by switching between the fixed contacts 9a and 9b "ON" and "OFF" with the movable contacts 10a. When the operating portion 4a is furthermore rotated, the rotating member 10 is stopped from rotation by the stopper 8d, so that the operating portion 4a starts to race.

That is, a switch "S" for detecting the rotational direction is formed of the movable contacts 10a provided in the rotating member 10 and the fixed contacts 9a and 9b.

As shown in Figs. 2 and 11, a pair of fixed contacts 13a and 13b are embedded in the recesses 1d and 2d of the casing members 1 and 2 while a dome-shaped movable contact 14 is accommodated therein, which is prevented form coming out therefrom by the lid 15.

When the movable contact 14 is urged via the lid 15, the movable contact 14 is flipped to switch between the fixed contacts 13a and 13b "ON", and when urging is released, the movable contact 14 is flipped to the original position to switch between the fixed contacts 13a and 13b "OFF".

That is, first and second push-switches "P1" and "P2" formed of the movable contact 14 and the fixed contacts 13a and 13b are respectively formed in the casing members 1 and 2.

These first and second push-switches "P1" and "P2" are respectively arranged at both ends of the operating member 4 in the axial direction of the operating member 4 while are arranged outside the rotary electrical element "K" and the switch "S", that is, arranged in positions apart from the rotary electrical element "K" and the switch "S".

An L-shaped first movable member 16 formed of synthetic resin moldings comprises first and second arms 16a and 16b, a shaft 16c arranged in the side of the combining portion between the first and second arms 16a and 16b, and a convex portion 16d disposed in the bottom face of the second arm 16b, while an L-shaped second movable member 17 formed of synthetic resin moldings comprises first and second arms 17a and 17b, a shaft 17c arranged in the side of the combining portion between the first and second arms 17a and 17b, and a convex portion 17d disposed in the bottom face of the second arm 17b.

As is specifically shown in Fig. 12, the first and second movable members 16 and 17 are rotatably attached by hooking the shafts 16c and 17c on the pair of L-shaped fitting portions 1f and 2f arranged in the casing members 1 and 2, respectively.

When the movable member 16, which is one of the movable members 16 and 17, is attached in such a manner, the first arm 16a opposes the shaft 4b protruding from the supporting walls 1c while the convex portion 16d of the second arm 16b opposes the lid 15 on the movable contact 14, so that the convex portion 16d is urged by the springing property of the movable contact 14, thereby the first arm 16a is abutting on the shaft 4b.

When the other movable member 17 is attached, the first arm 17a opposes the shaft 4c protruded from the supporting member 8 while the convex portion 17d of the second arm 17b opposes the lid 15 on the movable contact 14, so that the convex portion 17d is urged by the springing property of the movable contact 14, thereby the first arm 17a is abutting on the shaft 4c.

Next, operation of the multi-directional input device having such a structure will be described. In Fig. 2, when the operating member 4 is moved in the axial direction indicated by the arrow "A1", the shaft 4b urges the first arm 16a of the first movable member 16 against the springing property of the movable contact 14 in the first push-switch "P1".

Thereby, the first movable member 16 is rotated about the shaft 16c so that the convex portion 16d of the second arm 16b urges the top of the movable contact 14 so as to flip it; thereby, the fixed contacts 13a and 13b are brought into conduction to switch the first push-switch "P1" "ON".

At this time, the second push-switch "P2" maintains the "OFF" state because the second movable member 17 is not urged.

Then when the movement of the operating member 4 in the direction of the arrow "A1" is cancelled, the movable contact 14 is flipped to the original position, so that the first push-switch "P1" is switched "OFF", while the second arm 16b is pushed back by the flipping operation of the movable contact 14, so that the first arm 16a pushes back the shaft 4b, thereby returning the operating member 4 to the neutral position as shown in Fig. 2.

Then when the operating member 4 is moved in the axial direction indicated by the arrow "A2", the shaft 4c urges the first arm 17a of the second movable member 17 against the springing property of the movable contact 14 in the second push-switch "P2".

Thereby, the second movable member 17 is rotated about the shaft 17c so that the convex portion 17d of the second arm 17b urges the top of the movable contact 14 so as to flip it; thereby, the fixed contacts 13a and 13b are brought into conduction to switch the second push-switch "P2" "ON".

At this time, the first push-switch "P1" maintains the "OFF" state because the first movable member 16 is not urged.

Then when the movement of the operating member 4 in the direction of the arrow "A2" is cancelled, the movable contact 14 is flipped to the original position, so that the second push-switch "P2" is switched "OFF", while the second arm 17b is pushed back by the flipping operation of the movable contact 14, so that the first arm 17a pushes back the shaft 4c, thereby returning the operating member 4 to the neutral position as shown in Fig. 2.

When such a multi-directional input device is used in a portable telephone, such an application is possible, in which when the first push-switch "P1" is operated, for example, the display frame is sequentially scrolled up from downward frame-by-frame while when the second push-switch "P2" is operated, the display frame is sequentially scrolled down from upward frame-by-frame.

Next, in Fig. 2, when the operating member 4 is rotated in the normal direction of the arrow "B1", the rotating member 10 rotates together therewith by the frictional force between the shaft 4c and the rotating member 10 until it abuts the stopper 8d, as shown in Fig. 9.

Consequently, the movable contact 10a brings the fixed contacts 9a and 9b into conduction so as to switch them "ON" and generates a rotational signal in the normal direction by the switch "S" while when the operating member 4 is continued to rotate in the direction of the arrow "B1", the operating member 4 races while maintaining the "ON" state.

On the other hand, the actuation member 5 is rotated via the shaft 4b by following rotation of the operating member 4, so that the movable contact 6 repeats to bring into and out of contact with the fixed contact 7 to generate a pulse signal, thereby a signal of rotational quantity is generated by the rotary electrical element "K".

Next, in Fig. 2, when the operating member 4 is rotated in the reverse direction of the arrow "B2", just as described above, the rotating member 10 rotates together therewith by the frictional force between the shaft 4c and the rotating member 10 until it abuts the stopper 8d, as shown in Fig. 10.

Consequently, the movable contact 10a brings the fixed contacts 9a and 9b out conduction so as to switch them "OFF" and generates a rotational signal in the reverse direction by the switch "S" while when the operating member 4 is continued to rotate in the direction of the arrow "B2", the rotating member 10 races while maintaining the "OFF" state.

On the other hand, the actuation member 5 is rotated via the shaft 4b by following rotation of the operating member 4, so that the movable contact 6 repeats to bring into and out of contact with the fixed contact 7 to generate a pulse signal, thereby a signal of rotational quantity is generated by the rotary electrical element "K".

When such a multi-directional input device is used in a portable telephone, such an application is possible, in which when the operating member 4 is rotated in the normal direction of the arrow "B1", for example, the display cursor position exhibited on the display is sequentially changed up from downward while when the operating member 4 is rotated in the reverse direction of the arrow "B2", the display cursor position exhibited on the display is sequentially changed down from upward.

In such a manner, the multi-directional input device is operated.

In addition, in the embodiment mentioned above, the switch "S" is described as having two fixed contacts 9a and 9b; however, it may have not less than three fixed contacts. Also, the fixed contacts 9a and 9b are described as being disposed in the supporting member 8; however they may be disposed in a vertical wall which may be formed in the casing member 2.

The stopper 8d is also described as being formed in the supporting member 8; however, it may be formed in the casing member 2, and the push-switch may be only one.

When the L-shaped movable members 16 and 17 are used, spaces in the corner portions thereof are available for arrangement of different elements, which is effective for devices to which miniaturizing and a thin shape are specifically demanded.

In the multi-directional input device according to the present invention, since the push-switch "P1" operated by the movement in the axial direction of the operating member 4 to generate an electrical signal is arranged at the end of the operating member 4 in the axial direction, the thickness can be reduced thereby providing a multi-directional input device having a thin shape.

The operating member 4 comprises the operating portion 4a disposed in the center thereof and the shafts 4b and 4c disposed at the ends of the operating portion 4a, and the operating member 4 is rotatably supported at the shafts 4b and 4c by the casing members 1 and 2 while the push-switch "P1" is operated via the shaft 4b, so that a large number of parts are not required as in a conventional one thereby providing a multi-directional input device at a low cost and with excellent efficiency in assembling.

Since the operating portion 4a is arranged nearer to the rotary electrical element "K" than the push-switch "P1", the shaft 4b of the operating member 4 is used to operate both the rotary electrical element "K" and the push-switch "P1" as a combined use, thereby providing a compact multi-directional input device having a small number of parts.

Also, in the casing members 1 and 2, the bottom walls 1a and 2a are formed to attach the push-switch "P1" to the bottom wall 1a, thereby providing a thin multi-directional input device in that the push-switch "P1" can be simply attached.

The L-shaped movable member 16 having the first and second arms 16a and 16b is rotatably held so that the shaft 4b urges the first arm 16a so as to rotate the movable member 16, and the push-switch "P1" is operated with the second arm 16b by the rotation of the movable member 16, thereby providing a multi-directional input device with excellent productivity having the push-switch "P1" which is simple in the structure and operation.

By using the L-shaped movable member 16, a space in the corner portion thereof is available for arrangement of different elements so as to be effective for devices to which miniaturizing and a thin shape are specifically demanded.

The push-switches "P1" and "P2" are respectively arranged at both ends of the operating member 4, so that the push-switches "P1" and "P2" are respectively operated by the movement of the operating member 4 in the axial direction, thereby providing a thin multi-directional input device which is readily operational and has excellent operability while in which plural push-switches "P1" and "P2" can be compactedly arranged.

The switch "S" for detecting the rotational direction and, which is operated by the rotation of the operating member 4, is arranged at one end of the operating member 4 while the rotary electrical element "K" is arranged at the end of the operating member 4, thereby providing a multi-directional input device, which is specifically suitable for use in portable telephones, while in which numerous input members can be compactedly arranged by making them thinner.

In the multi-directional input device according to the present invention, since the push-switches "P1" and "P2" are arranged at ends of the operating member 4 in the axial direction while the rotating member 10 of the rotary electrical element "K" is held by the shaft 4c of the operating member 4 to be rotated together with the shaft 4c by frictional force during the rotation of the shaft 4c, and after the rotation together therewith at a predetermined angle, the rotating member 10 is stopped from rotating by the stopper 8d to cause the shaft 4c to race, thereby generating rotational signals in the normal and reverse directions, the dimension in the thickness direction can be reduced while the rotating member 10 can be settled only by fitting it to the shaft 4c, thereby providing a multi-directional input device with excellent efficiency in assembling and at a lower cost.

Also, the rotating member 10 is coaxially attached to the shaft 4c enabling the size in the radial direction to be reduced, thereby providing a thin multi-directional input device.

Also, by forming the stopper in the casing member 2, a multi-directional input device having a simple structure can be provided at a low cost.

Also, the concave portion is formed in the casing member 2 to form the stopper while the convex portion 10d is formed in the rotating member 10 so as to stop the rotation of the rotating member 10 by the abutment of the convex portion 10d on part of the concave portion, thereby providing a multi-directional input device in that the structure is simple and productivity is excellent while the rotating member 10 can be securely stopped from rotation.

The fixed contacts 9a and 9b are provided in the supporting member 8 formed of an insulating material which is attached to the casing member 2, so that the supporting member 8 can be appropriately applied corresponding to the shape of the fixed contact, thereby providing a flexible multi-directional input device.

Also, the stopper 8d is formed in the supporting member 8, so that the supporting member 8 and the rotating member 10 can be assembled in the combined state therebetween, thereby providing an inexpensive multi-directional input device having excellent productivity.

Also, the concave portion is formed in the casing member 2 to form the stopper while the convex portion 10d is formed in the rotating member 10 so as to stop the rotation of the rotating member 10 by the abutment of the convex portion 10d on part of the concave portion, thereby providing a multi-directional input device in that the structure is simple and productivity is excellent while the rotating member 10 can be securely stopped from rotation.

Since frictional force is applied between the rotating member 10 and the operation member 4 by the elastic member 12, the generator is simple in the structure and excellent in productivity while only a small space is needed therefor, thereby providing a small-sized multi-directional input device.

Since the rotating member 10 is formed of a movable contact plate made of one metallic plate having the movable contacts 10a, thereby providing an inexpensive multi-directional input device which has a small number of parts and is simple in the structure and excellent in productivity.

The operating member 4 comprises a roller-like operating portion 4a disposed in the center thereof and shafts 4b and 4c disposed at both ends of the operating portion 4a, so that the rotary electrical element "K" is arranged at the end of the shaft 4b while the switch "S" is arranged at the end of the shaft 4c, thereby providing a thin multi-directional input device.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Multidirektionale Eingabevorrichtung, aufweisend:
    • ein Gehäuseelement (1);
    • eine Stange (4b, 4c), die in Axialrichtung beweglich ist;
    • ein Betätigungselement (4), das an dem Gehäuseelement drehbar angebracht ist und einen rollenartigen Betätigungsbereich im Zentrum des Betätigungselements aufweist, wobei sich die Stange von beiden Enden des Betätigungselements weg erstreckt;
    • ein elektrisches Drehelement (K), das an einem ersten Ende der Stange angeordnet ist und derart ausgebildet und betätigbar ist, dass es ein elektrisches Signal durch Rotation des Betätigungselements erzeugt; und
    • einen Drückschalter (P1, P2);
    wobei der Drückschalter an einem Ende des Betätigungselements in Axialrichtung angeordnet ist, so dass der Drückschalter durch die Bewegung des Betätigungselements in der Axialrichtung zum Erzeugen eines elektrischen Signals betätigt wird;

    gekennzeichnet durch:
    • ein drehbares Element (10), das von der Stange gehalten ist und dazu ausgebildet ist, sich während der Rotationsbewegung der Stange aufgrund der Rotationsbewegung des Betätigungselements durch Reibungskraft zusammen mit der Stange rotationsmäßig zu bewegen und durch einen Anschlag (8d) in der Rotationsbewegung gestoppt zu werden, um die Stange nach der Rotationsbewegung zusammen mit diesem in einem vorbestimmten Winkel zum Durchdrehen zu bringen;
    • einen Schalter an einem zweiten Ende der Stange, wobei der Schalterdurch einen an dem drehbaren Element vorgesehenen beweglichen Kontakt sowie durch einen an dem Gehäuseelement angebrachten feststehenden Kontakt gebildet ist;
    • ein elastisches Element (12), das auf einem zylindrischen Bereich (10c) des drehbaren Elements positioniert ist;
    wobei der zylindrische Bereich durch das elastische Element in Richtung auf die Stange elastisch gedrängt wird, so dass die Rotationsbewegung der Stange durch Reibungskraft auf das drehbare Element übertragen wird;

    und wobei, nachdem der bewegliche Kontakt den feststehenden Kontakt schaltet durch die Rotationsbewegung des drehbaren Elements in der normalen Richtung oder der umgekehrten Richtung bei Rotationsbewegung des Betätigungselements in der normalen Richtung oder der umgekehrten Richtung, das drehbare Element an dem Anschlag anstößt und dadurch der Schalter betätigt wird, so dass das drehbare Element seine Rotationsbewegung stoppt und das Betätigungselement durchzudrehen beginnt.
  2. Multidirektionale Eingabevorrichtung nach Anspruch 1,

    wobei der Drückschalter L-förmige bewegliche Elemente beinhaltet und wobei das elektrische Drehelement und der Drehschalter an den jeweiligen Enden der Stange angeordnet sind, so dass sie sich innenseitig von den L-förmigen beweglichen Elementen befinden.
  3. Multidirektionale Eingabevorrichtung nach Anspruch 1 oder 2,

    wobei der Anschlag an dem Gehäuseelement ausgebildet ist.
  4. Multidirektionale Eingabevorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, 2 oder 3,

    wobei ein konkaver Bereich in dem Gehäuseelement ausgebildet ist, um den Anschlag in diesem zu bilden, während ein konvexer Bereich (10d) an dem drehbaren Element ausgebildet ist, um den konvexen Bereich an einem Teil des konkaven Bereichs in Anlage zu bringen, um die Rotationsbewegung des drehbaren Elements zu stoppen.
  5. Multidirektionale Eingabevorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche,

    weiterhin mit einem Abstützelement (8), das aus einem isolierenden Material gebildet ist und mit dem feststehenden Kontakt versehen ist, wobei der feststehende Kontakt durch Anbringen des Abstützelements an dem Gehäuseelement an dem Gehäuseelement angebracht ist.
  6. Multidirektionale Eingabevorrichtung nach Anspruch 5,

       wobei der Anschlag in dem Abstützelement ausgebildet ist.
  7. Multidirektionale Eingabevorrichtung nach Anspruch 5 oder 6,

    wobei ein konkaver Bereich an dem Abstützelement vorgesehen ist, um den Anschlag zu bilden, während ein konvexer Bereich an dem drehbaren Element vorgesehen ist, so dass eine Rotationsbewegung des drehbaren Elements durch Anlage des konvexen Bereichs an einem Teil des konkaven Bereichs gestoppt wird.
  8. Multidirektionale Eingabevorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche,

    weiterhin mit einer beweglichen Kontaktplatte (14), die durch eine Metallplatte gebildet ist und mit dem beweglichen Kontakt versehen ist, wobei das drehbare Element durch die bewegliche Kontaktplatte gebildet ist.
Anspruch[en]
  1. A multi-directional input device comprising:
    • a casing member (1);
    • a shaft (4b, 4c) movable in an axial direction;
    • an operating member (4) rotatably attached to said casing member and comprising a roller-like operating portion in the centre of the operating member, the shaft extending from both ends of the operating member;
    • a rotary electrical element (K) arranged at a first end of the shaft, adapted and operated to generate an electrical signal by rotation of said operating member; and
    • a push-switch (P1, P2);
       wherein said push-switch is arranged at an end of said operating member in the axial direction, so that said push-switch being operated to generate an electrical signal by the movement of said operating member in the axial direction;

    characterised by:
    • a rotating member (10) held by said shaft and arranged to rotate together with said shaft by frictional force during the rotation of said shaft due to the rotation of said operating member and to be stopped from rotating by a stopper (8d) so as to cause said shaft to race after rotating together therewith at a predetermined angle;
    • a switch at a second end of the shaft, the switch being formed of a movable contact provided in said rotating member and a fixed contact attached to said casing member;
    • an elastic member (12) positioned on a cylindrical portion (10c) of the rotating member;
       wherein the cylindrical portion is elastically urged by the elastic member towards the shaft so that the rotation of the shaft is transmitted to the rotating member by frictional force; and wherein after the movable contact switches the fixed contact by the rotation of said rotating member in the normal or reverse direction when said operating member is rotated in the normal or reverse direction, said rotating member abuts the stopper to thereby operate said switch so that the rotating member stops rotating and said operating member starts to race.
  2. A multi-directional input device as claimed in Claim 1, wherein the push-switch includes L-shaped movable members, and wherein the rotary electrical element and rotary switch are arranged at said respective ends of the shaft so that they are inside the L-shaped movable members.
  3. A multi-directional input device according to Claim 1 or 2, wherein the stopper is formed in said casing member.
  4. A multi-directional input device according to Claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein a concave portion is formed in said casing member to form the stopper therein while a convex portion (10d) is formed in said rotating member to cause the convex portion to abut part of the concave portion so as to stop the rotation of said rotating member.
  5. A multi-directional input device according to any preceding claim, further comprising a supporting member (8) made of an insulating material and provided with the fixed contact, wherein the fixed contact is attached to said casing member by attaching said supporting member to said casing member.
  6. A multi-directional input device according to Claim 5, wherein the stopper is formed in said supporting member.
  7. A multi-directional input device according to Claim 5 or 6, wherein a concave portion is provided in said supporting member to form the stopper while a convex portion is provided in said rotating member so that rotation of said rotating member is stopped by abutting of the convex portion to part of the concave portion.
  8. A multi-directional input device according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising a movable contact plate (14) formed of one metallic plate and provided with the movable contact, wherein said rotating member is formed of said movable contact plate.
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Dispositif d'entrée multidirectionnel, comprenant :
    • un élément de boîtier (1) ;
    • un arbre (4b, 4c) mobile dans une direction axiale ;
    • un élément d'actionnement (4) fixé de manière rotative audit élément de boîtier, et comprenant une partie d'actionnement de type rouleau au centre de l'élément d'actionnement, l'arbre s'étendant à partir des deux extrémités de l'élément d'actionnement ;
    • un élément électrique rotatif (K) agencé au niveau d'une première extrémité de l'arbre, conçu et actionné pour générer un signal électrique sous l'effet de la rotation dudit élément d'actionnement ; et
    • un bouton-poussoir (P1 ; P2) ;
       dans lequel ledit bouton-poussoir est agencé à une extrémité dudit élément d'actionnement dans la direction axiale, de telle sorte que ledit bouton-poussoir est actionné pour générer un signal électrique sous l'effet du mouvement dudit élément d'actionnement dans la direction axiale ;

       caractérisé en ce qu'il comprend :
    • un élément rotatif (10) maintenu par ledit arbre et agencé pour tourner conjointement avec ledit arbre sous l'effet d'une force de frottement pendant la rotation dudit arbre en raison de la rotation dudit élément d'actionnement, et pour s'arrêter de tourner grâce à une butée (8d), ledit arbre pouvant ainsi aller à grande vitesse après avoir tourné conjointement avec celui-ci selon un angle prédéterminé ;
    • un commutateur à une deuxième extrémité de l'arbre, le commutateur étant constitué d'un contact mobile prévu dans ledit élément rotatif, et d'un contact fixe fixé audit élément de boîtier ;
    • un élément élastique (12) positionné sur une partie cylindrique (10c) de l'élément rotatif ;
       dans lequel la partie cylindrique est sollicitée de manière élastique par l'élément élastique, en direction de l'arbre, de telle sorte que la rotation de l'arbre est transmise à l'élément rotatif sous l'effet d'une force de frottement, et dans lequel, une fois que le contact mobile a fait passer le contact fixe, sous l'effet de la rotation dudit élément rotatif, dans le sens normal ou inversé lorsque ledit élément d'actionnement tourne dans le sens normal ou inversé, ledit élément rotatif bute contre la butée, et actionne ainsi ledit commutateur, de telle sorte que l'élément rotatif arrête de tourner, et ledit élément d'actionnement commence à aller à grande vitesse.
  2. Dispositif d'entrée multidirectionnel selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le bouton-poussoir inclut des éléments mobiles en forme de L, et dans lequel l'élément électrique rotatif et le commutateur rotatif sont agencés au niveau desdites extrémités respectives de l'arbre, de manière à se trouver à l'intérieur des éléments mobiles en forme de L.
  3. Dispositif d'entrée multidirectionnel selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 ou 2, dans lequel la butée est formée dans ledit élément de boîtier.
  4. Dispositif d'entrée multidirectionnel selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1, 2 ou 3, dans lequel une partie concave est formée dans ledit élément de boîtier pour former la butée à l'intérieur, tandis qu'une partie convexe (10d) est formée dans ledit élément rotatif pour amener ladite partie convexe à venir en butée contre une partie de la partie concave, de manière à mettre fin à la rotation dudit élément rotatif.
  5. Dispositif d'entrée multidirectionnel selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre un élément de support (8) réalisé dans un matériau isolant, et doté du contact fixe, dans lequel le contact fixe est fixé audit élément de boîtier en fixant ledit élément de support audit élément de boîtier.
  6. Dispositif d'entrée multidirectionnel selon la revendication 5, dans lequel une butée est formée dans ledit élément de support.
  7. Dispositif d'entrée multidirectionnel selon l'une quelconque des revendications 5 ou 6, dans lequel une partie concave est prévue dans ledit élément de support pour former la butée, tandis qu'une partie convexe est prévue dans ledit élément rotatif, de telle sorte que la rotation dudit élément rotatif est arrêtée en mettant en butée la partie convexe contre une partie de la partie concave.
  8. Dispositif d'entrée multidirectionnel selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre une plaque de contact mobile (14) constituée d'une plaque métallique, et dotée du contact mobile, dans lequel ledit élément rotatif est constitué de ladite plaque de contact mobile.






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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