Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/583

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Shifting Gears by Electricity

It requires but one operation to shift from neutral to high gear


���IN a patent recently granted to John C. Brackett, cf Copper Cliff, Ontario, a mechanism is described which elec- trically controls the entire range of the speed of a gasoline automobile without re- course to shifting the change gears by hand. This control is centralized in one lever on the steering-wheel, which lever can be so manipulated that the car can be started from neutral to reverse speed or from neutral to a high forward speed on the high gear. In prin- ciple these results are obtained by means of a master switch, placed in an e 1 e c- trical cir- cui t be- twee n a solenoid to throw the driving clutch of the auto- mobile in or out of

mesh, and six other solenoids, two for bring- ing the gears to neutral position and one each for the reverse, low, second and high speeds. These solenoids are arranged to shift the ordinary change-speed gears of the automobile by conventional shifter bars. The master-switch is operated by means of the control-lever on the steering-wheel. The position of the lever is regulated by means of notches on a sector on the steering- wheel. These notches, corresponding with those of th2 master-switch, are wired to the various solenoids so that a movement of the lever automatically disengages the clutch by energizing its solenoid and at the same time closes one of the gear-shifting sole- noids. This causes the gear with which that solenoid is connected by means of its shifter arm to move into mesh.

��The control is centralized in one lever operated from the steering-wheel

At right: The details of the wiring arrangement, showing the speed gears

��The control lever may also be moved from neutral to high speed in one operation to start the engine automatically, pick up the car on first speed and then through intermediate gear to high gear. This is ac- complished by means of a self-starting relay switch on the dash of the car and a rack and pinion used in connection with a toothed ring on the master switch. This pinion is mounted on a vertical shaft driven off the lower end of the throttle control bar down the center of the steering column by means of bevel gears. The rack is at- tached to a horizontal rod which is broken at one point and fitted at one end with a washer which acts as a piston against a spring carried in a cup cylinder mounted on the other end. The rod is then extended and form- ed into a second rack which meshes with the toothed ring on the master switch, the latter be- ing in the form of a vertical cylinder with the solenoid

contact points on the curved surface. The toothed ring also has a set of interior and exterior notches corresponding to those of the control and solenoid contact points. The rack rod with its spring cylinder works in opposition to a rod connected with the clutch shifter arm. This rod is also fitted with washers and opposite- acting contracting springs, the former car- rying rollers which contact with the notches on the master switch ring.


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