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IMPROVED SELECTOR KNOB DESIGN FOR MULTIMETERS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000183599D
Publication Date: 2009-May-28
Document File: 7 page(s) / 189K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present invention relates, in general to measurement instruments. More specifically, the present invention relates to knob designs of digital multimeters (DMM). Laurie Schutze IP Operations Manager Phone: 970 635 6907 Fax: 970 635 6836 Email: laurie_schutze@agilent.com

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Improved SELECTOR knob design for Multimeters

Soon-Tee Ching and Wan-Wan Lim

The present invention relates, in general to measurement instruments. More specifically, the present invention relates to knob designs of digital multimeters (DMM).

Multimeters are generally used to measure a variety of electrical parameters such as voltage, current, and resistance. Multimeters are also used to measure parameters that may be represented as electrical signals such as capacitance, frequency, duty cycle, temperature, and so forth. Typically, a multimeter console includes elements such as keys, a selector knob, probe terminals, and so forth. The selector knob is used to configure the multimeter to measure a particular parameter, such as voltage, current, resistance, and so forth. To do this, the selector knob may be turned to point to a specific parameter label, thereby adjusting the multimeter to measure a value of the desired parameter. Additionally, in order to effectively use the multimeter scale, the multimeter can be configured so as to include the expected range of values of the parameter being measured. For example, to measure a voltage of the order of 10-6 V, the multimeter, using the selector knob, may be set in the appropriate range so that accurate readings may be obtained.

The disclosed invention provides an improved selector knob design for multimeters. The multimeter includes an upper enclosure and a lower enclosure. The upper enclosure includes a knob compartment. A selector knob and a flexible knob circuit are located in the knob compartment. One or more contact springs are placed in the knob compartment between the selector knob and the flexible knob circuit. Locating the flexible knob circuit and the contact springs in the knob compartment results in reduction in profile thickness of the multimeter. Additionally, transferring the flexible knob circuit to the knob compartment releases the otherwise occupied space on multimeter circuit board.

FIG. 1 illustrates an exploded view of a multimeter 100, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. Multimeter 100 includes an upper enclosure 102, a lower enclosure 104, and a display 106. Upper enclosure 102 includes a knob compartment 108, a selector knob 110, and a flexible knob circuit 112.

Multimeter 100 may be a digital multimeter (DMM). In another embodiment of the present invention, multimeter 100 may be a hand-held digital multimeter (HHDMM). It may be apparent to one skilled in the art that the internal circuitry of multimeter 100 is encapsulated within upper enclosure 102 and lower enclosure 104. Upper enclosure 102 and lower enclosure 104 may be attached together using screws or interlocking means to form an outer housing. Upper enclosure 102 and lower enclosure 104 are ergonomically designed to comfortably fit multimeter 100 in a user’...