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Gas Shut Off Valve Electronics Enclosure

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000219440D
Publication Date: 2012-Jun-29
Document File: 5 page(s) / 902K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

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E20110180 Gas Shut Off Valve Electronics Enclosure

The electronics enclosure houses all of the circuitry and battery power necessary to control the shut off valve in the gas meter.  In order to protect the internal components from moisture and potentially harmful environments the assembly is hermetically sealed with a potting compound. After all components have been fully assembled and sealed in the enclosure the entire assembly slides into an aluminum cup and is secured in place with 3 screws. 

 
 

Electronics enclosure in meter

 
 

Meter top

 

Aluminum Cup

 

Enclosure

 

The state of the art for the majority of gas meters is that they do not contain shut off valves inside the meter, circuitry to control the valves remotely or enclosures to house all of the circuitry.

On the top portion of the potting shell there is a tall RF tower that is intended to properly position the circuit board for maximum RF propagation. The elevated position of the board lessens the effect of potential “RF” obstructions. There are 3 mounting screw holes used to mount the potting shell into the mating aluminum cup. Around one of the 3 screw holes is a circular rib used to protect the unit from unauthorized disassembly of the unit.  The circular rib accepts a small plastic cap that covers over the mounting screw. The cap is pressed in place and cannot be removed. The rib is referred to as the “vandal plug tower”.

Mounting screw holes

 

RF tower

 

Diagonal ribs

 

Vandal plug tower

 

At each corner of the RF tower there are diagonal shaped ribs.  These ribs are intended to prevent a gas utility from mistaking the tower for a gas valve cock and installing a wrench to try and twist it open or closed.  The interior of the potting shell contains features for locating 2 batteries and 2 circuit boards. Each battery has 3 points of contact to keep it in its proper position.  The circuit boards are held inside the tower through friction between the shell and a piece of pre-attached foam.

On the bottom of the potting shell the long walls are rounded on one side and flat on the other creating a “half round” profile of the part. On the rounded profile there are clearance notches to allow the potting shell to fit within an aluminum enclosure. On the flat side of the potting shell are a series of ribs used to secure a 7 pin connector assembly.

Step in disc for gasket

 

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