Patent application title: Caddy for fuse related items including fuse prong and receptacle cleaning tools
Rinaldo Swayne (Long Beach, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AB65D7100FI
Class name: Special receptacle or package combined or convertible packaged assemblage or kit
Publication date: 2012-07-26
Patent application number: 20120187006
A portable caddy for fuse service repair which contains fuse blade and
receptacle cleaning tools, a voltage continuity tester, a fuse removal
tool and a separate fuse container.
1. A caddy for servicing a fuse box, said fuse box containing a plurality
of fuse receptacles therein, the caddy adapted to contain the following
items: (a) a small plastic box for storing extra fuses of the ATO and ATM
types; (b) a removable tool for cleaning ATO and ATM blade-type fuse
receptacles within said fuse box; (c) a removable tool for pulling ATO
and ATM blade-type fuses from the fuse receptacle within said fuse box;
(d) a fuse continuity tester for checking ATO and ATM blade fuses; and
(e) a fuse cleaning receptacle with an interior rough surface that allows
ATO and ATM fuse blade tips to be cleaned.
2. The caddy as set forth in claim 1 wherein said caddy additionally contains a built-in device for voltage testing.
3. The caddy as set forth in claim 2 wherein said testing device has two modes of operation.
4. The caddy of claim 3 wherein said first mode of operation tests to ascertain whether voltage is being supplied by said fuse box.
5. The caddy of claim 4 wherein said second mode of operation tests whether an empty fuse receptacle in said fuse box has voltage applied thereto.
6. The caddy of claim 2 wherein said caddy includes a switch circuit coupled to an illuminating device.
7. The caddy of claim 6 wherein said illuminating device is energized if voltage is detected in said fuse box.
8. The caddy of claim 7 wherein said illuminating device is energized if voltage is detected in said fuse receptacle.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention provides a tool for cleaning the blade terminals on ATO and ATM fuses and a tool for cleaning the female ATO and ATM receptacles.
 2. Description of the Prior Art
 Plug-in type fuses are typically utilized in fuseboxes found in automobiles, motorcycles, audio equipment and other electrical circuits and come in four physical sizes, including the ATO fuse (19.1×5.1×18.5 mm) and ATM fuse (10.9×3.6×16.3 mm).
 Frequently, especially in an automobile or motorcycle the fuse contacts become dirty or oxidized over time. It is common to attempt to clean the fuse receptacle by spraying a liquid, e.g., WD-40 into the receptacle. Spray chemicals usually do not provide a thorough cleaning and are messy. Due to space restraints in the fusebox it is even more difficult to clean the receptacles using sandpaper or emery cloth. Those methods usually end up in small pieces of paper, which has become torn up while inserting them into the receptacle, causing even more intermittent circuit connections.
 Copending application Ser. No. 12/802,128, filed Jun. 1, 2010, and having a common inventorship, describes a tool that cleans the fuse blade and the fuse receptacle contacts in a more effective and efficient manner when compared to the above-noted prior art techniques.
 Fuse repair persons typically require additional tools and/or testing capabilities when servicing a fuse box. These typically include a fuse tester, a fuse remover tool, spare fuses and a fuse receptacle voltage test prove.
 What is thus desired is to provide a carrying case that is designed to hold various fuse related tools, such as fuse prong and receptacle cleaning tools, a storage compartment for spare fuses, a fuse removal tool and a fuse receptacle voltage test probe.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention comprises a fuse container, or caddy, designed to hold the following items:  (a) A small plastic box for storing extra fuses;  (b) A removable tool for cleaning ATO and ATM blade-type fuse receptacles;  (c) A removable tool for pulling ATO and ATM blade-type fuses from the fuse box;  (d) A built-in fuse continuity tester for checking ATO and ATM blade fuses;  (e) A built-in fuse cleaning receptacle with an interior rough surface that allows cleaning of the fuse blade tips; and  (f) A built-in tester to detect the presence of voltage in the fuse receptacle located in the fuse box.
 The fuse terminal and receptacle cleaning tools are designed to clean ATO and ATM type fuses, which are commonly found in electrical circuits such as automobiles, motorcycles, audio equipment and a host of other circuits.
 The built-in fuse contact cleaner and removable fuse receptacle cleaning tool shown attached to the fuse caddy allows for a more thorough cleaning of both the male blade terminals on the fuse and the female receptacle where the fuse is inserted in the fusebox. Due to the tools having a built-in rough surface which is similar to an etched surface on a fingernail file the tools can effectively remove oxidation and dirt buildup on the fuse and fuse receptacle contacts. The fuse contact cleaning tool has 2 sets of fuse female receptacles which are the same size as those found on ATM and ATO type fuses. The receptacle cleaning tool has 2 sets of male blades which are also the same size as the fuse blades found on ATM and ATO fuses; the length of the blades being slightly longer to allow easier access into various fuse panels.
 The built-in voltage detector is mounted on a coiled cord and can be inserted into the fuse box to detect the presence of voltage. A built-in indicated LED lamp illuminates to confirm the presence of voltage in the fuse receptacle with the mode switch set to a test position. This allows voltage to flow through the switch and then to the indicator lamp.
 The fuse continuity tester operates by first inserting the fuse receptacle tool on the coiled cord to the fuse box where the fuse has been removed. The mode switch is then set to the "fuse" test position. This supplies voltage to the built-in fuse terminals on the fuse caddy. By inserting the removed fuse into the built-in fuse terminal the voltage presence indicator will illuminate whether the fuse is good.
 The fuse caddy of the present invention is a fast and effective method for cleaning blade-type fuses and fuse receptacles. The built-in fuse tester and fuse remover is convenient for easy fuse removal and fuse element continuity checking. A hinged compartment is provided to allow for storage of spare fuses.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 For a better understanding of the present invention as well as other objects and further features thereof, reference is made to the following description which is to be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing therein:
 FIG. 1 is a simplified plan view of the container of the present invention; and
 FIG. 2 is a simplified schematic diagram illustrating the circuit used to determine if the fuse box is providing voltage and if the fuse receptacles are capable of delivering voltage to the fuses once installed.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Referring now to FIG. 1, a plan view of the caddy 10 of the present invention is illustrated.
 Caddy 10; having handle 11, contains the following tools/test areas (note the term "caddy" as used herein is a device for holding and storing items, such as the fuse related items set forth hereinafter):  (a) A small plastic box 12 for storing extra fuses;  (b) A removable tool 14 for cleaning ATO and ATM blade-type fuse receptacles;  (c) A removable tool 16 for pulling ATO and ATM blade-type fuses from the box;  (d) A fuse continuity tester 18 built into caddy 10 for checking ATO and ATM blade fuses;  (e) A fuse cleaning receptacle 20 built into caddy 10 having receptacle 21 and 23 for the ATO and ATM blades respectively. The interior rough surfaces of each receptacle allows cleaning of the fuse blade tips; and  (f) A built-in tester 22 to detect the presence of voltage in the fuse receptacle located in the fuse box.
 Typical dimensions of caddy 10 are as follows:
TABLE-US-00001 1. Length of handle 11 3 inches 2. Height of handle 11 2 inches 3. Depth of caddy 10 1.5 inches 4. Width of caddy 10 3.5 inches 5. Height of caddy 10 6.5 inches
 The main body of caddy 10 is made of polypropylene plastic and the lid, or cover, for box 12 is made of clear polypropylene plastic.
 The fuse terminal and receptacle cleaning tools are designed to clean ATO and ATM type fuses, which are commonly found in electrical circuits such as automobiles, motorcycles, audio equipment and a host of other circuits. These tools are disclosed in the aforementioned '128 application and the teachings necessary for an understanding of the present invention is incorporated herein by reference. Due to space restraints in the conventional fusebox (such as in a vehicle) it is difficult to clean the receptacles using sandpaper or emery cloth. Those methods usually end up in small pieces of paper, which typically becomes torn up while being inserted in to the receptacle, causing intermittent circuit connections.
 The fuse receptacle cleaner tool 14 and fuse puller tool 16 are retained in fuse caddy 10 via hooks 17 (sliding the tools in the upward direction enables the tools to be removed). Both sets of blade terminals on tool 14 (blade surfaces are roughened) are used to clean the appropriate female fuse receptacle in the fuse box (not shown)). Since tool 14 has built-in rough, etched surfaces, the tool can effectively remove oxidation and dirt buildup from the fuse receptacle. The receptacle cleaning tool 14 has two sets of male blades which are the same size as the fuse blades found on ATM and ATO fuses. The length of the blades are slightly longer to allow easier access into various fuse boxes, or panels.
 Voltage detector 22 is attached to coiled cord 24 and mounted to caddy 10 via a third hook 17 and operates in two modes. In the first mode, the presence of voltage in the fuse box, if detected, causes built-in indicator lamp 26 to be illuminated. In the second mode, the presence of voltage in the fuse receptacle, if confirmed, causes lamp 26 to be illuminated. In the first mode, switch 28 is set to the voltage position which allows the +12 volts from the fuse box to appear at blade, or contact point, A or B on tool 30, depending on the fuse box design. If voltage appears at point A, the voltage will flow through slide switch 28 (shown in the up position) and cause the indicator lamp 26 to light if voltage is present. If lamp 26 does not light, voltage detector tool 30 can be inserted into the fuse box in the opposite position (B to A) instead of A to B as shown. The tool 30 is inserted in the fuse box until lamp 26 illuminates. A ground connection is made to device 10 by clipping an alligator wire to the metal chassis of the vehicle having its fuse box checked by the device.
 When the switch is moved to the fuse test position (downwards), the voltage flows once again through contacts (A B) or (B A) and also flows through both the ATO and ATM fuse receptacles. Once a fuse is inserted in either receptacle the voltage will continue to flow through the connection to the indicator lamp 26 if the fuse is good. A defective fuse will not allow the current to flow and therefore lamp 26 will not illuminate, the defective fuse then being removed and replaced. Note that it is necessary for caddy device 10 to use an incandescent lamp instead of an LED lamp since the voltage detector tool 30 has the capability of being inserted in either direction in the fuse box (a LED lamp can only illuminate with voltage applied in one direction).
 The person checking fuse continuity first inserts the fuse receptacle tool 30 into the fuse box where the fuse has been removed. The mode switch 28 is then set to "fuse" which supplies voltage to the built-in fuse terminals 40 or 42 on caddy 10, being indicated by lamp 26 being illuminated by the applied voltage, the fuse thus being functional.
 The caddy of the present invention is a fast and effective method for cleaning blade-type fuses and fuse receptacles. The fuse remover tool 16 and the built-in fuse tester 18/30 allows for easy fuse removal and fuse element continuity checking. In addition, compartment 12 having a hinged lid allows for storage of spare fuses 13.
 FIG. 2 is a simplified circuit schematic showing how the fuse continuity tester portion of the caddy device 10 operates.
 Built-in voltage detector 30, is inserted into a fuse box to detect the presence of voltage at the fuse box. A built-in indicator lamp 26 is illuminated when voltage is detected in the fuse receptacle. In this case, the mode slide switch 28 is set to the "voltage" position. This allows voltage to flow through switch 28 and then to indicator lamp 26. A ground connection through coiled cable 31 and alligator jumper clip 33 is illustrated.
 The fuse continuity tester operates by first inserting the fuse receptacle tool 30 into the fuse box at the position of a removed fuse. The mode switch 28 is then set to the "fuse" position. This supplies voltage to the built-in fuse terminals 40 and 42 on the fuse caddy 10. By inserting the removed fuse into the built-in fuse terminal 40 or 42, the voltage presence indicator will go on if the inserted fuse is functional.
 While the invention has been described with reference to its preferred embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from its essential teachings.
Patent applications in class Packaged assemblage or kit
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