Electronic vacuum cleaner control system

  • US 5,542,146 A
  • Filed: 05/31/1995
  • Issued: 08/06/1996
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/12/1994
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. A vacuum cleaner comprising:

  • a canister having a portion that defines an intake port;

    a hose connected to the intake port for providing air to the intake port;

    a suction motor contained within the canister for drawing air through the hose and through the intake port;

    a handle separate from the canister and having a portion defining an air passageway that is connected to the hose;

    an optical dust sensor located in the handle for detecting dust particles as they are drawn past the optical dust sensor into the hose, the optical dust sensor generating corresponding dust sensor signals whenever a dust particle is detected; and

    a control unit for counting a predetermined fixed number of the dust sensor signals and determining with what frequency the dust particles are detected, the control unit selecting, based on the frequency, a particular one of a finite plurality of discrete motor power settings at which the suction motor is to be powered, wherein;

    the control unit has an internal timer for measuring an initial time when an initial dust particle is detected;

    the control unit subsequently counts each detected dust particle up to a predetermined fixed number at which point the control unit uses the internal timer to measure a final time; and

    the control unit selects the motor power setting based on a calculation of average time elapsed between successive detected dust particles using the initial and final times and the predetermined fixed number.

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