Friday, February 29, 2008

Pool Cue With Light Patent

United States Patent
(WWW.USPTO.GOV)
7,335,111
Deakes
February 26, 2008
Pool cue with light conducting core
Abstract
A pool cue that includes a first hollow rod with a light source connected to a second hollow rod via a light conducting coupler is disclosed herein. Thus, the light source can project light the length of the cue. The coupler can be hollow or a made from a translucent material. The light source can be a light emitting diode (LED) powered by disk shaped watch batteries. Different inserts can be placed in the hollow rods to change the color and the illumination pattern of the cue. Inserts can also be added to change the weight of the pool cue. The pool cue can also have a tubular mirror insertable into the first hollow rod where the grip is to minimize the absorption of light in these areas.
Inventors:
Deakes; Brandon Forrest (Kinsale, VA)
Appl. No.:
11/375,389
Filed:
March 14, 2006
Current U.S. Class:
473/44
Current International Class:
A63D 15/08 (20060101)
Field of Search:
473/44-49
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
835489
November 1906
Adorjan
3804411
April 1974
Hendry
4688796
August 1987
Wright
5181718
January 1993
Valentine
5653640
August 1997
Shirley, Jr.
6017277
January 2000
Chuang
6117019
September 2000
Taylor
6155929
December 2000
Chipman
6165078
December 2000
Holt
6746336
June 2004
Brant et al.
6827652
December 2004
Castro, Jr.
2006/0247068
November 2006
Lagaipa
Primary Examiner: Graham; Mark S Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates, LP
(WWW.GAPATENTS.COM)
Claims
What is claimed is:1. A pool cue comprising: a first rod having a first end and a second end; a light source coupled to the first end of the first rod; a light conducting coupler threadable with the first rod; a second rod threadable with the light conducting coupler such that light from the light source at the first end of the first rod traverses the light conducting coupler and emits light from at least a portion of the second rod; and a tubular mirror insertable into the first rod. 2. The pool cue of claim 1 wherein the light source comprises a light emitting diode. 3. The pool cue of claim 1 further comprising a threaded cap adapted to secure the light source, at least one battery, and a switch to the first end of the first rod. 4. The pool cue of claim 3 wherein the threaded cap further comprises a conductive spring adapted to make contact with the at least one battery. 5. The pool cue of claim 3 wherein the at least one battery comprise a disk shaped battery. 6. The pool cue of claim 1 wherein the first rod and the second rod are hollow. 7. The pool cue of claim 6 further comprising a translucent member insertable into the first rod. 8. The pool cue of claim 7 wherein the translucent member has a shape of on of a triangle, a hexagon, a square, and a polygon. 9. The pool cue of claim 1 further comprising a tubular piece of metal insertable into the first rod to change a weight distribution of the pool cue. 10. A pool cue comprising: a first rod having a light conducting core and an insertable member that alters the properties of the light, the first rod having a first end and a second end; a light source coupleable to the first end of the first rod, substantially concentric with the light conducting core; a light conducting coupler threadably coupleable with the second end of the first rod; a tapered rod having a light conducting core, the tapered rod threadably coupleable with the light conducting coupler such that light originating from the light source traverses the hollow coupler and illuminates the tapered rod; and a tubular mirror positionable under a grip in the first rod. 11. The pool cue of claim 10 wherein the light conducting coupler is translucent. 12. The pool cue of claim 10 wherein the light conducting coupler is hollow. 13. The pool cue of claim 10 wherein the coupler comprises one of an acrylic or a polycarbonate material. 14. The pool cue of claim 10 wherein the light source further comprises a light emitting diode. 15. The pool cue of claim 10 further comprising a threaded cap adapted to secure the light source to the first rod. 16. The pool cue of claim 15 further comprising a switch coupled to the threaded cap. 17. The pool cue of claim 10 further comprising inserts insertable into the first rod.
Description
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE The present disclosure is generally related to a pool cue and more particularly to a pool cue that has a light conducting core. BACKGROUND Pool cues come in many shapes and sizes. Some pool cues are decorated with ivory or gold inlays, while others are made from exotic types of wood. Serious pool players often bring a custom pool cue to a pool match, sometimes in an effort to gain a psychological advantage over other players. One such custom pool cue includes an illuminated pool cue such as the one described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,165,078. This patent discloses a dual bulb system, having a light bulb in the but end of the cue and a bulb in the tip end of the cue, wherein this two bulb system is required for lighting both sections of the two piece pool cue. Since during use, a pool cue must be gripped at one end and slide across the user's skin at another end, placement of the switches for such a dual bulb system is awkward and difficult. This dual bulb arrangement also causes many other difficulties such as proper weight distribution within the pool cue because batteries and a light fixture are required at each end of the cue. Additionally, the incandescent light bulbs disclosed in this patent are subject to burning out as a result of the impact required to hit pool balls. Another shortcoming is that the two piece pool cue does not uniformly spread light throughout the pool cue. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side view of a pool cue with a lighted core; and FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the pool cue. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The following is a detailed description of novel embodiments depicted in the accompanying drawings. The embodiments are in such detail as to clearly communicate the subject matter. However, the amount of detail offered is not intended to limit anticipated variations of the described embodiments, but on the contrary, the claims and detailed description are to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the present teachings as defined by the appended claims. The detailed descriptions below are designed to make such embodiments understandable to a person having ordinary skill in the art. Generally, methods and arrangements for a lighted pool cue are provided herein. While specific embodiments will be described below with reference to particular configurations, those of skill in the art will realize that embodiments may advantageously be implemented with other configurations. A pool cue comprising a first translucent rod connected to a second translucent rod with a light conducting coupler is disclosed. The first rod can have a light source that projects light the length of the cue. The first and second translucent rods can have a hollow core and can be joined by a hollow coupler such that a light beam from the light source can travel along the core and illuminate the first rod and the second rod. The hollow coupler can have threads that engage the first and second rods. The light source, batteries and a switch can be assembled into a cap that can be attached to the first end of the first rod. Different light conducting inserts can be placed in the hollow core of the rods to change the color and pattern of the light emitted from the cue. Further, metallic inserts can be inserted into the hollow rod to change the weight and balance of the pool cue. The pool cue can also have a tubular mirror insertable into the first hollow rod to mask the light output in specific sections of the pool cue and to minimize the absorption of light in these sections. Referring to FIG. 1, a pool cue 2 with a hollow core that allows for light from a single light source to travel along at least the majority of the pool cue 2 is provided. The pool cue 2 can be comprised of a first translucent rod 22 and a second translucent rod 24. The first rod 22 and the second rod 24 can have a hollow core 4 and 5 respectively (i.e. have an internal air space concentric with the rod). In one embodiment, the rods 22 and 24 can be made from a transparent or translucent plastic or glass material such as a polycarbonate or an acrylic. In one embodiment, the coupler between the first and second rods can be made from a transparent or translucent material such that light from a light source 6 at the first end 25 of the first rod 22 can travel through the coupler 20 to the far end of the second rod 24. Additionally, a translucent material of various shapes can also be placed in the hollow cores 4 and 5. The first rod 22 can be coupled to the second rod 24 with a coupler 20 that provides a conduit for the light or for the conduction of light. Hence, the coupler 20 may provide only a small obstruction to the light beam and can assist in conducting the light throughout the cue 2. In one embodiment the coupler 20 has a hollow center or a translucent center such that at least a portion of a light beam generated in the first end 25 of the first rod 22 passes through the coupler 20 to illuminate substantially the entire second rod 24. Thus, the light from the light source 6 can traverse the first rod 22, the coupler 20 and nearly the entire second rod 24. The first rod 22 can have threads at its first end 25 to engage threaded cap 28. The threaded cap 28 can secure a bumper 14, batteries 8 and 10, a switch 12 and a light source 6 such as a light emitting diode (LED). The user of the pool cue 2 can depress switch 12, to engage contacts within the switch 12 between the batteries 8 and 10 and the light source 6. Batteries 8 and 10 could be disc shaped batteries such as those utilized in watches and in hand held calculators that are less one half of an inch in diameter, less than one eight inch thick and weigh only a few ounces. A spring loaded contact on cap 28 could be utilized to secure the switch 12 to the batteries 8 and 10. The spring in the cap 28 can also facilitate electrical contact between the switch 12, the batteries 8 and 10, and the LED 6. The LED 6 can be easily interchanged with LED's of different colors such that different colors can be emitted from the pool cue 2. The first rod 22 can also include a grip 18. Under the grip 18 can be a tubular mirrored surface 16 facing the center of the first rod 22 such that there is minimal absorption of light in the area where the mirrored surface 16 is placed. In one embodiment the rods 22 and 24 can be made, at least partially from a translucent material such as a polycarbonate or acrylic including Lexan.RTM. or Plexiglas.RTM.. Additionally, interchangeable insert can be made in different shapes, with different patterns and from different materials such that the properties of the light that is emitted from the pool cue 2 can be selectable. Thus, the insert can fit into the hollow cores 4 and 5 to modify the properties of the light emitted. The insert can also act as a light pipe to evenly distribute the light along the cue 4 and the inserts can be configured such that they control the spectrum, refraction and reflection of the light beam. Further, the insert can be manufactured in different colors with different patterns and optical properties such that the pool cue 2 can emit different colors of light and can emit different patterns of light. Metallic flakes and patterns could also be cast or impregnated into the translucent material. A leather tip 42 can be glued on to one end of the second rod 22. The hollow portion 5 of the second rod 24 can taper towards the tip 42 with a taper that is similar to, or parallel with, the external taper of the second rod 24. The hollow portion of the taper could end short of the tip 42 such as not to compromise the strength of the pool cue 2 near the tip 42. The core 4 of the first rod 22 can take many shapes and such shapes can dictate the pattern of the light that is emitted from pool cue 2. For example, a cross section of the core 4 could be a circle, a square, a triangle, an oval, an ellipse or a polygon such as a hexagon. As stated above, the cores 4 and 5 could be hollow (i.e. provide an air space) or the cores could be made from, or filled with, an interchangeable translucent material. Likewise, core 5 and the coupler 20 could be hollow or made with a non-removable translucent material such that light can be conducted the entire length of the pool cue 2. Referring to FIG. 2 a cut away section of the pool cue 2 near the first end 25 of the first rod 22 of FIG. 1 is illustrated. The cross section of the core 33 of the pool cue 2 can have be manufactured in many different shapes, however a hexagonal cross sectional shape 38 is illustrated. As stated above, a mirror structure 36 can be placed into the first rod in the area defined by the grip 18 such that the light energy has minimal absorption in the segment of the first rod where the grip 18 is located. In addition a metal sleeve 34 may be inserted into the area covered by the grip 18 such that the weight and balance of the pool cue 2 can be adjusted or changed. A translucent member 30 can define the area between the core 33 and the external surface 32 of the pool cue 2. The above disclosed subject matter is to be considered illustrative, and not restrictive, and the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications, enhancements, and other embodiments which fall within the true spirit and scope of the present invention. Thus, to the maximum extent allowed by law, the scope of the present invention is to be determined by the broadest permissible interpretation of the following claims and their equivalents, and shall not be restricted or limited by the foregoing detailed description.

For more information contact: WWW.GAPATENTS.COM, WWW.USPTO.GOV, WWW.GOOGLE.COM, WWW.YAHOO.COM
* * * * *

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Spring Extension Tool Patent

United States Patent
(WWW.USPTO.GOV)
7,322,084
Horsman
January 29, 2008
Spring extension tool
Abstract
A spring extension tool comprises a tool body and a tool positioning member. The tool body has two spaced apart fingers at a first end thereof and a lever attachment structure adjacent a second end thereof. The spaced apart fingers define a channel therebetween. A spring engagement face of each one of the fingers is inwardly sloping with respect to a straight longitudinal reference axis of the tool body. The tool positioning member is adjustably attached to the tool body such that a relative distance between the spaced apart fingers and the tool positioning member is adjustable.
Inventors:
Horsman; Marc Wayne (Billings, MT)
Appl. No.:
11/138,785
Filed:
May 26, 2005
Current U.S. Class:
29/225 ; 29/227; 29/267
Current International Class:
B23P 19/04 (20060101)
Field of Search:
29/225,227,267 254/10.5,25,119,120,131,131.5 7/100
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
488581
December 1892
Smades et al.
585123
June 1897
Severance
1164776
December 1915
Arbanasin
1230123
June 1917
Connelly
2061754
November 1936
Casey
2186333
January 1940
Giersch
2272362
February 1942
Barker
3341175
September 1967
Branick
4375259
March 1983
Mancini et al.
5003680
April 1991
Vesely et al.
5095603
March 1992
Carruthers et al.
5495651
March 1996
Tsuha
5507083
April 1996
Redgrave et al.
Primary Examiner: Thomas; David B Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates, LP
(WWW.GAPATENTS.COM)
Claims
What is claimed is:1. A spring extension tool, comprising: a tool body having two spaced apart fingers, wherein a channel is defined between said spaced apart fingers and wherein a spring engagement face of each one of said fingers is inwardly sloping with respect to a straight longitudinal reference axis of the tool body; and a lever attachment structure comprising a rectangular lever attachment receptacle in a side face of tool body. 2. The tool of claim 1 wherein the spring engagement face of each one of said spaced apart fingers is curved. 3. The tool of claim 1, further comprising: a tool positioning member attached to the tool body. 4. The tool of claim 1 wherein: the spring engagement face of each one of said spaced apart fingers is curved; and the tool body includes an integral elongated lever arm extending generally along the straight longitudinal reference axis. 5. The tool of claim 4 further comprising: a tool positioning member attached to the tool body. 6. A spring extension tool, comprising: a tool body having two spaced apart fingers at a first end thereof and a lever attachment structure adjacent a second end thereof wherein the lever attachment structure includes a rectangular lever attachment receptacle in a side face of tool body, wherein a channel is defined between said spaced apart fingers and wherein a spring engagement face of each one of said fingers is inwardly sloping with respect to a straight longitudinal reference axis of the tool body; and a tool positioning member adjustably attached to the tool body such that a relative distance between said spaced apart fingers and the tool positioning member is adjustable. 7. The tool of claim 6 wherein: the spring engagement face of each one of said spaced apart fingers is curved. 8. The tool body of claim 6 wherein: the tool body includes a plurality of positioning member receptacles therein; and each one of said positioning member receptacles is configured for having a tool positioning member selectively therein.
Description
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE The disclosures made herein relate generally to hand tools and, more particularly, to tools specifically configured for installing brake return springs. BACKGROUND It is common for motor vehicle repair technicians use a non-application specific tool to grasp and extend a brake system return spring (i.e., an extension-type return spring) into position. It is commonplace to use this approach for installing return springs in a S-cam type drum brakes. A set of locking pliers is an example of a non-application specific tool that is often used for installing such springs. S-cam type drum brake systems are well known in the prior art as may be seen by reference to U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,369,259; 2,710,076; 3,096,856; 3,275,103; 3,398,814; 4,206,834; 4,260,042; 4,526,254; 4,552,254 and 4,905,800, the disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference. Because S-cam type drum brakes are generally used on heavy-duty commercial and industrial vehicles, the brake system components are large and heavy, thus requiring a high-rate extension-type return spring. The high rate results in the return spring being difficult to extend during installation using conventional approaches (i.e., using a non-application specific tool such as locking pliers to grasp and pull the spring). Because the high-spring rate causes a relatively large amount of energy to be stored in the return spring when it is extended, accidental disengagement of the spring from the non-application specific tool can result in injury to the person installing the spring and/or damage to other brake components. Therefore, an approach for installing an extension spring such as a brake system return spring that overcomes drawbacks associated with conventional approaches for facilitating extension of extension springs would be useful, advantageous and novel. SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE Embodiments of the present invention enable extension of a brake return spring to be safely and simply extended. More specifically, a spring extension tool in accordance with the present invention is specifically configured for using existing structure of a S-cam type brake system to facilitate installation of the return spring in such a brake system. With a pair of brake shoes of the brake system in place and a roller that typically resides between an S-cam and one of the brake shoes being removed, a spring extension tool in accordance with the present invention uses a surface of the S-cam as a fulcrum such that pivoting of the tool about the fulcrum enables a spring engaged with a fork-end of the tool to be extended and engaged with a mating structure of the brake system. Accordingly, the present invention advantageously overcomes one or more shortcomings associated with conventional approaches for installing extension springs and especially return springs in a S-cam type brake system. In one embodiment of the present invention, a spring extension tool comprises a tool body having two spaced apart fingers. The spaced apart fingers define a channel therebetween. A spring engagement face of each one of the fingers is inwardly sloping with respect to a straight longitudinal reference axis of the tool body. In another embodiment of the present invention, a spring extension tool comprises a tool body and a tool positioning member. The tool body has two spaced apart fingers at a first end thereof and a lever attachment structure adjacent a second end thereof. The spaced apart fingers define a channel therebetween. A spring engagement face of each one of the fingers is inwardly sloping with respect to a straight longitudinal reference axis of the tool body. The tool positioning member is adjustably attached to the tool body such that a relative distance between the spaced apart fingers and the tool positioning member is adjustable. In another embodiment of the present invention, a spring extension tool comprises a tool body and a tool positioning member. The tool body having two spaced apart fingers. The spaced apart fingers define a channel therebetween. The tool body includes an integral elongated lever arm extending generally along the straight longitudinal reference axis. The tool positioning member is adjustably attached to the tool body such that a relative distance between the spaced apart fingers and the tool positioning member is adjustable. Turning now to specific aspects of the present invention, in at least one embodiment, the spring engagement face of each one of the spaced apart fingers is curved. In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the tool body includes an integral elongated lever arm extending generally along the straight longitudinal reference axis. In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the lever attachment structure includes a rectangular lever attachment receptacle in a side face of tool body. In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the lever attachment structure includes a lever attachment receptacle in an end face of the tool body. In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the tool body includes a plurality of positioning member receptacles therein and each one of the positioning member receptacles is configured for having a tool positioning member selectively positioned therein. These and other objects, embodiments advantages and/or distinctions of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification, associated drawings and appended claims. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 depicts a first embodiment of a spring extension tool in accordance with the present invention. FIG. 2 depicts the spring extension tool of FIG. 1 in use with a conventional S-cam type brake system. FIG. 3 depicts a second embodiment of a spring extension tool in accordance with the present invention. FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 4-4--in FIG. 3. FIG. 5 depicts a third embodiment of a spring extension tool in accordance with the present invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES FIG. 1 depicts a first embodiment of a spring extension tool in accordance with the present invention, which is generally referred to as the spring extension tool 10. The spring extension tool 10 includes a split fork portion 12 and an elongated lever arm 14 attached to the split fork portion 12. The elongated lever arm 14 and the spit fork portion 12 are integral elements of a tool body, which is generally depicted at reference numeral 16. In other embodiments (not specifically shown), the split fork portion 12 and/or the elongated lever arm 14 may be discrete components attached to the tool body 16. The elongated lever arm 14 extends generally along a straight longitudinal reference axis L of the tool body 16. The split fork portion 12 includes two spaced apart fingers 18. A channel 20 extends between the spaced apart fingers 18. A spring engagement face 22 of each one of the fingers 18 is inwardly sloping with respect to the straight longitudinal reference axis L, thereby forming a spring body receiving pocket between a tip portion 24 of each finger and an inboard portion 26 of the tool body 16. As disclosed herein, inwardly sloping with respect to the straight longitudinal reference axis L is defined to mean that an axis that extends tangent to the engagement face 22 from the tip portion 24 will pass through the thickness of the tool body and/or the corresponding one of the fingers 18. In contrast, finger engagement faces of a conventional automotive split fork (e.g., a ball joint splitter) are outwardly skewed with respect to a straight longitudinal reference axis of such a tool, in that an axis that extends tangent to the engagement face 22 from the tip portion 24 will not pass through the thickness of the tool body and/or the corresponding finger. In use, a spring body of a spring is urged into the spring body receiving pocket as the spring extension tool 10 is manipulated for installing the spring. Preferably, but not necessarily, the spring engagement face 22 of each one of the spaced apart fingers 18 is curved. Alternatively, the spring engagement face of each one of the spaced apart fingers 18 may be generally straight and/or flat. FIG. 2 depicts the spring extension tool 10 being used during servicing of a S-cam type brake system 30. The S-cam type brake system 30 depicted in FIG. 2 and its components are of a conventional (i.e., prior art) construction. Spring extension tools in accordance with the present invention are compatible with typical conventional S-cam type brake systems and do not require any modification to the brake system or its components. Accordingly, only those components and structure of the S-cam brake system 30 necessary to comprehend utility of a spring extension tool in accordance with the present invention are discussed herein. Still referring to FIG. 2, the S-cam type brake system 30 includes a first brake shoe assembly 32, a second brake shoe assembly 34, a return spring 36 connected between the brake shoe assemblies (32, 34), an S-cam 38 centrally disposed between upper ends of the brake shoe assemblies (32, 34) and a roller 40 disposed between each brake shoe assembly (32, 34) and the S-cam 38. For enabling use of the spring extension tool 10, at least one of the rollers 40 is removed (as is depicted in FIG. 2) for enabling suitable positioning of the spring extension tool 10. Preferably, both rollers 40 are removed prior to installation of the returns spring 36. Each one of the brake shoe assemblies (32, 34) includes spaced apart mounting plates 42 (one shown fragmented for clarity). The spring extension tool 10 is positioned between the spaced apart mounting plates 42 with a link member 44 of the return spring 36 extending through the channel 20 (FIG. 1) between the fingers 18 of the spring extension tool 10 and a spring body 46 engaged by the spring engagement face 22 (FIG. 1) of each finger 18. With a first end 48 of the return spring 36 engaged in a respective mounting hole 50 of the first brake show assembly 32, the spring extension tool 10 is rotated such that the spring extension tool 10 bears against the S-cam 38. With the S-cam 38 serving as a fulcrum, continued rotation of the spring extension tool 10 extends the return spring 36 such that a second end 52 of the return spring 36 is safely and readily engaged with a mounting hole 54 of the second brake shoe assembly 34. Thereafter, the spring extension tool 10 is removed and one or both rollers 40 are installed between the S-cam 38 and the second brake shoe assembly 34. As depicted in FIG. 2, a camming surface 35 of the S-cam 38 serves as the contact surface with the spring extension tool 10. Alternately, a tip surface 37 of the S-cam 38 may serve as the contact surface with the spring extension tool 10. FIGS. 3 and 4 depict a second embodiment of a spring extension tool in accordance with the present invention, which is generally referred to as the spring extension tool 100. The spring extension tool 100 includes a split fork portion 112 and a lever attachment portion 114. The split fork portion 112 and the lever attachment portion 114 are integral elements of a tool body, which is generally depicted at reference numeral 116. In other embodiments (not specifically shown), the split fork portion 112 and/or the lever attachment portion 114 may be discrete components attached to the tool body 116. The lever attachment portion 114 extends generally along a straight longitudinal reference axis L of the tool body 116. The split fork portion 112 includes two spaced apart fingers 118. A channel 120 extends between the spaced apart fingers 118. A spring engagement face 122 of each one of the fingers 118 is inwardly sloping with respect to the straight longitudinal reference axis L, thereby forming a spring body receiving pocket between a tip portion 124 of each finger and an inboard portion 126 of the tool body 116. In use, a spring body of a spring is urged into the spring body receiving pocket as the spring extension tool 100 is manipulated for installing the spring. Preferably, but not necessarily, the spring engagement face 122 of each one of the spaced apart fingers 118 is curved. Alternatively, the spring engagement face 122 of each one of the spaced apart fingers 118 may be generally flat. The lever attachment portion 114 includes a lever attachment receptacle 125. The lever attachment receptacle 125 extends through an end face of the tool body 116. The lever attachment receptacle 125 is configured for receiving a suitable lever. In this manner, the length of an attached discrete lever provides leverage for facilitating operation of the spring extension 100. As depicted, the lever attachment receptacle 125 has a generally square cross-sectional profile suitable for engaging an end of an elongated lever such as, for example, a socket extension. Optionally, the lever attachment receptacle 125 may have a different cross sectional shape (e.g. circular). Preferably, the overall length of th tool body 116 is sufficiently long to ensure that the tool body 116 engages the S-cam rather than the lever attached to the tool body 116. FIG. 5 depicts a third embodiment of a spring extension tool in accordance with the present invention, which is generally referred to as the spring extension tool 200. The spring extension tool 200 includes a split fork portion 212 and a lever attachment portion 214. The split fork portion 212 and the lever attachment portion 204 are integral elements of a tool body, which is generally depicted at reference numeral 216. In other embodiments (not specifically shown), the split fork portion 212 and/or the lever attachment portion 214 may be discrete components attached to the tool body 216. The lever attachment portion 214 extends generally along a straight longitudinal reference axis L of the tool body 216. The split fork portion 212 includes two spaced apart fingers 218. A channel 220 extends between the spaced apart fingers 218. A spring engagement face 222 of each one of the fingers 218 is inwardly sloping with respect to the straight longitudinal reference axis L, thereby forming a spring body receiving pocket between a tip portion 224 of each finger and an inboard portion 226 of the tool body 216. In use, a spring body of a spring is urged into the spring body receiving pocket as the tool is manipulated for installing the spring. Preferably, but not necessarily, the spring engagement face 222 of each one of the spaced apart fingers 218 is curved. Alternatively, the spring engagement face 222 of each one of the spaced apart fingers 218 may be generally flat. The lever attachment portion 214 includes a lever attachment receptacle 225. The lever attachment receptacle 225 extends through a side face of the tool body 216. The lever attachment receptacle 225 is configured for receiving a suitable lever. In this manner, the length of an attached discrete lever allows provides leverage for facilitating operation of the spring extension tool 200. As depicted, the lever attachment receptacle 225 has a generally square cross-sectional profile suitable for engaging a socket mounting member of a ratchet wrench or breaker bar. Optionally, the lever attachment receptacle 225 may have a different cross sectional shape (e.g., star-shaped, triangular, etc) capable of transmitting a torsional force. Preferably, the overall length of the tool body 216 is sufficiently long to ensure that the tool body 216 engages the S-cam rather than the lever attached to the tool body 216. The spring extension tool 200 further includes a tool positioning member 227 attached to the tool body 216. The tool positioning member engages one or more components of a brake system (e.g., the spaced apart mounting plates 42 of the S-cam type brake system depicted in FIG. 2) for positively positioning the spring extension tool 200 relative to an extension spring. Still referring to FIG. 5, a plurality of spaced apart positioning member receptacles 229 are extend laterally through the tool body 216. Each one of the positioning member receptacles 229 is configured for having the tool positioning member 227 selectively positioned therein such that a relative distance between the spaced apart fingers 218 and the tool positioning member 227 is adjustable. As depicted in FIG. 5, each one of the positioning member receptacles 229 is a passage with a generally round cross section and the tool positioning member 227 is an elongated pin having a generally round cross section. A retention arrangement of a known type (e.g., a spring-loaded ball and mating detent) may be used for preventing unintentional withdrawal of the tool positioning member 227 from an engaged one of the positioning member receptacles 229. It is disclosed herein that a tool positioning arrangement (e.g., the tool positioning member 227) may be incorporated into other embodiments of spring extension tools in accordance with the present invention, besides the spring extension tool 200 depicted in FIG. 5. Furthermore, it is disclosed herein that such a tool positioning arrangement may be non-adjustable and/or non-removable. Preferably, but not necessarily, spring extensions tools in accordance with the present invention are made from hardened tool steel. For professional use, hardened tool steel will provide for durable wear surfaces, extreme rigidity and overall strength. However, it is disclosed herein that that spring extensions tools in accordance with the present invention may alternatively be made from other materials such as, for example, plastic, aluminium or non-hardened steel. In the preceding detailed description, reference has been made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the present invention may be practiced. These embodiments, and certain variants thereof, have been described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice embodiments of the present invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical, mechanical, chemical and electrical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of such inventive disclosures. To avoid unnecessary detail, the description omits certain information known to those skilled in the art. The preceding detailed description is, therefore, not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as can be reasonably included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
For more information contact: WWW.GAPATENTS.COM, WWW.GOOGLE.COM, WWW.USPTO.GOV, WWW.YAHOO.COM
* * * * *

Monday, February 25, 2008

Electrical Power Genreating Device Patent

United States Patent
(WWW.USPTO.GOV)
7,319,279
Korner
January 15, 2008
Wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus
Abstract
A power generating apparatus comprises an electrical power generating device, a vane-carrying structure and a mounting flange. The electrical power generating device includes a body and a power input shaft extending from within the body. The body is generally cylindrical shaped with opposing end portions. The power input shaft extends from a first end portion of the body and a power cord extends from within the body adjacent a second end portion of the body. The vane-carrying structure is attached to the power input shaft and includes a plurality of elongated vanes each have a longitudinal axis that extends generally parallel to a rotational axis of the power input shaft. The vanes are evenly spaced around the power input shaft. The mounting flange is positioned between the vane-carrying structure and the body of the electrical power generating device and is attached to the body of the electrical power generating device. The power input-shaft extends through an aperture of the mounting flange.
Inventors:
Korner; Barry Joe (Broken Arrow, OK)
Appl. No.:
11/370,687
Filed:
March 8, 2006
Current U.S. Class:
290/55 ; 290/44; 415/4.2
Current International Class:
F03D 9/00 (20060101)
Field of Search:
290/43,44,54,55 415/4.2,4.4,2
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
3339078
August 1967
Crompton
4012163
March 1977
Baumgartner et al.
4031405
June 1977
Asperger
4057270
November 1977
Lebost
4533292
August 1985
Sugihara et al.
4606697
August 1986
Appel
5038049
August 1991
Kato
5982046
November 1999
Minh
6688842
February 2004
Boatner
7040859
May 2006
Kane
Primary Examiner: Ponomarenko; Nicholas Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates, LP Simmons; David O. (WWW.GAPATENTS.COM)
Claims
What is claimed is:1. A wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus, comprising: an electrical power generating device including a body and a power input shaft extending from within the body; a vane-carrying structure attached to the power input shaft of the electrical power generating device, wherein the vane-carrying structure includes a plurality of elongated vanes longitudinally extending generally parallel to a rotational axis of the power input shaft and wherein the vanes are generally uniformly positioned with respect to a longitudinal axis of the power input shaft; and a mounting flange attached to the body of the electrical power generating device. 2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein: the vane-carrying structure includes spaced-apart end plates; said end plates are generally round; a longitudinal axis of each one of said ends plates is generally aligned with the rotational axis of the power input shaft; said vanes are attached between said end plates; and an outer edge of each one of said vanes is generally flush with an outer edge of each one of said end plates. 3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein: the body of the electrical power generating device has opposing end faces; a first one of said end faces is exposed at a first end portion of the body and a second one of said end faces is exposed at a second end portion of the body; the power input shaft extends through the first one of said end faces of the body; and each one of said elongated vanes longitudinally extends generally parallel with a longitudinal axis of the body. 4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein: the mounting flange is positioned between the body of the electrical power generating device and the vane-carrying structure; the mounting flange includes a first side, a second side and an aperture extending between the first side and the second side; and the power input shaft of the electrical power generating device extends through the aperture. 5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein: the body of the electrical power generating device is generally elongated with opposing end faces; a first one of said end faces is exposed at a first end portion of the body and a second one of said end faces is exposed at a second end portion of the body; the power input shaft extends through the first one of said end faces of the body; and each one of said vanes longitudinally extends generally parallel with a longitudinal axis of the body. 6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein a power cord extends from within the body through the second one of said end faces of the body. 7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein: the vane-carrying structure includes spaced-apart end plates; said end plates are generally round; a longitudinal axis of each one of said ends plates is generally aligned with the rotational axis of the power input shaft; said vanes are attached between said end plates; and an outer edge of each one of said vanes is generally flush with an outer edge of each one of said end plates. 8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein: a first end portion of the body of the electrical power generating device is positioned within an interior space of the vane-carrying structure between said vanes; a second end portion of the body extends from with the interior space of the vane-carrying structure; the power input shaft extends from within the first end portion of the body; and the mounting flange is attached to the second end portion of the body. 9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein: the body of the electrical power generating device is generally elongated with opposing end faces; a first one of said end faces is exposed at the first end portion of the body and a second one of said end faces is exposed at the second end portion of the body; the power input shaft extends through the first one of said end faces of the body; and each one of said elongated vanes longitudinally extends generally parallel with a longitudinal axis of the body. 10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein a power cord extends from within the body through the second end face of the body. 11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein: the vane-carrying structure includes spaced-apart end plates; said end plates are generally round; a longitudinal axis of each one of said ends plates is generally aligned with the rotational axis of the power input shaft; said vanes are attached between said end plates; and an outer edge of each one of said vanes is generally flush with an outer edge of each one of said end plates. 12. A wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus, comprising: an electrical power generating device including a body and a power input shaft extending from within the body, wherein the body is generally cylindrical shaped with opposing end portions and wherein the power input shaft extends from a first one of said end portions and a power cord extends from within the body adjacent a second one of said end portions; a vane-carrying structure attached to the power input shaft of the electrical power generating device, wherein the vane-carrying structure includes a plurality of elongated vanes each having a longitudinal axis extending generally parallel to a rotational axis of the power input shaft and wherein the vanes are evenly spaced around the power input shaft; and a mounting flange between the vane-carrying structure and the body of the electrical power generating device, wherein the mounting flange is attached to the body of the electrical power generating device, wherein the mounting flange includes a first side, a second side and an aperture extending between the first side and the second side and wherein the power input shaft of the electrical power generating device extends through the aperture. 13. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein: the vane-carrying structure includes spaced-apart end plates; and said vanes are attached between said end plates. 14. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein: the body of the electrical power generating device is generally elongated with opposing end faces; a first one of said end faces is exposed at a first one of said end portions of the body and a second one of said end faces is exposed at a second one of said end portions of the body; the power input shaft extends through the first one of said end faces of the body; and each one of said elongated vanes longitudinally extends generally parallel with a longitudinal axis of the body. 15. The apparatus of claim 14 wherein: the vane-carrying structure includes spaced-apart end plates; said end plates are generally round; a longitudinal axis of each one of said ends plates is generally aligned with the rotational axis of the power input shaft; said vanes are attached between said end plates; and an outer edge of each one of said vanes is generally flush with an outer edge of each one of said end plates. 16. A kit including components for constructing a wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus, the kit comprising: a mounting flange having opposed major faces and an aperture extending between the opposed major faces; an electrical power generating device including a body and a power input shaft extending from within the body, wherein the body is generally cylindrical shaped with opposing end portions, wherein the power input shaft extends from a first one of said end portions and a power cord extends from within the body adjacent a second one of said end portions and wherein the first one of said end portions of the body includes an attachment flange configured for being engaged with one of said major faces of the mounting flange in a manner such that the power input shaft of the electrical power generating device extends through the aperture of the mounting flange; and a vane-carrying structure including a hub attachable to the power input shaft of the electrical power generating device, wherein the vane-carrying structure includes a plurality of elongated vanes each having a longitudinal axis extending generally parallel to a longitudinal axis of the hub and wherein the vanes are evenly spaced around the hub. 17. The kit of claim 16 wherein: the vane-carrying structure includes spaced-apart end plates; and said vanes are attached between said end plates. 18. The kit of claim 16 wherein: the body of the electrical power generating device is generally elongated with opposing end faces; a first one of said end faces is exposed at the first one of said end portions of the body and a second one of said end faces is exposed at a second one of said end portions of the body; the power input shaft extends through the first one of said end faces of the body; and each one of said elongated vanes longitudinally extends generally parallel with a longitudinal axis of the body. 19. The kit of claim 18 wherein: the vane-carrying structure includes spaced-apart end plates; said end plates are generally round; a longitudinal axis of each one of said ends plates is generally aligned with a rotational axis of the power input shaft; said vanes are attached between said end plates; and an outer edge of each one of said vanes is generally flush with an outer edge of each one of said end plates.
Description
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE The disclosures made herein relate generally to wind-driven electrical power generating apparatuses and, more particularly, to wind-driven electrical power generating apparatuses specifically configured for being mounted on a roof of a building structure. BACKGROUND The practice of generating electrical power from free current winds (i.e., naturally occurring wind) is well known. A vaned body is connected to a power input shaft of an electrical power generating device, thereby forming a wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus. A generator and an alternator are examples of an electrical power generating device. In a mounted position, the vaned body is exposed to free wind currents such that they turn the power input shaft of the electrical power generating device. Rotation of the power input shaft at a sufficient rotational speed results in the electrical power generating device generating electrical power. Generating electrical power from free wind currents is desirable for a number of reasons. One reason is that it reduces dependence on petroleum-based fuels. Another reason is that it does not directly contribute to environmental pollution. Still another reason is that it produces electricity at a relatively low cost. Accordingly, in geographic locations where free wind currents are common, generating electrical power from such free wind currents using a wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus is generally advantageous, desirable and useful. SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention relates to wind-driven electrical power generating apparatuses. Embodiments of wind-driven electrical power generating apparatuses in accordance with the present invention are configured for being conveniently and simply mounted on a roof of a building structure. Exposure to free wind currents causes a wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus in accordance with the present invention to generate electrical power. The magnitude of such wind power is dependent upon factors such as, for example, the specifications of the wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus and the wind velocity. In one embodiment of the present invention, a wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus comprises an electrical power generating device, a vane-carrying structure and a mounting flange. The electrical power generating device includes a body and a power input shaft extending from within the body. The vane-carrying structure is attached to the power input shaft of the electrical power generating device. The vane-carrying structure includes a plurality of elongated vanes longitudinally extending generally parallel to a rotational axis of the power input shaft. The vanes are generally uniformly positioned with respect to a longitudinal axis of the power input shaft. The mounting flange is attached to the body of the electrical power generating device. In another embodiment of the present invention, a wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus comprises an electrical power generating device, a vane-carrying structure and a mounting flange. The electrical power generating device includes a body and a power input shaft extending from within the body. The body is generally cylindrical shaped with opposing end portions. The power input shaft extends from a first one of the end portions and a power cord extends from within the body adjacent a second one of the end portions. The vane-carrying structure is attached to the power input shaft of the electrical power generating device. The vane-carrying structure includes a plurality of elongated vanes each having a longitudinal axis extending generally parallel to a rotational axis of the power input shaft. The vanes are evenly spaced around the power input shaft. The mounting flange is positioned between the vane-carrying structure and the body of the electrical power generating device. The mounting flange is attached to the body of the electrical power generating device. The mounting flange includes a first side, a second side and an aperture extending between the first side and the second side. The power input shaft of the electrical power generating device extends through the aperture. In another embodiment of the present invention, a kit includes components for constructing a wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus. The kit comprises a mounting flange, an electrical power generating device and a vane-carrying structure. The mounting flange has opposed major faces and an aperture extending between the opposed major faces. The electrical power generating device includes a body and a power input shaft extending from within the body. The body is generally cylindrical shaped with opposing end portions. The power input shaft extends from a first one of the end portions and a power cord extends from within the body adjacent a second one of the end portions. The first one of the end portions of the body includes an attachment flange configured for being engaged with one of the major faces of the mounting flange in a manner such that the power input shaft of the electrical power generating device extends through the aperture of the mounting flange. The vane-carrying structure includes a hub attachable to the power input shaft of the electrical power generating device. The vane-carrying structure includes a plurality of elongated vanes each having a longitudinal axis extending generally parallel to a longitudinal axis of the hub. The vanes are evenly spaced around the hub. Turning now to specific aspects of the present invention, in at least one embodiment, the vane-carrying structure includes spaced-apart end plates, the end plates are generally round, a longitudinal axis of each one of the ends plates is generally aligned with the rotational axis of the power input shaft, the vanes are attached between the end plates and an outer edge of each one of the vanes is generally flush with an outer edge of each one of the end plates. In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the body of the electrical power generating device has opposing end faces, a first one of the end faces is exposed at a first end portion of the body and a second one of the end faces is exposed at a second end portion of the body, the power input shaft extends through the first one of the end faces of the body and the plurality of elongated vanes longitudinally extend generally parallel with a longitudinal axis of the body. In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the mounting flange is positioned between the body of the electrical power generating device and the vane-carrying structure, the mounting flange includes a first side, a second side and an aperture extending between the first side and the second side, and the power input shaft of the generator extends through the aperture. In at least one embodiment of the present invention, a power cord extends from within the body through the second one of the end faces of the body. In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the first end portion of the body of the electrical power generating device is positioned within an interior space of the vane-carrying structure between the vanes, the second end portion of the body extends from with the interior space of the vane-carrying structure, the power input shaft extends from within the first end portion of the body, and the mounting flange is attached to the second end portion of the body. These and other objects, embodiments, advantages and/or distinctions of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification, associated drawings and appended claims. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an embodiment of a wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus in accordance with the present invention, wherein an electrical power generating device of the wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus is mountable within an interior space of a roof structure. FIG. 2 is a partial fragmentary side view of the wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2. FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing an embodiment of a wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus in accordance with the present invention, wherein an electrical power generating device of the wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus is mountable on an exterior portion of a roof structure. FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing an embodiment of a wedge-shaped mounting flange in accordance with the present invention. FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 6-6 in FIG. 5. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES FIGS. 1-3 show a first embodiment of a wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus in accordance with the present invention, which is referred to herein as the power generating apparatus 10. The power generating apparatus 10 is configured for being attached to a building roof structure 12. More specifically, the power generating apparatus 10 is configured such that a vane-carrying structure 14 of the power generating apparatus 10 is positioned entirely above an exterior surface 16 of the building roof structure 12 and an electrical power generation device 18 of the power generating apparatus 10 is positioned entirely below the exterior surface 16 of the building roof structure 12. As shown in FIG. 2, the vane-carrying structure 14 includes a plurality of elongated vanes 24, an upper end plate 26, a lower end plate 28, an upper hub 30 (FIG. 2) and a lower hub 32 (FIG. 2). The end plates (26, 28) are generally round. The upper hub 30 is attached to the upper end plate 26 and the lower hub 32 is attached to the lower end plate 28. Each one of the vanes 24 extends between and is attached between the end plates (26, 28). As best shown in FIG. 1, an outer edge 34 of each one of the elongated vanes 24 is generally flush with an outer edge 36 of each one of the end plates (26, 28). Each one of the elongated vanes 24 have a longitudinal axis L1 extending generally parallel to a longitudinal axis L2 of the hubs (26, 28). The elongated vanes 24 are preferably, but not necessarily, radially and angularly spaced in an even manner with respect to the longitudinal axis L2 of the hubs (26, 28). As best shown in FIG. 1, each one of the elongated vanes 24 preferably, but not necessarily, has an arcuate cross-sectional profile. More specifically, as viewed along the longitudinal axis L1 of each one of the elongated vanes 24, each one of the elongated vanes 24 has a generally concave-shaped face 24a and a generally convex-shaped face 24b opposite the generally concave face 24a. The arcuate cross-sectional profile serves to create a pressure drop across each elongated vane 24 when exposed to free wind current blowing into the vane-carrying structure 14. In combination with force exerted upon each elongated vane 24 by direct impingement of the free wind currents on the elongated vanes 24, the pressure drop results in rotation of the vane-carrying structure 14 about the longitudinal axis L2 of the hubs (30, 32). The power generating device 18 includes a body 29 and a power input shaft 31 (FIG. 2) extending from within the body 29. The power input shaft 31 of the power generating device 18 extends into engagement with the upper hub 30 and the lower hub 32. A rotational axis of the power input shaft 31 extends generally coincidental with the longitudinal axis L2 of the hubs (30, 32). Movement of the hubs (30, 32) with respect to the power input shaft 31 is limited by means such as, for example, an interference fit between the hubs (30, 32) and the power input shaft 31 and/or mechanical retention articles such as setscrews. Preferably, but not necessarily, the body 29 of the electrical power generating device 18 is generally cylindrical shaped with a first end portion 38 and a second end portion 40 opposite the first end portion 38. The first end portion 38 has a first end face 42 and the second end portion 40 has a second end face 44 that is generally opposite the first end face 42. The power input shaft 31 extends through the first end face 42. An alternator and a generator are known examples of the power generating device 18 and, in general, electrical power generating devices in accordance with the present invention. The construction and operation of alternators and generators are well known and will not be discussed herein in detail. In general, the power input shaft 31 facilitates spinning of a first portion of the power generating device 18 (e.g., movable windings) relative to a second portion of the power generating device (e.g., stationary windings). Accordingly, through rapid rotation of the power input shaft 31, the power generating device 18 generates an electrical current at a particular voltage. Power generated by the power generating device 18 is accessibly via a power cord 46. The power cord 46 extends from within the body 29 adjacent the second end portion 40 of the body 29. In one embodiment, the power cord 46 extends from a side face 48 of the body 29. In another embodiment (FIG. 2), the power cord 46 extends from the second end face 44 of the body 29. A mounting flange 50 is positioned between the body 29 and the vane-carrying structure 14. An attachment flange 51 (FIG. 2) of the mounting flange 50 is attached to the body 29 of the power generating device 18. The mounting flange 50 includes a first side 52, a second side 54 and an aperture 56 (FIG. 3) extending between the first side 52 and the second side 54. The mounting flange 50 is attached to the second end portion 40 of the body 29. The power input shaft 31 of the power generating device 18 extends through the aperture 56. FIG. 4 shows a second embodiment of a wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus in accordance with the present invention, which is referred to herein as the power generating apparatus 100. The power generating apparatus 100 is configured for being attached to a building roof structure 12. More specifically, the power generating apparatus 100 is configured such that a vane-carrying carrying structure 114 of the power generating apparatus 100 and an electrical power generation device 118 of the power generating apparatus 100 are each positioned entirely above the exterior surface 116 of the building roof structure 112. As shown in FIG. 4, the vane-carrying structure 114 includes a plurality of elongated vanes 124, an upper end plate 126, a lower end plate 128 and a hub 130. Each one of the elongated vanes 124 preferably, but not necessarily, has an arcuate cross-sectional profile such has the profile of the vanes 24 shown in FIG. 1. The upper and lowerend plates (126, 128) are generally round. The hub 130 is attached to the upper end plate 126. Each one of the vanes 124 is attached between the end plates (126, 128). An outer edge 134 of each one of the elongated vanes 124 is generally flush with an outer edge 136 of each one of the end plates (126, 128). Each one of the elongated vanes 124 have a longitudinal axis L3 extending generally parallel to a longitudinal axis L4 of the hubs (126, 128). The elongated vanes 124 are preferably, but not necessarily, radially and angularly spaced in an even manner with respect to the longitudinal axis L4 of the hubs (126, 128). The power generating device 118 includes a body 129 and a power input shaft 131 extending from within the body 129. The power input shaft 131 of the power generating device 118 extends into engagement with the hub 130. Movement of the hub 130 with respect to the power input shaft 131 is limited by means such as, for example, an interference fit between the hub 130 and the power input shaft 131 and/or mechanical retention articles such as setscrews. Preferably, but not necessarily, the body 129 of the electrical power generating device 118 is generally cylindrical shaped with a first end portion 138 and a second end portion 140 opposite the first end portion 138. The first end portion 138 has a first end face 142 and the second end portion 140 has a second end face (not specifically shown) that is generally opposite the first end face 142. The power input shaft 131 extends through the first end face 142. Power generated by the power generating device 118 is accessibly via a power cord 146. The power cord 146 extends from within the body 129 adjacent the second end portion 40 of the body 29. The power cord 46 extends from a side face 148 of the body 129. The first end portion 139 of the body 129 is positioned within an interior space 149 of the vane-carrying structure 114. The second end portion 140 of the body 129 extends from with the interior space 149 of the vane-carrying structure 114. The power input shaft 131 extends through the first end face 142 of the first end portion 139 of the body 129. A mounting flange 150 is attached to the second end portion 140 of the body 129. As shown in FIGS. 1-4, a mounting flange in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention is generally flat. Such a mounting flange is best used on a roof structure with a zero pitch as it maintains a rotational axis of an attached vane-carrying structure substantially perpendicular with a horizontal building structure plane (e.g., a building surface of a slab or foundation). However, in accordance with the present invention, a wedge-shaped mounting flange 200, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, is preferred for building structures that have a pitched roof structure (i.e., skewed with respect to a horizontal building structure plane). The wedge-shaped mounting flange 200 serves to maintain a rotational axis of an attached vane-carrying structure substantially perpendicular with a horizontal building structure plane (e.g., a building surface of a slab or foundation). The wedge shaped mounting flange 200 includes a power generating device engagement portion 210 to which a power generating device is attached and a roof engagement portion 215 that is attached to a pitched roof structure. As shown in FIG. 6, an engagement member 220 of the power generating device engagement portion 210 is skewed with respect to an engagement member 225 of the roof engagement portion 215. A power input shaft of an attached power generating device extends through an aperture 230 within the engagement member 220 of the power generating device engagement portion 210. In one embodiment of the present invention, a kit is provided for constructing a wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus. One embodiment of such a kit includes the mounting flange, the electrical power generating device and the vane-carrying structure of the wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus shown in FIGS. 1-3. Another embodiment of such a kit includes the mounting flange, the electrical power generating device and the vane-carrying structure of the wind-driven electrical power generating apparatus shown in FIG. 4. Alternatively, such kits may include a mounting flange such as that shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. In the preceding detailed description, reference has been made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the present invention may be practiced. These embodiments, and certain variants thereof, have been described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice embodiments of the present invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical, mechanical, chemical and electrical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of such inventive disclosures. To avoid unnecessary detail, the description omits certain information known to those skilled in the art. The preceding detailed description is, therefore, not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as can be reasonably included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

For more information contact: WWW.GAPATENTS.COM, WWW.USPTO.GOV, WWW.GOOGLE.COM, or WWW.YAHOO.COM
* * * * *

Friday, February 22, 2008

Halloween Pumpkin Punch Out kit Design Patent

United States Patent
(WWW.USPTO.GOV)
D560,137
Reffert , et al.
January 22, 2008
Halloween pumpkin punch out kit
Claims
CLAIM The ornamental design for a Halloween pumpkin punch out kit, as shown.
Inventors:
Reffert; Laraine (Brunswick, OH), Reffert; Randy (Brunswick, OH)
Appl. No.:
D/226,727
Filed:
March 31, 2005
Current U.S. Class:
D11/121 ; D11/117; D11/125
Current International Class:
1105
Field of Search:
D11/117,121,125,127,128,131,157,158,160,164 D7/672,381,673,675,676 D9/614,624 428/7,8,9,11
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
D127026
May 1941
Miller et al.
D154564
July 1949
Price et al.
2628626
February 1953
Teillaud
4296659
October 1981
Nauman
D319374
August 1991
Johannsen
D332032
December 1992
Kaiser
5193877
March 1993
George, Jr.
5303473
April 1994
Sadler
D347976
June 1994
Lombardi
D391154
February 1998
Kramer
D420866
February 2000
VanHalteren et al.
D435069
December 2000
Berardelli
6267036
July 2001
Lani
6342175
January 2002
Brown et al.
2007/0036920
February 2007
Birkmann et al.
Foreign Patent Documents
1553226
Sep., 1979
GB
2065568
Jul., 1981
GB
Primary Examiner: Reid; Stella M. Assistant Examiner: Oswecki; Elizabeth J Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates, LP
(WWW.GAPATENTS.COM)
Description
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a Halloween pumpkin punch out kit showing our new design; and, FIG. 2 is a front elevational of the lettering included in the Halloween pumpkin punch out kit depicted in FIG. 1. All surfaces not shown form no part of the claimed design. A back view of the Halloween pumpkin punch out kit is being omitted since it is an identical/mirror image of the front view and contains no ornamentality.

For more information contact: WWW.GAPATENTS.COM, WWW.USPTO.GOV, WWW.GOOGLE.COM, WWW.YAHOO.COM
* * * * *

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Combined Washer & Dryer Patent

United States Patent
(WWW.USPTO.GOV)
7,320,234
Hershey , et al.
January 22, 2008
System and method for a combined laundry washer and dryer
Abstract
A combined laundry washer and dryer system is provided so that the user can wash a first load of laundry, start drying the first load, and wash a second load while the first load is drying. The system comprises a front-loadable washer on top of a dryer, and a second load compartment on top of the washer. A load of laundry is placed in the washer and a second load in the second load compartment. After washing the first load, the washer drops it into the dryer for drying. The second load compartment then drops the second load into the washer for washing. A side-mounted closet may be used to steam clean, dried laundry with air from the dryer. Conveyor belts may be used to move dirty laundry into the second load compartment and clean laundry from the dryer to a sorting area.
Inventors:
Hershey; John P. (Edinburg, TX), Hershey; Leticia (Edinburg, TX)
Appl. No.:
11/338,250
Filed:
January 24, 2006
Current U.S. Class:
68/19.1 ; 68/20
Current International Class:
D06F 39/04 (20060101)
Field of Search:
68/19.1,20
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
2165487
July 1939
Johnson
2816429
December 1957
Kurlancheek
2834121
May 1958
Geldhof
2866273
December 1958
Geldhof
3555701
January 1971
Hubbard
3805404
April 1974
Gould
6006445
December 1999
Large
6012306
January 2000
Raes
6671978
January 2004
McGowan et al.
Foreign Patent Documents
2 450 024
Apr., 1975
DE
Primary Examiner: Stinson; Frankie L. Attorney, Agent or Firm: Galasso; Raymond M. Galasso & Associates LP
(WWW.GAPATENTS.COM)
Claims
What is claimed is:1. A combined laundry washer and dryer system, such that the user can wash a first load of laundry, start drying the first load, and wash a second load while the first load is drying, the combined laundry washer and dryer system comprising a laundry washer, comprising a drainage plate; and a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door with access to a laundry dryer beneath the washer; a laundry dryer mounted beneath the laundry washer; a second load compartment mounted on top of the laundry washer, the second load compartment comprising a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door in the bottom of the second load compartment and with access to the washer; means of loading laundry into the washer; means of loading laundry detergents and softeners into the washer; wherein the means of loading laundry detergents and softeners into the washer comprises at least one fill hole for detergent mounted on the second load compartment and leading to a container area with machine-controlled access to the washer; and at least one fill hole for softener mounted on the second load compartment leading to a container area with machine-controlled access to the washer; means of removing laundry from the dryer; and means of loading laundry into the second load compartment; and controls. 2. The laundry washer of claim 1, wherein the laundry washer further comprises a front-loadable washer. 3. The means of loading laundry into the washer of claim 1, wherein the means of loading laundry into the washer comprises a front door on the washer. 4. The means of loading laundry into the washer of claim 1, wherein the means of loading laundry into the washer comprises the magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door in the bottom of the second load compartment. 5. The means of removing laundry from the dryer of claim 1, wherein the means of removing laundry from the dryer comprises a front door on the dryer. 6. The means of removing laundry from the dryer of claim 1, wherein the means of removing laundry from the dryer comprises a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer; a chute underneath the trap door on the bottom of the dryer; and a hinged, spring-loaded front door opening from the chute. 7. The means of removing laundry from the dryer of claim 1, wherein the means of removing laundry from the dryer comprises a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer; and a conveyor belt underneath the magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer, such that the conveyor belt moves the laundry to a desired location. 8. The means of loading laundry into the second load compartment of claim 1, wherein the means of loading laundry into the second load compartment comprises a front door on the second load compartment. 9. The means of loading laundry into the second load compartment of claim 1, wherein the means of loading laundry into the second load compartment comprises a hinged, spring loaded trap door on the top of the second load compartment; and a conveyor belt, such that the conveyor belt deposits laundry on the hinged, spring-loaded trap door on top of the second load compartment. 10. The combined laundry washer and dryer system of claim 1, wherein the combined laundry washer and dryer system further comprises a side-mounted closet, such that the side-mounted closet steams laundry placed inside it, the side-mounted closet comprising at least one hot air vent that extends from the dryer of the combined washer and dryer system into the side-mounted closet; and a door. 11. A combined laundry washer and dryer system, such that the user can wash a first load of laundry, start drying the first load, and wash a second load while the first load is drying, the combined laundry washer and dryer system comprising a front-loadable laundry washer, comprising a front door; a drainage plate in the bottom of the laundry washer; and a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door in the bottom of the laundry washer and with access to a laundry dryer beneath the washer; a laundry dryer mounted beneath the laundry washer; a second load compartment mounted on top of the laundry washer, the second load compartment comprising a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door in the bottom of the second load compartment and with access to the washer; means of loading laundry detergents and softeners into the washer; wherein the means of loadina laundry detergents and softeners into the washer comprises at least one fill hole for detergent mounted on the second load compartment and leading to a container area with machine-controlled access to the washer; and at least one fill hole for softener mounted on the second load compartment leading to a container area with machine-controlled access to the washer; means of removing laundry from the dryer; means of loading laundry into the second load compartment; controls; and a side-mounted closet, such that the side-mounted closet steams laundry placed inside it, the side-mounted closet comprising at least one hot air vent that extends from the dryer of the combined washer and dryer system into the side-mounted closet; and a door. 12. The means of removing laundry from the dryer of claim 11, wherein the means of removing laundry from the dryer comprises a front door on the dryer. 13. The means of removing laundry from the dryer of claim 11, wherein the means of removing laundry from the dryer comprises a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer; a chute underneath the trap door on the bottom of the dryer; and a hinged, spring-loaded front door opening from the chute. 14. The means of removing laundry from the dryer of claim 11, wherein the means of removing laundry from the dryer comprises a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer; and a conveyor belt underneath the magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer, such that the conveyor belt moves the laundry to a desired location. 15. The means of loading laundry into the second load compartment of claim 11, wherein the means of loading laundry into the second load compartment comprises a front door on the second load compartment. 16. The means of loading laundry into the second load compartment of claim 11, wherein the means of loading laundry into the second load compartment comprises a hinged, spring loaded trap door on the top of the second load compartment; and a conveyor belt, such that the conveyor belt deposits laundry on the hinged, spring-loaded trap door on top of the second load compartment. 17. A combined laundry washer and dryer system, such that the user can wash a first load of laundry, start drying the first load, and wash a second load while the first load is drying, the combined laundry washer and dryer system comprising a laundry washer, the laundry washer comprising a drainage plate in the bottom of the laundry washer; and a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door in the bottom of the laundry washer and with access to the dryer; a laundry dryer mounted beneath the laundry washer, the laundry dryer comprising a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer; a second load compartment mounted on top of the laundry washer, the second load compartment comprising a hinged, spring-loaded trap door on top of the second load compartment; and a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door in the bottom of the second load compartment and with access to the washer; a conveyor belt, such that the conveyor belt deposits laundry on the hinged, spring-loaded trap door on top of the second load compartment; at least one fill hole for detergent mounted on the second load compartment and leading to a container area with machine-controlled access to the washer; and at least one fill hole for softener mounted on the second load compartment leading to a container area with machine-controlled access to the washer; a conveyor belt underneath the magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door on the bottom of the dryer, such that the conveyor belt moves the laundry to a desired location; and controls. 18. The combined laundry washer and dryer system of claim 17, wherein the combined laundry washer and dryer system further comprises a side-mounted closet, such that the side-mounted closet steams laundry placed inside it, the side-mounted closet comprising at least one hot air vent that extends from the dryer of the combined washer and dryer system into the side-mounted closet; and a door.
Description
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention relates to laundry washers and dryers and more particularly to combined washer and dryer systems. BACKGROUND Laundry washers and dryers are common labor-saving devices in many homes and businesses. However, washing and drying a single load of laundry typically requires two separate processes. First, the laundry is manually placed in a washer, automatically washed, and manually removed from the washer, and then the laundry is manually placed in a dryer and automatically dried. Because this procedure is labor intensive, combined laundry washer and drier systems have been provided to simplify it. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,671,978 to McGowan provides a combined washer and dryer, which automatically moves laundry from the washer to the dryer by means of an automatic load-feeder, so that the user does not have to manually move the wet laundry to the dryer. U.S. Pat. No. 6,012,306 to Raes provides a combined washing and drying machine "wherein the washing and drying means are mounted within a pivoting subassembly." After the laundry has been washed vertically in a basket, the pivoting assembly moves to tumble dry the laundry horizontally in the basket. U.S. Pat. No. 6,006,445 to Larger provides a combined washing and drying machine with a system of air ducts for drying the laundry. Although these systems allow the user to employ one machine to wash and dry laundry, they only one load of laundry may be washed during a cycle of washing and drying. Until the laundry has been removed, a second load of laundry cannot be washed. Thus, a user with multiple loads of laundry to be washed and dried has to wait during drying times before washing addition loads. Therefore, there is a need for a combined washer and drier configured so that the user can wash a first load of laundry, start drying the first load, and wash a second load while the first load is drying. SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE The following explanation describes the present invention by way of example and not by way of limitation. It is an aspect of the present invention to provide a combined laundry washer and dryer. It is another aspect of the present invention to a combined laundry washer and dryer configured so that the user can wash a first load of laundry, start drying the first load, and wash a second load while the first load is drying. These and other aspects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and associated drawings. In accordance with the present invention, a combined laundry washer and dryer system is provided so that the user can wash a first load of laundry, start drying the first load, and wash a second load while the first load is drying. The system comprises a front-loadable washer on top of a dryer, and a second load compartment on top of the washer. A load of laundry is placed in the washer and a second load in the second load compartment. After washing the first load, the washer drops it into the dryer for drying. The second load compartment then drops the second load into the washer for washing. A side-mounted closet may be used to steam clean, dried laundry with air from the dryer. Conveyor belts may be used to move dirty laundry into the second load compartment and clean laundry from the dryer to a sorting area. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The following embodiments of the present invention are described by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: FIG. 1 is a perspective diagram that illustrates a combined laundry washer and dryer system; FIG. 2 is a perspective diagram that illustrates a combined laundry washer and dryer system with a side-mounted closet; and FIG. 3 is a perspective diagram that illustrates a combined laundry washer and dryer system with conveyor belts. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES The following description of drawings is offered to illustrate the present invention clearly. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the concepts of the present invention are not limited to these specific details. Also, commonly known elements are shown in diagrams for clarity, as examples only and not as limitations of the present invention. The Continuous Washer and Dryer System The present invention comprises a continuous washer and dryer system 2, shown in FIG. 1, with a front-loadable washer 4 on top and a dryer 6 on bottom. Unlike prior washer and dryer sets, the continuous washer and dryer system 2 allows a second load of laundry to be washed while a first load is drying. The continuous washer and dryer system 2 is built with a second load compartment 8 on top of the washer 4 that has the capacity for an average load of laundry and is set to dispense the load automatically into the washer 4 when ready. A standard front door 10 on the second load compartment 8 can be opened so that the user can add laundry to the second load compartment 8. A magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door 12 in the bottom of the second load compartment 8 allows laundry to fall into the washer 4. After the laundry has passed through the magnet-operated, spring-loaded door 12, the spring on the door 12 closes the door 12 upward. Two detergent fill holes, one 14 for dry detergent and one 15 for liquid, are located on the second load compartment 8 in an embodiment, and lead to storage areas with access the washer 4. In an embodiment, the washer 4 comprises a front door 16 that users cam employ to add laundry directly into the washer 4, and if necessary, to remove laundry from the washer 4. The washer 4 further comprises a drainage plate and a magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door 18 in the bottom of the washer 4s. The drainage plate is molded with drainage holes so that water can drain from the washer 4 and be diverted through a hose. The trap door 18 allows laundry to fall into the dryer 6. After the laundry has passed through the trap door 18, the spring on the door 18 closes the door 18 upward. Controls 20 on the washer 4 allow the user to control the operation of the continuous washer and dryer system 2. The dryer 6 comprises front door 22 that allows users to remove laundry from the dryer 6, and, if necessary, to add laundry to the dryer 6 manually. Another magnet-operated, spring-loaded trap door 24, located in the bottom of the dryer 6, allows laundry to fall through a chute 26 and out a hinged, spring-loaded door 28 in the lower front of the dryer 6, for example into a waiting basket. After the laundry has passed through the door 24, the spring on the door 24 closes the door 24 upward. In the same way, the spring on the door 28 in the lower front of the dryer 6 closes the door 28 after the laundry has passed through the door 28. An embodiment, shown in FIG. 2, comprises a side-mounted closet 30 where clothes can be placed or hung after drying, for example on a bar 32. Hot, moist air from the dryer 6 is vented through specially placed hot air vents 34 into the closet 30 to steam the laundry to reduce or remove wrinkles. A standard door 36 allows the user to open and close the side-mounted closet 30. Another embodiment, shown in FIG. 3, comprises a top conveyor belt 38 and a bottom conveyor belt 40. The top conveyor belt 38 is used to carry laundry to the top of the second load compartment 8. After moving off the edge of the top conveyor belt 38, the laundry falls against a hinged, spring-loaded trap door 42 on the top of the second load compartment 8. The force of the falling laundry opens the hinged, spring-loaded trap door 42, which allows the laundry to fall into the second load compartment 8. After the laundry has passed through the hinged, spring-loaded door 42, the spring on the door 42 closes the door 42 upward. A container area 44 in the second load compartment 8 is used to contain laundry detergent, and another container area 46 in the second load compartment 8 is used to contain laundry softener. After the laundry is moved from the second load compartment 8 to the washer 4 and then to the dryer 6 to be washed and dried, it drops through the trap door 24 in the bottom of the dryer 6, as described above, and onto the bottom conveyor belt 40. The bottom conveyor belt 40 then carries the cleaned and dried laundry to another area, which in different embodiments may either comprise the side-mounted steam closet 30 or an area in another location, for example a sorting area. This embodiment would greatly reduce the labor hours for laundry services that wash and dry large amounts of laundry on a daily basis, for example for uniform companies or hotel chains. In an embodiment, the continuous washer and dryer set 2, shown in FIG. 1, is manufactured of stainless steel, high density and low density plastics, and electrical wiring and circuits. These materials are used to make components similar to those in other stackable washer and dryer sets, comprising, for example, suspension rods, springs, an agitator assembly, hoses, belts, simple controls, and other assorted parts, as is known to those skilled in the art. The side-mounted closet 30, shown in FIG. 2, may also be manufactured of stainless steel. In an embodiment, the drainage plate is manufactured of plastic. The best dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention described above, including variations in form and use, will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and are intended to be encompassed by the present invention. An embodiment measures 60 inches in height, 27.5 inches in length, and 27 inches in depth. An industrial-sized embodiment measures 6 feet in height, 4.5 feet in width, and 3 feet in depth. An industrial-sized embodiment with a side mounted closet measures 6 feet in height, 6 feet in width, and 3 feet in depth. Use To employ the continuous washer and dryer system shown in FIG. 1, a user typically opens the door 16 on the washer 4 and places a first load of laundry into the washer 4. According to the type of washing desired, the user adds dry laundry detergent to the dry detergent dispenser 14, or liquid laundry detergent to the liquid detergent dispenser 15, and operates the controls 20 to control the type of washing and drying and to start the washing. If desired, the user then opens the door 10 in the second load compartment 8 and adds a second load of laundry there. After the washer 4 completes its washing cycle for the first load of laundry and the drainage plate drains the water, the trap door 18 in the bottom of the washer 4 automatically opens, so that the washed laundry drops into the dryer 6. The spring in the trap door 18 automatically closes the door 18 again, and the dryer 6 starts to dry the first load of laundry. The trap door 12 in the bottom of the second load compartment 8 then automatically opens to drop the second load of laundry into the washer 6, and the door 12 is closed by its spring. The washer 6 then starts washing the second load of laundry. At the end of each dry cycle the magnet--released trap door 24 in the bottom of the dryer 6 automatically opens to drop the clean, dry clothes out of the front of the dryer 6 through a chute 26 and door 28, for example into a laundry basket. Successive loads of laundry may be added to the second load compartment 8 continuously. With the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the user may open the door 36 and manually place clean, dried laundry into the side-mounted closet 30, for example by hanging the laundry on the bar 32. When the dryer 6 is in use, hot, moist air from the dryer 6 is vented through the hot air vents 34 into the closet 30 to steam the laundry to reduce or remove wrinkles. To employ the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the user places laundry on the top conveyor belt 38, which carries the laundry to the top of the second load compartment 8, as mentioned above. After moving off the edge of the top conveyor belt 38, the laundry falls against a hinged door 42 on the top of the second load compartment 8. The force of the falling laundry opens the hinged door 42, which allows the laundry to fall into the second load compartment 8. A container area 44 in the second load compartment 8 contains laundry detergent, and another container area 46 in the second load compartment 8 contains laundry softener. After the laundry is moved from the second load compartment 8 to the washer 4 and then to the dryer 6, being washed and dried as described above, it drops through the trap door 24 in the bottom of the dryer 6 and onto the bottom conveyor belt 40. The bottom conveyor belt 40 then carries the cleaned and dried laundry to another area, where the user can retrieve the laundry. Additional loads of laundry can be moved on the top conveyor belt 38 and into the second load compartment 8 each time the washer 4 completes a wash cycle. The present invention thus provides an assembly line, with several embodiments, for continuously washing and drying multiple loads of laundry simultaneously.

For more information contact: WWW.GAPATENTS.COM, WWW.USPTO.GOV, WWW.GOOGLE.COM