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Title:
AN ADJUSTABLE MOUNTING ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/083913
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed herein is an adjustable mounting assembly for mounting an electrical module relative to a supporting surface. The assembly comprises: mounting means adapted for embedded anchorage relative to the supporting surface; a holder having an aperture for receiving and holding the electrical module, the holder being adapted for moveable engagement with the mounting means to facilitate adjustment of a position of the electrical module relative to the supporting surface; and fastening means for fastening the holder to the mounting means, the fastening means being accessible for unfastening and refastening via the aperture to facilitate re-adjustment of the position of the electrical module relative to the supporting surface.

Inventors:
ELLIOTT, Garth (Newport Beach, New South Wales 2106, 2106, AU)
PITTNER, Matthias (Newport Beach, New South Wales 2106, 2106, AU)
Application Number:
AU2016/051098
Publication Date:
May 26, 2017
Filing Date:
November 16, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ZETR (PO Box 1214, Newport Beach, New South Wales 2106, 2106, AU)
International Classes:
H02G3/12; H01R13/46; H01R24/76
Foreign References:
US2657250A1953-10-27
US20140224792A12014-08-14
US5289934A1994-03-01
US8076578B12011-12-13
US8371465B22013-02-12
US4599485A1986-07-08
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FPA PATENT ATTORNEYS PTY LTD (ANZ Tower, 161 Castlereagh StreetSydney, New South Wales 2000, 2000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . An adjustable mounting assembly for mounting an electrical module relative to a supporting surface, comprising: mounting means adapted for embedded anchorage relative to the supporting surface; a holder having an aperture for receiving and holding the electrical module, the holder being adapted for moveable engagement with the mounting means to facilitate adjustment of a position of the electrical module relative to the supporting surface; and fastening means for fastening the holder to the mounting means, the fastening means being accessible for unfastening and refastening via the aperture to facilitate re-adjustment of the position of the electrical module relative to the supporting surface.

2. The assembly of claim 1 wherein the holder includes an engaging surface shaped to correspond with a corresponding engaging surface of the mounting means to facilitate the movable engagement.

3. The assembly of claim 2 wherein the engaging surface of the holder includes an oval- shaped cross-section, and the corresponding engaging surface of the mounting means includes a similar oval-shaped cross-section.

4. The assembly of any one of the preceding claims wherein the mounting means includes an opening for receiving the holder.

5. The assembly of claim 4 wherein the fastening means, in a fastened configuration, is clear of the opening of the mounting means.

6. The assembly of any one of the preceding claims wherein the holder includes at least one angled contacting surface for contact with at least one corresponding angled contacting surface of the fastening means.

7. The assembly of claim 6 wherein the fastening means includes a dovetail-shaped washer for contacting the at least one angled contacting surface.

8. The assembly of any one of the preceding claims wherein the supporting surface is a substantially flat supporting surface, and the mounting means includes a substantially flat portion for substantial alignment with the flat supporting surface.

9. The assembly of claim 8 wherein the supporting surface is any one of a wall surface, a ceiling surface, and a floor surface.

10. The assembly of any one of the preceding claims further comprising a faceplate for covering an exposing side of the aperture of the holder.

1 1 . The assembly of claim 10, wherein the faceplate is adapted to magnetically attach to the electrical module.

12. The assembly of claim 10 or 1 1 , wherein the faceplate includes one or more magnets.

13. The assembly of any one of the preceding claims further comprising a back cover for covering an exposed side of the aperture of the holder.

14. The assembly of claim 13 wherein the back cover is made of silicon.

Description:
An adjustable mounting assembly

Field of the invention

This disclosure relates to an adjustable mounting assembly for mounting an electrical module relative to a supporting surface.

Background of the invention

Indoor electrical outlets are usually placed where they can be easily accessed by users, meaning that electrical outlets are usually visible and can therefore influence the aesthetic appearance of an indoor surface, such as a wall.

Trimmed electrical outlets can be aesthetically unappealing as they protrude outwards from an indoor surface. Electrical outlets can be trimless and recessed into the surrounding surface to provide a flush finish. While these trimless electrical outlets are usually more aesthetically pleasing than trimmed electrical outlets, they can be laborious to install, often requiring accurate positioning during installation to achieve a flush finish with the surface on which the installation is performed. Furthermore, walls of different wall thicknesses require different positioning for a flush finish. Therefore any post-installation work on the surface, such as re-rendering, can affect the original flush finish.

Reference to any prior art in the specification is not an acknowledgment or suggestion that this prior art forms part of the common general knowledge in any jurisdiction or that this prior art could reasonably be expected to be understood, regarded as relevant, and/or combined with other pieces of prior art by a skilled person in the art.

Summary of the invention

According to the present invention, there is provided an adjustable mounting assembly for mounting an electrical module relative to a supporting surface, comprising: mounting means adapted for embedded anchorage relative to the supporting surface; a holder having an aperture for receiving and holding the electrical module, the holder being adapted for moveable engagement with the mounting means to facilitate adjustment of a position of the electrical module relative to the supporting surface; and fastening means for fastening the holder to the mounting means, the fastening means being accessible for unfastening and refastening via the aperture to facilitate readjustment of the position of the electrical module relative to the supporting surface.

The holder may include an engaging surface shaped to correspond with a corresponding engaging surface of the mounting means to facilitate the movable engagement. The engaging surface of the holder has an oval-shaped cross-section, and the corresponding engaging surface of the mounting means includes a similar oval- shaped cross-section.

The mounting means may include an opening for receiving the holder. The fastening means, in a fastened configuration, may be clear of the opening of the mounting means.

The holder may include at least one angled contacting surface for contact with at least one corresponding angled contacting surface of the fastening means. The fastening means may include a dovetail-shaped washer for contacting the at least one angled contacting surface.

The supporting surface may be a substantially flat supporting surface, and the mounting means may include a substantially flat portion for substantial alignment with the flat supporting surface. The supporting surface may be any one of a wall surface, a ceiling surface, and a floor surface.

The assembly may further comprise a faceplate for covering an exposing side of the aperture of the holder. The faceplate may be adapted to magnetically attach to the electrical module. The faceplate may include one or more magnets.

The assembly may further comprise a back cover for covering an exposed side of the aperture of the holder. The back cover may be made of silicon.

As used herein, except where the context requires otherwise, the term "comprise" and variations of the term, such as "comprising", "comprises" and "comprised", are not intended to exclude further additives, components, integers or steps.

Further aspects of the present invention and further embodiments of the aspects described in the preceding paragraphs will become apparent from the following description, given by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Brief description of the drawings

Figure 1 illustrates an exploded view of one arrangement of an adjustable mounting assembly in a unassembled form.

Figures 2A and 2B are front and back perspective views of the arrangement of the adjustable mounting assembly shown in Figure 1 in an assembled form having a holder in a first position;

Figures 3A and 3B are front and back perspective views of the arrangement of the adjustable mounting assembly shown in Figure 1 in an assembled form having the holder in a second position;

Figures 4A and 4B are a partial cross-sectional view and a partial perspective view of an example of fastening means of the adjustable mounting assembly shown in Figure 1 , wherein the fastening means is in an unfastened configuration.

Figure 4C is a partial cross-sectional view of the fastening means shown in Figures 4A and 4B, wherein the fastening means is in a substantially fastened configuration.

Figures 5A and 5B illustrate the arrangement of the adjustable mounting assembly shown in Figure 1 installed to thinner and thicker walls, respectively.

Figure 6 is an exploded view of the adjustable mounting assembly shown in Figure 1 and provided with a silicon box, an electrical receptacle and a faceplate.

Figure 7 is an exploded view of the adjustable mounting assembly shown in Figure 1 and provided with a silicon cover, an electrical receptacle and a faceplate. Figure 8 is an exploded view of the adjustable mounting assembly shown in Figure 1 and provided with a silicon box, an electrical receptacle and a faceplate with a male electrical plug.

Figure 9 is an exploded view of the adjustable mounting assembly shown in Figure 1 and provided with a silicon cover, an electrical switch and a faceplate.

Detailed description of the embodiments

Disclosed herein is an adjustable mounting assembly for mounting an electrical module relative to a supporting surface. The disclosed assembly, when installed to the supporting surface, enables a flush finish of the electrical module with the supporting surface. As described further below, the disclosed assembly allows for adjustment of the position of the electrical module relative to the supporting surface during installation, as well as allowing for re-adjustment after installation, for example, when another layer of rendering is applied which may be affect the original flush finishing.

The supporting surface may be a surface of any supporting structure. For example, the supporting structure may be an internal building structure, such as a wall, a floor or a ceiling. As another example, the supporting structure may be a non-building- related structure or aesthetic finish, such as a joinery, a wardrobe or an island bench. The supporting surface can be of any suitable material, wet or dry installed surface, such as wood or timber, plasterboard, stone, tile, cement, glass, metal or the like. While the following description uses a wall surface as an non-limiting example of a supporting surface, the description is understood to be applicable to other types of supporting surfaces.

The disclosed assembly may be sold, packaged or otherwise provided in an assembled form, a partly assembled, or an unassembled form. In a partly assembled or an unassembled form, the assembly may be assembled by, for example, a builder or tradesman on site. While some description herein is directed to the disclosed assembly when assembled or installed to a wall surface, it should not be taken as describing that the disclosed assembly is limited to an assembled form.

Figures 1 , 2A, 2B, 3A and 3B shows an arrangement of the disclosed assembly 10. Figure 1 illustrates the assembly 10 in an unassembled form, while Figures 2A, 2B, 3A and 3B illustrate the assembly 10 in an assembled form. The assembly 10 comprises mounting means 12, a holder 14 and fastening means 20. The mounting means 12 is adapted for embedded anchorage relative to the supporting surface (not shown). In one case, where the assembly is to be installed in a wall, the mounting means 12 is embedded at least partially below the wall surface. For example, for a flat supporting surface, such as a vertical wall, the mounting means 12 include a substantially flat portion 13 for embedment in substantial alignment with the wall. In this example, the substantially flat portion 13 has an annular shape, and the embedment may be achieved by plastering over the annularly-shaped substantially flat portion 13. In some cases, the embedment (such as by the plastering) may provide sufficient anchorage of the mounting means to the wall. In other cases, in-wall anchors or construction adhesive (not shown) may be used to assist with the anchorage of the mounting means 12 to the wall. For example, anchoring holes 15 are adapted to receive in-wall anchors for additional anchorage.

In the arrangement shown, the annularly-shaped mounting means 12 includes an opening 12a adapted to receive the holder 14. In another arrangement (not shown), the substantially flat portion of the mounting means may be half-annular (e.g. taking a shape of only the bottom half of mounting means 12 shown in Figures 2A and 2B), and such mounting means includes a cradle (instead of an opening) adapted to receive the holder 14.

The holder 14 includes an aperture 19 for receiving and holding an electrical module, such as an electrical receptacle (see Figures 6 and 7) or an electrical switch assembly (see Figure 8). The holder 14 is adapted for moveable engagement with the mounting means 12. The movable engagement facilitates adjustment of a relative position between the holder 14 and the mounting means 12, thereby facilitating adjustment of a position of the electrical module relative to the supporting surface. Such adjustment allows the assembly 10 to be used to achieve a flush finish for a range of wall thicknesses.

The holder 14 includes one or more tracks (e.g. 14a and 14b) for engaging fastening means 20. The fastening means 20 is adapted for fastening the holder 14 to the mounting means 12, for example, once a desired relative position of the electrical module relative to the supporting surface is reached. In the arrangement shown in Figure 1 , the fastening means 20 includes rim 20a, one or more screws 21 and one or more washers 22. In this illustrated arrangement, the rim 20a is annular. In the arrangement where the mounting means is half-annular, the rim is also half-annular. In either arrangement, the rim 20a is secured or otherwise attached to the substantially flat portion 13 of the mounting means 12, for example by adhesives such as epoxy glue or fasteners such as screws. The rim 20a defines an opening 20b no smaller than the opening 12a so as not to obstruct movement of the holder 14 relative to the mounting means 12. To engage with the one or more screws 21 , the rim 20a may include one or more corresponding threaded screw holes (not shown), and/or the fastening means 20 may include a corresponding nut (not shown). Two washers, one for an upper arm and another for a lower arm of the rim 20a, are illustrated. In other arrangements (not illustrated), there may be more washers, such as two for the upper arm and another two for the lower arm of the rim 20a).

To facilitate the movable engagement between the holder 14 and the mounting means 12, in the arrangement of Figure 1 , the holder 14 includes an outer engaging surface 16a shaped to correspond with a corresponding inner engaging surface 16b of the mounting means 12. The pair of corresponding engaging surfaces 16a and 16b are similar in cross-section (in size and/or shape) to allow the holder 14 and the mounting means 12 to slide over each other. For example, in this arrangement, the holder 14 and the mounting means 12 both have an oval-shaped cross-section, with the mounting means 12 having a slightly larger cross-sectional size to accommodate and receive the holder 14. Compared to a square or rectangular cross-section, the oval-shaped cross section provides a smoother and curved surface, instead of any sharp corners, to assist in a sliding motion between the holder 14 and the mounting means 12. Also, the oval shape avoids complex pre-installation drilling and cutout in a variety of surfaces. For example, an oval-shaped cutout may be achieved by performing cuts of two 50mm holes (corresponding to a standard available electrical hole-saw size) and two straight cuts between the outsides of these holes. The required finished surface cutout can be quickly and simply completed in a variety of surfaces such as stone, tile, timber/wood and metal. Further, as illustrated in Figures 6 and 7, the two curved opposite ends of the oval shape correspond to two outermost electrical receptacles, and each has a semi-circle outline that is concentric at the respective receptacle. The two semi circles are designed to follow closely the shape of a male electrical plug 80 (see Figure 8), cooperating with the flush finish of an installed mounting assembly to provide a minimalist appearance. As mentioned above, in the arrangement of Figure 1 , the mounting means 12 includes an opening for receiving the holder 14. Upon receipt, the holder 14 may movably engage the mounting means 12. Where the mounting means 12 has been anchored in a wall, and where an electrical module has been received and held in the holder 14, the movable engagement between the holder 14 and the mounting means 12 facilitates adjustment of a position of the electrical module relative to the supporting surface. In turn, the adjustment of this relative position allows a flush finish of the electrical module with a range of wall thicknesses.

For example, Figures 2A and 2B show the holder 14 of the assembly 10 configured in one position (a first position), whereas Figures 3A and 3B show that holder 14 is configured in another position (a second position), The movable engagement allows the assembly 10 to be configured anywhere between the first and the second position. Positions towards the first position tend to accommodate smaller wall thicknesses, whereas positions towards the second position tend to accommodate larger wall thicknesses.

In the arrangement shown in Figure 1 , to fasten the holder 14 to the mounting means 12 once they are in a desired relative position, the one or more washers 22 and the rim 20a may be arranged to sandwich and press against the one or more tracks 14a and 14b of the holder 14 for securement via the one or more screws 21 . Figures 4A to 4C illustrate an example of the fastening means 20 in an unfastened (Figures 4A and 4B) and a fastened configuration (Figure 4C) in respect of the holder 14. In this example, the washer 22 takes a dovetail shape to accommodate the shape of the tracks 14b and the shape of the head of the screw 21 . The washer 22 includes outer angled contacting surfaces 22a and 22b, and an inner angled contact surface (denoted by 22c). The outer angled contacting surfaces 22a and 22b are flat and shaped to correspond to two corresponding angled contacting surfaces 14c and 14d of the bottom track 14b which are also flat. The inner angled contact surface (denoted by 22c) is frustoconical and shaped to correspond to the screw head of the screw 21 , which is also frustoconical.

Compared to an arrangement without the use of washer 22, the corresponding surfaces when pressed against each other (22a with 14c and 22b with 14d), for example, by tightening the screw 21 inserted through the washer 22 and the track 14b, allow a greater contact area for more evenly distributing a pressing force to fasten the holder 14 to the mounting means 12. Without the use of the washer 22, the curved frustoconical contacting surface of the screw head of screw 21 does not engage the flat surfaces of the track 14b as effectively as the arrangement using the washer 22. The screw 21 may be tightened by, for example, threaded engagement with a threaded screw hole (not shown) of the rim 20a or with a corresponding nut (not shown). Further, the corresponding surfaces (22a with 14c and 22b with 14d) allow relative movement, such as by sliding, between the holder 14 and the mounting means 12 while still keeping holder 14 and mounting means 12 partially bound to each other. Further still, the angled contacting surfaces 22a, 22b, 14c and 14d allow the screw 21 in a fastened configuration to be clear of the opening of the mounting means 12. The clearance in turn allows for more space to hold the electrical module.

The fastening means 20 is accessible for unfastening and refastening via the aperture 19, allowing for re-adjustment of the position of the electrical module relative to the supporting surface. For example, Figures 5A and 5B illustrate the assembly 10 installed in thinner and thicker walls 50 and 51 , respectively. In one scenario, Figure 5A may represent an initial installation, whereas Figure 5B represents a modified wall thickness, e.g. by additional rendering to the wall surface of Figure 5A. In both Figures 5A and 5B, the fastening means 20 of the installed assembly 10 can be accessed via aperture 19, even after installation of the assembly 10. While only a portion of the wall (50 and 51 ) is shown, it should be appreciated that the wall (50 and 51 ) extends beyond the illustration of the figures and may fully enclose a room so that only the internal wall surface is visible or accessible. Accessing the fastening means 20 via the aperture 19 is therefore advantageous, since once the assembly is installed in a wall, it may be impossible to reach behind the wall for any re-adjustment. The access to the fastening means 20 via the aperture 19, which remains open (once the electrical module is removed) even when the assembly is installed in a wall, facilitates re-adjustment of the position of the electrical module relative to the supporting surface. This arrangement is therefore particularly useful for post-installation adjustment for a flush finish, for example, if due to another layer of rendering post-installation or other changes to the wall thickness.

In another arrangement, an assembly is provided with the holder 14 to hold an electrical module, but without the mounting means or the fastening means. In this arrangement, the holder 14 is directly inserted into a wall opening relative to a wall surface. The holder 14 is attached, epoxy-glued, or otherwise secured to the wall opening once a desired position of the holder 14 relative to the wall surface is reached. This arrangement is particularly useful for installing a trimless electrical outlet in a thick non-rendered solid stone wall or an already finished wall where rear access to the wall is limited or not optional, where some wall surfaces in their current conditions, such as in a heritage-listed building are required to be preserved as much as possible.

As shown in Figures 6 and 7 (both of which include substantially the same assembly as that shown in Figure 1 ), in some arrangements where the electrical module is an electrical receptacle, the electrical receptacle includes an electrical cover 60 and 70 for covering the electrical receptacle that is being held within the holder 14. The electrical cover can have one or more pin receptors 61 and 71 shaped to receive an electrical plug or connector of an electrical appliance. In other arrangements, the electrical cover 90 can have one or more slots 91 shaped to receive an electrical switch assembly, as shown in Figure 9 (which includes substantially the same assembly as that shown in Figure 1 ). In yet another arrangement (not shown), the slots 91 may be shaped to receive data or switch mechanism, such as a data connecting device, via a universal serial bus (USB)

In other arrangements, the holder 14 may hold a distribution box and/or other electrical DC or AC outlets.

The disclosed assembly may include a faceplate 63 for the electrical module. For example, as shown in Figure 6, the pin receptors 61 shaped to receive an electrical plug or connector protrude above the surrounding surface of the electrical cover 60 to engage corresponding cut-outs 62 of the faceplate. Furthermore, as seen in Figure 6, the electrical cover 60 comprises one or more guiding channels 64, each terminating at a recess within the guiding channel, so that the recesses are adapted to abut against four guides 65 located within the holder 14. The electrical cover 60 may be affixed to the holder 14 through, for example, fasteners extending through the recess into the guides 65 and resides at a depth lower than the holder 14 for the insertion of a faceplate 63.

The faceplate 63 can cover the electrical cover 60 and any fasteners for the guides 65 in order to obtain a flush finish with the wall surface. In some arrangements, the faceplate 63 comprises a similar material, such as plaster, wood, metal, marble or the like, as the supporting surface. In some arrangements, the faceplate 63 is interchangeable and may be useful if the surface surrounding the adjustable mounting assembly is changed.

The faceplate 63 may be adapted to magnetically attach to the electrical module. For example, the electrical cover 50 and faceplate 63 may contain magnetic material, such as one or more magnets.

As can also be seen from Figures 6, 7, 8 and 9, the adjustable mounting assembly may include a back cover in the form of an open-ended box 66 or a flat cover 76 for covering an exposed side of the aperture 19 of the holder 14. The back cover may be made of silicon, or other material. The back cover is designed to cover a back side of the holder 14 to stop debris or dust from entering the aperture of the holder 14. In some arrangements, the back cover may be puncturable to form one or more openings for the passage of one or more electrical wires. Alternatively or additionally, the body of the holder 14 may be puncturable to form openings, such as circular openings. To aid the puncturing, for example, a substantial but not complete length of the perimeter of each opening may be partially pre-cut to facilitate removal of a portion of the holder 14. In one arrangement, four arcs along a circular opening have been pre- cut, leaving four short connections in between consecutive arcs to hold the removal part. A user needs only break the short connections to remove the removal part to expose the opening, through which electrical wires or cables may pass.

It will be appreciated that the mounting means and holder can be of any shape, for example, a square or rectangle and that multiple openings for the insertion of one or more holders may be located anywhere within the mounting means.

It will be understood that the invention disclosed and defined in this specification extends to all alternative combinations of two or more of the individual features mentioned or evident from the text or drawings. All of these different combinations constitute various alternative aspects of the invention.