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Title:
DEVICE FOR LIFTING AND DIRECTING EQUIPMENT WITH VIDEO AND/OR AUDIO INFORMATION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2005/104679
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
The device has a screw lift with telescopic structure with a drive unit (37) fixed at the lower end of the casing pipe (7). The unit drives a mandrel screw (33) which is screwed into a sleeve screw (29) which is connected with the end section pipe (17) by the external thread. A TV set is fiE5d on the bearing plate (1) which is connected by a rotation bearing with a pivot (2) mounted on the upper end of the end section pipe (17). The rotation unit of the bearing frame consists of an electric engine fixed to the bearing frame (1) and connected with the pivot (20) through a slipless gear (26). The device is intended in particular for positioning of large size flat television screens which are hidden inside furniture.

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Inventors:
BOBER WIESLAW (US)
MALEK JOZEF
REPELEWICZ JOZEF
SMIESZEK WLODZIMIERZ
Application Number:
PCT/US2005/011063
Publication Date:
November 10, 2005
Filing Date:
April 01, 2005
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BOBER WIESLAW (US)
International Classes:
A47B81/06
Foreign References:
US20040188574A12004-09-30
US6796537B12004-09-28
US6148741A2000-11-21
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Raskin, Martin G. (P.C. 1140 Avenue of the Americas, 15th Floo, New York NY, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Patent claims What is claimed is:
1. Device for lifting and directing equipment with video and/ or audio information, especially flat television screens hidden inside furniture which has: a bearing frame adapted for mounting of equipment, a vertical screw lift provided with a screw drive unit with an electric engine and whose pullable end section is connected with the bearing frame, a directional rotation unit for the bearing frame, and a control system for the drive and rotation unit characterised by the fact that the screw lift (6) has telescopic structure and its drive unit (37) which is fixed at the lower end of the casing pipe (7) drives the mandrel screw (33) screwed in the sleeve screw (29) which is connected with the end section pipe (17) by an external thread while the bearing frame (1) has a rotary bearing on the pivot (20) which is mounted on the upper end of the end section pipe (17) and its rotation unit (42) is an electric engine (43) fixed to the bearing frame (1) and connected with the pivot (20) by a slipless gear (44).
2. The device according to the claim 1 herein is characterised by the fact that the mandrel screw (33) of the lift is connected by a bearing (35) with the casing pipe (7) and the sleeve screw (29) is fixed through a bearing (31) in the middle pipe (12) which is located between the casing pipe (7) and the end section pipe (17), whereas the middle pipe (12) and the end section pipe (17) have external adjustment guides (13, 18) and the casing pipe (7) and the middle pipe (12) are provided on their upper ends with internal limiting flanges (10, 14) which have tongues (11, 15) placed in grooves (16, 19) which are made on external surfaces of the middle pipe (12) and the end section pipe (17).
3. The device according to the claim 1 herein is characterised by the fact that the casing pipe (7) has handles (8, 9) on both ends and the fixing plane (P) of handles is parallel to the axis of the lift while the bearing frame (1) has a horizontal hanger beam (2) and a bearing plate (3) fixed on it and the plate runs downwards and at a small distance and parallel to the wall of the casing pipe (7).
4. The device according to the claim 1 or 2 herein is characterised by the fact that the end roll of the drive unit (37) is connected with the mandrel screw (33) by a flexible coupling (41) and the mandrel screw (33) is joined with the casing pipe (7) by a bearing with radial clearance (s).
5. The device according to the claim 1 herein is characterised by the fact that the sleeve screw (29) is connected with the end section pipe (17) by the upper nut (28) placed in transverse opening in the walls of the end section pipe (17).
6. The device according to the claim 3 herein is characterised by the fact that it has a mechanical limit of the rotation angle (α) of the bearing frame (1) with stops in positions +180° and 180° in relation to the zero position which is assumed when the bearing frame (1) is parallel to the fixing plane (P).
7. The device according to the claim 6 herein is characterised by the fact that the rotation angle (α) limit is made of a stop (5) and a ball (24) which is freely placed in the head grove (25) which is made on the front surface of the pivot (20) which mate in such a way that the stop (5) mounted on the hanger beam (2) parallel to the axis and located in the area of diameter of the pivot (20) sticks out of the hanger beam (2) by the radius of the ball (24) sliding on the head surface of the pivot (20) in which a closed head groove (25) whose depth equals to the radius of the ball (24), width is slightly bigger than its diameter and length is determined by the middle angle (ω) chosen in such a way that positions of the stop (5) which are determined by its contact with the ball (24) which is supported by end edges of the head groove (25) coincide after rotation of the hanger beam (2) in both directions is made.
8. The device according to the claim 6 herein is characterised by the fact that signals from limit switches (45) which are installed on the upper handle (8) and are switched by stops (47), fixed on a horizontal pusher (46) which mates with a cam (27) which is fixed on the pivot (20) of the end section pipe (17) are sent to the control system.
Description:
DEVICE FOR LIFTING AND DIRECTING EQUIPMENT WITH VIDEO AND/OR AUDIO INFORMATION

The invention covers a mechanism for lifting and directing equipment with video and audio information intended in particular for placement of flat television screens removable from closed furniture spaces in a chosen position.

There is a large variety of concepts of systems for spatial positioning of audio video equipment, TV sets, speakers, computer screens. For example, a system described in American patent description no. 6,149,256 related to a free standing system with a base frame with a storage cabinet, provided with wheels is known. A screw lift provided with a screw drive unit with an electric engine is fixed at the back to the base frame. End section of the lift which can be pulled out ends with a pivot on which the bearing frame is fixed. The bearing frame is L-shaped when looked at from its side and is fixed on the pivot of the lift by a clamp located on a bent end of a vertical arm. The TV set is placed on a rotary-cum-pullable table which is fixed on a horizontal arm of the bearing frame. The rotation unit has a screw servomotor which operates in the plane perpendicular to the rotation axis and is connected with the table by an eccentric arm. Inclination of the table in vertical plane, determined by the rotation axis and the lift axis, is changed by another servomotor which supports the plate on which the rotation bearing is mounted. Screw servomotors are driven by electric engines whose operation is controlled by the user. There are also concepts in which TV equipment is concealed inside an immovable piece of furniture; they are used in particular in interiors with traditional or antique style. The screen of the TV set becomes visible after being lifted above the level of the front wall of the piece of furniture or removal of the masking wall. The upper cover of the piece of furniture is tillable or is lifted upwards together with the equipment. One of the most simple devices of this type, presented in German patent description no. 1920696 is built at the bottom, inside a decorative furniture box, like a chest of drawers. The device has a horizontal bearing plate supported on two crossing spring servomotors, especially pneumatic ones. The servomotors are fixed on joints between the bottom of the box and a horizontal bearing plate with the load of the TV set on it. Parallel movement of the bearing plate is provided by a set of guide rolls which are fixed to the bottom of the plate along four vertical walls of the box. The concept allows only to lift equipment without directing it. It has a limited use because of the necessity of manual pressure on the upper cover when the TV set is being hidden in the box. A very quick development of electronics which has been observed in the last years has introduced large size flat audio video equipment on the market, especially flat TV sets, panel LCD screens, plasma screens which require new devices for lifting and directing.

The device according to the invention has a bearing frame, a vertical screw lift with a drive unit and an electric engine, a directional bearing frame rotation unit and a control system, similarly to already known devices. The essence of the concept lies in the fact that the screw lift has a telescopic structure and its drive unit, fixed at the lower end of the casing pipe, drives the mandrel screw screwed in the sleeve screw. The sleeve screw is connected by its external thread with the end section pipe. The bearing frame is connected with the pivot by a rotary bearing. The pivot is mounted on the upper end of the end section pipe and its rotation unit is an electric engine fixed to the bearing frame and connected with the pivot by a slipless gear. Such concept allows to have much bigger travel of lifting than the minimal height of the lift. If the screen is covered and the height of the cover depends on vertical dimension of the screen, the unit allows to lift the screen to the level above the cover and to perform rotation round the axis of the lever by any angle within the range of 360°. Advantageous concept of the lift lies in the fact that its mandrel screw is fixed through a bearing in the casing pipe and the sleeve screw is fixed through a bearing in the middle pipe located between the casing pipe and the end section pipe. The middle pipe and the end section pipe have external adjustment guides and the casing pipe and the middle pipe are provided on their upper ends with internal limiting flanges. The limiting flanges have tongues directed towards the axis, placed in grooves which are made on outer surfaces of the middle pie and the end section pipe. Such structure is characterised by an increased axial rigidity of the telescopic lift. It is beneficial when the pipe of the casing has handles on its both ends and the plane of fixing of handles is parallel to the axis of the lift. The bearing frame has a horizontal hanger beam and a bearing plate fixed on it, running downwards, at a small distance and parallel to the wall of the casing pipe. Fixing of equipment to the bearing frame causes a relatively small bending impact on the telescopic lift. Another improvement of the invention involves a connection by a flexible coupling of the end roll of the drive unit with the mandrel screw and provision of the mandrel screw with a bearing with radial clearance in relation to the casing pipe. It is also beneficial when the sleeve screw is connected with the end section pipe by an upper nut which is put into a transverse passage made in walls of the end section pipe. Such solution allows to maintain correct mating in thread joints when lever pipes are deflected from coaxiality. Provision of a mechanical limit of the rotation angle of the bearing frame is beneficial as it offers confidence of control. The limit has stops for deflections by the angle +180° and -180° in relation to zero position which is assumed when the bearing frame is parallel to the fixing plane. Simple structure of the limit of rotation angle can be constructed by assembly of a stop and a ball freely placed in the front groove which is made on the head surface of the pivot. These elements mate in such a way that the pivot which is fixed in the hanger beam parallel to the axis and is located in the area close to the diameter of the pivot, sticks out of the hanger beam by the dimension of the radiant of the ball, slipping on the head surface of the pivot. On the head surface of the pivot is a closed head groove whose depth is equal to the radius of the ball, width a bit bigger than its diameter and its length, determined by the middle angle is chosen in such a way that positions of the stop determined at contact with the ball supported on end edges of the head groove correspond to each other after rotation of the hanger beam in either of the two directions. The control system of the device receives signals from limit switches fixed on the upper handle and switched by stops fixed on a horizontal pusher which mates with the cam fixed to the pivot of the end section pipe. The device according to the invention can be used individually in a piece of furniture specially adapted for that. It is also possible to install the device in a box without the front wall with the upper wall tiltable backwards by at least 180°. Then the casing pipe of the lift is fixed to the back wall of the box. Such device can be a serial furniture product, technically complete which requires only to be plugged, with determined external dimensions which allows to design various types of pieces of furniture with a pocket for a box with the device to lift and direct audio video equipment.

Description of an example of execution of the device with installation inside a box, presented on drawings, will allow to understand the invention fully. Figure 1 of the drawing presents a view of the device from the back, figure 2: axial section of the lift, figure 3: cross-section of the lift along the line A-A marked on figure 1, figure 4: cross- section along the line B-B on figure 1 , figure 5 : a view from below the device, figure 6 : section along the line C-C on figure 2. Figures 7, 8 and 9 present a side view of the device installed in a box in subsequent stages characteristic of the lifting phase: initial, intermediary and final without rotation of the bearing frame, while figures 10, 11 and 12 present drawings of three examples of direction of the bearing frame in a view from above. The device consists of the following units : a telescopic screw lift 6, a drive unit 37, a bearing frame 1 and a rotation unit 42. The screw lift 6 has three concentric pipes which are moved along an axis in relation to each other according to the telescopic rule. They are (when counting from outside): the casing pipe 7, the middle pipe 12 and the end section pipe 17. Pipes run coaxially on sleeve adjustment guides 13. and 18 which are mounted at a distance, two close to lower ends on the middle pipe 12 and two on the end section pipe 17. The upper handle 8. and the lower handle 9 are welded to the casing pipe 7. The device is fixed to the back vertical wall of the box by the handles. A bracket 38. is fixed to the lower handle 9. A drive unit 37 consisting of an electric engine 39 and a gear 40 with an end roll perpendicular to the engine axis is suspended under the bracket. The end roll of the gear 40 is connected by the flexible coupling 4J, with the mandrel screw 33. which is fixed rotationally in the casing pipe 7 by the hub 34 and the rolling bearing 35. The bearing 35 is mounted in the casing pipe 7 by mounting rings 36 which enclose its external ring. The internal ring of the bearing 35 is only loaded with the upper head surface contacting the flange of the hub 34 and transferring the axial load. On the internal diameter of the bearing 35 is radial clearance s. The mandrel screw 33. is screwed to the lower nut 30 which is fixed at the lower end in the opening of the sleeve screw 29. The mandrel screw 33. and the sleeve screw 29 have a trapezoidal thread with 8 mm travel. A rolling bearing 3J, is mounted on the lower pivot of the sleeve screw 29. The external ring of the bearing is fixed by the mounting ring 32 in the socket of the middle pipe 12. The sleeve screw 29 mates by the external trapezoidal thread with the upper plate nut 28 which is pushed in a transverse opening through the walls of the end section pipe 17. On their upper ends the casing pipe 7 and the middle pipe 12 have internal limiting flanges 10 and 14 which in their internal diameter have tongues H and 15^ situated in longitudinal grooves 16 and 19 which are made on outer surfaces of the middle pipe 12 and the end section pipe 17. Such coupling of pipes prevents them from falling out and makes rotary movement impossible. In the opening of the upper end of the end section pipe 12 a pivot 20 is placed. In its lower end the pivot 20 has a shape of a bearing adapter sleeve with a conical socket cut longitudinally. Rigid connection of the pivot 20 with the end section pipe 17 is provided by the expansion cone 21 which is pulled by the clamping screw 22 into the sleeve socket along the axis. The bearing frame 1 has a horizontal hanger beam 2 by which it is fixed on the pivot 20 through a clamping mount 4 which encloses two rolling bearings 23.. A vertical bearing plate 3 is rigidly fixed with the hanger beam 2 along the front and side edges. The bearing plate 3 which runs downwards, parallel with a small distance from the wall of the casing pipe 7 is made of metal plate and reinforced by side bends. The rotation unit 42 is an electric engine 43 which is fixed to the bearing frame 1 on the back surface of the bearing plate 3 and connected by the slipless gear 44 with the gear wheel fixed on the pivot 20. The device has a mechanical limit of rotation angle α of the bearing frame 1 with deflection stops in positions +180° and - 180° in relation to zero position which is determined by the position of the bearing frame 1 parallel to the fixing plane (P). A stop 5 is mounted in the hanger beam 2. The stop 5 is parallel to the axis and is situated close to the diameter of the pivot 20 and sticks out of the hanger beam 2 by the radius of the ball 24. The stop 5 slides on the head surface of the pivot 20 in which a closed head groove with a ball 24 freely placed in it is made. The head groove 25 has depth equal to the radius of the ball 24, its width is a little bigger than its diameter and its length, determined by the middle angle ^1 is chosen in such a way that positions of the stop 5 when in contact with the ball 24 which is supported on the end edges of the head groove 25 correspond to each other during rotation of the hanger beam 2 in each of deflection directions. An electronic control system with a unit for processing of remote control signals emitted from a remote control by the user, a unit with position memory and with other control units receives signals from many limit switches 45, including those fixed on the upper handle 8. Those switches have the task to distinguish zero position and direction of deflection of the bearing frame 1. They are swithced by stops 47 fixed on a horizontal pusher 46 which mates with the cam 27 fixed on the pivot 20 under the wheel of the slipless gear 44. When the electric engine 39 is switched on and the mandrel screw 33. is set in rotary motion, axial displacement of the sleeve screw 29 is forced through the lower nut 30. The sleeve screw 29 pulls the end section pipe J/7 and the middle pipe 12 upwards. That motion lasts till the moment when the upper adjustment guide 13 of the middle pipe 12 is supported by the limiting flange Jj) of the casing pipe 7. Position of pipes at that moment is presented on figure 8. Block of axial movement of the middle pipe 12 causes transfer of rotation from the mandrel screw 22 to the sleeve screw 29 whose rotations force axial movement of the upper nut 28 and of the end section pipe 17 connected with it. Maximal lifting height is determined by the point of support of the upper adjustment guide 18 of the end section pipe 17 on the limiting flange 14 of the middle pipe 12 which is presented on figure 9. In actual realisation of the described device with initial minimal height of the screw lift 6 equal to 700 mm maximal lift travel is 900 mm. The whole weight of the TV set 50 which is fixed on the bearing plate 3. is transferred by the lower mounting ring 36. Deflections from pipe coaxiality of the screw lift 6 which appear during operation as well as small production errors are set off thanks to special connections of particular elements which participate in thread operation. In the concept with the device installed on the back wall 51 of a box with tiltable cover 52 work of the rotation unit 42 which positions a TV set 50 in the required direction is permitted exclusively at height above the level of the walls of the box which is provided by the control system. A TV set 50 can be directed within full range of 360° angle. Parameters of position of the TV set 50: lifting height and α angle, characteristic of special configuration of a room and a given observation point are stored in the memory unit of the control system with a possibility to recall and perform them.