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Title:
LOCK SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/054847
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A lock system (10; 10A) includes either an electronic lock (300) or a padlock operated lock (20). The system (10; 10A) includes a box (12) for receiving either the padlock operated lock (20) or the electronic lock (300). The box (12) defines a slot (16) for receiving a tongue (200) associated with a gate or the like to be locked closed. The tongue (200) defines an aperture (202) such as a slot or the like. The padlock operated lock (20) or the electronic lock (300) both define a moveable pin (106: 304) which when extended through the slot locks (202) the tongue (200) into the lock box (10), thereby locking the gate or the like associated with the tongue (200) and inhibiting it from opening or moving.

Inventors:
WILLIAMS KEITH (NZ)
IRVINE DANIEL (NZ)
PRINSLOO GAVIN (NZ)
MCLACHLAN WAYNE (NZ)
WOOD DEREK (NZ)
Application Number:
NZ2020/050107
Publication Date:
March 25, 2021
Filing Date:
September 21, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ALLIED LOCKS LTD (NZ)
International Classes:
E05B63/00; E05B15/02; E05B47/00; E05B65/00; E05B67/38; E06B11/02; G07C9/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FB RICE PTY LTD (44 Market StSydney, New South Wales 2000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A lock system including an electronic lock or a padlock operated lock , the system including a box for receiving either a padlock operated lock or an electronic lock, the box defining a slot for receiving a tongue associated with/attached to a gate or the like to be locked closed, the tongue defining an aperture such as a slot or the like and wherein the padlock operated lock or the electronic lock defines a moveable pin which when extended through the slot locks the tongue into the lock box, thereby locking the associated gate or the like and inhibiting it from opening or moving.

2. A lock system as claimed in claim 1 further including a lid for allowing access to the interior of the box for removal or replacement of the electronic lock or padlock operated lock.

3. A lock system as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, including an electronic lock wherein the lock system is self-contained, includes its own independent power source such as a battery, and does not require any existing infrastructure such as electrical power, wireless or wired communications, telephone lines, or the like.

4. A lock system as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the lock system is operated using a mechanical padlock, and operation of the padlock is arranged to move the pin of the lock system into and out of the slot the tongue thereby directly unlocking or locking the gate or the like.

5. A lock system as claimed in claim 4 wherein operation of the padlock causes a lever to move which in turn moves the pin out from and into the slot in the tongue respectively.

6. A lock system as claimed in claim 5 wherein the lever is supported by the body of the padlock and when the body is lowered by opening the padlock, the lever lowers the pin.

7. An electronic lock for use with a lock system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3 wherein at least parts of the electronic lock, particularly the electronics are encased in a protective layer such as an epoxy resin or the like to protect them from moisture.

8. A lock system as claimed in claim 1 including an electronic lock and an interactive website including a database wherein opening of the electronic lock may be enabled by any suitable means including a person’ s smart phone, which when brought within range of the lock can be used to open and/or close the lock via an app, or by an electronic key or the like, or by stand-alone electronic keys supplied to person seeking access, and wherein the system is arranged to gather data from each electronic lock which may be passed to the user’s mobile phone or stand alone electronic key and subsequently uploaded to the database when the phone/key is in communication with the lock system e.g. via the internet.

9. A lock system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3 or 7 wherein the lock system is operated using an electronic lock having a casing, the lock being arranged to move a pin along an axis between two positions a first position in which the pin projects out from one face of the casing and a second position in which it projects out from an opposite face of the casing, and wherein operation of the padlock is arranged to move the pin of the lock system into and out of the slot the tongue thereby directly unlocking or locking the gate or the like.

10. A lock system as claimed in claim 9 wherein in the first position the pin is arranged to pass through the aperture in the tongue and when moving from the first position to the second position the pin is arranged to displace one end of a first lever, which is pivotally mounted on or to the casing and which lever has a second end which is arranged to directly or indirectly apply a force to the tongue to encourage displacement of the tongue from the slot.

11. A lock system as claimed in claim 10 including is a second lever which is pivotally mounted on or to the casing at a first end, and which has a second end, wherein the second lever is connected to the second end of the first lever by a connection including a biasing means arranged to bias the levers apart, and wherein the second end of the second lever is arranged in use to contact the tongue to apply force to the tongue, or to be displaced by the tongue.

12. A padlock operated locking system wherein opening of the padlock is arranged to cause movement of a pin of the locking system out from of an aperture in a tongue, which may be associated with a gate or the like, thereby directly unlocking or locking the gate or the like, wherein opening and closing the padlock causes a member to move which in turn moves the pin out from and into the aperture in the tongue. 13 A padlock operated locking system as claimed in claims 12 wherein the member is a lever and the lever is supported by a body of the padlock and moves with the body of the padlock when the padlock is opened and closed.

Description:
Lock system

Cross-Reference to Related Applications

[0001] The present application claims priority from Australian Provisional Patent Application No 2019903507 filed on 20 September 2019, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

Technical Field

[0002] This invention relates to a lock system and in particular to a housing for a lock system, particularly for use in remote areas without access to power.

Background

[0003] It is often necessary to control public, and in particular vehicular, access to land particularly in remote areas such as wilderness areas, forests and the like. Uncontrolled access to such areas may also give rise to health and safety issues. At the same time, it is desirable to allow access to walking tracks in those wilderness areas, forests, other areas of natural beauty to tourists and others. However as the land may be privately owned and/or may be farmed or worked, access does need to be controlled. Access also needs to be allowed to those areas for emergency services in the event of natural disasters such as bushfires, medical emergencies, and the like.

[0004] Generally, for security reasons, tracks are gated and the gates are locked typically with a key operated high security padlock. Where the gates are key operated, obtaining access can be slow due to the need to obtain a physical key. Such high security keys are also relatively expensive and are often lost. Many different groups of people may be seeking access including hunters, contractors working on the site, as well as tourists and walkers. When keys do become lost or misplaced, it becomes more difficult to control access to the area/site and to know who has accessed the area.

[0005] Whilst electronic locking systems are known, these require an electrical power source. This is often impractical in remote areas where there is no electricity supply and getting power to the site is often almost impossible. Regular maintenance is also impractical. [0006] Any discussion of documents, acts, materials, devices, articles or the like which has been included in the present specification is not to be taken as an admission that any or all of these matters form part of the prior art base or were common general knowledge in the field relevant to the present disclosure as it existed before the priority date of each of the appended claims.

Summary

[0007] In a first broad aspect of the present invention, there is provided a stand-alone lock system which can be used with an electronic lock or alternatively a padlock operated lock.

The system may include a lock box for receiving a padlock operated lock or an electronic lock system. The box will typically have a lid and will define a cavity for receiving either an electronic lock or a padlock operated lock. Importantly, even where an electronic lock is used, the system is self-contained and does not require any existing infrastructure such as electrical power, wireless or wired communications, telephone lines, or the like.

[0008] In a preferred embodiment, the lock box defines an aperture which receives a tongue associated with a gate or the like. The tongue defines an aperture in the form of a slot or the like and the lock box defines a moveable pin which, when extended through the aperture, locks the tongue into the lock box, thereby locking the associated gate and preventing it from moving, and when withdrawn from the aperture, allows the tongue to be removed from the slot, and allows the associated gate to be opened.

[0009] Where the lock system is operated using a padlock or an electronic lock, opening of the padlock or electronic lock is arranged to allow, or cause, movement of the pin of the lock system out of the slot, thereby unlocking the gate.

[0010] Where the lock system is operated using a padlock, the operation of the padlock is arranged to move the pin of the lock system into and out of a corresponding aperture in a tongue associated with a gate or the like, thereby directly unlocking or locking the gate.

[0011] In one preferred embodiment, opening and closing the padlock causes a lever to move which in turn moves the pin out from and into the aperture in the tongue, respectively. Typically, the lever is supported by the body of the padlock and when the body is lowered by opening the padlock, the lever lowers the pin.

[0012] Where an electronic lock is used, the battery and sensitive electronics are preferably encased in a protective layer such as an epoxy resin or the like, to protect the sensitive electronics and battery of the lock from damage from moisture and/or vibration.

[0013] Where the lock system is operated using an electronic lock having a casing, the lock may be arranged to move a pin along an axis between two positions - a first position in which the pin projects out from one face of the casing and a second position in which it projects out from an opposite face of the casing. Operation of the padlock may be arranged to move the pin of the lock system into and out of the slot the tongue thereby directly unlocking or locking the gate or the like.

[0014] Typically, in the first position, the pin is arranged to pass through the aperture in the tongue and when moving from the first position to the second position the pin is arranged to displace one end of a first lever, which is pivotally mounted on or to the casing and which lever has a second end which is arranged to directly or indirectly apply a force to the tongue to encourage displacement of the tongue from the slot.

[0015] Typically, the lock system includes is a second lever which is pivotally mounted on or to the casing at a first end, and which has a second end, and the second lever is connected to the second end of the first lever by a connection including a biasing means arranged to bias the levers apart, and the second end of the second lever is arranged in use to contact the tongue to apply force to the tongue or to be displaced by the movement of the tongue.

[0016] In one preferred embodiment, where the electronic lock is used it is envisaged that the electronic lock will interact with a networked system which includes an interactive website and a database. Operation (i.e. opening and closing) of the electronic lock may be enabled by various means including using a person’s smart phone which when brought within range of the lock can be used to open and/or close it via an app, or by an electronic key or the like. Alternatively stand-alone electronic keys could be supplied to person seeking access. The electronic keys, whether stand alone or provided on a user’s smart phone, may allow access to all gates or just to specific gates. The system may gather data from each electronic lock which is passed to the user’s mobile phone or stand alone electronic key and subsequently uploaded to the networked system when the phone/key is in communication with the system e.g. via the internet.

[0017] Throughout this specification the word "comprise", or variations such as "comprises" or "comprising", will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps, but not the exclusion of any other element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps.

Brief Description of Drawings

[0018] Specific embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: -

Figure 1A is a general assembly drawing showing a lock box operated by a padlock;

Figure IB is an exploded view of the components of the lock box shown in Figure 1A;

Figure 2A is an isometric view of the lock box also showing the tongue of a gate to be received in the lock box in an unlocked state.

Figure 2B is a front view of the lock box and tongue shown in Figure 2A;

Figure 2C shows a section on arrows A-A shown in Figure 2B;

Figure 2D is an isometric view of the lock box showing the tongue of the gate received in the lock box in a locked state;

Figure 2E is a front view of the lock box and tongue shown in Figure 2D Figure 2F shows a section on arrows B-B shown in Figure 2E;

Figure 3A is a top plan view of a padlock cassette for use with the lock box;

Figure 3B is a side view of the padlock cassette shown in Figure 3A; Figure 3C is an isometric view of the padlock cassette shown in Figure 3A;

Figure 4A is an isometric view of the padlock cassette separated into a cradle and a locking mechanism;

Figure 4B is an isometric view of the complete padlock cassette with the cradle and locking mechanism assembled together;

Figure 5A is an exploded view of the locking mechanism shown in Figure 4A;

Figure 5B is an isometric view of the locking mechanism shown in Figure 4A;

Figure 6A is a side view of the locking mechanism shown in Figure 4A in the unlocked state;

Figure 6B is a underneath isometric view of the locking mechanism shown in Figure 6A in the unlocked state;

Figure 7A is a side view of the locking mechanism shown in Figure 6A in the locked state;

Figure 7B is a underneath isometric view of the locking mechanism shown in Figure 6A in the locked state;

Figure 8A is a general assembly drawing showing a lock box operated by an electronic lock;

Figure 8B is an exploded view of the components of the lock box shown in Figure 8A;

Figure 9A is an isometric view of the lock box also showing the tongue of a gate to be received in the lock box in an unlocked state.

Figure 9B is a front view of the lock box and tongue shown in Figure 9A;

Figure 9C shows a section on arrows A-A shown in Figure 9B;

Figure 9D is a front view of the electronic lock mechanism shown in Figure 8A in the locked state; Figure 9E is a section on arrows B-B shown in Figure 9D;

Figure 10 is an isometric view of the electronic lock mechanism shown in Figure 8B, including an override lock;

Figure 11 is a side view of the electronic lock mechanism shown in Figure 9E;and

Figure 12 is a front view of a variant of the electronic lock mechanism shown in Figure 10A, including a PIR detector.

Description of Embodiments

[0019] Referring to the drawings, Figures 1A to Figure IB show a locking system in the form of a lock box 10 including a padlock operated cassette, described in more detail below.

[0020] The locking system includes an external box 12 to enclose and protect the components. The box has a base and four sides and is closed by a lid 14 to allow access to the interior of the box. The front wall of the box 12 defines a slot 16 with tapered side walls and base, through which a tongue/latch 200 of a gate passes when the locking system is in the locked state, as is described in more detail below, and shown in Figures 2A to 2E.

[0021] At the base of the right side wall adjacent the rear wall, there is an aperture 18A. A similar aperture 18B is provided at the base of the left side wall adjacent the rear wall in a mirror arrangement (not visible in Figure 1). The apertures allow a person to insert their hand into the box to unlock a padlock, when the locking system is padlock operated, or to insert an electronic key, when the locking system is electronic.

[0022] Turning to Figure IB, this shows the box 12 with the lid 14 removed and showing a padlock operated cassette 20 and a guard plate 22 which is used to secure the lid 14 in place.

[0023] Figures 3A to 7B show the features of the padlock operated cassette in more detail. With reference to Figure 4A in particular, this shows a cradle 50 into which the padlock operated locking mechanism 52 attaches. The cradle defines a base 54 and two side walls 56 which define flanges 58 at their top. The flanges define holes 60 which are used to secure the cradle, and hence the padlock operated cassette 20, inside the cavity of the box 12. The cradle defines a front wall 62 and a rear wall 64 which both define holes 66, 68 respectively for attaching the padlock operated locking mechanism to the cradle using fasteners, such as bolts 70.

[0024] Figure 5A shows the padlock operated locking mechanism 52 in more detail. The mechanism includes a front plate 80 with opposed side flanges 82. The front plate defines four holes 84 for connecting the locking mechanism to the cradle 50. A top plate 86 connects to the top of the front plate 80 and extends to a depending smaller rear plate 88. The base of the rear plate 88 defines two apertures 90 for attaching the locking mechanism to the cradle, best seen in Figure 4A. Adjacent the rear plate two opposed flanges 92 (only one of which is visible) depend from the top plate and each plate defines a hole 94, the holes 94 being coaxial along an axis A for receiving a pin 96 about which a lever 98 is pivotally mounted.

[0025] The lever 98 is in the form of an elongate plate. At one (pivoted) end 98A, the plate defines two opposed upwardly extending flanges 100 which define holes 102 which receive the pivot pin 96. Towards the opposite (free) end 98B, the lever 98 defines an aperture 104 in the form of a short slot with rounded ends through which a locking pin 106 passes. The locking pin 106 is generally cylindrical and defines a wider portion in the form of a skirt 108 which extends around the pin 106 near its centre and is too large to pass through the aperture 104.

[0026] The top plate 86 defines a circular aperture 110 which is slightly larger than the diameter of the locking pin 106, but narrower than the skirt 108, so that the top half 106A of the pin may pass through the aperture 110, as far as the skirt 108. Between the aperture 110 and the flanges 92, there are two further depending flanges 112, 114 which define a vertical slot 116, as oriented in Figure 5A, which receive the shackle 124 of a padlock 120 as is described in more detail below, with reference to Figures 6A to 7C.

[0027] Figures 6A to 7B show the padlock operated locking mechanism 52, and its operation, in the locked and unlocked states. In the described embodiment, the padlock 120 is an Abloy® PL340, although it will be appreciated that other types of padlock may be used. The padlock includes a body 122 and a J- shaped shackle 124. In the locked state, shown in Figures 7 A and 7B, the lever 98 which is pivoted to the flanges 92 by the pivot pin 96 is angled upwards slightly from the horizontal as the body 122 of the padlock is pulled/held upwards by the shackle 124 whose free end is locked in the body 122 of the padlock. This pushes the locking pin 106 upwards also which is supported from the lever 98 by its skirt 108. The skirt 108 also limits the movement of the pin 106 upwards through the aperture 110 in the top plate 86. The locking pin 106 projects upwards, and with reference to Figure 2F, extends through an aperture 202 in the tongue, locking the tongue 200 into the locking system/lock box 10. The aperture 202 has a sloping front side 204 so that as an object such as a locking pin is pushed through the aperture in the tongue and contacts the sloping side, the tongue is moved to the right, as oriented in Figure 2C, into the lock box.

[0028] With reference to Figures 6A and 6B, when the padlock 120 is unlocked, the free end of the shackle 124 is released from the body 122 and the shackle 124 extends from the body 122 and the body 122 of the padlock 120 is lowered. The lever 98 which rests on the body 122 is also lowered, as is the distal end of the lever 98 which supports the top half 106A of the pin 106. The locking pin 106 also is lowered and releases the tongue 200. The tongue 200 can then be removed from the housing 10 and the associated gate can be opened.

[0029] To lock the mechanism, the tongue 200 is pushed back into the lock box 10 and the padlock 120 is locked which lifts the lever 98 and pushes the locking pin 106 upwards back into the aperture 202 in the tongue 200.

[0030] Turning to Figure IB, in order to assemble the locking system 10, the cassette 20 is first slid into the receiving cavity defined in the box 12. The cassette 20 is then bolted in place in the box 12 using the four bolts attaching the upper flanges 58 of the cassette 20 to the top of the cavity. The guard plate 22 is then slid into position in the top of the box 12 from one side with one side edge angled downwards. The guard plate 22 is then slid forwards. The lid 14 is then slid over the top of the box, and the guard plate 22 is slid inwards to lock the lid 14 in position. A safe lock 23 (also shown in Figure 8B) which can be operated by an elongate key inserted into the lock box is used to lock the guard plate 22 in position. Users are not provided with a key for that safe lock.

[0031] Figures 8A to Figure 12 show the locking system 10A when used with an electronic lock 300. In the Figures, components which are identical to components of the first embodiment shown in Figures 1A to 7B have the same reference numbers. The exploded view 8B shows the components of the system in which the padlock operated cassette is replaced by the electronic lock 300 and a finger guard 302. Figures 10 to 12, show the electronic lock 300, and variants of it, only.

[0032] In order to assemble the locking system 10A including the electronic lock 300, the finger guard 302 is first slid into position in the receiving cavity defined in the lock box 10. The finger guard 302 is then bolted in place in the box using four bolts 21 which pass through holes in the upper flanges of the finger guard 302 and the top of the cavity. The electronic lock 300 is then inserted into the finger guard 302. The guard plate 22 is then slid into position in the top of the box form one side with one side edge angled downwards. The guard plate 22 is then slid forwards. The lid 14 is then slid over the top of the box 12, and the guard plate is slid inwards to lock the lid 14 in position. The safe lock 23 is used to lock the guard plate 22 in position.

[0033] Figure 9C shows the locking system 10A in the open position and Figure 9E shows it in the closed/locked position. The electronic lock 300 is based on an existing “SALTO”® electronic lock but is encapsulated in a protective coating preferably a two part epoxy resin to protect the lock’s electronics from moisture and vibration. The lock includes a replaceable battery as a power source. With reference to Figure 9E the electronic lock 300 defines a moveable pin 304 which projects out from the top of the lock 300 when the lock is locked and when the lock is unlocked projects from the bottom of the lock (refer to Figure 9C). In the locked position, shown in Figure 9E, the pin passes through the aperture 202 in the tongue 200 locking the tongue into the lock box 10.

[0034] As shown in Figures 9C and 9E, and more particularly in Figures 10 to 12, the lock 300 also defines two interconnected first 306 and second 308 levers which are pivotally mounted on the rear of the lock housing 300 on vertically spaced pivot pins 310 and 312. The two levers 306, 308 are connected by a biasing means in the form of a spring 314 which biases the free ends of the levers apart. One end 306 A of the first lever which is mounted near its centre on pivot 310 is located in the axial path of the pin 304 when it extends through the base of the lock 300 in the unlocked position (Figure 9E). The other lever 308 is pivoted at one end and its other free end 308A locates in the path of the tongue 200 when it is inserted in the slot 16 in the lock box 10A. The electronic lock also includes a hidden internal spring. [0035] When the tongue 200 is inserted into the lock box 10 the end of the tongue 200 impacts on the end 308A of the second lever 308, which pivots clockwise about its pivot 312 and the biasing spring 314 pushes the first lever 306 clockwise about its pivot 310 which causes the end 306A to push the pin 304 upwards through the lock 300 and into the slot 202 in the tongue 200. The underside of the slot 202 is, as discussed above, contoured to provide a slope 204 which guides the pin 304 into the slot 202.

[0036] When the lock is unlocked, the internal spring applies force to the pin 304 and pushes it downwards (as oriented in the Figures) out of the slot 202 in the tongue 200, and is pushed downwards and the process is reversed with the end of the lever 306A pushed downwards and the levers moving anticlockwise and the second lever 308 pushing the tongue 200 out from the slot 16 in the lock box 10. The necessary force is provided by the internal spring and external spring 314.

[0037] If the tongue 200 can move freely (i.e. not dragging on any surface, hindered by ice, misaligned, etc.), this force will typically be enough to move the tongue 200 and therefore also the gate or other feature being controlled by the lock. However, if the free movement of the gate or other feature being controlled by the lock is hindered in any way, the user may have to apply force to open the gate.

[0038] The electronic lock 300 will typically be dormant for the majority of the time, reducing the use of power to an absolute minimum, and will typically be activated only when required by a signal from a proximate mobile phone or other electronic key at close range, such as a phone tag, or Bluetooth signal, when the lock is to be opened. This can be achieved in different ways. A near field sensor 330 (see Figures 10 and 11) is provided for activation by an NFC fob or the like. Other options for activating the electronic lock are possible.

Figure 12 shows a variant of the lock which also includes a PIR sensor 350 which detects heat and movement, although other types of sensors based on touch, movement or heat for example could be used to power up the lock. The lock 300 shown in Figure 10 includes a key operated override lock which can be used where the lock has failed due to loss of battery power or some other reason. The lock may include both a PIR sensor and an override lock or just one of the two variants, or neither. [0039] Optionally, where the electronic lock 300 is used it is envisaged that the lock will interact with a networked system which includes an interactive website. Access to the electronic lock 300 can be provided using a person’s smart phone which when brought within range of the lock can be used to open and/or close it via an app, electronic key or the like. Alternatively stand-alone electronic keys could be supplied to person seeking access. The electronic keys, whether stand alone or provided on the user’s smart phone, may allow access to all gates or just specific gates.

[0040] It is anticipated that a charge for access may be made at that time although the person seeking access may be charged on their return when the system can determine what gates were used. While the electronic lock 300 itself will not be in communication with the internet itself it is envisaged that information can be passed to any mobile phone communicating with the electronic lock and that information is passed via the internet to a central control unit including a data storage facility which can store data relating to the lock in terms of when it has been accessed and by whom including dates and times. Information may also be passed to the central control that the lock has been opened, as well as information about who has accessed the lock. Instructions may also be passed to the lock from the mobile phone.

[0041] It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that numerous variations and/or modifications may be made to the above-described embodiments, without departing from the broad general scope of the present disclosure. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive.