US 20040159280 A1
A pylon with a molded hollow tapered body having an inclined side wall extending upwardly from a support base and molded steps in the side wall defining alternating horizontal step surfaces and vertical step surfaces. The body optionally includes a cap with a central opening, a substantially square base tapering to a circular conical cap, two orthogonal grooves in the cap, a rectangular aperture above a horizontal step surface, and a keyhole aperture in a vertical step surface.
1. A pylon comprising:
a molded hollow tapered body having an inclined side wall extending upwardly from a support base; and
a plurality of molded steps in the side wall defining alternating horizontal step surfaces and vertical step surfaces.
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FIGS. 1 and 2 show perspective and top views of a first embodiment of the invention as a pylon molded with a hollow tapered body having an inclined side wall 2 extending upwardly from the generally square base 3 with rounded corner edges. The base 3 includes a flat peripheral rim 12 providing a support surface and for reinforcing the bottom edge. The rim 12 includes rectangular cut outs 13 that may be used for securing with strapping or a removable belt extending through the cut outs 13 and grooves 9 of the cap 8 of the body of the pylon. The cap 8 preferably includes a central opening 7 for insertion of the handle or mounting attachments such as a light or a sign post.
 A plurality of molded steps 4 in the side wall 2 define alternating horizontal step surfaces 5 and vertical step surfaces 6. Rectangular apertures 10 above the horizontal step surfaces 5 permit insertion through the pylon of the standard lumber sizes to form a fence or barrier between adjacent pylons for example. The horizontal step surface 5 provides further support for supporting beam barriers, posts or other attachments. As indicated in FIG. 5, the vertical step surface 6 can include key hole apertures 11 for attachment of brackets or other connectors to secure attachments.
 With reference to FIGS. 3 and 4 it will be apparent that a stack of pylons 1 can be secured together with a caring handle 14 that includes a shaft 15 and rotatable point 16 extending through the rectangular opening 7 in the cap 8 of each of the stacked pylons 1. A sliding clamp 17 engages ratchet groove 18 to compress the stack of pylons 1 and secure them together.
FIGS. 6, 7, 8 and 9 show details of brackets 19 with studs 20 that can be asserted in the key hole openings 11 to mount various posts, signs or members to the pylon 1.
FIGS. 10 and 11 show a pipe 21 that may be inserted through circular openings shown in the embodiment of FIG. 5 that are formed within the horizontal step surfaces 5 of the pylon 1. The pipe 21 can support sign posts or serve as a reinforcement bracket to secure various attachments to adjacent pylons. In a like manner FIGS. 12, 13 and 14 show a pipe 21 that can be inserted in the cap 8 through the central opening 7 to centrally secure a light, sign post or mount various attachments into the cap 8.
 Although the above description relates to a specific preferred embodiment as presently contemplated by the inventors, it will be understood that the invention in its broad aspect includes mechanical and functional equivalents of the elements described herein.
 In order that the invention may be readily understood, two embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the pylon invention showing a hollow tapered body with inclined side walks and support base and molded steps on the side wall with lateral rectangular openings and a grooved cap at the top.
FIG. 2 is a top view of the pylon shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a like perspective view showing four pylons in a stack secured together with a removable carrying handle.
FIG. 4 shows details of the handle removed from the stack of pylons.
FIG. 5 shows a second embodiment of the invention including key hole openings in the vertical step surface and circular openings in the horizontal step surfaces for attachment of various brackets or supports.
FIGS. 6 through 9 show details of brackets that can be inserted in the key hole openings.
FIGS. 10 and 11 show details of the post that can be inserted in circular openings in the horizontal step surfaces.
FIGS. 12, 13 and 14 show details of a post that can be inserted into the central opening in the cap and retained from rotation in the orthogonal grooves in the cap.
 Further details of the invention and its advantages will be apparent from the detailed description included below.
 The invention relates to a hollow stackable pylon, preferably plastic molded, for use in assembling temporary structures for sports activities, safety barriers, signs and the like.
 Hockey teams, figure skaters, soccer teams, football team, inline skaters, gyms at schools, playgrounds and recreational street sport activities use for physical training and skill development a variety of unsuitable prior art devices as jump sets and marking devices thus limiting the scope of desired skill development and exercise activities.
 Most of these prior art structures are designed for single purpose only. As a result other unsuitable and often cumbersome devices and jumping structures are used as substitutes in an attempt to achieve the desired mental and physical development. Furthermore, due to this improvisation users can easily be injured or discouraged to use it again, thus slowing down physical development and training progress.
 Further, pylons and other temporary structures are used to delineate boundaries for construction activities, crowd control, to create queues or control pedestrian access. Such structure must be easily erected and disassembled, are preferably stackable for easy transport, be lightweight, durable and low cost.
 The variety of these single purpose non-conforming devices and structures further complicate a need for portability, transportation and storage requirements. The prior art devices do not adequately address any real solution in providing a multipurpose portable device applicable for a variety of indoor and outdoor sporting training activities and physical skill development at the same time.
 For example, U.S. Pat. No. 2,333,273 to Scanlon (issued Nov. 2, 1943) and U.S. Pat. No. 2,817,308 also to Scanlon (issued Dec. 24, 1957) disclose a safety road marker that consists of a cone shaped body which is provided with an annular base having small feet or pads. The only true singular purpose of this device is to serve as warning beacon to oncoming traffic. The limited use of this device is apparent due to the fact that it was not designed for physical development and skill training. Although the device is stackable it is not easily portable for most hockey teams or users at large carry it in large bags difficult to transport and store. Further limitation of Scanlon device occurs when other existing structures are required during exercise or training practice.
 U.S. Pat. No. 3,107,091 to Jenkins (issued Oct. 15, 1963) discloses a miniature-type jumping stand that consists of two base self-standing uprights having steps at different height levels that support a displaceable horizontal cross-bar used for jumping over by youngsters performing jumping skill activities. Although portable, the Jenkins device is a very cumbersome structure limiting its application to singular purpose only, therefore entirely useless for contemporary indoor and outdoor use. Multiple use of this device at the same time would further complicate its transportation and storage.
 U.S. Pat. No. 3,480,273 to Wise (issued Nov. 25, 1969) discloses a rectangular cardboard panel supported in vertical plane by a pair of support blocks. The subject device relates to a structure intended for teaching children hurdling technique without fear of injury. The subject invention has a very cumbersome and fragile structure and its application is limited to a singular use, namely track and field. When cardboard material is exposed to wet weather conditions fast deterioration will occur. Hence the application seriously limits durability, transportation and storage of the device.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,205,799 to Carbonero (issued Apr. 27, 1993) discloses a telescoping hurdle having as base a typical hollow traffic cone having a top hole for receiving a vertical standard into a cone. The cone is modified by placing an insert inside the cone for stabilizing the standard. The insert is a solid polyethylene foam member shaped to fit snugly in the cone. The standard or pole could be telescopic for height adjustment to support hurdle bars among other things. The subject device has too many parts requiring assembly and very limited application. The standard can easily turn around when the horizontal pipe is kicked or touched by a hurdler. The entire structure appears to be loosely fitted together and when abused it will easily collapse.
 It is an object of the present invention to provide a multiple use stackable pylon that overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art as noted above. Further objects of the invention will be apparent from review of the disclosure, drawings and description of the invention below.
 The invention provides a pylon with a molded hollow tapered body having an inclined side wall extending upwardly from a support base and molded steps in the side wall defining alternating horizontal step surfaces and vertical step surfaces. The body optionally includes a cap with a central opening, a substantially square base tapering to a circular conical cap, two orthogonal grooves in the cap, a rectangular aperture above a horizontal step surface, and a keyhole aperture in a vertical step surface.
 The invention provides the user with a pylon that is light weight, relatively flexible, durable, able to return to its original shape, stackable, user friendly, easy to transport and store with adjustable carrying handle.
 Possible uses include a variety of year around indoor and outdoor physical activities, skill development and recreational activities including ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating, track and field, soccer drills, gym drills, inline skating obstacle courses and variety of recreational and competitive and skill oriented games.
 Preferably the pylon is a hollow square like conical dome body provided with a peripherally supporting base edge and apex, having each side equipped with extruded multiple steps serving as seats accommodating horizontal and vertical attachments at different levels. Step seats may be equipped with a hole designed to receive a vertical bar or stabilizer insert supporting a variety of attachments or a vertical wall may be equipped with a keyhole designed to receive a sliding in lockable insert being further locked into an oppositely standing device.
 The pylon has each side further equipped with holes located at the foot of each step. These holes are mutually in line with the opposite side wall holes intended for displaceable horizontal cross-bar and other inserts to be applied right through the body.
 The pylon body has an apex grooved with rectangular cross slots accommodating a horizontal cross-bar and a centrally located rectangular hole accommodating a vertical bar or a removable stabilizer insert supporting a variety of attachments and turrets adjustable and carrying handle.
 The rectangular hole in the apex allows for insertion of a removable adjustable carrying handle for easy stacking, transportation and storage of varying number of units.
 The pylon is easily fabricated of a brightly colored molded plastic, ideally light in weight for portability.