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Publication numberUS20040227049 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/323,702
Publication dateNov 18, 2004
Filing dateDec 18, 2002
Priority dateDec 21, 2001
Also published asCN1262441C, CN1520493A, DE10163318C1, EP1346161A1, EP1346161B1, US8246266, US20080073477, WO2003054401A1
Publication number10323702, 323702, US 2004/0227049 A1, US 2004/227049 A1, US 20040227049 A1, US 20040227049A1, US 2004227049 A1, US 2004227049A1, US-A1-20040227049, US-A1-2004227049, US2004/0227049A1, US2004/227049A1, US20040227049 A1, US20040227049A1, US2004227049 A1, US2004227049A1
InventorsHeinrich Lang, Wolfgang Seiboth, Stefan Centmayer
Original AssigneeLang-Mekra North America, Llc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Linkage arrangement for the adjustment of rearview mirrors
US 20040227049 A1
Abstract
A linkage arrangement for a rearview mirror is provided. One aspect includes a sliding piece, a first linkage component with a ball socket and a second linkage component with a projection configured to fit into the ball socket. A connection assembly connects the foregoing elements together. A variety of convex and concave profilings are provided on various surfaces of the elements to pivot the rearview mirror.
Images(7)
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Claims(38)
1-19. (Cancelled.)
20. A linkage arrangement for a rearview mirror comprising:
a first linkage component defining a ball socket;
a second linkage component defining a projection configured to fit into the ball socket;
a sliding piece; and
a connection assembly configured to connect the first linkage component, the sliding piece and the second linkage component together,
wherein at least one of the ball socket, the sliding piece and the projection defines a convex profiling and another of the ball socket, the sliding piece and the projection defines a concave profiling for reception of the convex profiling, the concave profiling defining a larger radius of curvature than the convex profiling, the convex profiling and the complementary profiling configured to pivot at least one of the ball socket, the sliding piece and the projection about an axis of rotation.
21. The linkage arrangement as in claim 20, wherein the convex profiling and the concave profiling define a plurality of parallel ridges and valleys.
22. The linkage arrangement as in claim 21, wherein the ridges and valleys have respective substantially uniform height and depth to define a uniform waveform.
23. The linkage arrangement as in claim 22, wherein the uniform wave form is sine wave shaped.
24. The linkage arrangement as in claim 20, wherein the convex profiling and the concave profiling are disposed on the ball socket, the sliding piece and the projection to define another axis of rotation disposed perpendicular to the axis of rotation.
25. The linkage arrangement as in claim 20, wherein the sliding piece (18) is hemispherical shaped.
26. The linkage arrangement as in claim 20, wherein the projection, the sliding part and the ball socket define openings therethrough and wherein the connection apparatus includes a rod configured for insertion through the openings to connect the ball socket, the sliding part and the projection together.
27. The linkage arrangement as in claim 20, wherein the sliding piece is disposed between the first and the second linkage components.
28. The linkage arrangement as in claim 27, wherein the ball socket defines a concave topside and the sliding part defines a convex underside, the concave profiling disposed on the topside, the convex profiling disposed on the convex underside to define the axis of rotation.
29. The linkage arrangement as in claim 27, wherein the projection defines a convex underside and the sliding part defines a concave topside, the convex profiling disposed on the convex underside, the concave profiling disposed on the concave topside complementary to the convex profiling of the convex underside to define a second axis of rotation transverse to the axis of rotation.
30. A linkage arrangement for a rearview mirror comprising:
a first linkage component defining a ball socket;
a second linkage component defining a spherical projection configured to fit into the ball socket;
a sliding piece; and
a connection assembly configured to clamp the first linkage component, the sliding piece and the second linkage component together,
wherein at least one of the ball socket, the sliding piece and the projection defines a convex profiling and another of the ball socket, the sliding piece and the projection defines a concave profiling for reception of the convex profiling, the concave profiling defining a larger radius of curvature than the convex profiling, the convex profiling and the concave profiling defining a plurality of parallel ridges and valleys and configured to pivot at least one of the ball socket, the sliding piece and the projection.
31. The linkage arrangement as in claim 30, wherein the ridges and valleys have respective substantially uniform height and depth to define a uniform waveform.
32. The linkage arrangement as in claim 31, wherein the uniform wave form is a sine curve waveform.
33. The linkage arrangement as in claim 30, wherein the convex profiling and the concave profiling are disposed on the ball socket, the sliding piece and the projection to define at least two axes of rotation disposed perpendicular to one another.
34. The linkage arrangement as in claim 30, wherein the sliding piece is hemispherical shaped.
35. The linkage arrangement as in claim 30, wherein the projection, the sliding part and the ball socket define openings therethrough and wherein the connection apparatus includes a rod configured for insertion through the openings to connect the ball socket, the sliding part and the projection together.
36. The linkage arrangement as in claim 30, wherein the openings are configured to permit pivoting of the linkage components.
37. The linkage arrangement as in claim 30, wherein the sliding piece is disposed between the first and the second linkage components.
38. The linkage arrangement as in claim 30, wherein the ball socket defines a concave topside and the sliding part defines a convex underside, the concave profiling disposed on the topside, the convex profiling disposed on the convex underside to define an axis of rotation.
39. The linkage arrangement as in claim 38, wherein the projection defines a convex underside and the sliding part defines a concave topside, the convex profiling disposed on the convex underside, the concave profiling disposed on the concave topside complementary to the convex profiling of the convex underside to define another axis of rotation divergent from the axis of rotation.
40. The linkage arrangement as in claim 30, wherein the ball socket defines a convex underside and the sliding part defines a concave topside, the convex profiling disposed on the convex underside, the concave profiling disposed on the topside to define an axis of rotation.
41. The linkage arrangement as in claim 30, wherein the projection defines a convex underside and the ball socket defines a concave topside, the convex profiling disposed on the convex underside, the concave profiling disposed on the concave topside complementary to the convex profiling of the convex underside to define another axis of rotation divergent from the axis of rotation.
42. The linkage arrangement as in claim 30, wherein the projection defines a concave topside and the sliding part defines a convex underside, the concave profiling disposed on the topside, the convex profiling disposed on the convex underside to define an axis of rotation.
43. The linkage arrangement as in claim 42, wherein the projection defines a convex underside and the ball socket defines a concave topside, the convex profiling disposed on the convex underside, the concave profiling disposed on the concave topside complementary to the convex profiling of the convex underside to define another axis of rotation divergent from the axis of rotation.
44. The linkage arrangement as in claim 30, further comprising a pressure disk, the pressure disk and the connection assembly configured to position the sliding part adjacent one of the projection and the ball socket.
45. The linkage arrangement as in claim 30, wherein the connection assembly further comprises a helical spring disposed about a connection rod.
46. The linkage arrangement as in claim 30, further comprising an electric motor positioning apparatus configured to engage the first and the second linkage components.
47. A rearview mirror assembly for a vehicle having a mirror carrier with a mirror pane and a linkage arrangement, the linkage arrangement comprising:
a first linkage component, a second linkage component, a sliding piece, and a connection assembly, the first linkage component and the second linkage component respectively defining one of a ball socket and a projection, the projection configured to fit into the ball socket, the connection assembly configured to connect the first linkage component, the second linkage component and the sliding piece together,
wherein at least one of the ball socket, the projection and the sliding piece defines a convex profiling and another of the ball socket, the sliding piece and the projection defines a concave profiling for reception of the convex profiling, the convex profiling and the concave profiling configured to pivot at least one of the ball socket, the sliding piece and the projection about an axis of rotation to adjust the mirror pane in relation to the mirror carrier.
48. The linkage arrangement as in claim 45, wherein the ball socket defines a concave topside and the sliding part defines a convex underside, the concave profiling disposed on the topside, the convex profiling disposed on the convex underside to define an axis of rotation.
49. The linkage arrangement as in claim 45, wherein the projection defines a convex underside and the sliding part defines a concave topside, the convex profiling disposed on the convex underside, the concave profiling disposed on the concave topside complementary to the convex profiling of the convex underside to define an axis of rotation.
50. The linkage arrangement as in claim 45, wherein the ball socket defines a convex underside and the sliding part defines a concave topside, the convex profiling disposed on the convex underside, the concave profiling disposed on the topside to define an axis of rotation.
51. The linkage arrangement as in claim 45, wherein the projection defines a convex underside and the ball socket defines a concave topside, the convex profiling disposed on the convex underside, the concave profiling disposed on the concave topside complementary to the convex profiling of the convex underside to define an axis of rotation.
52. The linkage arrangement as in claim 45, wherein the projection defines a concave topside and the sliding part defines a convex underside, the concave profiling disposed on the topside, the convex profiling disposed on the convex underside to define an axis of rotation.
53. The linkage arrangement as in claim 45, wherein the projection defines a convex underside and the ball socket defines a concave topside, the convex profiling disposed on the convex underside, the concave profiling disposed on the concave topside complementary to the convex profiling of the convex underside to define an axis of rotation.
54. The linkage arrangement as in claim 45, wherein the concave profiling defines a larger radius of curvature than the convex profiling.
55. The linkage arrangement as in claim 45, wherein the sliding piece is disposed between the first and the second linkage components.
56. The linkage arrangement as in claim 45, further comprising a pressure disk, the pressure disk and the connection assembly configured to position the sliding part adjacent one of the projection and the ball socket.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention concerns a linkage arrangement especially for the adjustment of rearview mirrors for motor vehicles.

BACKGROUND

[0002] EP 05 90 510 B1 or EP 06 54 377 A2 makes known an adjustable rearview mirror in which the mirror pane is connected via a linkage with a carrier plate. The linkage connection includes a ball socket, which is connected to the carrier plate. Into the ball socket is fitted a hemispherical, shell-shaped projection on which the mirror pane is fastened. By a clamping connection, the hemispherical shaped projection is pressed into the ball socket so that when pivoted, the linkage remains stationary in an optional direction. This ability to pivot in a desired direction also results in relatively large play. Because of this large play, the precision of the mirror adjustment is limited.

[0003] DE 196 44 834 C1 discloses a ball socket and a projection similar to the foregoing between which a plastic disk is provided with a first web on the outside and a second web perpendicular to the first on the inside. The two webs engage themselves in complementary shaped openings in the ball socket and in the projection pertaining thereto. By this structure of the ball socket, the plastic disk, and the projection, the guidance of the mirror adjustment is limited to two axes of rotation, disposed at right angles to one another. In any case, this construction has a tendency toward great play when exposed to abrasion and wear.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention provides a linkage arrangement in which the play remains small after adjustnents over extended periods. It is a further purpose of the present invention to provide a rearview mirror with such a linkage connection. The component parts of the invention are simple, reliable, and economical to manufacture, assemble and use. Other advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description and the attached drawings, or can be learned through practice of the invention.

[0005] Because of the fact that an outer, concave shape is more sharply curved than an inner, convex shape, the surfaces of the cupped shapes, when the inner is placed within the outer, do not lie completely contiguous to one another. Moreover, at what should be the deepest point of contact between the concave and convex shapes, the surfaces do not touch at all. If wear occurs, the inner convex structure penetrates deeper into the outer concave structure to prevent increased play. The convex and concave structures form, respectively, a ball-and-socket joint.

[0006] Surface profiling is provided on the ball-and-socket assembly and the sliding part connected therewith. The profiling, when seen in top view, comprises straight-line corrugations following the surfaces. By this surface profiling of the ball-and-socket and associated parts, two axes of rotation are defined, fixed in space, and oriented at an angle to one another, thus establishing planes of rotation. Accordingly, the desired adjustment or pivoting capability is established. Simultaneously, loadings by forces not in the current planes of rotation, are distributed over the plurality of the elevations of the profiling and are thus less effective. Additionally, the guidance into the current plane of rotation is improved by the corrugation-like profiling and play is further diminished.

[0007] In accord with an alternative embodiment of the invention where a multiplicity of grooves and elevations are present as part of the profiling, the improved freedom from play occurs without a difference in radii of curvature via the full surface contact of the grooves and elevations.

[0008] In accord with an advantageous embodiment of the invention, the two fixed axes of rotation stand perpendicular to one another, whereby the necessary paths of adjustment are minimized.

[0009] In accord with yet another advantageous embodiment, a sliding piece is hemispherical in shape, and thus its concavity fits with the shape of the ball projection. In other words, the sliding piece is complementary to the projection, and the transmission of force between the two linkage components is evenly distributed.

[0010] In accord with another advantageous embodiment, the profiling covers the full surface of the inner side of the ball socket and also covers that side of the projection as well as the forward and rear sides of the sliding piece. In this way the surface, which has been profiled in accord with the invention, is maximized and the distribution of the forces made uniform.

[0011] Because of the wave form shaping of the profiling, the distribution of the forces is likewise evened out and peaks of force are avoided.

[0012] Because of the fact that the sliding piece is made of a vibration damping material, the vibration tendency of a rearview mirror is reduced with an invented linkage connection.

[0013] Another advantageous embodiment of the invention induces a projection rod that penetrates central openings in the ball joint, sliding piece and projection, which results in a compact connection arrangement between the two linkage components.

[0014] The sliding piece, in an advantageous manner, can be placed between the projection and the ball socket on the convex underside of the ball joint, or on the concave topside of the projection. In this way, the size of the central openings, in a simple way, determines the pivoting range of the linkage apparatus.

[0015] A linkage apparatus of this kind is especially appropriate for adjustable rearview mirrors. In this case, the adjustable mirror pane is connected with the mirror carrier via the invented linkage apparatus.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] The above and other aspects and advantages of the present invention are apparent from the detailed description below in combination with the drawings in which:

[0017]FIG. 1 is a perspective, exploded view of a first embodiment of the invention;

[0018]FIG. 2 is a perspective, exploded view of the first embodiment of the invention as in FIG. 1 seen from another angle;

[0019]FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the embodiment as in FIGS. 1 and 2;

[0020]FIG. 4 is a schematic drawing of the differences in varied curvatures of convex and concave structuring;

[0021]FIG. 5 is a second embodiment of the invention; and

[0022]FIG. 6 is a third embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0023] Detailed reference will now be made to the drawings in which examples embodying the present invention are shown. The drawings and detailed description provide a full and detailed written description of the invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it, so as to enable one skilled in the pertinent art to make and use it, as well as the best mode of carrying out the invention. However, the examples set forth in the drawings and detailed description are provided by way of explanation of the invention and are not meant as limitations of the invention. The present invention thus includes any modifications and variations of the following examples as come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.

[0024] The detailed description uses numerical and letter designations to refer to features in the drawings. Like or similar designations in the drawings and description have been used to refer to like or similar parts of the invention.

[0025]FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 show a first embodiment of a linkage apparatus 1 in an exploded view. The linkage apparatus 1 encompasses a first linkage component 2 with a ball socket 4 and a second linkage component 6 with a hemispherically shaped projection 8. The ball socket 4 is likewise of hemispherical shape with a concave topside 10 and a convex underside 12. The hemispherically shaped projection 8 has a convex underside and a concave topside 16. The projection 8 fits into the ball socket 4. Between the ball socket 4 and the projection 8 is provided a hemispherical, shell-shaped sliding piece 18 that has a convex underside 20 and a concave topside 22.

[0026] The convex underside 20 of the sliding piece 18 is provided with a convex profiling 24, and the concave topside 18 of the ball socket 4 is also provided with a concave profiling 26. The convex and the concave profiling 24 and 26 are molded to be complementary to one another and partially fit together after insertion in a form-fit manner. In this way, between the first linkage part 2 and the sliding piece 18, a sliding movement is only possible about a first axis of rotation DA1. FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 shows that the first axis DA1 extends across a horizontal plane of the drawings.

[0027] The mutually concave topside 22 of the sliding piece 18 is likewise provided with the concave profiling 26 and the convex underside 14 of the projection 8 is finished with convex profiling 24, complementary to the profiling 26. In this way, between the sliding piece 18 and the second linkage component 6, only one sliding direction of movement is possible about a second axis of rotation DA2, which is perpendicular to the first axis of rotation DA1 and is also perpendicular to the horizontal plane of the drawings.

[0028] The mutually complementary profilings 24 and 26 consist of a plurality of running ridges or elevations 28 and valleys or grooves 30, which appear in a top view to be straight lines. Viewed in a plane transverse to an axis of rotation DA1 or DA2 as in FIG. 3, the wave-like, cross-sections of the elevations 28 and grooves 30 are visible. More specifically, FIG. 3 shows the convex profiling 24 on the convex underside 20 of the sliding part 18 and the concave profiling 26 on the concave topside 10 of the ball socket 4.

[0029] Ball socket 4, projection 8 and sliding part 18, or the respective convex and concave profiling on these components, are made in a half shell form as seen in FIG. 4. In this case, the outer concave form 26 has a sharper curve than the inner convex form 24. In other words, the concave radius Ri of the inner, convex form 24 is larger than the radius of curvature Ra of the outer, concave form 26. If the forms 24 and 26 were rigid, then the complementary groove/elevation corrugations engage each other only along one circumferential line. Since, however, the forms 24 and 26 are plastically deformable, the engagement is along a closed contact strip surface. Accordingly, this plastic arrangement of the inner, convex form 24 of greater curvature, and the outer concave form 26 of less curvature slide the forms 24, 26 further into one another after abrasive wear. Thus, over a long service life, increased play is prevented.

[0030] Alternatively, the forms 24 and 26, which are complementary to one another, can be made to fit one another in such a way that the full surfaces are engaged, as indicated in the drawings of FIGS. 1, 2 and 4 to 6. In this aspect of the invention, the first and second linkage components 2 and 6, along with the sliding piece 18, are clamped together by a connection apparatus 32. The connection apparatus 32 is comprised of a connecting rod 34, which penetrates a first, second and third central opening, respectively 36, 38 and 40, in the ball socket, the sliding piece 18 and the projection 8 (see FIGS. 1 and 2). The connecting rod 34 possess at its lower end a support assembly 42 and on its upper end an abutment head 44. The upper abutment head 44, however, is a bolt head 44 and bears upon the concave topside 16 of the projection 8. The lower support assembly 42 encompasses a helical spring 46, a pressure disk 48 and a threaded nut 50. The pressure disk 48 and the helical spring 46 are slipped over the connection rod 34 which extends out of the first central opening 36 in the ball socket 4 and is fixed in place by the screwed head 50.

[0031] The third central opening 40 in the projection 8 adapts in its diameter to the diameter of the connecting rod 34. The second central opening 38 in the sliding piece 18 is a slot, the greater diameter of which extends in the direction of rotation about the second axis of rotation DA2. The first central opening 36 in the ball socket 4 is also a slot, the greater diameter of which extends itself in the direction of rotation about the first axis of rotation, namely DA1.

[0032]FIG. 5 shows schematically, in a presentation similar to FIG. 3, a second embodiment of a linkage apparatus 101. This second embodiment of the invention differentiates itself from the first embodiment in that the ball socket 4 is placed between the projection 8 and the sliding piece 18.

[0033] The second linkage component 6 with projection 8, concave topside 16, convex underside 14 and convex profiling on the underside 14 corresponds to the second linkage component 6 of the first embodiment in accord with the FIGS. 1 to 3. The concave profiling 26, is complementary to the convex profiling 24 on the convex underside 14. This differs from the first embodiment in that the profiling 26 is now placed on the concave topside of the ball socket 4. In this way, the second axis of rotation DA2 between the projection 8 and the ball socket 4 is here fixed by the complementary profilings 24 and 26.

[0034] On the convex underside 12 of the ball socket 4, likewise, the convex profiling is placed. The concave profiling 26 complementary to this is on the concave topside 22 of the sliding piece 18. In this way, the first axis of rotation DA1 is determined by the complementary profiling 24 and 26, respectively on the convex underside 12 of the ball socket and on the concave topside 22 of the sliding piece 18.

[0035] The connection apparatus 32 corresponds to that of the first embodiment. In this first embodiment case, the sliding piece 18 is under pressure by the pressure disk 48 lying against the underside 12 of the ball socket 4.

[0036] The third central opening 40 in the projection 8 and the second central opening 38 in the sliding piece 18 correspond in diameter to the diameter of the connecting rod 34. The first central opening in the ball socket is likewise round, but essentially larger and defines the pivoting range between the two linkage components 2 and 6.

[0037]FIG. 6 shows a third embodiment of a linkage apparatus 201, which differentiates itself from the first and the second embodiments in that the projection 8 is placed between the sliding piece 18 and the ball socket 4. The connection apparatus 32, for the sake of simplicity, is not shown in FIG. 6.

[0038] The first axis of rotation DA1 is determined between sliding piece 18 and projection 8 by the convex profiling 24 on the convex underside 20 of the sliding piece 18 and also the ecomplementary concave profiling 26 on the concave topside 16 of the projection 8. The second axis of rotation DA2 is determined at a line between the projection 8 and the ball socket 4 and by the convex profiling 24 on the convex underside 14 of the projection 8 and the complementary profiling 26 on the concave topside 10 of the ball socket 4.

[0039] The third central opening 40 in the projection 8 corresponds in its diameter to the diameter of the connecting rod (not shown). The first central opening 36 in the ball socket 4 and the second central opening 38 in the sliding piece 18 are essentially made larger in diameter and, once again, limit the pivoting range between the two linkage components 2 and 6.

[0040] It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the present invention without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. For example, specific shapes of various elements of the illustrated embodiments may be altered to suit particular applications. It is intended that the present invention include such modifications and variations as come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7156358 *Jul 8, 2004Jan 2, 2007Donnelly CorporationInterior rearview mirror assembly with polymeric components
US7637683 *Sep 4, 2007Dec 29, 2009Lang Mekra North America, LlcSliding structure
US7645044 *Oct 30, 2006Jan 12, 2010Actronics Co., Ltd.Assembly structure of side mirror for automobile
US8430370 *Jan 21, 2009Apr 30, 2013Deere & CompanyAdjustable display mounting
US8506346Nov 10, 2010Aug 13, 2013Tomy Company, Ltd.Automobile toy
US8632042 *Jun 30, 2008Jan 21, 2014Draeger Medical Systems, Inc.Tilt and swivel mounting for monitors and other devices
US20090001238 *Jun 30, 2008Jan 1, 2009Draeger Medical Systems, Inc.Tilt and swivel mounting for monitors and other devices
US20110176861 *Nov 10, 2010Jul 21, 2011Tomy Company, Ltd.Joint structure for toy
US20120013963 *Mar 29, 2010Jan 19, 2012Ge Healthcare Bio-Sciences AbHolder for a holographic grating
WO2007126190A1 *Oct 30, 2006Nov 8, 2007Actronics Co LtdAssembly structure of side mirror for automobile
WO2009006414A1 *Jun 30, 2008Jan 8, 2009Draeger Medical Systems IncTilt and swivel mounting for monitors and other devices
Classifications
U.S. Classification248/476, 248/181.1
International ClassificationB60R1/072, F16M11/12, B60R1/066, B60R1/04, F16C11/06
Cooperative ClassificationB60R1/066, F16M11/12, F16M11/14, F16C11/06, B60R1/072
European ClassificationF16M11/14, B60R1/066, F16C11/06, F16M11/12, B60R1/072
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 11, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: LANG-MEKRA NORTH AMERICA, LLC, SOUTH CAROLINA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LANG, HEINRICH;SEIBOTH, WOLFGANG;CENTMAYER, STEFAN;REEL/FRAME:013948/0650
Effective date: 20030402