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Publication numberUS20060011641 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/894,904
Publication dateJan 19, 2006
Filing dateJul 19, 2004
Priority dateJul 19, 2004
Publication number10894904, 894904, US 2006/0011641 A1, US 2006/011641 A1, US 20060011641 A1, US 20060011641A1, US 2006011641 A1, US 2006011641A1, US-A1-20060011641, US-A1-2006011641, US2006/0011641A1, US2006/011641A1, US20060011641 A1, US20060011641A1, US2006011641 A1, US2006011641A1
InventorsDavid Sanderson
Original AssigneeSkb Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shockrack case
US 20060011641 A1
Abstract
An equipment case comprising a body and a door includes a compound hinge system connecting the door and the body which allows the door to rotate 270 degrees relative to the body. The compound hinge system has a hinge and a plurality of pins which engage the body or the door. The door can be removed by lifting on the door such that the pins are disengaged from the body. The door of the equipment case can be secured to the body by one or more latch systems. The equipment case may further comprise integrated platforms molded into the corners of an interior chamber of the case. The platforms comprise inserts which are configured to engage a shock absorber or frame.
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Claims(22)
1. A compound hinge system for an equipment case having a door and a body comprising
a first pair of pins configured to engage the body of the equipment case;
a second pair of pins configured to engage the door of the equipment case;
a hinge comprising two lateral extensions coupled with the first pair of pins and an elongate body region coupled with the second pair, wherein a width of the hinge is dimensioned to allow the door of the case to rotate approximately 270 degrees relative to the body of the case.
2. The compound hinge system of claim 1, wherein one or more of the pins are integrated into the hinge.
3. The compound hinge system of claim 1, wherein the hinge further comprises channels configured to receive the pins and one or more of the pins are coupled to the channels.
4. An equipment case comprising
a compound hinge system including a hinge and two pair of pins;
a body including two openings configured to receive one of the pair of pins; and
a door including two openings configured to receive the other pair of pins, wherein the door is able to rotate 270 degrees relative to the body.
5. The equipment case of claim 4, further comprising a single latch system configured to removably couple the door and the body.
6. The equipment case of claim 4, further comprising two latch systems configured to removably couple the door and the body.
7. A method of using an equipment case having a door and a body removably and rotatably coupled by a compound hinge system comprising
detaching one or more latch members to allow the door to swing out from the body of the equipment case; and
rotating the door 270 degrees relative to the body such that an exterior face of the door is in the proximity of a side panel of the body of the case.
8. The method of claim 7, wherein the equipment case comprises one latch member.
9. The method of claim 7, wherein the equipment case comprises two latch members.
10. The method of claim 7, further comprising lifting on the door to separate the door from the body.
11. An equipment case comprising
a body member;
a platform integrated into at least one corner of an interior of the body member; and
one or more inserts on each platform, at least one of the inserts having an attachment member.
12. The equipment case of claim 11, wherein all four corners of the interior chamber have platforms.
13. The equipment case of claim 11, wherein the attachment member comprises female threaded layers.
14. The equipment case of claim 11, further comprising a shock absorber attached to the attachment member.
15. The equipment case of claim 11, further comprising a support frame attached to the attachment member.
16. The equipment case of claim 15, wherein the support frame is a shockrack frame.
17. The equipment case of claim 11, wherein the platforms are molded.
18. The equipment case of claim 11, further comprising
a compound hinge system including a hinge and two pair of pins;
two openings disposed on the body member configured to receive one of the pair of pins; and
a door including two openings configured to receive the other pair of pins, wherein the door is able to rotate 270 degrees relative to the body.
19. A compound hinge system for coupling a body and a door of an equipment case comprising
a hinge having a central region and two lateral extensions;
a first pair of pins, wherein the first pair of pins are configured to rotatably couple the body and the hinge; and
a second pair of pins, wherein the second pair of pins are configured to rotatably couple the door and the hinge.
20. The compound hinge system of claim 19, wherein the first pair of pins are fixedly coupled with the two lateral extensions and the second pair of pins are fixedly coupled with the central region.
21. The compound hinge system of claim 19, wherein the first pair of pins are fixedly coupled with the body of the equipment case and the lateral extensions of the hinge comprise a pair of openings configured to receive the first pair of pins.
22. An equipment case comprising
a front door having a first set of door pin openings;
a back door having a second set of door pin openings;
a body having a first and second set of body pin openings;
a first compound hinge system including a first hinge, a first set of door pins configured to communicate with the first set of door pin openings and a first set of body pins configured to communicate with the first set of body pin openings, wherein the first compound hinge system rotatably couples the front door and the body;
a second compound hinge system including a second hinge, a second set of door pins configured to communicate with the second set of door pin openings, and a second set of body pins configured to communicate with the second set of body pin openings, wherein the second compound hinge system rotatably couples the back door and the body.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to cases, such as rigid cases for transporting and/or storing products such as electronics and musical equipment. In particular, the invention relates to a case with a compound hinge system that allows the door to be removed entirely or to swing out and completely around to lie flat against the side of the case. The invention also relates to molded platforms integrated into the interior of the case having inserts that are adapted to engage a support frame or shockrack frame system.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Durable cases for electronics, musical equipment and other equipment including a support frame or shockrack frame are well known in the art. Current cases require a user to detach multiple latches, usually about eight latches, in order to open and/or remove the one or more doors. This results in a large amount of time being spent to access the contents of the case. When two or more cases are stacked on top of each other, the latches may be inaccessible making displacement of the door impossible. In addition, for systems in which the door is secured by a hinge, the door is unable to swing entirely out of the way. This results in the door interfering with access to the contents of the case and prevents a user from placing cases in close proximity to each other. Accordingly, a lockable case that includes a compound hinge system which reduces the number of latches necessary to open and/or remove the door of the case would be considered useful. In addition, a hinge that allows the door of the case to swing entirely out of the way would be considered useful.

Current support frames and shockrack frames are secured to the case by a metal frame platform which adds additional weight to the case. The cost of production of the case is increased in such systems because of the need to manufacture the metal platforms. In addition, attaching the frame to the metal platform may be cumbersome and require many steps. Accordingly, a case which includes molded platforms integrated into the interior of the case to facilitate use of a frame system and reduce the weight and cost of the case would be considered useful.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a compound hinge system and integrated platform molding embodied in a relatively rigid case. The case comprises a body and a door which are removably coupled by one or more latches and one or more compound hinge systems. The compound hinge system comprises a hinge and a plurality of pins which connect the hinge to the door or body of the case. The compound hinge system allows the door to swing within a range of about 270 degrees such that the door of the case may rest against a side wall of the case. In addition, the door may be easily removed by a user by lifting up on the door and/or hinge when the door is open. This results in displacement of the pins which were inserted into the body of the case. The door can be reinstalled by lowering the pins into the openings disposed on the body of the case.

The interior chamber of the case comprises molded platforms having inserts integrated into the corners of the case which are configured to be connected with a support frame such as a shockrack frame system. Each molded platform includes one or more inserts adapted to receive a shock absorber or snubber. The shock absorber can be screwed into or otherwise attached to the molded platform inserts and then a shockrack frame can be attached to the shock absorber.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the top and exterior face of the door of a case and the compound hinge system of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing an open door and the interior of the case.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the case of the present invention with the door completely open such that it lies against a side wall of the body of the case.

FIG. 4A is a plan view of the compound hinge system of the present invention.

FIG. 4B is a plan view of an equipment case comprising two compound hinge systems.

FIG. 5 is a top view of the compound hinge system of the present invention.

FIG. 6A is a view of the interior of a case.

FIG. 6B is an enlarged perspective view of the corner of a case.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of the corner of a case.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a case including a front and rear door.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The drawings illustrate the preferred embodiments of the invention. The drawings show the case with a specific shape and style, but persons of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the case may take various shapes and styles without affecting the inventive concepts herein.

Turning now to the figures, the case 50 of the present invention comprises a door 100, a body 200, an interior chamber 205 and a compound hinge system 300 which connects the door 100 and the body 200 (FIG. 1). The door 100 and body 200 of the case 50 may be molded plastic or any suitable material known in the art. The case 50 may include a single door 100 to allow a user to access the equipment controls (not shown). In other embodiments, the case 50 may include a second door 102 allowing access to the jacks or connectors on the various pieces of equipment (FIG. 8).

The case 50 may include one or more compound hinge systems 300 which removably and rotatably couple the one or more doors 100 to the body 200 of the case 50 (FIG. 1). An individual door 100 may be attached to the body 200 by a single compound hinge system 300 or multiple compound hinge systems 300 (FIGS. 4A and 4B). Each compound hinge system 300 comprises a hinge 310 and a plurality of pins 320, 330, 340. The hinge 310 may be made of any substantially rigid material such as metal, hardened plastic or the like. In a preferred embodiment, the hinge 310 is made of metal. The height HA of the hinge varies depending on the size of the case 50 and whether a single or multiple hinge systems 300 are used, but the height HA generally is in the range of about 4 to 30 inches.

The hinge 310 includes a middle region 312, a side region 314 and a pair of lateral extensions 316. The side region 314 includes a substantially straight vertical edge 315 which is positioned adjacent to the door 100 of the case 50. The lateral extensions 316 are disposed on the opposite side of the hinge 310 from the side region 314. The lateral extensions 316 are configured to be received within recesses 210 disposed in the body 200 of the case 50 as described further below. Preferably, the lateral extensions 316 extend approximately to 1 inch beyond the middle edge 318 of the hinge 310. The total width WA of the hinge is typically in the range of about 2 to 5 inches.

The thickness or depth DA of the hinge may be uniform or non-uniform and generally ranges from approximately inch to about inch (FIG. 5). The depth DA of the hinge 310 may vary depending on the application. In a preferred embodiment, the depth of the middle region 312 of the hinge 310 is less than the depth at either end region 314, 316 of the hinge 310. In other words, the depth of the hinge 310 at the lateral extension 316 may be greater than the depth of the middle region 312 of the hinge 310. Likewise, the depth of the hinge 310 may be increased at the side region 314 of the hinge 310. Alternatively, the depth DA of the hinge 310 may be uniform.

The compound hinge system 300 further comprises a plurality of pins 320, 330, 340 (FIGS. 4A and 4B). One or more of the pins 320, 330, 340 may be integrated into the hinge 310 itself. Alternatively, the hinge 310 may include one or more channels or slots 345 configured to receive a pin 320, 330, 340, and the pin 320, 330, 340 can be fixedly coupled with the channel 345 (FIG. 5). In a further embodiment, one or more of the pins 320, 330, 340 may be fixedly coupled with the door and/or hinge and inserted into channels or slots 345 disposed on the hinge configured to receive a pin 320, 330, 340. The lateral extensions 316 of the hinge 310 each comprise one or more body pins 320 which extend downwardly from the horizontal walls 317 of the lateral extensions 316 (FIGS. 4A and 4B). When the hinge 310 is attached to the body 200 of the case 50, the body pins 320 engage body pin receiving channels or openings 230 disposed within the body 200 of the case 50 as described further below.

The hinge 310 also comprises two or more door pins 330, 340 disposed on the upper end 344 and lower end 334 of the side region 314 of the hinge 310. Preferably, both doorpins 330, 340 extend vertically with the upper door pin 340 extending upwardly and the lower door pin 330 extending downwardly (FIG. 4A). In a preferred embodiment, either the upper 340 or lower door pin 330 is inserted into a cut-out channel 360 configured to receive a pin and the other door pin is either integrated into the hinge 310 or fixedly coupled to the hinge 310. The cut-out channel 360 facilitates attaching the hinge 310 to the door 100. In a preferred embodiment, the lower door pin 330 is fixedly attached to the hinge 310 and the upper door pin 340 is inserted through the cut-out channel 360. In such an embodiment, in order to attach the hinge 310 to the door 100, the fixed lower door pin 330 is inserted into the complimentary lower door pin channel or opening 140 disposed on the door 100. The hinge 310 is then positioned such that the opening for the cut-out channel 360 is aligned with the upper door pin opening 150. The upper door pin 340 is then inserted into the cut-out channel 360 and moved upwardly to enter the upper door pin opening 150. Preferably, the cut-out channel 360 is configured to fixedly couple the upper door pin 340 to the hinge 310 when the upper door pin 340 is inserted.

The body 200 of the case 50 comprises two or more recessed portions 210 configured to receive the lateral extensions 316 of the hinge 310 (FIG. 4A). For example, for a case 50 having two compound hinge systems 300, two pair of recesses 210 are disposed on the body 200 of the case 50 (FIG. 4B). A side wall 214 and a back wall 218 of the recessed portion 210 preferably form a right angle (FIG. 5). In this configuration, the hinge 310 may rotate relative to an axis defined by the body pins 320 in approximately a 90 degree angle when the body pins 320 are inserted into the body pin openings 230. Alternatively, the angle of the recessed portion 210 may be varied to allow the hinge 310 to rotate in a larger or smaller range. The bottom wall 220 of each recessed portion 210 of the body 200 comprises a receiving channel or body pin opening 230 configured to receive the body pin 320 disposed within the lateral extensions 316 of the hinge 310 (FIGS. 4A and 4B). Preferably, the height HB of the recessed portions 210 disposed on the body 200 are greater than the combined height HC of the lateral extension 316 of the hinge 310 and the exposed portion of the body pin 320. As described further below, this allows a user to raise the door 100 and disengage the door 100 from the body 200.

The door 100 comprises one or more recessed portions 130 configured to receive the hinge 310 (FIG. 3). In a single compound hinge system 300, the recessed portion 130 extends from an upper door region 134 to a lower door region 136. The door 100 also comprises two or more pair of door pin receiving channels or openings 140, 150 configured to receive the door pins 330, 340 disposed within the side region 314 of the hinge 310 (FIGS. 4A and 4B). Preferably, the two door pin openings 140, 150 are oriented in opposite directions such that the lower door pin opening 140 extends downwardly and the upper door pin opening 150 extends upwardly. Securing the door pins 330, 340 within the pair of door openings 140, 150 fixes the hinge 310 to the door 100, and allows the door 100 to rotate relative to an axis defined by the door pins 330 approximately 180 degrees relative to the hinge 310. Thus, by combining the axes of rotation of the two hinge connection points, the door 100 may rotate approximately 270 degrees relative the body 200. In cases having two compound hinge systems 300, an intermediate door region 170 protrudes from two recessed portions 130 and includes a pair of door pin openings 175 each configured to receive door pins 330, 340 (FIG. 4B).

In a preferred embodiment the door 100 and body 200 comprise one or more complimentary latch systems 400 disposed on the side opposite the compound hinge 300 (FIGS. 1-3). The latch systems 400 may be of any form known in the art. Preferably, one or more of the latch systems 400 include a lock (not shown) for securing the door 100 to the body 200. If two or more cases 50 have been stacked on top of each other, the latch systems 400 can be engaged or disengaged as necessary without the need to unstack the cases. By requiring only one or two latch systems 400, the case 50 can be rapidly opened by a user allowing for rapid deployment and quick access to the contents of the case.

In a further embodiment, the door 100 may comprise means for securing the door 100 to the body 200 when the door 100 is in the full open position and lies flat against the side 204 of the case 50 as shown in FIG. 3. For example, the door 100 may comprise a catch, cord, protrusion or the like that can be removably coupled with a complimentary structure such as a hook, catch or slot (not shown) on the body 200. The securing means (not shown) may be disposed at the end of the door 100 or may be disposed on the exterior face 104 of the door 100.

The interior chamber 205 of the case 50 comprises molded platforms 250 disposed at the each of the corners 260 of the case 50 (FIGS. 6A, 6B, and 7). The platforms 250 comprise a raised portion of the walls 255 of the interior chamber 205 and include one more inserts 275 (FIG. 6B). In a most preferred embodiment, the platforms 250 are angled at about a 45 degree angle relative to the horizontal wall 280 of the interior chamber 205, but the angle of the platforms 250 may vary from about 30 to 75 degrees relative to the horizontal wall 280 (FIGS. 6A and 7).

The molded platform 250 reduces the amount of space necessary for the frame connection 500 as compared to current systems which require use of a metal platform. In addition, the molded-in format reduces the overall cost of the case 50 in comparison to use of a metal frame connector. The use of a molded plastic platform 250 rather than a metal frame connector also decreases the weight of the case 50 and facilitates use a support frame or shockrack frame 500 within the case 50.

The platform 250 may comprise two or more inserts 275 disposed at each of the eight corners 260 of the case 50 to allow the frame 500 configuration to be modified based on the needs of the user (FIG. 6B). The inserts 275 are configured to engage a shock absorber or snubber 600. The inserts 275 may comprise female threaded layers 272 that receive a male threaded end 610 of a shock absorber 600. In alternative embodiments, the insert 275 may comprise other forms of connectors to secure a shock absorber 600 or frame 500 to the platform 250.

The shock absorber 600 used in conjunction with the platform 250 may be of any type known in the art. Preferably, the shock absorber 600 has a cylindrical body 620, a male threaded end 610 and a female threaded end 630. The male threaded end 610 is configured to be removably coupled with the insert 275 of the platform 250. The female threaded end 630 is configured to be removably coupled with a shockrack frame or other form of support frame 500.

The door 100 and body 200 of the case 50 may further comprise complementary grooves and/or protrusions 190, 290 configured to engage one another when the door 100 is closed against the body 200 (FIGS. 2-3). The complementary grooves and protrusions 190, 290 create a seal to prevent dust, water, other contaminants from entering case 50. The case 50 may also include other features known to those in the art such as handles 700, mating grooves for stacking cases 800, and the like (FIGS. 1-3 and 8).

In operation, a case 50 includes a body 200 and a door 100 with the door 100 being secured to the body 200 by one or more compound hinge systems 300 and one or more latch systems 400 (FIGS. 1-3). If the case 50 is in the closed position, the latch systems 400 are engaged and may be locked. To open the case 50, the user unlocks the case 50 and disengages the latch systems 400. Once the one or more latches 400 are disengaged, the door 100 may be swung in the direction indicated by the arrow in FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 3, the door 100 may be swung such that the exterior face 104 of the door 100 is adjacent to the side 204 of the body 200. In this position, the door 100 rests along the side 204 of the body 200 and does not obstruct access to the interior chamber 205 of the case 50. In addition, the door 100 does not obstruct a user from placing other cases or equipment in close proximity to the side 204 of the case 50 because the profile of the door 100 is reduced. When the door 100 is fully opened such that the door 100 lies flat against the side wall 204 of the body 200, the door 100 may be secured to the body 100 if a securing means is present.

If desired, the user may remove the door 100 and hinge 310 from the case 50 when the door 100 is open. The door 100 and hinge 310 may be removed by lifting on the door 100 and/or hinge 310 to displace the body pins 320 from the body pin openings 230 (FIGS. 4A and 4B). Once the body pins 320 have been removed from the body pin openings 230, the hinge 310 and door 100 can be moved out and away from the body 200 of the case 50. Removal of the door 100 facilitates use of the contents of the case 50 and creates additional space for use of other equipment. In order to close the case 50, the door 100 may be reattached by placing the body pins 320 in the body pin openings 230 and then swinging the door 100 to the closed position. The latch systems 400 can then be engaged and the case 50 can be locked if desired.

While the invention is susceptible to various modifications, and alternative forms, specific examples thereof have been shown in the drawings and herein described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not to be limited to the particular forms or methods disclosed, but to the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8944266 *Sep 23, 2008Feb 3, 2015Dirtt Environmental Solutions Ltd.Floor-mount service container and lid
US20100072198 *Sep 23, 2008Mar 25, 2010Henry RoemerFloor-mount service container and lid
WO2012037639A1 *Sep 21, 2010Mar 29, 2012Jalgha Inc.A universal musical string adjusting apparatus for use with a tuning device
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/835, 206/521, 220/845
International ClassificationB65D85/30, B65D43/14
Cooperative ClassificationE05Y2900/132, E05D3/12, A45C7/0036
European ClassificationA45C7/00C3, E05D3/12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 19, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: SKB CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SANDERSON DAVID B.;REEL/FRAME:015600/0672
Effective date: 20040719