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Publication numberUS20070000849 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/271,404
Publication dateJan 4, 2007
Filing dateNov 10, 2005
Priority dateJan 25, 2005
Also published asEP2029899A2, EP2029899A4, WO2007061496A2, WO2007061496A3
Publication number11271404, 271404, US 2007/0000849 A1, US 2007/000849 A1, US 20070000849 A1, US 20070000849A1, US 2007000849 A1, US 2007000849A1, US-A1-20070000849, US-A1-2007000849, US2007/0000849A1, US2007/000849A1, US20070000849 A1, US20070000849A1, US2007000849 A1, US2007000849A1
InventorsRobert Lutz, Matthew Mueller, Chad Gloege, Neil Burghardt, Harvey Mehlum, Brett Wendler, Russell Neyens, Nathan Nearman, Mark Dennis, Ryan Hansen
Original AssigneeDaktronics, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular display system
US 20070000849 A1
Abstract
A modular display system having individual stackable electronic display panels of convenient and portable size and mounting structures for the support thereof where the stackable electronic display panels mutually juxtapose, mate, and robustly and mutually and adjustably secure together by the use of connector plates at the top of stackable electronic display panels interfacing with interlocking lower connector assemblies and lower connector plate receptors at the bottom of an overhead vertically situated stackable electronic display panel and by interfacing of latches and cams of latch keeper assemblies at the sides of horizontally situated stackable electronic display panels to form a large electronic sign display. Spring-loaded slide pin assemblies foster rapid and secure connection between vertically situated stackable electronic display panels. Adjustment features are also incorporated to align each stackable electronic display panel.
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Claims(27)
1. A modular display system, comprising:
a. a plurality of stackable electronic display panels, each stackable electronic display panel of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels including:
(1) an LED display module; and,
(2) a connector framework carrying the LED display module, the connector framework having a top channel and a bottom channel together having at least one connector means for vertical securing to another stackable electronic display panel of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels, and a right side panel and a left side panel together having at least one latching means thereon for horizontal securing to another stackable electronic display panel of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels, such that connector frameworks of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels may be removably attached to one another to bring the LED display modules carried by each into closely aligned proximity to provide a substantially seamless display.
2. The modular display system of claim 1, wherein the LED display module of each stackable electronic display panel of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels is carried on the connector framework by an LED display module latching system, the latching system having a centrally located actuator mechanism.
3. The modular display system of claim 2, wherein the centrally located actuator mechanism is accessible from front or back.
4. The modular display system of claim 1, wherein the connector framework is a one-piece framework.
5. The modular display system of claim 1, wherein the connector framework is formed of aluminum or molded plastic with an anti-EMI coating.
6. The modular display system of claim 1, wherein the connector means include:
(a) a connector plate on either of the top channel or the bottom channel;
(b) a connector plate receptor on the opposite channel from the connector plate; and,
(c) a slide pin for releasably capturing the connector plate of one stackable electronic display panel of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels within the connector plate receptor of another associated vertically aligned stackable electronic display panel of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels.
7. The modular display system of claim 6, wherein the connector means is one of four connector means for vertical securing to another stackable electronic display panel of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels.
8. The modular display system of claim 7, wherein the four connector means are paired with one pair adjacent to a front face of the connector framework and one pair adjacent to a rear face of the connector framework.
9. The modular display system of claim 8, wherein at least one of the paired connector means further includes means for “X” axis pivotal adjustment about an “X” axis defined between vertically adjoining connector frameworks.
10. The modular display system of claim 9, wherein the means for “X” axis pivotal adjustment includes a threaded thumbwheel adjuster in the paired connector means adjacent to the rear face of the connector framework of each stackable electronic sign of the plurality of electronic signs.
11. The modular display system of claim 10, wherein the connector means includes a pair of forward connector plates and a pair of rearward connector plates on the top channel and a pair of forward connector plate receptors and a pair of rearward connector plate receptors on the bottom channel, and further wherein the rearward connector plate receptors include means for “X” axis pivotal adjustment by threaded thumbwheel adjusters, which threaded thumbwheel adjusters control vertically movable threaded shafts.
12. The modular display system of claim 11, wherein at least one bevel is present on the top or bottom channel.
13. The modular display system of claim 6, wherein the slide pin includes a tapered end.
14. The modular display system of claim 6, wherein the slide pin includes an actuator shaft.
15. The modular display system of claim 14, wherein the actuator shaft of the slide pin may be supported in an open retracted and disengaged position and released to a closed, extended and engaged position.
16. The modular display system of claim 1, wherein the latching means include:
(a) a side latch on either of the right side panel or the left side panel; and,
(b) a side latch keeper assembly on the side panel opposite the side panel having the side latch.
17. The modular display system of claim 16, wherein the right and left side panels further include means for assisting initial alignment.
18. The modular display system of claim 17, wherein the latching means further include means for “Y” axis adjustment between horizontally latched connector frameworks.
19. The modular display system of claim 18, wherein the means for “Y” axis adjustment includes a cam for vertically adjusting horizontally latched connector frameworks along the “Y” axis.
20. The modular display system of claim 19, wherein the cam is spring loaded to lock when not being manipulated.
21. The modular display system of claim 1, further comprising mounting structure selected from the group consisting of a suspension mount, a floor stand, and a ground stand.
22. A method of assembling a modular display system, comprising the steps of:
a. providing a plurality of stackable electronic display panels, each stackable electronic display panel of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels including:
(1) an LED display module; and,
(2) a connector framework carrying the LED display module, the connector framework having a top channel and a bottom channel together having at least one connector means for vertical securing to another stackable electronic display panel of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels, and a right side panel and a left side panel together having at least one latching means thereon for horizontal securing to another stackable electronic display panel of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels, such that connector frameworks of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels may be removably attached to one another to bring the LED display modules carried by each into closely aligned proximity to provide a substantially seamless display; and,
b. attaching the stackable electronic display panels together to provide the substantially seamless display.
23. The method of assembling a modular display system of claim 22, wherein the LED display module of each stackable electronic display panel of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels is carried on the connector framework by an LED display module latching system, the latching system having a centrally located actuator mechanism; and comprising the further step of assembling the LED display modules to the connector frameworks.
24. The method of assembling a modular display system of claim 22, wherein the connector means include:
(a) a connector plate on either of the top channel or the bottom channel;
(b) a connector plate receptor on the opposite channel from the connector plate; and,
(c) a slide pin for releasably capturing the connector plate of one stackable electronic display panel of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels within the connector plate receptor of another associated vertically aligned stackable electronic display panel of the plurality of stackable electronic display panels; and further comprising the step of inserting a connector plate in a connector plate receptor and capturing the connector plate with the slide pin.
25. The method of assembling a modular display system of claim 22, wherein the latching means include:
(a) a side latch on either of the right side panel or the left side panel; and,
(b) a side latch keeper assembly on the side panel opposite the side panel having the side latch; and further comprising the step of engaging the side latch keeper assembly of one connector framework with the side latch keeper assembly of a horizontally adjoining connector framework.
26. The method of assembling a modular display system of claim 25, wherein the right and left side panels further include means for assisting initial alignment and further comprising the step of initially aligning the horizontal connector frameworks prior to engaging the side latch.
27. A modular display system comprising:
a. a plurality of suitably sized individual stackable electronic display panels that can be juxtaposingly stacked and aligned vertically, or juxtaposingly placed and aligned side by side horizontally, or juxtaposingly aligned and placed both vertically and horizontally, and that are mutually securable together at locations on or near mutual horizontal sides and vertical sides;
b. rearwardly located connector plate receptors and forwardly located connector plate receptors of an upper stackable electronic display panel being removably attachable to connector plates of a lower stackable electronic display panel; and,
c. side latches of one stackable electronic display panel being engagable with adjustable cams of side latch keeper assemblies of a horizontally adjacent stackable electronic display panel to thereby offer stable and sturdy connectibility for a vast arrangement of stackable electronic display panels in a modular display system.
Description
CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This patent application is related to patent application Ser. No. 10/688,304 entitled “Electronic Display Module Having a Four-Point Latching System for Incorporation into an Electronic Sign and Process”, filed on Oct. 17, 2003, pending. This patent application claims priority from the earlier filed U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/647,268 filed Jan. 25, 2005, entitled “Electronic Sign”. The prior applications are hereby incorporated into this application by reference as if fully set forth herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to electronic sign displays, but more specifically pertains to a modular display system which favors portability by having a plurality of stackable electronic display panels incorporated as modules which are mutually and removably attached or secured to one another and to mounting structures for the support thereof.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Prior art electronic sign displays can be of gigantic proportion and are fashioned utilizing large and heavy structure which requires heavy handling and positioning devices for installation. Ordinarily, the use of such equipment is not a concern where such electronic sign displays are installed on a one-time permanent basis in a concert hall, auditorium or at a stage setting. Entertainment venues of many sizes and varieties often require electronic sign displays in cooperation with entertainers, rock and roll performances, keynote speakers, bands, orchestras and the like where installation of such electronic sign displays is expensive and often cumbersome. Often the size or shape of electronic sign displays is another factor in that sometimes electronic sign displays are incompatible with doorways, halls and other structural and available space aspects of smaller or older entertainment venues. What is needed is an electronic sign display system which can be handled and simply erected by one person and which is of a suitable size and weight where accommodation and installation of the electronic sign display system in almost any size entertainment area, especially those having difficult access, is readily accomplished. Such a display system is provided by the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The general purpose of the present invention is to provide a modular display system including stackable electronic display panels and mounting structure which is easily transported and erected. The modular display system, the present invention, includes a plurality of stackable electronic display panels each removably attached with one or more adjacent stackable electronic display panels to form a display. Each individual stackable electronic display panel is constructed of a connector framework and a light emitting diode (LED) display module attached thereto by a mutually engaging centrally located LED display module latching system. Each connector framework includes and utilizes connector plates at the top of the connector framework, front connector plate receptors at the bottom of the connector framework having spring-loaded slide pins in alignment thereto, rear connector plate receptors in rear connector assemblies including spring-loaded slide pins and slide pin housings aligned thereto at the bottom and rear of the connector framework, side latch assemblies, side latch keeper assemblies each having an adjustment cam, a plurality of spring-loaded ball detents and detent receptors, and other components for removable attachment, alignment and juxtaposition of adjacent stackable electronic display panels. Vertically stacked stackable electronic display panels are attached utilizing the plurality of connector plates along the top of the connector framework in intimate contact and engagement with the front connector plate receptors, the rear connector plate receptors, and the associated spring-loaded slide pins, respectively, at the bottom of another vertically situated overhead stackable electronic display panel. Horizontally situated stackable electronic display panels are connected using side latch assemblies and side latch keeper assemblies having adjustment cams where a latch of each side latch assembly of one stackable electronic display panel engages the adjustable cam of each of the side latch keeper assemblies of an adjacent stackable electronic display panel. Arrays of stackable electronic display panels of various configurations can be assembled where attachment occurs both along the horizontal and vertical aspects of the stackable electronic display panels as just described. Each stackable electronic display panel can be suitably sized for handling by an individual where, for purposes of illustration and example, each stackable electronic display panel could measure 20 inches long by 20 inches wide. Provision is also made for adjustment of each stackable electronic display panel with respect to each other along more than one axis for best alignment of each of the connector frameworks to each other in order to seamlessly position the LED display modules.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a modular display system wherein a plurality of suitably sized individual stackable electronic display panels can be juxtaposingly stacked or aligned vertically or can be juxtaposingly placed or aligned side by side horizontally or can be juxtaposingly aligned and placed both vertically and horizontally and mutually secured at locations on or near the mutual horizontal sides or vertical sides of the stackable electronic display panels. Rearwardly located connector plate receptors and forwardly located connector plate receptors of an upper stackable electronic display panel are removably attachable to connector plates of a lower stackable electronic display panel and side latches of one stackable electronic display panel engage adjustable cams of side latch keeper assemblies of a horizontally adjacent stackable electronic display panel the combination of which offers stable and sturdy connectibility for a vast arrangement of stackable electronic display panels in a modular display system.

One significant aspect and feature of the present invention is the provision of a modular display system including stackable electronic display panels and mounting structure for suspension, floor mounting, or ground mounting.

Another significant aspect and feature of the present invention is a modular display system which is comprised of individual stackable connectible electronic display panels which connect physically and electronically.

Still another significant aspect and feature of the present invention is the provision of individual stackable electronic display panels which are lightweight and of a suitable size for handling and assembly by an individual.

Yet another significant aspect and feature of the present invention is the provision of connector plates of a first stackable electronic display panel which connect to forwardly located connector plate receptors and to rearwardly located connector plate receptors of a second stackable electronic display panel vertically situated thereabove.

A further significant aspect and feature of the present invention is the provision of precisely constructed but adjustable planar panels or components adjustable for use along a plane to provide for overall unwavering flat and planar alignment and spacing of LED panels of LED display modules.

A further significant aspect and feature of the present invention is the provision of alignment structure incorporated between stackable electronic display panels.

A still further significant aspect and feature of the present invention is the use of spring-loaded slide pins to engage and secure connector plates within connector plate receptors.

Still another significant aspect and feature of the present invention is the use of latches in one side panel of a connector framework to engage adjustable cams in a side panel of an adjacent connector framework to secure connector frameworks side by side.

Still another significant aspect and feature of the present invention is the use of latches in one side panel of a connector framework to engage adjustable cams in a side panel of an adjacent connector framework to provide for vertical adjustability of adjacent connector frameworks with respect to each other vertically along the “Y” axis.

Still another significant aspect and feature of the present invention is the use of a thumbwheel arrangement to provide for adjustable forward or rearward pivoting of connector frameworks about the “X” axis.

Still another significant aspect and feature of the present invention is the use of guide structure for alignment of adjustment tools or actuator tools with side latch assemblies and with side latch keeper assemblies.

Still another significant aspect and feature of the present invention is the incorporation of sealing and other features to eliminate EMI (electromagnetic interference).

Still another significant aspect and feature of the present invention is the use of slots in a handle/cable management bracket for use in cable management.

Having thus briefly described an embodiment of the present invention and having mentioned some significant aspects and features of the present invention, it is the principal object of the present invention to provide a modular display system and mounting structure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other objects of the present invention and many of the attendant advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the figures thereof and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a modular display system, the present invention, including a plurality of stackable electronic display panels, one form of mounting structure, a computer controller, a video processor, a data distributor, and a remote transportable power rack;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a screen composed of four stackable electronic display panels;

FIG. 3 is an exploded rear view of a stackable electronic display panel;

FIG. 4 is an exploded front view of a stackable electronic display panel;

FIG. 5 is an exploded left rear view of a connector framework;

FIG. 6 is an assembled left rear view of a connector framework;

FIG. 7 is an assembled right rear view of a connector framework;

FIG. 8 is an exploded left isometric view showing the junction of a side panel and a bottom channel of a connector framework and the relationship of components attached thereto;

FIG. 9 is an exploded right isometric view showing the junction of a side panel and a bottom channel of a connector framework and the relationship of components attached thereto;

FIG. 10 is a right isometric view of a portion of a connector framework showing a side latch assembly aligned in and secured within a segmented compartment thereof;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a side latch keeper assembly;

FIG. 12 is a side view of a side latch keeper assembly;

FIG. 13 is a left isometric view showing the junction of a side panel and a top channel of a connector framework and the relationship of components attached thereto;

FIG. 14 is a rear view of a stackable electronic display panel showing the connector framework thereof in alignment with and ready to be received by and secured to the LED display module thereof;

FIG. 15 is a rear view of an assembled stackable electronic display panel showing the aligned and secure mating of the connector framework thereof to the LED display module thereof by the use of the LED display module latch system;

FIG. 16 is a rear view showing the upper portion of the connector framework of a first stackable electronic display panel aligned with the lower portion of the connector framework of an overhead second stackable electronic display panel;

FIG. 17 illustrates the mating of the upper portion of the connector framework of a first stackable electronic display panel with the lower portion of the connector framework of an overhead second stackable electronic display panel and the alignment of the first stackable electronic display panel with an adjacent third stackable electronic display panel located at one side of the first stackable electronic display panel;

FIG. 18 illustrates beveled surfaces included in the geometrical configuration of the upper portion of the connector framework of a first stackable electronic display panel in distanced alignment with beveled surfaces included in the geometrical configuration of the lower portion of the connector framework of an overhead second stackable electronic display panel;

FIG. 19 is a view like FIG. 18 but illustrating the upper portion of the connector framework of the first stackable electronic display panel in close alignment with the lower portion of the connector framework of the overhead second stackable electronic display panel;

FIG. 20 is a rear view of a screen incorporating a plurality of stackable electronic display panels;

FIG. 21 is an exploded view showing two stackable electronic display panels and mounting structure in the form of a suspension mount;

FIG. 22 is an end view of a suspension mount showing the interconnect sleeve thereof aligned within the spreader beam thereof, and an attachment assembly thereof connected to the spreader beam;

FIG. 23 is an exploded view of an attachment assembly;

FIG. 24 is a fragmentary front view in partial cross section showing the capture of connector frameworks of adjacent stackable electronic display panels in attachment assemblies of a suspension mount;

FIG. 25 is a bottom view of an attachment assembly;

FIG. 26 is an exploded isometric view showing a screen composed of four stackable electronic display panels and mounting structure in the form of a floor stand;

FIG. 27 is an isometric view showing a plurality of connected connector frameworks associated with mounting structure in the form of a ground stand;

FIG. 28 is an exploded isometric view of the items shown in FIG. 27;

FIG. 29 is a partially exploded view of a longitudinal support assembly;

FIG. 30 is an isometric view of connected connector frameworks and a ground stand incorporating the features of the ground stand of FIG. 27 and including additional structure for support of a large number of stackable electronic display panels of which only the connector frameworks thereof are shown;

FIG. 31 is a plan view of one layout option of a modular display system in which a single screen composed of ninety-six stackable electronic display panels is utilized;

FIG. 32 is a plan view of another layout option of a modular display system involving two screens each composed of forty-eight stackable electronic display panels, the two screens being controlled by individual computer controllers;

FIG. 33 is a plan view of yet another layout option of a modular display system wherein four screens each composed of twenty-four stackable electronic display panels are provided, each screen being operated by a separate computer controller; and,

FIG. 34 is a plan view of still another layout option of a modular display system involving four screens each composed of twenty-four stackable electronic display panels, all four screens in this example being controlled by a common computer controller.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a modular display system 1, the present invention, including a plurality of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n which are modular in design and which are shown separated, mounting structure in the form of a plurality of suspension mounts 3 a-3 n which are shown separated, a computer controller 4, a video processor 5, a data distributor 6, and a remote transportable power rack 7. Also included are a fiberoptic cable 8 between the video processor 5 and the data distributor 6, Cat-5 cables 9 from the data distributor 6 connecting the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n, and power cables 10 between the remote transportable power rack 7 and the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n. The stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n when in intimate contact and intimate connection form a screen, an example of which is shown as screen 12 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a screen 12 composed of a plurality of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n, the stackable electronic display panels 2 b and 2 c being shown stacked on top of the stackable electronic display panels 2 a and 2 n. The term stackable refers to placement of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n in vertical as well as horizontal juxtaposition for the purpose of mutual connection therebetween along both the vertical and horizontal aspects to provide for a suitably sized, shaped, and aligned viewable sign. The stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n are suitably and mutually secured by connector assemblies and other latching structure, as later described in detail. Although the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n are illustrated forming a square, other arrangements can be utilized. One such arrangement could be just a row of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n. Another could be a column of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n. Another could be an arrangement of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n in a rectangle. Still other arrangements could be portions of rows or columns of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n in combination or incorporated to fit available space.

FIG. 3 is an exploded rear view and FIG. 4 is an exploded front view of a stackable electronic display panel, each figure showing a one-piece connector framework 14 and, in alignment therewith, an LED (light emitting diode) display module 16. The LED display module 16 includes a configured support panel 18 having forwardly located components including a rear enclosure panel 20 having an anti-EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) coating on the inner and/or outer surfaces or other suitable combinations thereof, a handle 21, a lower LED display assembly 22, and an upper LED display assembly 24, the lower LED display assembly 22 and the upper LED display assembly 24 being composed of like components. The upper LED display assembly 24 is shown in exploded form and the lower LED display assembly 22 is shown in assembled form. Numerous components are located forward of the support panel 18, as now described. Cables 26 (FIG. 3) are incorporated to electrically connect the lower LED display assembly 22 and the upper LED display assembly 24. One or more circuit boards, such as circuit board 28 (FIG. 3) are included in the lower and upper LED display assemblies 22 and 24 of the LED display module 16. The upper LED display assembly 24 and the lower LED display assembly 22 each includes, in alignment, an EMI shield gasket 30, a configured rectangular-shaped frame 32 which receives the EMI shield gasket 30 about the periphery thereof and which includes a weather seal gasket 34 also about the periphery thereof and a continuous anti-EMI coated edge 36, an anti-EMI tape 38, an LED panel 40, and a louver panel 42 having a continuous weather seal about the outer periphery thereof. A plate 44 is used to physically connect the lower LED display assembly 22 and the upper LED display assembly 24. An anti-EMI gasket 46 and a closely juxtaposed weather seal gasket 48 are located about an opening at the lower rearward portion of the rear enclosure panel 20 for accommodation of a heat sink 50. Also located rearwardly of the support panel 18 as part of the LED display module 16, and more specifically as part of the support panel 18, is an LED display module latching system 52 (shown in semi-exploded form) incorporated to removably attach the LED display module 16 to the connector framework 14. The LED display module latching system 52 includes a framework 54, a centrally located actuator mechanism 56 which is accessible from the front or the back, opposed actuator arms 58 a and 58 b extending in opposite directions from and operated in opposing directions from and by the actuator mechanism 56, and latch housings 60 a and 60 b at the outer ends of the framework 54 housing pivotable latches 62 a and 62 b which are pivotally operated by the outer ends of the actuator arms 58 a and 58 b, respectively. The pivotable latches 62 a and 62 b engage catches 73 and 75 located at the forward edges of side panels 72 and 74 (FIGS. 5 and 7), respectively. The LED display module latching system 52 is transversely located upon the rear of the support panel 18 as shown in FIGS. 14 and 15 and is closely related to patent application Ser. No. 10/688,304 entitled “Electronic Display Module Having a Four-Point Latching System for Incorporation into an Electronic Sign and Process” filed Oct. 17, 2003. A portion of the rear enclosure panel 20 serves as a mount for accommodation of signal receptacles 64 and 66, a power receptacle 68, and a diagnostic display 70, all of which are shown in FIG. 3.

The one-piece connector framework 14 includes structurally reinforced and lightweight vertically aligned and opposed side panels 72 and 74 joined between the tops and bottoms thereof by horizontally aligned and opposed top and bottom channels 76 and 78 the structure of which serves to provide various types and styles of connection structure or for mounting of other connection structure thereto. Such structure includes, but shall not be limited to, configured connector plates, rearwardly located connector assemblies including connector plate receptors, slide pins and slide pin housings, forwardly located connector plate receptors and slide pins, as well as side latch assemblies having side latches, side latch keepers having an adjustable cam, a plurality of spring-loaded ball detents and corresponding detent holes, and other components for removable attachment and alignment of the connector frameworks 14, and thus the LED display modules 16, along multiple axes and for juxtaposition of adjacent stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n, as later described in detail.

A plurality of like alignment posts 80 (FIG. 3) extend outwardly and rearwardly from the support panel 18 to be accommodated in a corresponding plurality of alignment holes 82 residing in the forwardly located planar faces 84 and 86 of the side panels 72 and 74, respectively, to aligningly locate and position the forwardly located planar faces 84 and 86 of the side panels 72 and 74 as well as the planar faces 88 and 90 of the top channel 76 and the bottom channel 78 (i.e., the entire connector framework 14) with and against the rearward facing region of the support panel 18 of the LED display module 16, such as is shown in FIG. 15. The connector frameworks 14, each preferably of one-piece aluminum or, alternatively, of sturdy molded plastic having an anti-EMI coating, serve as alignable and sturdy structures for removable attachment of the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n. In the alternative, certain other components could be fashioned of sturdy molded plastic and would require an anti-EMI coating for the suppression of EMI. The connector frameworks 14 removably attach to one another to bring the LED display modules 16 of each of the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n into closely aligned proximity to provide a substantially seamless display, as shown in FIG. 2.

Also included as structure of the connector framework 14 are vertically oriented connector plates 92, 94, 96 and 98 located at the tops of the side panels 72 and 74, each connector plate 92, 94, 96 and 98 having an arcuate top. Located at the bottoms of the side panels 72 and 74, respectively, are front connector plate receptors 100 and 102 and rearwardly located connector assemblies 104 and 106. Connector assemblies 104 and 106 also include rear connector plate receptors 108 and 110 and slide pin housings 112 and 114 (FIG. 3), respectively. Spring-loaded slide pins are associated with the front connector plate receptors 100 and 102 and the rear connector plate receptors 108 and 110 for capture of the connector plates 92, 94, 96 and 98, as described later in detail. A horizontally aligned handle/cable management bracket 116 extends along and behind the top channel 76 and between the top regions of the side panels 72 and 74 and includes multi-purpose obliquely oriented slots 118 and 120. The slots 118 and 120 can function as handholds, can also function as cable conduits, or can be used with attachment devices for maintaining orderly control of interconnecting cables between stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n or cables connecting the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n to external devices, such as, but not limited to, computer control components.

FIG. 5 is an exploded left rear view of a connector framework 14. FIG. 6 is an assembled left rear view of a connector framework 14. FIG. 7 is an assembled right rear view of a connector framework 14. With reference to FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, singularly or in combination, or with reference to other figures, other components and features of the invention are now further described.

Aligned attachment of multiple connector frameworks 14 of the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n along the vertical aspect is accomplished by the use of components located at or near the intersections of the side panels 72 and 74 with the top and bottom channels 76 and 78, respectively, at the upper and lower regions of the side panels 72 and 74. More specifically, a vertically oriented front connector plate mounting slot 122 and a vertically oriented back connector plate mounting slot 124 are located at the upper end of the side panel 72, and a vertically oriented front connector plate mounting slot 126 and a vertically oriented back connector plate mounting slot 128 are located at the upper end of the side panel 74, each mounting slot having suitably located sets of threaded holes extending therethrough for securing of the connector plates 92, 94, 96 and 98, respectively, thereto and therein, as shown later in detail. The connector plates 92, 94, 96 and 98 include engagement holes 92 a, 94 a, 96 a and 98 a, respectively, for subsequent engagement of spring-loaded slide pins, as described later in detail. At the lower region of the side panel 72, the front connector plate receptor 100 includes a vertically oriented front connector plate receptor slot 130, and at the lower region of the side panel 74, the front connector plate receptor 102 includes a vertically oriented front connector plate receptor slot 132. Attached to the lower region of the side panel 72 is the connector assembly 104 having multiple structures including the rear connector plate receptor 108 which has a vertically oriented rear connector plate receptor slot 134. Attached to the lower region of the side panel 74 is the connector assembly 106 having multiple structures including the rear connector plate receptor 110 which has a vertically oriented rear connector plate receptor slot 136. A front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 138 is located in and aligns in structure at one end of the bottom channel 78 in suitable alignment with the front connector plate receptor 100 and front connector plate receptor slot 130, and a rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 140 is located in the slide pin housing 112 in suitable alignment with the rear connector plate receptor 108 and rear connector plate receptor slot 134. Correspondingly, a front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 142 is located in and aligns in structure at the other end of the bottom channel 78, generally in suitable alignment with the front connector plate receptor 102 and front connector plate receptor slot 132, as partially shown, and a rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 144 is located in the slide pin housing 114 in suitable alignment with the rear connector plate receptor 110 and rear connector plate receptor slot 136. Connection of the connector assemblies 104 and 106 to the lower structure of the side panels 72 and 74 includes adjustable features to provide for pivotal positioning of the lower end of the connector framework 14 and attached components forwardly or rearwardly about the “X” axis. Side latch assemblies 146 and 148 mount in segmented compartments 150 and 152 (FIG. 7), respectively, in the side panel 72, and side latch keeper assemblies 154 and 156 mount in segmented compartments 158 and 160 (FIGS. 5 and 6), respectively, in the side panel 74 to connect horizontally situated connector frameworks 14 and to offer positioning of the connector frameworks 14 and attached components vertically along the “Y” axis, as later described in detail. Also located in and secured within the geometrically configured structure of the side panel 72 are spring-loaded ball detents 162 a, 162 b and 162 c (FIG. 7) which assist in initial alignment of the side panel 72 of one connector framework 14 to detent holes 164 a, 164 b and 164 c (FIG. 5) of the side panel 74 of an adjacently located connector framework 14. With respect to vertically situated connector frameworks 14, spring-loaded ball detents 166 a and 166 b are located in and secured within the geometrically configured structure of the top channel 76 which assist in initial alignment of the top channel 76 of a connector framework 14 to detent holes (not shown) of the bottom channel 78 of another connector framework 14 located thereabove. Threaded holes 167 and 169 are included at the rear of the side panel 72 and threaded holes 171 and 173 are included at the rear of the side panel 74 for mounting of the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n to a mounting surface, as desired.

FIGS. 8 and 9 are exploded left and right isometric views showing the junction of the side panel 72 and the bottom channel 78 of a connector framework 14 and the relationship of components attached to and utilized therewith. The structure and method of attachment of the connector assembly 104 allows for adjustable attachment to the lower region of the side panel 72 using tongue and groove style geometry coupled with adjustable hardware to facilitate pivotal alignmental actuation of the connector framework 14 and associated components about the “X” axis. One lower portion of the side panel 72 includes a horizontally oriented tongue 168 which aligns to and which is adjustably actuated vertically within a horizontally oriented groove 170 at the top of the connector assembly 104. Mutual fixation of and actuation of the side panel 72 with respect to the connector assembly 104 is facilitated by the use of a threaded shaft 172, a thumbwheel adjuster 174, and other hardware and features. The threaded shaft 172 extends through a hole 176 in an extended portion of the lower region of the side panel 72 and through a portion of the tongue 168, and is affixed therein by a nut 178, preferably an acorn nut, at the top of the threaded shaft 172 and another nut 180 in a recess 182 located in close proximity to the tongue 168. The lower portion of the threaded shaft 172 extends through and below the general structure of the tongue 168 to pass through a series of vertically aligned body holes 184 located below the groove 170, through a threaded hole 186 at the center of the thumbwheel adjuster 174, and finally into the bottommost of the series of vertically aligned body holes 184 being located in the connector assembly 104 at a position just below the thumbwheel adjuster 174. An interrupted slot 188 in horizontal orientation in the connector assembly 104 provides for locating of and rotational access to the thumbwheel adjuster 174 and also provides opposed upper and lower bearing surfaces for intimate adjustmental contact with the upper and lower surfaces of the thumbwheel adjuster 174. The thumbwheel adjuster 174, which is shown in place in FIG. 7, includes spaced holes 189 about the periphery for accommodation of an adjustment tool. The interaction of the thumbwheel adjuster 174 and threaded shaft 172 with the interrupted slot 188 provides for screw jack actuation of the connector assembly 104 with respect to the side panel 72, whereby the tongue 168 is actuated vertically with respect to the groove 170. More specifically, the interaction of the thumbwheel adjuster 174 and threaded shaft 172 provides for screw jack actuation of the connector assembly 104 with respect to the side panel 72 about portions of the front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 138. Correspondingly, another threaded shaft 172, another nut 178, another nut 180, and another thumbwheel adjuster 174 are provided and similarly utilized at the lower portion of the side panel 74.

The front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 138 includes a slide pin 190 having a taper at one end, an actuator shaft 192 secured to and extending from the slide pin 190, a knob 194 at the outboard end of the actuator shaft 192, a pin 196 extending through and beyond the circumference at opposing locations of the slide pin 190, and a spring 198 located about the slide pin 190 and contained thereupon by the pin 196 and structure described later in detail.

Correspondingly as shown in FIG. 5, the front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 142 includes a slide pin 190 a having a taper at one end, an actuator shaft 192 a secured to and extending from the slide pin 190 a, a knob 194 a at the outboard end of the actuator shaft 192 a, a pin 196 a extending through and beyond the circumference at opposing locations of the slide pin 190 a, and a spring 198 a located about the slide pin 190 a and contained thereupon by the pin 196 a and structure described later in detail.

Structure in the bottom channel 78 and structure in the front connector plate receptor 100 functions as a mount and for interaction with the front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 138 which is positionable therein to a closed or “engaged” position to lockingly and connectingly engage a connector plate, such as connector plate 92, of one of a vertically situated stackable electronic display panel 2 a-2 n located below. Such structure includes a vertically aligned inwardly located panel 200 vertically spanning the interior of the bottom channel 78 having an arcuate surface 202 exceeding 180° for accommodation of the slide pin 190, and an access slot 204 intersecting the arcuate surface 202. Another structure is a vertically aligned outwardly located panel 206 vertically spanning the interior of the bottom channel 78 having an arcuate surface 208 and intersecting slot 210, whereby the outwardly located panel 206 is incorporated for intimate contact with the inboard end of the spring 198 and whereby the arcuate surface 208 and the slot 210 accommodate the slide pin 190. Other structure includes an inboard hole 212 extending through the inwardly located portion of the front connector plate receptor 100 (FIG. 8) and an outboard hole 214 extending through the outwardly located portion of the front connector plate receptor 100 (FIG. 9). The arcuate surface 202 and the inboard hole 212 always provide support for the slide pin 190 when the tapered end of the slide pin 190 is retracted from the front connector plate receptor slot 130 toward the open or “disengaged” position. The outboard hole 214 supplies full support for the tapered end of the slide pin 190 when the tapered end of the slide pin 190 is positioned just beyond the front connector plate receptor slot 130 in the “engaged” position. One end of the spring 198 is contained on the slide pin 190 by the pin 196 and the other end of the spring 198 is contained on the slide pin 190 by impingement with the portion of the outwardly located panel 206 surrounding the arcuate surface 208. Such capturing of the spring 198 on the slide pin 190 maintains outwardly directed force upon the slide pin 190 to attempt to maintain the slide pin 190 in the “engaged” position; i.e., the position utilized for engaged capture of a connector plate such as connector plate 92. During such an “engaged” position, a greater portion of the actuator shaft 192 extending from the slide pin 190 is positionally located between the inwardly located panel 200 and the outwardly located panel 206, and the slide pin 190 is forcibly urged to maintain the “engaged” position by action of the spring 198. Provision is made for positioning and maintaining the front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 138 to the open or “disengaged” position so that unencumbered capture of a connector plate such as connector plate 92 can be easily and readily accomplished without interference. Such positioning is accomplished by ensuring that the actuator shaft 192 has been maneuvered through the access slot 204 which intersects the arcuate surface 202 to a position inward of the inwardly located panel 200 and then toggling the actuator shaft 192 either upwardly or downwardly and then releasing the knob 194 to allow the action of the compressed spring 198 to force the actuator shaft 192 to contact the inwardly located panel 200 to cause the slide pin 190 to remain “disengaged” as positioned. Positioning of the front spring-loaded slide pin 190 to the closed or “engaged” position is readily and easily accomplished by reorienting the actuator shaft 192 to realign with the access slot 204 to allow the force of the compressed spring 198 to forcibly urge the tapered end of the slide pin 190 fully through the front connector plate receptor slot 130 and the front connector plate receptor 100, as well as through an engagement hole 92 a of the connector plate 92 for suitable capture thereto. The front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 142 functions in a similar and corresponding manner.

The rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 140 is constructed and functions much in the same manner as the front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 138. The rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 140 includes a slide pin 216 having a taper at one end, an actuator shaft 218 secured to and extending from the slide pin 216, a knob 220 at the outboard end of the actuator shaft 218, a pin 222 extending through and beyond the circumference at opposing locations of the slide pin 216, and a spring 224 located about the slide pin 216 and contained thereupon by the pin 222 and structure described later in detail.

The rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 144 shown in FIG. 5 includes a slide pin 216 a having a taper at one end, an actuator shaft 218 a secured to and extending from the slide pin 216 a, a knob 220 a at the outboard end of the actuator shaft 218 a, a pin 222 a extending through and beyond the circumference at opposing locations of the slide pin 216 a, and a spring 224 a located about the slide pin 216 a and contained thereupon by the pin 222 a and structure described later in detail. The rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 140 and the rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 144 function in a similar and corresponding manner.

The slide pin housing 112 includes a vertically oriented inwardly located panel 226 having opposed upper and lower arcuate surfaces 228 a and 228 b, a front access slot 230 and a rear access slot 232, each intersecting the opposed arcuate surfaces 228 a and 228 b, and a vertically oriented first intermediate panel 234 having a hole 236 extending therethrough. A vertically oriented second intermediate panel 238 being part of the rear connector plate receptor 108 and having a hole 240 extending therethrough, and a vertically oriented outwardly located panel 242 being part of the rear connector plate receptor 108 and having an outboard hole 244 extending therethrough are incorporated for support of the slide pin 216.

The arcuate surfaces 228 a and 228 b and the holes 236 and 240 always provide support for the slide pin 216 when the slide pin 216 is retracted from the rear connector plate receptor slot 134. The outboard hole 244 also supplies full support for the tapered end of the slide pin 216 when the tapered end of slide pin 216 is positioned just beyond the rear connector plate receptor slot 134. One end of the spring 224 is contained on the slide pin 216 by the pin 222 and the other end of the spring 224 is contained on the slide pin 216 by impingement with the portion of the first intermediate panel 234 surrounding the hole 236. Such capturing of the spring 224 on the slide pin 216 maintains outwardly directed force upon the slide pin 216 to attempt to maintain the slide pin 216 in the “engaged” position; i.e., the position utilized for engagement of a connector plate such as connector plate 94. During such an “engaged” position, a greater portion of the actuator shaft 218 extending from the slide pin 216 is positionally located between the inwardly located panel 226 and the first intermediate panel 234, and the slide pin 216 is forcibly urged to maintain the “engaged” position by action of the spring 224. Provision is made for positioning and maintaining of the rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 140 to the open or “disengaged” position so that unencumbered capture of a connector plate, such as connector plate 94, can be easily and readily accomplished without interference. Such positioning is accomplished by ensuring that the actuator shaft 218 has been maneuvered through either front or rear access slots 230 or 232 which intersect the arcuate surfaces 228 a and 228 b to a position inward of the inwardly located panel 226 and then toggling the actuator shaft 218 either upwardly or downwardly and then releasing the knob 194 to allow the action of the compressed spring 224 to force the actuator shaft 218 to contact the inwardly located panel 226 to cause the slide pin 216 to remain “disengaged” as positioned. Positioning of the rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 140 to the closed or “engaged” position is readily and easily accomplished by reorienting the actuator shaft 218 to realign with either of the front or rear access slots 230 or 232 to allow the force of the compressed spring 224 to forcibly urge the tapered end of slide pin 216 fully through the outwardly located hole 244 and the rear connector plate receptor 108 and through an engagement hole 94 a of the connector plate 94 for suitable capture thereto by incorporating the “engaged” position of the slide pin 216. The front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 142, the rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 144, and the connector assembly 106 are mirror image-like components of the front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 138, the rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 140, and the connector assembly 104 having similarly constructed components in mirror image form having the same function and utilization.

Side latch assemblies 146 and 148 mount in segmented compartments 150 and 152 (FIG. 7), respectively, in the side panel 72, and side latch keeper assemblies 154 and 156 mount in segmented compartments 158 and 160 (FIGS. 5 and 6), respectively, in the side panel 74 for mutual connection and interaction to connect horizontally situated connector frameworks 14 and associated components and to offer positioning of the connector frameworks 14 and associated components vertically along the “Y” axis. The side latch assemblies 146 and 148 are similar in construction having similarly designated components for use in either of the segmented compartments 150 or 152. With reference to FIGS. 8 and 9, side latch assembly 148 is now described. The lower side latch assembly 148 includes a bracket 246 suitable for mounting within the segmented compartment 152. An operating shaft 248 having a rearwardly facing tool receptor 250 extends through the opposed sides 252 and 254 of the bracket 246 for pivotal actuation therein. A latch 256, preferably having a hook shape, is located between the sides 252 and 254 and is attached over and about the operating shaft 248 and is positioned by the operating shaft 248 about the axis of the operating shaft 248. Additionally, an indicator tab 258 secures to and extends inwardly from the rearwardly located portion of the operating shaft 248 for viewable accommodation by one of a number of slots 260 located in the side panel 72. Individual indicator tabs 258 are viewable through the slots 260 when individual operating shafts 248 each has been rotated to the position where the latch 256 engages a cam 280 (FIG. 11) of an adjacent side latch keeper assembly 154 to thereby verify the locked position of the latches 256. Each of the segmented compartments 150 and 152 includes a notched panel 262 for accommodation of the operating shaft 258, as well as opposed angled guide panels 264 and 266 extending in perpendicular fashion from the side panel 72. Although the opposed guide panels 264 and 266 are shown as being planar, they can be of any suitable geometrical shape to offer tool guidance therebetween to align a suitable adjustment tool, such as a hex-head wrench for example, with the tool receptor 250 of each of the side latch assemblies 146 and 148 installed within the segmented compartments 150 and 152, such as generally shown in FIG. 10. A plurality of access holes 268 are located extending through the side panel 72 for insertion of a suitable adjustment tool for actuation of the side latch assemblies 146 and 148. FIG. 10 shows the side latch assembly 146 aligned in and secured within the angled segmented compartment 150 in the same fashion that the side latch assembly 148 is aligned in and secured within the segmented compartment 152. Illustrated in particular is the alignment of the tool receptor 250 in the side latch assembly 146 with the guide panels 264 and 266 and the upper access hole 268.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the side latch receptor assembly 154, and FIG. 12 is a side view of the side latch keeper assembly 154. The side latch keeper assemblies 154 and 156 are similar in construction having similarly designated components for use in either of the segmented compartments 158 or 160, as shown in FIG. 6. The side latch receptor assembly 154 includes a bracket 270 having opposed sides 272 and 274. An operating shaft 276, part of which includes a hexagonal exterior 278 and part of which is the cam 280, extends through a hexagonal hole 282 in the side 272 and a body hole 284 in the side 274 of the bracket 270, respectively, for pivotal actuation therein. A rearwardly facing tool receptor 285 is included at one end of the operating shaft 276. A spring clip 286 engages one end of the operating shaft 276 adjacent to the outwardly located surface of the side 274, and a spring 288 aligns over and about one end of the operating shaft 276 between the side 274 and an annular shoulder 290 located at one end of the cam 280 to spring load the operating shaft 276 in a direction outwardly from the bracket 270. Such outwardly directed force causes a portion of the hexagonal exterior 278 of the operating shaft 276 to lockingly engage the hexagonal hole 282 in the side 272 to maintain the last rotational orientation of the cam 280. A groove 292 interrupts the hexagonal exterior 278 of the operating shaft 276 at a location near the hexagonal hole 282 to facilitate rotational adjustment of the cam 280 for interaction with the side latch assembly, such as side latch assembly 146 of one of the adjacent stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n, for vertical positional adjustment along the “Y” axis. Rotational adjustment of the cam 280 is initiated by the use of a suitable adjustment tool, such as a hex-head wrench for example, with the tool receptor 285 to forcibly position the operating shaft 276 against the force of the spring 288 to disengage the hexagonal exterior 278 of the operating shaft 276 from intimate contact and influence with the hexagonal hole 282 in the side 272. In such a maneuver, the groove 292 is positioned within the hexagonal hole 282, thereby permitting adjustable rotation of the operating shaft 276 and the cam 280 to a new position. When the desired rotation is achieved for proper alignment, the adjustment tool is removed, thereby allowing spring action to reposition the operating shaft 276 to cause re-engagement and locking of the portion of the hexagonal exterior 278 located inwardly from the groove 292 of the operating shaft 276 with the hexagonal hole 282.

FIG. 13 is a left isometric view showing the junction of the side panel 74 and the top channel 76 and the relationship of components attached to and utilized therewith. Shown in particular is the segmented compartment 158 for accommodation of the side latch keeper assembly 154. The segmented compartment 160 is similar in construction and includes similarly designated components.

Each of the segmented compartments 158 and 160 includes a notched panel 294 for accommodation of the operating shaft 276, as well as opposed angled guide panels 296 and 298 extending in perpendicular fashion from the side panel 74. Although the opposed guide panels 296 and 298 are shown as being planar, they can be of any suitable geometrical shape to offer tool guidance therebetween to align a suitable adjustment tool, such as a hex-head wrench for example, with the tool receptors 285 installed in each of the side latch keeper assemblies 154 and 156 within the segmented compartments 158 and 160, such as generally shown in FIG. 6. A plurality of access holes 300 (FIG. 5) are located extending through the side panel 74 for insertion of a tool for actuation of the side latch keeper assemblies 154 and 156.

FIG. 14 is a rear view of the stackable electronic display panel 2 a showing the connector framework 14 thereof in alignment with and ready to be received by and secured to the LED display module 16 thereof by action of the previously described LED display module latching system 52.

FIG. 15 is a rear view of the assembled stackable electronic display panel 2 a showing the aligned and secure mating of the connector framework 14 thereof to the LED display module 16 thereof by the use of the LED display module latching system 52. Latching is accomplished by operating the actuator mechanism 56 to operate the actuator arms 58 a and 58 b, and thereby cause the pivotal latches 62 a and 62 b (FIG. 3) to engage the catches 73 and 75 (FIGS. 3 and 5), respectively.

Mode of Operation

The mode of operation is set forth primarily with reference to FIGS. 16-20 with occasional reference to previously described figures. Additional information regarding electronic control and operation using V-Tours computer controller 4, a V-LinkŪ video processor 5, a data distributor 6, a remote transportable power rack 7, cabling, and the like is included later with reference to FIGS. 31-34 showing exemplary options in which the modular display system can be configured.

FIG. 16 is a rear view showing the upper portion of the connector framework 14 associated with a stackable electronic display panel 2 a aligned with the lower portion of the connector framework 14 associated with an overhead stackable electronic display panel 2 b. For purposes of brevity and clarity, the rear enclosure panels 20 and other closely associated components are not shown. FIG. 16 shows the connector plates 92, 94, 96 and 98 at the upper portion of the connector framework 14 associated with the stackable electronic display panel 2 a in vertically spaced alignment with the front connector plate receptor slot 130 of the front connector plate receptor 100, the rear connector plate receptor slot 134 of the connector assembly 104, the front connector plate receptor slot 132 of the front connector plate receptor 102, and the rear connector plate receptor slot 136 of the connector assembly 106 of the connector framework 14 associated with the overhead stackable electronic display panel 2 b, where the connector framework 14 associated with the overhead stackable electronic display panel 2 b awaits subsequent and mutual mated and removable attachment to the underlying connector framework 14 associated with the stackable electronic display panel 2 a. Although the connector frameworks 14 are not shown in close intimate juxtaposed contact, the operable components thereof are shown in the positions required for secure mutual attachment to one another along the vertical aspect. The functions and relationships of the connector plates 92 and 94 with respect to the front connector plate receptor 100 and associated components and the connector assembly 104 and associated components are identical to the functions and relationships of the connector plates 96 and 98 with respect to the front connector plate receptor 102 and associated components and the connector assembly 106 and associated components, and as such the description of the function of the components of the connector plates 92 and 94 with respect to the front connector plate receptor 100 and associated components and the connector assembly 104 and associated components correspondingly applies to the function of the connector plates 96 and 98 in association with the front connector plate receptor 102 and associated components and the connector assembly 106 and associated components. Prior to mutual mating and removable attachment of the connector framework 14 associated with the overhead stackable electronic display panel 2 b to the connector framework 14 associated with the stackable electronic display panel 2 a, the slide pins 190 and 216 of the front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 138 and the rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 140, respectively, and the slide pins 190 a and 216 a of the front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 142 and the rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 144 are positioned to the “disengaged” position, as previously described, awaiting further positioning for capturing of the connector plates 92, 94, 96 and 98. The connector frameworks 14 of stackable electronic display panel 2 a and the overhead stackable electronic display panel 2 b are brought into intimate contact by bringing the spring-loaded ball detents 166 a-166 b on the top surface of the top channel 76 of the stackable electronic display panel 2 a into alignment with detent holes (not shown) on the bottom surface of the bottom channel 78 of the overhead stackable electronic display panel 2 b, as well as intimate contact involving the mutual and respective alignment of the connector plates 92, 94, 96 and 98 with the front connector plate receptor slot 130 of the front connector plate receptor 100, the rear connector plate receptor slot 134 of the connector assembly 104, the front connector plate receptor slot 132 of the front connector plate receptor 102, and the rear connector plate receptor slot 136 of the connector assembly 106 of the overhead stackable electronic display panel 2 b. Then, slide pins 190 and 216 of the front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 138 and the rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 140, respectively, and the slide pins 190 a and 216 a of the front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 142 and the rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 144 are positioned to the “engaged” position, as previously described, to extend through the engagement holes 92 a, 94 a, 96 a and 98 a of the connector plates 92, 94, 96 and 98 and other structure, thereby completing capturing.

FIG. 17 illustrates the mating of the upper portion of the connector framework 14 of a stackable electronic display panel 2 a with the lower portion of the connector framework 14 of an overhead stackable electronic display panel 2 b and the alignment of the stackable electronic display panel 2 a with an adjacent stackable electronic display panel 2 n located at one side of the stackable electronic display panel 2 a. Shown in particular is the use of the rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 144 with the connector plate 98 and the use of the rear spring-loaded slide pin assembly 140 with the connector plate 94, as previously described. The slide pin 190 a of the front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 142, shown in other figures, engages the connector plate 96, and the slide pin 190 of the front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 138 engages the connector plate 92 in a similar manner, as previously described. The relationship of the slide latch assemblies 146 and 148 each having a latch 256 in the stackable electronic display panel 2 a to the slide latch keeper assemblies 154 and 156 in the adjacent stackable electronic display panel 2 n is also shown. The latches 256 engage the cams 280 of the slide latch keeper assemblies 154 and 156. Subsequent adjustment of the cams 280 utilizing the operating shafts 276 causes interaction with the latches 256 for vertical adjustment of adjacent connector frameworks 14 and thus of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n to bring the edges of adjacent stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n into alignment to provide for seamless viewing of the LED pixels.

FIG. 18 illustrates beveled surfaces included in the geometrical configuration of the upper portion of the connector framework 14 of a stackable electronic display panel 2 a in distanced alignment with the lower portion of the connector framework 14 of an overhead stackable electronic display panel 2 b having opposed complementary beveled surfaces, wherein adjustability about the junction of the mated connector plate 96 and slide pin 190 a of the front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 142, shown in FIG. 19 (and about the junction of the mated connector plate 92 and slide pin 190 of the front spring-loaded slide pin assembly 138), is provided to facilitate rotational adjustment of the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n about the “X” axis (forward and rearward tilt) by actuation of the thumbwheel adjusters 174 along the threaded shafts 172. The profile of the front connector plate receptor 102 includes adjacent and opposed bevels 302 and 304 which extend along the bottom surface of the bottom channel 78 to and including the front connector plate receptor 100. The profile of the upper portion of the side panel 74 includes opposed bevels 306 and 308 opposing the bevels 302 and 304 and extending along the top surface of the top channel 76 to and including the upper portion of the side panel 72. The bevel 308 starts at the upper portion of the side panel 74 in close proximity to the connector plate 96 and is interrupted to further continue at the upper portion of the side panel 74 in close proximity to the connector plate 98.

FIG. 19 is a view like FIG. 18 but illustrating the upper portion of the connector framework 14 of the stackable electronic display panel 2 a in close alignment with the lower portion of the connector framework 14 of the overhead stackable electronic display panel 2 b.

FIG. 20 is a rear view of a screen 12 incorporating a plurality of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n. In addition to mated and secured attachment along the vertical aspect as previously described, juxtapositional mating and secured attachment along the horizontal aspect is also provided. For example, the side panel 72 of the stackable electronic display panel 2 a can be juxtaposingly aligned to the side panel 74 of the stackable electronic display panel 2 n with the assisted guidance offered by the detent holes 164 a-164 c of the side panel 74 of the stackable electronic display panel 2 n and the corresponding spring-loaded ball detents 162 a-162 c of the side panel 72 of the stackable electronic display panel 2 a. For example and illustration, the latches 256 on the side panel 72 of the stackable electronic display panel 2 a are actuated to engage the cams 280 on the side panel 74 of the stackable electronic display panel 2 n. Thus, the stackable electronic display panels 2 a and 2 n are juxtapositionally mated in secured attachment along the horizontal aspect and can be adjusted, as previously described, in a vertical fashion to provide alignment between the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n.

A plurality of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n can be aligned, mated and attached along the vertical and horizontal aspects, as described. Overall integrity along the vertical aspect is enhanced by the robustness of the connector plates 92, 94, 96 and 98 and the robustness of the front connector plate receptors 100 and 102 and the connector assemblies 104 and 106 as well as the interlocking capabilities thereof where each of the corners; i.e., the connector plates 92, 94, 96 and 98, are mutually attached to the front connector plate receptors 100 and 102 and connector assemblies 104 and 106 of a vertically situated overhead stackable electronic display panel 2 a-2 n utilizing multiple positive locking schemes. Aligned attached mating along the horizontal aspect incorporating the relationship of the latches 256 and the cams 280 located in the side panels 72 and 74 incorporated with the attached mating along the horizontal aspect incorporating the connector plates 92, 94, 96 and 98, the front connector plate receptors 100 and 102, and connector assemblies 104 and 106 provides a synergistic structure having alignment capabilities coupled with structural robustness.

The stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n are interconnected by cables which utilize the signal receptacles 64 and 66 on the rear enclosure panel 20 and are connected to computerized control systems known to the art to control the content displayed utilizing the modular display system 1. Optionally, the modular display system 1 can include border attachment points, rails, frames, and the like, and the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n can be suspended or supported from the bottom by suitable mounting structure. Although the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n are shown as squares, other suitable shapes, such as a rectangle, may be utilized. The teachings of the invention may be utilized to provide structure for support of incandescent lighting, flat panel displays, LCD displays, graphic nonelectrical displays, or displays of other types.

Mounting Structures

FIG. 21 is an exploded view showing two stackable electronic display panels 2 a and 2 b and mounting structure in the form of a suspension mount 3 a such as for attaching to a structural member of a building, to a structural member of a stage or stadium, or to other like structural members. One or more spreader beams 310, often referred to as bumpers, are utilized as shown to provide suspended mounting incorporating cables, chains, or the like of a plurality of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n, such as the stackable electronic display panels 2 a and 2 b shown. A plurality of like reversible geometry attachment assemblies 312 a-312 n slidingly engage the lower region of the spreader beam 310. The attachment assemblies 312 a-312 n accommodate removable attachment to the connector plates 92, 94, 96 and 98 of the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 b. Additionally, another row of stackable electronic display panels in the plurality of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n, such as stackable electronic display panels 2 c-2 n, could attach to the lower portion of the stackable electronic display panels 2 a and 2 b in removable attachment, as previously described, as well as additional rows therebelow. Horizontally situated stackable electronic display panels could also be connected thereto, as previously described. An interconnect sleeve 314 is used to connect adjacent spreader beams 310 for additional breadth of display where additional stackable electronic display panels are incorporated.

FIG. 22 is an end view of the suspension mount 3 a showing the interconnect sleeve 314 aligned within the spreader beam 310 and the attachment assembly 312 n associated in sliding engagement with the lower region of the spreader beam 310.

With reference to FIGS. 21 and 22, the spreader beam 310 and the relationship with the interconnect sleeve 314 and the attachment assembly 312 n is now described. The spreader beam 310 is generally an elongated triangular structure having angled side panels 316 and 318 and a bottom panel 320. A panel 322 extends along the apex formed by the junction of the upper regions of the side panels 316 and 318 and includes a plurality of holes 324 a-324 n used for attachment of cables, hooks, chains, or other attachment devices used for suspension. A plurality of holes 326 a-326 n are included extending through the side panel 316 of the spreader beam 310 and a plurality of holes 328 a-328 n are included extending through the side panel 318 (FIG. 22) of the spreader beam 310 for use in securing the interconnect sleeve 314 within one or more spreader beams 310. The interconnect sleeve 314 is generally an elongated triangular structure having angled side panels 330 and 332 and a bottom panel 334 and is suitably sized to telescopingly engage the interior of one spreader beam 310 and to fittingly engage one end of an adjacent spreader beam 310. Vertically aligned pins 336 a and 336 b mounted in the bottom panel 334 of the interconnect sleeve 314 engage horizontally aligned slots 338 a and 338 b in the bottom panel 320 of the spreader beam 310 to ensure that the interconnect sleeve 314 does not disengage from the spreader beam 310 for the purpose of storage, safety and convenience. The slots 338 a and 338 b are also utilized to act as guides in cooperation with the pins 336 a and 336 b extending therethrough to prevent binding between the interconnect sleeve 314 and the spreader beam 310 when the interconnect sleeve 314 is positioned along the interior of the spreader beam 310. The pins 336 a and 336 b can be manually urged to position the interconnect sleeve 314 outwardly with respect to the spreader beam 310, especially when the interconnect sleeve 314 is engaged fully within the spreader beam 310 and it is desired to connect the interconnect sleeve 314 within an adjacently placed spreader beam 310. A plurality of holes 340 a-340 n are included extending through the side panel 330 of the interconnect sleeve 314 and a plurality of holes 342 a-342 n (FIG. 22) are included extending through the side panel 332 (FIG. 22) of the interconnect sleeve 314 for use in fixating the position of the interconnect sleeve 314 totally within one spreader beam 310 when only one interconnect sleeve 314 is used or for extended use when the interconnect sleeve 314 is incorporated to connect adjacent spreader beams 310. Captivation pins 344 pass in various arrangements through the holes 326 a-326 n and 328 a-328 n of the spreader beam 310 and through the holes 340 a-340 n and 342 a-342 n of the interconnect sleeve 314 to accommodate the use of one or more spreader beams. Keeper pins 346 are used at the ends of the captivation pins 344 to maintain the captivation pins 344 within the previously described and respective holes. Also included at the lower portion of the spreader beam 310 are opposed horizontally geometrically configured slots 348 a and 348 b having a profile in the shape of a shortened cross located at the generously sized junction of the side panel 316 and the bottom panel 320 and the generously sized junction of the side panel 318 and the bottom panel 320, respectively. The slots 348 a and 348 b extend along the length of the spreader beam 310 and include vertically and horizontally oriented features for accommodation of components of the attachment assemblies 312 a-312 n, which are described with reference to FIG. 23.

FIG. 23 is an exploded view of the attachment assembly 312 c. The attachment assemblies 312 a-312 n are of identical construction and function and each can be installed in suitable reversed orientation for suitable use for interfacing with the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n, as required. Provision is made for quick and simple attachment of the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n to the spreader beam 310 by the use of a positionable locking mechanism 350 in combination with a geometrically configured one-piece housing 352 and closely associated components thereof. The locking mechanism 350 includes a bar 354 having slide pins 356 a and 356 b secured thereto and extending perpendicularly therefrom, springs 358 a and 358 b aligned over and about the slide pins 356 a and 356 b between the bar 354 and pins 360 a-360 b extending through the slide pins 356 a and 356 b, a rotatable guide rod 362 extending through a body hole 364 of the bar 354, one end of which connects to a control knob 366, a stop pin 368 extending through the rotatable guide rod 362, and a latch pin 370 extending from one end of the rotatable guide rod 362. The one-piece housing 352 includes a top panel 372 having a plurality of holes 374 a-374 d extending therethrough for accommodation of bolts 376 a-376 d extending therethrough to engage threaded holes 378 a-378 b and 380 a-380 b extending through slide plates 382 a and 382 b which are spaced from the top panel 372. The one-piece housing 352 also includes a vertically oriented side panel 384, a vertically oriented side panel 386, a vertically oriented mid-panel 388, a vertically oriented short mid-panel 390, a bottom panel 392, and a horizontally aligned mid-panel 394. Various described panels form an open end upper box channel 396 and two open end lower box channels 398 and 400. An open receptor slot 402 is formed by the top panel 372, the side panel 386, and the mid-panel 388 for accommodation of the connector plates 92 and 94 or connector plates 96 and 98. Sequences of body holes 404 a-404 n and 406 a-406 n are distributed through the side panel 384, the mid-panel 388, and the side panel 386 to accommodate the slide pins 356 a and 356 b. A hole 408 in the side panel 384 accommodates the rotatable guide rod 362 and stop pin 368 where the rotatable guide rod 362 positions the latch pin 370 in a catch slot 410 located in the bottom panel 392 in close proximity to the lower region of the side panel 384. The springs 358 a and 358 b are located in the lower box channel 400 in alignment over and about the slide pins 356 a and 356 b, as previously described.

FIG. 24 is a fragmentary front view in partial cross section showing the capture of the connector frameworks 14 of adjacent stackable electronic display panels in attachment assemblies 312 b and 312 c. The housing 352 of the attachment assembly 312 b is shown in cross section with the slide pins 356 a and 356 b in the engaged mode. The slide pins 356 a and 356 b in the housing 352 of the attachment assembly 312 c are shown in the disengaged mode. Use of the attachment assemblies 312 b and 312 c to couple the connector frameworks 14 is initiated as shown first with reference to the attachment assembly 312 c. The locking mechanism 350 is actuated against the action of the springs 358 a and 358 b to withdraw the plain ends of the slide pins 356 a and 356 b from the receptor slot 402 to allow accommodation of the connector pins 92 and 94, and then the control knob 366 is rotated to position the rotatable guide rod 362 so that the latch pin 370 engages the catch slot 410, thereby readying the attachment assembly 312 c for acceptance of the connector plates 92 and 94.

Full engagement of the connector plates 96 and 98 typifies the engagement of the other connector plates 92 and 94 with reference to the attachment assembly 312 b shown in cross section. Upon suitable positioning of the connector plates 96 and 98 within the receptor slot 402, the control knob 366 is rotated to disengage the latch pin 370 from the catch slot 410, whereby the force of the springs 358 a and 358 b causes the plain ends of the slide pins 356 a and 356 b to enter the receptor slot 402 and the engagement holes 96 a and 98 a of the connector plates 96 and 98 and to be extended fully through the plurality of body holes 404 a-404 n to remain forcibly engaged therein by the force of the springs 358 a and 358 b.

FIG. 25 is a bottom view of the attachment assembly 312 a showing the relationship of the latch pin 370 of the outwardly positioned locking mechanism 350 to the catch slot 410 included on the bottom panel 392 of the housing 352. The latch pin 370 is shown in a nonengaged position parallel to the catch slot 410.

FIG. 26 is an exploded isometric view showing a screen 12 composed of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n and mounting structure in the form of a floor stand 412 for mounting on a planar surface such as a floor, a stage member of a building, structure of a stage or stadium, or the like. The floor stand 412 utilizes a plurality of longitudinal supports 414 a-414 n which can be square or rectangular box tubing, a plurality of channels 416 a-416 n aligned over and about the plurality of longitudinal supports 414 a-414 n, a plurality of opposed interconnect sleeves 418 a-418 n having a plurality of spacers 419 extending laterally from each side of the channels 416 a-416 n, and a plurality of lateral supports 420 a-420 n which can be square or rectangular box tubing and which align over the interconnect sleeves 418 a-418 n and spacers 419. A plurality of holes are included in each component for connectivity between the components of the floor stand 412. A plurality of opposed holes 421 in sets and in vertical orientation are included at the ends of the longitudinal supports 414 a-414 n to accommodate fasteners for securing to a planar surface. A pair of one-piece connector plates 422 a and 422 b each having connector plate extensions 424 and 426 resembling the upper portions of the connector plates 92, 94, 96 and 98, including engagement holes, are suitably aligned and attached to the tops of the channels 416 a-416 n for connective accommodation by the lower structure of the connector frameworks 14 of the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n utilizing the slide pins 190, 190 a, 216 and 216 a and associated components thereof. A plurality of locking pins 428 each provided with a tethered lock clip 430 are included for rapid mutual fixation of the longitudinal supports 414 a-414 n, the channels 416 a-416 n, the lateral supports 420 a-420 n, and the like. Three lateral supports 420 a-420 n are shown, but only one lateral support 420 b is required for use in support of the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n, as illustrated. The remaining lateral supports 420 a and 420 n would be incorporated with additional channels 416 a-416 n and additional longitudinal supports 414 a-414 n for support of additional stackable electronic display panels.

FIG. 27 is an isometric view showing a plurality of connected connector frameworks 14 associated with mounting structure in the form of a ground stand 450. FIG. 28 is an exploded isometric view of the connector framework 14 and ground stand 450 shown in FIG. 27. For purposes of brevity and clarity, only the connector frameworks 14 which are included in the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n are shown in each figure. The ground stand 450 includes major structures consisting of a support frame 452 and a pair of similarly constructed longitudinal support assemblies 454 a-454 b removably attached to the support frame 452. The support frame 452 includes opposed mirror image-like angle members 456 a and 456 b, front and rear lateral supports 460 a and 460 b preferably in the form of box tubing secured to and extending transversely between the angle members 456 a and 456 b, a longitudinal support 462 preferably in the form of box tubing secured to and extending between the lateral supports 460 a and 460 b, a spacer plate 464 secured to a portion of the top of the lateral support 460 a and to a portion of the longitudinal support 462, and a plurality of one-piece connector plates 465 a-465 n. The plurality of one-piece connector plates 465 a-465 n, each having connector plate extensions 466 and 468 resembling the upper portion of the connector plates 92, 94, 96 and 98, including engagement holes, are suitably aligned and attached to the tops of the angle members 456 a-456 b and the spacer plate 464 for connective accommodation by the lower structure of the connector frameworks 14 of the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n utilizing the slide pins 190, 190 a, 216 and 216 a and associated components thereof in the manner previously described. Angled slots 470 and 472 are included at the front vertical portions of the angle members 456 a and 456 b, respectively, for side-by-side accommodation and joining of additional longitudinal support assemblies 454 a and 454 b juxtaposed thereto, as described later in detail.

The longitudinal support assemblies 454 a and 454 b are identical in construction and as such only the longitudinal support assembly 454 a is now described. The longitudinal support assembly 454 a includes a longitudinal support 474, preferably in the form of a box tube, having a plurality of opposed holes 476 a and 476 b, in sets, along the vertical portions. A connector fixture 478, as later described, is located at the front portion of the longitudinal support 474, and a stop cap 480 is located on the rear portion of the longitudinal support 474 to engage a plurality of guide/stop bars 482 a-482 n (FIG. 29) located on one end of a longitudinal support extension 484 which is telescopingly engaged by the longitudinal support 474. The longitudinal support extension 484 includes a plurality of opposed holes 485 a-485 n, in sets, along the vertical portions. A vertically oriented bracket 486 extends from the rear and top surface of the longitudinal support extension 484, and opposed horizontally oriented brackets 488 a and 488 b extend from the rear and side surfaces of the longitudinal support extension 484 for the attachment of optional support structure. The brackets 486 and 488 a and 488 b include holes for attachment of other components, as described later in detail. A pad 490 suitable for ground contact is located on the bottom of the rear and lower surface of the longitudinal support extension 484. A plurality of locking pins 492 each provided with a tethered lock clip 494 are used for several purposes. One purpose is for rapid final fixation of the longitudinal support assemblies 454 a and 454 b to the support frame 452 using opposed holes 476 a in the longitudinal support assemblies 454 a and 454 b and holes 496 and 498 at the rear portions of the angle members 456 a and 456 b, respectively. Another purpose is for rapid positional fixation of the longitudinal support extensions 484 within the longitudinal supports 474 using opposed holes 476 b in the longitudinal supports 474 and opposed holes 485 a-485 n in the longitudinal support extensions 484. The longitudinal support extensions 484 can be retracted (FIG. 27) into the longitudinal supports 474, as desired, depending upon the extent of the support required for different quantities of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n.

FIG. 29 is a partially exploded view of the longitudinal support assembly 454 a. The stop cap 480 is welded to one end of the longitudinal support 474 and is shown in sliding engagement over and about one end of the longitudinal support extension 484. The plurality of guide/stop bars 482 a-482 n are located and secured to one end of the longitudinal support extension 484 and function as guides when the longitudinal support extension 484 is slidably positioned within the interior of the longitudinal support 474. The ends of the guide/stop bars 482 a-482 n also function as stops to impinge the stop cap 480, thereby ensuring that the longitudinal support extension 484 remains engaged within a portion of the longitudinal support 474 at all times. Such engagement keeps the components conveniently attached to one another so that components do not get misplaced. The connector fixture 478 located at the front portion of the longitudinal support 474 includes a rod 500 extending through and beyond the opposed vertical sides of the longitudinal support 474 at one end of the longitudinal support 474, washers 502 aligned over and about the rod 500 and welded to the opposed vertical sides of the longitudinal support 474 and to the rod 500, and washers 504 smaller than washers 502 and spaced from the washers 502 along and about the rod 500 and welded to the ends of the rod 500 to include an annular space 506 along the rod 500 between the respective washers 502 and 504. The exposed annular space 506 of the connector fixture 478 on the outside of the longitudinal support assembly 454 a, shown in FIG. 27, and the corresponding exposed annular space 506 of the connector fixture 478 (not shown) on the outside of the longitudinal support assembly 454 b can be incorporated to facilitate side-by-side accommodation and joining of additional support frames 452 and additional longitudinal support assemblies, such as longitudinal support assembly 454 n, juxtaposed thereto somewhat in a manner illustrated in FIG. 30 when accommodation of more stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n is required. The annular spaces 506 are incorporated to engage the angled slots 470 and 472 of adjacent angle members 456 a and 456 b in concert with locking pins 492 extending through holes 476 a of the longitudinal support assemblies 454 a or 454 b and the holes 496 or 498 of the angle members 456 a or 456 b, respectively.

FIG. 30 is an isometric view of connected connector frameworks 14 a ground stand 450 a incorporating the features of the ground stand 450 and including additional structure for support of a large number of stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n of which only the connector frameworks 14 thereof are shown. A plurality of like bracket fixtures 508 a-508 n, including opposed brackets 510 a and 510 b, connectingly accommodate opposing ends of horizontally aligned lateral supports 514 a-514 n, each preferably in the form of a box tube, and suitably secure to various threaded holes 171, 173, 167 and 169 of the uppermost connector frameworks 14. Slotted connector tabs 516 on the lateral supports 514 a-514 n are used to suitably secure the mid-portion of the lateral supports 514 a-514 n to various threaded holes 171 and 167 of the uppermost connector frameworks 14. Additionally, angled brackets 518, being part of and extending downwardly from the bracket fixtures 508 a-508 n, connectingly accommodate the upper ends of support braces 520 a-520 n. The lower ends of the support braces 520 a-520 n include threaded adjusters 522 a-522 n suitably connected, such as by the use of clevis and clevis pin fasteners 524 a-524 n or other suitable fasteners, to the brackets 486 at the ends of the longitudinal support assemblies 454 a-454 n. Brackets 488 a and 488 b connectingly accommodate opposing ends of horizontally aligned lateral supports 526 a-526 n each of which preferably is in the form of a box tube. The bracket fixtures 508 a-508 n, including brackets 510 a and 510 b and the angled brackets 518, as well as other parts of the bracket fixtures 508 a-508 n and the brackets 486 and 488 a and 488 b, include holes for connection to the lateral supports 514 a-514 n, the lateral supports 526 a-526 n, and the support braces 520 a-520 n using locking pins 492 or other suitable hardware.

System Layout Options

The flexibility engineered into the modular display system constituting the present invention gives users the capability to use a single screen or multiple screens. As such, depending on how many different screens a user wants to break his system into, different numbers of components are required. The following examples exhibited by FIGS. 31-34 show how a modular display system comprising 96 panels can be set up in different ways, depending on the user's needs and the desired system performance.

FIG. 31 is a plan view of a layout option of a modular display system in which a single screen 12 a composed of ninety-six stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n is utilized. This option utilizing the 96-panel screen includes 96 LED display modules 16 affixed to 96 connector frames 14, which make up the 96 stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n; one data distributor box 6 with cabling; one 36 KW transportable power rack 7 with cabling (150 feet maximum); one control rack (not shown) including a computer controller 4 such as a Daktronics V-Tour™ controller, a primary video processor 5 such as a Daktronics V-LinkŪ video processor, and a backup video processor (not shown); twelve panel/connector frame shipping cases (not shown); and two utility cases (not shown) for cabling.

FIG. 32 is a plan view of another layout option of a modular display system involving two screens 12 b and 12 c each composed of forty-eight stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n, the two screens 12 b and 12 c being controlled by individual computer controllers 4. This two 48-panel screen option includes 96 LED display modules 16 affixed to 96 connector frames 14; two data distributor boxes 6 with cabling; two transportable 18 KW power racks 7 with cabling (150 feet maximum); two control racks (not shown) each including a computer controller 4 such as a Daktronics V-Tour™ controller, a primary video processor 5 such as a Daktronics V-LinkŪ video processor, and a backup video processor (not shown); twelve panel/connector frame shipping cases (not shown); and four utility cases (not shown) for cabling.

FIG. 33 is a plan view of yet another layout option of a modular display system wherein four screens 12 d, 12 e, 12 f and 12 g each composed of twenty-four stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n are provided, each screen 12 d, 12 e, 12 f and 12 g being operated by a separate computer controller 4. This four 24-panel screen option includes 96 LED display modules 16 affixed to 96 connector frames 14; four data distributor boxes 6 with cabling; four transportable 12 KW power racks 7 with cabling (150 feet maximum); four control racks (not shown) each including a computer controller 4 such as a Daktronics V-Tour™ controller, a primary video processor 5 such as a Daktronics V-LinkŪ video processor, and a backup video processor (not shown); twelve panel/connector frame shipping cases (not shown); and six utility cases (not shown) for cabling.

FIG. 34 is a plan view of still another layout option of a modular display system involving four screens 12 d, 12 e, 12 f and 12 g each composed of twenty-four stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n, all four screens 12 d, 12 e, 12 f and 12 g in this layout option being controlled by a common computer controller 4. This four 24-panel screen option includes 96 LED display modules 16 affixed to 96 connector frames 14; four data distributor boxes 6 with cabling; four transportable 12 KW power racks 7 cabling (150 feet maximum); one control rack (not shown) including a computer controller 4 such as a Daktronics V-Tour™ controller, a primary video processor 5 such as a Daktronics V-LinkŪ video processor, and a backup video processor (not shown); twelve panel/connector frame shipping cases (not shown); and six utility cases (not shown) for cabling.

Additional Features

A. Display Panel Design

Durable, Lightweight and Water Resistant. Each stackable electronic display panel 2 a-2 n is designed with lightness, ruggedness and water resistance in mind. The result is an IP-65 rated, strong, resilient, weatherized stackable electronic display panel that weighs only 7 kg (15.40 lb.) and measures approximately a half meter. The combined features make the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n road-ready and equipped for the quickest possible setup in any environment.

Low Heat and Low Noise. Efficient power structure minimizes heat build-up within the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n, maximizing internal electronics lifetime. In addition, the ultraefficient electronics use a rear heat sink 50 for ventilation thereby creating minimal noise, and making the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n virtually silent during operation.

Serviceability. The stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n are readily serviceable from either the front or the rear. A hex wrench fits inside from the front or the rear and releases the LED display module latching system 52 that holds a stackable electronic display panel in place to a connector framework 14. The quick release makes changing out stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n easy and fast.

Design Flexibility. The modular display system gives designers the flexibility to create innovative video displays. The approximately half-meter by half-meter stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n shape into virtually any configuration, whether traditional or artistic. The stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n can use rear support structure in the form of the described connector framework 14 or custom structures can be designed and built to support the stackable electronic display panels 2 a-2 n.

Cast Aluminum Structure. Each connector framework 14 is a lightweight, durable, cast aluminum structure to provide support for the affixed LED display module 16. Weighing 20 lb. (9.1 kg.) alone or 35 lb. (16.1 kg.) when combined with the LED display module 16, the connector framework 14 is capable of hanging up to 22 stackable electronic display panels, creating displays 36 feet (11 m.) in height. When mounting from the ground, the connector framework 14 can support up to 10 panels high using ground stand mounting structure, creating displays up to 16 feet (5 m.) high.

Express Assembly and Superior Seam Control. Each connector framework 14 includes four slide pins that interlock with the connector plates on the connector framework 14 below to thereby secure the connector frameworks in place with one another. Adjustable side latch assemblies actively draw the panels together vertically eliminating seams between panels. Thumbwheel adjusters on the rear of each connector framework 14 adjust horizontal tolerances and guarantee a tight fit and continuous look.

Mounting Flexibility. In addition to the cast aluminum connector frameworks 14, a variety of other structure options are available. Large scale panel frames can be used for quicker setup of larger displays and cabinet-style frames can be used for permanent installations.

B. Signal Communications

Redundant Signal. Redundant signal masks signal failures and maximizes display uptime. The proactive feature ensures against the unexpected, keeping imagery constant and unbroken on a display. The innovative, redundant signal design passes image and diagnostic data from display panel to display panel in two directions. If a signal interruption occurs from one direction, the affected display panels automatically switch to the backup signal and a report of the situation is then given back to the computer controller.

Signal Connectors and Cables. An industry standard, rugged, quick release signal connector guarantees a watertight bond between stackable electronic display panels. An audible, positive-lock click indicates a connector fits snugly in place, keeping the elements out. If a supplied signal cable becomes damaged, it can be temporarily replaced with a standard network cable available from almost any electronics store. This quick fix solution eliminates waiting on manufacturer-supplied cables to keep the show going.

Operational Status Indicators. Operational status LEDs on the backside of an LED display module give a quick visual indication of the LED display module's operational status. The signal indicators turn off when the data path to the LED display modules is interrupted, alerting support personnel that further examination is required.

C. Power Delivery

Remote Power System. To keep noise away from the display, a remote transportable power delivery system or rack that can be located up to 150 feet (45.7 meters) away from the display is provided. The external remote power delivery system removes the power supplies from the display, resulting in a drastically lighter display panel and reducing heat for extended uniformity.

Power Connectors. An industry standard, rugged, quick release power connector guarantees a watertight bond between display panels. An audible, positive-lock click indicates a connector fits snugly in place, keeping the elements out.

Hot-Swappable Power. The transportable power rack can be located up 150 feet (45.7 meters) away from the display and allows power units inside the rack to be hot-swapped for one another, keeping a constant supply of power to the display panels. The power rack contains several power units that distribute the power evenly to the display panels. Should one power unit fail, the remaining units pick up the power load and keep the display running. An indicator alerts support personnel of a failed power unit, allowing them to replace the unit for a new one without shutting off power to the display panels.

Operational Status Indicators. Operational status LEDs on the backsides of the LED display modules give a quick visual indication of the operational status of the LED display modules. The power indicator illuminates when the LED display module receives power, signaling to support personnel that the LED display module works correctly.

Various modifications can be made to the present invention without departing from the apparent scope hereof.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification211/26
International ClassificationA47F7/00
Cooperative ClassificationG09F9/3026, G09F9/33
European ClassificationG09F9/33
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 10, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: DAKTRONICS, INC., SOUTH DAKOTA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LUTZ, ROBERT JAMES;MUELLER, MATTHEW RAY;GLOEGE, CHAD NEAL;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:017231/0065;SIGNING DATES FROM 20051107 TO 20051109