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Publication numberUS20080105289 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/594,201
Publication dateMay 8, 2008
Filing dateNov 8, 2006
Priority dateNov 8, 2006
Publication number11594201, 594201, US 2008/0105289 A1, US 2008/105289 A1, US 20080105289 A1, US 20080105289A1, US 2008105289 A1, US 2008105289A1, US-A1-20080105289, US-A1-2008105289, US2008/0105289A1, US2008/105289A1, US20080105289 A1, US20080105289A1, US2008105289 A1, US2008105289A1
InventorsJoen-Shen Ma
Original AssigneeJoen-Shen Ma
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shade orientating device for large-sized umbrella
US 20080105289 A1
Abstract
An umbrella includes a shade orientating device arranged between upper and lower sections of a post. The upper section supports a shade. The shade orientating device includes upper and lower sleeves respectively fixed to upper and lower sections. A sphere is attached to the upper sleeve and is rotatably received in the lower sleeve. A bolt extends from an upper hemisphere of the sphere to threadingly fix to the upper sleeve, while a plurality of dimples is distributed on a surface of a lower hemisphere. A controller, movably mounted to the lower sleeve, includes a pin engageable with the dimples and the controller is movable to selectively bring the pin into engagement with a selected one of the dimples thereby fixing the upper central post section and thus the shade carried thereby at a desired orientation with respect to the lower central post section.
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Claims(6)
1. A shade orientating device adapted to adjust and control inclination and orientation of a shade supported on a central post of an umbrella, the central post being composed of upper and lower sections, the shade orientating device comprising:
a lower sleeve mounted to the lower section of the central post, the lower sleeve forming a socket;
an upper sleeve mounted to the upper section of the central post;
a sphere rotatably received in the socket of the lower sleeve, the sphere having upper and lower hemispherical surfaces, a bolt extending from the upper hemispherical surface in a radial direction and projecting out of the lower sleeve to threadingly fix to the upper sleeve thereby connecting the upper and lower sleeves together and thus connecting the upper and lower sections of the central post to each other while allowing relative rotation between the upper and lower sections, a plurality of dimples distributed on the lower hemispherical surface; and
a controller movably mounted to the lower sleeve, the controller comprising a pin that is selectively engageable with a selected one of the dimples of the sphere in response to a first direction movement of the controller to fix the upper and lower sleeves in position with respect to each so s to set the upper section of the central post in a desired orientation.
2. The shade orientating device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the lower sleeve forms an opening in communication with the socket for the extension of the bolt of the sphere, the opening having a diameter smaller than diameter of the sphere.
3. The shade orientating device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the controller is movably mounted on an outer surface of the lower sleeve and comprise an extension projecting into the lower sleeve through a slot defined in a wall of the lower sleeve and carrying the pin at a position engageable with the dimples of the sphere, a biasing element being connected to and applying a biasing force to the extension of the controller to cause engagement of the pin with the dimples.
4. The shade orientating device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the controller is accommodated in a cavity defined in and pivoted to the lower sleeve, an end of the controller forming the pin at a position engageable with the dimples of the sphere, a biasing element rotatably basing the controller to have the pin engaging the dimples.
5. The shade orientating device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the controller comprises a central section movably received in the lower sleeve and two legs extending from opposite ends of the central section and projecting beyond the lower sleeve, the central section carrying the pin at a position engageable with the dimples of the sphere, a biasing element biasing the central section to have the pin engaging the dimples.
6. The shade orientating device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the lower sleeve is concentrically rotatable about the lower section of the central post and wherein a first threading is formed on an inner surface of the lower sleeve, a disk received in the lower sleeve and facing the sphere and carrying the pin at a position engageable with the dimples of the sphere, the disk forming a second threading along an outer circumference thereof to threadingly engage the first threading for converting rotation of the lower sleeve into axial movement of the disk toward/away from the sphere and thus engaging/disengaging the pin with/from the dimples, a biasing element arranged to apply a biasing force to the disk.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to a large-sized umbrella having a post supporting a shade, and in particular to a spherical joint based shade orientating device arranged between upper and lower sections of the post to selectively orientate the shade at any desired direction.

2. The Related Arts

Shade orientating devices have been used in large-sized umbrellas for controlling direction of inclination of the umbrella to selectively shield against intense sun light or simply for landscaping arrangement purposes.

The conventional shade orientating devices only allow the umbrella to move in a single plane, such as east-westward plane or north-southward plane. In other words, the shade can be inclined in a direction toward for example east/west or north/south but not both. This limits the capacity and performance of the large-sized umbrella.

One way to overcome the drawback is manually rotating a central post that supports the shade to point the inclined shade toward any desired orientation. However, manually rotating the central post may affect positioning of the umbrella on for example the ground for the engagement between the central post and an umbrella base that is positioned on the ground may be unexpectedly broken or gets loosened. In addition, the operation of manually rotating the central post is troublesome.

The present invention is made to overcome the drawbacks of the conventional shade orientating device for large-sized umbrellas.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Thus, an object of the present invention is to provide an umbrella shade orientating device comprising a ball joint arranged between upper and lower sections of a central post of the umbrella to allow the upper central post section to rotate with respect to the lower central post section and thus making the shade supported by the upper central post section orientated toward any desired direction thereby enhancing operability and convenience of use of the large-sized umbrella.

To realize the above object, an umbrella provided by the present invention comprises a shade orientating device arranged between upper and lower sections of the central post of the umbrella. The upper central post section supports a shade on an upper end thereof. The shade orientating device comprises upper and lower sleeves, a sphere attached to the upper sleeve and a controller movably mounted to the lower sleeve. The lower sleeve has a lower end fixed to an upper end of the lower central post section, while the upper sleeve has an upper end fixed to a lower end of the upper central post section. The lower sleeve forms a socket in which the sphere is rotatably received. The sphere has upper and lower hemispheres. A bolt extends in a radial direction from the upper hemisphere, while a plurality of dimples is formed and distributed on an outer surface of the lower hemisphere. The bolt projects beyond the lower sleeve to threadingly fix to the upper sleeve thereby connecting the upper and lower sections of the central post together. The controller comprises a pin engageable with the dimples and the controller is movable to selectively bring the pin into engagement with a selected one of the dimples thereby fixing the upper central post section and thus the shade carried thereby at a desired orientation with respect to the lower central post section.

The controller can be embodied in different forms, such as a pivoted member that is rotatable with respect to the lower sleeve to make the pin approaching or leaving the dimples, a slidable member carrying the pin toward/away from the dimples, or a screw-based rotation-to-axial translation converting mechanism.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order to clearly show and make better comprehension of these and other features and advantages of the present invention, the present invention will now be described by way of examples, with reference to embodiments illustrated in the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a side elevational view of a large-sized umbrella in which a shade orientating device in accordance with the present invention is embodied;

FIG. 2 shows an exploded view of the shade orientating device in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the shade orientating device illustrating a first embodiment thereof in an engaged condition;

FIG. 4 is similar to FIG. 3 but showing the shade orientating device of the first embodiment in a disengaged condition;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the shade orientating device illustrating a second embodiment thereof in an engaged condition;

FIG. 6 is similar to FIG. 5 but showing the shade orientating device of the second embodiment in a disengaged condition;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the shade orientating device illustrating a third embodiment thereof in an engaged condition;

FIG. 8 is similar to FIG. 7 but showing the shade orientating device of the third embodiment in a disengaged condition;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the shade orientating device illustrating a fourth embodiment thereof in an engaged condition; and

FIG. 10 is similar to FIG. 9 but showing the shade orientating device of the fourth embodiment in a disengaged condition.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to the drawings and in particular to FIG. 1, a large-sized umbrella, which is broadly designated with reference numeral 10, is shown and comprises a central post supporting a shade at a top end thereof. A shade orientating device constructed in accordance with the present invention, generally designated with reference numeral 20 in FIG. 1, is embodied in the umbrella 10. In FIG. 1, the shade orientating device in accordance with the present invention is particularly circled in FIG. 1 for easy identification and is more clearly shown in FIG. 2 in exploded form.

As shown in FIG. 1, the central post of the umbrella 10 is comprised of upper and lower sections 11, 12. The shade orientating device 20 is arranged and connecting between the upper and lower sections 11, 12 of the central post for selectively orientating the shade 13 toward any desired direction and controlling the inclination of the shade.

As shown in FIG. 2, the shade orientating device 20 comprises a sphere 21, a lower sleeve 24, an upper sleeve 26, and a manually operable controller 30 movably mounted on the lower sleeve 24. A lower end of the lower sleeve 24 is fixed to an upper end of the lower central post section 12 and an upper end of the upper sleeve 26 is fixed to a lower end of the upper central post section 11. Although not shown in the drawings, a plurality of ribs is movably attached to a crown mounted to the top end of the upper central post section 11 to open/close the shade 13.

The sphere 21 has a spherical outer surface in which a plurality of dimples 22 is formed. The dimples 22 are arranged close to each other and are distributed, preferably in a uniform manner, on a lower hemi-spherical portion of the spherical outer surface. Further, a bolt-like threaded extension 23 is attached to the outer surface of the sphere 21. The bolt 23 extends along a radius of the sphere 21 that is opposite to the lower hemi-sphere and is substantially normal to the “north pole” of the sphere 21.

The lower sleeve 24 forms a socket therein for receiving the sphere 21 in a way to allow the sphere 21 to freely rotate with respect to the lower sleeve 24. The sleeve 24 forms an opening 25 at the upper end thereof and the opening 25 has a diameter smaller than the diameter of the sphere 21 so as to constrain the sphere 21 in the lower sleeve 24. The sphere 21 is arranged in such a manner that the bolt 23 extends beyond the upper end of the lower sleeve 24 through the opening 25. The bolt 23 so extending beyond the upper end of the lower sleeve 24 is threadingly engageable with the lower end of the upper sleeve 26 to couple the lower and upper sleeves 24, 26 together and thus connecting the upper and lower sections 11, 12 together to form the central post.

The manually operable controller 30 comprises a pin 32 having an end selectively and receivingly engageable with the dimples 22 of the sphere 21 to retain the upper sleeve 26 (and thus the upper section 11 of the central post) in a selected, fixed position with respect to he lower sleeve 24 (and thus the lower section 12). By manually operating the controller 30 to release the pin 32 from the dimple 22 of the sphere 21, the sphere 21 may freely rotate with respect to the lower sleeve 24, whereby the upper sleeve 26 that is threadingly fixed to the bolt 23 of the sphere 21, as well as the upper section 11, is allowed to rotate with the sphere 21 to thereby orientate the shade 13 supported on the upper section 11 toward any desired direction. By engaging the pin 32 with a selected one of the dimples 22 of the sphere 21, the sphere 21 is fixed at the particular location and the orientation of the shade 13 is fixed as well.

Different embodiments of the controller 30 will be further descried with reference to the drawings. A first embodiment of the catch 30 is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, which demonstrate engaged and disengaged conditions between the pin 32 of the controller 30 and the dimples 22 of the sphere 21, respectively.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the controller 30 is movably mounted on the outside surface of the lower sleeve 24 and comprises an extension 31 that projects into the lower sleeve 24 through a guide slot 34 formed in the wall of the lower sleeve 24. The pin 32 is formed on the extension 31 and is arranged substantially under the sphere 21 and pointing toward the lower hemi-sphere of the sphere 21. A biasing element 33 is provided to bias the extension 31 in such a way to have the pin 32 physically contact the sphere 21 and thus engaging one of the dimples 22. In other words, the pin 32 is set in a normally engaged condition. This ensures safety of operation and use of the umbrella.

An example of the biasing element 33 is a spring fixed between the extension 31 and the lower sleeve 24 or the lower section 12 of the central post.

To release the upper section 11 of the central post, as shown in FIG. 4, the controller 30 is moved along the guide slot 34 in a direction against the biasing element 33 and by doing so, the pin 32 is moved out of engagement from the dimple 22 thereby releasing the upper sleeve 26 and the upper central post section 11 to allow for re-orientating of the shade 13 toward any desired direction. Once the shade 13 is orientated at the desired direction, by releasing the controller 30, the pin 32 of the controller 30 is allowed to resume the normally engaged condition under the spring force and the shade 13 is fixed in position again.

A second embodiment of the controller is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, which is designated with reference numeral 40 for distinction. The controller 40 of the second embodiment is accommodated in an open cavity 44 defined in the wall of the lower sleeve 24 and is pivoted to the lower sleeve 24 by a pivot pin 41. An end of the controller 40 that is close to and faces the dimples 22 of the sphere 21 forms a pin 42, which is selectively engageable with the dimples 22. A biasing element 43, which in the embodiment illustrated comprises a torsional spring, biases the controller 40 in such a way to set the pin 42 in a normally engaged condition with the dimple 22 of the sphere 21.

To release the upper sleeve 26 and thus the upper section 11 of the central post, as shown in FIG. 6, the controller 30 is depressed in a direction against the biasing element 43 and by doing so, the pin 42 is moved out of engagement from the dimple 22 thereby releasing the upper sleeve 26 and the upper central post section 11 to allow re-orientating of the shade 13 supported on the upper central post section 11. Once the shade 13 is orientated at the desired direction, by releasing the controller 40, the pin 42 of the controller 40 is allowed to resume the normally engaged condition under the spring force and the shade 13 is fixed in position again.

A third embodiment of the controller is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, which is designated with reference numeral 50 for distinction. The controller 50 of the third embodiment is a U-shaped member having a central section 51 movably received in the lower sleeve 24 and forming a pin 52 pointing toward the lower hemisphere of the sphere 21. A biasing element 53, which in the embodiment illustrated comprises a spring, biases the central section 51 of the controller 50 in such a direction to set the pin 52 in a normally engaged condition with the dimples 22 of the sphere 21. Two legs extend perpendicularly from opposite ends of the central section 51 and project beyond the wall of the lower sleeve 24 through openings 54. The legs are in slidable engagement with outer surface of the lower sleeve 24 for being manually moved along the outer surface of the lower sleeve 24.

To release the upper sleeve 26 and thus the upper section 11 of the central post, as shown in FIG. 8, the controller 50 is manually moved along the outer surface of the lower sleeve 24 in a direction against the biasing element 53 and by doing so, the pin 52 is moved out of engagement from the dimple 22 thereby releasing the upper sleeve 26 and the upper central post section 11 to allow re-orientating of the shade 13 supported on the upper central post section 11. Once the shade 13 is orientated at the desired direction, by releasing the controller 50, the pin 52 of the controller 50 is allowed to resume the normally engaged condition under the spring force and the shade 13 is fixed in position again.

A fourth embodiment of the controller is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. In the embodiment illustrated, the lower sleeve, which is designated with reference numeral 60, is concentrically rotatable about the lower central post section 12. Threading 61 is formed on an inside surface of the lower sleeve 60. The controller further comprises a rotatable disk 62 received in the lower sleeve 60 and forming a pin 63 pointing toward and thus engageable with the dimples 22 of the sphere 21. The disk 62 has an outer cylindrical surface on which threading is formed for engagement with the threading 61 of the lower sleeve 60. By rotating the lower sleeve 60, the threading engagement between the lower sleeve 60 and the disk 62 causes the disk 62 to move axially and thus approaching or moving away from the sphere to cause engagement and disengagement of the pin 63 with respect to the dimples 22 of the sphere 21. A biasing element 64, such as a spring, is arranged to apply a biasing force to the disk 62.

To release the upper sleeve 26 and thus the upper section 11 of the central post, as shown in FIG. 8, the lower sleeve 60 is rotated in such a direction to cause the disk 62 to move away from the sphere 21 and thus disengaging the pin 63 from the dimple 22. By doing so, the pin 63 is moved out of engagement from the dimple 22 thereby releasing the upper sleeve 26 and the upper central post section 11 to allow re-orientating of the shade 13 supported on the upper central post section 11. Once the shade 13 is orientated at the desired direction, by rotating the lower sleeve 60 is a reversed direction to move the disk 62 toward the sphere 21, the pin 62 re-engages the dimple 22 and the fixing the shade 13 in position again.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments thereof, it is apparent to those skilled in the art that a variety of modifications and changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention which is intended to be defined by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8132291Mar 18, 2010Mar 13, 2012Pegatron CorporationHinge device
Classifications
U.S. Classification135/20.3, 135/20.1
International ClassificationA45B11/00, A45B17/00
Cooperative ClassificationA45B17/00
European ClassificationA45B17/00