FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/933,951, filed Jun. 8, 2007 which is incorporated herein by reference.
The present invention relates to the field of mounting devices used to mount equipment to support structures. In particular, the present invention relates to the field of mounts useful for mounting lights to lifts for use during motion picture filming.
In the motion picture industry there are supports used to mount motion picture lights in aerial lifts such as telescoping boom lifts and scissor lifts. FIG. 1 shows such a light 1 mounted on such a support in a telescoping boom lift. These supports are referred to as “Condor Mounts”. In 1989 this inventor designed a single-vertical-post condor mount that became known as a “candlestick” style condor mount 2 (FIG. 1). For the past eighteen years this Candlestick Condor Mount has been commonly used in the industry, and it has, with some minor shortcomings, worked very well. Recent changes in the construction of some telescoping boom lifts have necessitated changes in the design of the Candlestick Condor Mount.
The traditional Candlestick Condor Mount, as shown in FIG. 2, consists of a vertical post 7 that is approximately four feet tall and made from steel tubing. It has a “junior receiver” 8 at the top end, which will accept a 1⅛ inch diameter “junior pin”. A junior pin 3 (FIG. 1) is the supporting pin on most large motion picture lights and some motion picture grip equipment. The junior receiver 8 includes a securing knob which locks the junior pin 3 into the receiver, and keeps the light from rotating. There are two “sliding clamps” (FIG. 3) on the post 7 that are used to attach the post 7 to the two horizontal railings 4 (FIG. 1) around the platform of a scissor lift or the basket 5 (FIG. 1) of a telescoping boom lift. There is an upper sliding clamp 9 (FIG. 2) and a lower sliding clamp 10. On the bottom of the post 7 there is a ½ inch diameter by one inch long steel pin 11 that keys the foot of the post 7 into the steel mesh floor 6 (FIG. 1) of the basket 5 on the telescoping boom lift.
Each of the sliding clamps (FIG. 3
) consists of:
- A slider body 14 which can be moved up and down the post 7 to align it with the railing 4 as shown in FIG. 1.
- A four inch long steel angle 15, welded on perpendicular to the slider body 14, that can be hooked over the railing 4.
- A T-bolt support 16 which has one end welded to the slider body 14. The other end protrudes beyond the railing 4 and is drilled and tapped to receive the threaded T-bolt 17.
- A T-bolt 17 that threads through the T-bolt support 16 and can be tightened against the railing 4, clamping the railing 4 against the slider body 14 and the steel angle 15 as shown in FIG. 1.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In recent years some of the manufacturers of telescoping boom lifts have begun putting steel mesh side walls on the baskets of their lifts. The steel mesh is welded onto the outside surface of the lower railing, and extends down to the basket floor. This steel mesh keeps the lower sliding clamp from fitting onto the lower railing. The steel mesh prevents the T-bolt and T-bolt support from passing under the railing and achieving the required position for attachment to the railing.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a prior art candlestick condor mount supporting a motion picture light in the basket of a telescoping boom lift;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a prior art candlestick condor mount and safety cable;
FIG. 3 is a more detailed perspective view of the prior art sliding clamp and post shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a candlestick condor mount according to the present invention;
FIG. 5A is a more detailed perspective view of the sliding clamp and post shown in FIG. 4;
FIG. 5B is similar to FIG. 5A, but shows a portion of the slider body and pivoting jaw cut away to permit viewing of the pressure plate, bolt and compression spring.
FIGS. 6A and 6B are a side elevation view and a rear elevation view, respectively, of the slider body shown in FIG. 4, including the hinge tube and steel angle.
An improved candlestick condor mount 19 (FIG. 4) employs a new design for the sliding clamps 20. The mount 19 is suitable for use in mounting a motion picture lamp to a rail 4 of a boom lift in a manner similar to that shown for the prior art mount 2 in FIG. 1. However, the clamp 20 has been improved to simplify its overall use and to facilitate its use on boom lifts on which the rails are surrounded by mesh side walls.
The sliding clamp 20, as shown in FIG. 5A, includes a slider body 29 having a rail contacting member 30. Slider body 29 may be similar to the slider body of a traditional candlestick condor mount. The rail contacting member 30 may take a number of forms but is preferably an angled plate such as the four inch steel angle used on the prior art clamp described in connection with FIGS. 1-3. Clamp 20 differs from the prior art clamp in that, in place of the T-bolt 17 and T-bolt support 16, the clamp 20 employs a pivoting jaw 31. This jaw 31 hinges up to clamp the railing 4 against the slider body 29 and the steel angle 30. The pivoting jaw 31 does not extend beyond the railing 4, so the steel mesh side wall does not interfere with the operation of the jaw 31.
The pivoting jaw 31 hinges on the hinge tube 37 (FIGS. 6A and 6B) which is welded to the slider body 29. A clevis pin 32 passes through a hole in each side of the jaw 31 and through the hinge tube 37. Pressure is applied to the railing by means of a lock knob 33 coupled to a bolt 33 a which passes through a threaded hole 34 near the top end of the jaw 31. In the illustrated embodiment, the threaded bolt 34 is the bore of a nut 34 a fixed to the jaw in a position co-extensive with a first aperture through the jaw 31 and a second aperture 29 a through the slider body 29 (FIG. 6B). Bolt 33 a passes through each of these apertures. When the lock knob 33 is tightened, the top end of the jaw 31 travels on the threads of the bolt 33 a away from the slider body 29 as indicated by arrow A1 in FIG. 5A. As a result, the jaw 31 pivots on the hinge tube 37 (arrow A2), causing a second rail contacting member, which may take the form of the jaw face 35 to pivot upwardly (arrow A3) and contact the rail 4. Further tightening of the lock knob 33 clamps the railing 4 between the jaw face 35, the slider body 29 and the steel angle 30. Thus the lower sliding clamp 20 can be clamped to the lower railing, even with the steel mesh side wall.
Other improvements of this new candlestick condor mount over previous embodiments will next be described.
A first such improvement is a feature that gives the mount 19 safety benefits over prior art mounts. On previous candlestick condor mounts, when the lock knob 18 (FIG. 3) on a sliding clamp 9,10 is loose, the sliding clamp 9, 10 can “free fall” down the post 7 and impact the hand of the user. The new embodiment of the sliding clamp, as shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B, has a spring loaded pressure plate 36 between the slider body 29 and the post 27. Referring to the cut-away view of FIG. 5B, there is a compression spring 39 between the pressure plate 36 and the inside of the slider body 29 that pushes the pressure plate 36 against the post 27. Thus the pressure plate 36 creates resistance to the movement of the sliding clamp 20 along the post 27, and prevents free fall. Compression spring 39 sits in a recess 39 a in the slider body 29 (FIG. 6B).
A second such improvement makes attaching the mount 19 faster and easier than it was with previous mounts. The bolt 33 a of lock knob 33 on the new sliding clamp (FIG. 5) passes through a hole in the slider body 29 and presses against the back of the pressure plate 36, forcing it against the post 27. Tightening the lock knob 33 locks the sliding clamp 20 in position on the post 27, and tightens the sliding clamp 20 onto the railing 4 at the same time. The one knob 33 does the job of both the T-bolt 17 and the lock knob 18 on the traditional candlestick condor mount. Locking of the clamp against the post and clamping of the rails may occur simultaneously or sequentially depending on the dimensions selected for the components of the clamp. In other words, in one embodiment the components may be proportioned such that turning the knob 33 first locks the longitudinal position of the clamp on the post, and then continued rotation of the knob 33 secures the rail between the rail contacting members 30, 35. In other embodiment, turning the knob 33 will simultaneously lock the longitudinal position of the clamp and secure the rail between the rail contacting members 30, 35. A third such improvement ensures that an important piece of safety equipment will be where it needs to be each time the mount is used. The safety cable 12 (FIG. 2) and connecting shackle 13 supplied with previous candlestick condor mounts were not attached to the mount. The safety cable 12 and shackle 13 are often misplaced or lost while stored between usages. On this new embodiment of the candlestick condor mount the safety cable 21 (FIG. 4) is secured to the post 27 by a metal ring 22. The quick link 23, which is used to connect the two ends of the cable, has no detachable parts and is attached to the cable by a nylon tie.
The mount 19 (FIG. 4) is positioned vertically just inside the railing of the aerial lift, with the junior receiver 25 on the top and the pin 26 on the bottom as is done with prior art mounts (see e.g. mount 2 of FIG. 1). The upper sliding clamp 20 is applied to the upper railing, and the bottom sliding clamp 20 is applied to the lower railing. In each case this is accomplished by hooking the steel angle 30 over the respective railing. If the floor of the aerial lift is steel mesh, as in FIG. 1, the pin 26 on the bottom of the post 27 is allowed to drop into one of the open spaces in the steel mesh. Then the lock knob 33 on each of the sliding clamps 20 is tightened until the jaw face 35 clamps the railing tightly against the slider body 29 and the steel angle 30. At the same time the lock knob 33 presses the pressure plate 36 against the post 27, locking the sliding clamp 20 in place on the post 27. Then a motion picture light 1 (FIG. 1) is lifted up and the light's junior pin 3 is inserted into the junior receiver 25. The securing knob 28 is tightened, locking the junior pin 3 in the junior receiver 25, thereby securing the motion picture light 1 to the candlestick condor mount, which is in turn clamped to the railings of the aerial lift. The safety cable 21 is passed under the top railing and then over the bail of the light (the semi circular support that connects the junior pin 3 to the sides of the motion picture light 1). The two ends of the safety cable 21 are joined by the quick link 23. This cable serves as a safety net should the light somehow break free of the mount.
- REFERENCE NUMERALS
It should be recognized that a number of variations of the above-identified embodiment will be obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art in view of the foregoing description. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited by the specific embodiments and methods of the present invention shown and described herein. Rather, the scope of the invention is to be defined by the claims and their equivalents.
- 1 motion picture light
- 2 traditional candlestick condor mount
- 3 junior pin
- 4 railing
- 5 basket of telescoping boom lift
- 6 steel mesh floor of basket
- 7 traditional candlestick post
- 8 traditional candlestick junior receiver
- 9 traditional candlestick upper sliding clamp
- 10 traditional candlestick lower sliding clamp
- 11 traditional candlestick pin
- 12 traditional candlestick safety cable
- 13 traditional candlestick connecting shackle
- 14 traditional sliding clamp slider body
- 15 traditional sliding clamp steel angle
- 16 traditional sliding clamp T-bolt support
- 17 traditional sliding clamp T-bolt
- 18 traditional sliding clamp lock knob
- 19 condor mount
- 20 sliding clamp
- 21 safety cable
- 22 safety cable retaining ring
- 23 safety cable quick link
- 24 safety cable quick link nylon tie
- 25 junior receiver
- 26 pin
- 27 post
- 28 securing knob
- 29 slider body
- 30 rail contacting member/angle
- 31 pivoting jaw
- 32 clevis pin
- 33 new sliding clamp lock knob
- 33 a bolt
- 34 threaded hole
- 34 a nut
- 35 rail contacting member/jaw face
- 36 pressure plate
- 37 hinge tube
- 39 compression spring