US 2799368 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jilly 16, 1957 ALTER 2,799,368
coLLAPsIBLE: STRUCTURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 8, 1953 ATTDRN 5Y5 IN 7 OR. (25511341222;
July 16, 1957 J. E. ALTER 2,799,368
COLLAPSIBLE STRUCTURE Filed July 8, 1953 Sheets-Sheet 2 In! Him a I I I gin. l H Arronuzvs VWfl/////////////////////% I INVENTORI (John 14 K627 2,799,368 COLLAPSIBLE STRUCTURE John E. Alter, Miami, Fla. Application July 8, 1953, Serial No. 366,811
, 3 Claims. (Cl. 189-14) This invention relates to a tower or support, and more particularly to a tower that can be readily extended or collapsed.
The object of the invention is to provide an extensible tower which can be collapsed to occupy a minimum amount of space for storage or shipment, and wherein the tower can be extended to any desired elevation as required.
Another object of the invention is to provide a tower that can be easily and quickly transported, erected, and removed or carried without the necessity of disassembling the parts and wherein the tower can be raised or lowered Without the necessity of using any special jigs or tools.
A further object of the invention is to provide an extensible tower that can be used for supporting loads of various sizes such as communications antennae for workthen, the tower being variable in height and wherein the tower can be locked in any desired elevation.
Other' objects and advantages will be apparent during the course of the following description.
In the accompanying drawings, forming a part of this application, and in which like numerals are used to designate like parts throughout the same:
Figure l is a side elevational view of'the tower, constructed according to the present invention.
Figure 2 is a top plan view of the tower.
'. Figure 3 is a side elevational view of one of the side members.
Figure 4 is a side elevational view of one of the other side members.
Figure 5 is a sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of Figure 1.
Figure 6 is a vertical sectional view taken through the tower in an extended position.
Figure 7 is a sectional view taken on the line 7-7 Figure 6.
Figure 8 Figure 6.
Figure 9 is a horizontal is a sectional view taken on the line 8-8 of sectional view taken through the tower.
Figure 10 is a plan view of a modified form of the invention.
Referring in detail to the drawings, the numeral 10 designates a horizontally disposed base which may be fabricated of any suitable material, and extending upwardly from the base 10 and secured thereto is a plurality of vertically disposed spaced parallel angles or beams 11, Figure 8. A bearing bracket 12 is secured to each of the beams 11 by suitable securing elements such as bolt and nut assemblies 14, and a first pair of opposed horizontally disposed shafts 15 and 16 are supported by the brackets 12. A roller 17 may be mounted on each of the shafts 15 and 16, and a flexible side member 18 is wound or trained over each of the rollers 17, Figure 6. The side members 18 may be made of flexible steel. A second pair of horizontally disposed opposed shafts 19 and 20 are supported by the other brackets 12, and the Patented July 16, 1957 shafts 19 and 20 are arranged below the shafts 15 and 16 for a purpose to be later described. A flexible roll of steel defining a side member 21 is supported by each of the shafts 19 and 20.
A manually operable means is provided for raising and lowering the side members 18 and 21, and this manually operable means comprises a plurality of spaced slots 22 which are formed in each of the side members 18 and 21. The slots 22 are engaged by teeth that extend from gear wheels 35 so that as the gear wheels 35 are rotated, the teeth from the gear wheels will engage in the slots 22 to raise or lower the side members depending upon the direction of rotation of the gear wheels. For rotating the gear wheels, a crank 24 is provided, and the crank 24 has a hand grip 25 extending therefrom, the crank 24 being mounted on an end of a shaft 23 which has a bevel gear 28 meshing with a bevel gear 27 that is secured to a shaft 26. A bevel gear 29 on the shaft 26 meshes with a bevel gear 30 on a shaft 31, Figure 7, and a bevel gear 32 on the shaft 31 meshes with a bevel gear 33 on the shaft 34. Each of these last named shafts has a pair of the gear wheels 35 thereon, so that as the crank 24 is turned, the gear wheels 35 will all be turned to thereby cause raising or lowering of the side members 18 and 21.
There is further provided a plurality of guide rollers 36, 37, 38, and 39, and these rollers are engaged by portions of the flexible steel side members 18 and 21, as later described in this application.
A means is provided for winding the side members onto the shafts as rolls, and this means comprises a gear which is mounted on an end of the shaft 15. A worm 41 is arranged in engagement with the gear 40, and the worm 41 is rotated by means of a crank 42. A universal joint 43 connects the shaft 15 to an arm 44, and the universal joint 45 connects the lower end of the inclined shaft 44 to the shaft 20. A universal joint 46 likewise connects the lower end of a shaft or arm 47 to the shaft 20, and the upper end of the shaft 47 is connected to the shaft 16 by a universal joint 48. Further, a universal joint 49, Figure 2, serves to connect a shaft 50 to the shaft 16, and the other end of the shaft 50 is connected to the shaft 19 by means of a universal joint 51. Thus, by rotating the crank 42, the four shafts carrying the side members will be rotated to wind the side members thereon.
Each of the side members 18 and 21 is provided with a plurality of openings or cut-outs 52, and these openings 52 serve to reduce the wind resistance, reduce the weight of the side members and also provide means whereby workmen can climb the side members, the openings 52 are also adapted to receive anchoring cables as required.
A means is provided for interconnecting the side members 18 and 21 together as the side members are extended, and this means comprises. a plurality of tongues 54 which extend from each edge of the side members 21, the tongues 54 adapted to engage grooves 53 in the other side member Referring to Figure 10 there is shown a slightly modified form of the invention wherein the tower is indicated by the numeral 55, the tower assembly 55 including a horizontally disposed base 56 and a plurality of free running drums 57. The apparatus shown in Figure 10 may be used on small scale models of the invention.
From the foregoing it is apparent that a tower has been provided which can be easily and quickly transported, erected, and removed without disassembly. The tower can be transported intact so that it is not necessary to disassemble it into many small pieces, and the tower can be erected without requiring much effort or time or requiring any skilled personnel. Further, the
tower can be transported in one piece by one or more persons without special transportation in a compact and easily handled unit and also the tower will support any type of material and the tower can be varied in height and locked in any desired elevation. The shape or size of the tower can be varied as desired and it can be used in repair work, floodlights, clearance lights, supporting weather instruments, emergency power line or telephone wire supports, as radio transmitting and receiving antennae, or it can be set on a roof top, on a truck or trailer, used aboard ship, or dropped from the air or just plain mounted on the ground. When the tower is not being used the side members 18 and 21 are stored in the circular rolls on their respective shafts and when the side members are. extended the teeth 54 mesh with the grooves 53 to lock the sides into a rectangular formation. The side members are raised or lowered by turning the crank 24 which causes the teeth on the gear wheels 35 to mesh with the slots 22 whereby the side members will be raised or lowered. On small size models, the tower sides may be pulled out by hand while on large size towers the pulling power is applied by the gear wheels 35. The rollers 39 conform to the preformed curve in the tower sides and as the curve assumes its preformed arc the tongues 54 bind in the grooves 53 in a rigid and immobile position so that the tower can be extended to the desired height.
For collapsing the tower, the reverse steps are followed so that the crank 24 is turned in the opposite direction and at the same time the crank 42 is turned to apply power through the worm gear 41 to all four reels or drums by means of the flexible or universal joints. As the preformed tower sides glide past the curved rollers 39, they are flattened out by the intermediate guide rollers 38 and 37 and the tension is released on the tongues 54 and grooves 53, and when the side members pass behind the rollers 36, the grooves 53 are removed from the tongues 54 and the tower sides are returned to the storage reels.
Guy wires can be used when required as the tower is being erected to conform to the load and such guy wires can be attached by means of special hooks to the openings 52. By means of the present invention a submarine could surface on any ocean and run up this tower for radio purposes or use it to send an observer aloft. It could also be used as an emergency mast for spot or floodlighting or it could be used for carrying cables, wires, loudspeakers, banners, flags and the like. Also, a paratrooper could carry the tower or have it dropped with him and quickly run up a first class antenna support. Further, the towers could be mounted on trucks or trailers to provide top efiiciency for mobile transmitter and receiver units and it could also be used as a TV antenna support and it could also be used for painting buildings, washing windows, changing or cleaning light fixtures in rooms with'high ceilings, and many other uses.
Also, the tower can be erected by motor power if desired and the openings 52 serve to reduce the weight of the tower and reduce wind resistance and these openings also permit the tower to be climbed with ease for maintenance of installed equipment where it would not be practical to lower the tower. Further, the tower may be made with three sides instead of four and although preformed steel is especially suitable for constructing the tower sides, it is to be understood that other material such as spring aluminium can be used. Further, several of the units can be completely extended from the base, laid side by side and covered by suitable planking and fitted with suitable approaches to provide a temporary foot bridge or for light vehicles to cross ravines, chasms or streams.
1. In combination, a horizontally disposed base, a stationary frame supported by said base and including a plurality of spaced parallel vertically disposed angle beams, a bearing bracket extending outwardly from each of said beams and secured thereto, said brackets being arranged in pairs, a first pair of opposed shafts supported by said brackets, a second pair of opposed shafts positioned below said first pair of shafts and supported by said brackets, flexible side members trained over each of said shafts, said side members being provided along their edges with interengaging tongue and grooves, there being a plurality of openings in each of said side members, said side members each having a plurality of slots therein along the length of the side members, a plurality of spaced apart rollers supported by said brackets and beams engaging said side members, gear wheels operating in unison and having teeth arranged in engagement with the slots in said side members, manually operable means for rotating said gear wheels to raise and lower said side members, and means interconnecting said shafts together whereby said shafts rotate in unison.
2. The apparatus as described in claim 1, and further including manually operable means for rotating said shafts to wind said side members onto the shafts as a roll.
3. An extensible tower comprising a horizontally disposed base, a stationary frame supported by said base and including a plurality of spaced parallel vertically disposed angle beams, a bearing bracket extending outwardly from each of said beams and secured thereto, said brackets being arranged in pairs, :1 first pair of opposed shafts supported by said brackets, a second pair of opposed shafts positioned below said first pair of shafts and supported by said brackets, flexible side members trained over each of said shafts, said side members being provided along their edges with interengaging tongue and grooves, there being a plurality of openings in each of said side members, said side members each having a plurality of slots therein along the length of the side members, a plurality of spaced apart rollers supported by said brackets and beams engaging said side members, gear wheels operating in unison and arranged in pairs and each having teeth arranged in engagement with the slots in said side members, manually operable means for rotating said gear wheels to raise and lower said side members,; said manually operable means comprising a crank having a hand grip extending therefrom, shaft and gear means connecting said crank to said gear Wheels whereby all of said gear Wheels rotate in unison, and manually operable means for rotating said shafts to wind said side members onto the shafts as a roll, said last named means comprising a worm gear, and universal joints connecting said worm gear to the first and second pairs of shafts.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,130,993 Dubilier Sept. 20, 1938 2,299,687 Farrand Oct. 20, 1942 2,661,082 Ziegler Dec. 1, 1953