US 2830309 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 15, 1958 H. T. LAWSON 2,830,309
swIMMER's MARKER BUOY Filed Feb. 1o, 1955 A @wai /37 -ii /I/ INVENT OR Harve/ 7.' Lawsob ATTORNEYS "A w www I l 4 "l United States Patent ice i 2,830,309 SWIMMERS MARKER BUOY Harvel T. Lawson, Panama City, Fla. Application February 10, 1955, Serial No. 487,479 1 Claim. (Cl. 9 9) (Granted under Title 35, U. S. Code (1952), sec. 266) The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
The present invention relates to buoys and more particularly to buoys suitable for use by swimmers for marking at the surface the position of underwater objects discovered or located by them.
Swimmers using Aqua-Lungs or similar underwater breathing devices are frequently employed in searching the ocean floor for objects which it is desired to recover, remove, or destroy, or at least avoid. Much of this searching takes place Iat water depths suiciently great to endanger the swimmer if he descends and ascends too rapidly or too often. Accordingly, anything which enables a swimmer to increase the percentage of his productive search time during his permissible operating period in- -creases his eiliciency while lowering the hazard to his person. One way of accomplishing such increases is to supply the swimmer with buoys which in a collapsed state are compact and light enough to enable him to attach several of them to his belt so that he need not,*as heretofore, come to the surface after each successful object buoying operation but may continue his search until his supply of buoys is exhausted or his permissible operating time expires.
In the buoying ofvsubmerged objects as described it is essential Vthat the length lof line available on the buoy be ample to make certain,r that it will enable the buoy to reach the surface, and i-t is very desirable to have no more line payed out than is required for the buoy to surface to the end that the buoy will ride as nearly vertical as local conditions permit and Will not render a false marking as would be the case if wind and normal motion of the water surface could result in the paying out of excess line.
The primary object of the present invention is to provide a buoy kit which in a collapsed condition is compact enough to enable a swimmer to carry without inconvenience several of them attached to his belt or otherwise.
Another object of the invention is to provide as a buoy unit an inatable member, inflation means, and reel means for carrying a line or cord for connecting the unit to an object to be buoyed.
An important object of the invention is to provide a buoy as described which avoids the paying out of too much line to thereby assure accurate marking by the buoy.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description when read in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:
Fig. 1 is a view in perspective of the buoy of the invention performing its intended terminal function;
Fig. 2 is a longitudinal view partly in section the reel carrying the buoy line; and
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary bottom view partly in section of a buoy assembly according to the invention.
Referring to the drawing, there is shown in Fig. 1 an object resting on the bottom 11 of a body of water l 2,830,309 Patented` Apr. 15, 19578A 12. A kswimmer 1,3 after having found the object 10 and marked its position at the surface 12 by Eattaching one of the buoys 14 from his belt tov the'object 10 through thebuoy line 15 is shown on his way to search for other desirable objects to each of which he will attach another buoy 14 from his supply thereby converting jetsam to lagan. The swimmer 13 can thus continue his search from one discovery to with its attendant loss of time and orientation.
The buoy 14 according to the invention comprises a collapsible inatable' member 1,6 (a regulation basketball bladder has been found eminently suitable) having a valved neck 17 through which an inating medium may pass from a pressure cartridge ruptured as by a pin 19 under the control of the cammed arm 21 of a bell crank lever 22 when rotated about its pivot 23 as by pulling on a cord 24 secured'to the distal end ,of said lever 22. It is to be understood that no having a surface novelty is claimed for the particular arrangement for in`V flating the bladder 16 at willby the swimmer 13'and for this reason this particular feature has been illustrated di'agrammatically.
The valved neck 17 of the bladder 16 is firmly secured to a casing 25 carrying the cartridge '18 and its rupturing mechanism. Also suitably carried by the casing 25, as by a bracket clamp 26, is a yoke 27 having upturned ears 28 in which is journaled a anged reel 29 on which is wound a string or line 31 one end of which is secured to the reel 29, leaving the other end free for tying to a submerged object. It is always intended to provide the line 31 with a length in excess of the water depth where searching is to be done to make certain 'that when used the buoy will always surface. When using the buoy as thus far described the swimmer ties the free end of the line 31 to the object 10, pulls the cord 24 to pierce the cartridge 18 whereupon the bladder`16 is rapidly inflated, and releases the buoy 14 to permit it to rise, unwinding the line 31 as it ascends. When the buoy 14 surfaces the swimmer unwinds the excess 4length of the line 31 and reties it to the object 10 so that the buoy 14'is as directly over the object 10 as is practicable under the conditions then prevailing.
, In accordance with -a feature of the invention, the necessity for retying the line 31 after the buoy v14 has surfaced is obviated by providing means for preventing the reeli 29 from paying out excess line. One form this means may take is shown in Fig. 2 as comprising a hydrostatically op-4 erated stop pin 32 for restraining the reel 29 against rotation whenever the hydrostatic pressure is less than a few inches of water. As shown, this stop pin 32 is supported by land projects from a exible diaphragm 33 through an opening 30 in one of the yoke ears 28. The diaphragm is exposed on its pin projecting side to ambient conditions (water when in use) and on its other side to a body of fluid, preferably oil, confined in two variable volume compartments 34 and 35 connected togetherby a passage 36 of small diameter for providing a substantial impedance to variations in volume i. e., to the passage of oil from one of the compartments 34l and 35 to the other.
The compartment 34 is defined by a concavity formed in a block 37 of material, which may be metal, and the diaphragm 33 secured `over the concavity whereby any change in the volume of the compartment 34 will result in a corresponding displacement of the diaphragm 33, and vice vers'a. The compartment 35, as shown, comprises a cylinder bore protuberance inder 38 to x positively the minimum volume of the compartment 35 and therefore the maximum volume of the compartment 34. The piston 39 is resiliently urged toward minimum volume position in Kany suitable manner as by a spring 42 under sufficient compression to require another without surfacing 18 when the latter is 38 and an associated piston 39 having a Y 41 adapted to contact the head of the cyl- 3, an oil.. pressure correspondingtoa few inches off water on thedraphragm 33 in order to displace the rpiston `39 against the loading provided by the spring'42, the exact spring value being diaphragm'` at the depth it rides when the buoyf14'fsurfaces becausethe buoy 14 'ascends fairly rapidly while the response of the diaphragm 33 to a reduction in` pressure is relatively slow dueV to the impedance of the passage 36 connecting thetwo compartments 34 and 35. Preferably, theopen end of the cylinder bore 38 istightly sealed by a suitable threaded closureplug 40 the inner face of which may be shapedto form a seat for the spring 42. It may be well to note that when the piston 39 is moved-by the oil pressureagainst thev force` of the `spring 42' the air entrapped betweenthe kpiston 39 and the closureplug 40 is slightly compressed and therefore stores some energy which supplements the'loading providedy by the spring 42. The manner in which the stop pin 32 arrests or rcstrains the reel-29 may take any, suitable form; such as the simple one illustrated in which a tiange of the reel 29 is provided with an aperture 43 in alinement (radially) with the stop pinV 32 so 4that whenever thediaphragm 33 is in the position showmviz., the position of maximum volume for thefcompartment 34, less than one revolution of the reel 29 will bring the flange aperture'43 into actual alinement with the pinr32 at which time theV pin 32 `enters lthe aperture 43 to lockthe reel 29` against rotation and thus prevent any further unreeling of the line 31.
Whether or not the line 31 is desirable so to construct vthe reelk 29 that by friction or other braking action it olers enough resistance to being Vrotated to maintain thefline 31 under some tension and prevent backlash.
While in storage and at all other times prior to entering the water with a swimmer the buoy should be kept with its reel inthe positionshown inFig. Zso that the stop pin 32 projects into the ange aperture 43 where it not only holds the reel against rotation but also does not place a deforming strain onv the diaphragm 33 as it would if it could not assume its normal position for' the` condition of ordinary atmospheric pressure on the diaphragm.
In operation, when the buoy 14 in collapsed 'condition is carried to the depths by a swimmer the water pressure against the diaphragm 33 is transmitted through the oilV to the piston 39 which yields and moves againstthe force of the spring 42 to compress it (and the entrap'ped air). The resulting increase in volume of the compartment 35 is accompanied by a `corresponding decrease in volume buoyant it is generally Vbination a collapsed inflatable control of a swimmerfor inatingl said bladder to render n said device buoyant, a reel member for storing a lengthA t of the compartment 34 which moves the diaphragm 33 to withdraw Vthe ypin 32.. from Vthe reel ilange aperture 43. swimmer wants to buoy an object he secures the operates the inating mechanism,
rapidly to the surface. The setting of the pressure sensitive device is such that when the buoy 14 surfaces the pressure of the water (a few inches) is no longer great enough to hold the spring 42 compressed` and, at a rate determined by the impedance of the restricted oil passage between the com- 34 and 35, the piston returns to its minimum volume position and the pin 32 enters the flange aperture 43 the first time theybecome alined thereby effectively preventing the unreeling of anymore line.
While for the purpose of.,disclosingtheinvention apreferred embodiment thereof has been described in detail, it is to be understood that thereto but is of the scopeof the appended claim.
What is claimed is:
A swirnmersV buoy device for' marking `at the surface the location of an underwater object comprising in combladder, means underthe of line and having a part rotatable for playing out the line, an element` movable into and out of rotation blocking position with respect to said rotatable part, pressure sensing means normally holding said element in rotation blocking position and responsive to pressure greater than the pressure corresponding to the depth in water said sensing means rides when saidv device is buoyant and floating' on the surface to move saidl element out of rotation blocking position, and a hydraulic time-delay device associated with the pressure sensing means for retarding the response of the pressure sensingmeans for a predetermined period of time greater than the period of surface waves, said period of time being chosen of such value that the buoy device when inflated under water will have surfacedwhen said element is moved into rotation blocking position.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,014,804 e Bruck Jan. 16, 1912 2,324,744 Ward July 20, 1943 2,403,845 Y Brown July 9, 1946 Brock Nov. 1, 1955 the invention is not limited.