US 2970289 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
R. C. LOOMIS Jan. 31, 1961 CONNECTOR FOR PENDENT STRUCTURES AND THE LIKE Filed Feb. 5, 1958 5 o f a To 6 m 4m W m I W J E m 2 CONNECTOR FOR PENDENT STRUCTURES AND THE LIKE Robert C. Loomis, Los Angeles, Calif., assignor to Econolite Corporation, Los Angeles, Calif., a corporation of California Filed Feb. 5, 1958, Ser. No. 713,335
3 Claims. (Cl. 340-84) This invention relates to means for supporting pendent structures, and more particularly to improved means for aligning and holding a pendent structure in a desired substantially vertical direction.
Still more specifically, this invention relates to improved means to facilitate orienting a pendent structure substantially in a plumb direction and anchoring it in the desired position. Typical of pendent structures of this type is the multi-section traffic signal in which different light or head units are vertically aligned to form a stack that is supported from the end of a mast arm projecting over the street.
Normally the outer end of the mast arm is fitted in one end of an elbow joint, the other end of which is secured to the upper light unit. When the light stack is tobe assembled on the mast arm, the parts are assembled on the ground in spaced relation determined from on-the-spot calculations which it is believed will place the stack in a plumb direction after it is hoisted. Diametrically opposed openings are made in the elbow joint, and a threaded bolt of a nut and bolt assembly is passed through the openings and a hole in the end of the mast arm, for securing the stack to the end of the arm. Thereafter, the assembly is hoisted in position for warning traffic.
After the head assembly is fixed in place, it is often found that it is not in the desired position. This condition is usually the result of error in boring the holes through the elbow joint and the end of the mast arm inserted therein. As a consequence, the lights are not properly oriented for oncoming traflic.
At heavily traveled intersections, as in metropolitan areas where trafiic congestion is acute, it often becomes necessary to add additional light heads, or to replace existing lights with larger ones. In many such areas, the position of the existing mast arm is such that the lowermost head of a stack is at a minimum permissible clearance above the roadway to prevent damage from passing trucks. In such a situation, it becomes impossible with existing masts to add additional heads, or to replace the existing ones with larger units, because the lowest unit would extend below the safe heights. An existing mast would have to be replaced with a new mast on which the mast arm position is higher.
The replacement of masts and associated apparatus represents a considerable expense to the community. It not only involves adding a taller mast; it also involves changing the wiring of the electrical system which extends through the mast and mast arm to the light heads. Longer wire must, of course, be used.
It is therefore a primary object of this invention to provide an improved connector for mounting and hold ing a pendent structure in a plumb direction.
Another object of this invention is to provide improved connector means for fixedly mounting a pendent structure in a support, which is provided with an adjustment feature to insure positioning the structure in a plumb direction.
Patented Jan. 31, 1961 A further object of this invention is to provide means for supporting a pendent structure on a mast arm having a fixed height, but with which a structure normally requiring a higher mast arm can be supported.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide an improved pendent structure mounting means for increasing the effective height of a supporting element which has a fixed elevation.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a connector which can be afiixed to a mast arm for supporting a pendent structure to increase the eifective height of the mast arm and, at the same time, insure that the structure is in a plumb direction.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a device to permit an existing trafiic signal mast to be used to support a number of light units having a vertical dimension greater than that for which it was designed.
The above and other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing illustrating a preferred embodiment thereof, in which:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a street mast with a mast arm thereon, employing the connector of this invention to support multiple light head units having a vertical dimension greater than that of existing multiple light head sections;
Figure 1a is a front elevation of a stack of light head units mounted in a conventional manner, to aid in visualizing and explaining the operation of this invention;
Figure 2 is an exploded view of the parts of the adapter of Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of Figure l; and
Figure 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of Figure 1.
Referring to Figure l, a mast id for supporting a pendent structure has a mast ann 12 extending therefrom. At its outer end, the mast arm 12 fits into an opening in the enlarged end 13 of a connector 14. The connector 14 is secured to the mast arm 12 by fixing the enlarged end 113 to the end of the mast arm, as by a nut and bolt assembly 15.
The other end of the connector 14- is a flattened section 16 which is inserted between adjacent light head units 18, 20 of a stack of units 18, 20, 22. making up a trafiic signal structure.
Each head or light unit comprises conventional components, being made up of housings 24, 25, 26 in which light bulb units (not shown) are supported. The housings have respective optical lens elements 27, 28, 29 through which the light projects, and light bafiles or directors 30, 31, 32 fitted over the lens elements extend from the housings to permit the light to be viewed directly only by oncoming trafiic.
Wiring (not shown) for the units extends thereto through the mast 1d, the mast arm 12, and the connector 14, the wiring for the lowest unit 22 further extending through the head 2i) which is disposed above it, all in a conventional manner.
To facilitate plumbing of the traffic signal structure, that is, aligning the pendent structure in a plumb direction, the enlarged end 13 of the connector 14 is provided with diametrically opposed arcuate slots 36 to receive the bolt of the assembly 15. The bolt extends through a cylindrical bore (not shown) in the end of the mast arm 12. With the light structure mounted on the flat section 16 of the connector 14, the enlarged end of the mast arm 12, being temporarily held thereto by means of a number of spaced set screws 38 while the bolt is inserted through the slots 36 and the end of the mast arm 12.
The slots 36 permit the head assembly and the connector to be moved, as by rotation, on the end of the mast arm 12 about the longitudinal, generally horizontal axis of the enlarged end 13. Thus, the head and connector assembly can be adjusted on. the endv of the: mast arm 12 until the head assembly is aligned inthe desired direction. When the desired position. forv the light head assembly is attained, it is anchored in that position by tightening the bolt assembly I5 andv the set screws 33.
The foregoing general description of the connector 14 and its connections to the light structure and the mast arm 12 highlights the advantages realized over connectors heretofore used to support pendent structures. An example of'a conventional connector is shown in Figure 1a, and utilizes an elbow joint connector 14 for supporting a light structure 13', 2t), 22 from the mast arm 12.
It will be apparent from Figure la that light units supported. from the elbow connector 14- must extend downward. If it is desired to. replace the three units 18', 2d, 22 of Figure 1a with larger units, the. same mast cannot be used with such a connector.
It will be seen that the connector of this invention readily permits light units of diiferent size and numbers to be employed with existing mast structures, while main taining the units in a compact stack. Those light head units (e.g., units 25 22 of Figure l), which together have a vertical dimension no greater than the allowable distance between the mast arm and the bottom of the lighting structure, are positioned below the mast arm by the connector M. All other units, such as unit 18 of Figure 1, are held above the mast arm. 12 by the connector.
The invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to Figures 2 to 4.
Referring to Figure 2, an alternative arrangement for securing the connector 14 to the mast arm 12 is provided by diametrically opposed arcuate slots at which are vertically aligned in the enlarged section 13 of the connector. In such an arrangement, the bolt assembly would extend through the arcuate openings 4t) and a vertical opening in the mast arm 12.
Preferably, and as shown in Figure 2, the arcuate openings 36 (or 40) are located adjacent the outer end of the enlarged section 13 of the connector. In this manner, the end of the mast arm 12 can be inserted in the connector substantially the full length of the enlarged section 13, thereby to provide the greatest possible strength for the connector 14 in holding the light assembly. To prevent the connector 14 being forced onto the end of the mastarm 12 to bind thereon, the connector is provided with a shoulder 42 at the inner end of the enlarged section 15.
The flat section 16 of the connector 14 is of substantially rectangular cross-section, and is hollow to receive wiring which extends through the mast arm l2v for connection to the individual light heads.
Connections from the connector to adjacent housings are made through a short cylindrical section 45 at the end of the fiat section 16. Cylindrical section 45 is placed between the adjacent light head housings 2A, 25 with its vertical axis coinciding with the axes of openings 46, 47 in the housings. The upper portion of section :5 is provided with a slight raised boss 48 having a pair of diametrically opposed notches 56, 51 to receive lugs 52, 53 which project from the bottom of ring element 54.
To lock the units against relative rotation, the top surface of the ring element 54 is provided With a plurality of radial serrations, or teeth 55. These teeth mesh with similar serrations or teeth 55' provided in the bottom surface of a small raised boss on the lower surface of the upper housing 24.
To hold the housing 25 against lateral movement with respect to the connector 14, the short cylindrical. section 45 is provided with a small depression 60 to receive a small raised boss 62 located on the top surface of the housing 25.
To. hold the housingsv 24,25 against vertical. displacement, washers 64, 66 in the housings have spaced openings (not shown) through which base bolts 67 are inserted. The bolts 67 extend through the bottom of the housing 24, the opening in the ring element 54, the cylindrical section 4-5 of the connector, and the top of the housing 25 and the washer 66. Within the housing 25, nuts 7 0 are threaded on the bolts to secure the housings 2.4, 25 together.
Vertical displacement of the lower two housings 25, 26 isprevented in the same manner. However, since there is no connector between these housings, the bolts used for tightening them together will be that much shorter.
Turning of the housing 26 relative to the housing 25 may be prevented by meshing of serrated bosses, similar to the bosses 55, 55, fixed to the bottom of the housing 25 and the top of the housing 26. However, it will be apparent that it is suflicient for this purpose to provide only one boss having serrations. Thus, the bottom of housing 25 may have a serrated boss similar to the boss 55 of the housing 24, and the top of the housing 26 may have a smooth surfaced boss similar to the boss 62 in Figure 3. When the bolt assemblies are tightened, the serrations will grip the top surfaces of the smooth boss on the lower housing sufliciently to prevent its turning.
Referring to Figure 3, wiring for the individual light head units is shown extending from a central cable 72 extending through the fiat section 16 of the connector 14. One pair of wires 73 are shown to extend into the opening 46 at the bottom of the housing 24, and two pairs of wires 74, 75 are shown extending through the opening 47 at the top of the housing 25. One of these latter pairs of wires leads to the lighting circuit for the light unit 20, and the remaining pair extends through the housing 25 and into the housing 26 for connecting the light bulb therein in circuit with the power source (not shown).
From the foregoing, it will be seen that I have provided an improved connector for pendent structures that v is fully capable of achieving the objects andsecuring the advantages heretofore set forth. While I have shown and described a preferred form of my invention, it. will be apparent to those skilled in the art that they may make changes which in no way depart from the broad concept thereof. Consequently, I do not wish to be restricted to the particular form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown, except as limited by the appended claims.
1. A connector for securing a pendent structure to the end of a generally horizontal arm, wherein the structure has a number of sections to be locked together in a stack, but wherein only a predetermined number of the sections may extend below the horizontal arm, comprising: a flat element disposed between adjacent sections of the structure such that the number of sections between the flat element and one end of the stack does not exceed the predetermined number of sections, said flat element extending horizontally from the stack; means to secure said flat element and said adjacent sections together,ra tubular element fitted over the end ofthe horizontal arm; means securing said tubular element to the arm; and a rigid member securing said flat element and tubular element together.
2. In combination with a pendent structure having at least two light head units to be fastened together, wherein the light units are to be aligned substantially vertically, and a mast having an elevated, substantially horizontal arm positioned at a predetermined height above a highway, wherein wiring for the light unitsextends through the mast and the mast arm, and wherein onlyoneofzthe light units may extend below the arm, a connector-com prising: a horizontal tubular member on the end of the arm, fastening means extendingv through. said: tubular member and the arm and locking said tubular member:
to the arm, said member having a flat end portion extending horizontally from the arm, said fiat end portion having an opening therethrough on a vertical axis, said flat end portion extending between the light units, said opening providing a passageway through which wires pass from the arm through said tubular member and into the light units, and means securing said flat end portion to the light units.
3. A connector as defined in claim 2, wherein one of the light units is provided with a ring of serrations coaxial with said opening on a surface adjacent said flat end portion, a ring element disposed in said opening and coaxial with said opening, means releasably locking said ring element to said flat end portion, said ring element having mating serrations on the surface thereof adjacent the serrated surface of said one light unit.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS White Aug. 25, 1896 Losey Aug. 8, 1911 Coleman Jan. 9, 1917 Moore Nov. 1, 1927 Horni Sept. 17, 1929 Handlan Oct. 21, 1930 Knapp Aug. 22, 1939 Mackall June 9, 1942 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain Mar. 9, 1931