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Publication numberUS2975412 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 14, 1961
Filing dateJul 30, 1957
Priority dateJul 30, 1957
Publication numberUS 2975412 A, US 2975412A, US-A-2975412, US2975412 A, US2975412A
InventorsFrank I Fuller, Montgomery C Swezy
Original AssigneeWestern Progress Manufacturers
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Warning device
US 2975412 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 14, 1961 F. l. FULLER ETAL 2,975,412

WARNING DEVICE Filed July so, 1957 2 heats-Sheet 1 I 2/ 5mm.

INVENTORJ' Hank FD/ler y Monfgomerg CJ'WeZL/ March 14, 1961 l, F LLER HA 2,975,412

' WARNING DEVICE Filed July 50, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIE ZEI 5 67 F I E 4l .9

INVENTORJ Frank FU//F BY Man fgome rg C fwezg ilnited States l atent r WARNENG DEVICE Frank I. Fuller, Menlo Park and Montgomery C. Swezy,

Palo Alto, Calif., assiguors to Western Progress Mmufacturers, Palo Alto, Calif., a partnership Filed July 30, 1957, Ser. No. 675,155

4 Claims. (Cl. 340-666) This invention relates generally to warning devices, and more particularly to warning devices of the blinker light type for use on streets and highways.

Blinker lights have been used as warning devices in the past. However, the use of such blinker lights is subject to many objections. One of the primary objections is that it is generally very dilficult to position conventional blinker lights at the proper elevations and locations to give adequate warning. It is also difiicult to arrange conventional blinker lights in distinctive arrangements to give adequate Warning particularly in more than one direction.

In general, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved warning device of the blinker light type particularly adapted for streets and highways which overcomes the above named disadvantages and which effectively attracts attention.

Another object of the invention is to provide a warning device of the above character in which a plurality of blinkers lights can be utilized.

Another object of the invention is to provide a warning device of the above character in which the blinker lights can be arranged in different and distinctive arrays.

Another object of the invention is to provide a warning device of the above character in which attention may be attracted from all directions and particularly from directions disposed at 90 with respect to each other.

Another object of the invention is to provide a warning device of the above character in which both high and low level warning may be provided.

Another object of the invention is to provide a warning device of the above character in which the blinker lights generally do not flash or blink in synchronism.

Another object of the invention is to provide a warning device of the above character in which blinker lights are operated from a common power supply.

Another object of the invention is to provide a warning device of the above character in which the blinker lights may be positioned at various elevations.

A further object of the invention is to provide a warning device of the above character in which the blinker lights may be positioned one above the other.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a warning device of the above character in which the electrical connection for the blinker light is made when the mechanical connection is made.

Additional objects and features of the invention will appear from the following description in which the preferred embodiment has been set forth in detail in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.

Referring to the drawing:

Figure l is a perspective view of a warning device incorporating the present invention.

Figure 2 is an enlarged partial side elevational view of another embodiment of our warning device utilizing a different array of blinker lights.

Figure 3 is a detail view, partly in cross-section, of

2,975,412 Patented Mar. 14, 1961 "the the yoke and one of the heads utilized in the embodiment of our invention shown in Figure 2.

Figure 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 4--4 of Figure 3.

Figure 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of Figure 3.

Figure 6 is a detail view, partly in cross-section, showing the manner in which the box containing the battery is mounted on the tripod.

In general, the present invention consists of supporting means in the form of a collapsible telescoping tripod and one or more blinker lights which are mounted on the supporting means in a particularly novel manner.

The embodiment of our warning device shown in Figure 1 consists of a tripod assembly 11 which forms the mounting for a blinker light array 12 and a box 13 for containing the power supply. The tripod assembly 11 is of conventional construction and is described in our Patent No. 2,781,017, issued on February 12, 1957. As described therein, the collapsible tripod consists of three tubular telescoping sections 16, '17 and 18. The upper section 18 and the intermediate section 17 are provided with split tapered collets (not shown) similar to those hereinafter described which are adapted to be clamped about the sections 13 and 17 by threaded and tapered ferrules 21. By loosening the ferrules 21, the sections may be extended or retracted and then fixed in place by tightening the ferrules 21.

The bottom tubular section 16 is provided with a collapsible tripod arrangement consisting of three legs 23 formed from angle members and having intermediate portions pivotally connected to a collar 27 by braces 28 Which are also pivotally connected to the legs. The collar 27 is fixed to the lower extremities of the tubular section 16. The upper ends of the legs 23 are pivotally connected to a collar 29 which is slidably mounted on the section 16. It is apparent that as the collar 29 is moved upwardly, the bottom extremities of the legs 23 are drawn inwardly so that when the collar 29 is in its uppermost position, the legs 23 will lie adjacent the section 16 to thereby form a compact tripod assembly.

An adaptor unit 31 is adapted to be mounted on top of the top section 18 and consists of a tubular member 32 which has mounted on its lower end a tapered ferrule 33 and a collet (not shown) so that the adaptor unit 31 may be securely fastened to the upper tubular section 18 of the tripod assembly. A power cord 36 is fixed to the adaptor unit 31 in a manner hereinafter described.

One or more blinker light head units 18 are adapted to be mounted on the adaptor unit 31 as is shown in Figures l and 2. A detail of one of the blinker light head units is shown in Figures 3 and 4 where it is shown that each head unit consists of an annular head-like member 41 which is mounted upon a rigid tubular member 42 which extends through an opening in the member 41. As shown, the tubular member 42 extends diametrically into the interior of the annular member 41.

In addition to serving as a support for the annular member 41, the tubular member 42 serves as an enclosure for a flasher unit 43. The upper end of the ilasher unit 43 engages an element 44 of conducting material having its intermediate portion surrounded by a cylindrical member 45 of insulating material. The insulating member 45 and the element 44 carried therein are mounted within a receptacle 46 of conduction material. The receptacle 46 is mounted on the upper end of the tubular member 42 and is held in place by suitable means such as a screw 47 which engages a slot 48 in the tubular member 42. The upper end of the receptacle 46 is provided with a threaded hole 51 which receives the base of a lamp 49. The center insulated portion of the lamp engages the upper end of the element 44.

-The flasher unit 43 can be of any suitable type such as the flasher manufactured by Tung-Sol under manufacturers No. 604. As is well known to those skilled in the art, a flasher unit can consist of a bimetallic element which opens a circuit whenever the bimetallic element has been heated a predetermined amount. The flasher unit 43 as shown is mounted within a cylindrical member 56 of suitable insulating material. The lower end of the cylindrical member 56 extends over a small cylindrical member 57 of conducting material. The member 57 is slidably mounted on a screw 58 seated in a well 59 or" the member 57 and threaded into an electrical connector in the form of a male plug 61. The male plug is mounted within a block 62 of insulating material carried by the lower end of the tubular member 42. A spring 63 mounted on the screw 58 continuously urges the member 57 into engagement with the bottom end of the flasher 43.

It is apparent from the hereinbefore described structure that the male plug 61 is electrically connected to the center insulated portion of the lamp 439 and that the outer base portion of the lamp is grounded to the tubular member 42.

A tubular member 67 is mounted on and extends into the annular member 41 diametrically opposite the tubular member 42. A block 68 of insulating material is mounted in the outer end of the tubular member 67 and carries an electrical connector in the form of a female receptacle 69. The female receptacle 69 is electrically connected to the male plug 62 by a conductor '71 as shown.

Each head unit also includes a pair of dish-shaped light transmitting members or lenses '73 of suitable material such as plastic. The lenses are formed with an annular lip 74 which is adapted to seat in an annular groove provided on each side of the ring-like member 41 to form a relatively water-tight seal. The lenses are also formed with a prismatic configuration for a purpose well known to those skilled in the art. The lenses may be held in place by any suitable means such as the bolts 77 and the nuts 78 as shown.

Means is provided on each of the head units for forming a mechanical connection with another head unit or for mounting the same on a tubular or like member. Such means can consist of a ferrule 79 which is threaded on the lower end of the tubular member 42 and carries a split collet 80. The blinker light head units are substantially identical and are adapted to be superposed or mounted one above the other as shown in the drawing. It will be noted that the diameter of the tubular member 67 is such that it will fit within the tubular member 42 and permit the male member 61 to engage the female member 69. After the leads have been properly positioned the blinker light head units are fastened together merely by tightening the ferrules 7?.

To complete an array of the type shown in Figure 2 of the drawing, a yoke-like member 81 and extension members 82 are required.

The yoke-like member 81, as shown, has three arms 83, 84 and 86 in one plane. Arm 34 extends in line with the major axis of the yoke-like member, whereas arms 83 and 86 form an angle of 90 with respect to each other, and angles of 45 with respect to the arm 84. A block 87 of insulating material is mounted in each of the arms 83, 84 and 86, and in the lower portion 83 of the yoke-like member. A connector 39 of the male plug type is mounted on each of the blocks 87. The connectors in the arms 83, 8 and 86 are electrically connected to the connector in the lower portion 88 of the yoke-like member 81 by conductors M. A tapered ferrule 92 carrying a split collet 93 is mounted on each of the arms 83, 84 and 86 and on the lower portion 88 of the yoke-like member 81.

Each of the extension members 82 consists of a tubular member 96 with a block 97 of insulating material mounted in each end. A tubular member 98 is carried by the blocks 97 and is coamally mounted within the tubular member 96. The tubular member 98 acts as a connector of female receptacle type at each end of the extension member 62 and as a conductor between the two female receptacles.

The power cord 36 which is connected to the adaptor unit 31 consists of two conductors one of which is grounded to the tubular member 32. The other conductor is connected to a connector (not shown) of a female receptacle type similar to connector 69 shown in Figure 3 of the drawing. The connector is mounted within an insulating block (not shown) similar to the insulating block 68 as shown in Figure 3.

The other end of the power cord 36 leads into the box 13 and is connected to a conventional power supply within the box such as a six volt dry cell battery (not shown). The power cord extends into the box 13 through a slot 161 in the cover 162 for the box. The cover 102 is fastened to the box 13 by suitable means such as clamps 103.

The box 13 is normally of a size much greater than the space required for the battery itself. This space can be utilized for storing the blinker light heads 38, the yoke-like member 81, the extension members 82 and the adaptor unit 31 with its power cord 36.

To provide low-level warning, a mounting stud 106 is threaded into a receptacle (not shown) in the cover 162. The stud 106 is provided with a portion 106a which is adapted to accommodate the lower end of another adaptor unit 31. This adaptor unit is identical to the adaptor unit hereinbefore described and is provided with a power cord 36 which is also connected to the battery within the box 13 as shown in Figure 1. Blinker light heads 38 can then be mounted on the adaptor unit 31 to provide low-level warning.

As shown, particularly in Figures 1, 2 and 6 of the drawing, means is provided for mounting the box 13 on one of the legs 23 of the tripod assembly. Such means consists of a bracket 111 formed of a suitable material such as sheet metal and having one portion fixed to the box and having the other end curled or bent through approximately 360 to provide a space between both ends which is adapted to receive one of the legs 23. The bracket is able to grasp the leg in the manner shown in Figure 6 to support the box on the leg. The box is normally positioned so that the bracket 111 is above the horizontal braces 28 to prevent the box from slipping to the ground.

Use and operation of our device may now be described as follows: Let it be assumed that all of the blinker light head units and the associated equipment exclusive of the tripod assembly has been packed in the carrying box 13, and that the tripod assembly 11 has been collapsed as hereinbefore described. In this condition, the warning device can easily be carried about by one person. The collapsed tripod assembly 11 can be carried in one hand whereas the box 13 and its contents can be carried with the other hand by using the bracket 111 as a handle.

Now let it be assumed that it is desired to place one of our warning lights at a dangerous point on a highway or street such as an excavation for a sewer line. The tripod assembly 11 is first erected by extending the legs 23. The cover 102 is taken off of the box and the adaptor unit 31 is fastened to the upper tubular section 18 of the tripod assembly by tightening the ferrule 33. Now, if it is desired to erect the warning light array which is shown in Figure 1, two blinker light head units 38 are removed from the box 13, one blinker light head unit being mounted directly on the adaptor unit 31 and the other blinker light head unit being mounted on top of the blinker light head unit already placed. The ferrules 7% are then turned to fasten the blinker light heads in place.

If desired, the blinker light heads may be faced in the same direction or may be faced in directions at right angles to each other as shown in Figure 1. Since each of the blinker light head units is provided with two lenses facing in opposite directions, it is readily apparent that the blinker light units can be seen from each of these directions. By rotating the upper blinker head unit 90, a warning is also given in two directions at right angles to the directions of the lower blinker light head units.

As soon as the power cord 36 is connected to the battery within the box 13, the blinker lights commence operation. As is well known to those skilled in the art, the lamp 4h in each of the blinker light'head units is periodically lit by operation of the flashers 43. The electrical circuit to each lamp is completed from the battery through one of the conductors in the power cord through the adaptor unit 31, through the electrical connections between the adaptor 31 and the member 42, through the flasher unit 43 to the lamp 49 and then to ground through the tubular members 42 and 32 to the other conductor of the power cord back to the battery. Since the flasher for each of the blinker light head units is independent of the other, it is apparent that the lights 49 will not necessarily blink in synchronism. This has been found to give a more eflective warning than simultaneous flashing.

It is apparent that the blinker light head units mounted on top of the extension 18 can be raised to any desired elevation by properly positioning the telescoping tubular sections of the tripod assembly 11 to give an effective high-level warning. If it is also desired to give a lowlevel warning, the mounting stud 106 is removed from the box 13 and threaded into the receptacle provided in the cover 1%2. Another adaptor 31 is mounted on the stud 106. A blinker light head unit 38 is then mounted on the adaptor and the power cord 36 is connected to the battery. An additional blinker light may be superposed on the blinker light mounted on the adaptor unit 31 positioned on the mounting stud 106 to thereby give a more effective low-level warning.

From the foregoing it is apparent that the blinker light head units can be positioned in many different ways. A blinker light head array we have found to be particularly satisfactory is shown in Figure 2 of the drawing. It consists of three blinker light heads in the same plane, one of the blinker light heads being vertical and the other two blinker light heads forming an angle of 90 with respect to each other and angles of 45 with respect to the vertical light head. As shown, this array is obtained by positioning the yoke-like member on the adaptor 31 and then mounting one of the extension members 82 in each of the arms 83, 84 and 86 of the yoke-like member as shown. One of the blinker light head units is then mounted on each of the extension members 82 as shown.

If desired, another blinker light head unit may be mounted on the vertical blinker light head to face in directions at right angles to the directions of the lower vertical blinker light head units. The power cord 36 is then connected to the battery to cause operation of all the blinker light head units. As hereinbefore explained, all the blinker light head units generally will not operate in synchronism because the flasher units for each of the blinker lights operate independently of each other. When one of the blinker light head units is superposed on an other, the electrical circuit for the upper lamp is completed through the conductor 71 and ground is completed through the outer annular ring 41 of the blinker light head.

Such an array as hereinbefore described serves to provide very effective high-level warning and also serves to attract attention because of the distinctive arrangement of the blinker light heads.

The box or carrying case 13 in addition to serving as an enclosure for the battery and the various components of the warning device when they are not in use, also serves to stabilize the tripod assembly when it is mounted on one of the legs 23. The added weight of the box 13 and the battery serve to prevent the warning device from being blown over by the wind or from being readily pushed over by small children or the like.

It is apparent from the foregoing that we have provided a warning device of the blinker light type which is particularly adapted for use on streets and highways. Various arrays of blinker lights as well as high-level and low-level blinker lights can be utilized to give an effective warning. The warning device is particularly useful because it may be readily disassembled and packed to form two separate units which may be readily carried about to desired locations.

We claim:

1. In a warning device, supporting means, a pair of superposed separable light head units detachably mounted on said supporting means, each of said light head units comprising an annular member, a pair of circular light transmitting members mounted on opposite sides of said annular member to enclose the space within said annular member, a tubular member extending through an opening in said annular member, a lamp, means carried by one end of said tubular member for receiving the base of the lamp, an electrical connector mounted in the other end of said tubular member, means connecting said electrical connector to said lamp, said means connecting said electrical connector to said lamp including a flasher mounted within said tubular member and serving to automatically de-energize the lamp at periodic intervals, an additional tubular member extending through an opening in said annular member diametrically opposed from one first named opening, an. electrical connector mounted in said additional tubular member, means connecting said electrical connector in said additional tubular member to the electrical connector in said first named tubular member, means mechanically and detachably connecting said head units so that the lower head unit provides the sole support for the upper head unit, the electrical connector in the first named tubular member of the upper head unit engaging the electrical connector in the additional tubular member of the lower head unit when the upper head unit is mechanically connected to the lower head unit, and means connected to the electrical connector in the first named tubular member of one of the head units for supplying electrical energy to the lamps in said head units.

2. In a warning device, a collapsible tripod having three inclined L-shaped legs, a plurality of vertical telescoping sections mounted on said tripod, means mounted on said telescoping sections for locking said sections at various elevations, a battery box detachably mounted on one of the legs of the tripod and serving to stabilize the tripod, a battery within the battery box, said battery box having a bracket adapted to releasably engage one of the L-shaped legs, the bracket being provided with an inturned portion which frictionally engages the legs so that the weight of the box and the battery serves to inhibit downward sliding movement of the battery box with respect to the inclined leg to which it is attached, warning lamp means mounted on the uppermost telescoping section, and means connecting the warning lamp means to the battery for energizing the warning lamp means.

3. In a warning device, a collapsible tripod having three inclined legs, a plurality of vertical telescoping sections mounted on said tripod, means mounted on said telescoping sections for locking said sections at various elevations, a battery box detachably mounted on one of the legs of the tripod and serving to stabilize the tripod, a battery mounted within the box, the battery box having a bracket adapted to releasably engage one of the legs, the bracket being provided with a portion which frictionally engages said one leg so that the weight of the 6 box and the battery-serves to'inhibit downward sliding movement of the battery box with respect to the inclined leg to which it is attached, warning lamp means mounted on the uppermost telescoping section, and means connecting the warning lamp means to the battery for energizing the warning lamp means.

4. A Warning device as in claim 3 wherein said warning lamp means includes a yoke-like member mounted on the uppermost telescoping section, said yoke-like member having three arms extending in the same plane, one of the arms being vertical and the other two arms being inclined at substantially 45 with respect to said vertical arms and being disposed on opposite sides of said vertical anus, and a light head unit mounted on each of the arms, each of said light head units comprising an annular member, a pair of circular light transmitting members mounted on opposite sides of the annular member to enclose a space within the annular member, a tubular member extending into the annular member diametrically of the annular member, and a lamp mounted on the tubular member within the annular member and between the light transmitting members, the tubular member of each light head unit being in sub.- stantial axial alignment with the arm to which it is attached.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3240455 *May 28, 1962Mar 15, 1966Western Progress IncBracket for vehicle mounted warning device
US3287840 *Jun 12, 1964Nov 29, 1966Borg WarnerDiamond-shaped sign assembly
US3593016 *Oct 2, 1969Jul 13, 1971Gerdel John PCar battery operated camp and trouble light
US3868630 *Apr 16, 1973Feb 25, 1975William V LesondakPortable traffic barricade
US5122781 *Sep 6, 1990Jun 16, 1992Bolan Trading Inc.Hazard warning light
US7556535 *Nov 5, 2007Jul 7, 2009Sheng-Hsin LiaoAdapter having connecting arms
US20090117768 *Nov 5, 2007May 7, 2009Sheng-Hsin LiaoAdapter having connecting arms
Classifications
U.S. Classification340/815.73, 116/63.00P, 439/320, 116/63.00R, D10/114.1
International ClassificationG08B5/38
Cooperative ClassificationG08B5/38
European ClassificationG08B5/38