US 3025337 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 13, 1962 E. LEON] 3,025,337
BALLAST-RETAINING FASTENER FOR LIGHTING FIXTURES Filed May 12, 1960 INVENTOR. 5 EUGENE LEON! ATTQRNEYS United States Patent Ofiice 3,025,337 Patented Mar. 13, 1962 3,025,337 BALLAST-RETAINING FASTENER FOR LIGHTING FIXTURES Eugene Leoni, 2025 Bay Drive, Miami Beach, Fla. Filed May 12, 1960, Ser. No. 28,707 3 Claims. (Cl. 174-52) The present invention relates generally to fluorescent lighting fixtures and more particularly to improved means for assembling the ballast component into said fixtures.
Heretofore, in the assembly of such lighting fixtures, the ballast unit has been secured to the base plate by screws or bolts and nuts. In inexpensive units, rivets have been utilized, but this type of fastening does not permit of ready replacement of defective ballast units. Furthermore, the use of any of such conventional fastening means have involved a certain modest labor cost in addition to the cost or" the fasteners themselves.
It is the primary object of my invention to provide novel fastener means for securing ballast units in such fixtures.
Another object of my invention is to provide fasteners which are less expensive than conventional fasteners and which involve a significant reduction in the time required for assembly.
Other objects and advantages of my invention will be apparent during the course of the following description.
In the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification and in which like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the same,
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a ballast unit mounted on a fixture plate by means of elements embodying my invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken on line 22 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is another cross-sectional view taken on line- 3-3 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view in side elevation of the arrangement shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the fastener element itself.
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but showing a modified form of the invention.
Referring more particularly to FIGS. 1 5 of the drawings, I have shown a portion of the base plate 10 of a fluorescent lighting fixture on which is mounted a conventional ballast unit 11. The ballast unit is provided with mounting cars 12 projecting laterally therefrom in the plane of the bottom or base of the unit. Each ear 12 is provided with a peripheral notch or recess 13 for the purpose of receiving a conventional fastening element, such as a bolt (not shown).
The base plate 10 is provided with spaced openings 14 which are adapted to be in registry with the recesses 13 in the ears 12. It will be understood that the ballast unit 11 ordinarily is secured to the underside of the plate 10 so as to extend downwardly therefrom. Therefore, the illustration of FIG. 1 can be taken to represent a bottom plan view of the mounting arrangement. However, the principles of my invention are applicable irrespective of whether the ballast unit be resting upon or depending from the mounting surface.
The base plate 10 is provided with a pair of oppositely-disposed abutments or tongues 15 which are elevated out of the plane of the base plate 10 and are outward of the aperture 14 and aligned laterally on opposite sides of the longitudinal axis defined by the openings 14 or the recesses 13. The tongues 15 are conveniently formed by slitting the base plate and pressing out the tongues during the same stamping operation in which the base plate is formed. It will be noted (FIG. 3) that each tongue or abutment 15 has an overlying portion 16,
spaced from the mounting surface of the plate 10, and an angularly inclined cam portion 17 which intersects the mounting surface and which provides a recess 18 for a purpose which will become apparent as the description proceeds. A pair of such tongues 15 is provided outwardly of each of the openings 14 in the base plate and are preferably from A" to remote from the respective openings 14 associated therewith.
A fastener element 19 (FIG. 5) of formed wire or the like is utilized to secure the ballast unit against displacement from the base plate 10. The element 19 has two coplanar arms 20 which, preferably are disposed in slightly divergent relationship to each other. The free end of each arm 20 may be bent or curled to provide a finger grip 21 for convenient manipulation of the fastener. The pair of arms are somewhat wider than the spacing of the pair of tongues 15.
The forward portions 22 of each arm are bent sharply toward each other so as to almost meet or abut each other midway of the element 19. These portions 22 are substantially coplanar with the portions 20 and are adapted to overlie the mounting ear 12 of the ballast unit 11.
From the horizontal extending portions 22, each arm is provided with a short vertical portion 23 which is of a length slightly greater than the combined thickness of the base plate 10 and mounting ear 12. The portion 23 provides a horizontal oifset for a horizontal extension or offset bar 24. The plane of the bar 24 is preferably at an angle of about 5-10 degrees to the plane of the arm portions 20.
The fastener element illustrated in FIG. 5 of the drawings can readily be made by forming a single piece of metal wire, thus avoiding any machining or assembly cost in the manufacture of the fastener element.
In using the fastener 19, the offset bar 24 is projected through the opening 14, as shown in phantom in FIG. 4, so as to be on the side of the base plate 10 opposite to the mounting surface thereof. This brings the portions 22 into overlying relationship to the mounting car 12 on opposite sides of the recess 13. The arms 20 are then manually contracted or drawn toward each other by means of the finger grips 21 so as to decrease their overall width sufliciently to permit the portions 20 to pass the tongues 15 and enter the recesses 18 provided by the tongues, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Alternatively, one of the arms 20 may be inserted in a recess 18 and then the arms may be contracted to permit entry of the other arm into its adjacent recess 18. Either procedure is quickly and easily accomplished. The material, such as steel wire, of which the element 19 is formed must have sufficient resiliency to permit the necessary manual manipulation without permanent set or deformation. It will be noted that in contracting the arms 20, the closely adjacent vertical portions 23 will abut each other and thus serve as a fulcrum or reaction point for this manipulation of the arms 20, and thus minimize any deformation of the portions 22.
When the arms 20 are in registry with the recesses 18 provided by the pair of tongues 15, the arms are released and will spring into the recesses and engage the inclined surfaces 17. The surfaces 17 will cam the arms 20 to ward the one surface of the mounting plate 10 to simultaneously cause the offset bar 24 to be pivoted into pressure engagement with the reverse surface of the plate 10. The arm portions 22 define the nominal axis of the pivotal movement.
The pair of arms 20, being normally more widely spaced than the pair of retaining tongues 15, will thus yieldably maintain the offset bar 24 in such position as to firmly clamp the mounting ear 12 against the plate 10 between the bar 24 and the overlying portions 22 of the 3 element 19. A second element 19 is utilized in similar manner to clamp the other ear 12 of the ballast unit 11. in this manner, the ballast unit is secured against vertical displacement relatively to the plate and the vertical portions 23 of the element 19, which traverse the recess 13 in the ear 12, prevent any substantial horizontal displacement of the ballast unit.
If, for any reason, the ballast unit must be removed, the securing element 19 is quickly and easily removed by contracting the pair of arms 20 to release the element from the tongues 15. Thus, the manufacturing assembly of the lighting fixture is accomplished more speedily and with less material cost in the first instance, and any subsequent replacement of the ballast unit is quickly and conveniently accomplished.
In FIG. 6 I have shown a modified form of my invention in which the element 19 is utilized for clamping only one of the mounting ears 12. In this form the mounting plate 10a is slit and embossed to provide a recess or pocket 25 to slidably receive and retain one mounting ear 12. The other mounting ear 12 is then secured to the plate 10a by means of the element 19 as above described.
It is to be understood that the forms of my invention, herewith shown and described, are to be taken as preferred examples of the same, and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to, Without departing from the spirit of my invention, or the scope of the subjoined claims.
Having thus described my invention, 1 claim:
1. In a fluorescent lighting fixture, the combination of a base plate having a mounting surface, a ballast unit provided on said base plate, a resilient fastener element removably securing said ballast unit to said mounting surface, said resilient fastener element having a pair of spaced arms, each of said arms having a forward portion extending laterally therefrom, said forward portions projecting toward each other and overlying a portion of said ballast unit, each of said forward portions having a bent portion extending substantially normal thereto, an ofiset portion projecting forwardly from said bent portions and traversing said mounting surface in underlying relationship to said base plate to clamp said ballast unit to said base plate between said offset portions and said forward portions of said element, and means provided on said base plate and retaining said element in said clamping relationship to said ballast unit.
2. A combination as defined in claim 1 in which said means comprise a pair of spaced tongues on said base plate and said arms engage said tongues.
3. A combination as defined in claim 2 wherein each of said tongues presents an inclined surface and each of said arms is cammed thereby toward abutment with said mounting surface.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS