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Publication numberUS3123680 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 3, 1964
Filing dateMar 4, 1960
Publication numberUS 3123680 A, US 3123680A, US-A-3123680, US3123680 A, US3123680A
InventorsJack A. Minton
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mouthpiece for submarine use
US 3123680 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 1964 J. A. MINTON, JR, ETAL 3,123,580

MOUTHPIECE FOR 'SUBMARINE USE Filed March 4, 1960 \l f m: k

INVENTORS JACK A. MINTON,JR. a

DON B. WILSON ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,123,680 MOUTHPIECE FOR SUBMARINE USE Jack A. Minton, Jr., Rte. 2, Box 466AD, Dallas, Tex., and Don B. Wilson, 3517 Cole Ave., Dallas 4, Tex. Filed Mar. 4, 1960, Ser. No. 12,781 Claims. (Cl. 179-187) This invention relates to skindiving equipment, and particularly to a microphone housing which also serves as a mouthpiece for the inhalation and exhalation of air by a diver.

Typical equipment now in use for supplying air to a diver may include one or more tanks of compressed air, a mouthpiece, an inhalation air passage leading from the regulator to the mouthpiece, and an exhalation passage leading from the mouthpiece back to the regulator or to the outside. The conventional mouthpiece of such equip ment is ordinarily placed between the lips of the diver in such a manner that his lips form a seal against the outer surface of the mouthpiece to prevent the entry of water into the air passage.

The rapid increase in skindiving has created an urgent need for underwater communication between the divers themselves and with surface craft, not only for the increased efliciency and pleasure which it affords, but for safety as well.

Whereas a microphone can be placed in the air passages of the mouthpieces presently in use, intelligible speech is impossible because the usual speaking functions of the lips are prevented by the manner in which such a mouthpiece is retained. Even throat microphones fail under such conditions because the lips cannot close to the extent required for the formation of certain consonants.

It is among the objects of this invention to provide a simple, compact, and inexpensive mouthpiece which functions not only to supply air to the diver in the normal manner, but also to permit movement of his lips in such a manner that clear speech will be sensed and transmitted by a microphone associated with the mouthpiece.

A mouthpiece for submarine use conforming to the present invention comprises a flexible fluid tight housing defining a chamber terminating in a port having a curvilinear edge complementing that portion of a human face surrounding the mouth, and a bit member secured in the chamber adjacent the edge and disposed eccentrically with respect to the port for engagement between the teeth of a wearer. The bit member is preferably flexible and resilient so as to yield under the forces imposed upon it and the curvilinear edge is also preferably flexible and resilient so as to engage the face of the wearer so as to produce a liquid tight seal. The edge of the housing or mask preferably extends beyond the bit member or members so that as the device is engaged between the teeth of the wearer, the curvilinear sealing edge is urged towards the face of the wearer in a manner to assure sealing engagement. In a preferred form of the invention, there are two bit members symmetrically disposed in the chamber with respect to the mask or housing so that the central portions of the lips of the wearer will be freely movable for the formation of the normal speech sounds to be directed towards a microphone or other sound transducer supported centrally or otherwise within the chamber.

A more complete understanding of the invention will follow from a description of the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a mouthpiece embodying the features of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional elevation taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front elevation of the mouthpiece; and

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary section depicting a bit member.

The mouthpiece depicted in the drawings constitutes an improvement over the device described in the patent to Kline, 2,865,369, dated December 23, 1958, wherein a seal is effected intermediate the lips and teeth of the wearer. In the present case, the seal is effected between the surface of the face of the wearer surrounding the mouth and a housing or mask 10. As depicted in the drawings, the housing or mask 10 is composed of a flexible fluid tight material such as natural or synthetic rubber and defines a chamber 12 terminating in a port 14 having a curvilinear edge 16 which is feathered to provide progressively increasing flexibility towards the edge. The end 18 of the mask or housing opposite the mouth receivng portion is tubular, adapting it to receive a nipple 20, m fluid tight relationship, carried by a valve housing 22 through which the air is introduced and removed in a conventional manner.

A bracket 24 is secured within the chamber 12 by means of screws 26 or the like extending through the wall of the housing 10 in a manner to prevent fluid leakage. The bracket comprises a band 28 engaging the internal wall of the housing 10 and a horizontal bar 30, riveted, Welded, or otherwise secured to the band 28 and extending across the chamber 12. To this horizontal bar 30, a pair of bit members 32 are secured, each bit member being composed of natural or synthetic rubber bonded to a metallic strip 34 which is secured to the horizontal bar 30 in a suitable manner, a bolt 36 and a nut 38 being depicted for the purpose in FIG. 2.

It will be noted with reference to FIG. 2 that the entire curvilinear edge 16 of the housing 10 extends outwardly beyond the bit members 32 so that when the bit members are engaged between the teeth of the wearer, the sealing edge 16 will be drawn towards the portion of the face of the wearer surrounding his mouth so as to assure a fluid tight seal. Inasmuch as the bit members 32 as best shown in FIG. 3 are eccentrically disposed with respect to a central vertical axis, when they are engaged between the teeth of the wearer, his lips will be free centrally for all movements required to form the sounds ordinarily employed in speech. A microphone housing 40 has been depicted in FIGS. 1 and 3 as centrally disposed between the bit members 32 in spaced relationship to a position that will be occupied by the lips of the wearer. The microphone will be positioned immediately forwardly of the bracket 24 and secured in position by attachment to the bracket in much the manner that the bit members are secured to it. A pair of leads 42 extend from the microphone through the housing 10, in fluid tight relationship for the transmission and reception of signals. Where a microphone or other form of transducer is intended to receive as well as transmit signals, it will be understood that the wearer will sense the received signals through the contact between his teeth and the metallic strips 34 by bone conduction. There will also be some transmission through the mouth to the inner ear. The manner in which the metal strips 34 are engageable by the upper teeth of the wearer will be apparent from the fragmentary section depicted by FIG. 4 of the drawings.

Whereas only one form of the invention has been illustrated and described, such variations as will be suggested to those skilled in the art are contemplated within the scope of the appended claims.

We claim:

1. A mouthpiece for submarine use comprising a cupped flexible fluid tight housing defining a chamber terminating in a port having a curvilinear edge complementing that portion of a human face surrounding the mouth and spaced therefrom and a bit member secured in said chamber adjacent but within the area defined bysaid edge and disposed eccentrically with respect to said port for engagement between the teeth of a wearer, said mouthpiece containing a fluid supply port communicating therewith in spaced relationship with respect to said bit member and a sound transducer supported in said chamber.

2. A mouthpiece as set forth in claim 1 wherein said sound transducer is centrally supported in said chamber.

3. A mouthpiece for submarine use comprising a cupped fluid tight housing defining a breathing chamber terminating in a port having an edge complementing that portion of a human face surrounding the mouth and spaced therefrom, a bit member secured in said chamber adjacent but within the area defined by said edge and disposed eccentricaliy with respect to said port for engagement between the teeth of a wearer, and a sound transducer supported in said chamber in spaced relationship with respect to said edge, said mouthpiece containing a fluid supply port communicating therewith in spaced relationship with respect to said bit member.

4. A mouthpiece as set forth in claim 3 wherein said edge is deformable for sealing engagement with the face.

5. A mouthpiece for submarine use comprising a cupped flexible fluid tight housing defining a breathing chamber terminating in a curvilinear edge complementing that portion of a human face surrounding the mouth and spaced therefrom, means carried by said housing within the area defined by said edge for cooperation with a portion of the human head to maintain said edge in fluid tight relationship with said face portion, and a sound transducer supported in said chamber in spaced relationship with respect to said edge said mouthpiece containing a fluid supply port communicating therewith in spaced relationship with respect to said bit member.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
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US2242118 *Aug 23, 1939May 13, 1941Erich FischerMicrophone
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US2844212 *Apr 16, 1956Jul 22, 1958Hogan William FUnderwater speaking device
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3210723 *Apr 6, 1962Oct 5, 1965Carlos ReinbergElectronic self-contained apparatus for sound or voice communication
US3241552 *Feb 18, 1963Mar 22, 1966Celestronics IncMask for a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
US3292618 *Nov 18, 1963Dec 20, 1966Briskin Inc JUnder-water diving equipment
US3347230 *Sep 3, 1963Oct 17, 1967Scott Aviation CorpUnderwater talking hood
US4031888 *Jan 5, 1976Jun 28, 1977Walters William DBreathing mouthpiece for underwater use
US4527657 *Jul 31, 1984Jul 9, 1985Payne Philip WTapered tube impedance matching underwater voice communicator with bubble silencer
US4799263 *Mar 18, 1987Jan 17, 1989Dragerwerk AgSpeaking and hearing system for breathing apparatus
US5277179 *Sep 8, 1992Jan 11, 1994Stone Electronics Ltd.Diver's microphone mask
US5570688 *Nov 17, 1993Nov 5, 1996Cochran Consulting, Inc.Advanced dive computer for use with a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
US5960793 *Dec 26, 1996Oct 5, 1999Grand Bleu Inc.Breathing device for diving
Classifications
U.S. Classification381/344, 128/201.19, 367/142, 381/189
International ClassificationH04M1/03
Cooperative ClassificationH04M1/03
European ClassificationH04M1/03