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Publication numberUS3144218 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 11, 1964
Filing dateJun 26, 1961
Priority dateJun 26, 1961
Publication numberUS 3144218 A, US 3144218A, US-A-3144218, US3144218 A, US3144218A
InventorsTepe Charles F
Original AssigneeGen Dynamics Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Transmission cable storing and positioning mechanism
US 3144218 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

c. F. TEPE 3,144,218 TRANSMISSION CABLE STORING AND POSITIONING MECHANISM Aug. 11,1964

Filed June 26, 1961 INV EN TOR.

.4 TTOR/VE) M moSwGo E I S u n 8 m C V. B 2 W 0 i M W $2055 [INN .Nll/ I O h a/ Mm mv em e I n. I I A In lu 5 8 w Q 5. mm 8/- x I C Q J MN N. 2v m United States Patent 3,144,218 TRANSMISSION CABLE STGRING AND POSITIONING MECHANISM Charles F. Tape, Fairport, N.Y., assignor to General Dynamics Corporation, Rochester, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed June 26, 1961, Ser. No. 119,638 3 Claims. (Cl. 242-1071) This invention relates to a positioning mechanism and more particularly to a device capable of taking up a length of transmission line within a relatively small volume Without breaking the continuity of the line.

In many cases it is necessary to move a pickup or detecting device attached to a length of transmission line along a path of considerable length. For example, in measuring the neutron flux density in a nuclear reactor, it is often necessary to position selectively a detector, such as a fission chamber, into the reactor throughout a range which may be of the order of twenty to forty feet.

Owing to the low signal levels involved and to the fact that the indicating device may be at a remote point, a low noise shielded cable must be used. The detector and indicator can be connected directly to opposite ends of the cable. The high noise level inherent in arrangements using slip rings precludes their use in such applications and necessitates a means for positioning the detector without breaking the continuity of the cable.

Because of space limitations often encountered, it is frequently required that the cable be taken up within a relatively small volume; this places a restriction upon the size of the drum or reel upon which the cable is Wound. Moreover, it is desirable to avoid winding several layers of cable over one another lest the cable develops kinks and loose turns which interfere with an even motion of the detector Within the reactor. Furthermore, it is desirable to avoid twisting of the suspended length of the cable and the appended detecting device which is inserted within the reactor.

The device according to the invention is characterized by an ability to take up or absorb a continuous cable within a relatively small volume without imparting a twist to any device which may be connected at either end thereof. The device according to the invention includes a hollow drum about which a portion of the cable is wound. The outer periphery of this drum may be grooved to accept the cable and prevent the turns from running together. The drum can be rotated by means of a motor whenever the position of the detector within the reactor is to be varied. The cable on the outside of the drum is clamped to the drum adjacent one end thereof and passes through an aperture in the drum to the interior. The portion of the cable within the drum is preformed into a helical configuration; this helical portion of the cable is positioned between the inner periphery of the drum and an elongated stationary rod or mandrel disposed coaxially within the drum. The helical portion of the cable is clamped to the stationary rod at a point remote from the point of entrance of the cable into the interior of the drum. Since the helical prestressed portion of the cable surrounds the stationary rod, it is restrained from kinking as the cable is taken up on the drum. An unstressed portion of the cable continues past the point of clamping of the helical portion to stationary rod out through one end of the drum; this portion of the cable is connected to an indicator or readout device which may be positioned at any desired distance of the lifting mechanism. As the drum is rotated to unwind or wind the cable, the diameter and pitch of the preformed helically coiled portion of the cable changes, thereby allowing a given length of cable to be wound or unwound with 3,144,218 Patented Aug. 11, 1964 a relatively few turns of cable on the periphery of the drum.

In order to insure that the coiled portion of the cable will not bind on the stationary rod, the latter may include a number of rotating members each free to rotate about a common axis coincident with the axis of the rod, each rotating member being just long enough to allow one turn of the helical portion of the cable to bear against it. As the stress on the coiled portion of the cable changes, the rotating members are free to rotate under the turns of the coiled portion of the cable, thus preventing binding of the cable on the rod.

Other objects of this invention will become apparent from examination of the specification and of the drawing wherein FIG. 1 is a view, partly in cross-section, showing an embodiment of the invention.

Referring to the drawing, a hollow drum 12 of generally cylindrical configuration is shown upon whose outer periphery a helically disposed groove 13 is formed to accept a cable, indicated generally by the reference numeral 15. A stationary rod or mandrel 17 is positioned inside the drum 12. The drum 12 and rod 17 are mounted in coaxial relationship with one another from a supporting member 19 by means of brackets 21 and 22 which are fastened, as by bolts 23, to the supporting member. A shaft 24 terminating in a hub portion 25 is attached at one end of the drum 12, as by screws 27; alternately, the hub 25 could be made integral with the drum. A bearing 28 fitting tightly in bracket 22 serves to permit rotation of the hub 25 within bracket 22. Support for the other end of drum 12 is provided by a hub 29 attached to the drum, as by screws 31, and cooperating with the bearing 32 retained in fixed bracket 21 to allow rotation of the drum with respect thereto. The shaft 24 is connected to any suitable prime motor, such as an electric motor 33. The centrally disposed rod 17 passes through a central aperture in bracket 21 and hub 29 and a recess 26 in hub 25. One end of the rod 17 bears lightly against a ball 34 located in the recess 25. By proper adjustment of the threaded end of the rod 17 which passes through a nut 37, the hub 25 may be permitted to rotate freely about stationary rod 17 without binding, while still maintaining suitable support for one end of the rod. The cable 15 includes a first portion 15a which is connected to a detector 44]. This portion of the cable is adapted to be Wound about the drum 12 and is guided by the peripheral helical groove 13. The cable is clamped to the drum near one end thereof by a clamp 42 and passes through an aperture 43 in the drum and thence into the interior of the drum. Cable 15 then assumes the preformed configuration of a helix 15b surrounding rod 17; this portion of the cable, which may be referred to as the second portion or the intermediate portion, is secured by clamp 45 to the rod 17 near the end supported by bracket 21. The cable then assumes an untwisted configuration and passes out through the end of the drum and through an aperture 47 in the bracket 21 and eventually is connected to an indicator device 50. The portion of the cable 15, also referred to as the third portion, may be of any length, depending upon how close the indicator is to the positioning mechanism. In some instances, rod 17 may be tubular and the portion 15c of the cable may be inserted into the tubular rod and brought out through one end thereof.

The intermediate portion 15b of cable 15 is preformed into the helical configuration, in the manner of coiled telephone cords, prior to being inserted into the drum 12. The technique for prestressing the cable to form such a coil is well known and may consist, for example, of coiling portion 15b of the cable about a mandrel and curing at an elevated temperature while it is held in the desired position.

As the drum 12 is rotated, and the first portion 15a of cable 15 is wound or unwound about the drum, the diameter and pitch of the preformed coil 15b increases or decreases. When the coil 15b is wound as shown in the drawing, the pitch of the coil 15b will increase and the diameter will increase as the cable is taken up on the drum; similarly, the pitch in diameter of coil 1512 will decrease as the cable is reeled off. On the other hand, if coil 15b were to be wound in the opposite direction from that shown in the drawing, the pitch and diameter of helix 15b would decrease as the cable is wound upon the drum.

The motive means for rotating the drum may include limit switches for limiting the rotation of the drum so that the length of cable wound about the drum does not exceed the length of the helical groove 13, on the one hand, or exert tension on the clamped end of the cable, on the other hand. The rod 17 must have a diameter smaller than the minimum cable bend diameter so that the cable will not bind on the rod as the coil 15b tightens. One method of insuring that the cable does not bind is to provide a number of sleeves or bearings 52 which are free to rotate about rod 17. Each of the sleeves may have a length about equal to the diameter of the cable so that only one turn of the coil contacts a given sleeve. The portions of the sleeves which contact one another may be of reduced diameter in order to reduce friction therebetween. If the coil turns start to touch the rod, they contact the associated sleeve which is free to rotate about the rod and thus prevent binding. Since the greatest tension appears in the region adjacent the clamped end of the coil 15b, it is also possible to use a rod 17 which is of somewhat smaller cross-section in the aforesaid region. For the same reason, the sleeves may be limited to the region adjacent the clamped end of coil 15b.

Binding of the coil can also be minimized by designing the cable so that in the unbiased or unstressed position of coil 15b, the periphery of the drum is approximately half filled with cable. Then, the coil becomes stressed only during half of the total angular excursion of the drum.

This invention is not limited to the particular details of construction, materials and processes described, as many equivalents will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art. For example, stress relieving means may be provided for connecting the detector to one end of the cable. Furthermore, the rod may be supported at one end by a bracket separate from that used to support the drum. In this instance, the portion 150 of the cable could extend out through the open end of the drum. It is desired, accordingly, that the claims be given a broad interpretation commensurate with the scope of the invention within the art.

What is claimed is:

1. In combination,, a continuous elongated flexible member, a rotating drum for receiving on the outer periphery thereof a first portion of said member, means for fixedly attaching said member to the outer periphery of said drum near one end of said drum, said member extending into the interior of said drum adjacent said attaching means, the portion of said member disposed within said drum being preformed into a helical configuration, said preformed portion forming a continuation of said first portion and disposed coextensive with said first portion, a stationary rod coaxial with said drum and surrounded by said preformed portion of said member, and means for clamping said preformed portion of said member to said rod adjacent the end of said preformed portion remote from its confluence with said first portion.

2. In combination, a continuous elongated flexible member, a rotating drum for receiving on the outer periphery thereof a first portion of said member, means for fixedly attaching saidmember to the outer periphery of said drum near one end of said drum, said member extending into the interior of said drum adjacent said attaching means, the portion of said member disposed within said drum being preformed into a helical configuration, said preformed portion forming a continuation of said first portion and disposed coextensive with said first portion, a stationary rod coaxial with said drum and surrounded by said preformed portion of said member, and means for clamping said preformed portion of said member to said rod adjacent the end of said preformed portion remote from its confluence with said first portion, said member further including a third portion forming a continuation of said preformed portion and extending exteriorly of said drum for connection to an external indicating device.

3. In combination, a continuous elongated flexible member having first and second portions terminating at 'opposite ends of said member and having a third portion intermediate said first and second portions, a pair of spaced end support members, a rotating drum rotatably mounted within said end support members, said third portion being disposed within said drum coextensive with said first portion and being prestressed into ahelical configuration, first clamping means for securing the first portion of said member to the outer periphery of said drum near one end of said drum, the first portion of said member extending through said drum near one end thereof and forming a continuation of said intermediate portion, a stationary elongated element coaxial with said drum and disposed within said drum, said element extending within said intermediate portion of said member and supported between one of said end support members and a portion of said rotating drum, and second clamping means for clamping said intermediate portion of said member to said elongated element at a 'region remote from the confluence of said first and intermediate portions, said intermediate portion and said second portion of said member meeting adjacent the end of said drum remote from said first clamping means.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 932,970 Dodge Aug. 31, 1909 1,171,745 Mundy Feb. 15, 1916 1,958,626 Krantz May 15, 1934 2,141,909 Hauser Dec. 27, 1938 2,438,515 Mohler Mar. 30, 1948 2,518,071 Rushworth Aug. 8, 1950

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US932970 *Oct 12, 1908Aug 31, 1909Owen DodgeElectric-light-cord adjuster.
US1171745 *Mar 6, 1915Feb 15, 1916George P MundyTelephone attachment.
US1958626 *Apr 10, 1931May 15, 1934Bell Telephone Labor IncReeling device
US2141909 *May 21, 1938Dec 27, 1938Edward J HauserFloor lamp with cord take-up device
US2438515 *Oct 9, 1945Mar 30, 1948Mohler Marvin FPlug and jack box switching unit
US2518071 *Aug 26, 1947Aug 8, 1950David RushworthSelf-winding reel for cables and the like
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4010913 *Oct 9, 1973Mar 8, 1977Ametek, Inc.Retriever reel
US4253914 *Jan 13, 1978Mar 3, 1981Aktiebolaget AtomenergiFeeding device
US4384688 *May 26, 1981May 24, 1983Warren F. B. LindsleySelf-storing cord and hose reel assemblies
US4520999 *Mar 1, 1984Jun 4, 1985Philips Franciscus MCombination of a hoistdrum and hoistcable for a winch
US4661660 *Sep 6, 1985Apr 28, 1987Anton Piller Gmbh & Co. KgCable drum driven by an electric motor
US4844359 *Aug 4, 1988Jul 4, 1989Alps Electric Co., Ltd.Cable reel
US5022600 *Aug 20, 1990Jun 11, 1991Commissariat A L'energie AtomiqueWinder-unwinder for optical fibre cables
US5156242 *Nov 27, 1991Oct 20, 1992Al-Ro Inc.Helical telephone cord winding device
US5176331 *Feb 20, 1991Jan 5, 1993Organisation Europeenne Pour La Recherche NucleaireRotation compensation device for a cable or similar which can be wound on to and unwound from a rotary drum
US5299670 *Jun 11, 1993Apr 5, 1994Willard Warren LTelephone cord reel
US5301959 *Oct 4, 1990Apr 12, 1994British Telecommunications Public Limited CompanySealing gland
US7222403 *Aug 26, 2004May 29, 2007Intel CorporationPad gripping and removal apparatuses
US8727084 *May 11, 2012May 20, 2014David J KukerTake-up reel assembly
DE4013262A1 *Apr 26, 1990May 8, 1991Stemmann Technik GmbhStorage device for thin hose, wire or cable - has cable passed in random loops around rotary component within outer housing
DE4018435A1 *Jun 8, 1990Dec 12, 1991Gore W L & Ass GmbhPower line guiding device - has line coil support allowing coil diameter changes as powered object moves
DE4026782A1 *Aug 24, 1990Mar 5, 1992Stemmann Technik GmbhIn-line store for flexible cables, wires etc. - has pitch direction change with reversal point between clamped ends
DE9010213U1 *Jul 5, 1990Oct 18, 1990Manfred Fladung Gmbh, 8752 Moembris, DeTitle not available
EP0421805A1 *Oct 4, 1990Apr 10, 1991BRITISH TELECOMMUNICATIONS public limited companySealing gland
EP1801813A1 *Dec 18, 2006Jun 27, 2007General Electric CompanyInstrument removal system
WO1980000643A1 *Sep 14, 1979Apr 3, 1980N HanssonTransmission cable storing and positioning mechanism
WO1991005282A1 *Oct 4, 1990Apr 5, 1991British TelecommSealing gland
WO1993002009A1 *Jul 22, 1992Feb 4, 1993W L Gore & Associes S A R LDevice for reeling in and paying out link means without discontinuity
WO2012172110A1 *Jun 18, 2012Dec 20, 2012Ipalco B.V.Device for unwinding and winding up one or more lines
Classifications
U.S. Classification242/378.2, 191/12.20R, 376/245, 976/DIG.240, 376/254, 376/227, 976/DIG.238, 191/12.20A
International ClassificationG21C17/10, B65H75/38, G21C17/116, G21C17/108, B65H75/44
Cooperative ClassificationG21C17/116, G21C17/108, B65H75/4449
European ClassificationG21C17/116, G21C17/108, B65H75/44E