US 3191721 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
D- E. CON RY ELEVATOR CAR June 29, 1965 3 Sheets- Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 31, 1962 INVENTOR DALE E. CONRY ATTORNEYS June 29, 1965 D. E. CONRY ELEVATOR CAR 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 31, 1962 .m\ Q a 3 2. 51: 3 ,1: i .UWN #M .wmmmdlufllllmrmwikmflhiilhnr. .1 flrii ii ==EE ZZZ/A INVENTOR. DALE E. CONRY 11 9 ew mm I his ATTORNEYS June 29, 1965 D. E. CONRY 3,191,721
ELEVATOR CAR Filed Aug. 31, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 W a; FIG 4 57 52 l X L-':." ,'lr;2 n I l 82 8? I 58 5 x R n H 50 g SOL MOTOR 1 L b DISPLACEMENT I I W 67 55 CUT-OFF rfww so| j 68 FIG. 5 M I;
/4-- "I INVENTOR; DALE E. couav ,gWM
his ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,191,721 ELEVATOR CAR Dale E. Conry, Aurora, Colo, assignor to Dover Corporation, Memphis, Tenn., a corporation of Delaware Filed Aug 31, 1962, Ser. No. 220,726 6 Claims. (Cl. 187-1) The invention relates in general to elevator cars with movable ceilings and, more particularly, to power operated movable ceilings.
In relatively medium size or small size apartment houses, for example, high installation and maintenance costs have usually prohibited the inclusion of a separate freight or service elevator in addition to the regular pas senger elevator necessary for servicing the upper floors. These passenger elevators have usually been designed to the normal dimensions preferred by the tenants, being of a height of approximately seven and one-half feet.
On the other hand, many items of construction equipment or pieces of furniture such as long modern couches and other household furnishings, for example, are of such length as to prohibit their being carried inside an ordinary passenger elevator. In such cases, it has been customary to either take the passenger car out of regular service and place the elongated item on the roof of the car for transport to the desired floor, or undertake the time consuming task of erecting a hazardous hoist outside of the building for transporting the elongated item to the desired upper floor. These external hoists are not only hazardous to passersby, but also endanger the furniture being transported. Furthermore, in addition to the risks inherent with respect to both personnel and equipment in either of these operations, these moving and hoisting methods waste the time and effort of highly skilled, and usually expensive, moving crews.
The present invention overcomes many of these disadvantages by providing an elevator car with a power operated movable ceiling which is capable of transporting many elongated items not possible heretofore.
In accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the elevator operator may insert a key into an appropriate control panel, to energize, for example, a power operated actuating means such as a small electric motor located above the cab adapted to raise the movable ceiling through a series of control cables, vertical guides, and a gear reduction mechanism to a desired position wherein the elevator car can accommodate long pieces of furniture and equipment for transportation to the upper floors. Thus the invention provides a safe and efiicient solution to the vertical transportation problems inherent with oversized items without requiring the high additional expense of installing a separate freight elevator car.
For a more complete understanding of this invention, reference may be had to the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying figures of the drawing, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a schematic'view of an exemplary embodiment of a movable ceiling portion of an elevator car as viewed from an upper rearward position and constructed in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is an elevational view in cross section taken along the line 22 shown in FIG. 1, and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view of the movable ceiling locking mechanism of the embodiment of FIG. 1, taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2 and looking in the direction of the arrows; and 7 FIG. 4 is a circuit diagram of an exemplary electrical system for operating the movable ceiling, in accordance with the invention.
In the exemplary embodiment of the invention, a hoistway 10 having a pair of conventional rails 11 is positioned in a suitable conventional manner intermediate a plurality of floors (not shown). An elevator car having a conventional car frame 12 and a passenger carrying enclosure or cab 13 is adapted to travel in the usual manner in the hoistway 10 between selected floors under the control of a conventional elevator control system and drive mechanism (not shown), in accordance with techniques well-known in the elevator art and not forming any part of the present invention.
The interior side walls 14 of the cab 13, which may be fashioned in any suitable manner, are of a height deemed suitable for passenger elevator service. For example, as stated above, these walls 14 may extend to a point seven and one-half feet above the elevator floor. Transverse bracing elements 15 are connected across the upper extremities of two of the side walls 14 to provide support for the four upper walls or canopy 17 within which a movable ceiling 18 is controllably positioned.
Mounted above the upper side walls 17 is an upper horizontal platform 32 which encloses the top of the elevator cab or enclosure 13. The platform 32 is positioned directly above the horizontal movable ceiling 18 and determines the upper limit of its movement.
Guide means are provided for the movable ceiling 18, which include four vertical guide rods 22 bolted to the platform 32 and extending vertically downwardly from points adjacent each of the four corners of the platform 32. The lower portions of the rods 22 pass through rubber cushioning rings or grommets 21 mounted in apertures in the transverse bracing elements 15. The rings 21 serve to cushion the return of the movable ceiling 18 to its lowered passenger cab position.
Four traveling slides 20, such as nylon tubular slides, and four spacers 19 are, firmly attached to the exterior side of the movable ceiling 18 and are positioned in a horizontal plane with each of the four guide rods 22 passing through a respective vertical aperture in each slide 20. Thus the movable ceiling 18 is guided along a fixed path from a lowered passenger position where it rests on the cushioning rings 21, to a selected raised freight position below the upper platform 32.
The motion of the movable ceiling 18 is controlled by a plurality of control cables 24a, 24b, 24c and 24d, each of which is attached in a suitable manner to the four spacers 19 at the four corners of the ceiling 18. Cable 24a passes from the movable ceiling 18 up to a rotatable sheave assembly 33:: which is mounted on the platform 32. At this point the direction of the cable 24a is changed to a horizontal plane wherein it proceeds to a double sheave assembly 36 and is then turned in an upwardly inclined direction by a rotating sheave 31.
Cable 24b also proceeds from a second corner of the movable ceiling 1S upwardly to a rotatable sheave assembly 33b mounted on the platform 32 and then to the double sheave assembly where it is turned into the same upwardly inclined direction as the cable 24a by a rotating sheave 35. The cables 24a and 24b proceed in a parallel direction from the sheaves 31 and 35 and are joined at a suitable juncture element 42 to a single control cable 24ab.
The control cable 2451b is wound around a sheave 33 and thereafter proceeds upwardly at an inclined angle to form a loop about a sheave 45 rotatably mounted on an actuating arm 48.
Control cables 24c and 24d, likewise, proceed vertically upward from respective spacers 19 located adjacent the third and fourth corners of the movable ceiling 18. Control cables 24c and 24d both turn about rotatable sheave assemblies 330 and 3301 in a horizontal plane above the upper platform 32, and are then directed toward a double sheave assembly 41 where the control cable 240 is turned da about a rotatable sheave and the control cable 242: is turned about a sheave 36. Thereafter, both of these control cables proceed in a parallel direction to the sheaves 39 and 49, respectively, and to respective loops about sheaves 46 and 47'mounted on the actuating arm 43.
The actuating arm 48 is fixed rigidly to the outer rotating plate of a suitable gear reduction means 49 connected to a conventional electric motor 59 mounted on the upper horizontal cross beam of the car frame 12.
The electric motor is energized through a pair of electrical leads 52 which pass along the car frame to a passenger operated control means on a control panel 80 in the enclosure wall 14 (FIG. 2). The circuit for activating the electric motor 50, illustrated in FIG. 4, may be closed when a key is inserted by the attendant or other passenger in a keyslot S1 and turned to the right key position 83 to energize the electric motor 59 by a suitable external electrical source 51, to raise the movable ceiling 13 from its lowered passenger cab position to a raised freight cab position.
In operation, the high rotational speed of the electric motor 5% is reduced through the gear reduction means 49 to such an extent that the actuating arm 48 slowly rotates through an angle of 180 to fully raise the ceiling 1%. i /hen the actuating arm 43 is in the phantom position shown in F162, the circuit is opened by a conventional mechanical displacement cut-off means 53 and the electric motor 5% is automatically cut off.
During the rotation of the actuating arm 48 through its 180 cycle, the control cables 2451b, 24c and 24d are pulled through their respective sheaves for a total linear displacement of the control cables of approximately two feet, for example. This linear displacement of the control cables is experienced equally at all points along their length. Thus an equal upwardly directed force is applied to all four corners of the movable ceiling 18 to move it upwardly. Stability is provided to the ceiling 18 during this upward movement by the four rigid guide rods 22.
Locking mechanisms 55 and 56, which are conventional spring actuated and solenoid released mechanisms, are attached firmly to the movable ceiling at points midway along its front and rearward sides. When the movable ceiling 18 reaches its raised freight position, a springbiased detent 57 in each of the locking mechanisms 55 and 55 engages a brace 53 attached to the canopy 17, as shown in FIG. 4. As the ceiling 18 moves upwardly, the detent 57 rides over the brace 58 in opposition to a biasing or compression spring 59 to lock the movable ceiling 18 in its raised freight position.
Immediately after the locking operation takes place the actuating arm 43 reaches its upper cut-elf position as determined by cut-oil m ans 53 and the motor 50 is deenergized to terminate the upward movement of ceiling 13.
Once the movable ceiling 13 is locked in the raised freight position, the key inserted in keyslot 8?. may be allowed to remain in the right position 83 or may be moved to the initial center position.
When it is desired to once again convert the elevator fo passenger use, the movable ceiling may be automatically or manually lowered.
The ceiling may be lowered automatically by inserting the control key in the keyslot 81 in the control panel 89 and rotating the key to the left or lowering position 82. As shown in FIG. 4, this left position closes the circuit including the solenoids of the locking mechanisms 55 and 56 to pull in the respective detents 5'? and permit'the movable ceiling 18 to slowly descend in response to its own weight to the lowered passenger cab position.
The gear reduction means 49 permits the slow clockwise rotation of actuating arm 48 through an angle of 180, until the arm is once more in its initial position, as shown in FIG. 2. The control cables 24a, 24b, Ede and 2441 move along the same paths shown in FIG. 1, as
each corner of the movable ceiling l3 pulls downwardly on its respective cable with an equal force. As in the operation for raising the ceiling, the guide rods 22 provide stability and determine the path of the ceiling 18.
An alternative mechanical method for lowering the ceiling 18 from the raised freight cab position may also be included, preferably as an auxiliary or emergency procedure. By individually rotating individual linkage rods '75 with a key inserted into respective protruding elements 7%, the operator may manually cause the mechanical retraction of the detents 57 to release the locking mechanisms and 56 and permit the movable ceiling 18 to descend in response to its own weight.
Alternatively, the electric motor 50 may be of a conventional reversible type and the lowering of the ceiling 13 may be accomplished under the control of the motor 550 by the attendant selectively operating the passenger operated control means to appropriately energize the motor 59 in accordance with the intended direction of movement of the ceiling 18.
In some cases it may be desirable to permit the attendant or other passenger in the elevator car to raise the movable ceiling 18 only the amount necessary to accommodate the particular item being transported and not to the fullv raised position. This may be accomplished by using a suitable self-locking gear reduction means $59 which will hold the movable ceiling in any position at which the electric motor 55 is ale-energized. This selflocking gear version of the movable ceiling would not, of course, need the spring locking mechanisms 55 and 56 to hold the ceiling in place at its fully raised position since, here too, the actuating arm 48 could support the eilings full weight.
Furthermore, due to the cranking action of the actuating arm 43, it may not be necessary to. reverse the electric motor 59 in order to lower the ceiling 18 from its uppermost position. Since the elevator ceiling will move downwardly in approximately the same manner regardless of the direction in which the actuating arm 48 I0- tates, the arm may continue to proceed in a forward counterclockwise direction from this upper position at 189 degrees of revolution, with the result that it will pass through a complete 36-0 degrees of revolution.
Thus there is provided, in accordance with the invention, an apparatus for converting a conventional passenger elevator cab into an enclosure of much greater vertical clearance capable of conveying elongated objects such as couches, often found in the modern home, by a selectively actuated power opera-ted means under the control of an attendant or other passenger. At the same time this invention allows the passenger elevator cabs to remain psychologically and aesthetically pleasing to the tenants and guests who use the elevator as a passenger vehicle.
It will be understood by workers in the elevator art that the above described embodiment is meant to be merely exemplary and that it is susceptible of modifica tion and variation without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, many different forms of conventional motion translating mechanisms and techniques may be substituted for the disclosed exemplary control cable system, and the passenger operated control means may comprise one or more suitably connected pushbuttons. Therefore, the invention is not deemed to be limited except as defined by the depending claims.
1. An elevator car adapted to travel in a hoistway between a plurality of floors, comprising a car frame, a passenger carrying enclosure mounted Within said frame, a movable ceiling for said enclosure, selectively actuated power operated means including motor means for moving said movable ceiling between different vertically displaced positions to vary the vertical clearance of said an closure and locking means operably coupled with said motor means for locking said movable ceiling when said motor means is not being operated.
2. An elevator car adapted to travel in a hoistway between a plurality of floors as defined in claim 1 wherein said motor means is operated from within said passenger carrying enclosure.
3. An elevator car adapted to travel in a hoistway between a plurality of floors as defined in claim 1, comprising passenger operated control means in said enclosure for actuating said power operated means.
4. An elevator car adapted to travel in a hoistway between a plurality of fioors as defined in claim 3, wherein said power operated means is mounted on said frame.
5. An elevator car as claimed in claim 4, comprising guide means for guiding the movement of said movable ceiling between said different vertically displaced positions.
6. An elevator car as claimed in claim 1, comprising displacement cut-off means connected in operative relation with said motor means for ds-energizing said motor means when said movable ceiling reaches a predetermined position.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 382,487 5/88 Moore 187-1 1,101,102 6/14 Steedman 187-76 1,291,138 1/19 Reed 254-l 1,751,644 3/30 McKenzie 187-5 1,960,283 5/34 Walker 18.78.59 2,150,628 3/ 39 Mizer 187-859 2,603,487 7/52 Scheppe 254- X 2,925,150 2/60 Sanders 18776 FOREIGN PATENTS 959,758 3/57 Germany.
SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Primary Examiner.
ANDRES H. NIELSEN, RALPH H. BRAUNER,
ERNEST A. FALLER, In, Examiners.