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Publication numberUS3203270 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 31, 1965
Filing dateJan 30, 1961
Priority dateJan 30, 1961
Publication numberUS 3203270 A, US 3203270A, US-A-3203270, US3203270 A, US3203270A
InventorsWilliam M Booth
Original AssigneeWilliam M Booth
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Steering for marine craft
US 3203270 A
Images(2)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 31, 1965 w. M. BOOTH STEERING FOR MARINE CRAFT 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 30, 1961 DONH WWW WBJWM M w .T M M W A. W

Aug. 31, 1965 w. M. BOOTH STEERING FOR MARINE CRAFT 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 50, 1961 INVENTOR. Mil/AM M. BOOTH FIG. 5

ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,203,270 STEERING FOR MARINE CRAFT William M. Booth, 2006 Vista Place, Grand Haven, Mich. Filed Jan. 30, 1961, Ser. No. 85,526

I 4 Claims. (Cl. 74-517) This invention relates to marine steering mechanism, and more particularly to marine steering mechanism wherein the back pressure from the tiller or motor has no effect on the steering operation.

Present marine steering systems include a steering wheel shaft to which is secured a winding drum. Tiller cables are wrapped about the winding drum and pass through appropriate sheaves positioned along the boat to the stern of the boat where they are connected to the rudder, outboard motor, or other apparatus utilized for steering. One of the disadvantages of such a system is that the action of the motor or rudder is conveyed back to the steering wheel via the tiller cables. This is highly undesirable in many instances. One such instance is where the boat operator is accidentally thrown from the boat and the motor turns, causing the boat to travel in circles and run down the operator. The motor may also strike a dead head or some other object in the water and wrench the steering wheel from the operators hand causing the boat to take an undesirable course resulting in an accident. Thus, it can be seen that present steering mechanisms are not altogether safe.

Another problem in the present steering mechanisms is that there is considerable lost motion in the steering action. This may be eliminated to a great extent by placing tensioning means in the tiller cables. However, since the mechanical advantage of present systems is low, increased tension on the cables results in an arrangement which is difficult to operate. This is particularly undesirable for the female boat operator.

Present steering systems require that the tiller cable tensioning means be placed in the stern of the boat. Present day boats also require that motor accessories such as the battery for the electrical starting system and the fuel tank be placed in the stern of the boat. Thus, space is at a premium in this area of the boat and present steering mechanisms tend to increase the congestion in this area. Another requirement of present steering systems for boats of the runabout class in particular, is that one tiller cable be run down one side of the boat and other tiller cable down the other side of the boat. This may be undesirable in various installations.

The present invention is designed to overcome the above difliculties and yet provide a steering mechanism which can be manufactured at approximately the same cost as existing systems. The system of this invention utilizes a winding drum which is secured to a steering wheel shaft in a conventional manner. However, the winding drum is equipped with braking surfaces disposed at opposite ends thereof. A pulley rope is wrapped about the winding drum and the ends thereof entrained over traveling pulleys placed intermediate the winding drum and the tiller cables. The ends of the pulley rope are also wrapped around the braking surfaces of the winding drum and tied to the traveling pulleys. The traveling pulleys are then fixed to the tiller cables which are connected to the rudder or motor. When the winding drum is rotated by the steering wheel the pulley rope is played off from the winding drum and the braking surfaces. However, when back pressure from the motor or tiller attempts to turn the winding drum, the pulley ropes bind on the braking surfaces to prevent the motor from affecting the steering mechanism. Since the motor or tiller can in no way affect the steering mechanism, the boat cannot inadver- "ice tently take an undesirable course. Therefore, the steering mechanism of this invention is extremely safe. The intermediate traveling pulleys provide a means whereby the wheel ratio is decreased and the mechanical advantage increased. This provides for a steering system which can be operated with much less effort than previous arrangement and may be tensioned to the extent necessary to eliminate lost motion without sacrificing turning ease. The tiller cables can be connected directly to the motor or tiller, thus providing more room in the stern of the boat.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide marine steering mechanism wherein the back pressure from the motor or rudder cannot steer the boat.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide marine steering mechanism wherein the wheel ratio is decreased and the mechanical advantage increased.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a marine steering mechanism having means whereby both tiller cables may be placed on the same side of the boat or along the bottom of the boat.

Another object of this invention is to provide a marine steering mechanism which is a package unit facilitating installation of the steering mechanism in a boat.

Still another object of this invention is to provide marine steering mechanism wherein the tensioning mecha nism can be placed at any point along the tiller cable.

Another object of this invention is to provide a marine steering device having a cowling covering the winding drum, the cowling being adjustable to facilitate leading the pulley rope from any point about the circumference of the winding drum.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a marine steering device which consists of a minimum number of component parts and is therefore economical to manufacture and maintain.

These and other objects and advantages of this invention will become more apparent upon reading the specification in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the steering mechanism of this invention shown installed in a boat;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the winding drum and traveling pulleys secured to a conventional steering wheel shaft;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the section lines III-III of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the winding drum cowling; and

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view through one of the clamping means for the two piece cowling.

This invention relates basically to a marine steering mechanism having structure which prevents the back pressure of the motor from steering the boat. This steering mechanism includes a winding drum having braking surfaces formed at opposite ends thereof. The winding drum is fixed to a steering wheel shaft in a conventional manner. A pulley rope is wrapped about the winding drum and the ends thereof entrained over traveling pulleys. The pulley ropes are returned to the winding drum and wrapped around the braking surfaces formed thereon. The ends of the rope are then tied to the traveling pulleys. The traveling pulleys are also connected to the tiller cables which are connected to the rudder or motor. The pulley rope is so wound about the winding drum and brake surfaces that when the winding drum is turned by However, when back pressure from the motor or rudder is transferred through the tiller cables to the winding drum the portions of the pulley rope wrapped about the braking surfaces bind on the braking surfaces preventing movement of the winding drum. Since two strands of the pulley rope lead from each braking surface, back pressure from the tiller cables results in both strands being pulled simultaneously. This action is similar to wrapping a rope around a post and pulling on the ends which causes the wraps of the rope to be drawn down tightly on the post or bind. Thus, the back pressure from the motor is incapable of steering the boat. The connection of the pulley rope with the traveling pulleys results in a mechanical advantage and a reduced wheel ratio. There is no lost motion in the system since the tiller cables are connected directly with the motor. This arrangement also allows the tensioning means to be positioned at any point in the tiller cables. The winding drum is covered with a cowling which is formed in two pieces. The one piece is clamped to the other piece by quickly detachable spring clips. The one cowling piece can be adjusted with respect to the other to facilitate leading the pulley rope from the winding drum at any point about the circumference of the Winding drum.

The steering mechanism assembly is designated generally as 10. The steering assembly includes a winding drum 30 which has shaft end caps 40 and 50, a cowling 60, a lock retainer 55, double tie back pulleys 85 and 85a and pulley rope 96. The steering mechanism assembly 10 is associated with a boat and motor 16. Tiller cables 21 and 22 are connected to the assembly 10 and the motor 16.

Referring now more specifically to the details of the invention, FIG. 1 best illustrates the manner in which the assembly 10 is mounted in the boat 15 now to be described.

The boat 15 is a runabout of conventional design. Although the steering mechanism is shown associated with this type of boat, it is to be understood that within the broadest aspect of the invention the steering assembly 10 may be utilized with any boat of the outboard class and all of the smaller inboard craft. However, the steering assembly 10 is particularly desirable for use with outboards.

The motor 16 is of conventional outboard motor design and is connected to the stern of the boat in a conventional manner. The dashboard 26 of the boat is located in the usual position adjacent the bow of the boat. The dashboard 26 supports the steering wheel housing 24 which is secured thereto by a conventional fastening means.

The steering wheel shaft 25 is journaled in the housing 24 and projects through the dash 26. The one end of the steering wheel shaft 25 is provided with a steering wheel 23 which is fixed thereto in a conventional manner. The other end of the steering wheel shaft 25 is provided with a winding drum 30 now to be described.

The winding drum 30 is an elongated sleevelike member. The outer periphery of the winding drum is provided with a front series of grooves 31 and a rear series of grooves 32. The grooves 31 and 32 are separated by a driving land 34. A cross-over groove 33 is provided between the grooves 31 and 32 for purposes which will be explained more fully hereinafter. There are six front grooves 31 and a similar number of back grooves 32. This number has been found desirable for most installations; however, it is to be understood that Within the broadest aspect of the invention this number may be increased or decreased as the situation demands.

Connected to one end of the winding drum 30 by conventional means (not shown) is a shaft end cap 40. The shaft end cap 40 is a generally cup-shaped member having an inner flange wall 41 and an outer flange 42 which is both parallel and normal to the inner flange wall 41. The parallel portion of the outer flange 42 is in the form of a braking surface 43 which is concentrically arranged about the inner flange wall 41. The interior surface of the inner flange wall 41 engages the steering wheel shaft 35. A transverse slot 44 is formed in the end cap and receives a locking pin 45 which extends transversely through the shaft 25 and keys the end cap 40 and winding drum 30 to the steering wheel shaft 25.

The bottom end cap (FIG. 3) is fixed to the other end of the winding drum 30 by conventional key means (not shown). The bottom end cap 50 is also generally cup-shaped and has an outer flange 52 which is set inwardly and is transverse to the bottom end cap 50. The flange 52 abuts the end of the winding drum 30. A braking surface 53 is formed on the outer periphery of the bottom end cap 50. The braking surface 53 is generally concentric to the steering Wheel shaft 25. The end of the bottom end cap 50 is provided with a bore 54 to receive the end of shaft 25.

A cowling designated generally as (FIG. 4) covers the winding drum 30. The cowling 60 is a two-piece member having a bottom end 61. The bottom end 61 is generally cylindrical in shape and has a raised boss 62. The boss 62 has a turned up edge or lip 163 which extends transversely therefrom. The face of the lip is provided with a plurality of detents 63. Detents 63 are positioned about the circumference of the cowling bottom end. The cowling also has a nose portion 65 which is a cylindrical member of reduced diameter. Portions of the cowling nose 65 are cut away to form pulley rope apertures 66 and 67 for purposes which will be explained more fully hereinafter. A pulley rope aperture 64 is also formed in the main portion of the cowling bottom end. 1

The cowling shaft end 71 is generally similar in configuration to the cowling bottom end 61. It has a boss 72 which has an upturned transverse edge 173 that abuts the back side of the lip 163 in which the detent 63 are formed. In addition, the boss 72 has outwardly projecting ears 73 positioned at spaced intervals about the boss. The ears 73 have a centrally disposed slot 74 which receives a spring clip 75. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the one end of spring clip 75 engages one of the detents 63 and the other end is attached to the ear 73. This arrangement provides a means whereby the bottom end cowling may be shifted in intervals about the entire circumference of the cowling. The shaft end cowling also has a pulley rope aperture 76 formed therein. A stepped cylindrical nose is formed on the end of the shaft end cowling 71. The end of the nose is provided with notches for purposes of aligning the cowling and fixing it against rota- .tion. Portions of the nose 77 are cut away to form pulley rope apertures 78 and 79.

A lock retainer 55 (FIG. 3) is secured in position by the fastener 46. The lock retainer 55 has a key 56 which is formed therefrom and projects in a normal direction from the lock retainer. The key 56 engages in the keyway 51 formed in the bottom end cap 50. The lock retainer 55 is of greater diameter than the opening formed in the cowling nose 65. When the fastener 46 is secured in position, the lock retainer 55 prevents longitudinal movement of the cowling 60.

The center of a pulley rope 90 is fixed to the cross over groove 33 of winding drum 30 by a pulley rope clamp 91. The pulley rope clamp 91 is fixed to the land 34 by conventional screw fasteners. The pulley rope 90 is wound in opposite directions from the center around the forwardly directed grooves 31 and the rearwardly directed grooves 32. The pulley rope is wrapped three turns in each direction from the divider land 30. This is best shown in FIG. 2. The one end of the pulley rope 90 is then entrained about the pulley now to be described.

The pulley 85 is a double tie pulley having U-shaped carriages 86 and 87 which are joined together in the middie by axle pin 88. A grooved pulley wheel 89 is rotatably mounted on the axle pin 88.

The pulley rope 90 after being trained over the pulley wheel 89 is returned to the winding drum and two turns wrapped about the braking surface 43. The end of the rope is thentied to the carriage member 87.

The other end ofthe pulley rope is entrained about a traveling pulley 85a which is identical to the traveling pulley 85 and therefore will not be explained in detail. The other end of the pulley rope 90 is then wrapped twice about the brakingsurface 53 of bottom end cap 50 and the end tied to the carriage of traveling pulley 85a. The strands of the pulley rope 90 which are wrapped about the braking surface 53 project from the pulley rope apertures 66 and 67 when cowling 60 surrounds the winding drum 30. The strand which is wrapped about the grooves 32 passes through the pulley aperture 64. The strands of the pulley rope 9 0 which are wrapped about the braking surface 43 pass through the apertures 78 and 79, and the strand which is connected with the winding drum grooves 31 project through the aperture 76.

A tiller cable 22 is connected to the carriage member 86 of traveling pulley 85 and a tiller cable 21 is connected to the corresponding carriage member of traveling pulley 85a- The tiller cable 22 passes around sheave 20 which is connected to the side of the boat adjacent the dashboard 26. The tiller cable 22 also passes around sheave 18 which is connected to the boat side adjacent the stern of the boat. The tiller cable 22 is connected to a tensioner 28 which is in turn connected directly to the motor 16. The tiller cable 21 passes over a sheave 19 which is directly opposite the sheave 20 and a sheave 17 which is directly opposite the sheave 18 and is connected to a tensioner 27. The tensioner 27 is in turn connected directly to the motor 16.

Operation The steering assembly 10 is installed in the boat as shown in FIG. 1. However, it is to be understood that the pulley 85a may be directed perpendicularly to the pulley 85 and the tiller cable 21 run along the bottom of the boat. The pulley 85a may also be rotated 180 degrees to the dotted line position shonw in FIG. 2 and both the tiller cables 21 and 22 placed on the same side of the boat.

The Winding drum 30, the pulley rope 90, the traveling pulleys 85 and 85a and the cowling 60 are all factory assembled. Since the normal installation of the tiller ropes 21 and 22 are along opposite sides of the boat the bottom end cowling 61 is normally secured to the shaft and cowling 71 in a manner such that the pulley rope apertures 64, 66 and 67 allow the strands of the pulley rope leading to the traveling pulley 85a to be opposite to strands of the pulley rope 90 leading to the traveling pulley 85. Thus, if it is desirable to direct the strands of the. pulley rope 90 leading to the traveling pulley 85 in a different direction it is necessary to change the position of the apertures in the bottom cowling end 61. This is accomplished by releasing the spring clips 75 and rotating cowling bottom end 61 until the apertures 64, 66, 67 are in a position to allow the pulley rope strands to extend in the desired direction without intefering with the cowling. The spring clips 75 are then snapped into position fixing the cowling bottom end 61 with respect to the cowling shaft end 71.

As best shown in FIG. 2, the strands of the pulley rope 90 will pay-off the winding drum 30 and the braking surfaces 43 and 53 when the winding drum is rotated by the steering wheel 23. When the shaft 25 is rotated by the operator by turning the steering wheel 23, rotation of the drum and braking surfaces causes the portion of the rope passing around the braking surface to slacken off the surface, thereby permitting slippage between the braking surface and the pulley rope. This is because the rope tends to move faster than the braking surface and creates this slack. Therefore, the steering shaft is readily operated by the steering wheel to maneuver the boat. The mechanical advantage of the arrange- 'surface against the slackened rope.

ment causes the steering to be even simpler and nullifies the very slight frictional effect of the slipping braking However, if the motor 16 attempts to turn the turning pressure is conveyed through the tiller ropes 21 and 22 to the traveling pulleys and 85a. Depending on which direction the motor attempts to turn, the strands wrapped around either the braking surface 43 or 53 will bind on the braking surface thus preventing rotation of the winding drum 30. This positively prevents the motor or rudder from steering the boat. Thus, when the motor attempts to steer the boat the strands of the pulley rope wrapped about the braking surface instead of being played off the drum as when the drum is turned by the steering wheel, they are tightened onto the drum braking further turning of the drum. More specifically, if a force is applied to the pulley means 85a by the tiller cable tending to pull it to the left, a tension force is applied to the pulley rope around the larger diameter portion and to the ends of the rope portion around the braking surface since the rope wrapped around the braking surface is tied to the pulley carriage. The rope portion around the braking surface thus causes the rope to bind. Now if the drum is to rotate, the tied rope end will move' only a fraction of the distance of the remaining rope portion due to its being tied to the pulley. The rope must therefore slip on the braking surface if the pulley is to be forcefully shifted. However, it cannot slip because it binds theron due to the force itself. Thus, no matter how large a force is applied to the pulley carriage, the rope will just bind tighter and tighter on the drum and the adjacent braking surface and will completely prevent any rotational movement whatever of the drum and shaft. The same holds true for a force tending to pull on the opposite pulley means.

It can be seen that the invention disclosed herein provides a steering stystem which prevents the motor from steering the boat. The boat steers easier due to the way the pulley rope is entwined about the winding drum and traveling pulleys. This arrangement provides a means whereby the boat may be turned from hard left to hard right with six rotations of the steering wheel. Due to the three strand connection of the pulley rope with the traveling pulleys a steering ratio and mechanical advantage of three to one is obtained. The winding drum, pulley ropes, traveling pulleys and cowling can all be factory assembled facilitating installation of the steering system in a boat. The cowling may be adjusted to facilitate leading the pulley rope from the winding drum at any point about the circumference of the winding drum. The steering system is extremely safe since the back pressure from the motor does not affect the steering of the boat. Since the tiller cables may be connected directly to the motor previous equipment necessary in the stern of the boat has been eliminated. Also, since the tiller cables may be connected directly between the steering assembly and the motor, tensioning means may be placed at any point in the tiller cables between the steering assembly and the motor eliminating lost motion.

While a preferred embodiment of this invention has been described, it will be understood that modifications and improvements may be made thereto. Such of these modifications and improvements as incorporate the principles of this invention are to be considered as included in the hereinafter appended claims unless these claims by their language expressly state otherwise.

I claim:

1. Marine steering mechanism comprising; a steering wheel shaft, a winding drum fixed to said shaft, said drum having a series of grooves divided by a land, cylindrical end caps secured to and extending from opposite ends of said winding drum and having peripheral braking surfaces of lesser diameter than said winding drum, a pair of pulleys, a pulley rope having the center thereof fixed to said land and being wound around said series of grooves in opposite directions from the land, each end of the pulley rope being entrained about one of said pulleys and then wrapped about one of said braking surfaces, the ends of said ropes being returned to said pulleys and fixed to one end of the carriages of said pulleys, the other end of said pulley carriages being adapted to be tied to tiller cables.

2. Marine steering mechanism comprising; a steering wheelshaft, winding drum means fixed to said shaft, cylindrical braking surface means forming a part of said winding drum and of lesser diameter than the remainder of said drum, pulley means, pulley rope means wrapped about said winding drum and having the ends thereof entrained about pulley means, said ends also being wrapped about said braking surface means and then being tied to said pulley means, said pulley means adapted for being fixed to tiller cables for steering a boat, the association of said pulley rope means with said braking surface means preventing a force on the tiller from moving said winding drum.

3. Marine steering mechanism comprising; a steering wheel shaft, a steering Wheel fixed to said shaft, Winding drum means fixed to said shaft, cylindrical braking surfacemeans formed at and extending from oposite ends of said winding drum and being of lesser diameter than the drum means, a pulley rope wrapped about said Winding drum, pulley means including a first and second double tie pulley, one end of the pulley rope being entrained about said first pulley and the other end of the rope being entrained about said second pulley, the one end of said rope also being wrapped about one of said braking surfaces and tied to said first pulley, the other end of said pulley rope being wrapped about the other braking surface and tied to said second pulley, said first and second pulleys also adapted for being tied to tiller cables adapted to be attached to a motor, said pulley rope being paid-01f from said Winding drum when turned by said steering wheel, but being binding on said braking surfaces to prevent force applied to said motor from turning said steering wheel.

4. Marine steering mechanism comprising; a steering wheel shaft, a steering wheel fixed to said shaft, winding drum means fixed to said shaft, braking surface means formed at and extending from opposite ends of said winding drum and of lesser diameter than said drum means, a pulley rope wrapped about said winding drum, pulley means including a first and second double tie pulley, one end of the pulley rope being entrained about said first pulley and the other end of the rope being entrained about said second pulley, the one end of said rope also being wrapped about one of said braking surfaces and tied to said first pulley, the other end of said pulley rope being wrapped about the other braking surface and tied to said second pulley, said first and second pulleys also adapted for being tied to tiller cables adapted to be atttached to a motor, said pulley rope being paid-off from said winding drum when turned by said steering wheel but binding on said braking surfaces to prevent said motor from turning said steering wheel, and cowling means enclosing said winding drum means and including aperture means for passage of :said pulley rope therethrough, a portion of said cowling means being adjustable with respect to the other portions to move said aperture means and thereby facilitate leading said pulley rope off from said winding drum at any point about the circumference thereof, and said first and second pulleys being movable about the circumference of said drum without hampering operation of said mechanism whereby said mechanism enables tiller cables to pass along the same sides or different sides of a boat as desired.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 36,445 9/62 Beckers 74-496 X 98,241 12/69 Fox 114-160 213,629 3/79 Cottingham 114-160 X 356,737 1/ 87 Stuart 7495 497,706 5/ 93 Chase et al. 1,167,108 1/16 Penny et al 114-160 1,593,478 7/26 Taylor 74-496 1,848,994 3/32 Chilese. 2,553,641 5/51 Drumm 74-517 X 2,566,334 9/51 Jamrozy 254-190 X 2,603,482 7/52 Gonzales.

2,611,581 9/52 Hannant 254-190 2,627,833 2/53 Schroeder. 2,661,492 12/53 Oishei 254-184 X 2,859,629 1 1/ 58 Parker et al. 74-95 2,895,445 7/59 Foraker -18 2,904,272 9/59 Barrett 254- X 3,042,378 7/ 62 Preston 254-190 3,110,193 11/63 Bratz 74-501 FOREIGN PATENTS 4, 109 4/ 49 France. 61,024 1.2/63 France.

2,85 5 1855 Great Britain. 7,746 1911 Great Britain. 426,385 4/35 Great Britain.

OTHER REFERENCES Pulley Knights Mechanical Dictionary, pp. 1818-20, vol. III, Part I, Hurd & Houghton, New York, Pub. 1876.

BROUGHTON G. DURHAM, Primary Examiner.

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Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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US4631034 *Apr 23, 1984Dec 23, 1986Johnson Fishing, Inc.Outboard motor foot control
US20140260764 *Mar 14, 2013Sep 18, 2014Justin M. WiremanSteering apparatus providing variable steering ratios
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Classifications
U.S. Classification74/517, 114/160, 74/480.00B, 74/531, 74/506, 74/501.6, 74/89.22, 74/496, 74/511.00R
International ClassificationB63H25/10, F16H7/04
Cooperative ClassificationB63H21/265
European ClassificationB63H21/26B