US 3221835 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
H. J. WENGER 3,221,835
ADJUSTABLE SUSPENDED ACOUSTICAL PANEL ASSEMBLY Dec. 7, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 5, 1963 1N VENTOR. HARRYIWENGER BY yj/ lfldtw Arrozzvs Y-S' Dec. 7, 1965 H. J. WENGER 3,221,835
ADJUSTABLE SUSPENDED ACOUSTIGAL PANEL ASSEMBLY Filed July 5, 1963 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fla. 4
'IIIIIIII 1733311, v 2/ A [2 F76. 6 FIG. 5
INVENTOR. finknvll Vszvssk ArrakNE Y4 Dec. 7, 1965 FIG. 9
H. J. WENGER 3,221,835
ADJUSTABLE SUSPENDED ACOUSTICAL PANEL ASSEMBLY Filed July 5, 1963 .5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. HARRYI WENGER BYW WM M United States Patent Filed July 5, 1963, Ser. No. 293,054 4 Claims. '(Cl.'18133) The present invention relates to acoustical equipment and more particularly to a suspended acoustical panel assembly.
A variety of acoustical panel devices have been previously proprosed for use in connection with the production of musical compositions, stage productions and the like. Frequently, such panels include sound reflective or absorbent material suspended above the orchestra or performer. These prior devices, however, suffered from a number of shortcomings and have been to some extent ineffective in operation.
One defect common in many of the prior acoustical panel devices of the type described is that there is frequently no way to alter the angle of reflection of the sound impinging thereon from the orchestra or performer located therebelow. v
A further disadvantage of many prior sound modifying panels of the type described is that there was no way they could be stored without occupying a substantial amount of space.
Yet another shortcoming of some of the panels which were previously used was that they were relatively complicated in construction and consequently expensive to produce. Others were inherently subject to breakage and therefore did not provide the durability which is essential in stage equipment and particularly that which is used in schools or colleges where equipment is often subject to abuse by students.
In view of these and other defects in the prior art it is one object of the present invention to provide an improved acoustical panel and support therefore which is rugged in construction, reliable in operation and can be manufactured at a relatively low cost.
Yet another object of the present invention is the provision of an improved acoustical panel wherein the panel members can be moved to selected positions about a horizontal axis extending transversely of the stage to thereby regulate the angle of reflection of the sound waves impinging thereon from a performer or orchestra positioned on the stage below the panels.
Another object of the present invention is the provision of an improved acoustical panel including a means enabling the panel to be quickly and easily collapsed to a storage position so that it will occupy a minimum of space when not in use.
Yet a further object of the present invention is the provision of an improved acoustical panel apparatus including a pair of panel members positioned at the same elevation in laterally spaced apart positions and including a means for maintaining the panels at predetermined spacing to thereby provide optimum acoustical effects.
A still further object of the present invention is the provision of an improved acoustical panel means including a pair of panel members positioned at the same elevation and pivotally supported at their adjacent ends so that the height of the panel ends which are furthest separated from one another can be changed as required.
Other objects of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds.
To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, this invention then comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description setting forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention, these being indicative, however, of but a few of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed.
The invention is illustrated by the accompanying drawings in which the same numerals refer to corresponding parts and in which:
FIGURE 1 is an end elevational view of the panel assembly according to the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a partial horizontal sectional view taken on line 2-2 of FIGURE 1 and drawn to a larger scale than FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a transverse sectional view taken on line 3-3 of FIGURE 1 and drawn to a larger scale than FIG- URE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken on line 4-4 of FIGURE 1 and drawn to the same scale as FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a partial vertical sectional view taken on line 5-5 of FIGURE 4 and drawn to a larger scale than FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is a partial sectional view taken on line 66 of FIGURE 4 and drawn to a larger scale than FIG- URE 4;
FIGURE 7 is an end elevational view of the device of FIGURE 1 in a partially collapsed condition;
FIGURE 8 is a partial horizontal sectional view taken on line 8-8 ofFIGURE 7; and
FIGURE 9 is an end elevational view of the device when in a fully collapsed condition.
Refer now to the drawings and to the following detailed description wherein the same numerals refer to correspond,- ing parts in the several views. As can be best seen in FIGURES 1, 2, 4 and 9, the acoustical panel assembly according to my invention includes a pair of panel members 10 and 12 supported by a plurality of support arms indicated generally at 14 from a horizontally disposed support such as a hanger rod 16 or the like which is suspended in any suitable manner (not shown) preferably transversely of a stage or orchestra pit (not shown).
The panels 10 and 12 each include a pair of adjacent side edges 10a and 12a which extend parallel to one another in a horizontal plane preferably transversely of the stage. Each of the panels 10 and 12. is generally rectangular and includes side edges 1% and 12b respectively and outward edges 10c and respectively. According to the present invention, a means is provided for raising and lowering the outward edges 10c and 120 respectively while the inward edges 10a and 12a remain at their original elevations as described hereinbelow to make possible adjustment of the angle of reflection of the sound impinging upon the lower surface of the panels as described fully hereinbelow.
While the materials from which the panels 10 are formed can vary widely depending upon the requirements of the particular application, they are preferably formed from wood such as a sheet of commercially available plywood. Suitably bonded to the upward surface of the panels 10 and 12 are a plurality of peripherally extending reinforcing means such as U-shaped and flanged channels 18. As best seen in FIGURES 1 and 4, the flanges of the channels 18 are positioned in abutting relationship with the upward surface of the panels 10 and 12. The channels 18 can be fastened in any suitable manner to the panels 10 and 12 as by screws (not shown). To furnish further reinforcement for each of the panels, there is provided a diagonally extending reinforcing member 20 formed from the same material as the members 18.
As can be best seen in FIGURES 1, 4 and 9, a pair of supporting members such as support arms 22 and 24 extend upwardly from each end of the panel 12 and pivotally secured thereto by means of suitable bolts 26 and 28 respectively, the bolts 26 each projecting through the vertical web of a bracket 30 and the bolts 28 projecting through the center of one of the reinforcing members 18 and being retained in place by means of a thumb nut 32 (see FIGURE 4). The panel 10 is provided with a similar pair of support arms at each end designated 34 and 36, the arms 34 being secured by means of bolts 38 to the center of one of the reinforcing members 18 while the arms 36 are secured to the vertical web of brackets 40 by means of bolts 42. Since the pairs of supporting arms 22, 24 and 34, 36 are identical at each end of the panels 10 and 12, for convenience, only the arms at one end of each of the panels will be described in detail it being understood that the arms at the opposite end operate in the same manner. As shown in FIG- URE 1, the bolts 28 and 38 are in the approximate center of panels 12 and 10 respectively.
It will be seen that the support arms 22 and 36 extend upwardly when the apparatus is in the operational position of FIGURE 1 and are joined together by means of a horizontally extending fastener such as a bolt 41, best seen in FIGURE 8. Positioned between the upward ends of the arms 22 and 36 and over the bolt 41) is a connector such as a hook 45 including an arcuate portion 43 at the upward end thereof adapted to engage the upper surface of the rod 16.
Each of the arms 24 and 34 is extensible and each includes a lower portion provided with a plurality of longitudinally spaced and centrally directed sockets 44 adapted to receive a pin 44a which extends horizontally from upper portions designated 46 and 43 respectively. The upward ends of portions 46 and 48 are suitably bored and mounted over the bolt 40 and secured in position by means of a nut Suitable spacers such as fibrous washers 52 and 54 are placed just inwardly of the upward ends of the portions 46 and 48 as shown in FIG- URE 8.
Referring to FIGURES 1 and 3 it will be seen that a short distance upwardly of the pin 44a there is provided an upwardly and then laterally directed locking member 66 which is suitably affixed to the lower end of each of the portions 46 and 48. The locking members 60 are each adapted to engage the upward surface of the lower portion of arms 24 and 34 to prevent the portions 46 and 48 from pivoting about the bolt 40 downwardly beyond the upper surface of the arms 34 and 24 respectively. To adjust the length of the extensible arms 24 and 34, the pins 44a are shifted longitudinally into various of the sockets 44 as required and will remain reliably locked in position once put in place.
Pivotally secured upon a pin 62 extending through the connector 42 is a retainer 64 formed from a short section of angle iron. At the upward end of the retainer 64 is a pointed portion 65 adapted to engage the lower surface of the rod 16 when the hook is elevated thereby reliably preventing the accidental removal of the panel assembly from the rod 16. When, however, it is desired to remove the panels for storage, the retainer 64 need only be pivoted in a counterclockwise direction as seen in FIGURE 1, and the hook 43 can be released from the rod 16. Identical bolts 40, hook members 42 and retainers 64 are provided at each end of the panel assembly.
As shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, a spacing member or lever 70 is secured by means of pin 72 to the arm 36 at the end of the apparatus nearest the observer in FIG URE l for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis. An identical lever 70 is pivotally secured to the arm 22 at the opposite end of the apparatus and extends therefrom toward the left as seen in FIGURE 1 when in the normal operating position. The levers 70 and '76 are releasably secured at their free ends by means of releasable retainers composed of horizontally disposed pins 74 on the end of each arm adapted to project into a socket 76 on the inward surface of the arm 22 as shown in FIGURE 9 in the case of lever 70. A similar socket (not shown) is provided on the arm 36 furthest from the observer in FIGURE 1 to receive the pin 74 of lever 70'. Each of the levers 70 and 70' is provided with a guide formed from a metal strip 77 (FIGURE 2) which projects rearwardly and thence centrally from each of handles 80 and 811 and is connected to the pin 74 at its inward end thereby enclosing the arms 22 and 36 respectively. Positioned slightly below each socket 76 and extending outwardly and upwardly therefrom, is a stop 78, only one of which is shown, for limiting the downward movement of the levers 7t) and 70. At the free end of each of the levers 70 and 70' are provided handles 80 and 86' respectively, which an operator may grasp to position each of the levers.
When the apparatus according to the present invention is to be placed in use, the hooks 43 at each end of the device are engaged over the top of the supporting rod 16. The retaining members 64 will swing due to their own weight to the position shown in the drawings. In this position the retaining members 64 will reliably prevent the hooks 43 from being disconnected from the rod 16.
At this stage of placing the apparatus in condition for use, the panels will ordinarily be in the position of FIG- URE 9. To place the panels in their operative position, the levers 70 are pivoted downwardly by grasping handles 80 and 80 until the pins 74 engage the recesses 76. As the levers 70 and 70' are thus positioned, the upward ends of the panels will spread apart to a predetermined spacing as shown in FIGURE 7. After this has been done, the outward or lower ends of each of the panels are elevated until the pins 44a of the arm portions 46 and 48 engage the selected sockets 44 of the arms 34 and 24 respectively. If it is desired to reflect the sound further upwardly, the free edges of panels 10 and 12 should be raised relatively high. If, on the other hand, it is desired to reflect the sound back to the stage or floor at a point relatively close to the orchestra or performer positioned beneath the panel, the panels are placed on a relatively slight incline. Should it be desirable to reflect sound forwardly from both panels, both should be inclined upwardly in the same direction as shown in FIGURE 1, with the outward end of the panel 12 positioned below pivots 26 and the outward end of panel 10 raised above the pivots 42.
When the apparatus according to the present invention is to be placed in storage, the steps performed during assembly are reversed until the apparatus takes the position of FIGURE 9, at which time it may be removed from the rod 16 and carried to a storage location It will be understood by those skilled in the art that a plurality of such units will ordinarily be used simultaneously. As many units as desired can be employed, to make up a suspended ceiling with the desired sound reflective qualities.
It is apparent that many modifications and variations of this invention as hereinbefore set forth may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. The specific embodiments described are given by way of example only and the invention is limited only by the terms. of the appended claims.
1. An acoustical panel apparatus comprising in combination, a pair of spaced apart panel members, elongated support members extending upwardly from said panel members, connecting means at the upward end of said elongated supporting member, some of said support members being connected to the panels at points spaced laterally of the connections between the other of said support members and said panels, longitudinally shiftable means for selectively adjusting the length of some of said elongated support members; whereby the angle of inclination of said panels can be changed as desired; some of said support members include a pair of adjacent and parallel elongated elements positioned side,
by side, one of said elements having a plurality of longitudinally spaced sockets on one side thereof, the other of said elements including a pin adapted to selectively engage said sockets and a locking member spaced longitudinally from said pin and including a portion extending laterally therefrom over the side of said element having said sockets therein.
2. An acoustical panel apparatus comprising in combination, a pair of panel members, elongated support members extending upwardly therefrom, connecting means at the upward end of said support members for securing said panel apparatus to a suspending device, means for selectively changing the spacing between said panels independent of the relationship of said panels to said suspending device; said means for changing the spacing between the panels comprising a lever pivotally re lated at one end with one of said panels for movement about a horizontal axis and a releasable retainer means at the other end adapted for selective association with the other of said panels.
3. An acoustical panel comprising in combination, first and second laterally spaced panels, a first support means extending upwardly from said first panel, second support means extending upwardly from said second panel, said first and second support means being pivotally connected together at their upward ends, connecting means secured to said pivotal connection for securing said apparatus to a suspending means, a first selectively operable position adjustment means for changing the angle of inclination of said first panel about a horizontal axis extending parallel with one edge of said first panel, a second selectively adjustable means for changing the angle of inclination of said second panel with respect to said horizontally disposed axis whereby the sound striking said panels can he reflected at desired angles with respect to the horizontal; a lever pivotally connected to said first support means for rotation about a horizontal axis, said lever being adapted to extend horizontally therefrom and releasably engage said second support means, said lever including a handle at the end thereof opposite said pivotal connection.
4. The apparatus according to claim 3 wherein said first support means comprise a bar of fixed length at each end of each panel pivotally connectesd at one end to each of said panels, each selectively adjustable means comprising an elongated support member of adjustable length being pivotally connected to oneof said bars at the upward end thereof and pivotally connected at the opposite end to the approximate center of said panel.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 757,175 4/ 1904 Burland. 1,124,420 1/1915 Gough -8 1,675,102 6/ 1928 Holland 181-30 2,299,323 10/1942 Hetky 182-121 X 3,007,539 11/1961 Brewer et al 181-33 3,028,706 4/1962 Falconer. 3,107,400 10/ 1963 Anderson 204 FOREIGN PATENTS 637,947 11/ 1936 Germany.
LEO SMILOW, Primary Examiner.