US 3224737 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 21, 1965 H. E. BECKER 3,224,737
AGITATOR TABLE Filed Oct. 25, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 r we MB 5 m 0 r M ATTORNEY B y l 92 E F m 9 A% 1 J A WU. ah E/ d /O M1/M\ F wu E J m mw a 5/ J m 5% fl ND n a fi L 1965 H. E. BECKER 3,224,737
AGITATOR TABLE Filed Oct. 23, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 H. E. BECKER AGITATOR TABLE Dec. 21, 1965 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed 001;. 25, 1964 Dec. 21, BECKER AGITATOR TABLE Filed Oct. 25, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR .ZTaro/d .E Bea/Ker ATTORNEY United States Patent M 3,224,737 AGl'lATQR Harold E. Becker, Los Angeles, (faith, assignor oi onehalf to Richard S. Fiaclrlund, Los Angeles, Calif. Filed (let. 23, 1964, Ser. No. 466,066
This invention relates to a table for agitating phototrays and has as its primary object the provision of powered means for oscillating a tray supporting table whereby variable tilting or swaying movements may be imparted to the table longitudinally, transversely and diagonally thereof whereby a body of liquid contained in a tray or trays supported on the table will be maintained in motion and caused to gently surge in constantly changing directions.
The invention is particularly applicable for use in agitating trays employed in subjecting flat photographic negatives and prints to developing, fixing and washing actions by submergence thereof in suitable liquids contained in the trays. Heretofore, power actuated devices generally used in the agitation of trays in treating photo prints and negatives have been oscillated or swung back and forth from end-to-end and/ or from side-to-side so that the surge of the liquid follows a substantially definite directional flow or pattern between the opposite sides of the trays, thereby resulting in the formation of streaks and areas of different degrees of treatment of the photographic sheets being worked, or have can accomplished only with very expensive and complicated machinery. The present invention is designed to agitate the trays with such variable directions of tilting movement as to insure thorough and uniform action of the treating liquids throughout the areas of the sheets being treated.
Other objects are to provide means for adjusting and regulating the magnitude of the tilt of the table and to provide means for varying the timing or frequency of oscillations of the table, and to provide powered means whereby successive oscillations or excursions or" the table will vary relative to each other throughout such multiple thereof as to effect a constantly changing pattern in the surge of the liquid content of the trays supported on the table.
A further object is to provide an oscillating table having flexible and resilient means of support capable of yielding to permit tilting movement of the table, and wherein such support is adapted to grip a supporting surface in a manner to prevent creeping of the table over such surface while being operated.
Another object is to provide simple and er iective mechanism for actuating the table.
Other objects and advantages will appear hereinafter.
The invention is illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings in which:
PEG. 1 is a plan view of the table showing it equipped with a pair of trays:
FIG. 2 is a front elevational View of the table showing it as disposed in its horizontal position:
FIG. 3 is an enlarged detail in cross section as seen on the line 33 of FIG. '2 showing one of a pair of revoluble shafts employed in actuating the table:
FIG. 4 is a view in elevation as seen on the line i l of FIG. 3 showing a wrist pin and slide bar associated with the shaft and connected to a table actuating lever arm:
FIG. 4 is a detail in section and elevation as seen on the line l l of PEG. 3:
FIG. 5 is a horizontal section and plan view taken on the line 55 of FIG. 2:
FlG. 6 is a view in cross section and elevation as seen on the line 66 of FIG. 5 in the direction indicated by the arrows:
3,224,737 Patten-reel Dec. 21,, 1%65 FlG. 7 is a view in section and elevation taken on the line 7 '7 of FIG. 5 as seen in the direction indicated by the arrows:
FIG. 8 is detail in elevation of a modified form of the table actuating mechanism:
FIG. 9 is a view in vertical section taken on the line 9-) of FIG. 8:
Fifi. 10 is an enlarged end view as seen in the direc tion of the arrow in in PEG. 8: and
FIGS. 11, l2, l3, 14, 15, 16 and 17 are schematic diagrams depicting the mode of operation of the invention.
in the drawings, A indicates a rectangular flat topped table, and B-B designates a pair of rectangular liquid receiving trays loosely supported on the table, and C denotes a resilient foam rub-ber mat interposed between the table and the bottom walls of the trays to frictiona ly hold the trays against sliding movement on the table while the latter is being actuated, as will be presently described. /Vhen the trays are arranged side-by-side contiguous each other as here shown, means are provided for preventing splash of surging liquids in the trays from passing from one tray to the other. This means cornprises an upstanding baffle panel D interposed between the trays to project thercabove and beyond the widths of the trays, which panel is held in place by one of the trays seating on a flange E on the lower mar in of the panel. The trays B-B, mat C and panel D are thus removably mounted on the table and are separable relative to each other. As a means for preventing overflow of surging liquid. in the trays 33-8 the margins thereof are provided with inturnecl arcuate lips F.
The table A embodies a marginal frame G, projecting from its underside which frame includes a side rail :2 from which rigidly depends a pair of hangers b-b spaced apart longitudinally of the rail (1, tne purpose of which will presently appear.
Mounted on the underside of the table A is agear-box H disposed atl acent the side rail a, and arranged in the gear-box is a pair of aligned spaced apart spur-gears fixed. on shaft 317-16 projecting from the gearbox. Disks are fixed on the outer ends of the shafts 1'iwhich disks are fitted with wrist'pins 21- 2 pivotally engaged with guide-bars slidably mounted in longitudinal slots 25-26 in the inner end portions of a pair of oppositely exten ing longitudinally aligned lever-arms ELK Z3 which are pivoted intermediate their ends for Ver tical swinging movement on pivots cc on the lower ends of the hangers b-Z).
The outer ends of the lever arms 27-23 are fulcrumed on the upper ends of a pair of upstanding legs 3-K positio i beneath the table A adjacent the ends of the side rail (4 in spaced relation thereto. The legs K-I constitute supports on which the ends of the table at one thereof are carried through the lever arms 27-23, she." 1"?le and gear box H. The other side of the table is nxably s oported on a single leg L arranged intermedi- ,c of the table as will presently be described,
ate the Cl providing the table with a three point support.
The gears snail? are engaged by a pinion 25 interposed there/between, which pinion is driven through a gear-train 30 from a variable speed electric motor M carried on the gear-box H, the motor being controlled by manipulation of a conventional rheostat N by varying the brush motors strength only. A housing P is provided on the underside of the table A for enclosing the rheostat N.
The housing P embodies an outer side wall [I through which extends a rotary shaft 6 connected to the rheostat and fitted at its outer end with a knob 1 whereby adjustment of the rheostat is manually effected to vary the speed of the motor M. Suitable electrical wiring is pro vided to afford a conventional electric circuit R through the motor M and rheostat N from a source of electric current supply in a usual manner.
A feature of the invention resides in providing the As a means for varying the action of the shafts 17-18 mately four percent smaller than the gear 16 (or even much less). For example in a working model the gear was provided with ninety-six teeth while the gear 16 was provided with one hundred teeth. By this arrangement the larger gear 16 will be driven at a slower rate by the pinion 29 than that of the gear 15, the purpose of which will be later described.
As a means for varying the action of the shaft 17-18 on the lever arms 27-28, the disks 19-20 are provided with a multiple of threaded recesses g, h and i spaced different distances from the centers of the disks for reception of the wrist pins 21-22 which pins are threaded for selective engagement in the recesses whereby the throw of the crank formed by the wrist pins may be varied according to requirements.
As a means for permitting vertical and longitudinal tilting movement of the table A relative to the support on which the legs J, K and L are seated, which movement occurs during actuation of the table, the legs are made of flexible or elastic resilient material such as rubber or a rubber like substance; the leg L while being y-ieldable, being sufficiently rigid and strong as to support the adjacent central portion of the table in substantially uniform relation to the table supporting surface, while the legs J, K are sufiioiently rigid and of such normal lengths relative to the leg L and its mounting that when the lever arms 27-28 are aligned horizontally the table A will be supported by the legs through their mountings in a horizontal position and are sufficiently flexible and elastic to yield, bend and stretch under stresses imposed thereby on oscillatory movement of the table, like a universal joint.
As a means for preventing creeping of the legs over the surface on which they are supported, each of the legs has a suction cup base 31. The upper ends of the legs J-K are seated in downwardly opened sockets 32-33 on the outer ends of the lever-arms 27-28 while the upper end of the leg L is seated in a downwardly opening socket 34 on the underside of the rheostat housing P.
The leg L, rheostat and housing P, motor M and gear box H are located with the transverse vertical centers thereof extending on the plane of the transverse center of the table A, so as to balance the load on the opposite longitudinal halves of the table or substantially so.
In the operation of the invention sheets to be treated of photographic material, or the like, are placed in the trays B-B together with volumes of liquid sufiicient to submerge the sheets, with the trays seated on the table A end to end preferably with the baffle panel D interposed therebetween. The trays are customarily filled one-third full. Assume the table A and the lever arms 27-28 as disposed in their horizontal positions, as shown in full lines in FIG. 2 and indicated in broken lines in FIG. 11, and wherein the wrist pins 21-22 are disposed on opposite sides of the shafts 17-18 on a common horizontal plane. The liquid bodies in the trays B-B will then be static with their surfaces level.
To effect tilting or oscillatory movement of the table so as to agitate the liquids in the trays B-B, the motor M is started and caused to rotate at a predetermined speed by manipulation of the rheostat N through the knob whereby the crank shafts 17-18 are rotated by the gears 15-16 through the transmission gears 31). While the speed of rotation of the crank shafts may be varied by regulating the speed of the motor by means of the rheostat N, such speed is usually about ninety-six r.p.m. for 8 x 10 trays, the speed being varied according to the desired rapidity or frequency of the table oscillations. Different size trays and amounts of liquid in them require different speed for best agitation.
Rotation of the shafts 17-18 effects corresponding movement of the disks 19-20 and wrist pins 21-22 with consequent rocking movement of the lever arms 27-28, each of which is oscillated an up and down stroke on each revolution of its actuating shaft. The lever arms 27-28 in fulcruming at their outer ends on the legs J-K on moving up and down act through the hangers b-b to effect corresponding movement of the side of the table opposite the leg L on which the table pivots. This lateral oscillating or tilting movement of the table causes the liquids in the trays B-B' to surge back and forth transversely of the table.
The range of vertical movement or excursion of the forward end corners of the table under the action of the lever arms 27-28 is from about five-sixteenths to three quarters of an inch according to the adjustment of the wrist pins 21-22 on the disks 19-21).
By varying the speed of rotation of the shafts 17-18 relative to each other, afforded by the differential ratios of the gears 15-16, heretofore described, a longitudinal tilting movement is imparted to the table co-incident with the lateral tilting thereof. At the same time the lateral tilting movement of the table varies at the opposite end portions of the table in relation to each other as to the moment of initiating such movement, due to the aforesaid differential gear ratios, so that a constantly changing direction of surging movement of the liquids in the trays 3-3 is effected throughout continued actuation of the table. The ever changing longitudinal tilt of the table throughout a single excursion of the table following the position shown in FIG. 2, is illustrated in FIGS. 11, 12 and 13, in which FIG. 11 indicates the starting position in broken lines, in which position the table A and the lever-arms 27-28 extend in horizontal parallel relation to each other and the wrist pins 21-22 are horizontally aligned on opposite sides of the crank shafts 17-18. FIG. 11 also shows in full lines the relative positions of the parts on rotation of the shaft 17 and gear 15 clockwise one-fourth of a revolution or ninety degrees from the starting position, with the wrist pin 21 then in its uppermost position wherein the lever arm 27 is swung upwardly on the standard I thereby acting through the hanger b to elevate the left end of the table. The gear wheel 16 by having approximately 4% larger gear ratio than gear wheel 15 will have rotated approximately seventy-five degrees clockwise, thereby disposing the wrist pin 22 in near its lowermost position whereby the lever arm 28 will be rocked downward on the standard K thereby acting through the hanger b to lower the right end of the table thus tilting the table lengthwise. During the above described longitudinal tilting movement of the table, the left forward corner thereof will be elevated relative to its left rear corner, and the right forward corner thereof will be lowered relative to its right rear corner.
FIG. 12 illustrates the parts as disposed on continued rotation of the gear wheel 15 and shaft 17 a succeeding one-fourth revolution where the wrist pin 21 is disposed at the inner side of the shaft 17 in horizontal alignment with the axis thereof and whereby the lever arm 27 is lowered to its horizontal position so as to lower the previously elevated left end of the table to its intermediate position. At the same time, gear wheel 16 and shaft 18 are rotated approximately another seventy-five degrees and in so doing will slightly elevate the then lowered right end of the table through the then upwardly advancing lever arm 28 and hanger b.
FIG. 13 depicts the parts as disposed on continued rotation of the gear wheel 15 and shaft 17 a succeeding one-fourth revolution where the wrist pin 22 is disposed in its lowermost position wherein the lever arm 27 is swung downward on the standard I so as to act through the hanger b to dispose the left front corner of the table in its lowermost position both longitudinally and transversely thereof. In the meantime the gear wheel 16 and shaft 18 have been rotated a succeeding approximate seventy-five degrees thereby elevating the wrist pin 22 to near its uppermost position so as to rock the lever arm 28 upwardly on the standard K and thus act through the hanger b to raise the right corner of the table A to near its uppermost position. The forward edge of the table will then be inclined downward in a direction opposite that following the described initial movement of the table and with the transverse tilt of the end portions of the table reversed.
On continued rotation of the gear wheel 15 a succeeding one-fourth revolution from the position shown in FIG. 13, the lever arm 27 will again be disposed in its horizontal position shown in FIG. 2 with resultant disposing -of the table in a rear horizontal position but slightly tilted upward toward its right end since the gear wheel 16 will have then turned approximately seventy-five degrees during which the wrist pin 22 will traverse an are leading through its uppermost position whereby the lever arm 28 will be moved a short distance up and down with its right end in a slightly elevated position at the end of the stroke.
It will now be noted that when the smaller gear 15 has completed a revolution of 360 degrees the larger gear wheel '16 will have turned a partial revolution of approximately three hundred degrees so that the wrist pin 22 actuated thereby will then lag behind its starting position a distance of approximately sixty degrees. This rate of lag will occur on each succeeding rotation of the smaller gear 15 so that the latter will rotate with the recited differential ratio, approximately twenty-five revolutions before the parts will again assume the initial starting position shown in FIG. 2, whereupon on continued rotation of the gear wheels 15-16 the described operation will be repeated.
The recited varying tilting movements of the table A, partly depicted in FIGS. 11, 13, occurring approximately ninety-six times a minute with an excursion of from five-sixteenths to one-fourth of an inch (more or less) sets up such disturbance and agitation of the liquids contained in the trays B-B' as to preclude surgence thereof along a defined pattern, thereby insuring uniform treatment of the sheets being worked and thereby preventing the formation of streaks and blotches due to unequal distribution of the liquids over the surface of the sheets. Such excursion is subject to variation as occasion may require by varying the stroke of the wrist pins 21-22 afforded by the provision of the several pin receiving openings g, It and u in the disks 19-21 The sequence of movement of the table A throughout a revolution of the gear wheel 15 and shaft 17 with the partial revolution of the gear wheel 16 and shaft 18 as above described, is an initial tilt from left to right as shown in FIG. 13 followed by movement through a horizontal position immediately following the position shown in FIG. 12 and then succeeded by movement through a right to left tilt as shown in FIG. 13 from which the table again passed through a horizontal position, whereupon the sequence is repeated.
As before stated, approximately twenty-five consecutive revolutions of the lesser gear 15 occurs before the above described cycle depicted in FIGS. 11, 12 and 13 is repeated, with each intermediate cycle effecting a varying action on the table A not necessary to be described in detail.
However, during such consecutive revolutions of gear 15, four equi-spaced transitions of movement of the table occur due to the different ratios of the gears 15-16 wherein the table assumes positions and passes through paths of travel differing from those shown in FIGS. 11-13. Such positions are shown in FIGS. 14, 15, 16 and 17 which de pict in their order the positions of the parts on four consecutive revolutions of the larger gear 16 effected in relation to twenty-five revolutions, or thereabouts, of the lesser gear 15.
When the lever arms 27-28 are parallel to the table top and in line with the axes of shafts 17-18, as shown in FIG. 2 and indicated in dotted lines in FIG. 11, and which position is again arrived at when the lesser gear 15 has completed approximately twelve revolutions from the positions shown in FIGS. 2 and 11, the table A is level in all directions. When the wrist pins 21-22 rise and fall together the table tilts forward and back only remaining on the level from left to right, and when the wrist pins 21-22 are in their uppermost positions as shown in FIG. 14, the table is level from left to right but is tilted upwardly from back to front as indicated by the dotted line in FIG. 14.
When pin 21 on lesser gear 15 gets ahead of pin 22 on gear 16 one fourth of a revolution of gear 15, as indicated in FIG. 5 which occurs on a multiple of revolutions of the gear 15, the table A tilts both longitudinally and forward and back at the same time thereby imparting a circular motion to the table.
When pin 21 on gear 15 arrives at a half revolution ahead of the pin :22 on gear 16, as indicated in FIG. 16, the table tilts longitudinally only, and remains level forward and back.
When pin 21 on gear 15 passes a point three-fourths of a revolution ahead of the pin 22 on gear 16, as indicated in FIG. 17, the table again describes a circular motion only.
When pin 21 on gear 15 again reaches its uppermost position while the pin 22 on gear 16 is in its uppermost position shown in FIG. 14, a new cycle as above described is started with forward and back tilting of the table.
From the foregoing it will be seen that during a multiple of revolutions of the gear 15, three main movements of the table will be effected, namely (1) tilting forward and back (2) circular motion and (3) tilting longitudinally, with an infinite variety of movements during the change from one directional motion to the other.
In addition to the varying agitation patterns developed in the trays B-B' occasioned by the various movements of the table A, such patterns are also effected by the contours of the sides of the trays positioned on the table, such as round or square trays.
The various movements of the table above described occur in relation to the legs I, K and L and is permitted by reason of the flexibility, elasticity and resilience of the legs. These properties also permit of vertical movement of all four corners of the table by equal amounts which in moving upward and downward from their normal position bend portions of the legs I. K and L (like a universal joint) while also some small transverse bending of each is necessary and occurs.
As before stated the surging of the liquids in the trays due to the ever changing movements of the table follows no fixed pattern but is indefinite and complex and may be varied by varying the speed of the motor to thereby vary the frequency of the table oscillations, and may be further varied by adjusting the throw of the wrist pin or crank to thereby vary the extent of the up and down excursions of the table as before stated.
In some instances the shafts 17-18 may be equipped with means for actuating the lever arms other than with the recited wrist pin and side bar arrangement. An example of such alternate means is shown in FIGS. 8, 9, 10 wherein a shaft 18 one of a pair of such shafts is equipped with an adjustable cam S having a contoured periphery embodying a low point m and an opposed high point n on which periphery is seated a roller r on the outer end of the lever arm 28'; the cam S functioning on rotation of the shaft 18 and cam S to effect vertical oscillation of the lever arm on a leg K and thereby oscillate the table A through a hanger b" in the manner hereinbefore described.
The cam S is mounted for transverse adjustment diametrically of the shaft 18 for which purpose the cam has an elongate slot t through which extends a pair of screws u-w' engaged with a head v on the end of shaft 18' and which screws normally tightly clamp the cam S against the head. When it is desired to vary the throw of the cam the screws are loosened to free the cam so that it may be shifted laterally to a selected position whereupon the screws u-u are tightened to clamp the cam in place, and variously contoured cams may be substituted one for another, whereby a vast number of different movements may be imparted to the table.
When the above described alternative construction is employed it is desirable to extend the outer end of the lever arm 18 beyond its engagement with the leg K and to slidably engage such extended end in a guideway w carried on the adjacent end of the table A, as shown in FIG. 10.
1. In an agitator, a table, a single leg supporting one side of said table intermediate its ends, a pair of legs apart from said table arranged adjacent the ends of the side thereof opposite said first named leg, a pair of lever arms fulcrumed on said pair of legs, means pivotally connecting said lever arms to said table, and powered means on said table for rocking said lever arms vertically relative to said pair of legs to thereby oscillate said table relative to said first named leg.
2. The structure called for in claim 1 wherein said powered means embodies a pair of rotary shafts, means on said shafts for actuating said pair of lever arms, a variable speed electric motor carried by said table and means actuated by said motor for driving said shafts.
3. The structure called for in claim 2 wherein said last named means embodies a pair of spur gears mounted on said shafts, a pinion interposed between and engaging said spur gears, and means for driving said pinion from said motor.
4. The structure called for in claim 2 wherein said last named means embodies a pair of spur gears mounted on said shafts, a pinion interposed between and engaging said spur gears, and means for driving said pinion from said motor, said spur gears having different ratios whereby when one of said gears turns a full revolution the other gear will turn a partial revolution.
5. The structure called for in claim 2, together with manually operated means on said table for controlling said motor.
6. In an agitator, a table, a single leg supporting one side of said table intermediate its ends, a pair of legs apart from said table arranged adjacent the ends of the side thereof opposite said first named leg, 'a pair of lever arms fulcrumed on said pair of legs, means pivotally connecting said lever arms to said table, and powered means on said table for rocking said lever arms vertical- 8 1y relative to said pair of legs to thereby oscillate said table relative to said first named leg, said legs being flexible and yieldable under stresses imposed thereon by oscillatory movements of said table.
'7. The structure called for in claim 6 together with suction cup bases on said legs for holding said legs against creeping over a surface on which they are supported.
8. In a vibrator, a table, a three point flexible support therefor, and powered means on said table for oscillating said table transversely and longitudinally on said support, said powered means embodying a pair of spur gears, means for driving said gears, and means actuated by said gears operatively connected to said table to oscillate same.
9. The structure called for in claim 8 wherein said gears are of ditferent ratios whereby succeeding oscillations of the table efiected thereby are caused to differ in relative movement.
10. In an agitator, a table, means for supporting one side margin of the table intermediate its ends, means for supporting the ends of the opposite side margins of the table, a pair of legs included in said last named means disposed in spaced relation to the underside of the table, a pair of oppositely extending horizontal lever arms having outer end portions fulcrumed on said pair of legs and having inner ends, means pivotally connecting said lever arms intermediate their ends to said opposite side margins of the table, rotary means engaging the inner ends of said lever arms for rocking said arms up and down, and powered means on said table for actuating said rotary means.
11. The structure called for in claim 10 wherein said rotary means embodies a pair of shafts, wrist pins on said shaft, and guide bars engaged by said wrist pins slidably mounted on said lever arms.
12. The structure called for in claim 11 together with means whereby said wrist pins may be mounted in various positions relative to the axes of said shafts to vary the strokes of said lever arms.
13. The structure called for in claim 11 wherein said powered means embodies a variable speed electric motor on said table and gear connections between said motor and shafts, and manually actuated means on said table for varying the speed of said motor to thereby vary the speed of rotation of said shafts.
References Cited by the Examiner FOREIGN PATENTS 639,930 12/1936 Germany.
WALTER A. SCHEEL, Primary Examiner.
ROBERT W. JENKINS, Assistant Examiner.