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Publication numberUS3252503 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 24, 1966
Filing dateApr 27, 1964
Priority dateApr 27, 1964
Publication numberUS 3252503 A, US 3252503A, US-A-3252503, US3252503 A, US3252503A
InventorsGeorge W Jackson
Original AssigneeGen Motors Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Garage door operator
US 3252503 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 24, 1956 e. w. JACKSON 3,252,503

GARAGE DOOR OPERATOR Filed April 2'7, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 .INVEN'TOR. GEORGE. W. JACKSON ATTORNEY May 24, 1966 G. w. JACKSON GARAGE DOOR OPERATOR 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 27, 1964 Kw WM Y mw g m M a m w A flm m .vm .wm s bi HM HMKHMU NM m 1966 G. w. JACKSON 3,252,503

GARAGE DOOR OPERATOR Filed April 27, 1964 3 Sheets-Sheet I5 I23 lj I30 43 I48 1 r #04 W m 7:: #6


GEORGE W. JACK$ON HIS ATTORNEY .belt storage enclosure.

United States Patent 3,252,503 7 GARAGE DOOR OPERATOR George W. Jackson, Dayton, Ohio, assignor to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Filed Apr. 27, 1964, Ser. No. 362,742 6 Claims. (Cl. 160-193) This invention relates to an operating mechanism and more particularly to an operator for opening and closing a closure element such as a garage door or the like.

-One problem with many diiferent types of garage door operators has been the provision therein of an elongated cable or chain used to interconnect a drive mechanism with a garage door. Such connecting members require considerable maintenance as for example, lubrication and if this is not conscientiously carried out the operator mechanism can become inoperative.

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to replace such connecting members with a reliable, durable low cost interconnecting means that has high strength and requires no lubrication or other maintenance proceduties to retain its original reliability.

A further object of the present invention is to substantially reduce the cost of a garage door operator by the provision of a self-lubricating, flexible elongated belt actuating element having one end thereof operatively connected to a door closure member and an opposite end thereof driven by a motor unit supported within a mounting member including means for guidingly storing the belt when it is moved into one of its operative positions.

A further object of the'invention is to provide a compactly arranged garage door operator including a first unitary portion having a drive means and a belt storage capacity and a second unitary portion including means for supporting a self-lubricating, flexible elongated belt-like door actuating element during movement thereof by the drive means into various operative positions.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following'description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, wherein preferred embodiments of the present invention are clearly shown.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a view in elevation of a ator including the present invention.

FIGURE 2 is a diagrammatic showing of an electrical control circuit for the improved operator.

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged view of the drive mechanism portion of the operator partially in section and partially in elevation with one side plate thereof removed.

FIGURE 4 is a view in vertical section taken along the line 44 of FIGURE 3. i

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged view, partially in elevation and partially sectioned, of the door connecting end of the device shown in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 6 is a view in vertical section taken along the garage door operline 6-6 of FIGURE 5, and

FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of a punched belt and worm drive element of the invention.

Referring now to the drawings, in FIGURE 1 a representative embodiment 10 of the invention is illustrated as comprising a first unitary portion 11 including the drive mechanism and a first belt storage enclosure supported by a fixed bracket 12. A second, elongated unitary portion 14 of the device extended longitudinally from portion 11 includes a garage door operating assembly and another The portion 14 at the end thereof spaced from portion 11 is supported by a suitable fixed bracket 15. A slidable carrier 16 on portion 14 is illustrated as being connected to a shock absorber 18 serving Patented May 24, 1966 to operatively connect a door 20 slidably mounted on a track 22 to the improved garage door operator mechanism.

Referring now more particularly to FIGURE 3, the unit 11 of the improved device 10 is illustrated as including a motor mount 24 having a depending portion 26 and an extension 28 supported by bracket 12. The extension 28 has one end thereof secured by suitable means for example, screws 30 between the sides of an elongated track 32 of the unit 14. The motor mount 24 is enclosed by a housing 33 that includes an integrally formed curved guideway 34 having an open end 36 located rearwardly of and below the extension 28 and another open end 38 located above the extension 28 forwardly of the unit 11. The curved guideway 34 includes wall portions 40, 42 cooperating with side walls 44, 46 of housing 33 to form an enclosed passageway 48 which can be characterized as being turned upon itself.

' A projection 49 on housing side wall 46 is directed interiorly of the housing 33 as best seen in FIGURES 3 and 4 to supportingly receive a bolt 51 directed through a forwardly directed extension 50 on depending arm 26 whereby the housing 33 is supportingly held in place on motor mount 24. A resilient coupling member 52 is inserted through the end of depending arm 50 to resiliently support a motor 54 within housing 33.

The motor 54 has a drive shaft 56 secured to a drive pulley 60 having a belt 62 directed thereof and thence over a driven pulley 64 secured on one end of a rotatable driven shaft 66. In the illustrated embodiment of the invention the shaft 66 is directed coaxially of an open end of extension 28 and one end thereof is rotatably supported by a sleeve bearing 68 in a small'diameter opening in the extension 28 and at the opposite end thereof by a ball roller bearing 70 supported in a large diameter opening of the extension 28. Between the portion of the shaft 66 within the open end of extension 28 and the driven pulley 64 is located a centr-ifugally operated governor assembly 72 including a spring 74 biasing fingers 76, 78 into a desired relationship against a governor sleeve 79 slidably supported upon the rear end of shaft 66 to move relative to a spring biased arm portion 80 of a control switch 82 movable with respect to a second contact carrying arm 84 for purposes to be discussed.

In order to obtain a desired drive belt tension an adjusting screw 86 is threadably directed through the motor mount 24 to be engaged with one end of a compression spring 88 having the opposite end thereof in engagement with the front face of the motor 54 whereby the motor can be pivoted about the longitudinal axis of coupling member 52 to vary the tension of belt 62.

Secured for rotation with the shaft 66 is a Worm element 90 having a continuously formed helical tooth portion 92 thereon that is meshed with openings 94 formed in an elongated tape or belt-like element 96 that is best illustrated in FIGURE 7 as having a width substantially greater than its depth in the representative embodiment and as having openings therein formed so as to mesh with the worm tooth portions 92 so as to produce an advance of the belt 96 with respect to the worm 90 upon rotation of the shaft 66.

The belt 96 more particularly is formed of a selflubricating, high strength plastic material, for example,

nylon, and it is slidably supported in a channel shaped the length I and in part to the relationship of the belt to other operative members in the device. While nylon represents one suitable belt material, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that other synthetic and natural plastics having similar lubricating and high strength properties are equally suitable for use in the present invention.

With reference to the end of the track 32 shown in FIGURE 5, it can be seen that the belt 96 is fastened to a base 102. of carrier 16 by suitable fastening means such as rivets 104. A depending clevis 106 on the carrier 16 has a pin 108 directed .therethrough that is arranged to interlockingly connect with a grooved bracket 110 that. carries a clamp type lock assembly 112 operated to connect or disconnect the shock absorber assembly 18 to the device 10. At the opposite end of the shock absorber assembly 18 a bracket 114 is pivotally mounted. and adapted to be connected to the door 20. The assembly 18- is thereby selectively connectable between the belt 96 and the door 20 for movement therewith and for dampening against deceleration and acceleration of the door 20: during movement thereof between itsv fully opened and fully closed positions.

The shock absorber assembly 18 more particularly includes an elongated piston arm 116 secured at one end thereof to the bracket 110 and having the opposite end thereof directed into a cylinder 11 8 where a piston 120 is secured. to the opposite end of piston arm 116 for relative slidable movement within the cylinder 118. On one side of the piston 120 within the cylinder 118 is a first coil spring 122 for producing a desired snubbing action upon movement of the arm 11'6 exteriorally of the cylinder 118 and in theopposite end of the cylinder is a second coil spring 124 for producing a desired snubbing action upon movement of the arm 116 interiorally of thecylinder 118. At the upper end of the cylinder 1-18- is a ring insert 126 that lguidingly directs the arm 116 during its relative movement with respect to the.

portably carries a spring element 136 within an opening 142 therein and the ends of the spring are secured around spaced tabs 138, 140' so as to align the outside edges of the spring 136 with openings 130, 132 to effect an interlocking relationship between the spring and the sidesof the clevis 128. It will be noted that the bar 134 has the ends thereof extending outwardly on either end of the. U-shaped member 128 so that when the carrier 102 reaches a predetermined point at the front and rear ends of the track 32 the bar 134 will engage a stop 144,

145 respectively to produce a relative movement between the U-shaped clevis member and the bar that is damped by the spring 136. The dampening action of the spring 136 prevents an indesirable pulling of the belt 96 that might produce tearing thereof in the vicinity of 'th6 WlIIl teeth;

On the upper portion of the track 32' is formed an enclosure146 defining a storage space 148 into which the belt is directed from curved guideway 34 upon a predetermined movement of the belt into the enclosed passageway 48. By virtue of the illustrated arrangement of the guideway 34 and belt enclosure 146 a storage of the belt'isreadily effected when door 20 is moved to an open position.

Referring now to FIGURE 2, a control circuit 150 is illustrated connected tolines L N of a three wire power source. More particularly, lines L N are connected respectively to the input and output terminals of a primary coil 152 of a step-down transformer 154. The. secondary coil 156 of the transformer 154 has one terminal thereof connected to a manually operated push switch 158 in parallel with a radio operated switch 160.

When either switch 158 or 160 is closed a relay circuit is completed from the one terminal through a conductor 159, a pair of parallel relay coils 161, 162 and a conductor 164 connected'to the opposite terminal of the coil 156. The coil 161 controls a single pole single throw relay switch 166 and coil 162 controls a latching relay switch 168. Switches 166, 168 are serially arranged in a conductor 170 across lines L N to regulate the direction of rotation of electric motor 54. The motor circuit includes a thermally responsive protector 172 and is representatively illustrated as being of the capacitor start type. The governor operated switch 82 completes a holdingcircuit for the motor until the operating speed thereof exceeds a predetermined maximum. The circuit also includes a source of illumination 176 for lighting the area around the garage door operator and a time delay switch 177 for closing the light followby those skilled in the art that an economical, relatively compact, highly reliable garage door operator is herein disclosed that enables the initial reliability of the device to be prolonged over a substantial period of time withou constantly maintaining the device. I

While the embodiment of the present invention as herein disclosed, constitutes a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.

Whatis claimed is as follows:

1. In a door operator mechanism, the combination of an elongated track having a lower channel shaped portion and an upper enclosed passageway, a housing at one end of said track including an enclosed guideway, a motor mount within said housing, motor means supported by said motor mount, a rotatable shaft, gear means secured for rotation with said shaft having a tooth portion thereon, an elongated flexible belt slidably supported Within said. track channel portion, means forming a plurality of spaced openings in said belt throughout the length thereof for receiving said tooth portion whereby said belt is movable within said track upon rotation of said shaft, said belt having one end thereof received by said curved enclosed guideway, said guideway serving upon a first relative movement of said belt with respect to said track to guide said belt into the upper enclosed track passageway to be stored therein, and carrier means secured to the opposite end of said belt adapted to be connected to a door closure member for moving such a member into open and closed positions upon relative movement between the belt and track.

2. In a door operator mechanism the combination of an elongated track, a guideway formed on said track throughout the length thereof having a longitudinal opening throughout substantially the length thereof, an elongated non-metallic flexible belt of self-lubricating material having a width substantially greater than its depth slidably supported Within said track guideway, carrier means secured to one end of said belt including a depending portion directed through said longitudinal guideway opening, means forming a plurality of openings in said belt, gear means having a tooth portion adapted to be meshed with said belt openings, drive means for driving said gear means with respect to said belt for producing movement of said belt with respect to said track, said belt upon a first predetermined relative movement thereof with respect to said track moving outwardly of said guideway, and means for storing said including a curvilinear portion and a portion extending in spaced parallelism to said guideway along the length thereof.

3. In .a garage door operator mechanism the combination of an elongated track having a guideway with uninterrupted bent side walls therein on either side of a longitudinal opening therethrough, and elongated plastic belt slidably supported by said guideway and secured therein by said bent side walls against buckling movement with respect to said guideway, carrier means secured to one end of said belt having a depending portion adapted to be operatively connected to a movable closure member, motor support means adjacent one end of said track including generally perpendicularly arranged first and second portions, a rotatable shaft journalled for rotation in said first portion, mot-or means pivotally supported on said second portion below said first portion, gear means secured to said shaft for rotation therewith, drive means for operatively connecting said motor means to said rotatable shaft, means forming a plurality of openings throughout the length of said belt meshing with said gear means whereby said belt is moved relative to said track upon rotation of said shaft.

4. In a combination of claim 3 said shaft being directed along the longitudinal axis of said track and said bear meansincluding a worm for producing the relative movement of said belt with respect to said track.

5. A garage door-operator mechanism comprising an elongated track, means forming a guideway below said track, means forming an enclosed open ended passageway above said track throughout the length thereof, a motor support member at one end of said track including an extension directed interiorally of said track between said guideway and said upper passageway thereon, a housing for said motor support member including a curved guideway aligned withthe one open end of said upper track passageway, a rotatable shaft having the opposite ends thereof rotatably supported within said support member extension, gear means secured to said shaft for rotation therewith including a tooth portion thereon, motor means pivotally mounted on said motor support, a drive shaft, a drive pulley secured to said drive shaft, a driven pulley secured to said rotatable shaft, means for operatively connecting said drive and driven pulleys, an elongated belt slidably mounted Within said lower track guideway having one end thereof directed exteriorally of said guideway, means forming a plurality of openings in said elongated belt throughout substantially the length thereof to mesh with said gear tooth spect to said track upon rotation of said rotatable shaft, means for connecting the other end of said belt to a door closure member, said first mentioned end of said belt being directed into said curved housing guideway upon a first predetermined relative movement of said belt whereby said housing guideway serves to store said belt.

6. A garage door mechanism comprising an elongated track, a motor mount supported adjacent one end of said track, motor means pivotally mounted on said motor mount, a drive pulley on said motor means, a driven pulley, belt means for operatively connecting said drive pulley with said driven pulley, means including a yieldable spring engaging said motor means for moving said motor means in a direction to maintain a predetermined belt tension between said drive and driven pulleys, a

rotatable shaft connected to said driven pulley, gear means secured to said shaft for rotation therewith, an elongated flexible non-metallic belt having a plurality of openings spaced throughout the length thereof, said belt slidably mounted on said elongated track, said openings in said belt meshing with said gear means whereby said belt is movable relative to said track means upon rotation of said shaft, door carrier means connected to said belt for moving a door into closed and open positions, circuit means for energizing said motor means including a centrifugal switch responsive to a predetermined speed of rotation of said shaft to de-energize said motor, and means for increasing the speed of rotation of said shaft upon the occurrence of a predetermined torque in said motor means including a depending arm for supporting said motor means below said driven pulley whereby said drive pulley will become frictionally engaged with said pulley belt means to move upwardly with respect to said driven pulley against the force of said yieldable spring to produce a belt slippage to reduce shaft speed to open said centrifugal switch.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,287,968 6/1942 Boulhiet 74-240 XR 2,822,166 2/1958 Herbert 268-74 XR HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Primary Examiner.


J. K. BELL, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2287968 *Mar 29, 1940Jun 30, 1942Georges BroulhietMeans to remotely control devices
US2822166 *May 10, 1954Feb 4, 1958Charles C HerbertMechanical door opening mechanism for garages
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4414778 *Apr 13, 1981Nov 15, 1983The Alliance Manufacturing Company, Inc.Tape drive door operator
US4520684 *Feb 3, 1983Jun 4, 1985The Alliance Manufacturing Company, Inc.Tape drive closure operator
US4538661 *Aug 9, 1983Sep 3, 1985Chamberlain Manufacturing CorporationGarage door operator and method of assembling
US4621223 *Jul 5, 1985Nov 4, 1986Aisin Seiki KabushikikaishaLoad drive control system for a motor vehicle window
US4643701 *Sep 4, 1985Feb 17, 1987Phillips Home ProductsSprocket and tape combination
US4653565 *Jul 25, 1985Mar 31, 1987Chamberlain Manufacturing CorporationGarage door opener
US6719032Oct 5, 2000Apr 13, 2004Edward MiersShutter with articulated elements equipped with an electrical driving device
US8689486 *Jul 24, 2012Apr 8, 2014The Chamberlain Group, Inc.Barrier operator and chassis
US20120187269 *Jan 13, 2012Jul 26, 2012Wmf Wuerttembergische Metallwarenfabrik AgBeverage machine
DE3712184A1 *Apr 10, 1987Oct 29, 1987Yoshida Kogyo KkMethod for operating additional devices of an automatic door system
DE8717016U1 *Dec 24, 1987Mar 31, 1988Bernal Torantriebe Gmbh, 7417 Pfullingen, DeTitle not available
EP0063219A1 *Feb 24, 1982Oct 27, 1982Genie Home Products, Inc.A door actuator
EP0284192A2 *Feb 18, 1988Sep 28, 1988Anthony G. AquilinaSliding door operator
WO2001027426A2 *Oct 5, 2000Apr 19, 2001Edward MiersShutter with articulated elements equipped with an electrical driving device
U.S. Classification160/193, 388/816, 318/462, 49/28, 318/469, 388/924, 318/476
International ClassificationE05F15/16
Cooperative ClassificationE05F15/1646, E05Y2201/652, E05Y2900/106, E05F15/1615, Y10S388/924, E05Y2800/73
European ClassificationE05F15/16B1