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Publication numberUS3253799 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 31, 1966
Filing dateMar 16, 1962
Priority dateMar 16, 1962
Publication numberUS 3253799 A, US 3253799A, US-A-3253799, US3253799 A, US3253799A
InventorsTill Raymond J
Original AssigneeGen Motors Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reel for extending and retracting a flexible cable actuator
US 3253799 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1, 1966 R. J. TILL 3,253,799



' United States Patent 3,253,799 REEL FOR EXTENDING AND RETRACTING A FLEXIBLE CABLE ACTUATOR Raymond J. Till, Rochester, N.Y., assignor to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich, a corporation of Delaware Filed Mar. 16, 1962, Ser. No. 180,088 3 Claims. (Cl. 242-77) This invention pertains to antenna actuators, and particularly to an improved power operated reel-type antenna actuator.

Heretofore, numerous actuators for extensible and retractable vehicle antennas have been devised wherein the actuating element comprises a flexible wire, or cable, which, when the antenna sections are fully retracted, is wound on a reel. The present invention is directed primarily to an improved reel assembly for use with extensible and retractable antennas, and while it is specifically shown in connection with a power operated antenna assembly, it will be readily apparent that the improved reel assembly can also be used with a manual input, in the form of a rotary crank or other suitable device. Accordingly, among my objects are the provision of an improved reel assembly for an antenna actuator; the further provision of a reel assembly for an antenna actuator embodying a cone-shaped slot wherein the cable is wound in a single layer; and the still further provision of a multiple-section extensible and retractable antenna assembly including a power operated reel for actuating the same.

The forementioned and other objects are accomplished in the present invention by utilizing a two-part reel comprising telescopically arranged parts having radially spaced conical surfaces which define a cone-shaped, or tapered, slot such that jamming of the cable is precluded. Specifically, the improved reel assembly is shown in combination with an extensible and retractablevehicle antenna comprising a center rod section and a plurality of telescopically arranged movable tube sections, all of the sections being electrically connected. The lower end of the center rod is attached to one end of a flexible cable, the other end of which is attached to a reel assembly. The reel comprises a pair of drum members having telescopically arranged conical surfaces which define a tapered, or cone-shaped, groove between the outer diameter of the inner member and the inner diameter of the outer member. The reel assembly is rotatably mounted on a shaft, and a gear capable of being driven by a reverse electric motor is also journalled on the shaft. The reel assembly can be driven from the gear through Belleville spring clutch means, which clutch means slip when the motor operated gear is driven with the antenna fully retracted or extended, or when the antenna is manually operated.

Extension of the antenna is accomplished by unwinding the reel, and retraction is accomplished by winding the reel. During extending movement, the cable reacts against the outer diameter of the cone-shaped slot to provide the requisite driving force, and during retracting the cable winds on the inner diameter of the reel assembly and is thus forced into a single layer so as to prevent jamming.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, wherein a preferred form of the present invention is clearly shown and wherein similar numerals depict similar parts throughout the several views.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary view, partly in section and partly in elevation, with certain parts broken away, of the improved antenna actuator assembly.

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 22 of FIGURE 1, depicting the improved reel assembly.

FIGURES 3 and 4 are fragmentary sectional views taken along lines 3-3 and 44 of FIGURE 2.

With particular reference to FIGURE 1, the improved power operated antenna assembly includes a reversible direct current electric motor 10 having an end cap 12 which is integral with a part of a reel housing 14. The reel housing 14 has an open side which is closed by a cover 16 suitably attached thereto by a mounting ring 18 and a plurality of screws 20. Since the housing 14 is composed of die cast metal, a bushing 22 of insulating material is inserted in a tangential opening therein for guiding a flexible cable 24. A stationary antenna housing 26 is attached to the housing 14 by a screw 28, a second bushing 30 of insulating material being arranged between the housing 14 and an inner stationary antenna tube 32. The antenna comprises a movable center rod 34 and movable tube sections 36 and 38, as well as the stationary tube section 32, the tube sections 32, 36 and 38 and the rod 34 being electrically interconnected.

Thus, the rod 34 has a pair of spring fingers 40 attached to its lower end which engage the tube section 36; the tube section 36 has a pair of integral spring fingers 42 which engage the tubular section 38; and the tube section 38 has a pair of integral spring fingers 44 which engage the tube 32. The spring fingers 40 are attached to the rod 34 by spot welds 46 constituting a stop, or shoulder, engageable with the inwardly flanged ends 48 at the outer end of the tube section 36. The tube sections 36 and 38 are formed with integral beads, or shoulders, 50 and 52, respectively, likewise adapted to engage the flanged ends 54 and 56 of the tube sections 38 and 32, respectively. An antenna terminal 58 is electrically connected by a wire 60 to the tube 32, and is suitably insulated from the antenna housing 26. As seen in FIGURE 1, the antenna sections are adapted to project through an aperture in a vehicle body 62 and are suitably insulated therefrom.

The outer end 64 of the flexible cable 24 is spot welded, or otherwise suitably connected, to the inner end of the rod 34. As seen in FIGURE 4, the inner end 66 of the cable 24 is anchored to a post 68 on the reel assembly. The cable 24 is guided by the bushing 22 and a slot 70 in the cover 16.

Referring particularly to FIGURES 2 and 4, the motor 10 includes an armature shaft 72 having an integral worm 74 in driving engagement with a worm gear 76. The worm gear 76 is journalled on a shaft 78, one end of the shaft 78 being journalled in the housing 14 and the other end being journalled in the cover 16. The shaft 78 receives washer 82. A pair of Belleville spring washers 84, a thrust plate 86 and a thrust ball bearing 88 are mounted between flat thrust washers and washer 82. The Belleville washers 84 act to hold outer drum member 90 under pressure against cover 16 to restrict cable 24 to slot 100.

The reel assembly comprises an outer drum member 90 and an inner drum member 92, both of which are journalled on the shaft 78. The drum members 90 and 92 are drivingly interconnected by mating projections 94 and apertures, and have telescopically arranged radially spaced conical portions '96 and 98 which define a tapered, or cone-shaped, groove 100 therebetween. A second pair of Belleville spring washers 102 and a thrust washer 104 are assembled on the outer side of the reel, the washer 104 being securely staked at 106 to the shaft 78 so as to rotate therewith. The Belleville washers 102 exert pressure between abutting surfaces of outer drum 90 and worm gear 76 constituting a clutch action. A suitable lubricant is applied between the abutting surfaces of the worm gear 76 and the outer drum member 90.

During extension of the several antenna sections, the cable 24 is unwound from the reel assembly, and in so doing the cable 24 reacts against the outer diameter of the tapered slot, or in other words, against the conical surface 96 of the outer drum member 90. The reaction of the cable 24 against the conical surface 96 produces the requisite driving force to extend the rod section 34 which in turn carries the telescopically movable tubular sections 36 and 38 therewith. During retraction of the antenna, the cable 24 winds on the conical surface 98 of the inner drum member 92 so as to be forced into a single layer, thus pulling the center rod section 34 and the telescopically tubular section 36 and 38 with it. During antenna retraction when the cable 24 is Wound on the reel, jamming of the cable is precluded by the tapered slot 100. The reel assembly stalls when the antenna is fully retracted, while the Worm gear 76 can continue to rotate by slipping against the outer drum member 90.

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

What is claimed is as follows:

1. A reel assembly for actuating an extensible and retractable antenna including, a housing having an opening, a cover attached to said housing for closing said opening, a shaft journalled in said housing and said cover, inner and outer drum members journalled on said shaft and having telescopically arranged, radially spaced conical srufaces defining a conical slot, a flexible cable having one end fixedly attached to said inner drum member and adapted to be wound in a single layer in said conical slot and unwound therefrom, and means for rotating said drum members in either direction.

2. The reel assembly set forth in claim 1 wherein said cover is formed with a groove for guiding said cable.

3. The reel assembly set forth in claim 1 wherein the means for rotating said drum members in either d'rection includes a worm gear journalled on said shaft, spring means operable to restrict said cable to the groove in the cover, and spring means for establishing a friction drive between said gear and said drum member.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,344,490 3/1944 Brach 343-903 X 2,366,634 1/1945 Ludwig 343903 X 2,949,608 8/1960 Fischer 343903 ELI LIEBERMAN, Acting Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2344490 *Mar 25, 1940Mar 21, 1944L S Brach Mfg CorpAntenna operating reel
US2366634 *Jul 22, 1941Jan 2, 1945Ward Products CorpAntenna
US2949608 *Jun 13, 1958Aug 16, 1960Erich FischerAntenna operating arrangement having safety means operative during jammed condition
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3728906 *Dec 7, 1970Apr 24, 1973Nippon Denso CoElectrically-operated extending and contracting antenna for running automobiles
US4323902 *Oct 3, 1980Apr 6, 1982General Motors CorporationPower antenna with resilient mounting means
US4353075 *Apr 9, 1981Oct 5, 1982General Motors CorporationTelescoping vehicle radio antenna with compressible O-ring seal
US4393383 *Nov 12, 1980Jul 12, 1983Nippon Electric Co., Ltd.Mobile antenna mounting assembly
US4604026 *Dec 14, 1983Aug 5, 1986Dart Industries Inc.Telescoping parts manipulator
US4829317 *Jul 31, 1987May 9, 1989Harada Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaMotor driven antenna for vehicles
US7063590Sep 20, 2004Jun 20, 2006Mattel, Inc.Doll having adjustable length hair
US7384325 *Aug 15, 2003Jun 10, 2008Mattel, Inc.Feature-altering toy
US20040127140 *Aug 15, 2003Jul 1, 2004Emily KellyFeature-altering toy
US20060063468 *Sep 20, 2004Mar 23, 2006Mattel, Inc.Doll having adjustable length hair
DE2912616A1 *Mar 29, 1979Nov 8, 1979Gen Motors CorpElektrische schalteinrichtung fuer einen antennenantrieb
DE3132270A1 *Aug 14, 1981Jun 24, 1982Gen Motors CorpMotorbetaetigte antennenanlage
EP0161938A2 *May 16, 1985Nov 21, 1985Nippon Antenna Kabushiki KaishaMechanism for extending and contracting antenna
EP0161938A3 *May 16, 1985Jan 28, 1987Nippon Antenna Kabushiki KaishaMechanism for extending and contracting antenna
WO2004016332A2 *Aug 15, 2003Feb 26, 2004Mattel, Inc.Feature-altering toy
WO2004016332A3 *Aug 15, 2003Sep 7, 2007Bryan ChengFeature-altering toy
U.S. Classification242/390.3, 242/397.1, 343/903
International ClassificationH01Q1/08, H01Q1/10
Cooperative ClassificationH01Q1/103
European ClassificationH01Q1/10B