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Publication numberUS3348336 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 24, 1967
Filing dateDec 17, 1965
Priority dateDec 17, 1965
Publication numberUS 3348336 A, US 3348336A, US-A-3348336, US3348336 A, US3348336A
InventorsClaude A Hashagen
Original AssigneeClaude A Hashagen
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Overhead door operator
US 3348336 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 24, 1967 c. A. HASHAGEN OVERHEAD DOOR OPERATOR 5 Sheets-Sheetv 1 Filed Dec. 17, 1965 I NVENTOR. CLAUDE A. HASHAGEN 1967 c. A. HASHAGEN OVERHEAD DOOR OPERATOR 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 17, 1965 INVENTOR.

1957 c. A. HASHAGEN 9 3 OVERHEAD DOOR OPERATOR Filed DeC. 17, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR. CLAUDE A. HASHAGEN United States Patent 3,348,336 OVERHEAD DOOR OPERATOR Claude A. Hashagen, 638 N. Crescent Heights Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90048 Filed Dec. 17, 1965, Ser. No. 514,604 8 Claims. (Cl. 49200) Generally speaking, the present invention relates to apparatus for pivotally-mounting and for power-moving a door (usually a garage door, although not specifically so limited in all forms of the invention) from a lower substantially vertical closed position where it closes a doorway or driveway into a garage, into an upper substantially horizontal open position where it leaves the doorway or driveway into the garage completely open for the entry and/ or exit of one or more motor vehicles.

At the present time, there are various types of garage doors. However, one widely-used type of garage door comprises one large rigid door of substantially rectangular shape eifectively pivotally mounted for effective pivotal movement around a horizontal axis from a lower vertical position across a doorway or driveway into a garage into an upper horizontal position underlying the roof of the garage and positioned at a height greater than that of the top of a motor vehicle so that it will in no way interfere with the entry or exit of a motor vehicle. The present invention is concerned with this latter type of garage door and garage-door-mounting apparatus when a conventional controllably operable powered dooroperating system is installed in the garage for use in conjunction therewith for causing the garage door to be automatically power-lifted from the lower vertical closed position into the upper horizontal open position when an appropriate signal is transmitted to the powered dooroperating system and adapted, upon receipt of a second appropriate signal, to cause the garage door to be operated by the powered door-operating system for movement from the upper open position into the lower closed position.

Various types of such prior art powered door-operating apparatuses or systems exist and, in certain cases, they are adapted to be remotely operated by a sonic or radio transmitter carried by a motor vehicle so that the driver thereof may merely activate same for causing the garage door to be automatically opened when he wishes to drive into the garage or to be automatically closed after he has driven out of the garage.

In other forms of such powered door-operating systems, the control signal for initiating either type of operati0n-that is, either door-opening operation or doorclosing operationmay be controlled from one or more manually operable switches such as a key-operated switch on the outside of the garage, a pushbutton or other switch located inside of the garage, and/ or a similar pushbutton or other type of switch located at one or more other convenient locations such as on the back porch, or the like. It will be understood that this latter type of arrangement makes it possible for a person to cause the garage door to open or close by merely operating the pushbutton switch on his back porch, or this may be accomplished by walking out to the garage, inserting a key into the key-operated switch, and turning same. This will cause the garage door to open, and the person may then get into his motor vehicle and drive same out of the garage. After he has done this, he may then get out of his car and turn the key-operated switch and cause the garage door to close and be effectively permanently locked against the unauthorized entry thereinto.

When the driver is returning home, he may drive up to the closed garage door, get out of his car, and insert his key into the key-operated switch and operate same 3,348,336 Patented Oct. 24, 1967 so as to cause the garage door to automatically open. Then the driver may drive his car into the garage and may either leave the garage through the open large garage door and close it by operating the exterior key-operated switch, or by waiting until he reaches the back porch of his house and then operating the pushbutton switch there for closing the garage door,.or the driver of the motor vehicle may close the garage door while he is still inside of the garage by operating the interiorly located switch. In this latter case, he may leave the garage by a small personal-exit door and thus not again need to elevate the large garage door by the powered door-operating apparatus.

One major disadvantage which I have found to exist in connection with the use of the above-mentioned prior art type of powered door-operating apparatus with the above-mentioned prior art type of effectively horizontally pivotally mounted garage door lies in the fact that the powered door-actuating apparatus normally comprises a controllably reversible upper motor-driven garage-doortop-inward-moving device which, when it is intended to open the garage door, applies an inward pulling force to the top edge of the pivotally-mounted garage door and which conventionally has a frictional drive which very often slips unless it is tightened to a degree such as to greatly increase the wear on the apparatus and the likelihood of damage occurring thereto. This is made necessary because of the fact that the conventional kind of hardware normally employed for mounting such a garage door for effective pivotal movement around an effective horizontal axis is not designed for, nor intended for, an arrangement where the door-opening force comprises inward tension applied to the top edge of the door but is intended for operation where the door-opening force comprises an outward and upward force applied to the bottom edge of the door. Thus, because of this factor, excessive loading occurs on the motor-driven door-operating apparatus and, as pointed out above, since this is usually a frictional-drive type of apparatus, the extent of the frictional engagement must be increased to an unreasonably high value if the apparatus is to be capable of starting the very first portion of the opening movement of such a garage door when it is closed, and this excessive value of friction causes very rapid wear to the apparatus and may actually bend the drive shaft or the idler roller shaft of the driving apparatus and result in damage thereto requiring early repair or replacement.

The above-mentioned prior art type of powered dooroperating apparatus, in one form thereof, is provided with lamp means electrically connected in circuit therewith in a manner such as to be energized whenever the motor of the powered door-operating apparatus is energized in a door-opening direction, and said lamp is adapted to remain energized until the conclusion of the next succeeding energization of the motor occurs, which will, of course, be an energization thereof in a door-closing direction, thus providing interior illumination within the garage whenever the garage door is being, or has been, opened and prior to its closing by the powered dooroperating apparatus. Of course, an overriding switch may be provided for deenergizing the lamp if it is desired to maintain the door open for a substantial period of time.

The novel apparatus of the present invention completely meets and overcomes the above-mentioned prior art disadvantage because it effectively converts such an upper motor-driven garage-door-top-top-inward-pulling device into what might be termed an effective lower garage-door-bottom-outward-pushing-and-lifting device, thus effectively modifying the powered door-operating apparatus into an apparatus applying lifting force to the door in an optimum manner similar to that conventionally 3 V applied by a person who approaches the door from the outside, grasps the handle, which is at a relatively low location on the front surface of the door, and then applies upward and outward lifting force thereto.

I have found that when such a conventional powered door-operating apparatus is coupled to the door through the novel coupling apparatus of the present invention, the adjustment of the frictional force between the driving roller and the idler roller of the motor-driven driving apparatus may be reduced substantially, in some cases to a level of approximately one-quarter of the force which would otherwise be required to open the door by applying inward tension directly to the top of the door in the conventional prior art manner. Of course, this substantial reduction in the required frictional driving force minimizes wear on the apparatus and the necessity for frequent repairs or replacement of various parts thereof. ,With the above points in mind, it is an object of the present invention to provide a novel coupling apparatus of the character referred to herein, which has any or all of the advantages referred to herein and which includes any or all of the features referred to herein generically and/or specifically and individually or in combination low cost whereby to be conducive to widespread use there of.

as exemplary of, but not specifically limiting, the present invention), and said objects will be apparent to persons skilled in the art after a careful study of the detailed description which follows hereinafter.

land which is of extremely simple, inexpensive construc-' tion adapted for ready mass manufacture at relatively For the purpose of clarifying the nature of the present invention, it is illustrated in conjunction with two exemplary types of pivotal door-mounting hardware, as shown in the hereinbelow-described figures of the accompanying two sheets of drawings, and is described in detail hereinafter.

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary view taken substantially on the plane 11 of FIG. 3 and shows in section a conventional garage door of the type referred to above in its closed position and shows in side elevation a conventional powered door-operating apparatus or system of the ing simplification and clarity.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken substantially along the plane indicated by the arrows 27-} of FIG. 1 and clearly shows one exemplary form of the substantially centrally positioned pivotal interconnection of the lever means and the lever-mounting means which together comprise the novel coupling means of the present invention,

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary interior three-dimensional pictorial perspective view of the closed garage door of FIG. 1, the powered door-operating apparatus of FIG, 1, and

the novel coupling means of the present invention also shown in FIG. 1. In this view, certain portions of the garage and structure mounting the powered door-operating apparatus are not shown for reasons of drawing simplicity and clarity.

FIG. 4 is a view similar to a left portion of FIG. 1, but with the pivotal door-mounting hardware of FIGS. 1

:and 2 removed for reasons of drawing simplicity and clarity so that the novel coupling means comprising the present invention can be shown more clearly in both a pro-operated position and in a position immediately subsequent thereto after tension has been applied to the upper end of the coupling means as a result of controllable eniergization of the driving motor means of FIGS.. 1 and 3. This view is drawn to a somewhat larger scale than FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary three-dimensional pictorial perspective view of the clevis or yoke type fastening or connection means of the novel coupling means of the present invention carried at the top of the lever means thereof for attaching it to the longitudinally reciprocable rack-like member of the conventional powered door-operating apparatus.

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of a slightly different type of door-mounting means for mounting a conventional garage door (shown in simplified cross-sectional form) for effective pivotal movement around an effective horizontal axis and shows the novel coupling means of the present invention employed for coupling the conventional powered door-operating apparatus to the conventional garage door when mounted by this modified type of door-mounting hardware. Also, in this view the garage door is shown in open position rather than in closed position as in the preceding views.

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 but illustrates the door, the modified type of door-mounting hardware, and the novel coupling apparatus comprising the present invention, all in the positions which they assume when the garage door is closed.

FIG. 8 is an electrical schematic view illustrating one exemplary form of the invention.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged sectional view of the safety switch means illustrated diagrammatically and schematically in FIG. 8 and shows it in section behind the plane of a retaining end cap or washer, which is not shown.

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary, partially-broken-away perspective view of the safety switch means of FIG. 9 and further illustrates the same.

Generally speaking, one exemplary form of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 15 inclusive in conjunction with a first exemplary type of prior art pivotal doormounting hardware and will be referred to hereinafter as the first form of the invention, although it should be understood that actually the coupling means of the present invention is the same in said first form of the invention illustrated in FIGS. l-5 inclusive and in a socalled second form of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, wherein the only thing that differs from the first form of the invention is the pivotal door-mounting hardware.

In said so-called first form of the invention, a conventional garage door is generally designated by the reference numeral 10 and is effectively pivotally mounted for movement between a lower vertical closed position, such as is clearly shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, and an upper substantially open position generally similar to that illustrated in FIG. 6 of the so-called second form of the invention, and this pivotal mounting is provided through .operating apparatus, such as is generally designated by the reference numeral 14, which may 'be said to effectively comprise an upper motor-driven garage-door-top-moving device (actually, a top inward-pulling device when the garage door 10 is to be lifted, and the reverse when the garage door 10 is to be lowered).

The powered door-operating apparatus, generally designated at 14, compirses a reversible electric motor such as is indicated at 16 and which is carried by the drive housing H.

Said reversible electric motor 16 is adapted to rotate a frictional drive roller 18 in one direction or the other which alternates upon each succeeding electrical energization thereof as initiated by succeeding-closures of any of the three electrical switch means 20, 22, and/or 24, which are best shown-in FIG. 8. It will be noted that the switch 20 is adapted to be operated by a key K placed within the keyhole 26 of a rotary key slot containing lock cylinder 28 normally carried in a tamper-proof housing or box such as is shown in phantom at 30' on the outside front wall of a garage at any suitable location such as the exemplary one indicated by the reference numeral 31. In other words, the switch 20* can only be temporarily closed by inserting the key into the hole or slot 26 and turning the key for a short period of time long enough for the starting relay coil 32 to become energized whereby to close the corresponding normally open starting relay switch elements 34 and 34, which will, in turn, energize the motor 16 and cause the garage door to either be power-lifted or power-lowered. It will be noted that the key-operated switch 20 is springbiased into open position and that, as soon as torque is removed from the key in the key-hole 26, the switch 20 opens. However, this does not de-energize the motor 16, which remains energized because the holding transformer, generally designated at 36, has its primary 36P energized by reason of the previously-mentioned closure of the relay switch element 34', which causes the secondary 36S of said holding transformer 36 to be energized and to maintain energization of the previouslymention starting relay coil 32 even after the previously temporarily closed switch 20 has been opened. This condition of energization of the motor 16 will continue until the door 10 has been fully power-lifted into an open relationship similar to that shown in FIG. 6, or fully power-lowered into a closed relationship such as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, at which time the on and off and reversing switch means, generally designated by the reference numeral 38, will be effectively operated by a corresponding one of the two switch operating members 80 and 40 carried by the longitudinal connecting member 42. This will momentarily de-energize both the starter relay coil 32 and the holding transformer 36 and will thus allow the starting relay switch elements 34 and 34' to open under the action of the biasing spring means 44. At the same time that this occurs, the starting and reversing switch means 38 will effectively reverse the polarity applied to the starting winding 46 of the motor means 16 so that upon the next energization thereof, caused by the next closure of any one of the switches 20, 22, 24, and/or 55, the motor 16 will be driven in the opposite door-moving direction. This will be described in greater detail hereinafter.

It should be noted that after initiation of a powered door-lifting or door-lowering operation, as described hereinbefore, the key is then removed from the slot 26. This provides a tamper-proof arrangement for causing power-lifting or power-lowering the door 10 by the powered door-operating apparatus 14 from the exterior of the garage door 10 and of the garage 48 pivotally mounting said garage door 10.

It will be noted that the switch 22 connected in parallel with the key-operated switch 20 described above, may merely comprise any manually operable, normally-open switch such as a pushbutton switch, or the like, adapted to be operated by a pushbutton such as is indicated at 50 in FIGS. 3 and 8 and which may be positioned inside of the garage, generally designated by the reference numeral 48, so that a person standing inside of the garage 48 can cause the power-lifting or power-lowering of the garage door 10 by the powered door-operating apparatus 14.

The third electrical switch shown electrically schematically at 24 in FIG. 8 is normally a remote switch and it may comprise one or more such remote switches normally connected in parallel with each other and of the normally-open type and located at any desired remote locations from which it is thought desirable to be able to initiate operation of the powered door-operating apparatus 14.

For example, one such switch 24 might be located inside of the back porch of a house adjacent to the garage 48 so that the garage door 10 can be caused to be autoparked his car within the garage 48 leaves the garage and reaches the back porch, where said auxiliary operating switch 24 is located. However, the switch 24 may be located at any desired location and, as pointed out hereinbefore, there may be any desired number of such auxiliary operating switches similar to the one shown at 24 in FIG. 8.

It should also be understood that in lieu of the three switches 20, 22, and 24 described above with particular reference to FIG. 8, the apparatus may be provided with a signal-receiving transducer of a sonic type, a radio type, or any other suitable type (such as is generally indicated in phantom at 52), adapted to receive an appropriate signal from a nearby but physically separated transmitter (which might be carried by a motor vehicle, for example) and to transduce same into an electrical signal fed into the relay 53 for closing the switch 55 (which is connected in parallel to switches 20, 22, and 24) and to, therefore, be functionally equivalent to any of said parallel connected electrical switches 20, 22, and/or 24 for initiating operation of the powered door-operating apparatus 14.

It should also be noted that the electrical circuit means,

generally designated at 54, of the powered door-operating apparatus 14, is of an exemplary type only and is not to be construed as specifically limiting the invention to the particular arrangement illustrated schematically in FIG. 8. However, for purposes of clarification, the specific exemplary, but non-limiting, arrangement of FIG. 8 will now be described in detail.

An AC power source is connected to the input terminals of two input power leads 56 and 58, the lead 56 connecting through the previously-mentioned relay switch element 34, when it is held closed by the relay starting coil 32, to one end of the running winding 60- of the motor 16. The other power lead 58 extends through a fuse 62 to the other end of the running winding 60 of the motor 16.

Also connected across the power leads 56 and 58 is the previously-mentioned optional signal-receiving transducer, which is shown in phantom at 52, although this component may derive its power from any other convenient power source, if desired, and as pointed out above may be eliminated entirely since it is an optional means for starting the powered door-operating apparatus 14 by means other than the switches 20, 22, and 24.

The previously-mentioned energizing and motor reversing switch 38 effectively comprises a toggle-type doublepole double-throw switch which has its two different positions indicated by the solid and dotted line arrows, respectively, in FIG. 8.

In the solid-line position of the arrows of the switch 38, said energizing and motor reversing switch 38 connects the power leads 56 and 58 to two additional leads 64 and 66, which lead to the previously-mentioned starting winding 46 of the motor 16, the lead 64 including in series the previously-mentioned relay switch element 34' which is normally open except when held closed by the previously-mentioned starting relay coil 32.

When the energizing and motor reversing switch 38 is in the solid-line position shown in FIG. 8, the lamp 68 is also connected across the power circuit comprising the power leads 56 and 58 and is therefore energized.

In the condition just described, the motor 16 is connected so as to be energized in a door-closing direction for effectively lowering and closing the previouslymentioned garage door 10.

When the switch elements of the energizing and motor reversing switch 38 are in the alternate dotted-line position of FIG. 8, the conections of the power leads 56 and .58 to the leads 64 and 66 are reversed and also the lamp means 68 is effectively shorted-out of the circuit. This reversal of polarity of the leads 64 and 66 going to the 7 motor winding 46 reverses the direction of the next energization and the next rotation of the shaft of the motor 16 which occurs subsequent to the next momentary operation of any one of the previously-mentioned switches 20, 22, 24 and/or 55.

Starting and holding circuits are generally designated by the reference numerals 70 and 72, respectively, and are energized by a starting transformer 74 and the previously-mentioned holding transformer 36, the primaries of each being connected between the previously-mentioned leads 64 and 66, but the connection of the previously-mentioned primary winding 36F of the holding transformer 36 to the lead 64 being effected at a point on the side of the previously-mentioned and normally open starting relay switch element 34' between it and the starting winding 46 of the motor 16 so that it is only energized when said starting relay switch element 34 is held closed by the starting relay coil 32. Said starting and holding circuits 70 and 72 both contain the starting relay coil 32 in common.

Also included in the holding circuit 72 is a safety switch, generally designated by the reference numeral 76, which will be described in somewhat greater detail later but which in general may be said to always normally be closed except when slippage of the hereinbefore-referredto drive roller 18 occurs with respect to the hereinbefore mentioned connecting member 42. In other words, the safety switch 76 is normally closed except when the door is not being moved at all or is being moved with a Very substantial degree of slippage occurring at the frictional contact engagement of the drive roller 18 with respect to the interconnecting member 42. When this occurs, the safety switch 76 temporarily opens and effectively deenergizes the motor 16 and stops the complete apparatus until a subsequent re-energization thereof occurs by momentary operation of any of the previously-mentioned switches 26, 22, 24 and/ or 55.

In other words, normally the safety switch 76 is closed and the holding circuit 72 is a closed circuit. The starting circuit 70 includes all three of the previouslymentioned parallel connected starting switches 20, 22, and 24 and also the optional phantom line relay switch means 55 adapted to be closed by the previously-mentioned signal-receiving transducer 52 and relay 53, which are also optional.

If we assume first that the energizing and motor-reversing switch 38 is in the dotted line position of FIG. 8, the garage door 10 is closed and the lamp 68 is dc-energized and off. The motor 16 will not operate because the relay switch elements 34 and 34 are in open position. When any one of the starting switches 20, 22, 24 and/ or 55 is momentarily closed, the starting circuit 70 will be closed and thus will be energized through the starting transformer 74. Starting relay coil 32 will then close the relay switch elements 34 and 34', thus applying power to the main field or running winding 60 of the motor 16 and the starting winding 46 thereof and also to the primary '36P of the holding transformer 36. Thus, holding circuit 72 will be energized and will hold the starting relay coil in an energized condition which will maintain the starting relay switch elements 34 and 34 closed even after the starting switch 20, 22, 24 and/or 55 is released.

With both the running winding 60 and the starting winding 46 of the motor 16 energized in the manner just described, said motor 16 will operate in a garage dooropening direction until the energizing and reversing switch 38 is thrown from one position (the dotted-line position of FIG. 8) into another position (the solid-line position of FIG. 8). This will be caused by abutment of the previously-mentioned forward switch-operating member 40 with the operating member 84 of the toggle switch 38 positioned in the rearward path of travel thereof. Incidentally, it should be noted that in order to prevent any damage to the toggle switch 38, it may be resiliently mounted so that contact of the front switch-operating 8, element 40 therewith in the manner just described (and also the later-described oppositely directed and oppositely operating contact therewith of the rear switch-operating element will not damage the toggle switch 38.

It will be noted that in FIG. 8 when the switch 38 is thrown from the dotted-line position thereof into the solid-line position thereof, the connection of the circuit leads 64 and 66 with respect to the two main power input leads 56 and 58 is momentarily broken. When this occurs, the starting transformer 74 and the holding transformer 36 and the starting relay coil 32 are all de-energized, thus permitting relay switch elements 34 and 34 to open. Then when the switch 38 completes its throw so that the primary of the starting transformer 74 is energized, no further action will take place until any one of the starting switches 20, 22, or 24, or the relay switch 55 operates to again close the starting circuit 79. It should also be noted at this point that the lamp 68 is now connected across the circuit and is fully energized and on.

In the relative position of the various elements of the circuit of FIG. 8 as described above .in the preceding paragraph, the garage door 10 is now open and the leads to the starting winding 46 of the motor 16 are positionally reversedthat is, they are now reversed into a doorclosing or door-lowering relationship. However, the motor 16 will not operate until a further signal is received in the optional signal-receiving transducer 52 or until a further actuation of any one of the starting switches 20, 22, or 24 occurs for the purpose of bringing about a powered lowering and closing of the door 10.

In the event that the garage door 10 encounters an obstruction during the period of its opening or closing, the previously-mentioned safety switch 76 effectively opens the holding circuit 72 and thus de-energizes the complete apparatus until the next succeeding energization thereof by any of the starting switches 20, 22, or 24 or receipt of an appropriate starting signal by the optional signal-receiving transducer means 52.

The detailed structure of the normally-closed safety switch 76, which is adapted to open only when slippage of the drive roller 18 occurs with respect to the connecting member 42-in other words, when the relative rate of rotation of the drive roller 18 and an underlying idler roller 82 occursis not illustrated in detail in this application beyond the schematic showing of FIG. 8 and the fragmentary enlarged showing of FIGS. 9 and 10 since various safety switches have been developed in the past and since the major inventive concept of the present invention relates primarily to the novel coupling means illustrated at 88 in the first form of the invention as one example thereof.

In addition to the features of the exemplary form of the powered door-operating apparatus 14 described above, it should be noted that the switch elements 84 of the previously-mentioned combination energizing and motorreversing switch 38 may be said to effectively comprise limit switches having a common toggle-type operating member specifically designated by the reference numeral 84' and positioned on the exterior of the housing H, as 15 best shovm in FIG. 1 at 84', for operation by the previously-mentioned and corresponding front and rear switch-operating projections 40 and 80 carried by the previously-mentioned connecting member 42 which, in the example illustrated, takes the form of a longitudinal inverted U-shaped channel member and which comprises a part of the powered door-operating apparatus 14, with said switch-operating projection 84' being so positioned as to be automatically hit whereby to correspondingly operate the switch elements 84 of the switch 38 from either the solid-line position of FIG. 8 into the dotted-line position thereof, or vice versa, when the door 10 is either all the way down in closed position, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3,,or is all the way up in open position, as shown in FIG. 6. In either case, the corresponding operation of said switch elements 84 by the striking of the corresponding ones of said switch-operating projections 80 and 40, respectively, against the toggle-operating element 84' of the switch means 38 will temporarily deenergize the motor 16 and stop the rotation of the shaft thereof and of the driving roller 18.

It will be understood that the arrangement described above provides electrical circuitry which will energize the motor 16 for rotation in an opposite direction from its preceding rotation on each succeeding energization thereof. However, it should be clearly understood that the arrangement illustrated in schematic form in FIG. 8 is merely one arrangement capable of doing this and, actually, a great many other arrangements capable of doing this are also possible and may be employed with the novel coupling apparatus of the present invention.

1n the exemplary arrangement illustrated, the frictional drive roller 18 of the powered door-operating apparatus 14 frictionally engages the outside surface of the inverted U-shaped channel member 42, which has the lower opposed idler roller 32 forcibly engaged within the inverted U-shaped channel 42 in direct forcible opposition to the drive roller 18, whereby to provide a desired degree of frictional engagement of the drive roller 18 relative to the longitudinal connecting arm comprising said inverted U-shaped channel member 42.

The degree of said frictional engagement can be adjusted by rotating a friction-adjusting handle 86, and it is normally found, when the powered door operating apparatus 14 is employed without the novel coupling means generally designated at 88 of the present invention, that the friction-adjusting knob or handle 86 must be set to provide a very high degree of friction if the door is to be moved from the fully-closed position shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 toward an open position such as shown in FIG. 6.

The maximum frictional engagement requirement of the drive roller 18 and the idler roller 82 relative to the inverted U-shaped channel 42 appears to be right at the beginning of the door-opening movement from the fullyclosed position of the door 10 shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. Such adjustment of the friction to such a maximized value in order to avoid slippage of the drive roller 18 on the channel 42, creates greatly increased wear on both the drive roller 18 and the idler roller 82 and, in addition, the forces required are of a magnitude such as to lead to early bending of the drive shaft carrying the drive roller 18 (and/or the shaft carrying the idler roller 82), which then requires early repair and/or replacement.

However, through the use of the novel coupling means 88 of the present invention, the frictional adjustment of the friction-adjusting handle 86 may be reduced to provide much lower levels of force between the drive roller 18, the idler roller 82, and the intervening inverted U- shaped channel 42to such low levels, in fact, as to minimize wear and any likelihood of bending of the shafts occurring in the undesirable manner mentioned above.

The invention proper comprises the novel coupling means 88 and it will be noted that, in the exemplary arrangement illustrated, said coupling means 88 comprises a longitudinal lever means, such as is generally designated at 90, and a lever-mounting means, such as is generally designated at 92, effectively and usually substantially centrally pivotally interconnected by horizontally directed pivot pin means 94 and with the lever means 90 being completely free of any connection relative to the lever-mounting means 92 except that provided by the pivot pin means 94 and with the lever-mounting means v92 being rigidly and firmly connected with respect to an inside surface 96 of the door 10 by suitable fastening means, such as the plurality of wood screws 98 extending through corresponding apertures 100 in the co-planar base portions 102 of the two L-shaped extrusion members 104 (sometimes known as angle irons) which together comprise the lever-mounting means, generally 10 designated at 92 in the exemplary form of the invention illustrated.

Each of said angle irons 104 is fastened by the fastening screws and apertures 98 and so as to have the rearwardly directed parallel flange portions 106 thereof laterally spaced apart and vertically directed along a substantial length of the inside surface 96 of the central portion of the door 10, with said flanges 106 effectively defining what might be called channel means and being spaced apart a distance only slightly greater than the width of a web portion 108 of the exemplary type of lever means generally designated by the reference numeral 90. It is said web 108 of the lever means 90 which carries an aperture 110 at about the middle of the vertical height thereof through which the previously-mentioned horizontal pivot pin 94 passes in addition to passing through corresponding apertures 112 at similar locations of said flanges 106 of the lever-mounting means 92, where it is retained by a cotter pin or key 114.

The lever means 90 in the exemplary form of the invention illustrated comprises a resilient member which is substantially T-shaped in cross-section, as is perhaps best shown in FIG. 2, and which comprises in addition to the previously-mentioned longitudinal web member 108, a perpendicularly positioned longitudinal cap member 116 which normally lies in a vertical plane perpendicular to both said web member 108 and said two spaced flanges 106 and spaced slightly rearwardly therefrom and substantially parallel thereto, as is perhaps best shown in FIG. 2.

-The :upper end of the lever member 90 is provided with pivotal attachment and connection means, such as is generally designated at 118, which is adapted for connection to the forward end of the longitudinal driven connection or effective rack member 4-2 comprising the previously-mentioned inverted U-shaped channel driven by the drive roller 18 of the motor 16.

In the exemplary form illustrated, said attachment and connection means 118 takes the form of a clevis o-r yoke type of attachment and connection means having a pair of spaced or bifurcated arms 120 adapted to have the forward end 122 of said connection member 42 positioned therebetween and adapted to have a pivot pin 124 transversely passed therethrough and retained by a cotter pin or key 126.

The attachment or connection means 118 is fastened by suitable fastening screws 128 to the upper end of the cap 116 of the lever means 90 so that operation of the motor 16 in a direction such as to cause counterclockwise rotation of the drive roller 18 as viewed in FIG. 1 will apply tension to the upper end of the lever means 90, by way of the attachment and connection means 113,

and will mOVe it from the solid-line position shown in FIG. 4 toward the broken-line position shown in FIG. 4.

This effective movement of the upper portion 90U of the lever means toward the broken-line position shown in FIG. 4 effectively causes a lower portion 90L thereof to apply increasing outward and upward force in the direction of the arrow 130 of FIG. 4 to a bottom portion 132 of the door 10 for effectively facilitating the outward and upward movement thereof, and the corresponding movement of the complete garage door 10, from a closed position such as is shown in FIGS. 1 3, and 4 into an open position such as is shown in FIG. 6. This is accomplished much more efiiciently by the use of the novel coupling means 88 of the present invention than would be the case by the direct application of pulling force in the direction of the arrow 134 of FIG. 4 if it were applied directly to the top edge 136 of the door 10 as has heretofore been the case in conventional prior art practice.

The door-lowering operation is the reverse of that just described in connection with the door-lifting operation and it is thought that a detailed description thereof would be redundant.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate the same coupling means 88 of applicants novel invention as that illustrated in FIGS. 1-5, but in this case the pivotal door-mounting means is somewhat different and is designated by the reference numeral 12'. However, it is functionally the same in that it mounts the door for movement between a lower vertical closed position, such as is shown in FIG. 7 and which is similar to that previously illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, and an upper open position as clearly shown in FIG. 6 and which is analogous to that assumed by the door of FIGS. 1, 3, and 4 mounted by the earlier type of hardware 12 when said door is in open position.

It should be noted that the type of drive arrangement illustrated in the exemplary form of the invention as comprising a frictional drive roller (preferably having a rubber exterior or other frictional outer surface) and the opposed idler roller 82 (also preferably having a rubber outer surface or other frictional exterior) is exemplary only and the invention is not to be construed as being specifically limited to such a driving arrangement. Actually, a great variety of different types of driving arrangements may be employed for bringing about movement of the connecting member 42 which may also be modified substantially within the broad scope of the present invention.

Additionally, it should be noted that the electrical circuitry illustrated in FIG. 8 is also exemplary only and is not to be construed as limiting the invention specifically thereto and it is to be clearly understood that it may be modified substantially within the broad scope of the present invention.

The exemplary form of safety switch generally designated in schematic form at 76 in FIG. 8 and shown fragmentarily and partially in section in much larger form in FIGS. 9 and 10, will now be briefly described, as follows.

The drive roller shaft 138 includes an off-center crank pin or eccentric which may take the simple form of a machine screw 140 although it may take various other forms also. On either side of the pin 140 extend the legs of a Wobbler element 142 formed of an insulating material and loosely pivoted about the idler roller shaft 144. The Wobbler element 142 mounts a terminal 146 projecting perpendicularly therefrom a short distance below the legs of the Wobbler element 142.

It will be understood that the drive roller shaft 138 and idler roller shaft 144 extend beyond the broken-away ends thereof shown in FIG. 10, and that the drive roller shaft 138 is adapted to be provided with means coupling it to the previously-mentioned motor 16 for positively driving saiddrive roller shaft 138, and it should be further understood that the broken-away portions of said drive roller shaft 138 and idler roller shaft 144 carry the previously-mentioned drive roller 18 and idler roller 82, respectively, exterior of the previously-mentioned housing H. The structural detail of the parts just referred to are not illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10 since they have previously been referred to and do not directly pertain to the safety switch 76, which is now being described.

With the arrangement referred to above, rotation of the drive roller shaft 138 by the motor 16 will cause the Wobbler element 142 to swing back and'forth over a small are due to the off-center camrning action of the pin 140 on the legs of the Wobbler element 142. This motion causes the terminal 146 to reciprocate over a small given distance at a rate proportional to the rotational speed of the drive roller shaft 138.

The adjacent idler roller shaft 144 is provided with a substantially U-shaped conductive strip 148 whose loop end or bight is of something more than 180 degrees of angular extent and extends around and is in frictional contact with something more than a ISO-degree portion of I an insulating sleeve 150, which is fixed to the idler roller shaft 144. The U-shaped conductive strip 148 is biased inwardly to an extent such as to frictionally grip the insulating sleeve 150 but to, nevertheless, permit frictional slippage between itself and the sleeve when torque in excess of a predetermined amount is applied thereto.

The legs of the conductive strip 148 extend laterally from the idler roller shaft 144 in general parallelism with one another on opposite sides of the terminal 146, as shown in both FIGS. 9 and 10 and are spaced a distance apart greater than that given distance necessary to accommodate the maximum excursion reciprocatory action of said terminal 146 when the Wobbler element 142 is in action.

The electrical holding circuit 72 of FIG. 8 is completed through the conductive strip 148 and the terminal 146 when either one leg or the other of said conductive strip 148 is in contact with the terminal 146. Careful consideration of the showing of FIGS. 8, 9, and 10 makes it quite obvious that when the drive roller shaft 138 is turning in a clockwise direction, the idler roller shaft 144 will be turning in a counterclockwise direction due to the motion of the previously-mentioned elongated channel member 42 of FIGS. 1 and 3. The conductive strip 148 is, therefore, continuously urged to the left due to the frictional forces exerted thereon by the insulating sleeve 150 turning with the idler roller shaft 144. The right hand leg of said conductive strip 148 will, therefore, perpetually stay in contact with the terminal 146 throughout the reciprocatory motion of said terminal, as is clearly shown in FIG. 8.

Similarly, when the drive roller shaft 138 is turning in a counterclockwise direction, the idler roller shaft 144 is turning in a clockwise direction and the left-hand leg of the conductive strip 148 will perpetually stay in contact with the terminal 146.

The insulating sleeve 158 serves not only to insulate the conductive strip 148 from the idler roller shaft 144, but also provides a suitable frictional surface.

Now, if an obstruction is encountered by the garage door 10, the longitudinal movement of the channel member 42 will be slowed or even stopped. This will not affect the rotation of the drive roller shaft 138 because the shaft is driven by the motor 16 and the drive roller 18 will simply slip on the channel member 42. However, the speed of the idler roller shaft 144 will depend on the decreased or stopped motion of the channel member 42 since the idler roller 82 is driven thereby. Thus, when the rotational rate of the idler roller shaft 144 slows or changes with respect to the drive roller shaft 138, the legs of the conductive strip 148 will not stay in contact with the terminal 146 since the reciprocatory motion of the latter is greater than the rate of turning of the idler roller shaft 144, which tends to urge one leg or the other of the conductive strip 148 into contact with the terminal 146. The terminal 146 and the conductive strip 148 thus become momentarily separated, as is most clearly shown in FIG. 9, and effectively open the holding circuit 72 of FIG. 8, which deenergizes the previously-mentioned holding relay coil 32 and allows the switch elements 34 and 34' to open whereby to de-energize and stop the motor 16.

However, it should be noted that the safety switch 76 is not in the starting circuit 70 of FIG. 8 and, therefore, closing of any of the starting switches 20, 22, 24, and 55 will start the motor 16 going again, although in the opposite direction, if the channel member 42 is free to move, the idler roller shaft 144 will again move the conductive strip 148 will not stay in contact with the terminal 146 close the holding circuit 72.

The above-described U-shaped contact strip 148 and oscillating contact or terminal 146 may be regarded as a differential sensing means Whose behavior is governed by both the drive roller shaft (through the oscillation of the terminal 146 by the crank pin on the drive roller shaft 138) and the idler roller (through friction drive from the sleeve 150 on the idler roller shaft 144) in such a Way as to sense any variation or difference in the ratio of the speed of the idler roller 82 to the speed of the drive roller 18 and to maintain a closed circuit condition of the hold- 13 ing circuit 72 of FIG. 8 with a normal ratio of idler roller speed to drive roller speed and to effector bring about an open circuit condition of said holding circuit 72 of FIG. 8 upon any variation or decrease in said ratio.

It should be understood that the figures and the specific description thereof set forth in this application are for the purpose of illustrating the present invention and are not to be construed as limiting the present invention to the precise and detailed specific structure shown in the figures and specifically described hereinbefore. Rather, the real invention is intended to include substantially equivalent constructions embodying the basic teachings and inventive concept of the present invention.

I claim:

1. Coupling apparatus for effeceively converting an upper motor-driven garage-door-top-inward-pulling device into a lower garage-door-bottom-outward-pushing-andlifting device, comprising longitudinal lever means and lever-mounting means adapted to be vertically mounted along and fixedly attached to an inside surface of a garage door of a type effectively horizontally pivotally mounted for movement between a lower vertical closed position and an upper substantially horizontal open position and provided with an upper controllably reversible motordriven garage-door-top-moving device for forcibly moving said garage door from said closed position into said open position, and vice versa, said lever-mounting means and said lever means being provided with horizontally directed pivot pin means effectively pivotally interconnecting same for relative rotation of said lever means with respect to said lever-mounting means around a horizontal axis, said lever means being provided with a pivotal attachment and connection means for connection to the forward end of a longitudinal driven connection member of an upper controllably reversible motor-driven garage-door-top-moving device for forcible movement rearwardly of said attachment and connection means whereby to forcibly move an upper portion of said lever means above the level of said horizontal pivot pin means rearwardly in a manner such as to cause a lower portion of said lever means to efiectively apply increasing outward and upward force to a garage door bottom for efiectively facilitating movement of the garage door from a closed position to an open position, and vice versa, upon reversed driving operation of the upper motor-driven garage-door-top-moving device.

2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said horizontally directed pivot means is positioned substantially half-way between top and bottom ends of said lever means and said lever-mounting means.

3. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said levermounting means comprises a vertical longitudinal effective channel means including a pair of substantially parallel laterally spaced rearwardly directed and vertically longitudinally extended flanges provided with fastener means for firmly fastening same to the inside surface of a garage door.

4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said levermounting means comprises a vertical longitudinal effective channel means including a pair of substantially parallel laterally spaced rearwardly directed and vertically longitudinally extended flanges provided with fastener means for firmly fastening same to the inside surface of a garage door, said lever means comprising a longitudinal member including a longitudinal web member portion positioned between said flanges defining said effective channel means of said lever-mounting means and further including a longitudinal cap member portion lying in a vertical plane substantially perpendicular to that of said longitudinal web member portion and normally positioned slightly rearwardly spaced from and substantially parallel to rear edges of said flanges defining said effective channel means of said lever-mounting means.

5. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said levermounting means comprises a vertical longitudinal effective channel means including a pair of substantially parallel laterally spaced rearwardly directed and vertically longitudinally extended flanges provided with fastener means for firmly fastening same to the inside surface of a garage door, said effective channel means comprising a pair of longitudinal extrusions of the type commonly referred to as angle irons having substantially L-shaped cross-sectional configurations including co-planar base portions and laterally spaced, rearwardly directed flange portions.

6. Apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said levermounting means comprises a vertical longitudinal effective channel means including a pair of substantially parallel laterally spaced rearwardly directed and vertically longitudinally extended flanges provided with fastener means for firmly fastening same to the inside surface of a garage door, said effective channel means comprising a pair of longitudinal extrusions of the type commonly referred to as angle irons having substantially L-shaped cross-sectional configurations including co-planar base portions and laterally spaced, rearwardly directed flange portions, said lever means comprising a longitudinal resilient member substantially T-shaped in cross-section including a longitudinal web member portion positioned between said flange portions and further including a longitudinal cap member portion lying in a vertical plane substantially perpendicular to that of said longitudinal web member portion and normally positioned slightly rearwardly spaced from and substantially parallel to rear edges of said flange portions.

7. Coupling apparatus for effectively converting an upper motor-driven garage-door-top-inWard-pulling device into a lower garage-door-bottom-outward-pushing-andlifting device, comprising: a garage door of a type adapted to be effectively horizontally pivotally mounted for movement between a lower vertical closed position and an upper substantially horizontal open position and provided with an upper controllably reversible motor-driven garage-door-top-moving device including a longitudinal driven connection member; and longitudinal lever means and lever-mounting means vertically and substantially centrally mounted along and fixedly attached to an inside surface of said garage door, said lever-mounting means and said lever means being provided with horizontally directed pivot pin means effectively pivotally interconnecting same for relative rotation of said lever means with respect to said lever-mounting means around a horizontal axis positioned substantially half-way between top and bottom ends of said lever means and said levermounting means, said lever means being provided with a pivotal attachment and connection means for connection to the forward end of said longitudinal driven connection member of said upper controllably reversible motordriven garage-doop-top-moving device for forcible movement rearwardly of said attachment and connection means whereby to forcibly move and resiliently deflect an upper portion of said lever means above the level of said horizontal pivot pin means rearwardly in a manner such as to cause a lower portion of said lever means to effectively apply increasing outward and upward force to a bottom portion of said garage door, by way of a lower portion of said lever-mounting fulcrum means attached to said garage door bottom portion, for effectively facilitating movement of the garage door from said closed position to said open position, and vice versa, upon reversed driving operation of the upper motor-driven garage-door-top-moving device.

8. Apparatus as defined in claim 7, wherein said levermounting means comprises a vertical longitudinal efiective channel means including a pair of substantially parallel laterally spaced rearwardly directed and vertically longitudinally extended flanges provided with threaded fastener means firmly fastening same to the inside surface of said garage door, said effective channel means comprising a pair of longitudinal extrusions of the type commonly referred to as angles irons having substantially v 3 3,348,336 r 15 k 16 L-shaped cross-sectional configurations including 60- References Cited planar base portions and laterally spaced, rearwardly di- UNITED STATES PATENTS rected flange portions, said lever means comprising alon- 197 gitudmal resilient member substantially T-shaped in crOss- 2054735 9/1936 A Sqmth r 49 section including a longitudinal web member portion po- 5 2,752,150 6/1956 Rchmond et 49-499 X sitioned between said flange portions and further including FOREIGN A EN a longitudinal cap member portion lying in a vertical plane substantially perpendicular to that of said longi- 1118416 3/1956 Francemdinal Web member and many PSitined DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY Primary Examiner, slightly rearwardly spaced from and substantially parallel l0 7 to rear edges of said flange portions. KARL BELL, ASSl-Yfani Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2054735 *Mar 16, 1936Sep 15, 1936John W ElsworthOverhead door
US2752150 *Nov 28, 1952Jun 26, 1956Richard D HolmesGarage door operator
FR1118416A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3913266 *Apr 14, 1972Oct 21, 1975Raymond P SmithGarage door extension structure
US4167833 *Jul 26, 1977Sep 18, 1979Metro-Dynamics, Inc.Overhead garage door opener
US5027554 *Oct 15, 1990Jul 2, 1991J&B Electronic Door Service, Inc.Oversized gate or door operating system
US6122862 *Apr 1, 1997Sep 26, 2000Hoermann; Thomas J.Door with a weight-balancing device with helical springs
US9021740Aug 30, 2012May 5, 2015The Chamberlain Group, Inc.Hinged rail for barrier operators
Classifications
U.S. Classification49/200
International ClassificationE05F15/16
Cooperative ClassificationE05Y2900/106, E05F15/163
European ClassificationE05F15/16B5