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Publication numberUS3429074 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 25, 1969
Filing dateAug 28, 1967
Priority dateAug 28, 1967
Publication numberUS 3429074 A, US 3429074A, US-A-3429074, US3429074 A, US3429074A
InventorsHerbert D Horton
Original AssigneeHerbert D Horton
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic gate device
US 3429074 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 25, 1969 H. 0. HORTON AUTOMATIC GATE DEVICE Filed Aug. 28, 1967 My o mm V%. m

D R E m EY HB 2 5 lk 1 4 5 MARCUS L. BATES United States Patent 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An automatically opening gate which is suspended from a gate post and movable from the closed to the open position in the usual manner. The gate post provides a pressure source for the gate actuating system by charging the post with Dry Ice or solid carbon dioxide. The gate actuating system is energized in response to a vehicle rolling over a flexible tube. The flexible tube is connected to a pressure responsive piston which actuates a three-way valve to thereby enable the carbon dioxide gas pressure to move the piston of a hydraulic cylinder, wherein the piston of the cylinder moves a lost motion assembly which in turn both unlatches and opens the gate. A time delay is built into the system to provide ample time for a vehicle, along with a trailer, to pass through the gate.

Background of the invention Ordinary gates, while they have not appreciably changed over the years, have become troublesome to modern ranchers for the reason that the rancher no longer rides a horse, as in the past, but instead drives a motor vehicle. Therefore, the old expedient of leaning over from the saddle and manipulating a gate is generally restricted to activities about a dude ranch, or the like. Instead, the modern rancher, in the interest of saving time, manages his ranch from an auto, and accordingly, he must alight from his vehicle in order to open a gate, and again to close the gate after passing therethrough.

Automatic gates are known in the prior art which are manipulated by the close proximity of a vehicle. These gates include various ingenious arrangements of parts which cooperate together in a manner to provide this function, and accordingly are complex and expensive to build.

Summary The present invention is related to gate mechanisms, and particularly to gates which are opened and closed in response to a signal provided by a vehicle as it approaches the gate. The signal causes a gate actuating system to open the gate for a sufiicient length of time to permit the vehicle to pass therethrough. After a predetermined interval of time, the gate is automatically returned to the closed position. The gate actuating system includes a source of gas pressure which is provided by charging the hollow gate post with solid carbon dioxide. The gate actuating system includes a valve system connected to a hydraulic power cylinder and to the source of gas pressure. The system is activated in response to receiving the before mentioned signal. A lost motion assembly is interposed between the terminal end of the piston of the power cylinder and to the gate to thereby simultaneously unlatch and commence opening the gate. After a predetermined interval of time, which allows the vehicle to pass through the gate, the pressure is automatically removed from the cylinder, whereupon the gate is returned to the closed position and automatically latched by the action of the lost motion assembly.

It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide a gate which is moved to the opened and closed position by utilizing gas pressure.

3,429,074 Patented Feb. 25, 1969 Another purpose of the present invention is the provision of a gate having associated therewith a lost motion assembly which simultaneously unlatches and begins to open the gate, and after reaching the opened position, thereafter closes and latches the gate.

A still further object of the present invention is the provision of a gate having associated therewith a gate actuating system which moves the gate from the closed to the open position, and vice versa, in response to a signal received from a vehicle.

A still further object of the present invention is the provision of a gate which is suitably suspended from a gate post, and wherein the gate post acts as a reservoir for containing carbon dioxide gas pressure, which is utilized by a gate actuating system as a source of power. Dry Ice is used as the source of carbon dioxide (CO gas.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of a gate which is automatically unlatched and opened, and, after a predetermined interval of time, is returned to the closed and latched position in response to a signal provided by the close proximity of a vehicle.

A still further object of the present invention is the provision of an automatically actuated gate device which is opened and closed in response to a signal provided by the close proximity of the person or vehicle desiring to pass through the gate.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a gate which utilizes Dry Ice as a source of carbon dioxide gas, wherein the gate post acts as the reservoir for containing the gas under pressure, to thereby enable the user of the gate to readily recharge the reservoir with a commercially available product as the source of the carbon dioxide gas.

Another object of the present invention is toprovide an automatically actuated gate system which eliminates the necessity of a person alighting from his vehicle in order to manipulate the gate.

These and other objects of the present invention are attained by the provision of a gate which is hinged to a gate post and latched to another gate post, and provided with a gate actuating means in the form of a hydraulic cylinder which is powered by a source of carbon dioxide gas contained within the gate post. Other objects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art after studying the remainder of the present disclosure.

Brief description of the drawings FIGURE 1 is a schematic elevational view showing one embodiment of the invention and the relative position of the mechanism for actuating the gate.

FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of the apparatus seen in FIGURE 1, with'some parts being diagrammatically illustrated in order to better show the details of the invention.

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view of part of the device seen in FIGURES 1 and 2.

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged fragmentary side view of part of the device seen in FIGURES '1, 2, and 3.

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary front elevation of part of the device seen in FIGURES .1 through 4.

Description of the preferred embodiment Looking now .to the details of FLIGURES 1 and 2, in conjunction with the remaining figures, wherein there is illustrated a swinging gate 10 arranged to pivot about hinges 12 as it swings in a horizontal plane from the illustrated closed position to an opened position. A support post 14 maintains the gate suit-ably suspended the-refirom. A latch 16 cooperates with the opposite or swinging end of the gate, and latches the gate to latch post 18. Each post 3 is cemented into the ground by concrete in the illustrated manner of numerals 20 and 22.

-A gate actuating system, generally illustrated by the arrow at numeral 24, is suitably mounted upon the support post, with part of the system being atached to the hinged end of the gate. The system includes a power cylinder 26 having one end thereof pivotally attached to a support framework 28, with the framework depending from the support post to form an angle of approximately forty-five degrees between the support framework and the closed gate. Piston 30 telescopingly depends from the power cylinder in the usual manner, and is attached to a plate 32 by means of a piston pin 34. The plate comprises part of a lost motion assembly and includes a pivot pin 36 which pi-votally mounts the plate to the top rail of the gate. As seen in FIGURE 3, the cylinder pivot .pin 38 is journaled to the support framework by means of the depending cars 40 which include a multiplicity of apertures 42 therein. The pin 34 associated with the lost motion assembly extends above the terminal end of the piston rod and cooperates with the pin 38 to provide spaced apart support means between which a return spring 44 is suit ably suspended under tension.

As seen in FIGURE 4, plate 32 has a vertical edge portion which is spaced apart from the upper rail of the gate an amount to provide a space 50 therebetween, to thereby allow limited pivotal motion about pivot pin 36, with edge portions 52 and 54 abutting a vertical side portion of the top rail of the gate at each extremity of motion as the plate pivots about pin 36. IT his limited rotational motion is hereinafiter called lost motion.

A latch push rod 56, which may be in the form of a nylon string, a cable, or a metallic tube, is suitably att-ached to 21 depending :apentured arm 58, with the remaining end being attached to a latch sliding rod which engages a catch associated with the latch post =1=8.*A latch guide 62 slid-ably receives the before mentioned latch sliding rod with the rod being spring biased towards the latch post. Since the details of latches are generally known to those skilled in the art, and since the portion of the latch at numeral 16 can take on several different forms while still remaining within the comprehension of this invention, the minute details thereof are not considered necessary for a full understanding of the operation thereof. The arrow at numeral 64 generally illustrates the direction in which the closed gate is opened.

Looking now again to FIGURES 1 and 2, there is seen located above ground level and with-in the support post 14, a removable closure means -70, in the form of a threaded plug. The plug may be locked to the post, but is preferably drilled and safetied to the post with a length of twisted wire to discourage unwarranted removal thereof. The plug must be located with respect to the post whereby it is impossible for one to over-fill the carbon dioxide reservoir with Dry Ice when it become-s necessary to recharge the device. The upper ex-tremity of the post is provided wit-h outlet 72 in the form of a pipe T to thereby provide mount means for pressure gage 74 and pressure regulator 76. A three-way valve arrangement 78 provides a controlled flow path from the reservoir to conduit 80. The last named conduit is connected to a liquid volume tank 82. The lower extremity of the volume tank is provided with a liquid outlet 84 which flow connects the volume tank to the power cylinder. A pilot actuator 86, responsive to fluid pressure within conduit 88, includes 9. depending piston portion 92 in the form of a spring loaded plunger. The plunger cooperates with the before mentioned three-way valve in a manner which will be described in greater detail later on. Pressure increase within the conduit 88, such as may be cause-d by a vehicle wheel being positioned upon the flexible cylinder 90, causes the piston within the pilot actuator to move the three-way valve from a stand-by to an actuated position. The three-way valve is further provided with an atmospheric bleed '94, which communicat s w th t e con uit 80 when in the standby postiion. Numeral 95 illustrates the general area within which a vehicle may travel.

Operation In operation, and assuming a vehicle to be traveling along the ground level 95 of FIGURE 2, as the vehicle approaches the gate 10, the right front wheel thereof passes over the flexible fluid filled cylinder 90, thereby raising the pressure within conduit 88. This action causes a piston contained within the pilot valve 86 to extend the plunger 92 to thereby move the valve 78 from the standby position to the opera-ting position whereby gas pressure is permitted to flow from pressure regulator 76, through the valve and into flow line 80. This action increases the pressure above the liquid contained within the liquid reservoir 82, whereupon the liquid is forced through liquid line 84 and into the power cylinder 26, thereby extending the piston 30 in an outward direction with a force which is proportioned to the pressure in crease. This action causes the plate 32 of the lost-motion assembly to rotate about the pivot pin 36 in a clockwise direct-ion a limited amount until the edge portion 54 contacts the upper vertical framework of gate 10. Rotation of the plate member moves the depending apertured arm 58 which in turn pulls the latch cable 56 to the left, thereby withdrawing the latch sliding rod vfrom the latch post 18. The gate is now unlatched, and further continued movement of the piston 30 pivots the gate about hinges 12 in the direction of the arrow 64 until the gate is fully opened. The vehicle is now tree to pass through the gate, leaving the flexible cylinder 90. Reduction of pressure within flexible conduit 88 occasioned by the absence of the vehicle thereon, allows a spring (not shown) within the pilot valve 86 to return the plunger 92 to the standby position. This action moves the three-way valve 78 to the standby position whereupon flow ceases to occur from pressure regulator 76 into conduit 80, while at the same time, flow is permitted from conduit and to the atmosphere by means of the atmospheric bleed orifice 94. This orifi e may be in the form of an adjustable needle valve in order to control the time delay. As the pressure within conduit 80 bleeds down, spring 44 forces the piston pin 34 toward the cylinder pivot pin 38. This action causes the piston rod 30 to telescope back into the power cylinder 26, thereby closing the gate. This initial action of the piston being retracted also causes the plate 32 to rotate about pivot pin 36 in a counterclockwise direction, whereupon the free, or swinging end, of the gate returns to the latch post 1'8, thereby enabling the latch sliding rod to return to the position of FIGURE 2.

The three-way valve and the pilot actuator are identified as M.J.V. 3, and are available from Clippard Instrument Co., Cincinnati, Ohio. As stated above, this valve has a valve element therein which connects one flow connection thereof to either of two remaining flow passageways. The valve element is upset, or moved, by the action of the pilot actuator, which in turn is actuated by fluid pressure.

Since the term three-Way valve otters disagreement among technical people, this term is intended to include a valve 78 having a first flow path when in the standby position (80 connected to atmospheric bleed 94), and a second flow path when in the actuated position (76 connected to 80). The term pilot actuator is intended to include any pressure responsive device which moves the valve element from the stated standby position to the actuated position. The valve and actuator may be housed Within one case or enclosure, or may be two separate elements so long as they attain the above purpose.

By utilizing the liquid reservoir 82 along with the gate actuating system, the volume of gas required to actuate the gate is substantially reduced.

It should be understood that the specific arrangement of the components of the gate actuating system, as generally illustrated by the arrow at nu l may be varied with respect to each other, and that the arrangement of FIGURE 1 is for purposes of illustration only. It should further be understood that the arrangement of the gate actuating system as schematically illustrated by FIGURE 2 is for purpose of discussion only, and that a second flexible cylinder along with the flexible conduit is arranged on the opposite side of the gate of FIGURE 2 in a manner to permit vehicles approaching the gate from either direction to automatically open the gate as the wheel rolls over the flexible cylinder.

The hollow support post 14 is charged with Dry Ice (which is solid carbon dioxide) through the aperture covered by the plug 70. A gate post four inches in inside diameter and eight feet long will contain a pressure of 3300 p.s.i.a. at 160 F. and 1500 p.s.i.*a. at 100 F. when charged with thirty pounds of solid carbon dioxide. Therefore the plug must be tightly replaced, and either locked or wired into position to either render it tampenproof or so as to at least discourage removal thereof. In actual practice, a supply of carbon dioxide of this magnitude will actuate the gate device over two thousand cycles; which normally is a two year supply of gas pressure. The plug 70 is preferably arranged with respect to the gate post in a manner which will prevent anyone inadvertently placing excessive solid carbon dioxide therewithin.

The post 14 containing carbon dioxide should be painted a bright color, such as attained by using aluminum paint or white paint, in order to reflect sunlight and thereby avoid heat build-up from solar energy. The buried portion of the post at 22, FIGURE 1, acts as a heat sink. Therefore, by taking advantage of these expedients, the internal temperature of the post can be maintained near ambient.

It is further considered within the comprehension of this invention to provide a .valve at atmospheric bleed 94 so as to permit any reasonable predetermined time delay to occur after the vehicle has left the flexible cylinder 90 and the closure of the gate. The pressure regulator 76 may be set for 55 p.s.i.g. for best results. The pressure gauge 74 can be consulted to determine the amount of carbon dioxide left in the hollow post.

A one-way check valve having a return bleed passageway may additionally be incorporated in series relationship with conduit 88 to enable a vehicle to actuate the pilot valve 86 by merely traveling across the flexible cylinder 90. Otherwise, the response rate of the actuating device requires a momentary delay as the wheel of a vehicle crosses the cylinder. Such a check valve allows rapid flow towards the pilot valve, and a restricted or slow flow towards the cylinder.

Another embodiment of the present invention includes an auxiliary power source wherein a wind driven propeller means is mounted above the hinge post. The propeller drives an air pump means through a gear train. The pump means provides a continual supply of actuating pressure which is dependent only upon the wind. Since the gate actuating device requires a small amount of gas over an extended period of time, a lull wherein the pump may remain inactive for days at a time, would not adversely affect the mechanism. Alternatively, other energy storage means, such as a spring motor, or potential energy of a lifted weight, can be utilized by the propeller for the conversion of wind power into gate actuating stored power.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention.

I claim:

1. In an automatically Opening gate which i suitably suspended between gate posts in a manner to be actuated from a closed to an opened position by a gate actuating system, the improvement comprising:

means providing a signal; v

a source of pressure connected to said gate actuating system for opening the gate, said source of pressure including carbon dioxide gas;

means responsive to said signal for causing said gate actuating system to move the gate to the open position; and

means connected to said gate actuating system for closing said gate a predetermined time after said gate has opened.

2. The improvement of claim 1 wherein;

said gate actuating system includes a power cylinder having a piston thereof adapted to be moved by said source of pressure;

a lost motion assembly connected between said piston and the gate;

a gate latch means attached to be actuated by said lost motion assembly and movable from a latched to an unlatched position; whereby extension of said piston of said power cylinder causes said lost motion assembly to move the latch to the unlatched position while the gate simultaneously begins to open, and retraction of said piston of said power cylinder causes said lost motion assembly to return the latch to the latched position.

3. The improvement of claim 1 wherein one said gate post is fabricated into a reservoir for containing said carbon dioxide gas;

said reservoir including an inlet for charging said reservoir with Dry Ice, and an outlet :for supplying said gate actuating system with said source of pressure, wherein said Dry Ice changes into the gaseous form after it has been placed into the reservoir.

4. The improvement of claim 1 wherein said gate actuating system includes a pressure regulator, a three-way valve, and a power cylinder;

said means providing a signal including a flexible cylinder;

said means responsive to said signal including a pilot valve having a plunger connected thereto and to said three-way valve, said plunger being moved in response to a pressure increased in said cylinder;

said three-way valve having a standby position and an actuated position wherein fluid flow occurs from said source, through said valve, and to said power cylinder when the three-way valve is moved by said plunger to the actuated position to thereby cause the gate to open; and fluid flow occurs from said power cylinder, through said valve, to the atmosphere when the valve is returned to the standby position to thereby reduce the pressure in said power cylinder and cause the gate to close.

'5. The improvement of claim 1 wherein said source of pressure includes compressed canbon dioxide;

one said gate post defines a chamber having a closure means associated therewith which is located with respect to the remainder of the chamber whereby Dry Ice charged through said closure means and into said chamber will occupy less than fifty pounds per cubic foot.

6. The improvement of claim 1 wherein said gate actuating system includes a power cylinder, 21 lost motion assembly, and a latch means;

said power cylinder including a piston having the free depending end thereof connected to said lost motion assembly;

said lost motion assembly including a plate pivotally mounted to the gate and further including means for limiting rotational motion of said plate;

said latch means connected to said plate; whereby movement of said cylinder piston moves said plate a limited distance to provide lost motion and to commence opening the gate, while the movement providing the lost motion simultaneously actuates said latch to the unlatched position.

7. The improvement of claim 1 wherein said gate post is fabricated into a reservoir for containing said carbon dioxide gas;

said reservoir including an inlet for charging said resenvoir with Dry Ice, and an outlet for supplying said gate actuating system with said source of pressure;

said gate actuating system includes a power cylinder having a piston thereof adapted to be moved by said source of pressure;

a lost motion assembly connected between said piston and said gate;

a gate latch means attached to said lost motion assembly and movable from a latched to an unlatched position; whereby extension of said piston of said power cylinder causes said lost motion assembly to move the latch to the unlatched position; and

retraction of said piston of said power cylinder causes said 10st motion assembly to return the latch to the latched position.

8. The improvement of claim 1 wherein said source of pressure includes compressed carbon dioxide;

one said gate post defines a chamber having a closure means associated therewith which is located with respect to the remainder of the chamber whereby Dry Ice charged through said closure means and into said chamber Will occupy less than fifty pounds per cubic foot;

said gate actuating system includes a power cylinder,

a lost motion assembly, and a latch means;

said power cylinder including a piston having the free depending end thereof connected to said lost motion assembly;

said lost motion assembly including a plate pivotally mounted to the gate and further including means for limiting rotational motion of said plate;

said latch means connected to said plate; whereby movement of said cylinder piston moves said plate a limited distance to provide lost motion and to commence opening the gate, While the movement providing the lost motion simultaneously actuates said latch to the unlatchcd position.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,593,379 4/1952 Wueste 49-30 X 2,861,366 11/1958 Denison 49265 X 3,044,764 7/1962 Bonner 49-30 DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.

J. KARL BELL, Assistant Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2593379 *Nov 14, 1949Apr 15, 1952Wueste Gus DGate operator
US2861366 *Dec 21, 1956Nov 25, 1958Denison Shell DVehicle actuated gate
US3044764 *Apr 15, 1960Jul 17, 1962Renzo V BonnerFluid pressure actuator
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3497996 *Nov 25, 1968Mar 3, 1970Stevens Elbert MAdjustable,self-closing,bump gate
US3722140 *Feb 17, 1971Mar 27, 1973J NewtonAutomatic gate
US4403449 *Aug 9, 1982Sep 13, 1983Richmond Moscow KGate-opening and closing apparatus and method
US5282336 *Oct 19, 1992Feb 1, 1994Walt TuckerVehicle actuated fence gate
US7114290 *Mar 8, 2004Oct 3, 2006Innovative Engineering Solutions LimitedVehicle actuated gate opening/closing system
US7367161Apr 30, 2004May 6, 2008Michael Wayne JonesGate opening and closing apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification49/286, 49/265, 49/30
International ClassificationE06B11/02, E05F15/04
Cooperative ClassificationE06B11/02, E05F15/04, E05Y2900/40
European ClassificationE05F15/04, E06B11/02