US 3467377 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 16, 1969 MILLER ET AL FOLDABLE BACKSTOP DOWN-LOCK MEANS 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed Aug. 1. 1966 Sept. 16, 1969 J. N. MILLER ET FOLDABLE BACKSTOP DOWN-LOCK MEANS Filed Aug. 1, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 m mew/v25.- J05Pll /V. Iii/LL52 M w, s 27 Z cram E W P #M v 3 United States Patent FOLDABLE BACKSTOP DOWN-LOCK MEANS Joseph N. Miller, Overland, and Arthur G. Harbaugh,
St. Louis, Mo., assignors to Jackes-Evaus Manufacturing Company, St. Louis, Mo., a corporation of Missouri Filed Aug. 1, 1966, Ser. No. 569,146
Int. Cl. A63b 67/00 US. Cl. 273-15 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A folding support for a backstop including vertical supports and angularly extending braces. Locking means including a cam acting against a camming surface on the braces secures the support and braces when the backstop is positioned for play and biases the support and braces to rigidify the connection. The locking means is weighted for automatic locking and biasing, with release effected automatically by pulling on the hoisting cable.
This invention relates to improvements in backstop folding mechanism and is especially related to foldable backstop down-lock means.
A problem heretofore prevalent in foldable backstop mechanisms for basketball goals has been the retention of an accurate extended position for the backstop so that the backboard will be in true vertical position and the goal in a true horizontal position. It has also been a problem of controlling vibration in the backboard and the backstop folding mechanism, particularly under the impact or repeated drumming of a basketball against the backboard.
The present invention is directed to foldable backstop down-lock means which will provide a secure and accurate retention of the backstop in its unfolded playing position.
The invention is also directed to the provision of a simple locking mechanism which will effectively retain the backstop in playing position and still permit the hoisting cable to, be withdrawn from the playing area above the goal.
The invention is also directed to the improvement in a foldable backstop lock-down means of simple locking elements which will respond to the actuation of the hoisting cable for first unlocking the backstop prior to moving it to folded position and which will automatically return to locked position upon the backstop attaining its unfolded or playing position.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will be set forth in the following specification of a preferred embodiment, having reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the backstop in its unfolded position with the down-lock means in its normal locking position;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary elevational view as seen along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken at line 3-3 in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary view similar to the view of FIG. 2, but showing certain portions thereof on a larger scale.
Referring to the disclosure in FIGS. 1 and 2, it can be seen that the backstop mechanism includes a pair of drop pipes which are connected by first hinge means 11 to complementary hinge means 12 carried by suitable clamps 13 that support the drop pipe 10 from overhead cross members 14. The drop pipes 10 are braced at the rear by a pair of pipe means 15 which are similarly hingedly connected to an over-head cross support 16 by means of 3,467,377 Patented Sept. 16, 1969 "ice clamp 17 having first hinge means 18 connected to complementary hinge means 19. The latter hinge means being secured to the upper ends of the brace pipes 15. Adjacent the lower ends of the parallel drop pipes 10 there is suitably supported a backboard 20 which is mounted by suitable brackets 21 to clamps 22 that engage the lower end of the drop pipes in the manner shown. The backboard 20 carries a goal structure 23.
In order to permit folding of the backstop mechanism each of the drop pipes 10 is provided with a slide shaft 24 having its upper end supported by a bracket 25 secured to the drop pipe 10 by a clamp 26. The lower end of the slide shaft 24 is similarly supported by a bracket 27 secured to the adjacent pipe 10 by a clamp 28. The slide shafts 24, as shown in FIG. 2, are each provided with a slide fitting or sleeve 29 which, in turn, is provided with hinge arm 30 that provides the hinge point for the lower end of one of the brace pipes 15. Thus, as the drop pipes 10 are folded forwardly, or to the left (as seen in FIG. 1), the slide fittings or sleeves 29 slide upwardly on the slide rods 24 from a position adjacent the brackets 27 toward a position adjacent the upper brackets 25. Adjustment of the vertical position of the drop pipe 10 is obtained by means of an adjust nut 31 threadedly connected to the slide fitting 29, and positioned to abut the upper flat surface of the bracket 27. Thus, as the backboard 20 reaches its truly vertical position each adjust nut 31 should engage the upper surface of its adjacent bracket 27. There is easily provided in this manner individual adjustment of the drop pipes 10 so that positive simultaneous engagement can be obtained between the nuts 31 and the brackets 27 for assuring vertical positioning of the backboard 20.
The foldable backstop mechanism may be moved by a suitable hoisting arrangement in which there is a manual winch 32 provided with a hand crank 33 for operating a reel (not shown) within the casing for the winch 32. The reel is connected to a cable 34 which passes upwardly along an adjacent wall of the playing arena to an overhead pulley 35 where it is reeved over the pulley and to a second pulley 36 which is supported on a ceiling supported cross member 37 by a suitable clamp 38. The cable 34 runs from the last mentioned pulley 36 to an actuator element 39 where it is anchored through an opening or eye 40. The element 39 is pivotally mounted on element 39a supported in a bracket 41 which is mounted by a suitable clamp 42 to a horizontal brace 43 interconnecting the drop pipes 10 at a point just above and behind the backboard 20. When the backstop is in its playing position the cable 34 is played out from the winch 32 so that a slack take-up spring 44 can retract the cable into a pulled up position away from the area above the backboard 20. The retraction action of the spring 44 on the cable 34 is shown in the full line view in FIG. 1, while the broken line position of cable 34 shows it in tension. It is, of course, understood that a motor driven winch may be substituted for the hand cranked winch 32 without changing the operation of the mechanism.
In FIGS. 1, 3 and 4 it can be seen that the latch means for the backstop has the actuator element 39 connected to one end of a link 46 such that the link 46 will be responsive to the tensioning or pull of the cable 34. The lower en of the link 46 is pivotally connected to a clevis 47 which is secured midway of or at the balance point between the opposite ends of a shaft 48. Each opposite end of the shaft 48 is provided with another link or arm 49 which extends to the same side of the shaft 48 at approximately to the direction of extension of the arm 47. The arms 49 together support the shaft 48 by being welded or otherwise secured to cooperating locking cam elements 50. Each cam element 50 has one end connected by pivoted means 51 to an adjacent bracket 52, while the opposite end is formed with a cam surface 53 (FIG. 3) that engages a lug 54 secured to an adjacent part of the bracket that is attached to the slide fittting 29. Each bracket 52 consists of an angle iron having two portions 55 secured to upper and lower clamps 56 and 57 respec tively. The latch means is seen to be mounted eccentrically relative to the pivot means 51 and this establishes the weighted elfect which normally causes the cam elements 50 to seek an abutted engagement on the lugs 54.
The foregoing description relates to a preferred embodiment of the present invention. It can be appreciated from what has been disclosed that with the backstop in its playing position, a pull on the cable 34 will move the actuator element 39 from its at rest position shown in full line (FIG. 3) to its actuated position (broken line) whereby the link 46 will be caused to rise and swing the shaft 48 and the attached arms 47 and 49 about the pivot elements 51 so that the ends 53 of the locking cams will be withdrawn from the lugs 54. When this occurs the slide fittings 29 will then be free to move upwardly on the slide shafts 24, thereby conditioning the backstop mechanism for folding into itsretracted position. It can also be appreciated that when a load is placed on the cable 34 one of the first components to respond will be the take-up spring 44, and this is easily overcome because of its loading versus elongation characteristics.
When reversing the operation to lower the backstop to its playing position it can be appreciated that as the drop pipes 10 reach the vertical position the actuator element 39 will be forced by the combined weight of the link 46, cross shaft 48 and arms 47 and 49 to pivot downwardly so that the eye is no longer above the point of pivot 39a of the actuator element 39, as it would be with tension on the cable 34. It is preferred that the weight of the parts 46, 47, 48 and 49 should be greater than the pull exerted by spring 44 even when extended by reason of the straightening out of the cable 34. A safety spring 58 is provided at each of the arms 49 so as to maintain a small force on the locking means to force the cam elements in locked position. Normally the safety spring 58 would not be required for the reasons pointed out above.
This invention is intended to cover all changes and modifications of the examples of the invention herein chosen for purposes of the disclosure, which do not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a backstop supporting arrangement wherein a backstop is supported by generally vertically disposed supporting means, said supporting means having brace means extending angularly from said supporting means to provide resistance to lateral thrust imposed on said backstop, means joining said brace means to said supporting means in a manner to permit sliding relative thereto during movement of said backstop to an out of play position, the improvement comprising locking means to secure said brace means to said supporting means when said backstop is in a playing position, said locking means including means to bias said means joining said brace means to said supporting means thereby to lock and rigidify said back-.
stop automatically on reaching a playing position.
2. The improvement in backstop arrangements as de-- fined in claim 1 wherein said means to join said brace means to said supporting means comprises at least one slide rod rigidly joined in spaced and generally parallel.
relation to said support means, and sleeve means on said brace means slidable on said slide rod during movement of said backstop to a nonplaying position. 1
3. The improvement in backstop arrangements as defined in claim 1 wherein said locking means includes a locking lever pivotally mounted on said support means, means biasing said locking lever in a direction to engage a part of said brace means to urge it away from said support means, and hoisting means attachable to said locking means and operable to urge said locking lever in a direction opposite that of said means biasing said locking lever thereby to cause release of said locking lever on commencement of hoisting by said hoisting means.
4. A foldable support arrangement for backstops comprising in combination a backstop, a pair of generally vertically disposed supports adapted for supporting said backstop in playing and nonplaying positions, said backstop being in a vertical plane over a playing area when in said playing position, a brace extending angularly from each of said supports, means joining each of said braces to an associated one of said supports so as to permit relative movement therebetween, locking means to secure each of said braces and the associated support in fixed angular relation, said locking means including means biasing said brace and associated support in a direction to rigidify the same when the backstop is positioned for play.
5. The combination defined in claim 4 wherein said means joining said brace to said support includes a slide rod mounted in spaced parallel relation to said support and sleeve means carried on said brace slidably received on said slide rod to permit folding of said support and brace to move said backstop to a nonplaying position.
' 6. The combination of claim 5 wherein said biasing means forming a part of said locking means includes a cam surface on a locking lever, said cam surface acting against a cooperating cam surface carried on said brace means to urge said support and brace means in a direction to urge said sleeve tightly against said slide rod for rigidifying.
7. The combination defined in claim 4 including hoisting means to hoist said backstop to a nonplaying position, said hoisting means acting to automatically release said biasing means before hoisting of said backstop commences.
8. The combination defined in claim 4 wherein said locking means includes a locking lever pivotally mounted on each of said support means, said locking lever having a cam surface thereon engageable with a cooperating cam surface carried on said brace means and means urging said cam surfaces into tight engagement to bias said brace and associated support in a direction to rigidify the same when said backstop is in a playing position.
9. The combination as defined in claim 8 wherein said support arrangement includes hoisting means, said hoisting means being joined to said locking lever to rotate it against the force of said means urging said cam surfaces into engagement whereby said locking lever will be released from said biasing position on commencement of hoisting.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,513,402 10/1924 LaBelle et al 2731.5 1,919,494- 7/1933 Albach 273-15 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner P. E. SHAPIRO, Assistant Examiner