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Publication numberUS3481198 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 2, 1969
Filing dateJul 15, 1964
Priority dateJul 15, 1964
Also published asDE1478074A1, DE1478074B2, DE1478074C3
Publication numberUS 3481198 A, US 3481198A, US-A-3481198, US3481198 A, US3481198A
InventorsJoseph S Williams
Original AssigneeJoseph S Williams
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
A hydraulic responsive reel type exercising device
US 3481198 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1969 I J. s. WILLIAMS 3,



Filed July 15,. 1964 INVENTOR.


J 5 E P H S W l LL I AM 5 A T TORN E Y S Dec. 2, 1969 J. s. WILLIAMS 3,481,198





HYDRAULIC RESPONSIVE REEL TYPE EXERCISTNG DEVICE Filed July 15, 1964 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 l \\\\\\\\\\\\\l\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\YY INVENTOR JO 5 E PH 5 WILLIAMS ATTORNEYS Dec. 2, 1969 J 5, w|| s 3,481,198

HYDRAULIC RESPONSIVE REEL TYPE EXERCTSING DEVICE Filed July 15, 1964 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 FIG 6 FIG 7 INVENTORL JOSEPH S. WILLIAMS I I BY A I, .Z ffl ll2 In I ATTORNEYS LII United States Patent 3,481,198 A HYDRAULIC RESPONSIVE REEL TYPE EXERCISING DEVICE Joseph S. Williams, 116 Hillside Ave., Marietta, Ga. 30060 Filed July 15, 1964, Ser. No. 384,282 Int. Cl. G011 /06; B65h 75/48 US. Cl. 73379 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to exercising devices and is particularly concerned with tension resisting means for the development of back, shoulder, arm and leg muscles in the manner of such exercises as weight lifting or body building exercises.

It is among the primary objects of the present invention to provide a rugged, effective and eflicient exercising device of the character set forth providing means for indicating the achievement of variable goals or standards of physical ability. In one form of the invention as herein set forth the indicator is by way of a scale Within the operators range of vision. In another form of the invention yieldable hydraulic means provides restraint of mo- .tion until a predetermined tension has been achieved. In

a further form of the invention hydraulic means provides a uniform predetermined restraint throughout an entire range of motion.

More specifically, it is among the important objects achieved by each of the three forms of the invention above referred to, to provide means whereby in a single instrument the location of the manual bar with respect to the operator may be varied to provide multiple horizontal areas for a manual exercise bar to accommodate varying types of exercise. A further object of the invention is to provide readily operable control means conveniently arranged within reach of the operator, while exercising, for the release of restraint against the bar and adjustment of the effective length of flexible restraining straps associated with the bar.

It is also an object of the invention to provide an exercise device utilizing flexible straps, in combination with a manual bar slidable with respect to the straps to insure a uniform distribution of tension applied to the manual bar by the operator. Another important object is to provide a simple and compact exercising structure the straps of which may be retracted and the manual bar secured for storage and to provide convenient portability. Numerous other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from a consideration of the following specification taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the presently preferred form of the invention in operation;

FIG. 2 is a vertical section taken on the line 22 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a vertical section taken on a plane normal to the plane of the section of FIG. 2 as indicated by the line 3--3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a horizontal section taken along lines 44 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is aview similar to FIG. 4, illustrating the hydraulic arrangement for modifications of the device;


3,481,198 Patented Dec. 2, 1969 ice FIG. 6 is a detailed fragmentary section illustrating the declutching mechanism for the hydraulic modifications;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of a constant resistance valve for one form of the hydraulic modification;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of a tension responsive valve for the other hydraulic modification; and

FIG. 9 is a sectional view of the manual bar illustrating a roller for the strap.

Referring now more particularly to FIG. 1 of the drawings, it will be seen that the presently preferred form of the invention includes a generally rectangular base housing 10 including a fixed top 11, constituting an operator supporting platform and provided with a pivotally mounted carrying handle 12. From storage space within the housing, right and left hand straps and 16 respectively are extended, as seen in FIG. 1, to form under tension an A- shaped configuration. The rear flights of the straps, when extended, extend upwardly from the rear of the housing 10, at 17 and 18 respectively, through the return bights 19 and 20, thence downwardly to reenter the base at 21 and 22 respectively. Each strap 15 and 16 is a separate entity, the ends of each passing into the rear of the housing is aflixed to its own take up and release reel hereinafter discussed. At the bights 19 and of the A-forming exterior portions of the straps 15 and 16 a horizontal manual bar 24 extends between the straps slidably engaging the bights by retainers 25 beyond which the ends of the bar 24 extend. Beneath the straps 15 and 16 and retainers 25, the bar 24 mounts antifriction rollers 27. In this manner, the straps are permitted to pass freely through the retainers, thus the height of the bar may be readily adjusted by controlling the length of the straps extending from the housing. In the operation of the device, freedom of motion of the straps through the retainers 25 insures a uniform distribution of the tension applied by the manual bar 24. Further, the loose engagement of the straps with the manual bar permits substantially full retraction of the straps within the housing 10 while the bar is received within the bar stirrups 26 on the housing top 11. In such position of the bar, the straps are tensioned across the top of the housing retaining the bar in the stirrups to provide a compact readily stored unit, or one easily transported by the pivoted handle 12.

As shown in FIG. 2, at the rear of the housing 10- the rear flight of the strap 16 enters at 18 to pass over a strap retention boss 30 which is opposed by an eccentric 31 on the opposite side of the strap 16. The eccentric 31 is formed on the pivot shaft 32 of a retention link 33. From between the boss 30 and eccentric 31, the strap 16 extends in a generally vertical downward direction over a fixed idler 34, and thence upwardly and over a retention link idler 35 mounted intermediate the ends of the retention link 33. From the idler 35, the strap 16 extends inwardly as at 36 to be secured to its reel 45. The downward end of the link 33 is normally urged inwardly toward clockwise rotation of the link by spring 37 affixed to an car 38 extending from a block 39 mounted upon the upper inner surface of the rear portion of the bottom of the housing. The link 33 forms one arm of a bell crank, the other arm 40 of which extends inwardly into the housing to be engaged by a foot controlled release plunger 41.

This arrangement is such that with upward tension applied to the rear flight of strap 16 such tension will, by engagement of strap 16 with fixed idler 34, tend to reinforce the tension on the link 33 applied by the spring 37, thus forcing the eccentric 31 toward the boss 30 to secure the strap 16 against any further withdrawal from the housing. In this relationship it may be noted that by virtue of the initial pressure exerted by spring 37, frictional contact of strap 16 against eccentric 31 will act automatically to increase retention pressure as the strap tension increases. However, when the release plunger 41 is depressed its inner end will engage the arm 40 of the bell crank to rock the lever in a counterclockwise direction against the tension of the spring 37, and the tension applied by the strap in traversing the eccentric 31, thus withdrawing the eccentric 31 from the strap to permit the strap to be further withdrawn, or rewound upon its reel 45 within the housing in the manner hereinafter set forth.

With respect to the detailed retention and release structure for strap 16, herein referred to as within the housing at the left rear side, it will be understood that the same mechanism is duplicated at 17 and the action with respect to the strap as to retention and withdrawal is the same. It will be noted from FIG. 4 that the bell crank assembly, of FIG. 2 discussed in detail above, is mounted on a pivot shaft 32 whereby the duplicate assembly at 17 may be actuated by and with the release plunger 41; thus, both eccentrics will operate in unison.

From the restraining and releasing assembly at 18, shown in FIG. 2, the inward extension of strap 16 at 36 passes to its storage, rewind and delivery reel 45 upon which the terminal end of the strap 16 is wound and to which it is secured whereby the reel 45 will be rotated as the strap is unwound therefrom. Similarly (FIGS. 3 and 4), the inwardly extending portion 46 of the strap 15 is wound upon a parallel companion reel 47 to which its end is attached. The reels 45 and 47 are mounted on and are rotatable with central shafts 48. Rotatable with shaft 48 of reel 45 is a pinion 49, while a like pinion 50 is carried on reel shaft 48 of reel 47 for rotation by and with the reel 47. Between the pinions 49 and 50 of the reels 45 and 47 respectively there is provided a large interconnecting intermediate pinion 51 meshing with the pinion 49 of the reel 45. A smaller reversing pinion 52 meshes with pinion 50 of reel 47 and with the large pinion 51; thus, the reels 45 and 47 are interconnected by the train of pinions whereby rotation of one reel under tension, applied thereto by its strap, will induce rotation of the other reel. It will be noted that since the pinions 49 and 50 are of equal size, and since the reversing pinion 52 is also equal in size to the pinions 49 and 50, the single large connecting intermediate pinion 51 between the gears 49 and 52 will provide equal and opposite rotation on the reels.

For insuring a rewind of the reels to retract the straps after use, but permitting extension of the straps 15 and 16, under tension when eccentric 31 is released, the large intermediate pinion 51 is provided with a coil spring 53 of which one end 54 is attached to a hub 55 of a pinion shaft 56 rotatable with pinion 51 in which the spring is mounted while the opposite end is secured to a fixe'd base pate 58 of the housing below the reels. The reel shafts 48 are conveniently maintained in plate 58 and retained by transversely extending brackets 60 engaging their upper ends.

The forward flights of the straps 15 and 16 entering the housing 10 at 21 and 22 respectively are guided through their entrance apertures by cylindrical idler rollers 61 and 62, respectively, loosely mounted on the terminal extension 63 of the handle 12. From the idler rollers 61 and 62, the forward ends of the straps are formed as loops 64 and 65 encircling offset tension arms and 71 of a tension shaft 72. The tension shaft 72 extends from end to end within the front of the housing and through the end compartment wall 74 to fixedly engage a tension indicator beam 75. At an intermediate portion, the tension indicator beam 75 rests upon an extending pin 76 of an indicator block 77 mounted on a indicator rock shaft 79. It is to be noted that the block 77 extends outwardly from the shaft 79 and the pin 76 is off center outwardly from the axis of the shaft 79. Thus, as tension is applied to rock the indicator beam 75, it will bear down upon pin 76 to rock the block 77 with shaft 79, whereby, the indicator 80 carried by the block 77 gives visual indication of the tension applied to the straps 15 and 16 by the manual bar 24.

The outer end of the tension indicator beam 75 is normally urged upwardly, biasing the tension indicator beam 75 towards counterclockwise rotation, as opposed to the eifect of tension applied through the straps, by a spring 81 bearing against the underface of the outer end 82 of the tension indicator beam 75. For adjusting the zero position of the indicator 80, a threaded adjustment screw 84 with its inner end bearing against the upper face of the end 82 of the beam 75 acts as a variable stop for the counterclockwise urge of the spring 81. Thus, in normal inoperative position without tension applied by the straps acting through the shaft 72, the spring 81 urges the beam 75 upwardly with respect to the pin 76. The indicator rock shaft 79 is provided with an encircling coil spring 85, engaged at one end with the shaft while the other end is secured to a bearing bracket 83 which mounts the shaft. It will be seen that with the spring 81 acting to relieve downward pressure of the beam 75 against the pin 76, the coil spring 85 encircling the shaft 79 will cause the pin 76 to follow the upward tilting movement of the beam 75, thus rotating the shaft 79 in counterclockwise direction. Since the shaft 79 carries block 77 on which the indicator 80 is mounted, the indicator will move through its slot 86 to the left, as shown in FIG. 2, to reach its zero position as determined by adjustment of the adjustment screw 84.

However, in order to retain the indicator 80 in the position to which it has responded by tension applied by the straps, there is provided a brake lever 88 pivotally mounted as at 89 and formed at its free end with a brake shoe 90 engaging the rock shaft 79. The lever 88 is provided with a relatively strong spring 91 engaging the lever at 92 outwardly from its pivotal mounting 89, thus tending to rock the lever in a counterclockwise direction, as shown in FIG. 2, to force the brake shoe 90 into restraining engagement with the rock shaft 79. In this connection it is to be noted that the strength applied by the spring 91, restraining motion of the shaft 79 is greater than the strength of the spring 85 on the shaft 79 which tends to cause the pin 76 to follow any upward movement of the intermediate portion of the beam 75. By this arrangement it will be seen that after tension is applied by the straps rocking the tension shaft 72, whereby the beam will overcome the tension of the spring 81 and depress pin 76 to rock the shaft 79 and therewith rnove indicator 80 to indicate the degree of strength applied, return movement of the indicator is precluded by the brake shoe 90 to provide a record of the tension that has been applied. For zeroing the pointer again, after tension is recorded, a foot button 94 is provided, the lower end of which slidably receives therein a rod 95 which bears against the outer end 96 of brake lever 88. Thus, after tension has been applied and a stationary position of the indicator 80 is achieved for statistically indicating the degree of tension applied, the foot button 94 may be depressed overcoming the strength of the spring 91, permitting the springs 81 and 85 to act in unison, restoring the indicator to a Zero position.

From the foregoing, it is believed that the operation of that form of the invention shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 4 will be readily understood. For arranging the device in compact form for storage or transportation by the handle 12, after use, the release plunger 41 is depressed releasing the eccentric surfaces 31 from engagement with the straps whereby the spring 53 of the intermediate large pinion 51 will cause the heels 45 and 47 to rotate in opposite direction drawing the straps into the housing until they assume a position horizontally across the top platform 11. In so doing, the manual bar 24 will be moved downwardly to seat within the stirrups 26. After such retraction of the straps, the release plunger 41 may be disengaged to lock the straps in this stored location.

Thereafter, when the device is to be used the release plunger 41 is again depressed to release the straps and permit them to be drawn upwardly, through manipulation of the manual bar 24, to such extent as is required to position the manual bar 24 at the desired height. It will be understood that one of the objectives of the present invention is to provide for an operative position of the manual bar 24 at any desired horizontal plane above the housing as, for instance, but a short distance above the platform 11 where stooping exercises, such as dead or basic lifts, are to be accomplished, or to a midway position as shown in FIG. 1, or the bar may be further elevated to above the operators head for military press or french curls, The selected plane of the manual bar for exercise purposes is easily fixed by the relaese of the plunger 41. After the bar is located and secured in the desired plane, tension applied on the manual bar 24 will be reflected through the forwardly extending external portion of the straps to rock tension shaft 72 in clockwise direction, and with it rock shaft 79, against the tension of the spring 81, thus overcoming the braking effect of the brake shoe 90to move the indicator 80 for a registration of the tension applied. When tension is released, however, there is no immediate return of the indicator to a zero position because of the braking effect of the brake shoe 90. Thus the registration of the tension that has been applied will be maintained until such time as the foot button 94 is depressed to release the brake shoe. After release of tension, the straps maybe rewound upon the reels by depression of the release plunger 41.

In that form of the invention shown in FIG. 5, the structure as to straps and reels is identical with that form of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 to 4. Like numerals have been applied to indicate like parts, with respect to which the burdening of this application with repetitious discussion of duplicate parts does not seem appropriate.

In the form of the invention shown in FIG. 5, tension resistance is by way of a variable resistance hydraulic valve arrangement rather than through the spring and counterspring arrangement of FIGS. '1 to 4. In this form of the invention, the central pinion 51 has mounted for rotation therewith a small central pinion 100 which, in the exercising operation, is engaged by a rack bar 101 engaging a piston (not shown) within a pivotally mounted hydraulic cylinder 102. The cylinder 102 is pivotally mounted on the inner wall of the housing as at 104 and is normally urged toward clockwise rotation, whereby the rack bar 101 will be engaged with pinion 100 by an actuating rod 105. The rod 105 is actuated by a bell crank 106, one arm 108 of which engages the outer end of the rod 105, while the other arm 109 is urged toward counterclockwise pivotal movement of the bell crank 106 by a spring 110. Thus, in active relation of parts, the piston will respond to rotation of the intermediate pinions, induced by the rotation of the reels through tension applied thereto and against the tension of the spring 53, It will be understood that in this form of the invention the forward flight of the straps 15 and 16 are fixedly secured to the ends 63 of the handle and do not extend inwardly for connection with any linkage arrangement. It will further be understood that in the use of the exerciser, FIG. 5, the locking of the belts at their entrance to the cabinet is omitted. The resistance to motion of the belts, in response to application of force by the operator, is provided by at hydraulic circuit extending from the cylinder 102 through a tubing 112 to valve 114 and thence by return tube 115 to cylinder. As indicated in FIG. 5, the pressure applied in the hydraulic system, regardless of the elected valve, may be visually indicated by a pressure valve 116 combined in parallel with the valve across the tubes 112 and 115. 7

Flow control, in response to movement of the piston, may be opposed by either the valve illustrated in FIG. 7 or the valve illustrated in FIG. 8.,In FIG. 7, the valve is a variable resistance valve including a conical valve seat 120 and a conical valve body 121 mounted on an externally threaded adjusting screw 122. Rotation of the valve body 121 by frictional engagement with the screw 122, is precluded by a suitable key 123 extending between the valve and seat. Fluid may be admitted to the valve chamber 124 through the tube 112 and may be discharged after being forced past the variable restriction, between valve body and seat, through return tube 115. Thus, in the operation of this form of the present apparatus, since movement of the cylinder piston is responsive to movement of pinion under tension of the straps, and since such movement is resisted by the restriction of valve 114, the tension required for moving the straps may be adjusted by adjustment of the valve restriction through adjustment of the adjusting screw 122. By the use of this valve, the tension resistance will be uniform and constant with movement of the straps under predetermined setting of the valve.

By use of the valve of FIG. 8, movement of the straps may be precluded until a predetermined tension has been achieved, after which the manual bar and the straps may move freely. Within the casing of the valve of FIG. 8, an inlet port 131 defines at its inner end a valve seat 132 for a ball valve 133. The ball valve 133 is normally urged against its seat 132 by a coil spring 134 in the valve chamber 135 above the valve seat. Pressure against the ball valve exerted by the spring 134 is variable as determined by the setting of the control screw 136, the inner end of which bears against the outer end of the spring 134. As the screw is turned to move inwardly, increasing the pressure on the ball, the fluid force required to unseat the ball from its valve seat 132 is also increased.

In the use of the valve of FIG. 8, in the apparatus of FIG. 5, the port 131 is connected with the pressure tube 112 of the cylinder 102 while the return tube 115 is connected with the valve chamber 135. Though the straps, reels and piston may not move while the ball 133 is seated against its seat 132 when tension is exerted on the straps and through the reels and pinions to the piston, suflicient to unseat the ball valve 133, the straps may move freely so long as such tension is exerted. Movement of the straps, upon exertion of a prescribed tension as determined by the setting of screw 136, is therefore a signal to the operator that the predetermined required tension has been achieved.

After use of that form of the invention shown in FIG. 5, provided with either the valve of FIG. 7 or FIG. 8, the bell crank control button 38 may be depressed to rock the bell crank 106 against the tension of its spring 110 to Withdraw rack 111 from pinion 110 to permit free motion of the reels and hence free extension or retraction of the straps, and at the same time permitting resetting of the rack bar for a subsequent cycle of pressure fluid flow in response to strap tension as determined by the valve setting. 5

Thus it will be seen that in each form of the present invention, the operator will be notified of the application of a predetermined tension on the straps. In the form of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 4, notification is by way of the indicator 80. With the use of the valve of FIG. 7 in the apparatus of FIG. 5, the continuous movement of the manual bar 24 indicates that the force exerted by the operator is accomplishing a tension sufficient to force fluid through the restriction of the valve. Since the restriction is variable by variation in the setting of the screw 122, the required achievement goal may be varied. With the use of the valve of FIG. 8, no movement of straps will take place until the prescribed force as set by the screw 136 is applied; thus, any strap movement after preliminary adjustment is an indication of successfully applied force.

With respect to the specific structures of the valves, as well as other details of mechanical means here presented by way of illustration, it will of course be understood that the specific apparatus herein presented is by way of illustration only, and is meant to be in no way restrictive; therefore, numerous changes and modifications may be made and the full use of equivalents resorted to .direction, said valve means being adjustable without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as outlined in the appended claims.

What is claimed as invention is:

1. An exerciser including a support base, a strap, means connected to said strap for engagement with a part of the body of a user, fluid resistance means including a ment of straps will take place until the prescribed force as normally closed valve means operatively connected to said strap to resist movement of said strap in one to open under a selected predetermined pressure developed by a force exerted on said strap in said one direction, the opening of said valve means decreasing said fluid resistance, and return means for biasing said strap in an opposite direction.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said operative connection between said strap and said fluid resistance means is disconnectible to remove the resistance to movement of said strap in said one direction.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, further including an indicator means carried by said support base, said indicator means being operatively connected to said valve means and said strap, said indicator means being constructed and arranged to indicate force values in response to the amount of force applied to the strap through the means that engages a part of the body of the user.

4. An exerciser including a housing, a strap extending from said housing, take up and release means for said strap within said housing and means within said housing for precluding take up or release of said 'strap by said take up and release means, and a variable hydraulic tension rseponsive valve actuated by said take up and release means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,569,699 1/1926 Bergstrom et al. 242-107.2 2,222,409 11/ 1940 Gottlieb 242--107.3 2,250,171 7/1941 Wilkins 242-107.3 2,590,055 3/ 1952 Timmerman 27279 XR 3,100,609 8/ 1963 Wrighton 242-107.4

177,251 5/1876 Johnson 73141 1,569,699 1/1926 Bergstrom et a1. 242-107 1,707,449 4/ 1929 Rodale 73-379 3,053,533 9/1962 Weymouth 273-31 3,186,231 6/1965 Sexe et a1. 73381 FOREIGN PATENTS 656,187 1/1963 Canada.

RICHARD c. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner W. R. BROWNE, Assistant Examiner Us. c1. X.R.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,481,198 December 2, 1969 Joseph S. Williams It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 7, line 7, cancel "ment of straps will take place until the prescribed force as".

Signed and sealed this 17th day of November 1970.

(SEAL) Attest:

Edward M. Fletcher, Jr.

Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer WILLIAM SCHUYLER, JR.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3861215 *Oct 28, 1970Jan 21, 1975Robert F BradleyExercising apparatus simulating weight lifting
US4050310 *Mar 17, 1976Sep 27, 1977Keiser Dennis LExercising apparatus
US4077626 *Nov 13, 1974Mar 7, 1978Joe Westley NewmanExercising machine
US4456247 *Mar 26, 1982Jun 26, 1984Ehrenfried Ted RLeg stretching apparatus
US7462141 *Jan 6, 2005Dec 9, 2008The United States Of America As Represented By The Administrator Of The National Aeronautics And Space AdministrationAdvanced resistive exercise device
US7998038Aug 16, 2011Keiser CorporationExercise apparatus using weight and pneumatic resistances
US8323158Jun 28, 2004Dec 4, 2012Keiser CorporationExercise apparatus using weight and pneumatic resistances
US20050032612 *Jun 28, 2004Feb 10, 2005Keiser Dennis L.Exercise apparatus using weight and pneumatic resistances
US20050239612 *Apr 7, 2005Oct 27, 2005Keiser Dennis LExercise apparatus using weight and pneumatic resistances
CN102107059A *Dec 27, 2010Jun 29, 2011哈尔滨师范大学Vibration isometric multi-angle strength training and monitoring device
U.S. Classification482/113, 73/379.9, 73/379.8, 482/112
International ClassificationA63B21/04, A63B21/008, A63B21/00, A61B5/22, A63B21/002
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/0023, A63B2208/0204, A63B21/153, A63B21/0083, A63B21/00069
European ClassificationA63B21/15F4, A63B21/008B2