US 3520273 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jul 14, 1910 T. s. DAIFOTES 3,520,273
FLARE SUPPORT AND RELEASE MEANS THEREFOR Filed Aug. 4, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fig.1
34 Th eodore 5s. Daifoies I BY I "In 35 1/. W
Y July 14, 1970 TS. DAIFOTES FLARE SUPPORT AND RELEASE MEANS THEREFOR 2 Sheets-Sheet Filed Aug. 4, 1969 INVENTOR Theodore 5. lDcifohes BY United States Patent 3,520,273 FLARE SUPPORT AND RELEASE MEANS THEREFOR Theodore S. Daifotes, P.O. Box 641, Tuolumue, Calif. 95379 Filed Aug. 4, 1969, Ser. No. 847,242
Int. Cl. B60q US. Cl. 11628 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Apparatus for receiving and holding an ignitable flare in a retracted condition on a vehicle by latch means releasable by igniting of the flare and for displaying the ignited flare a safe distance from and above the vehicle.
BACKGROUND This invention relates to signaling apparatus of the type employing flares such as are commonly ignited on highways to warn other vehicle operators of a stall, danger or to bi-pass an accident in a cautious manner. The invention has its embodiment in apparatus for containing a flare, for igniting the flare and for automatically displaying the ignited flare on or about a vehicle.
Various types of flare containing and displaying devices have been developed in the art. One of such devices is described and disclosed in US. Pat. No. 2,620, 763 which issued to R. W. Smith et al. Dec. 9, 1952. Aside from the broad concept of a container and means for automatically providing a warning signal, the Smith patent entails a complex system of compressed air and related valves under the control of the operator of the vehicle in which the device is built in.
THE PRESENT INVENTION The present invention contemplates the provision of a flare supporting device with a latch and release which is predicated upon the igniting of the flare in a new and novel manner. Moreover, the present invention is directed to a signalling device which is normally latched in a retracted position by a bi-metal catch releasable by the heat of the flare subsequent to igniting of the latter.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a reading of the following description in the light of the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a vehicle having an apparatus embodying the present invention applied thereto.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged side view of the apparatus of the present invention foreshortened and partially broken away for purposes of illustration.
FIG. 3 is a sectional detail of the flare holding container of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a view similar to that of FIG. 3 with the flare extended.
FIG. 5 is a section through the latch and release portion of the apparatus of 'FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 6 is a sectional elevation through FIG. 5 taken along line 66 thereof.
FIG. 7 is an end elevational view of FIG. 5 as seen from the righthand end thereof.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary exploded perspective view of the latch and release end of the apparatus.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawing a flare supporting device generally designated 10 is shown mounted upon Cir 3,520,273 Patented July 14, 1970 an automotive vehicle A. The device 10 comprises a container 11 secured to one end of an arm 12 having its opposite end pivotally mounted as at 13 on a mounting block 14 and spring activated relative thereto into a vertical position but yielda-ble for movement into a substantially horizontal position for engagement with a heat sensitive latching means 15 secured to the vehicle body, and manually controlled means 16 for igniting a flare.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION The container 11 as best seen in FIGS. 3 and 4 consists of a tubular member 20 having one end closed by a mounting cap 21 secured the arm 12 by means of a set screw 22. The tubular member 20 may be of any desired length to receive one or more flares F, of conventional design and manufacture, plus a compression spring 23 seated against the ca 21 and disposed to force the flares toward and outwardly of the opposite open end 24 of the tubular member 20. For purposes of the present disclosure there is assumed to be but one flare F in the container 11. However, each flare F is provided with a retainer cup 25 secured to the non-ignitable end thereof. The retainer cup 25 has an outwardly tending spring-like tongue 26 adapted to engage a similar tongue 27 secured to the inner wall of the tubular member 20 adjacent its open end 24. This is to prevent the compression spring 23 from forcing the flare completely out of the container 11 other than manually when burned out flares are replaced.
A similar spring like tongue 28 is secured to the inner surface of a half circle extension 29 at the open end 24 of the tubular member 20. The tongue 28 is so disposed as to yielda'bly glide along one side of a flare F (FIG. 4) as it is moved inwardly or outwardly relative to the container. More particularly the tongue 28 normally assume abutting relation to the ignitable end I of a flare F after the latter has passed fully into the container 11 as illustrated in FIG. 3.
The half circle extension 29 at the open end 24 of the tubular member 20 is adapted to fit over the top half of an end mount 30 of the latching means 15. The end mount 30 has a pair of inset notches 31 formed thereon, diametrically opposite each other on a horizontal plane. These notches 31 provide a keeper for a pair of barbs 32 provided on the ends of a bi-metal strip 33 formed as a part of the half circle extension 29 at the open end 24 of the tubular member 20. The arrangement is such that the barbs 32 will snap into latching engagement with the keeper notches 31 when the arm 12 is swung downwardly and the half circle extension pressed against the end mount 30.
The end mount 30 has a lower portion 34 secured to a base 35 which in turn is secured to the vehicle in spaced relation to the mounting block 14. The mounting block 14 also includes a base 36 secured to the vehicle. Both the mounting block 14 and end mount 30 are set relative to their respective bases 36 and 35 on single bolts 36' and 35', respectively. In this manner the two separated mounts 14 and 30 can be adjusted relative to each other on their respective bases to assure swinging movement of the arm 12 in a vertical plane.
With the container 11 loaded with an unused flare F and the arm 12 in retracted or lowered position as illustrated in FIG. 2, it will be noted that the spring-like tongue 28, has been pressed against the top half of the end mount 30. This releases the tongue 28 from abutment with the ignitable end I of the flare F whereby the latter is forced by the compression spring 23 into abutting relation with the inner face of the end mount 30.
The heat sensitive latch means and rnanual control therefor includes the open end 24 of the container 11, the flare F and the end mount 20.
The inner face of the end mount has a recess 37 formed therein in which the coil of a heating element 38 is disposed. The heating element 38 is similar to that of a conventional cigarette lighter employed on the dash or in and about a vehicle for connection to the source of electrical current in the vehicle. This heating element 38 is embodied in an electrical circuit 39 as diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 5. This circuit 39 includes the usual battery of the vehicle and a manually operated control switch 40 on the dash of the vehicle whereby electrical current from the battery is caused to flow into the heating element 38 which is grounded to the vehicle frame in a conventional manner. For purpose of the present disclosure a secondary switch 41 may, if desired, be employed to condition the circuit 39 for operation only while the arm 12 is latched and the ignitable end I of a flare F in engagement with the heating element 38. Such secondary switch 41 includes a pair of normally separated contact points suitably insulated from and mounted within the end mount 30 behind the heating element 38. Means for closing the secondary switch 41 comprises a spring loaded nonconductive pin 43 arranged for up and down movement within the upper half of the end mount 30. The pin 43 has its lower end in engagement with the uppermost of the contact points to urge the latter against the lower contact point to close the switch 41 when the upper end of the pin 43 is pressed downwardly by engagement with the half circle extension 29 of the container 11 when it is latched upon the end mount 30.
To ignite the flare F the operator of the vehicle presses the button to the switch 40 on the dash panel. Current flowing from the battery into the heating element 38 brings the latter up to a red heat. The ignitable end I of the flare F bearing against the coil of the heating element 38 is thus ignited and the heat therefrom causes the bimetal strip 33 to spread its barbed ends 32 outwardly of the notches 31 in the end mount 30. This releases the arm 12 and container 11 thereon for elevation by a spring mechanism 45 between the base 36, and arm 12 at the pivot mount 13. To assist the spring mechanism 45 in initially raising the arm, a compression spring 46 seated in the base 35 has its upper end engaging the container 11. As soon as the latch means 15 is released the compression spring 46 expands giving the arm 12 a starting force upwardly after which the spring mechanism 45 continues to urge the arm toward vertical position. A suitable stop 47 formed on the mounting block 14 is disposed to limit movement of the arm 12 beyond pertical position under the influence of the spring mechanism 45.
Immediately upon release of the latch means 15 as aforesaid, the compression spring 23 within the container 11 forces the flare F outwardly the tubular member 20. Consequently, as the arm 12 is raised from horizontal toward vertical position the ignited flare F is extended beyond the open end 24 of the tubular member 20 until the tongue 26 on the retainer cap 25 at the base end of the flare engages the similar tongue 27 secured to the inner face of the tubular member 20. Thus the ignited flare F is retained in extended condition relative to the container 11 on the free end of the arm 12.
As illustrated in FIG. 1, the arm 12 of a length such as to hold the ignited flare F high enough above the vehicle to attract the attention of any other drivers of oncoming vehicles of a stall.
It should here be noted that the flare supporting de vice 10 may be mounted in any suitable position on a vehicle dependent upon its body design. In other words, although shown on the rear bumper as in FIG. 1, it may be mounted on the rear quarter panel, the hood, the turret top or any safe place free and clear of doors or openable portions of the vehicle body.
Referring again to FIG. 6 it will be appreciated the suitable, non-conductive, non-combustible sealing means are provided on or about the heating element 38 and the electrical wiring of the circuit 39 all of which are suitably concealed and guarded against becoming faulty by inclement weather or the elements thereof.
Having thus described the flare support and release means therefor in specific detail it will be appreciated that the same may be modified, altered or varied without departing from the spirit of my invention therein.
What I desire to protect by Letters Patent is set forth in the following claims:
[1. For an automotive vehicle a flare support and re lease means comprising:
(a) a mounting block and an end mount adapted to be secured in spaced relation on the body of such vehicle;
(b) a spring loaded arm having one end pivotally mounted on said mounting block and normally tending to swing in a plane away from said end mount;
(0) a tubular member having one end closed and mounted on the opposite end of said arm and having an opposite open end adapted to receive a flare, said tubular member having an extension adapted to fit over said end mount;
((1) compression spring means in said tubular member between the closed end thereof and the flare for urging the latter outwardly the open end of the tubular member;
(e) yieldable means secured to and within the extension of said tubular member for abutting relation with the ignitable end of the flare for retaining the latter therein prior to engagement of said yieldable means with said end mount; and
(f) a heat sensitive latching means between said eX- tension and said end mount for latching said extension relative to said end mount;
(g) a heating element on said end mount engageable by the ignitableend of the flare;
(h) means for energizing said heating element to ignite the ignitable end of said flare to thereby sensitize said heat sensitive latching means for releasing the extension from latching engagement with said end mount; and
(i) means between said tubular member and said flare for retaining the latter in extended position relative to said tubular member against the action of said compression spring means therein.
2. The flare support and release means of claim 1 in which said means for energizing said heating element comprises an electrical circuit including the battery of said vehicle, and switch means on said vehicle for energizing said heating element.
3. The flare support and release means of claim 2 in which said electrical circuit has a secondary switch means including a pair of normally separated contact points arranged in said end mount; and a non-conductive pin slideably mounted in said end mount and having one end engaging one of said contact points and its opposite end engageable by the extension of said tubular member for maintaining said contact points in contact with each other during latched engagement of said extension to said end mount.
4. The flare support and release means of claim 3 in which said heat sensitive latching means comprises:
(a) a bi-metal strip on the extension of said tubular member;
(b) a barb at the end of said bi-metal strip; and
(c) a notch in the end mount engageable by the barb on said bi-metal strip.
5. The flare support and release means of claim 4 in which said bi-metal strip embraces said end mount and has a barb at each its ends; and a notch formed on opposite sides of said end mount for engagement by said barbs References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Godfrey et al. 340366 Smith et a1 11639 Kuykendall 340366 Clarke et al 891.5
6 3,146,613 9/1964 Hiner 10237.4 3,158,099 11/1964 Dzvonik 102-37.4 3,224,232 12/ 1965 Dzvonik 10237.4 3,319,596 5/1967 Walter 11663 5 LOUIS J. CAPOZI, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.