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Publication numberUS3528312 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 15, 1970
Filing dateJun 14, 1968
Priority dateJun 14, 1968
Publication numberUS 3528312 A, US 3528312A, US-A-3528312, US3528312 A, US3528312A
InventorsHans B Nielsen
Original AssigneeMicrodot Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Push-pull cable assembly
US 3528312 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 15 1970 H. B. NIELSEN PUSH-PULL CABLE ASSEMBLY INYENTOR. /l zc=Z5 071 Filed June 14, 1968 1 /7a7as" ,3.

. BY I United States Patent 3,528,312 PUSH-PULL CABLE ASSEMBLY Hans B. Nielsen, Birmingham, Mich., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Microdot Inc., New York, N.Y., a corporation of California Filed June 14, 1968, Ser. No. 737,185 Int. Cl. F16c 1/22 U.S. Cl. 74--501 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A push-pull cable assembly for operating a remotely located mechanism in response to movement of an actuating device, the assembly comprising an elongted, relatively light weight cylindrically configured cable member extending between the mechanism and the actuating device; means operatively connecting one end of the cable member to the mechanism and the opposite end of the cable member to the actuating device; an elongated helically configured housing member disposed in surrounding relationship with respect to the cable member and spaced radially outwardly from the periphery of the cable member a predetermined distance, whereby the assembly may be bent to various arcuate and/ or angular configurations without impairing the push-pull reciprocal movement of the cable member with respect to the housing member.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It has heretofore been the practice in the manufacture of automotive vehicles to provide some type of linkage or connecting means for operatively connecting the various remotely located accessories, such as the vehicle heaters, air vents, etc., with the control levers or handles for actuating these accessories which are conventionally mounted on the vehicle dashboard or instrument panel. Of the various types of connecting means currently available for operatively connecting the vehicle accessories to their respective control levers, push-pull or Bowden type cable assemblies have become one of the most frequently used. As is well known in the art, push-pull cable assemblies conventionally consist of an elongated flexible cable member adapted to be reciprocably mounted within a relatively fixedly mounted tubular housing member, with one end of the cable member being connected to the associated operating lever on the vehicle instrument panel and the opposite end of the cable being connected to some vehicle accessory, whereby movement of the lever will effect longitudinal shifting movement of the cable member with respect to the housing, resulting in actuation or deact-uation of the accessory.

Although push-pull cable assemblies of the aforedescribed type have been found to be highly preferable over a large number of various other type devices, due primarily to the low cost, ease of assembly and minimum maintenance requirements, push-pull cable arrangements have been objectionable from the standpoint that when the cables are bent or deformed into substantially acute angles, relatively free sliding movement of the cable members with respect to the associated housing becomes somewhat impaired or restricted, thereby making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to effect longitudinal sliding movement of the cable members. Severe impairment of free sliding movement of the cable members has also frequently resulted from the fact that heretofore known and used push-pull cable assemblies have been subjected to moisture which results in objectionable corrosive adherence between the cable members and housings.

In accordance with the principles of the present invention, a new and improved push-pull cable assembly is provided which is adapted to overcome all of the afore- 3,528,3l2 Patented Sept. 15, 1970 mentioned objectionable characteristics of similar type cable assemblies heretofore known and used. Generally speaking, the cable assembly of the present invention comprises an elongated, generally cylindrically shaped cable member which is fabricated of synthetic material, such as Delrin or the like, and which is designed to be supported within an elongated, generally tubular shaped housing member. -In accordance with the present invention, the housing member is dimensioned such that the inner periphery thereof is spaced radially outwardly from the outer periphery of the cable member a predetermined amount, whereby the assembly may be bent or deformed to various arcuate and/ or angular configurations without impairing the sliding movement of the cable member within the housing. This feature, together with the fact that the synthetic material of the cable member is not susceptible to corrosive adherence to the housing member itself, assures free sliding movement of the cable member. A further feature of the present invention resides in the fact that the housing member is provided with an external jacket which is coextensive thereof and is adapted to prevent any moisture, road dirt or the like from penetrating the housing member and accumulating interiorly thereof, thus further assuring against any impairment of the free sliding movement of the cable member within the housing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to cable assemblies and, more particularly, to a new and improved push-pull cable assembly for operatively connecting remotely located operating and actuating mechanisms.

It is accordingly a general object of the present invention to provide a new and improved push-pull cable assembly.

It is a more particular object of the present invention to provide a new and improved cable assembly of the above character which exhibits superior flexibility and low frictional characteristics.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new push-pull cable assembly of the above character which comprises an elongated cylindrical cable member that is operatively supported within a generally helically configured housing member.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved push-pull cable assembly as above described wherein one of the members is constructed of a light-weight polymeric resin material, whereby to minimize frictional resistance upon relative movement of the members.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a new and improved push-pull cable assembly wherein the housing member is provided with an external moisture and dust proof jacket for preventing moisture, road dirt and the like from accumulating therewithin.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved cable assembly of the above type wherein the cable member is provided with an internal reinforcing member, and wherein the inner periphery of the housing member is spaced radially outwardly from the outer periphery of the cable member in order to permit bending of the assembly within predetermined limits without impairing the push-pull characteristics thereof.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved push-pull cable assembly of the above character which is of an extremely simple design, is easy to assemble and economical to commercially manufacture.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a new and improved assembly of the above character which is of an extremely durable construction and therefore will have a long and effective operational life.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partially broken away, of a preferred embodiment of the push-pull cable assembly of the present invention, and

FIG. '2 is an enlarged transverse cross-sectional view taken substantially on the line 22 of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in detail to the drawing, a push-pull cable assembly 10, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, is shown as comprising an elongated, flexible and generally cylindrical shaped cable member 12 and a flexible cable housing member 14 which is of a generally tubular configuration and has the cable member 12 extend coaxially therethrough. Generally speaking, the cable member 12 is adapted to extend between and operatively connect an actuating or operating handle, lever or the like (not shown), and an operable mechanism or device such as an automobile accessory or the like (also not shown) with one end of the member 12 being connected to the actuating handle, lever, etc., and the opposite end being connected to the accessory, whereby movement of the handle will effect longitudinal movement of the cable member 12 with respect to the housing 14 and actuation of the associated accessory. Means in the form of a pair of eyelet members, generally designated 16, may be and preferably are provided on the opposite ends of the cable member 12 for operatively connecting the member 12 to the associated handle, lever, etc., and accessory, with each of the eyelets 16 comprising a generally ring-shaped connecting section 18 and a hollow sleeve-like mounting section 20 adapted to receive one of the ends of the cable member 12 and be fixedly secured thereto by any suitable crimping operation or the like.

Referring now in detail to the cable member 12, in a preferred construction of the present invention, the member 12 is fabricated of a polymeric resin material, herein designated by the numeral 22, whereby to minimize frictional resistance opposing free longitudinal sliding movement of the cable member 12 within the housing 14. One preferred polymeric resin which has been found to be highly satisfactory is Delrin, this material having desirable flexible and easily fabricatable characteristics, as well as being economical and extremely noncorrosive. It Will be apparent, of course, that other resinous materials, or other flexible and noncorrosive materials that are easily moldable or adapted to be formed by well known extrusion techniques may be used in the fabrication of the cable member 12.

The cable member 12 preferably comprises and is provided with a central reinforcing or strengthening core 24 Which extends coaxially thereof and is preferably fabricated of a strong metallic wire. As will be apparent, in the operation of the assembly 10, the core 24 functions to reinforce the cable member 12 when the same is in a state of tension, while the Delrin material 22 functions to give the cable member 12 sufficient body" or mass and thus acts as a stabilizing means to prevent core 24 from deforming or buckling when the cable member 12 is under a state of compression.

Referring now in detail to the construction of the housing member 14, as best seen in FIG. 1, the member 14 is shown as comprising an internal casing 26 which is formed from a single length of wire, preferably heavy gauge galvanized wire, that is wound into a series of uniform diameter, tightly oriented helical convolutions, generally designated by the numeral 28, and which define an elongated cylindrical bore or passage 30 within which the cable member 12 is slidably disposed. The housing member 14 also comprises an external covering or jacket 32 which is preferably fabricated of vinyl or other suitable flexible and moisture-proof material that may, for example, be initially fabricated in a generally tubular configuration and surmounted around the outer periphery of the casing 26. Alternatively, the jacket 32 may be provided on the casing 26 by dipping the casing 26 into a liquid bath of vinyl or similar material, in a manner well known in the art.

In accordance with one of the principles of the present invention, the casing 26 and cable member 12 are dimensioned such that upon assembly thereof, the periphery of the bore 30 is spaced radially outwardly from the surface of the member 12, thereby defining an annular space, generally designated 33, between the members 12 and 26 (see FIG. 2), which space 33 is adapted to function in a manner hereinafter to be described in providing free reciprocal or push-pull movement of the cable member 12 with respect to the housing member 14. In accordance with still other principles of the present invention, the relative sizes of the various components of the assembly 10 are selected in a manner which has been found to maximize to the extreme, freedom of movement of the cable member 12 longitudinally of the housing member 14 when the assembly 10 is disposed in a relatively acute angular or arcuate configuration. That is, it has been discovered that when the various components of the assembly 10 are constructed such that a predetermined ratio exists between the sizes of the cable member 12, housing member 14 and annular space 33 therebetween, the assembly 10 will exhibit especially desirable effortless operation, regardless of whether or not the assembly 10 is disposed in a linear or relatively straight configuration or, alternatively, assumes a somewhat angular or arcuate shape. More particularly, it has been found that optimum performance of the assembly 10 is achieved when the diameter of the reinforcing core 24 is equal to approximately five (5) times the radial distance or spacing 33 between the cable member 12 and casing 26, and that when the outside diameter of the cable member 12 is equal to approximately twenty (20) times the radial spacing 33, and the outside diameter of the casing 26 is equal to approximately forty times the spacing 33. By way of example, in a typical operational embodiment of the assembly 10 that has been found to exhibit very desirable operating characteristics, the size of the radial spacing 33 is .005 inch; with the core 24 being .024 inch in diameter; the diameter of the entire cable member 12 being .098 inch, and the diameter of the casing being .216 inch, with the wire from which the casing 26 is formed being .054 inch. It will be apparent, of course, that construction of the assembly 10 is not necessarily limited to the above described dimensions, but that optimum performance thereof, even when the assembly is arcuately or angularly disposed, will be best achieved when the various components of the assembly 10 are constructed commensurate with the aforedescribed ratio of sizes or dimensions.

In order to provide for universality of application, the push-pull cable assembly 10 of the present invention is provided with means for selectively adjusting the effective length of the housing member 14, whereby the size (length) of the housing member 14 may be adjusted to accommodate various installations. As best illustrated in FIG. 1, such adjustment means is provided by an elongated cylindrical turnbuckle member, generally designated 34, which defines a central coaxially extending internally threaded bore 36. The outer periphery of the turnbuckle member 34 is provided with a plurality of longitudinally extending, circumferentially spaced serrations or ribs 38 which are adapted to facilitate manual adjustment of the member 34. The internally threaded bore 36 of the member 34 is adapted to threadably receive at one end thereof the externally threaded, enlarged diameter head section 40 of an adjustment collar member, generally designated 42. It will be seen that the member 42 comprises a generally cylindrically shaped sleeve section 44 which is integrally connected to one end of the head section 40 and is adapted to be fixedly secured, as by crimping or the like, around the outer periphery of the adjacent end of the housing member 14. The adjustment collar member 42 is formed with an internal bore (not shown) through which the cable member 12 extends, whereby the cable member 12 is freely longitudinally movable with respect to the adjustment collar member 42 and member 34. The end of the bore 36 opposite that within which the adjustment collar member 42 is mounted is adapted to threadably receive the externally threaded head section 46 of a second adjustment collar member, generally designated 48. As illustrated, the member 48 comprises an elongated tubular configured section 50 which is integrally connected at one end thereof to the head section 46, and together with the section 46, is formed with an internal bore or passage (not shown) through which the end of the cable member 12 extends. As shown in FIG. 1, the internal threads at the opposite ends of the bore 36 are of oppositehand, whereby rotation of the turnbuckle member 34 in one direction will effect threadable advancement of the head sections 40 and 46 of the members 42 and 48, respectively, toward one another to reduce the effective length of the assembly 10. Similarly, rotation of the turnbuckle member 34 in the opposite direction will effect threadable advancement of the head sections 40, 46 away from one another, thereby causing an increase in the effective length of the assembly 10. Thus, by proper rotational adjustment of the turnbuckle member 34, the length of the assembly may be selectively adjusted pursuant to various installation requirements and conditions.

The push-pull cable assembly 10 of the present invention may be and preferably is provided with one or more support means for fixedly securing the assembly 10 in some predetermined operative position. As illustrated in FIG. 1, such means is preferably provided by a suitable support bracket, generally designated 52, which comprises a generally flat or planar mounting section 54 defining a central opening 56 adapted to receive a suitable mounting screw, bolt or the like (not shown). Integrally connected to one edge of the bracket section 54 is a pair of tab-like elements 58 and 60 which are of a circular configuration and are adapted to be positively secured to the outer periphery of the housing member 14 in a manner so as to preventany relative movement between the bracket 52 and housing 14. Where mounting requirements so dictate, the adjustment collar member 48 may also be provided with a mounting bracket in the form of a generally fiat or planar element 62 which is formed with a central screw or bolt receiving opening 64 and is preferably integrally connected to the sleeve section 50 of the member 48.

It will be seen from the above description, that the present invention provides a new and improved push-pull cable assembly that is of a relatively light-weight flexible construction and, as such, may be easily shaped to accommodate various mounting requirements, with the adjustment turnbuckle member 34 and associated adjustment screw members 42 and 48 providing for convenient adjustment of the overall length of the assembly 10. By virtue of the novel provision of the annular space 33 provided interjacent the outer periphery of the cable member 12 and the inner periphery of the cylindrical passage 30, together with the novel design of the ratio of the relative sizes of the cable member 12 and housing member 14, the assembly 10 will be found to exhibit superior friction free operation, even though the assembly 10 may be bent or deformed to relatively extreme arcuate or angular configurations. It will be noted, of course, that although use of the assembly 10 is referred herein to operative association with automotive vehicles and in particular accessories therefore, the assembly 10 of the present invention is not intended to be limited to this specific application, since the assembly 10 will find wide and varied use in virtually all industries.

While it will be apparent that the preferred embodiment illustrated herein is well calculated to fulfill the objects above stated, it will be appreciated that the push-pull assembly 10 of the present invention is susceptible to modification, variation and change without departing from the proper scope or fair meaning of the subjoined claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a push-pull cable assembly for operating a re motely located mechanism in response to movement of an actuating device,

an elongated, generally cylindrically configured cable member extending between the mechanism and the actuating device,

said cable member being fabricated of a flexible plastic material,

means operatively connecting one portion of said cable member to the mechanism and another portion of the cable member to the actuating device, and

an elongated helically configured housing member disposed .in surrounding relationship with respect to the cable member and comprising a plurality of helical convolutions spaced radially outwardly from the periphery of said cable member and defining therewith an annular space between said cable and housing members,

the dimensions of said housing member and cable member being such that the diameter of said cable member is approximately 20 times the radial dimension of said annular space,

whereby the assembly may be bent to various arcuate and angular configurations without impairing pushpull reciprocal movement of said cable member with respect to said housing member.

2. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said cable member has an internal steel reinforcing core coextensive thereof.

3. An assembly as set forth in claim 2 wherein the diameter of said core is equal to approximately five times the dimension of the radial spacing between the outer periphery of said cable member and the inner periphery of said housing member.

4. An assembly as set forth in claim 2 wherein the diameter of said housing is equal to approximately forty times said dimension of said radial spacing.

5. An assembly as set forth in claim 2 wherein said cable member is approximately .100 inch in diameter, wherein the outside diameter of said housing member is approximately .20 inch, wherein the radial spacing between the outer periphery of said cable member and the inner periphery of said housing member is approximately .005 inch, and wherein the diameter of said core is approximately .024 inch.

6 An assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said helical convolutions of said housing member are tightly oriented.

7. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said resinous material of said cable member is Delrin.

-8. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 which includes an external moisture impervious jacket surrounding said housing member.

9. An assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said housing member comprises first and second longitudinal sections and which includes coupling means adjustably engageable with said sections for varying the effective length of said housing member.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,149,480 9/1964 Hunt 642 3,192,795 7/1965 Pierce 138129 X 158,325 12/1874 Starr 642 (Other references on following page) 7 8 Jarolimek. FOREIGN PATENTS Duryea 74501 237 785 11/195 A 1' McLarren 74--501 9 ustra la. Borer 21: OTHER REFERENCES 533% 5 Delrin Today and Tomorrow November 1959, Bul- L letin A12193, Polychernicals Dept. Dupont Co. Wilmingandon 287-60 ton 98, DeL Garden- Delrin Acetal Resins October 1959, Bulletin A-12019. Coulter 745 01 Kienhofer 74501 10 MILTON KAUFMAN, Primary Examiner

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4452097 *Jun 10, 1982Jun 5, 1984Brose Fahrzeugteile Gmbh & Co. KommanditgesellschaftTubular window drive mechanism particularly for motor vehicles
US5039138 *Feb 26, 1990Aug 13, 1991Ford Motor CompanyCable joining assembly and method for joining cables
US5105678 *Jun 17, 1991Apr 21, 1992Teleflex IncorporatedBalanced dual ball bearing control
US5154093 *Nov 8, 1991Oct 13, 1992Ford Motor CompanyAdjustable cable end fitting
US6040384 *Apr 17, 1997Mar 21, 2000Markel CorporationCable assemblies
US6056020 *Jan 25, 1999May 2, 2000Teleflex IncorporatedSnap together core and conduit
US7188452 *Mar 11, 2003Mar 13, 2007Sridhara Benne Narasimha MurthSleeved bracing useful in the construction of earthquake resistant structures
EP0444970A1 *Jan 16, 1991Sep 4, 1991Automobiles PeugeotAnti-vibratory arrangement for the choke actuator of a vehicle
Classifications
U.S. Classification74/502.5, 74/502.4
International ClassificationF16C1/12, F16C1/10
Cooperative ClassificationF16C1/10, F16C1/101
European ClassificationF16C1/10D, F16C1/10
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 29, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: WITTEK INDUSTRIES, INC., 2530 BRAGA DRIVE, BROADVI
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:MICRODOT INC.;REEL/FRAME:004395/0862
Effective date: 19850131