US 3541611 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 24, 1970 F. P. BEGUIN 3,
ATTACHMENT MOUNTING MEANS FOR HEARING PROTECTOR EAR CUPS Filed July 7, 1969 INVENTOR.
FRED P. BEGUIN ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,541,611 ATTACHMENT MOUNTING MEANS FOR HEAR- ING PROTECTOR EAR CUPS Fred P. Beguin, Sturbridge, Mass., assignor to American Optical Corporation, Southbridge, Mass., at corporation of Delaware Filed July 7, 1969, Ser. No. 839,444 Int. Cl. A41d 21/00 US. Cl. 2-209 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Hearing protector ear cup supporting means including a head harness formed of flexible strap material arranged to adjustably receive and support a pair of hearing protector ear cups upon the head. Attachment means for each ear cup includes a ring of rigid material within which the cup is pivotally mounted on a diameter of the ring. Slots are provided in one-half of each ring circumference at points between the pivotal axis of the cup through which straps of the head harness are looped in connecting the ring to the harness. A similar slot in the remaining circumferential portion of each ring receives an elastic strap adjustably connected to a chin cup by means of which the ear cups are drawn toward and held securely against a Wearers head.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention Hearing protectors with particular reference to means for supporting hearing protector earcups upon the head.
Description of the prior art Hearing protector earcups heretofor supported by spring tension headbands and the like extended over the head have interfered with the wearing of military helmets, caps and/or hats with the result of improper fitting of te particular head covering means and general discomfort to the wearer. Other arrangements of helmets and the like having ear protector cups built thereinto or otherwise supported by the particular head covering means have the disadvantage of having to be removed from the head upon removal of the head coverings means or the head covering means having to be worn whenever hearing protection is necessary.
The present invention overcomes the aforementioned drawbacks and other disadvantages of headband and/ or helmet-supported hearing protector earcups by providing for accurately positioning and comfortably suitably tensioning the earcups upon the head for use without the wearing of helmets, caps or hats and without interference with such head covering means when it is required or desired that same be worn along with the hearing protector cups.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention, hearing protector earcups are supported by a lightweight head hardness formed of flexible substantially nonelastic straps. The harness, being self-conformable to the shape and size of a wearers head is provided with depending straps on each side of the head to which hearing protector earcups are indirectly connected and adjusted by lengthening or shortening of the straps according to the bitragional coronal arc length of the individual receiving same.
Attachment of the hearing protector cups to the head harness is made by looping the depending straps thereof through a peripherially slotted rigid earcup mounting ring within which the earcup is pivotally mounted so as to swing about a diameter of the ring. Connection of the headband straps to the mounting ring is made inter- 3,541,611 Patented Nov. 24, 1970 mediately of diametrically opposed connections of the cup to the ring. Approximately diametrically opposite to the connections of the head harness straps and through a suitably located additional slot in the ring periphery, an adjustable elastic chin strap is connected to the supporting ring and, in turn, to one end of a chin cup or the like. Together with the same arrangement of a chin strap from the oppositely disposed earcup supporting ring to the chin cup, a pulling efifect upon the head harness is produced which holds the harness firmly against the head and presses the hearing protector earcups toward each other against respective opposite sides of the head under the elastic tension in the chin straps. The holding force may be adjusted by lengthening or shortening the chin straps. Pressure of the earcup against the head is automatically evenly distributed about the ears as a result of the cups being free to pivot in their respective mounting rings and the connecting harness and chin straps being compliant to tilting of the rings. Thus, an optimum acoustic seal is provided around the ears with maximum wearing comfort.
The invention will be more fully understood by reference to the following detailed description and the accompanying drawing.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of one embodiment of the invention illustrated in a position of use;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary partially crosssectional view taken generally along line 3-3 of FIG. I; and
FIGS. 4 and 5 are illustrations of alternative embodiments of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Hearing protector headpiece 10 (FIGS. 1 and 2) comprises head harness 12 having depending hearing protector earcups 14 indirectly attached thereto by mounting rings 16 and chin straps 18 interconnecting chin cup 20 with rings 16.
Earcups 14 having the usual ear seals 22 are pivotally mounted within respective ring-s 16 by studs 24 extending through the rings along a diameter thereof in each case. Intermediately of studs 24 each ring 16 is provided With a pair of slots 26 through which a corresponding pair of depending straps 28 at each of oppositely disposed sides of head harness 12 are extended in looped fashion and adjustably secured by buckles or the like 30.
Harness 12, including straps 28, is formed of substantially nonelastic material whereby adjustment of the effective lengths of straps 28 positions centers of earcups 14 a distance apart equal to the length of the bitragional coronal arc of the wearer whereby the cups will become automatically accurately centered over the wearers ears upon application to the head. An additional slot 32 in each of rings 16 located approximately diametrically opposite to slots 26 in each case receives the elastic chin straps 18 in looped fashion. Straps 18 are secured to their respective rings by buckles 34. Opposite free ends of chin straps 18 are snap-fastened or otherwise attached to chin cup 20.
With earcups 14 positioned over the ears and supported by harness 12 having its straps 28 properly adjusted according to the bitragional coronal arc of the individual and cup 20 comfortably positioned upon the chin, adjustment of the lengths of elastic straps 18- by amounts sufficient to effect substantially equal pulling forces on each of rings 16 press earcups 14 toward each other against respective opposite sides of the head. Earcup 14, being freely pivotable about studs 24 and further being self-adjusting by freedom of their respective mounting rings 16 to tilt by compliance of flexible straps 28 and 18, automatically assume comfortable positions against the head with pressure of the ear seals around the ears being evenly distributed for optimum acoustic sealing around the ears.
In instances where exceptionally shallow earcups such as earcup 14 diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 4 are intended to be used in the construction of headpiece 10, it may be preferable or necessary in some cases to alter the shape of mounting ring 16 to the configuration of ring 16, for example. As shown, this differently shaped ring 16 has both of its upper and lower portions disposed a predetermined amount to the outer side of a plane taken parallel to the head-engaging side of the earcup and passing through the earcup studs 24'. Thus portions of the rings which receive straps 28 and 18 are positioned away from the head sufliciently to keep straps 28 and 18 clear of the side of the head and away from their respective earcups.
In other instances where it may be desired or necessary to employ the use of exceptionally deep earcups such as earcup 14 diagrammatically in FIG. 5, the reverse configuration of mounting ring 16 in FIG. 4 may be used (see FIG. 5). Thus, an optimum direction of pulling force applied to straps 28 and 18 may be maintained and ungainliness of the mounting ring otherwise having to be disposed in a plane considerably spaced from the head and possibly interfering with the wearing of helmets and the like is avoided.
It should now be apparent that, in addition to the aforementioned features and advantages of the present inventive concept, earcups so supported upon the head are considerably less prone to oscillations (pumping ef fects) at low frequencies, e.g. below 500 Hz., since they are not a part of a large spring-mass-compliance system as is the case in conventional headband and/or helmet supported hearing protector devices. Furthermore, in view of the fact that helmets, caps or hats intended to be worn along with the present ear protector headpiece system need not come into contact with more than the flexible non-resilient head harness portion thereof, helmet or cap resonances due to acoustic or mechanical excitation will not transfer to the earcups and accordingly will not be audible.
What is claimed is:
1. A hearing protector headpiece comprising:
a head harness formed of flexible substantially nonelastic strap material, said harness having at least one depending ear protector attachment strap at each of opposite sides thereof;
a pair of hearing protector earcups;
a mounting ring for each of said earcups, each earcup being positioned within its respective mounting ring and pivotally connected thereto along a diameter of said ring, each of said depending straps of said head harness being attached to one of said rings at a location approximately intermediately of one semicircular extension of said ring from said diameter thereof.
a pair of elastic chin straps each having one of its ends attached to a respective one of said rings at a location in the remaining semicircular extension thereof; and
a chin cup interconnecting opposite terminal ends of said chin straps.
2. A hearing protector headpiece according to claim 1 wherein said depending attachment straps of said head harness are adjustable in length for positioning said earcups a distance apart according to the bitragional coronal arc length of the wearer and said elastic chin straps are adjustable in length for regulating elastic tension therein according to amounts of holding force desired to be applied to said earcups during the wearing of said headpiece.
3. A hearing protector headpiece according to claim 1 wherein said semicircular extensions of said ring are peripherally slotted and said straps are looped through said slots for effecting said attachment thereof to said rings.
4. A hearing protector headpiece according to claim 1 wherein said semicircular extensions of said ring from said diameter are disposed in a common plane.
5. A hearing protector headpiece according to claim 1 wherein said semicircular extensions of said ring are each inclined a predetermined amount laterally to one side of a plane taken parallel to the head-engaging side of said earcup and containing said diameter thereof.
6. A hearing protector headpiece according to claim 5 wherein each ring is so disposed upon its earcup as to have said semicircular extensions of said ring extend away from the head-engaging side of said earcup.
7. A hearing protector headpiece according to claim 5 wherein each ring is so disposed upon its earcup as to have said semicircular extensions of said ring extend toward the head-engaging side of said earcup.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,898,596 8/1959 Keen 23 3,190,973 6/1965 Aileo c- 179156 3,327,316 6/1967 Pukish 23 JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner G. H. KRIZMANICH, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 23