US 3545693 A
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C United States Patent [1113,545,693
[ inventors John Raymond Garner; 3,061,234 /1962 Morey 242 107.1 William Henry Fletcher; s Marfin 3,144,218 8/1964 Tepe 242/107.1 Pulley, llfnrd. Enslmd 3,372,887 3/1968 Ladany.... 242/10713 1:12- K i; 1968 3,409,246 11/1968 DePas 242/107 1e are Pmmed z 697 640 9/19s3 f= ::t:; 242/107 1 [73 1 Assume far g g Limited 909,001 10/1962 Great Britain 242/107 11 British Company Primary ExaminerStanley N. Gilreath  rior y Mmll 1967 Assistant Examiner-Wemer H. Schroeder  Great Britain Attorney-Scrivener, Parker, Scrivener and Clarke [31 No. 12652/67 ABSTRACT: To prevent, without the use of slip rings or ro- 54 REELING A A T S tary glands, twist in the connection between a cable or hose 3 Chin, 3 end fixed to a winding drum and a stationary part of the cable 2 U s m 242,54 or hose, the connection 1s effected via a of auxiliary cable [5 l which during the winding and unwinding movement of the  cl /00 cable on the drum passes from a portion of the drum at which  Field ofSeareh 245/5143, it is wound in closely adjacent largediameter mms to a P012 l tion of the drum in which it is stored in small-diameter turns. 1561 Rem-MM i"$521?time;anim s:messa e?a: UNITED STATES PATENTS direction of winding is reversed between the large-diameter Bennett etal and smalbdiameter turns forming a loop supported 3 1,363,409 Crispen 242/107-l guide roller in a roller cage on whose rollersthe large-diame- $167,571 1939 Henman 242/ 1 ter turns are supported, but which rotates relative to the large- 2,433,515 1948 M l r lx diameter turns at the rate at which auxiliary cable is added to 2,518,071 8/1950 Rushworth 242/ 107.1
or withdrawn from these turns.
' PATENTED DEC 8197!] sum 1 N3 3545693 REELING APPARATUS This invention relates to reeling apparatus suitable for storage of flexible conductors such as electrical cables or fluid-conducting hoses. Such apparatus is hereinafter referred to as cable-reeling apparatus, and the term cable will, unless the context otherwise requires, .be hereinafter employed to cover both electrical cables and fluid-conveying hoses.
In supplying mobile equipment from a static supply point with electrical or fluid supplies, 'a flexible cable may be used which is stored on a rotatable drum to which one end of the cable .is attached, and from which the cable or hose may be drawn off, thus making the cable extensible,- as necessary to accommodate movement, towards or away from the drum, of equipment attached to the other end of the cable.
The present invention has for an object to provide a substantially twist-free and slide-free connection between that end of the cable which is fixed to the drum and a stationary cable position. It has already been proposed to establish this connection by an auxiliary length'of cable, hereinafter called auxiliary cable, extending from the stationary position to the drum-fixed end of the remainder of the cable, hereinafter called main cable, in a number of turns which during rotation of the drum to unwind the main cable are arranged to move from a position near the centre to a position near the outside diameter of a-storage chamber. When the auxiliary cable is arranged in a single-plane spiral, like a clockwork spring, confined between two parallel flat walls, the necessary diameter of the chamber is liable to become excessive when a considerable length of main cable is to be wound on to and off the winding drum.
The present invention has for an object to provide an improved-arrangement which permits the auxiliary cable for a relative large length of main cable to be wound on a winding drum to be accommodated in a chamber of relatively small diameter.
To increase the capacity of the storage chamber for a given diameter, it has also been proposed to arrange the auxiliary cable in a small-diameter helix, when the cable is fully wound on the drum, the idea being that as auxiliary cable is being unwound from the drum, turning of one end of the helix against diameter of the helix; The helix is then supposed to decrease in diameter again as the main cable is rewound on to the 'winding drum. This depends, however, on uniform resilience of the auxiliary cable and is very difficult to achieve in practice.
According to another proposal the winding drum is replaced by a pulley frame comprising a number of rollers or pulleys mounted between two end plates similarly to planet wheels in a planet carrier and surrounding a stationary reel to which the fixed end of the cable is attached, the cable being led from the circumference of the pulley frame to the circumference of the reel by being deflected by approximately 180 round one of the pulleys. Since in this case there is no division between the cable to be wound and an auxiliary cable, the whole of the longitudinal force acting on the cable, for example the weight of equipment suspended on the cable, will be effective on the part of the cable which is being deflected by one of the pulleys and wound round the small-diameter reel. The apparatus therefore requires the use of a cable which is very highly flexible so that the apparatus is only suitable for light cable of small diameter.
It is another object of the present invention to provideim' proved apparatus which permits the advantages of this construction as regards reliable depositing and unwinding of helical turns on to and from a small-diameter central reel to obtain even when the apparatus is required for winding a heavygauge, relatively rigid cable.'With this object in view the invention provides in cable reeling apparatus having a winding drurn operable between two end positions for winding and unwinding a main cable and including means for maintaining a continuous fixed connection of said main length of cable with an external attachment point, the combination comprising a stationary frame member, a windingdrum member rotatably the direction of its winding will progressively increase the supported by said frame member and having anchoring means for one of said main cable, an auxiliary cable having its two ends attached respectively to said one end of the main cable and to said frame member, a small-diameter auxiliary reel fast with one of said members, and an auxiliary drum of larger diameter than said reel, supported by said frame member so as to be capable of independent coaxial rotation relative to said frame member and to said drum member, said auxiliary drum having an antifriction circumferential supporting surface for said auxiliary cable from the said surface to the surface of said auxiliary reel, said auxiliary cable being placed to extend, when the winding drum is in one end position, from one of its ends round said-auxiliary drum in a plurality of turns, then through the aperture and, via a point of the circumference of said reel, to the other end of the auxiliary cable so that rotation of the winding drum from said one end position will cause an increasing length of auxiliary cable to be unwound from the auxiliary drum and wound on to the reel while producing rotation of said auxiliary drum relative to said reel and circumferential movement of the auxiliary cable round the auxiliary drum relative to said aperture, means being also included for maintaining the auxiliary drum in such rotational relation to the winding drum and the stationary frame member as to sub stantially avoid any slack of the auxiliary cable.
An even greater number of turns can be made available while maintaining substantial absence of twist by reversing the direction of the large-diameter turns relative to the smalldiarneter turns via an S-turn, both the large-diameter turns and the small-diameter turns being arranged in helical juxtaposition. Conveniently two or more additional rollers, similar to the deflection roller, are also provided to supplement the deflection roller to a star-symmetric roller system,
the whole of the auxiliary cable store being preferably arranged inside the drum for the extensible cable.
Three embodiments of the invention will now be further described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an elevation in axial section of a cable-reeling apparatus according to one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a section across the axis of the latter, and
FIG. 3 is a section, similar to FIG. 1 of a modification.
In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 and 2 an extensible main cable 9 is wound ona drum 20 which is mounted for free rotation about its axis by end flanges 21a of a set of rollers 21 which are supported in a pair of side plates 22 to form a roller cage which itself is mounted for coaxial rotation about an auxiliary reel body 23 fixed in a frame 30. An auxiliary cable 11 extends through this frame 30 to an external point 24. When the main cable 9 is wound on to the drum 20 to its fullest extent, the greater part of the auxiliary cable 11 is wound on to the auxiliary reel 23 in closely adjacent helical turns as shown in FIG. 1. The auxiliary cable 11 passes from the auxiliary reel 23 to the outer side of the rollers 21, adjacent to the inner side of the cable drum 20, via a return loop 11a, which, as shown in FIG. 2, is guided by a deflector or transfer roller 25 whose pitch diameter (i.e. diameter from the roller axis to the axis of the cable wound on it) is approximately equal to the distance between the pitch diameter of the fixed inner drum body 23 and that of the turns of the auxiliary cable 11 supported on the rollers 21 of the roller cage. The roller cage thus forms an auxiliary drum, substantially greater in diameter than the auxiliary reel 23, for the auxiliary cable 11. Preferably the pitch diameter of the deflector roller 25 is arranged to equal to the pitch diameter of the fixed auxiliary reel 23 in order to keep the smallest radius of curvature to which the auxiliary cable is subjected throughout the operation as large as possible.
In addition to the transfer roller 25 two additional rollers 26 of similar diameter are supported between the two sidewalls 22 of the roller cage in such manner that the three rollers 25, 26 and 27 are spaced at equal angles round the axis of the roller cage. The three rollers 25, 26 and 27 are formed with flangelike end portions 25a, 26a, 270 respectively whose diameter is equal to the pitch diameter of the respective rollers and which are in rolling contact with pitch-diameter portions 23a of the inner drum body 23 so as to jointly form a lowfriction bearing supporting the roller cage on the stationary auxiliary reel 23. Only one roller 25 is actually employed in transferring the auxiliary cable 11 from the auxiliary reel 23 to the roller cage as shown at 11a, and the outer end of the auxiliary cable 11 is arranged to pass through from the inner to the outer side of the cable-winding drum as shown at 28, to be joined with, or integrally continued by, the outer cable 9, whose retraction is limited by an end stop 29. A spiral spring .31 is interposed between the fixed stationary frame 30, in
which the auxiliary reel 23 is fixed, and one sidewall 22 of the roller cage to urge the roller cage to rotate in the direction of the arrow A, so that the drum 20 tends to withdraw the main cable 9 to the illustrated position of abutment of the stop 29.
When a pull sufficient to overcome this bias is applied to the cable 9 to withdraw it from the drum 20, the latter will rotate in a direction opposite to that of the arrow A and thus exert upon the outer end of the auxiliary cable 11, which rests on the rollers 21, a pull in the direction of the arrow B of FIG. 2. The resulting torque on the roller cage in relation to the fixed reel 23 will cause the cage to rotate relative to the reel 23 in the direction opposite to the arrow A, thus causing the auxiliary cable to be unwound from the helical groove in the fixed drum 23 and to be passed via the surface of the transfer roller 25 to the circumference of the roller cage. This deposition of auxiliary cable 11 on to the roller cage allows the latter to lag in circumferential velocity behind that of the outer drum 20 in accordance with the rate at which that cable is fed by the transfer roller 25 to the roller cage from the reel 23, and it can be shown that for each turn of the auxiliary cable 11 unwound from the reel 23 the outer drum 20 will turn by 1% revolutions. Since in addition the pitch diameter of the outer drum 20 is more than three times that of the reel 23, it will be apparent that with this construction and with the ratio of drum and roller diameters chosen according to optimum flexing conditions, the length of main cable 9 that can be withdrawn from and rewound on the outer drum 20 is approximately four times the length of auxiliary cable 11 that can be stored on the reel 23.
- FIG. 3 illustrates a modified form of apparatus, in which the spiral spring 31 is omitted, and which has the advantage of reducing the strain on the auxiliary cable 11, which therefore can be of lighter construction than the main cable. in this modified apparatus the drive of the winding drum via the cable is replaced by a power drive for the winding drum in combination with intermeshing gearing which couples the circumferential velocities of the reel, which has the reference number 37, and of the roller cage by one or more of the three rollers 25, 26, 27 which include the deflection roller 25 and two supplementary rollers 26 and 27. Three gears thus respectively associated with the reel 23, with the deflector roller 25, and with the roller cage are respectively shown at 31, 32 and 33.
Utilizing the fact that in the embodiment of FlGS. 1 and 2 the two ends of the auxiliary cable 11 are respectively motionless relative to the reel 23 and to a shell which, being the winding drum 20 FIGS. 1 and 2, closely encases the turns of auxiliary cable resting on the auxiliary drum constituted by the roller cag and that neither of these ends travels in the direction of the cable relative to these two bodies respectively, the embodiment shown in FIG. 3 employs a shell 35 in which the large-diameter turns of the auxiliary cable 11 on the roller 'cage are similarly stored, and which is held stationary in a frame 38 for external connection at 34 of the associated end of the auxiliary cable 11. The auxiliary reel 23 is in this case arranged to rotate with the winding drum 20 to which the main cable 9 is attached, so that that end of the auxiliary cable 11 which is secured to the auxiliary reel 37 can be connected to the outer cable 9 on the winding drum 20 without relative motion or twist of the connected ends.
In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3 the shell 35 is provided with an end wall 39 to form a housing encasing the roller cage, and the connection of the auxiliary cable 11 to the winding drum 20, is effected through the centre bore 36 of the reel 37, which latter is coupled to the winding drum 20 to be jointly rotated by a motor drive 40, which is diagrammatically shown as having a spindle 41 with a pinion 42 engaging internal teeth 43 at the circumference of the bore 36 in the reel 37.
'1. In cable-reeling apparatus having a winding drum operable between two end positions for winding and unwinding a main cable and including means for maintaining a continuous connection of one end of said main cable with an external fixed attachment point, the combination comprising a stationary frame member, a winding-drum member rotatably supported by said frame member and having anchoring means for said one end of said main cable, an auxiliary cable having one of its two ends attached respectively to said one end of the main cable and having its other end attached to said frame member at such fixed point, a small-diameter auxiliary reel fast with one of said members, and an auxiliary drum of larger diameter than said reel, supported by said frame member so as to be capable of independent coaxial rotation relative to said frame member and to said drum member, said auxiliary drum having an antifriction circumferential supporting surface for said auxiliary cable and an aperture in said surface for the passage of said auxiliary cable from the said surface to the surface of said auxiliary reel, said auxiliary cable being placed to extend, when the winding drum is in one end position (main cable fully wound), from one of its ends round said auxiliary drum in a plurality of turns, via a point of the circumference of said reel, then through the aperture of the reel, at its other end to said main cable so that rotation of the winding drum from said one end position will cause an increasing length of auxiliary cable to be unwound from the auxiliary drum and wound on to the reel while producing rotation of said auxiliary drum relative to said reel, and circumferential movement of the auxiliary cable round the auxiliary drum relative to said aperture, means being also included for maintaining the auxiliary drum in such rotational relation to the winding drum and the stationary frame member as to substantially avoid any slack of the auxiliary cable.
2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the auxiliary drum includes a deflection roller deflecting the auxiliary cable by approximately between a direction tangential to the auxiliary drum and a direction tangential to the auxiliary reel.
3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the auxiliary reel is fixed relative to the frame member the auxiliary drum being accommodated within the winding drum.
4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the auxiliary reel is fixed to the winding drum.
5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the deflector roller has the same diameter as the auxiliary reel.
6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein the auxiliary reel is formed with flange portions having the same diameter as the pitch circle defined by the axis of the auxiliary cable wound on said reel, and wherein the auxiliary drum is a roller cage which includes a deflection roller and additional rollers similar in diameter to the deflection roller and forming with the deflection roller a star formation, the deflection roller and each said additional roller having flange portions, equal in diameter with the pitch circle defined by the axis of the auxiliary cable on the deflection roller, for rolling support cooperation with the flange portions of the auxiliary reel.
7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6, including additional cable-support rollers of smaller diameter than the deflection roller, said additional support rollers being provided on the auxiliary drums to serve as additional support points for the auxiliary cable on the auxiliary drum.
8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2, including a power device for the winding drum.