US 3580212 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 7  Patented  Inventor  CONTROL AND MOUNTING SYSTEM FOR ELECTRIC TROLLING MOTOR 3,052,204 9/1962 Scivally 115/18 3,119,365 1/1964 Evans 115/18(X) 2,213,520 9/1940 Gentry 115/38 Primary ExaminerMilton Buchler Assistant Examiner-Carl A. Rutledge Azt0rneys-C1arence A. O Brien and Harvey B. Jacobson ABSTRACT: An electric outboard motor assembly and storage housing therefor including remotely disposed power and steering controls. The storage housing is constructed in a manner whereby a battery for the electric outboard motor assembly may be received therein and a voltage control is mounted on the housing and operatively connected to the battery and electric motor of the outboard motor assembly for controlling the speed of operation of the electric motor. Further, the steering control for the electric outboard motor assembly includes a pair of selectively usable steering components, one of which is removably supported from the housing and receivable in the latter for storing and the other of which is mountable directly on the outboard motor assembly and is also receivable in the housing for storage. In addition, the second mentioned steering control is provided with its own voltage control whereby one hand operation of the electric outboard motor assembly may be accomplished when the motor is being steered by the second mentioned steering control.
Patented May 25, 1971 3,580,212
5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fig.
Warren 0. For/son IN VENTOR.
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Patented May 25, 1971 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Warren 0. il-Tarfson IN VIEN'I'OK.
BY W Mzaq,
Patented May 25, 1971 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Warren 0,. Farlson INVIL'N'I'OK.
Patented May 25, 1971 3,580,212
3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Fig 8 Warren D. Farfson IN Vlz'NTOK.
BY W Mz:.,.
This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 771,766, filed Oct. 30, 1968, for Control System for Trolling Motor.
The control system of the instant invention is primarily designed for use by fishermen in that it includes a storage housing in which the associated electric outboard motor may be stored. In addition, the support structure by which the outboard motor is to be supported from a boat may also be stored within the housing in addition to a storage battery and selectively usable voltage and steering control assemblies. Also, flexible conductor means and motion transmitting means are provided for operatively connecting the outboard motor to the remotely operable steering and voltage controls.
Movable control actuator portions of the voltage control and steering control are supported from the housing in unique relation relative to each other whereby both may be operated simultaneously by a single limb of the operator. The voltage control includes a pushbutton on'off switch and the steering control actuator portion includes a horizontally swingable and knee engageable bifurcated arm between whose furcations the pushbutton-type on-and-off switch is located. The on-and-off switch is not only connected to one terminal of the associated battery but also to the electric motor of the outboard motor assembly through a voltage control assembly, the electric motor also being connected to the second terminal'of the battery. In this way, the voltage control, mounted on the housing, may be set to operate the motor at the desired speed and starting and stopping of the motor as well as steering of the motor may be efiected by one knee of the operator of the outboard motor.
A second set of movable control actuator portions of the voltage control and the steering control are supported from atop the vertical support and pivot shaft of the outboard motor to define a horizontally outwardly projecting handle. The handle may of course be swung so as to effect steerage of the outboard motor assembly and the free end of the handle is provided with a pushbuttontype on-otf switch for starting and stopping operation of the electric motor through the aforementioned voltage control mounted on the storage housing.
The main object of this invention is to provide a control system for an electric trolling motor including a storage housing which may be readily handled and transported from one location to another and which is capable of containing substantially all portions of the outboard motor and its steering and voltage controls as well as a source of electrical potential for the outboard motor.
Another object of this invention is to provide a novel voltage control and steering control assembly whereby each control may be simultaneously actuated by a single limb of the operator of the electric outboard motor.
A still further object of this invention, in accordance with the immediately preceding object, is to provide a pair of alternately usable voltage control and steering control assemblies with a first pair of the assemblies being adapted for actuation in a location remote from the associated outboard motor and the second pair of assemblies being supported directly from the outboard motor.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide an improved mounting for supporting an electric outboard motor from any gunwale or transom portion of an associated boat in a manner such that the outboard motor may be readily swiveled about an upstanding axis and also about a horizontal axis for tilting up out of the water should an underwater obstacle be contacted.
Another important object of this invention, in accordance with the immediately preceding object, is to provide means whereby upward swinging or tilting of the motor and propeller assembly of the outboard motor effected by the thrust developed by the propeller turning in water may be prevented in selected quadrants of rotation of the outboard motor about its vertical steering axis.
A final object of this invention to be specifically enumerated herein is to provide a control system for an electric trolling motor which will conform to conventional forms of manufacture, be of simple construction and easy to use so as to provide a device that will be economically feasible, long lasting and relatively trouble free in operation.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
F IG. 1 is a fragmentary top plan view of the forward portion of a fishing boat with the control assembly of the instant invention selectively positioned adjacent a first seat structure for actuation by an operator seated upon a second seat structure (not shown) and the motor mount portion of the assembly operatively supporting the associated electric outboard motor from the forward portion of the starboard gunwale of the boat;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the forward end of the boat illustrated in HO. 1 as seen from the starboard side thereof and with an alternate upwardly swung position of the motor and propeller assemblyillustrated in phantom lines;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary enlarged vertical sectional view taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the outboard motor mounted portion of the mounting and remote steering control assemblies of the instant invention;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of the remotely disposed actuator portions for the steering and voltage controlling assemblies;
FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the storage housing of the instant invention with the top thereof removed and with various portions of the outboard motor assembly positioned within the storage housing;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the storage housing with the cover or top wall thereof in place;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary top plan view of a motor pivot shaft mounted steering and voltage control assembly of the outboard motor; and
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary enlarged rear elevational view of the assemblage illustrated in FIG. 8 with portions of the motor mounting assembly and gunwale portions of the boat being broken away and illustrated in vertical section.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings the numeral 10 generally designates a small fishing boat or skiff in cluding a starboard gunwale 12, a transverse seat 14 and a floor or bottom 16.
The control system of the instant invention is generally referred to by the reference numeral 18 and is adapted to be utilized in conjunction with an outboard motor referred to in general by the reference numeral 20 including a lower motor and propeller unit 22 carried by the lower end of a tubular support shaft 24 including a female plug 26 at its upper end and conductor means 28 electrically connecting the female plug socket 26 to the motor and propeller unit 22.
The control system 18 includes a mounting assembly referred to in general by the reference numeral 30 and the assembly 30 includes a U-shaped channel member 32 for disposition in inverted position over the gunwale l2 and having a pair of clamp screws 34 threadedly engaged with one flange 36 of the channel member 32. A horizontal extension flange 38 is carried by the outer side of the channel member 32 and has a rearwardly opening notch 40 formed therein with which the upper end of a depending rearwardly opening channel member 42 is registered. The channel member 42 is secured to the undersurface of the extension flange 38 and a longitudinally slotted journal sleeve 44 is secured to the upper surface of the extension flange 38 forward of the forward extremity of the notch 40.
The mounting assembly 30 includes a second portion referred to in general by the reference numeral 46 comprising an elongated upstanding mounting block 48 having an upstanding bore (not shown) formed therethrough and a sleeve bearing 50 is received downwardly in the bore formed in the mounting block 48 and includes a collar 52 on its upper end which overlies the upper surface 54 of the block 48.
The tubular support shaft 24 includes a lower end portion which curves rearwardly as at 56 and terminates in a rearwardly directed horizontal portion 58. The horizontal portion 58 is disposed below the path of movement of the marine propeller 60 of the motor and propeller unit 22 and thereby acts as a skeg to prevent the propeller 60 from striking a submerged object in shallow water. The motor and propeller unit 22 is supported on the lower end of the shaft 24 by means of a mounting clamp 62 and the structure of the mounting clamp 62 and unit 22 is such that the front end of the unit 22 forms a watertight seal with the shaft 24 to shield the conductor means 28 from the water where the conductor means 28 pass from the tubular support shaft 24 into the unit 22.
The upper end of the tubular support shaft 24 is rotatably received through the sleeve bearing 50 and a split clamp collar 66 is clamped about the upper end of the tubular support shaft 24 above the collar 52 with the undersurface of the split clamp collar 66 resting upon the collar 52 The split clamp collar 66 includes a tightening screw 68 by which the clamp collar 66 may be tightened or loosened on the tubular support shaft 24 and the collar 66 further includes a lower circumferential groove 70 including a widened portion 72 of increased depth.
The mounting block 48 includes a pair of opposite side forwardly projecting horizontal arms 74 between whose free ends a rod 76 is secured by means of fasteners 78. The rod 76 is flattened along one side as at 76' and receivable in the slotted journal 44 which includes a narrow throat opening 44. It may therefore be seen that the second portion 46 of the mounting assembly 30 is removably oscillatably supported from the extension flange 38 by means of the rod 76 and the split journal 44.
A tilt lock collar 80 including a setscrew 82 is snugly disposed and rotatable on the upper end of the tubular support shaft 24 immediately beneath the mounting block 48. The setscrew 82 is utilized to secure the collar 80 in vertically and angularly adjusted positions on the support shaft 24 and it may be seen from FIG. 24 of the drawings that the lower marginal edge portions of the forward wall 84 of the depending channel member 42 includes a downwardly projecting and rearwardly inclinedstop finger or lug 86. The collar 80 includes an upper end counterbore 88 and one half of the upper end portion of the sleeve 80 defining the counterbore 88 is cutaway as at 90.
With attention now invited more specifically to FIGS. 2 and 3 of the drawings, it will be noted that when the propeller and motor assembly 22 projects rearwardly from the lower end of the tubular support shaft 24, the cutaway portion of the upper end of the collar 80 is registered with the finger or lug 86 whereby the lower end of the tubular support shaft 24 is free to swing rearwardly and upwardly should the rearwardly curving lower end portion of the motor support shaft 24 strike a submerged object. However, should the tubular support shaft 24 be rotated 180 for operation of the boat in reverse, the finger or lug 86 is received within the counterbore 88 so as to prevent the thrust developed by the motor and propeller assembly 22 from swinging the lower end of the tubular support shaft 24 to the dotted line position thereof illustrated in F 16. 2 of the drawings as the boat 10 is operated in reverse. Of course, the forward side 92 of the mounting block 48 seats against the rear face of the forward wall 84 to prevent forward and upward swinging of the lower end of the tubular support shaft 24 when the motor and propeller assembly 22 is positioned as illustrated in FIG. 2 of the drawings for forward propulsion of the boat 10.
The upper end of the block 48 includes an inwardly projecting mounting arm portion 94 including an upwardly projecting threaded thumbscrew 96 on its free end portion and a longitudinally shiftable slotted slide plate 98 on its inner end portion to be held in place by means of a threaded fastener 100 which may be tightened to clamp the plate 98 in position relative to the mounting arm portion 94. a
The control system 18 includes a bowden cable assembly referred to in general by the reference numeral 102 consisting of a pair of outer flexible housings 104 and 106 and a single inner flexible core 108. The midportion of the core 108 has almost two convolutions 110 formed therein and is seated in the groove 70. One of the convolutions is provided with an enlargement or abutment 112 which is seated in the widened portion 72 of the groove 70 and the end portions of the core 108 adjacent the convolutions 110 are slidingly received through opposite side tube portions 114 defined by integral downwardly and inwardly curled opposite side portions of a mounting plate 116 having a rectangular slot 118 formed therein.
Corresponding ends of the outer housings 104 and 106 are clampingly secured in the opposite side rolled or tube portions 114 of the mounting plate 116 and the mounting plate may be secured to the mounting arm portion 94 by turning the thumbscrew 96 in alignment with the longitudinal axis of the mount ing arm portion 94, slipping the mounting plate 116 downwardly on top of the mounting arm portion 94 with the thumbscrew 96 received through the slot 118 and the forward edge 120 of the mounting plate 116 abutted up against the rear edge 122 of the adjustable slide plate 98. Then, the thumbscrew 96 may be tightened and disposed so as to extend transversely of the mounting arm portion 94.
Referring now more specifically to FIGS. 6 and 7 of the drawings there may be seen a housing referred to in general by the reference numeral 120 and which includes opposite end walls 122 and 124 and opposite sidewalls 126 and 128. In addition, the housing 120 includes a pair of transverse partitions 130 and 132 as well as a longitudinal partition 134 extending between the ends of the partitions 130 and 132 adjacent the sidewall 126 The sidewall 128 has a pair of upwardly opening notches 136 formed therein and the sidewall 126 has three upwardly opening notches 138 and 140 formed therein. Further, a bracket 142 is secured to the inner side of the sidewall 126 beneath the notch 140 by means of suitable fasteners 144 and a voltage control switch 146 is secured to the inner surface of the sidewall 128 between the partition 132 and the end wall 124. The voltage control switch 146 includes an actuator therefor at 148 disposed outwardly of the sidewall 128 and an exterior mounting plate 150 is mounted on the outer surface of the sidewall 128 by means of suitable fasteners 152 and includes an upstanding sleeve portion 154. Finally, a pair of anchor blocks 156 are secured to the inner surface of the sidewall 128 by means of fasteners 158 and the upper marginal edge portions of the end walls 122 and 124 and the transverse partitions 130 and 182 are provided with aligned upwardly opening notches 160.
The housing 120 includes a top 162 provided with peripherally disposed depending opposite side and end flanges 164 and 166 and the top or cover 162 is receivable over the open upper end of the housing 120 as seen in FIG. 7 of the drawings with the flanges 164 and 166 telescoped downwardly over the upper ends of the opposite sidewalls 126 and 128 and opposite end walls 122 and 124.
With attention now invited more specifically to FIG. 5 of the drawings there may be seen an upstanding control shaft 170 including a laterally directed upper end portion 172 on whose free end a bifurcated yoke 174 including a pair of spaced legs 176 and 178 is secured. The inner surfaces of the yoke 174 are covered by a resilient padding 180 and a pushbutton switch 182 is secured to the upper surface of the free end of the laterally directed portion 172 and includes an extended reciprocal pressure actuator 184 which is slidingly received through the bight portion 186 of the yoke 174 and has an enlarged head 188 on its free end. Further, a mounting and abutment sleeve 190 is .nounted on the lower end portion of the control shaft 170 and releasably secured in position thereon by means of a setscrew 192. The lower end of the shaft 170 projects below the sleeve or collar 190 and is rotatably journaled in the sleeve or sleeve portion 154 secured to the mounting plate 150.
The free ends of the flexible core 108 are secured to the free ends of a pair of diverging arms 194 carried by the sleeve 190 and slidably received through the notches 136. The ends of the housings 104 and 106 remote from the mounting plate 116 are received through the notches 138 and secured to the anchor blocks 156 by means of suitable clamps 196. Thus, oscillation of the shaft 170 by swinging the yoke 174 from side to side will cause oscillation of the tubular support shaft 24.
A storage battery 200 is disposed within the housing 120 and includes a first terminal 202 to which one end of a conductor 204 is connected. The other end of the conductor 204 extends to the pushbutton switch 182 through an outer covering 206 and a second conductor 208 extends from the switch 182 through the outer covering 206 to the voltage control switch 46. A third conductor 210 comprising one conductor of a two conductor extension line extends from the switch 146 to a male socket 212 while the second conductor 214 of the extension cord extends from the male socket 212 to 'the second terminal 216 of the battery 200. Of course, the male plug 212 is downwardly receivable within the collar 66 for electrical connection with the female plug 26 and it may be seen from FIG. 4 of the drawings that the male plug 212 in cludes a pair of terminals 218 which are shielded against accidental grounding by means of a flexible and generally cylindrical sleeve 220. Further, the plug 212 has an arrow-shaped body 222 secured thereto indicating the direction of thrust which will be developed by operation of the motor and propeller unit 22 when the voltage control switch 146 has its actuator 148 positioned in a forward" position. Of course, it is to be noted that the voltage controlling switch 148 is not only operative to control the amount of voltage delivered to the motor and propeller unit 22 but also the direction of flow of electricity thereto whereby the unit 22 may be operated in opposite directions.
With attention now invited more specifically to FIGS. 8 and 9 of the drawings there may be seen a direct steering assembly referred to in general by the reference numeral 226 which may be utilized as an alternate method of steering the outboard motor and controlling its operation. The steering assembly 226 defines an elongated steering handle 228 having a handgrip 230 on one end and a voltage control switch 232 on its base end corresponding to the voltage control switch 146. The switch 232 includes an actuator 234 and the base end of the handle 228 includes a reduced neck portion 236 corresponding to the collar 66 and including a setscrew 238 corresponding to the clamp screw 68. Further, a male plug 240 corresponding to the male plug 212 is disposed within the neck 236 and a pair of conductors 242 and 244 extend from the steering assembly 226 and correspond to the conductors 204 and 214. In addition, the steering assembly 226 includes a second pair of conductors 246 and 248 corresponding to the conductors 208 and 214. Further, the free end of the handle 228 includes a pushbutton switch 250 having an actuator 252 and which corresponds to the switch 182. Accordingly, instead of utilizing the remotely operable steering assembly of FIGS. 4 and 5, the steering assembly 226 may be utilized in its stead. However, inasmuch as the steering assembly 226 may be operated by only one hand of the operator of the outboard motor and the steering assembly illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 may be also operated by only one knee of the operator received in the yoke 74, both steering assemblies may be controlled by a single limb of the operator of the outboard motor.
Inasmuch as the mounting plate 116 may be adjusted longitudinally of the mounting arm portion 94, the tensioning of the flexible core 108 may be adjusted as desired after the convolutions 110 have been seated in the groove 170. Further, it is to be noted that all of the various steering components are receivable within the various components of the housing 120 and that room is also provided in the housing 120 for a battery charger 260 to be utilized in recharging the battery 200. The
top or cover 262 is provided with a lifting handle 262 whereby the entire outboard motor assembly including its various steering controls and battery may be readily carried in one hand.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the'art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within thescope of the invention as claimed.
1. In combination with a housing from which a horizontally disposed driven propeller shaft is journaled and including an upstanding support standard having a mounting bracket journaled on its upper end for rotation about an axis generally paralleling the standard and adapted for support from the gunwale of a boat with the support standard disposed outwardly of the boat, remotely operable means operatively connected between said standard and mounting bracket for adjustably rotating the standard relative to the bracket, said mounting bracket including a first portion for securement to said gunwale and a second portion supported from said first portion for rotation about a horizontal axis and from which the upper end of said support standard is joumaled, said first and second portions including first coacting means establishing a limit position of swinging of said second portion relative to said first portion in one direction, said first portion and said standard including second coacting means operative to lock said standard, and thus said second portion, against swinging from said limit position about said horizontal axis in the other direction when the standard is rotated relative to said second portion to a position between a first and second relatively angularly displaced position.
2. In combination, a mount, a shaft supported from said mount for oscillation about the longitudinal axis of said shaft, a drive for oscillating said shaft, said mount including a first portion for securement to a-boat gunwale and a second portion supported from said first portion for oscillation about a cular groove'concentric with said axis, a Bowden cable assembly including an elongated flexible cable core including a midportion having at least one full convolution formed therein seated in said groove, and a pair of axially spaced outer sleeve portions including adjacent ends stationarily supported from said second portion of said mount and with which the opposite end portions of said core are guidingly engaged for longitudinal shifting relative thereto.
3. The combination of claim 2 wherein said groove includes a portion thereof of increased dimension, said one convolution having an enlargement thereon seated in said portion of increased dimension.
4. In combination, a base adapted for support from a peripheral portion of the hull of a boat, a horizontally laterally opening slotted support journal, a mounting sleeve, a support shaft rotatable in said sleeve, said sleeve including a horizontal pivot shaft portion supported laterally outwardly of one side of said sleeve removably journaled in said slotted journal, said sleeve and base including coacting means defining a limit position of pivotal movement of said sleeve relative to said base in one direction and said shaft and base including coacting means operative to selectively prevent pivotal movement of said sleeve in the other direction from said limit position in response to rotation of said shaft relative to said sleeve between relatively angularly displaced positions of said shaft.
5. The combination of claim 4 wherein the slot in said support journal extends longitudinally thereof and is of a width at least slightly less than the inside diameter of said support journal, said support shaft including at least one flattened side thereof, the distance between said flattened side and the remote side of said shaft being at least slightly less than the width of said slot.
6. A steering and electric motor control for an electric outboard motor, said control including a generally horizontal control arm, means supporting one end of said control arm for oscillation about an upstanding axis, the other end of said arm defining a horizontally disposed yoke opening endwise outwardly of said other end and adapted to receive the knee of an operator of said control therein, the closed end of said yoke including an electric control switch having a movable actuator projecting generally centrally into the knee receiving area defined by said yoke from the closed end of the latter and engageable by said knee for actuation of said switch.
7. The combination of claim 6 wherein said control arm ineludes means defining a pair of motion transmitting arms supported for oscillation with said yoke and including free ends disposed on opposite sides of said axis, said control including a bowden cable assembly whose core ends are attached to said free ends.
8. The combination of claim 7 wherein the midportion of said cable assembly is free of an outer casing and the exposed midportion of the core has a convolution formed therein, and a sleeve portion about which said convolution is lightly wound and adapted to be secured to a rotatable upright support shaft for rotation therewith.
9. The combination of claim 8 including a mount, said shaft being supported from said mount for oscillation about the longitudinal axis of said shaft, a drive for oscillating said shaft, said drive including means supported from said shaft and defining a generally radially outwardly opening generally circular groove concentric with said axis, an elongated flexible cable core including a midportion having at least one full convolution formed therein seated in said groove, and guide means stationarily supported from said'mount with which the journal pivotally supported from said base for oscillation about a horizontal axis extending transversely of said sleeve, said support shaft being rotatable in said sleeve, said sleeve and base including coacting means defining a limit position of pivotal movement of said sleeve relative to said base in one direction and said shaft and base including coacting means operative to selectively prevent pivotal movement of said sleeve in the other direction from said limit position in response to rotation of said shaft relative to said sleeve between relatively angularly displaced positions of said shaft.
11. The combination of claim 8, including a base adapted for support from a peripheral portion of the hull of a boat, a horizontally laterally opening slotted support journal, a mounting sleeve, said support shaft being rotatable in said sleeve, said sleeve including a horizontal pivot shaft portion supported laterally outwardly of one side of said sleeve removably journaled in said slotted journal.
12. The combination of claim 11 wherein one end of said shaft includes an electric motor and propeller assembly.
13. The combination of claim 11 wherein said sleeve and base include coacting means defining a limit position of pivotal movement of said sleeve relative to said base in one direction and said shaft and base include coacting means operative to selectively prevent pivotal movement of said sleeve in the other direction from said limit position in response to rotation of said shaft relative to said sleeve between relatively angularly displaced positions of said shaft.