US 3601218 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Walker Reynolds, Jr.
327 E. 10th Street, Annlston, Ala. 36201 [21 Appl. No. 21,824
 Filed 1 Mar. 23, 1970  Patented Aug. 24, 1971  inventor  STETHOSCOPE 8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 [1.8. (I 181/24  1nt.CI A6lb 7/02  Field ofSearch 181/24  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,344,655 6/ 1920 Rubin 181/24 1,559,147 10/1925 Aurness 181/24 1,854,802 4/1932 Meyer.... 181/.5 2,515,471 7/1950 Ratzan 181/24 3,035,656 5/1962 Kebel 181/24 Primary Examiner-Stephen J. Tomsky Anorney-Jennings, Carter & Thompson ABSTRACT: Stethoscope having chest piece with air chamber therein. Sound delivery tube communicates with one side of chamber and sound-receiving passageway communicating with other side conveying sound through chamber from opposite side to said one side then to delivery tube. Chest piece rotatable to selected positions on tube permitting use of diaphragm and bell-type pieces.
STE THO SCOPE BACKGROUND or THE INVENTION This invention relates to a stethoscope and more particularly to a stethoscope which shall have an air. chamber therein together with improved means for passing sound through the air chamber whereby improved sound qualities are obtained.
Heretofore in the art to which my invention relates,'chest pieces for stethoscopes have conveyed sound directly to a sound delivery tube whereby the sound is conveyed directly from the point sound is received by thechest piece to the earengaging members of the stethoscope. Accordingly, there has been no division and channeling of the sound through the chest piece to improve the quality of the sound transmitted to the ear-engaging members.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with my present invention, 1 provide means for introducing sound at one side of an air chamber of a chest piecearid provide meansfor removing the sound at the opposite side of the air chamber whereby the sound transmitted to the sound delivery tube first passes through. the air. chamber, I The sound introduced into one side of the air chamber is divided whereby the sound thus divided passes in separate paths toward the opposite-side of the air chamber and then passes into the sound delivery tube so that the quality of thesound transmitted to the ears of the user is more like the natural or pure sound originally received by the chest piece.
A stethoscope embodying features of -myinvention is illus-- tra tedjn the accompanying drawing, forming a part of this applic atiomjn which: FIG-.1 is a side elevational view, partly brokenaway and in section, showing thechest piece and a fragment of the sound del iyerytube; 3
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken generallyalong the line 2-2 o fllG.l; M
I FIG. 3 is .an enlarged view taken generally along the line 3- 3 of FIG. 1; i
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view showinglthe opposite side of the stethoscope from that shown in FIG. 1'', and; i e
FIG. 5 is a sectional view correspondingto FIG. 3 of' the drawing but showing a modified form of my invention.
Referring now tothe drawing for a better understandingof my invention, lsh'ow an accumulator or chest piece generally at 10. The chest piece 10 comprises a body portion 11 having an opening 12 therethrough for receiving a sound delivery tube 13 with a rotatable fit. As shown in'iFlG. 3, thebody member 11 is provided with an annular'air chamber 15 which is defined by cutting away an annular portion of the body member ll whereby a bearing member 14 is provided at the center of the chest piece 10 and is spaced from an annular peripheral flange 16.
The sound delivery tube 13 extends transversely across the air chamber 15, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 whereby it is rotatable in the opening 12 provided in the members 14 and 16 of the body member 11; To prevent separation of the sound delivery tube from the body member 11, an annular recess is provided in the sound delivery tube 13 adjacent the bearing member 14 for receiving a locking ring 17 which engages the bearing member 14, as shown, to limit movement of the sound delivery tube 13 outwardly of the body member 11. Also, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the sound delivery tube 13 is closed at a point inwardly of the annular recessv 15 as at 18, Oppositely passes in separate paths at opposite sides of the rotatable tube disposed sound-receiving passageways 19 are provided in opposite sides of the sound delivery tube 13 for receiving sound from the annular passageway 15. Although the sound delivery tube 13 terminates inwardly of the passageways l9, thetube 13 extends across the annular air chamber 15, as shown in F108. 1 and 2. Oppositely disposed sound discharge passageways 21 are provided. in opposite sides of the tube 13 for discharging sound into the. annular passageway 15. The passageways 21 communicate with. a passageway 22 provided.
in the tubular member 13 which terminates as at 23. Accordingly, the passageway 22 is not in direct communication with the passageway through the other end of the sound delivery tube 13, as clearly shown in FIG. While the sound delivery tube 13 is shown as being blocked by an integrally formed member with the passageway 22 being defined by drilling an opening through the end of the tube 13, it will be apparent that the sound delivery tube 13 could be blocked intermediate the points 18 and 23 by a suitable closure member, such as a plug or the like.
A lateral opening 24 is provided in the passageway 22 adjacent the closed end 23 for receiving sound selectively from a diaphragm-type chest piece 26 and a bell-type chest piece 27, respectively. I L I The diaphragm-type chest piece 26 as showngin F IGS. 2 and 3 comprises a metallic disc 28 having a concavelfront face 29 whichis mounted adjacent a flexible diaphragm 31. An an nu larrecess is provided in the free end of the annular flange 16 to provide an annular shoulder 32 which is adaptedto receive the periphery of the disc 28, as shown in FIG. 3. Accordingly, the back side of the disc 28 bears against the annular shoulder 32 and the adjacent surfaceof the bearing member. The disc 28 and the diaphragm31 are held in assembled position by a retainer ring 33 which 'is threadedly connected to the outer surface of the annularflange 16 as at 34. l The lateral opening 24 in the sound delivery tube l 3 is adapted to communicate selectively with an opening 36*pro vided .in the disc member 28 and an opening37 providedin the body member 11. The opening 37 is relatively large and is not provided with a diaphragm cover whereby that side of the chest piece 10 is employed as a bell-type chest piece while the side thereof carrying the diaphragm unit 26 operates as a diaphragm-type chest piece While the tube 13 is in position shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the opening 24 is in register with the opening 36 whereby the chest piece serves as a diaphragmtype unit. On the other hand, upon rotating the tube 13 theopening 24 then registers with the opening 37 so that the chest piece 10 then operates as a bell-type chest piece. I v To hold the tube 13 in selected positions whereby the opening 24 registers with either the opening 36 or opening 37 a recess 38 is provided in the outer surface of the rotatable member 13 for receiving a ball-like member 39 which is urged by a spring 41 toward the adjacent'recess 38. Accordingly, upon rotation of the rotatable member 13 to align the balllike member 39 with selected ones of the recesses 38, the rotatable tube 13 is held in a fixed position whereby the opening 24is in rotated to the position shown in'FIGS. l, 2 and 3 whereby the opening 24 is in register with opening 36. The sound entering opening 36 passes through opening 24' into passageway 22 and is then discharged through openings 21, as indicated the arrows in- FIG. 1'. Upon enteringv the air chamber 15, the sound discharged through the oppositely disposed openings 2 1 13 and then passes inwardly of openings 19 into the sound deliverytube l3 whereupon the sound is'then transmitted to the ear-engaging members in a manner well understood in the art. Accordingly, the sound entering the "passageway 24 does not pass directly to the end of thesound tube 13 which is connected to the earpieces but passes axially through the passageway 22 and is then discharged through openings 21 whereupon it then travels across the air chamber 15 to the openings 19'. I have found in actual practice that by providing, the air chamber 15 withinthe hollow chest piece and causing.
Where the chest piece is to be employed as a bell-type chest piece, the member 13 is rotated 180 from the position shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, whereby the opening 24 then registers with openings 37. The sound then passes through the passageway 22 and is discharged through openings 21 and passes across air chamber 15 to the sound-receiving openings 19 as described hereinabove.
In FIG. 5 of the drawing, I show a modified form of my invention in which the diaphragm-type unit is indicated at 26a. The body member 11 is identical to the body member 11 shown in FIGS. 1 through 4. Instead of employing the disc 28 having the concave front face, I employ a flexible diaphragm 31a which is spaced inwardly from the diaphragm 31. The diaphragms 31 and 31a are held in spaced relation to each other by an annular member 42. The inner flexible diaphragm 31a is provided with a centrally disposed opening 364 which is adapted to communicate with the opening 24 in the rotatable member 13 upon rotation of the rotatable member 13, 180 from the position shown in FIG. 5. That is, with the rotatable tube 13 in the position shown in FIGS, the opening 24 is in register with the opening 37 whereby the chest piece is employed as a bell-type chest piece, When the unit shown in FIG. 5 is to be employed as a diaphragm-type chest piece, the tube 13 is rotated to align openings 24 and 36a whereby sound is then received from the diaphragm unit 260.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that I have devised an improved stethoscope. By providing means for introducing sound "at one side of an annular air chamber and then causing the sound to pass across the air chamber to the opposite side thereof and into a sound delivery tube, the quality of the sound transmitted to the earpieces is greatly improved whereby the sound is very similar to natural or pure sounds received through the openings 36, 36a or 37, as the case may be. Also, by providing a rotatable chest piece which is mounted on the sound delivery tube whereby sound may be received selectively from either side, my stethoscope may be employed selectively as a diaphragm chest piece or a bell-type chest piece. While I have shown my invention in but two forms, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that it is not so limited, but is susceptible of various other .changes and modifications without departing from the spirit thereof; What I claim is:
I. A stethoscope comprising: a. a chest piece having a hollow cavity therein defining an air chamber,
b. a sound delivery tube communicating with said air chamber adjacent one side thereof, c. a sound-receiving passageway in said chest Piece, and d. means communicating said sound-receiving passageway improved 4 with the opposite side of said air chamber from the'side thereof communicating with said sound delivery tube so that sound received from said sound-receiving passageway passes through said air chamberfrom said opposite side thereof to said one side thereof and is then delivered to said sound delivery tube. 2. A stethoscope as defined in claim 1 in which said sound delivery tube is provided with oppositely disposedpassageways therein for receiving sound from said air chamber and oppositely disposed discharge openings communicate'with said sound-receiving passageway for delivering sound to said opposite side of said air chamber, whereby the sound-receiving passageway with the side of said disclilge member opposite said passageway being concave and a fleiiible diaphragm is mounted adjacent said concave side of the disclike member.
5. A stethoscope as defined in claim 1 in which said soundreceiving passageway is a relatively large opening in a belltype chest piece.
6. A stethoscope as defined in claim 1 in which said sound delivery tube extends across said air chamber with an opening in said tube communicating with said sound-receiving passageway so that sound is conveyed through said opening into said tube and then to said opposite side of said air chamber and means interrupts the flow of sound from said opening through said tube directly to said one side of said air chamber.
7. A stethoscope as defined in claim 6 in which said sound delivery tube is rotatable relative to said chest piece and a sound-receiving passageway is provided in said chest piece at opposite sides of said sound delivery tube and locking means is provided between said chest piece and said sound delivery tube for locking said chest piece in position to communicate said opening in said tube with selected ones of said soundre ceiving passageways.
8. A stethoscope as defined in claim 7 in which said locking means comprises;
a. a ball-like member carried by a recess in said chest piece, b. a spring member between said ball-like member and said recess urging said ball-like member toward said sound delivery tube, and i c. there being a recess in opposite sides of said sound delivery tube for receiving said ball-like member.