US 3613877 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Inventor Ronald Jon Sorensen Northlake, Ill.
A pl. No. 830,242
Filed June 4, 1969 Patented Oct. 19, 1971 Assignee Ampex Corporation Redwood City, Calif.
REEL AND LOCKING MEANS FOR THE OUTER END OF THE STRIP 1 1 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
US. Cl 206/53, 83/648, 156/505 Int. Cl B65d 85/67 Field of Search 206/52, 5 2 F, 59 C, 59 E, 64, 53; 83/648; 242/125.2; 156/502, 505, 506
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,906,495 5/1933 Stine 242/125.2 1,852,953 4/1932 Clinton 142/1252 2,599,667 6/1952 Tall 156/505 2,880,840 4/1959 Bishop.. 206/59 C 3,097,558 7/1963 Jacob 206/52 F 3,358,943 12/1967 Pelson 24211252 Primary Examiner-William T. Dixson, Jr. Attorneys-Fitch, Even, Tabin & Luedeka and Robert G. Clay ABSTRACT: A reel for winding strip material such as magnetic tape or the like is provided with a locking means integral with the outer surface of the reel flange to hold the outer end of the wound strip in place during storage and handling. In one embodiment, the locking means also serves as a splicing jig for joining two strips.
PAIENTEUUU 19 um 3,6138 7 7 FIGJ BNVENTOR RONALD JON Songs ATTYS.
REEL AND LOCKING MEANS FOR THE OUTER END OF THE STRIP The present invention relates to reels for winding and storing elongated strips such as tapes and film. More particularly, the invention is directed to a reel which includes means for securing the outer or free end of the strip after the strip has been wound on the reel.
Reels for the winding and storage of elongated strips such as magnetic recording tape take many forms. One of these forms is termed an open reel and has a central hub with a central opening for receiving the spindle and a pair of circular flanges mounted at each end of the hub. The strip is wound on the hub spirally commencing with one ofitsends and thereafter forming successive laps. After the strip is fully wound on the reel, there remains an outer end which is free and which is preferably secured in some way to prevent the strip from unwinding from the reel during storage and handling.
In present commercial reels the outer end of the strip is secured by any one of several means. For example, a piece of adhesive material is sometimes applied to the end of the strip and pressed against the next lap or turn on the reel. Altematively, the strip is folded over the edge of a flange and the adhesive is used to hold it against the flange. Several drawbacks are apparent in either arrangement. First of all, the adhesive is unhandy when the outer end of the strip is to be inserted into the takeup reel and becomes the inner end of the strip after it has wound through the recording or reproducing device onto a takeup reel. Moreover, eventually the adhesive deteriorates and becomes unsatisfactory.
Alternate solutions such as drawing the end of the strip down between the wound portion and the inner side of the flange are also unsatisfactory because the free end of the strip may become inaccessible when it is desired to thread it and, further, the chances of the end coming free from the space in the flange is substantial so that a procedure is not truly satisfactory.
Accordingly, there remains in the recording, computer and film industries a need for an economical, reliable locking device for affixing the outer end of the tape, film or the like to the reel to maintain same in its wound position for storage and handling.
It is therefore the principal object of the present invention to provide a reel having means for securing the outer end of an elongated strip wound onto a reel.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide such a securing means on the reel itself.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a combination strip securing means and strip splicing means.
These and other objects of the present invention are more particularly set forth in the following detailed description and in the accompanying drawings of which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a reel showing various features of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the reel of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional elevational view taken along line33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional elevational view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of a reel similar to that shown in FIG. 2, but incorporating an additional feature of the invention; and I,
FIG. 6 is a plan view of a reel showing an alternate embodiment of the invention. I,
Referring now to FIG. 2 of the drawing, a reel 10 is provided which is adapted to have wound thereon a strip 11 in the form of a tape, a film, etc. For ease of description, this strip will hereinafter be referred to as a tape, but it is to be understood that the word tape" is intended to include any elongated strip or ribbon in connection with which the reel may be utilized.
The reel includes a centrally located hub 12 having a central opening 13 to receive a spindle (not shown) about which the reel rotates. The hub 12 is illustrated as a circular cylinder though it may be of any known hub configuration and may be open rather than of solid construction. A pair of circular flanges 14, the diameter of which may vary depending upon the particular application contemplated and the length of the strip being wound, are mounted in parallel relation at each of opposite ends of the hub, and include a central opening aligned with the central openings I3 of the hub 12. The inner surfaces of the flanges are spaced from each other a distance slightly greater than the width of the strip employed.
Means 16 are provided on each flange 14 for securing the outer end 17 of the tape 11 in place. For ease of description, the same reference numerals will be employed for similar parts on each flange. Each of the tape-securing means includes an elongated channel 17 which, in the illustrated embodiment extends from the outer rim of the flange inwardly along a chord of the flange, which is circular. In the illustrated embodiment, the chord does not pass through the center of the flange, i.e., it is not coincident with a diameter of the flange but rather is spaced some distance from the central axis thereof. In the illustrated embodiment the channel is located on a chord defined by a line on the surface of the flange which makes an angle of 45 with a line tangent to the flange at the end of the chord. The chord, however, might be a diameter of the outer surface of the flange, or might be displaced further from the center of the flange than the distance shown.
As can be seen best in FIGS. 3 and 4, the channel 17 is formed as a groove extending downwardly into the flange from the outer surface thereof. However, the channel could also be provided by some structure secured to the outer surface of the flange such as, for example, ribs or the like, in which case a portion of the outer surface of the flange might define the base of the channel. The channel includes a bottom wall 20, which is concave in cross section for purposes to be explained shortly, and includes a pair of opposed sidewalls 22 which lie in outwardly converging planes. At the juncture of the sidewalls 22 and the bottom wall 20, the width of the channel is slightly greater than the width of the tape 11 which the reel is designed to carry so that the tape can repose in the channel in an unflexed condition. The two sidewalls 22 taper toward each other until they reach the outer surface 18 of the flange where they define lips 23 in the form of straight edges. The distance between the lips 23 is less than the width of the tape 11 so that the tape, when placed in overlying relation to the lips with its longitudinal axis extending parallel to the longitudinal axis of the channel, cannot be inserted into the channel fully without being flexed. it is believed that for a tape having a width, when not flexed of 56 inch, the distance between the lips 23 should be about 0.23 inch. In like manner, the tape cannot be moved directly outwardly of the channel without flexing and so is most conveniently removed by pulling it longitudinally of the channel or by flexing it in the opposite direction as hereinafter explained.
Thus, when the tape is fully wound on the reel and the free end portion of the tape is to be affixed, the free end portion is laid over the opening of the channel 17 with its longitudinal axis extending parallel to the longitudinal axis of the channel. The free end portion is thengently pressed downwardly so as to flex it, thereby decreasing its effective width and allowing it to pass into the channel and rest adjacent the bottom wall 20 in a secured position.
As illustrated, the maximum depth of the channel 17 is minimal and substantially less than the total thickness of the flange into which it is incorporated so that the flange will not be weakened by the presence of the channel and so that the tape, when disposed in the channel, is capable of only limited movement in a direction normal to the outer surface of the flange. For standard magnetic tape, a depth the order of 0.05 inches is believed to be sufficient. However, the depth must be sufficient to permit the tape to flex enough to reduce its effective width as measured between the lateral edges of the strip to permit these edges to clear the lips 23. in the illustrated embodiment, the bottom wall or base 20 of the channel is concave, thereby providing sufficient depth for such flexure while permitting minimum movement of the tape once it is disposed in the channel.
In the embodiment of FIG. 2 the channel has a constant longitudinal cross section from its outer end, located at the periphery of the flange, to its inner end where it curves upwardly to the outer surface 18 of the flange for reasons which will be explained hereinafter.
As mentioned earlier, the channel 17 in the illustrated embodiment is integral with the flange 14 of the reel. It may, however, be formed in any one of several fashions. Preferably, it is molded with the flange when the reel is manufactured. When it constitutes a recess in the flange, however, it might be cut or milled into the flange after the flange has been formed. Alternatively, a rectangular channel might be formed in the flange by molding or milling, or a channel-defining member provided with lips could be formed as a separate piece and inserted into the rectangular channel. Such a pre-formed channel-defining member could also be bonded to an unmilled portion of the flange.
In addition, the cross section of the channel 17 can take any of several configurations so long as it maintains the requisite relationship to the width of the tape. For example, the bottom wall shown in FIG. 3 could be flat rather than curved. Also the sidewalls 22 need not be sharply defined and may be a continuation of the bottom wall 20 with a curved transition. The only limits on the channel are that the opening at the surface of the flange 14, Le, the opening defined by the lips 23, should be slightly less than the width of the tape to be locked.
The securing means 16 operates in the following manner. After the tape 11 is wound onto the reel 10, the free end 28 is brought to the outer rim of the flange 14 at the point where the channel 17 begins. Preferably, the tape is twisted once and then folded into overlying relationship with the channel with enough tape being free to extend slightly beyond the end of the channel. Pressure is then applied to the outwardly facing surface of the tape to deflect the tape and allow it to pass the lips 23 and into the channel, whereupon it again expands. The tape 11 extends along the bottom of the channel 17 until it reaches the curved portion 26 at the end of the channel (FIG. 4) and progresses along the curved portion upward to the surface of the flange and beyond (FIG. 1). In this manner the tape is held in the channel 17 in a locked position until it is desired to remove the tape for use.
The tape could similarly be placed in the channel by first inserting one lateral edge of the tape and then applying sufficient pressure to the opposite lateral edge to deflect the tape enough to permit that edge to pass the adjacent lip 23.
Removal of the tape from the channel is effected by gripping the loose end 28 of the tape which extends beyond the channel (FIG. 1) at the curved portion and lifting upwardly perpendicular to the outer surface of the flange 14. The tape, which is flexible, slips out of the channel through the narrower opening at the top in the same manner that it was inserted initially.
The length of the channel may be varied depending on the width of tape to be accommodated. For /4 inch tape a length of approximately 2 inches is adequate to hold the tape in place during normal usage.
The securing or locking features of the channel are such that the tape is not injured and can be locked and relocked for the life of the tape. One or more of the channels 17 can be provided on any reel. In the embodiment of FIG. 2 for example, two channels have been provided, one on each flange and lying in the same plane perpendicular to both flanges. Such an arrangement provides one securing means for each winding direction on the reel. In the event that more than one securing means is desired for either winding direction additional channels may be provided on either flange at any location.
FIG. 6 illustrates an alternate embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment the reel is provided with channels 32 of the same cross-sectional shape as in the embodiments previously described (FIG. 3). One such channel is located on each flange 14 on a chord which forms an angle of 45 with a tangent to the flange intersecting the end of the chord. The channels are located 180 out of phase with each other and each extends for the entire length of chord intersecting the rim of the flange at two points. Thus each channel 32 is of constant cross section and does not include a curved portion 26 as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 4. The result of this configuration is a reel which has a securing means available every l of winding and in either direction of winding.
Locking the tape in the securing means of FIG. 6 is essentially the same as the operation described above with respect to FIG. 2. The only difference in operation lies in the position of the end 28 of the tape 11. Since there is no curved portion to keep the end of the tape accessible, some other means must be employed to maintain access to the end of the tape. One solution, illustrated in FIG. 6, is to extend the tape through the entire channel leaving the free end 28 extending beyond the rim of the flange. Alternate solutions include affixing a tab to the end of the tape to prevent its entry into the channel and folding the tape back on itself to provide a free end at the end of the channel where the tape enters the channel.
In addition to the tape locking feature described above, the channel 17 can serve the additional function of a jig for splicing tape. As shown in FIG. 5, the channel 17 is of essentially the same configuration as shown in FIGS. 1 through 4 and 6 but may, if desired, be provided with a flat bottom wall instead of the concave bottom wall shown in FIG. 3. A slot 30 is formed in the flange at an angle of approximately 45 to the longitudinal axis of the channel. The depth of the slot is equal to the depth of the channel so that the bottom of the slot and the bottom of the channel coincide. In order to splice two segments of tape, they are positioned in overlying relation above the channel and pushed downwardly into the channel so that they are both secured therein. A knife is then passed through the slot 30 across the tape so as to form a matching 45 angle cut in both pieces of tape. The portion severed from the top piece of tape is then removed exposing the 45 angle cut of the two abutting pieces of tape which are to be spliced. The splice may then be effected while the tape remains in the channel 17, or both segments may be removed to form the splice in any known manner. The spliced tape is then pulled out of the channel in the same manner as has been described above in connection with FIGS. 1 through 4.
In accordance with the teachings of the present invention applicant has provided an improved tape reel having tape locking features as well as a tape splicing jig. The result is a reliable inexpensive way of preventing undesired unwinding and consequent tape damage during storage and handling. At the same time precision splicing is permitted without the cost of a separate splicing jig.
Various features of the invention are set forth in the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A reel for winding and storing an elongated strip of tape, film or the like, said reel comprising means defining a hub about which the strip may be wound commencing with one end of the strip and thereafter forming successive laps, said hub defining a central opening for receiving a spindle about which the reel can rotate, a generally circular flange affixed to each of opposite ends of said hub, said flanges having opposed inner surfaces disposed in generally parallel relation to each other and spaced from each other a distance slightly in excess of the width of the strip so as to guide the strip as it is being wound upon the hub, and means on the outer surface of at least one of said flanges defining an outwardly open generally straight channel extending along a chord on the said flange outer surface, said channel being adapted to receive the opposite end of the strip and having a base and generally parallel sidewalls extending outwardly from said base defining a pair of opposed lips spaced from said base, the opposing edge of said lips being spaced from each other a distance somewhat less than the width of the strip, said channel being of sufficient depth to permit a strip arranged with its longitudinal axis parallel to the longitudinal axis of the channel to be deflected sufficiently in the direction of the base to reduce its effective width as measured between its lateral edges to allow both lateral edges of the strip to pass between said lips.
2. A reel as set forth in claim 1, wherein the chord along which said channel extends does not intersect the axis of rotation of said one flange.
3. A reel as set forth in claim 2, wherein the chord along which said channel extends forms an angle of approximately 45 with a line tangent to said one flange at the end of said chord.
4. A reel as set forth in claim 11, wherein the said channel does not extend along the entire length of the chord.
5. A reel as set forth in claim 1, wherein the said channel extends to at least one point on the periphery of the said one flange.
6. A reel as set forth in claim 1, wherein two of said channels are provided and extend along parallel chords.
7. A reel as set forth in claim 1, wherein said base of said channel is concave.
8. A reel as set forth in claim 1, wherein said sidewalls of said channel lie in converging planes.
9. A reel as set forth in claim 1, wherein said channel is defined by a recess formed in the outer surface of said one flange.
10. A reel as set forth in claim 9, wherein said sidewalls of said channel lie in converging planes, and wherein said lips are defined by the intersection of said sidewalls with the outer surface of said one flange.
11. A reel as set forth in claim 1, wherein the maximum width of said channel as measured in a plane generally parallel to the outer surface of said one flange is slightly greater than the width of the strip.