US 3647936 A
An apparatus for folding a length of cable interconnecting electrical components mounted to a chassis and to a drawer movably supported by the chassis. When the drawer is retracted the cables are arranged in closely adjacent loops with movable support cards carrying halves of the loops. Withdrawal of the drawer pulls the loops apart in the direction of movement of the drawer and pivots the cards towards their mutual alignment to thereby increase the effective length of the cable loop according to the spacing between the drawer and the chassis.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Dryg Mar. 7, 1972  SELF-FOLDING CABLE CARRIER Primary Examiner-Darrell L. Clay  lnventor. Charles J. Dryg, bos Gatos, Calif. Amm ,rwnund and Townsend  Assignee: Iomec, Incorporated, Santa Clara, Calif. 221 Filed: Apr. 6, 1970 [571  APPLNOJ 25 773 An apparatus for folding a length of cableinterconnecting electrical components mounted to a chassis and to a drawer I movably supported by the chassis. When the drawer is US. "174/69, 9, rcu'uted the cables are in adjacent  Int CL 7/06 with movable support cards carrying halves of the loops.  new of Search 3 0 12 Withdrawal of the drawer pulls the loops apart in the direction 3 l2 317/120 of movement of the drawer and pivots the cards towards their mutual alignment to thereby increase the efi'ective length of  Rd CM the cable loop according to the spacing between the drawer UNITED STATES PATENTS and e chassis- Davies ..-l74/69 9Clalms,4DrawlngFigures Patented March 7, 1972 I INVENTOR.
CHARLES J. DRYG WW1 W FlG 1 ATTORNEYS 1 SELF-FOLDING CABLE'CARRIER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to extensible cable carriers and more particularly to a cable carrier which folds the cable or cables when retracted and which maintains them in mutual alignment and/or fixed relative positions to prevent entanglement of the cables during use.
Various solutions have been devised to extensibly store reel in mechanisms or, in instances where appearance and 'neatness is not required, simply excess lengths of tape. Suchdevices are only adapted for use with relatively heavy gauge cables comprising no more than a few strands.
The storage of extensible cable becomes difficult when large number of wire strands interconnect relatively movable electrical components. Thus, in the computer art generally and on magnetic disk storage devices in particular great numbers of wire strands are employed to form the necessary electrical connections. For example, certain recently developed magnetic disk memories employ read-write heads mounted on a drawer than can be retracted into and withdrawn from a supporting chassis. Large numbers of wirestrands are required to interconnect the electronic circuitry in the chassis with the read-write head. The read-write head travels a substantial distance and therefore requires a-substantial excess length of wire strands. It is undesirable to leave the wire strands loose since they become entangled and can be damaged. Moreover, it is frequently highly desirable to separate certain of the strands carrying various signals to provide for an electrical noise separation.
It has been suggested to secure the wire strands to interconnected, hinged frames'which can be folded together to reduce the effective cable length or extended to increase it. Frequently encountered space limitations, however, make this approach undesirable for compact electronic equipment.
Moreover, the hinged frames are relatively heavy and expensive to construct.
SUMMARY OF TI-IEINVENTION The present invention provides a cable carrier for cables connected-to relativelymovable structures to1preventtheentanglement of the cables while enabling changes in the distance between the structures. Briefly, the carrier comprises a plurality of plate means, means attached to one .of thestrucofthecables are connected .to movably-mounted platelmeans and are freely disposed between adjacent mounted plate means. An increase in the distance ibetween the'structures causes-pivotal movementsofthe -plate-means to increase the effective length of' the cables inaccordancewith'theincrease in the spacing bet-ween'the structures.
"In'the embodiment oftheiinventionzparticularlytadaptedfor the above-described 'useon disk memories having a .drawer mounting the read-write headn'vhich can be=withdrawnfrom the chassis, and'moved-up and down'xthe'front of the chassis, the plates depend downwardly'from a pair :of :spacedrguide bars and maintain the cable in loops extending towards and away-from the guide. bars; One-'hal fofeach. loop is attached to one of the-plates. A*forwardmost loop is free,ithat is, is not attached to the guide bars, andfhas one-halfaffixed a to a loose card whichassuresktheformation ofithe forwardmost cable loop ;when thedraWer is retracted and allowstthe horizontal withdrawal of the drawer as well as the vertical adjustment of the withdrawn drawer. Similarly, an aftmost cable loop is attached to an aft loose cable guide card which assures the formation of the rearwardmost cable loop, without being attached to the guide bars, when the draweris retracted.
The cable-folding carrier of the present invention is compact, that is, it permits the retraction of the cables into closely adjacent loops with only thin positioning cards therebetween which increase the overall size of the cable pack insignificantly. It is therefore ideally suited for use with compact electronic equipment such as computers, disk memories and the like-Moreover, the components of-the cable carrier are simple and available at costs substantially below those of prior art devices. Lastly, and most importantly, the cables supported by the cable carrier of the present invention are firmly positioned, are prevented from becoming entangled when extended or retracted, and are adapted to physically separate certain of the cables for thereduction of electrical noise.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is afragmentary side elevational view of the upper section of a disk memory provided with an outwardly extensible drawer forthe memory read'write head;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary side elevational view of the .rearwardmost section of the memory illustrating the drawer in its retracted position and the excess cable length folded into tight loopsin accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 3 is afragmentary, enlarged side elevational view of the front section of the disk memory shown in FIG. 1, illustratesthe drawer in its extended position and, in phantom lines, in its vertically raised extendedposition, with the cable carrier of the invention providing the needed cable length; and
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of a cable carrying .card depending from a pair ofspaced apart guide bars constructed in accordance with the present invention.
. zcally illustrated to comprise an upright chassis 8 and, mounted thereto, a drawer 10 for horizontal movement into and out of the chassis. When in its outermost, extended position the drawenisalso vertically movable (as schematically illustrated inFIG. v3) along the front side of chassis. The mechanism for such movement forms -no part of this .inventionand is therefore not'disclosed therein. Mounted to the :drawer is a readwrite head .12 that-is connected to electronic circuitry 14 by cables 16zhaving asufficientlength to enable the withdrawal of thedrawer. To prevent the bending, twisting, misaligning and entangling of ;the cableswhen the drawer is closed and :openeda folding .cablecarrier l8 constructed in accordance with'theinvention-isprovided.
Referringnow to FIGS. 2through4,zcables 16 usually com- :prise two or;more.cable:bundles,,such as flat ribbon cables 20 and'22, having azplurality of-wire-strands 24 which are suitably connected to electronic .circuitry 14 and to the read-write -=he.ad".l2 ton drawer J10. direferably, the .ribbon cables are secured tosan .upright. paddle card.26 mounted to an aft end 28 of "thezdrawer and having rthe :necessary breakthroughs (not separately shown-)to guide .the-wire strands to their respective :connections. The -.cable .carrier =.itself comprises a plurality ,of suspension .cards 30 which .have.a..generallyrectangularconfiguration :and, adjacent their .upper ends 32, include but- .wardlyrprotrudingarms MJ-TI-Fhemnderside of the armsdefine grooves or semicircularcutoutsfifi which extend over and thus asupportthecardsfromapairofi laterally spaced guide-bars 38 tconnectedaotheztop oflchassisi8. The; guide bars extendrparallel tozthedirection ofhorizontal movement of drawer .-l 0from adjacent chassisrear-wall 40towards but short of:the-front end ofthechassisand permit slidable movement of .the suspension 1 cards .alongttheguide bars ibetweenzthe ends thereof. Addiitionally,.the;arcuate cutouL36in-suspension card arms 34 permits pivotal movements of the cards about axes perpendicular to the guide bars and, thus, to the direction of horizontal movement of drawer l0. I
Cable ribbons 20 and 22 are arranged so that they extend into the space between each adjacent pair of suspension cards 30 and there form loops 42 which go back and forth towards and away from guide bars 38. One-half of each loop, say the aft half 44, is secured to the adjacent suspension card, preferably with a bonding agent 46 applied to the card and/or the cable. The card mounted cable sections are vertically oriented and physically spaced from each other for the aforementioned electrical noise suppression. Thus, the connection of the cables to the cards causes the cables to form loops 42 when drawer is in its retracted position.
In addition, cables and 22 are arranged to define a forwardmost loop 48 by securing a section of the cables spaced longitudinally about one-half loop length from the forwardmost suspension card to a free cable mounting card 50. The free card also has a generally rectangular cross section and folds into a substantially vertical position as illustrated in FIG. 2 when the drawer is closed. Free card 50, however, is not connected to or guided by guide bars 38.
Similarly to the formation of the forwardmost loop 48 an aftmost loop 52 between the connection of the cables to electronic circuitry 14 and the rearwardmost suspension card 30 is formed by securing a section of the cable spaced from the rearwardmost suspension card about one-half loop length to a second free cable mounting card 54. When the drawer is in its closed position the aft free cable mounting card 54 is also vertically oriented to form the aftmost cable loop 52. The card, however, is not connected to or guided by guide bars 38.
Turning now to the operation of the cable carrier 18 of the present invention, after its installation and the connection of the cables to circuitry 14 and read-write mechanism 12 the cables from the closely adjacent, compact upright loops 42, 48 and 52 as illustrated in FIG. 2. It is to be noted that the cable support cards 30, 50 and 54 maintain the cables aligned, that is prevent a looping of the cables in horizontal or inclined loops, for example, to thereby prevent entanglement of the cables, their twisting, bending and the like. Moreover, wire strands 24 and the ribbon cables are maintained separate to suppress electrical noise.
Upon the withdrawal of the drawer, paddle board 26 secured to drawer aft end 28 moves the forwardmost cable end with the drawer and thus moves the cable loops 42, 48 and 52 to the right, as viewed in FIG. 2,to thereby form open loops 56 defined by angularly inclined, forwardly extending sloping cable sections 58. The formation of the open loops pivots the suspension cards 30 towards their mutual alignment in an essentially horizontal plane. Thus, the overall effective length of the cables is extended in accordance with the increase in the spacing between drawer aft end 28 and electrical circuitry connection 14.
It will be noted that the forwardmost cable loop 48 is partially supported by both the forwardmost suspension card 30 and paddle card 26 secured to drawer rear end 28. If the drawer is moved in a vertical direction up and down the face of disk memory 6, for example into the raised position illustrated in FIG. 3 in phantom lines, the forwardmost loop permits such raising while free cable support card 50 maintains the cables aligned and in their correct relative positions while the drawer is raised, in its open position or in its closed position without crossover, entanglements and the like.
While one embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, it will be obvious that other adaptations and modifications can be made without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention.
1. Apparatus for holding" flexible members having their respective ends attached to a relatively stationary and a relatively movable structure top'revent entanglement of the members while enabling changes in the distance between the structures comprisingza plurality of independent plate means,
means attached to one of the structures mounting the plate means for independent movement of each plate means between the structures, means permitting pivotal movement of the mounted plate means about axes disposed transversely to the direction of relative movement of the structures, and means connecting the flexible member at a plurality of locations intermittently spaced over its length to the plate means with substantially equal, alternating lengths of the member being connected to the movably mounted plate means and being freely disposed between adjacent mounted plate means whereby an increasev in the spacing between the structures causes pivotal movements of the plate means to increase the effective length of the members in accordance with the increase of the spacing between the structures.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the means for mounting the plate means comprises elongate bar means secured to and spaced from one of the structures, and wherein the means permitting pivotal movement comprises means extending over the bar means and projecting from an upper end of the plate means for slideably and pivotally suspending the plate means from the bar means.
3. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the plate means comprise first cards pivotally engaging the mounting means, and second cards secured to free end portions of the member maintaining the end portions aligned and preventing their entanglement.
4. Apparatus for folding and unfolding ajlength of cable connected to relatively movable components comprising: substantially horizontally disposed guide means carried by a support structure for the components and extending in the direction of relative movement between the components, at least one first means movable along the guide means, depending therefrom, pivotable' about an axis transverse to said direction and connected to an intermittent first section of the cable fixing the position of the cable with respect to the first means, second means independently movable with respect to the first means, the second means being connected to second sections of the cable spaced from the first section for guidance of the cable from the first means to its connection to the components, whereby the cable is folded and unfolded when the components are moved towards and away from each other.
5. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein the cable comprises a plurality of substantially flat, flexible multistrand cables, wherein the suspension first and second means comprise flat cards having a greater width than the combined width of the cables, and including means securing intermittent cable sections to the cards in spaced apart positions to provide for electrical noise suppression between the cables.
6. Apparatus according to claim 5 wherein the securing means comprises an adhesive bonding the cables to the cards.
7. In a memory disk apparatus having a chassis, electronic circuitry mounted to the chassis, a drawer movable in and out of the chassis mounting a read-write mechanism electrically coupled to the electronic circuitry, the improvement comprising: a pair of spaced apart guide bars depending from the chassis and extending in the direction of movement of the drawer from a rear end of the drawer towards a front end thereof, a plurality of substantially flat cards slideably and pivotally connected to the guide bars, a flat ribbon cable connected to the circuitry and the read-write mechanism looped back and forth towards and away from the guide bars between the cards, means attaching portions of the cable defining first sides of the loops to the cards while portions of the cable defining second sides of the loops remain unsupported, whereby withdrawal of the drawer from the chassis slideably moves the cards along the guide bars and pivots the cards towards their mutual alignment to lengthen the cable and the cable position is controlled when the drawer is retracted to prevent entanglement of the cable.
8. Apparatus according to claim 7 wherein a connection point between the cable and the read-write mechanism is movable past an end of the guide bars and, in that position, is further movable in a transverse direction substantially parallel aft cable loop between the cable connection to the circuitry and the rearwardmost card, and including an additional unsupported card secured to a portion of the aft cable loop to assure the formation of the aft cable loop when the drawer is retracted.