US 3666051 A
An apparatus for stabilizing the cables used to raise and lower an elevator compartment. A guide member through which the cables of the elevator pass is provided for aiding in preventing the cables from swaying in the wind. A pair of stops are carried on the guide rails so as to prevent the guide member from dropping below an intermediate location. When the elevator compartment is raised above the intermediate location such, in turn, causes the guide member to be raised therewith.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
nited States Patent Davis et al.
[ 51 May 30, 1972  v CABLE STABILIZER FOR OPEN SHAFT CABLE OPERATED ELEVATORS  Inventors: Edwin J. Davis, Merritt Island; Bill A. Tolson, Titusville, both of Fla.
 Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration  Filed: Aug. 6, 1970  Appl.No.: 61,535
 US. Cl ..187/1, 187/20, 254/190,
187/95  Int. Cl ..B66b 9/00  Field of Search ..187/20, 27, l, 94; 254/190  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,517,775 6/1970 Meyer ..187/12 3,136,434 6/1964 Mauderer ..214/100 3,498,414 3/1970 White.; ..187/20 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 23,377 10/1914 GreatBritain Primary ExaminerI-Iarvey C. Homsby Attorney-James O. Harrell and John R. Manning [5 7] ABSTRACT V An apparatus for stabilizing the cables used to raise and lower an elevator compartment. A guide member through which the cables of the elevator pass is provided for aiding in preventing the cables from swaying in the wind. A pair of stops are carried on the guide rails so as to prevent the guide member from dropping below an intermediate location. When the elevator compartment is raised above the intermediate location such, in turn, causes the guide member to be raised therewith.
l Claim, 7 Drawing Figures Patented May 30, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 MS 0 m N E O D vT. W d A & l mm W BE ATTORNEY Patented May 30, 1972 3,666,051
3 Sheets-$heet 2 f y E9 INVENTORS.
BILL. A. TOLSON &, EDWIN d. DAVlS ATTORNEY Patented May 30, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS. BILL. A. TOLSON Q EDWIN d. DAVIS ATTORNEY CABLE STABILIZER FOR OPEN SHAFT CABLE OPERATED ELEVATORS This invention described herein was made by employees of the United States Government, and may be manufactured and used by or for the Government for Governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
This invention relates to a guide means for stabilizing the cables used for raising and lowering an elevator compartment and more particularly, to a guide means that is positioned at an intermediate location between a bottom level and a top level of the elevator run.
One of the problems encountered in outdoor elevators, such as utilized in carrying astronauts to various stages of a space vehicle, is that the cables will often whip or sway in the wind. The swaying of the cables, in turn, prevent the elevator compartment from being stopped at a precise location. In some particular instances the swaying or whipping of the cables may also interfere with the spooling of cables during the raising and lowering of the compartment.
Another problem encountered when the cables are allowed to sway in the wind is that the cables rub against each other inducing wear.
In accordance with the present invention, it has been found that difficulties encountered with cables of outdoor elevator shafts may be overcome by providing a novel cable stabilizing mechanism. This cable stabilizer when used for stabilizing a plurality of cables of an outdoor elevator, includes the following basic parts; l a pair of spaced vertical guide rails, (2) an elevator compartment positioned between the spaced guide rails, (3) elongated cables attached to the top of the compartment, (4) means for raising and lowering the cables for raising and lowering the elevator compartment from the bottom level to the top level, (5) a pair of opposed stops carried at an intermediate location on the rails intermediate the bottom and top levels, (6) a guide member encompassing the cables for restricting the movement of the cables in a horizontal direction, (7) the guide member includes laterally extending arms for engaging the stops on the rails for supporting the guide member at the intermediate location, (8) means are carried by the compartment for engaging and raising the guide member as the compartment is raised above the intermediate location towards the upper level and depositing the guide member on the stops when the compartment is lowered below the intermediate location towards the lower level, and (9) the guide member includes a pair of opposed rows of rollers between which the cables are threaded. The rows of rollers are spaced apart a distance slightly greater than the diameter of the cable so that the cable can pass readily therethrough, but are prevented from swaying freely in the horizontal direction.
Accordingly, it is an important object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for stabilizing a plurality of extended cables.
Another important object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for stabilizing the cables of an elevator wherein when the elevator is in a bottom position and the cables are extended the maximum amount the stabilizer engages the cables approximately midway.
A further important object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for stabilizing the cables used for raising and lowering an elevator compartment which is shifted with the elevator when the elevator is above a predetermined location and is deposited at the predetermined location when the elevator is below the location.
Still another important object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus for stabilizing the cables of an elevator which is simple to construct and does not interfere with the operation of the elevator.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will become more apparent from a reading of the following detailed description and appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating a portion of an elevator compartment and the apparatus for stabilizing the cables,
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary elevational view taken along lines 22 in FIG. 1, illustrating a stop mounted on the rail and a guide means carried on the rail,
FIG. 3 is a plan view illustrating the structure of FIG. 2,
FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional elevation taken along line 4--4 of FIG. 1, illustrating the structure of FIGS. 2 and 3,
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary plan view, partially in section, illustrating a guide member for the cables,
FIG. 6 is a transverse sectional elevational view taken along line 66 of FIG. 2, with said tapered member engaging the guide member, and
FIG. 7 is a transverse sectional elevational view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 1.
Referring in more detail to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates a portion of a conventional outdoor elevator shaft with an elevator compartment 10 carried between a pair of T-shaped rails 11 and 12, respectively. The elevator compartment 10 is a conventional compartment and has doors 13 adjacent the front thereof for providing access thereto. The compartment 10 is encased in a framing member constructed of any suitable angle-iron, such as the vertical supports 14, carried on opposite sides of the compartment which extend below the compartment (not shown) to engage a supporting brace. The top end of the vertical supports 14 are secured by any suitable means, such as welding, to horizontal channel members 15 and 16, respectively. Spaced above the horizontal channels 15 and 16 is another horizontal brace I7 which is supported on vertical members 18 and 19. The horizontal brace 17 is constructed of a pair of spaced angle-irons 17a and 17b which are spaced apart for allowing the cables 20 to extend therethrough. As can be seen, a conventional cable guide 17c is carried between the angle-irons 17a and 17b, and has holes therein slightly larger than the diameter of the cable so that such can pass readily therethrough. The vertical members 18 and 19 have their top ends secured to the horizontal brace 17 by any suitable means and the bottom ends thereof connected between the horizontal channels 15 and 16 with bolts or any other suitable means. Angle braces 21 and 22 extend outwardly and upwardly from the vertical members 18 and 19 for supporting the outer end of the vertical brace 17.
The rails 11 and 12 are T-shaped and have a shank portion 23 extending inwardly which guides the movement of the elevator compartment 10 as such is raised and lowered. The elevator compartment 10 is raised and lowered by means of the cables 20 which extend from the top of the elevator compartment to the top of the elevator rails; Such is raised and lowered by any suitable mechanism, such as a motor winding or spooling the cables up, or by the use of a counterbalanced weight. In such case the cables 20 would extend around a spool for raising and lowering the compartment.
The problem is that when the elevator compartment is at a bottom level the cables extend from the bottom all of the way to the top of the elevator shaft. These extended cables have a tendency to sway in the wind causing the elevator compartment to be raised and lowered slightly interfering with the proper positioning of the elevator compartment with regard to a particular level. Another problem encountered by the cables swaying in the wind is that they have a tendency to rub together, thus producing wear. Also, during high winds the cables have swayed over into the elevator controls mounted near the rails at the elevator stops and caused extensive damage.
A pair of opposed stops 24 are carried on the inside wall of the cross member forming the rail, such as illustrated in FIGS. 2 through 4. These stops 24 are positioned at an intermediate location on the rail about half-way between the bottom level and the top level. The stops include a metallic housing 25 which is attached by bolts 26 which extend through the rail and secured thereto by a nut 27. The housing 25 has a vertically extending bore therein for accommodating a plunger 29. The plunger 29 includes a bolt 30 which extends through the bottom of the housing and is secured thereto by a nut 31. Positioned on the bolt 30 is a spring 32 which engages the bottom of the plunger 29. The bolt 30 extends through the bottom of the plunger and has an enlarged head 33 encompassed within the plunger. Positioned on top of the plunger is a rubber cap 34. In operation when pressure bears down on the rubber cap 34 such causes the plunger to telescope within the bore compressing the spring 32, thus acting as a shock absorber. A vertically extending guide 35 extends upwardly from the main housing 25 of the stop and tapers outwardly adjacent its top end as indicated by the reference character 37. The operation of these vertical guide members is discussed more fully below.
A guide member, generally designated by the reference character 36, encompasses the cables 20 for restricting the movement of the cables in the horizontal direction. The guide member includes a pair of laterally extending arms 37 and 38 which have apparatus, generally designated by the reference character 39 carried on the end thereof, for engaging the stops 24 on the rails 11 and 12 for supporting the guide member 36 at the intermediate location.
The laterally extending arms 37 and 38 take the form of tubular pipes constructed of any suitable material such as aluminum. A stainless steel sleeve 40 is carried on said arms 37 and 38 and is fixed thereto by clamps 41. A series of rollers 42 constructed of any suitable material such as phenolic, are carried on each of the tubular members 37 and 38 and correspond in number to the number of cables being used for raising and lowering the elevator compartment 10. Each of these rollers is grooved for accommodating a cable 20. Thediameter of the groove 43 is larger than the diameter of the cable 20 so that the cable can pass readily between opposed rollers 42, yet the movement of such is restricted in the horizontal direction. The clamps 41 consist of a pair of spaced members 44 which have openings therein for allowing the tubes 37 and 38 to pass therethrough. It is also noted that the clamps have a grooved indentation 45 for receiving the end of the stainless steel sleeve 40. Bolts extend between the opposed members 44 so that such can be drawn together tightly on the sleeve 40. The clamps 41 prevent the rollers 42 from shifting longitudinally on the shaft. it is noted that spacers 46 are positioned between the end rollers and the clamps 41.
The arms 37 and 38 are spaced laterally relative to each other for accommodating the rollers 42, but are close enough so that the space between opposed rollers is not great enough that the cables 20 can shift longitudinally along the arms 37 and 38.
Located on the ends of the arms is the apparatus 39 which acts as a guide means for aiding in positioning the guide member 36 relative to the rails 11 and 12. The guide means 39 includes a bracket-type base portion formed by spaced clamping members 46 and 47. The spaced members 46 and 47 are located on the opposite sides of the tubular arms 37 and 38 and secured thereto by bolts 48 which extend through the upper member 47, and is secured to the bottom member by a nut 49 carried on the bottom side of the bottom member. It is noted that the bottom member 46 has a laterally extending abutment 50 which extends on both sides of the shank of the rail 23 for engaging the plunger 29 of the stops 24. The tapered guide 35 aids in positioning the abutment 50 on the plunger 29.
Therefore, the guide member 36 is not allowed to go lower than the intermediate location where the stops 24 are located on the rails even when the elevator compartment is lowered to the bottom level. Extending upwardly from the upper bracket member 47 and tapering inwardly from the sides thereof is a guide means 51 which has inwardly turned flanges 52 and 53, respectively. which ride on opposite sides of the rail 11 for aiding in positioning the guide member 36 as such is raised and lowered. Normally, however, the flange members 52 and 53 do not engage the shank portion 23 of the rail 11. There is positioned within a bore 54 carried adjacent the top of the guide means 51 a Teflon bearing 55 which is held within the bore 54 by the bolt 56. The purpose of the bearing 55 is to prevent a metal to metal contact if the end of the guide means 51 comes in contact with the end of the shank portion 23 of the rail. As is, such would engage the Teflon bearing 55 minimizing wear. It is, also, to be understood that in normal operations there is no engagement between the rail and the Teflon bearing 55.
Another pair of brackets 57 are carried on opposite ends of the arms 37 and 38 for aiding in maintaining them in the proper spaced relationship. The bracket 57 includes an upper member 57a which has recesses therein for accommodating the tubular arms 37 and 38. The lower portion of the bracket is formed by a trapezoidal shaped member 58 which has concave upper corners for accommodating the tubular members 37 and 38. The lower trapezoidal shaped member also has a bore extending therethrough for receiving a bolt 59 which also extends through the upper member 570 and is tightened thereagainst with a nut 60. The innersurface 61 of the trapezoidal configuration extends upwardly at an angle of approximately such as illustrated in FIG. 2. The bottom surface 62 is flat.
It is desired that the guide member 36 be raised as the elevator compartment 10 passes the intermediate location where the stops 24 are located. This is accomplished by means mounted on top of the horizontal brace 17. Such means includes a pair of centrally located lifting supports 63 mounted between and on the angle-irons 17a and 17b. This lifting support 63 includes a flat member 64 which has projections 65 adjacent each side through which bolts 66 extend. These bolts extend through the angle-irons 17a and 17b, respectively, to secure the flat member 64 thereto. The flat member 64 has a pair of spaced upwardly extending projections 67 upon which a shock absorbing rubber block 68 is carried. The rubber block 68 has recesses adjacent the ends for accommodating the upwardly extending projections 67. When the elevator compartment is raised above the intermediate location the rubber shock absorbing block 68 engages the tubular arms 37 and 38 to aid in lifting the guide member 36. The means for engaging and raising the guide member 36 also includes a pair of lifting apparatus 69 carried on opposite ends of the horizontal brace 17. These lifting apparatus 69 each include a tapered member 70 having an outer surface 71 which tapers inwardly from an enlarged base portion 72. The base portion 72 extends laterally adjacent the end of the horizontal brace 17 and has projections 73 extending from each side through which bolts 74 extend. The bolts 74 also extend through the horizontal flange of the members 17a and 17b, and are secured thereto by nuts 75. The base portion 72 has a recess 76 in the middle portion thereof. A rubber pad 77 is carried on top of the base portion and extends down into the recessed portion 76. This rubber pad 77 engages the base of the trapezoidal member 58 when the elevator compartment is raised above the intermediate location. A lifting force is also applied through the inclined surface 71 which engages the inclined surface 61 of the trapezoidal member 58. These complementary inclined surfaces 61 and 71 aid in preventing the guide member from shifting laterally. The side walls of the tapered member 70 is also inclined slightly so as to fit between the tubular arms 37 and 38.
In operation when the elevator compartment is raised above the intermediate location the tapered member extends between the arms 37 and 38 and the trapezoidal member 58 rests on the rubber insert 77. The arms 37 and 38 also rests on members 63 causing the guide member 36 to be raised with the elevator compartment 10. The guide member is prevented from shifting laterally by the inclined surfaces 71 engaging the inclined surfaces 61. It is also prevented from tending to rotate by the side walls of the lifting apparatus 69 which engage the inside portion of the tubular members 37 and 38. The flanges 52 on the guide means 51 also prevent the guide member 36 from tending to pivot. When the elevator compartment is lowered below the intermediate position the laterally extending abutments 50 engage the plungers 29 to separate the guide member 36 from the means 63 and 69 carried on the horizontal brace. The rollers 42 of the guide member 36 prevent the cables 20 from swaying in the wind, therefore, when the elevator compartment 10 reaches the lower level such can be accurately stopped at the desired position.
While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been described using specific terms, such description is for illustrative purposes only, and it is to be understood that changes and variations may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the following claims.
1. In combination with an outdoor, open shaft elevator having a pair of space vertical guide rails each extending in a straight line for the full length thereof, an elevator compartment positioned between said pair of spaced vertical rails, and a plurality of vertically extending cables attached to the top of said elevator compartment for raising and lowering said elevator compartment between a bottom level and a top level; a stabilizing apparatus comprising:
A. a pair of opposed stops carried on said pair of spaced vertical guide rails at an intermediate location substantially half way between said bottom level and said top level;
B. guide means including a pair of opposed rows of grooved rollers being spaced apart a distance slightly greater than the diameter of each of said plurality of vertically extending cables so as to allow said plurality of vertically extending cables to pass therethrough and being substantially encircled by said grooved rollers to restrict horizontal movement thereof in all directions;
C. a pair of spaced tubular members supporting said pair of opposed rows of rollers midway between the ends of said pair of spaced tubular members;
D. bracket means attached to each end of said pair of spaced tubular members and adapted to engage said pair of opposed stops; and
E. spaced tapered members carried by said elevator compartment and adapted to wedge between said pair of spaced tubular members when said elevator compartment is raised above said intermediate location and to disengage from said pair of spaced tubular members when said elevator compartment is lowered below said intermediate location;
F. whereby said stabilizing apparatus prevents said elevator compartment when at said bottom level from moving vertically as the result of said plurality of vertically extending cables normally swaying horizontally in the wind.