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Publication numberUS3666311 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 30, 1972
Filing dateJul 16, 1970
Priority dateJul 16, 1970
Also published asCA956668A1
Publication numberUS 3666311 A, US 3666311A, US-A-3666311, US3666311 A, US3666311A
InventorsEarl W Mcmullin
Original AssigneeHastings Fiberglass Prod
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shotgun stick
US 3666311 A
Abstract
A shotgun or clamp stick for applying devices, such as clamps, to electrical lines or conductors and removing devices therefrom. The stick includes an elongated support rod having an insulating head at one end and a movable actuating handle at the other end thereof. An operating rod extends from the handle and is slidably received within the insulating head. The operating rod is connected to a clamping mechanism which is slidably disposed within the head whereby actuation of the handle causes linear movement of the operating rod for causing a corresponding movement and actuation of the clamping mechanism. The support rod and the operating rod are both of a telescopic construction. Releasable locking devices are provided for individually releasably fixedly locking together the telescoping parts of both the support rod and the operating rod. The support rod and the operating rod can be easily telescopically extended or shortened for permitting selective adjustment of the overall length of the clamp stick.
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Unite States Patent McMullin [4 1 May 30, 1972 [5 SHOTGUN STICK Primary Examiner-Evon C. Blunk [72 i Inventor: 52:) Rufland Township jii r l g w iih amif i a n c ai iih d flynn [73] Assignee: Hastings Fiber Glas Products, Inc., ABSTRACT Hastmgs Mich A shotgun or clamp stick for applying devices, such as clamps, 22 Filed; Ju|y 1 1970 to electrical lines or conductors and removing devices therefrom. The stick includes an elongated support rod having [21] PP 55,372 an insulating head at one end and a movable actuating handle at the other end thereof. An operating rod extends from the 52 us. 01. ..294/19 R, 8 1/53.1 hahdie and is siidahiy received within S ihsiiiaiihg head- The [51] Int. Cl. ..A47i 13/06 Peiaiihg F is cohheFied a damping mechanism which is 58 Field of Search ..294 19, 20; 56/332, 333, 335; siiiabiy disPSed within the head wheiehy aciuaiimi 81/531; 287/58 R 58 CT handle causes linear movement of the operating rod for causing a corresponding movement and actuation of the clamping 5 6] References Cited mechanism. The support rod and the operating rod are both of a telescopic construction. Releasable locking devices are pro- UNITED STATES PATENTS vided for individually releasably fixedly locking together the telescoping parts of both the support rod and the operating 2,316,428 4/1943 Heinrich ..8 1/531 The Support rod and the operating rod can be easily te|e 2,630,730 3/1953 Thornton ..8l/53.l scopicauy extended or Shortened for permitting Selective 3.3 74,023 3/1968 Hill et a]. ..294/8.6 justmem ofthe overall length of the clamp Stick 2,658.784 ll/l953 Runde ..294/19 18 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENTEDMAYSO m2 3, 666. 311

SHEET 10F 3 INVENTOR [APZ 14 MLMML/A SHO'IGUN STICK FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an apparatus, commonly referred to as a clamp stick or a shotgun stick, for applying devices, such as clamps, to electrical conductors and removing the devices therefrom. Particularly, the invention relates to an improved shotgun stick which is telescopically adjustable for permitting the overall length thereof to be easily and selectively varied.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Service personnel for power companies often utilize an apparatus referred to as a clamp stick or a shotgun stick for installing hot line clamps and for manipulating various other tools when working on or around an energized electrical distribution line. While the known sticks of this type are satisfactory, so far as I am aware, no one has previously devised a suc cessful and satisfactory stick of this type in which the length of the stick can be selectively and easily adjusted.

As is well known, the accessibility of electrical distribution lines varies substantially because the lines are installed not only above the ground at various elevations, but also many lines are disposed below the ground in underground distribution systems. Because of the widely diverse and nonuniform manner in which electrical distribution lines are positioned and mounted, the access distances from the working positions of the maintenance personnel to distribution lines vary over a substantially wide range. For example, when a service man is working on an overhead line, the line may be as much as 12 feet from the service man and thus the service man must have a stick of at least approximately I2 feet in length in order to reach the line. On the other hand, when the service man is working in an underground installation, wherein space is limited, then the service man is generally much closer to the electrical line and, therefore, he requires a substantially shorter stick, such as one of approximately 4 to 6 feet in length.

In order to work under the widely diverse access distances encountered at various locations, it is often necessary for maintenance personnel to have available a series of clamp sticks of different lengths. For example, a maintenance crew might possess five difierent sticks having lengths of 4 feet, 6 feet, 8 feet, 10 feet and I2 feet in order to permit them to operate within the 4 to 12 foot range. While this permits the maintenance crew to operate under all the expected access conditions, nevertheless, the necessity of carrying about such a large number of different length sticks is undesirable, not only because it substantially increases the equipment cost, but also because it requires additional storage space and often results in inefficient utilization of working time because in many working situations the service man may not have initially selected a stick of the correct length.

In order to overcome the necessity of providing a number of sticks of different lengths, some of the prior known clamp sticks have been manufactured in a plurality of sections so as to be separable, thereby enabling one or more extension pieces to be inserted into the middle of the stick to permit the overall length thereof to be selectively adjusted. While this obviously reduces the inventory of needed equipment, nevertheless this type of clamp stick is also undesirable because the length adjustment can be accomplished only by disassembling the stick to permit one or more extension pieces to be inserted therein, whereupon the stick is then reassembled. This requires a substantial amount of time. This type of clamp stick is also heavy and bulky.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved shotgun stick which overcomes the abovementioned disadvantages by constructing the stick so that the overall length thereof can be easily and selectively adjusted over a substantially wide range.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved shotgun stick, as aforesaid, which has both a telescoping support rod assembly and a telescoping operating rod as sembly for permitting the overall length of the stick to be easily and selectively adjusted.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide an improved shotgun stick, as aforesaid, which has easily releasable locking devices associated with both the telescoping support rod assembly and the telescoping operating rod assembly for maintaining said assemblies at a selected axial length and for permitting said telescoping assemblies to be easily released for permitting the axial length thereof to be extended or shortened.

Still a further object of the present invention is to provide an improved shotgun stick, as aforesaid, which has an improved handle assembly for permitting actuation of the clamp assembly.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved shotgun stick, as aforesaid, which can be efficiently and safely utilized on or around energized electrical distribution lines, is of relatively light weight, can have the axial length thereof easily and quickly adjusted over a relatively wide range without requiring dismantling or disassembly thereof, is strong and durable so as to minimize maintenance and repair, and can be economically manufactured and sold.

Other objects and purposes of this invention will be apparent to persons acquainted with devices of this type upon reading the following specification and inspecting the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a shotgun stick constructed according to the present invention, the same being illustrated with the clamp mechanism retracted within the insulating head.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, sectional, elevational view of the handle assembly.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line Ill-III as appearing in FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line IV-IV as appearing in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line VV as appearing in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged, elevational, sectional view'of the head end of the stick.

FIG. 7 is a broken, horizontal, sectional view of a portion of the insulating head and illustrating the clamp mechanism in the extended, open position.

FIG. 7A is a view similar to FIG. 7 and showing the clamping mechanism in a partially retracted, closed position.

FIG. 8 is a sectional, elevational view taken substantially along the line VIII-VIII as appearing in FIG. 7A.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged, sectional view illustrating the operating rod locking mechanism.

FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line X-X as appearing in FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 9 the lock mechanism in the released position.

FIG. 12 is a side elevational view of the operating rod lock mechanism and showing in solid lines the locked position illustrated in FIG. 9 and showing in broken lines the released position illustrated in FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is a sectional view of a modified operating rod locking mechanism.

Certain terminology will be used in the following description for convenience in reference only and will not be limiting. The words upwardly," downwardly," rightwardly and leftwardly" will designate directions in the drawings to which reference is made. The words front and rear will refer to the right and left sides of the device and designated parts thereof as appearing in FIG. 1. The word forwardly will refer to rightward movement of the handle and the operating rod as appearing in FIG. 1, and the word rearwardly" will correspondingly refer to leftward movement of the handle and but illustrating words above specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof and words of similar import.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In general, the objects and purposes of the invention are met by providing a shotgun stick having an elongated, telescopic support rod assembly and a substantially parallel, elongated, telescopic operating rod assembly. An insulating head is fixedly mounted adjacent one end of the support rod assembly and said head has a clamping mechanism slidably receivable therein and extendable from the forward end thereof. The adjacent end of the operating rod assembly is slidably received within the insulating head and is connected to the clamping mechanism for causing slidable movement thereof relative to the head. The other end of the support rod assembly has a handle assembly slidably mounted thereon. The handle assembly is fixedly interconnected to the rearward end of the operating rod assembly whereby sliding movement of the handle assembly relative to the support rod assembly causes a corresponding movement of the operating rod assembly for causing the clamping mechanism to be slidably moved relative to the insulating head. Both the telescopic support rod assembly and the telescopic operating rod assembly include releasable locking devices associated therewith for permitting the axial length of said rod assemblies to be easily and simultaneously lengthened or shortened as desired.

The handle assembly includes a manually movable trigger which coacts with an elongated cam secured to the support rod assembly for controlling the movement of the clamping mechanism. The cam includes a first portion coacting with the trigger for permitting the clamping assembly to be slidably moved forwardly within the head to the forward end thereof. Further forward movement of the clamping mechanism is prevented until the trigger is released so as to cooperate with a second cam portion which enables further axial forward movement of the clamping mechanism beyond the forward end of the head, whereby the jaw or jaws of the clamping mechanism move to an open position. The handle assembly additionally includes a lever which is disposed for coaction with a rack formed on the cam member for preventing forward sliding movement of the clamping mechanism when the trigger is disposed in contact with the first cam portion, the second-mentioned forward movement of the clamping mechanism being possible only after first initially releasing the lever from engagement with the rack.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 illustrates an improved shotgun stick ll constructed according to the present invention, which stick comprises an elongated telescoping support rod assembly 12 having an insulating head 13 mounted on one end thereof and a handle assembly 14 slidably mounted thereon adjacent the other end thereof. The head 13 has a clamping mechanism 16 (FIGS. 6 and 7) slidably mounted therein, which clamping mechanism is actuated by means of a telescoping operating rod assembly 17 which is connected between the clamping mechanism 16 and the handle assembly 14.

The support rod assembly 12 is comprised of an elongated tubular front support rod 21 partially telescopically received within a tubular rear support rod 22, which rods are secured together against relative axial movement by means of a releasable lock device 23.

The releasable lock device 23, as illustrated in detail in FIG. 5, includes a plunger member 24 slidably received within an opening 26 formed in the front or inner support rod 21. The plunger 24 is nomially resiliently urged radially outwardly by means of a spring 27, which spring extends into the hollow interior 28 of the plunger and abuts thereagainst. The plunger 24 is adapted to extend outwardly through one of a plurality of axially spaced openings 29 formed in the rear or outer support rod 22 for permitting the front and rear support rods 21 and 22 to be selectively axially locked together in one of a plurality of different positions for permitting the axial length of the support rod assembly 12 to be selectively varied.

Thus, by depressing the plunger 24 so that it is disposed entirely within the inner rod 21, the inner rod can be moved Ion gitudinally with respect to the outer rod 22. The rods 21 and 22 can be releasably locked in position by aligning opening 26 with one of the openings 29. The lock device 23 can be the same as that disclosed in US. Pat. No. 2,980,456 and further description thereof is believed to be unnecessary.

The operating rod assembly 17 includes a front operating rod 31, the rearward portion of which is telescopically received within a rear operating rod or tube 32. The front and rear operating rods 31 and 32 are selectively secured against relative longitudinal movement by means of a releasable lock mechanism 33, which mechanism 33 will be described in greater detail hereinafter.

The insulating head 13 is fixedly mounted on the forward end (rightward end in FIG. 1) of the front support rod 21. The forward end of the front operating rod 31 is slidably received within the insulating head 13. The head 13 is comprised of an elongated, one-piece hollow member 36 (FIG. 6). The rear portion 37 of member 36 is keyhole-shaped in cross section and the front portion 38 of member 36 is cross-shaped in cross section. The rear portion 37 has a first bore 39 formed therein, which bore receives therein the forward end of the front support rod 21 for fixedly securing the head 13 to the forward end of the support rod assembly 12. The rear portion 37 of the head 13 also includes a further bore 41 which is substantially parallel to the bore 39 and slidably receives therein the forward end of the front operating rod 31. The head 13 has a elongated cross-shaped opening 42 extending throughout the length of the front portion 38, which cross-shaped opening 42 slidably receives therein the clamping mechanism 16. The clamping mechanism 16 is fixedly interconnected to the forward end of the front operating rod 31 by means of an intermediate rod adapter 44.

The forward end of the head 13 has notches or slots 45 therein for receiving portions of the clamps or other tools being manipulated.

The clamping mechanism 16 includes a guide 43 slidably positioned within the cross-shaped opening 42 and fixedly, here threadedly, connected to the forward end of the rod adapter 44. The guide 43 is cross-shaped in cross section and substantially corresponds in shape to the shape of the opening 42. A hook or jaw member 46 is pivotally mounted on the forward end of guide 43. The rearward or inner end of the jaw member 46 is positioned within a recess 47 formed in one of the cross webs 50 of the guide 43. A pivot pin 48 extends through the web 50 and the hook member 46 for pivotally interconnecting same. A conventional tension spring 49 is connected between the guide 43 and the jaw member 46 for normally resiliently urging the jaw member 46 toward its open position when the clamping mechanism is partially extended beyond the end of the head 13 substantially as illustrated in FIG. 7. The spring 49 causes the jaw member 46 to pivotally swing into the open position and bear against the end wall 51 of the head 13 when the clamping mechanism is in its extended position as shown in FIG. 7. The jaw member 46 is designed to coact with a projection or fixed jaw 52 which extends outwardly from the guide member 43 so as to define a substantially closed loop when the guide 43 is retracted axially inwardly from the FIG. 7 position whereby the hook member 46 is caused to pivotally swing into a closed position adjacent the projection 52, as illustrated in FIG. 7A.

While the clamping mechanism 16 25 illustrated and above described mes only a single movable hook or jaw, it will bereadily apparent to those familiar with devices of this type that the clamping mechanism 16 could obviously be provided with a conventional double jaw structure in which both jaws are pivotally movable like jaw 46 in the illustrated embodiment.

Considering now the handle assembly 14, same includes a sleeve-like handle member 56 (FIG. 2) positioned in slidable and surrounding relationship on the rear support rod 22. The handle member 56 has a generally keyhole-shaped internal opening 57 (FIG. 4) extending longitudinally therethrough. The opening 57 includes a substantially cylindrical central portion 58 through which slidably extends the rear support rod 22. The opening 57 also includes a substantially rectangular recess 59 disposed in continuous communication with the cylindrical portion 58 and designed for slidably receiving therein an elongated slide member 61.

The elongated slide member 61 is fixedly secured to the external periphery of the support rod 22 and extends axially thereof and includes a pair of identical cam grooves 62 formed in the opposite sides thereof. One of the cam grooves 62 is disclosed in side elevation in FIG. 2 and it includes a pair of straight groove portions 63 and 64, which straight groove portions are laterally offset from one another but have their adjacent ends longitudinally overlapped and communicating with one another by means of an intermediate transverse groove portion 66. The forward end of the straight groove portion 63 is defined by means of a shoulder 67 formed integrally on the slide member 61. The rearward end of the straight groove portion 63 is defined by means of an end stop member 68 fixedly secured to the slide 61. The forward end of the other straight groove portion 64 is also defined by a shoulder 69. The rearward end of groove portion 64 is defined by means of an inclined cam surface 71.

The handle member 56 is provided adjacent its forward end with a recess 72 (FIGS. 2 and 3) in which is movably positioned a manually depressable trigger member 73. The trigger member 73 is provided with a pair of side leg portions 77 which project downwardly so as to be positioned adjacent the opposite sides of the slide member 61. The leg portions 77 are each provided with an intumed flange or projection 78 which is slidably received within the adjacent cam groove 62. A spring 74 is disposed below the trigger member 73 and normally resiliently urges same outwardly relative to the handle member 56, the outward movement of the trigger member 73 being restrained by means of the projections 78 being disposed in slidable engagement with the upper walls 79 of the cam grooves 62. The lower end of the spring 74 is seated on a rib 76 which is positioned between the leg portions 77 of the trigger and extends across the recess 72. The purpose of the trigger 73 will be explained in greater detail hereinafter.

The handle member 56 is also provided with a lever or pawl 81 pivotally mounted thereon, which lever has a tooth 82 adjacent its forward end adapted for coaction with a toothed rack 83 which extends along the upper surface of the slide 61. The forward end of the lever 81 is adapted to extend through an opening 84 formed in the sidewall of the handle member 56 for permitting the tooth 82 to contact the rack 83. The handle member 56 is provided with a pair of upstanding tabs 86 (FIG. 4) disposed on opposite sides of the opening 84, and a pivot pin 87 extends between the tabs 86 for pivotally supporting the lever 81. A torsion spring 88 extends around the pivot pin 87 and has its opposite free ends disposed for coaction with the external periphery of the handle member 56 and the free end of the lever 81 for normally resiliently urging the tooth 82 into engagement with the rack 83. The one end of the spring 88 is normally retained between a pair of projections 89 (FIG. 4) which are fixedly secured to and extend upwardly from the handle sleeve member 56.

The sleeve-like handle member 56 also has a further bore 91 (FIG. 2) formed in the forward end thereof for fixedly receiving therein the rearward end of the rear operating rod 32. The rear end of the operating rod 32 is fixedly positioned within an adapter sleeve 92, which adapter sleeve is in turn positioned within the bore 91 and is fixedly axially retained therein by means of a transverse screw member 93.

Referring now to FIGS. 9-12, the operating rod lock mechanism 33 comprises a cylindrical locking sleeve 96 fixedly secured to the rear operating rod 32 and a cylindrical clamping sleeve 104 slidably disposed in surrounding relationship on the cylindrical locking sleeve 96. The cylindrical locking sleeve 96 includes a first sleeve portion 97 disposed in surrounding relationship and fixedly secured to the forward end of the rear operating rod 32. The cylindrical locking sleeve 96 also includes a second sleeve portion 98 which extends forwardly of the rear rod 32 and has a reduced diameter bore 99 therein which is coaxially aligned with and is of substantially the same diameter as the bore formed within the rear rod 32 for permitting the front operating rod 31 to slidably extend therethrough.

The cylindrical locking sleeve 96 is provided with one or more radial openings 101 extending therethrough, which openings 101 each have a detent ball 102 positioned therein, which balls are adapted to coact with and be seated within annular recesses 103 formed in the periphery of the front operating rod 31. The rod 31 is provided with a plurality of axially spaced sets of recesses 103 for a purpose as explained hereinafter.

The balls 102, when seated within a set of recesses 103, are lockingly maintained therein by means of the cylindrical clamping sleeve 104, which sleeve 104 surrounds and is slidably supported on the locking sleeve 96. The clamping sleeve 104 includes a front sleeve portion 106 which is slidably guided on the front sleeve portion 98 of the locking sleeve 96. The clamping sleeve 104 also includes an intermediate sleeve portion 107 which has a reduced diameter internal bore formed therein and is interconnected to the front sleeve portion 106 by means of the annular cam ramp 108, which cam ramp is designed for coaction with the balls 102 for camming the balls 102 into the recesses 103 when the locking device is moved to the locking position illustrated in FIG. 9.

The clamping sleeve 104 further includes a rear sleeve portion 109 which is radially spaced outwardly from the locking sleeve 96 so as to define an annular space therebetween in which is positioned a compression spring 1 11, which spring at its rearward end bears against a spring retainer 112 fixedly seated on the locking sleeve 96. The forward end of the spring 1 11 is seated against an internal shoulder formed on the clamping sleeve 104 for nonnally urging the clamping sleeve forwardly so as to abut against a shoulder 1 l3 fonned on the locking sleeve 96.

The locking sleeve 96 further has a pin 114 (FIG. 12) extending radially therefrom, which pin is adapted to extend into an axial slot 116 which extends inwardly through the sidewall of the clamping sleeve 104 adjacent the forward end thereof. The pin 114 functions as a means for permitting the clamping sleeve 104 to be maintained in a released position in opposition to the urging of the spring 111 merely by rotating the sleeve 104 relative to the sleeve 96, as is illustrated by broken lines in FIG. 12. In the released position shown in FIG. 11 and by broken lines in FIG. 12, the rod 31 can be slid longitudinally relative to rod 32, whereas in the locked position illustrated in FIG. 9 and by solid lines in FIG. 12, the rods 31 and 32 are locked against relative longitudinal movement.

As illustrated in FIG. 9, the rod 31 is provided with a plurality of sets recesses 103 spaced axially along the external periphery thereof, which sets of recesses are axially spaced apart by distances substantially equal to the distances between the openings 29 whereby the support rod assembly 12 and the operating rod assembly 17 are both simultaneously axially adjustable through equal distances and are selectively axially lockable in the selected extended or retracted positions.

The shotgun stick 11 further includes one or more protective rod guides 118 (FIGS. 1 and 5) disposed in surrounding relationship to the support rod and operating rod assemblies for maintaining these assemblies in proper parallel relationship to one another and for providing additional strength to the stick. The guide 118 can also be used as a hand grip if so desired. The rearward end of the rear support rod 22 is also preferably provided with a plastic protective base cover 119 for preventing the rear of the rod from being damaged during utilization or storage of the stick.

An O-ring 120 is mounted in a groove in the rod 3]. The ring 120 is adapted to abut against the end of the head 13 as il lustrated in broken lines in FIG. 6 so as to serve as a stop to limit movement of the clamping mechanism out of the head 13. This is a safety feature that is of utility when the locking mechanism 33 is released so that the rod 31 is free to move independently of the handle.

With respect to the materials of which the essential components of the shotgun stick are made, the support rod assembly and the operating rod assembly are made of an electrical nonconductive material, such as resin-impregnated fiber glass, and the head 13 is also constructed to an insulator material, such as polycarbonate resin.

OPERATION The operation of the shotgun stick embodying the present invention will be described in detail so as to insure a complete understanding thereof.

It will first be assumed that the stick has already been adjusted so that it is of the appropriate length and that both of the locking mechanisms 23 and 33 are in their locking position so as to prevent extension of the support rod assembly 12 and extension of the operating rod assembly 17. It will further be assumed that the stick is in its inoperative, retracted position as illustrated in solid lines in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4.

In order to utilize the stick II, the user will manually grasp the stick by placing one hand on the rear end of the support rod assembly 12, such as on the guide or hand grip 118, the other hand being placed on the handle member 56. The lever 81 will then be manually depressed to release the tooth 82 from engagement with the rack 83, whereupon the handle assembly 14 will then be manually axially slidably moved forwardly relative to the support rod 22 until the projections 78 formed on the trigger 73 contact the abutment surfaces 67 so as to prevent further forward movement of the handle assembly. This last-mentioned movement of the handle assembly also causes a corresponding forward movement of the operating rod assembly 17 which in turn causes a forward sliding movement of the clamp mechanism 16 into the dotted line position designated A in FIG. 6 (and as shown in solid lines in FIG. 7A). The clamping mechanism 16, when in position A, is disposed closely adjacent the free end of the head 13 but is still fully retracted within the head so that the jaw 46 is still in the closed position as illustrated in FIG. 7A. The trigger 73 will then be manually depressed so as to move the projections 78 downwardly past the abutment surfaces 67 so as to be disposed within the second straight groove portion 64, whereupon the trigger will be maintained in its depressed condition and the handle assembly 14 will again be slidably moved axially forwardly until the projections 78 contact the forward abutment surfaces 69. This subsequent axial movement of the handle assembly also causes a further corresponding axial movement of the operating rod assembly 17, which in turn causes the clamping mechanism 16 to be moved from position A of FIG. 6 into the fully open position designated as position B, as illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7. Movement of the clamping mechanism from the advanced closed position A to the advanced fully open position B causes the hook 46 to move outwardly beyond the end of the head 13, whereupon the spring 49 pivotally swings the hook 46 into its open position (FIG. 7) so that the hook bears against the forward end wall 51 of the head 13. In this position, the hook 46 is now adapted to be hooked over the clamp or other tool to be manipulated.

After the hook 46 has been suitably engaged with a clamp or other tool, then the handle assembly 14 will be axially moved rearwardly along the length of the straight groove portion 64, which rearward axial movement will cause the hook guide 43 to be slidably moved into the head 13, and in so doing the hook 46 will cam against the end wall 51 so as to be swung from open position B into closed position A. The clamp or tool is now held in the aperture defined by jaws 46 and 52. The clamping mechanism is then in the advanced closed position A.

In this condition, in some instances, a part of the clamp or tool extends into one or more of the notches 45 and prevents further retraction of the clamping mechanism. Thus, in effect, the clamp or tool is fixedly held so that it can be easily manipulated as needed.

In other instances, it will be possible and desirable to move the clamp or tool further rearwardly at least in part into the head 13. When the projections 78 and the trigger 73 reach the intermediate cam groove portion 66. the spring 77 will resiliently move the projections 78 up into the upper straight cam groove portion 63. This will permit the handle assembly 14 to be moved rearwardly along the support rod 22, whereupon the closed clamping mechanism 16 will likewise be retracted axially into the head 13 from position A toward the fully retracted position as illustrated by solid lines in FIG. 6. During the rearward sliding movement of the handle assembly 14, the tooth 82 on the lever 81 will freely cam over the teeth of the rack 83, which rack has rearwardly sloped teeth thereon so as to function as a one-way locking device. When the handle assembly has been axially retracted to the desired extent, the lever 81 will engage the rack 83 so as to lock the handle assembly in the desired retracted position and prevent same from being axially moved forwardly.

Thus, by suitable manipulation of the lever 81, the jaws 46 and 52in a closed position can be moved axially as needed in the head 13 and can be releasably locked in an adjustable axially fixed position by engaging tooth 82 with a tooth on the rack 83. The jaw 46 can be opened only by releasing lever 81 and moving the handle mechanism forwardly until projections 78 engage surfaces 67, then depressing the trigger 7 3 and then further moving the handle mechanism forwardly until projections 78 engage surfaces 69.

When it is desired to adjust the axial length of the stick II, the handle assembly 14 will first be retracted axially so as to cause the lever 81 to engage the rack 83 to fixedly interconnect same. The cylindrical clamping sleeve 104 will then be axially retracted (downwardly in FIG. 9) in opposition to the urging of the spring 1 11 so as to withdraw the pin 1 14 from the recess 1 l6, whereupon the sleeve 104 will be manually rotated so as to permit the pin 114 to bear against the forward axial end of the sleeve 104, thereby maintaining the sleeve 104 in the released position. With the sleeve in a released position illustrated in FIG. 11, the balls 102 are then freely displaceable radially outwardly so as to leave the recesses 103, whereupon the inner operating rod 31 is then freely movably relative to the outer tube 32. movable After the locking mechanism 33 has been released, the locking device 23 on the support rod assembly 12 will also be released by manually depressing the plunger 24 so as to disengage same from the selected opening 29, whereupon the inner support rod 21 will then be axially slidably moved relative to the outer support rod 22, which in turn will cause a corresponding axial movement of the inner operating rod 31 rela' tive to the outer operating rod 32. The rod assemblies will be axially extended or shortened by the desired amount such that when in their new relative axial positions, the plunger 24 will again resiliently extend into one of the openings 29 so as to axially secure the support rods 21 and 22 together. The clamping sleeve 104 will then again be rotated so as to align the recess 1 16 with the pin 1 I4, whereupon the spring 111 will urge the clamping sleeve 104 upwardly against the shoulder 113, which axial movement of sleeve 104 will cause the ramp 108 to earn the balls 102 radially inwardly so as to be seated within the selected set of recesses 103. This now places the stick 1 l in condition for utilization thereof.

The stick 11, when being used, can be manually held so that the lever 81 and trigger 73 are disposed on the upper side of the handle, thereby enabling their actuation by means of the user's thumb. Altemately, the stick can be rotated so that the lever 81 and trigger 73 are disposed on the lower side of the handle, thereby being actuated by the users fingers. This design of the handle assembly is desirable since it permits the stick to be positioned so as to be most comfortable to the user and/or positioned at the most convenient working orientation.

MODIFICATION While FIGS. 912 illustrate therein one preferred embodiment of a locking mechanism 33 useable for axially connecting the telescoping portions of the operating rod assembly 17, it will be readily apparent that numerous other locking devices can be provided for this purpose. One such locking device is illustrated in FIG. 13 and it includes a sleeve 121 fixedly secured to the forward end of the rear rod 32, the sleeve 121 having its forward portion extending beyond the rear rod so as to overlap a portion of the front operating rod 31. The forward end of the sleeve 12] is provided with an opening 122 therethrough, which opening 122 is adapted to be aligned with one of a plurality of axially spaced openings 123 fonned within the rod 31. A leaflike spring 124 is fixedly secured to the sleeve 121 and is provided with a pin or projection 126 at its forward end, which pin is adapted to extend through the opening 122 so as to be receivable within one of the openings 123. The spring 124 normally resiliently urges the pin 126 through the opening 122 so as to engage one of the openings 123 so as to fixedly axially interconnect the operating rods 31 and 32. To permit the axial length of the operating rod assembly to be adjusted, the spring 124 is manually pivoted outwardly so as to remove the pin 126 from the opening 123, whereupon the rod 31 can be axially moved relative to the rod 32 so as to align a different opening 123 with the opening 122, whereupon the spring 124 will then resiliently urge pin 126 back into the aligned openings 122 and 123 to again axially lock the operating rods 31 and 32 together.

Although particular preferred embodiments of the invention have been disclosed in detail for illustrative purposes, it will be recognized that variations or modifications of the disclosed apparatus, including the rearrangement of parts, lie within the scope of the present invention.

The embodiments of the invention in which I claim an exclusive property or privilege are defined as follows:

1. A clamp stick especially adapted for use with energized electrical distribution lines or equipment and having means for permitting the overall operational length of the stick to be selectively varied, said stick comprising:

an elongated telescoping support rod means including first and second elongated support members at least partially telescopically slidably supported one on the other and selectively movable axially relative to one another;

head means disposed adjacent one end of said support rod means and secured to said first support member;

a clamping mechanism slidably mounted on said head means; handle means movably mounted on said second support member substantially adjacent the other end of said support rod means for actuating said clamping mechanism;

elongated operating rod means operatively connected between said handle means and said clamping mechanism, said operating rod means including first and second elongated operating members movable axially relative to one another; first locking means coacting with said first and second support members for releasably fixing said support members against axial movement relative to one another in any selected one of a plurality of axially spaced positions; and

second locking means coacting with said first and second operating members for releasably fixing said operating members against axial movement relative to one another in any selected one of a plurality of axially spaced positions.

2. A clamp stick according to claim 1, in which said first and second operating members are at least partially telescopically slidably supported one on the other.

3. A clamp stick according to claim 1, wherein said first locking means includes manually releasable lock means coacting with said support rod means for positively and fixedly axially securing said first and second support members relative to one another in any selected one of a plurality of different positions for permitting the axial length of said support rod means to be varied; and

wherein said second locking means includes manually releasable holding means coacting with said operating rod means for axially securing said first and second operating members relative to one another in any selected one of a plurality of different positions for pennitting the axial length of said operating rod means to be selectively varied.

4. A clamp stick according to claim 3, wherein said releasable lock means includes a plunger radially movably mounted within the inner support member and spring means normally resiliently urging said plunger radially outwardly through an opening formed in the peripheral wall of said inner support member, and the outer support member having a plurality of axially spaced openings formed through the wall thereof with said plunger being adapted to extend into one of said openings in said outer member for positively axially fixedly securing said inner support member relative to said outer support member, said plunger being manually depressable in opposition to the urging of said spring means to release said inner and outer support members.

5. A clamp stick according to claim 3, wherein said releasable holding means includes a movable detent member coacting between said first and second operating members and resiliently urged means coacting with said detent member for normally maintaining said detent member in engagement with said first and second operating members for preventing relative axial movement therebetween.

6. A clamp stick according to claim 5, wherein said re|easa-' ble holding means further includes release means for permitting said holding means to be maintained in a released condition in opposition to the urging of said resiliently urged means for permitting said first and second operating members to be selectively axially moved relative to one another.

7. A clamp stick according to claim 1, wherein said handle means includes a handle member movably mounted on said second support member for movement relative to said support rod means through a predetermined distance from a first retracted position forwardly toward said head means to a second advanced position, and control means coacting between said handle member and said second support member for controlling the advancing movement of said handle member from said first to said second position.

8. A clamp stick according to claim 7, wherein said control means includes first means coacting between said handle member and said second support member for controlling the advancing movement of said handle member from said first position toward a third position located intermediate said first and second positions, and second means for controlling the advancing movement of said handle member from said third position toward said second position.

9. A clamp stick according to claim 8, wherein said second means includes a first stop member movably mounted on said handle member for movement therewith and a second stop member fixedly mounted relative to said second support member and disposed for contacting said first stop member for normally preventing advancing movement of said handle means beyond said third position.

10. A clamp stick according to claim 9, wherein said first stop member comprises a trigger member movably mounted on said handle member for movement substantially radially relative to said support rod means, and spring means normally urging said trigger member radially outwardly for permitting same to contact said second stop member when said handle member is advanced to said third position, whereby manual depression of said trigger member in opposition to the urging of said spring means permits same to be released from said second stop member to permit further advancing movement of said handle member toward said second position.

11. A clamp stick according to claim 10, wherein said con trol means includes an elongated control member fixedly secured to and extending axially of said second support member, said control member having an elongated cam groove therein with said cam groove including first and second elongated straight groove portions axially and laterally offset from one another with the adjacent ends of said straight groove portions being disposed in communication with one another, said trigger member having a cam follower disposed within said cam groove with said cam follower being slidably movable along said first straight groove portion as said handle member is moved from said first to said third position, said cam follower abutting the end of said first straight groove portion for normally preventing further advancing movement of said handle means, movement of said trigger member causing said cam follower to be laterally displaced into said second straight groove portion for enabling said handle member to be further advanced from said third position toward said second position.

12, A clamp stick according to claim 11, wherein said first means comprises a one-way ratchet mechanism coacting between said handle member and said control member for normally preventing advancing movement of said handle member from said first toward said third position, and said handle member comprising a sleeve-like member disposed in surrounding relationship to both said second support member and said control member.

13. A clamp stick for use with energized electrical distribution lines or equipment, comprising:

elongated support rod means;

head means fixedly secured adjacent one end of said support rod means;

a clamping mechanism slidably mounted on said head means;

elongated operating rod means disposed adjacent and substantially parallel with said support rod means and having one end thereof operatively interconnected to said clamping mechanism for moving same; and

handle means movably mounted on said support rod means substantially adjacent the other end thereof and connected to the other end of said operating rod means for controlling the movement and actuation of said clamping mechanism;

said handle means including a handle member movably mounted on said support rod means and movable therealong through a predetermined distance from a first retracted position in a direction toward said head means to a second advanced position;

control means coacting between said handle member and said support rod means for controlling the advancing movement of said handle member from said first to said second position;

said control means including first means coacting between said handle member and said support rod means for controlling advancing movement of said handle member from said first position to a third position disposed intermediate said first and second positions, said first means permitting said handle member to be locked relative to said support rod means when disposed between said first and third positions for preventing further advancing movement of said handle means; and

said control means further including second means coacting between said handle member and said support rod means for controlling the advancing movement of said handle means from said third position toward said second position, said second means including a stationary stop member fixedly secured relative to said support rod means and a movable stop member movably mounted on said handle member and disposed for coaction with said stationary sto member when said handle member is advanced to said third position for normally preventing further advancing movement of said handle member.

14. A clamp stick according to claim 13, wherein said movable stop member comprises a trigger member movably mounted on said handle member for movement substantially radially relative to said support rod means, and spring means normally urging said trigger member radially outwardly for permitting same to contact said fixed stop member when said handle member is advanced to said third position, whereby manual depression of said trigger member in opposition to the urging of said spring means permits same to be released from said fixed stop member so as to pennit further advancing movement of said handle member toward said second position.

15. A clamp stick according to claim 14, wherein said control means includes an elongated control member fixedly secured to and extending axially of said support rod means, said control member having an elongated cam groove therein with said cam groove including first and second elongated straight groove portions axially and laterally ofiset from one another with the adjacent ends of said straight groove portions being disposed in communication with one another, said trigger member having a cam follower disposed within said cam groove with said cam follower being slidably movable along said first straight groove portion as said handle member is moved from said first to said third position, said cam follower abutting the end of said first straight groove portion for normally preventing further advancing movement of said handle means, movement of said trigger member causing said cam follower to be laterally displaced into said second straight groove portion for enabling said handle member to be further advanced from said third position toward said second position.

16. A clamp stick according to claim 15, wherein said first means comprises a one-way ratchet mechanism coacting between said handle member and said control member for normally preventing advancing movement of said handle member from said first toward said third position, and said handle member comprising a sleeve-like member disposed in surrounding relationship to both said support rod means and said control member.

17. A clamp stick according to claim 13, wherein said control means includes an elongated control member fixedly secured to and extending axially of said support rod means, said control member having an elongated cam groove therein with said cam groove including first and second elongated straight groove portions axially and laterally offset from one another with the adjacent ends of said straight groove portions being disposed in communication with one another, and said movable stop member having a cam follower slidably disposed within said cam groove.

18. A clamp stick for use with energized electrical distribution lines or equipment, comprising:

an elongated, electrical insulating, support rod assembly comprising an elongated tubular front support rod and an elongated tubular rear support rod, the rearward end of said front support rod being telescopically and slidably received within the front end of said rear support rod;

an electrical insulating head fixedly mounted on the front end of said from support rod;

a clamping mechanism axially slidably mounted within said head for extension from said head and retraction into said head;

a handle assembly axially slidably mounted on the rear support rod adjacent the rear end thereof;

an elongated operating rod assembly extending alongside said support rod assembly and comprising an elongated front operating rod and an elongated tubular rear operating rod, the front end of said front operating rod being connected to said clamping mechanism and the rear end of said front operating rod being telescopically and slidably received within the front end of said rear operating rod, the rear operating rod being connected to said handle assembly, so that axial movement of said handle assembly along said rear support rod will move said clamping mechanism within said head;

first locking means coasting between the telescoped portions of said support rods for releasably fixedly securing said support rods against axial movement relative to each other in any selected one of a plurality of axially spaced positions, said first locking means being located between said handle and said head;

second locking means coacting between the telescoped portions of said operating rods for releasably fixedly securing said operating rods against axial each other in any selected one movement relative to of a plurality of correspondingly axially spaced positions, said second locking means being located between said handle and said head; whereby the effective operating lengths of said support rod assembly and said operating rod assembly can be adjusted l k i i i

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Classifications
U.S. Classification29/750, 81/53.1, 294/174
International ClassificationB25J1/04, H01R11/14
Cooperative ClassificationB25J1/04, H01R11/14
European ClassificationB25J1/04, H01R11/14