US 3735041 A
A generally ball-shaped enclosure is formed by two complementary separable portions having appropriately arranged cut out portions to receive and retain between them a control panel, loudspeaker mountings, and access plate when the portions are joined together without the use of additional fasteners.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 91 Fujita 1451 May 22,1973
1 1 CABINET FOR ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS APPARATUS  Inventor: Ryuzo Fujita, Suidobashi B1dg., 4-4, l-chome, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan 22 Filed: July 6, 1971 21 App1.No.: 159,594
52 us. 01 ..17s/7.9, 179/1 E, 181/31 B, 312/7 TV, 325/352 51 1m. (:1. ..H04n 5/64 58 Field of Search ..312/114, 257 A, 283, 312/284, 352, 7 TV; 179/1 E, 1 GA; 181/31  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,751,760 6/1956 Williams ...312/352 3,026,956 3/1962 Wilber ..181/31 B 3 ,092,688 6/1963 Rector 2,910,687 10/1959 Manetti et a1. l78/7.9
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,127,504 12/1956 France ..l78/7.9
D322,01O 10/1970 Japan 1,190,226 4/1970 Great Britain ..325/352 Primary ExaminerRobert L. Griffin Assistant Examiner.1oseph A. Orsino, Jr.
Attorney- Arnold B. Christen and Eugene Sabol et a1.
 ABSTRACT A generally ball-shaped enclosure is formed by two complementary separable portions having appropriately arranged cut out portions to receive and retain between them a control panel, loudspeaker mountings, and access plate when the portions are joined together without the use of additional fasteners.
8 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures CABINET FOR ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS APPARATUS The present invention relates to electronic communication devices and, more particularly, to a cabinet for a radio receiver, tape player, television set or other similar devices.
One object of the invention is to provide a cabinet which can be economically manufactured and assembled and which is attractive in appearance.
This object can be realized, according to the invention, by means of a cabinet formed by two generally semispherical portions which engage with each other and define together respective openings to receive and retain a front panel carrying a dial plate, two side panels carrying the loudspeakers of the system, and a back plate giving access to the power section of the device.
Further objects and features of the present invention will be best understood and appreciated from the following description of the invention, selected for purposes of illustration and shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a cabinet embodying the invention, in combination with a combined radio receiver and tape cartridge player;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the cabinet of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a back elevational view of the cabinet of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a perspective exploded view of the cabinet according to the invention, the inner components being removed for purposes of simplification;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 6-6 of'FIG. 2;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 8 is a front elevational view of another embodiment of the cabinet of the invention, in combination with a television receiver. I
Referring now in greater detail to the drawings, a cabinet for a combined stereophonic radio receiver and tape cartridge player is shown in FIGS. 1-5 and is indicated by numeral 10. Basically, this cabinet comprises a lower generally semispherical portion 12 and an upper generally semispherical portion 14 which engages with the lower portion 12, defining an essentially ball-shaped enclosure within which conventional radio receiver means, tape cartridge player means and stereophonic or two-channel amplifier means are housed. All of these electronic components are selected from commercially available products and accordingly do not, in an individual sense, form a part of the present invention.
, The two semispherical portions 12 and 14, made for example of rigid plastic material, define together a front opening 16, two side openings 18 and 20, and a back opening 22. Preferably, the openings l6, l8 and 20 are circular and the opening 22 is substantially rectangular. In addition, it is convenient that approximately half of each one of these openings is defined by one of the portions 12 and 14, to facilitate the insertion of the corresponding panels. Thus, each one of the substantially semispherical portions 12 and 14 is provided with four contacting margins 24 and 26, respectively, the contacting margins of one portion being complementary to the contacting margins of the other portion. In the assembled condition of the cabinet these contacting margins lie, according to a preferred embodiment, in a common plane 28 which is inclined, approximately at an angle of 30, with respect to the supporting surface.
In order to provide an accurate mating and a secure engagement between the portions 12 and 14, the contacting margins 24 of the lower semispherical portion 12 may be provided with protrusions 32 and the contacting margins 26 of the upper semispherical portion 14 may be provided with recesses 34 which are complementary to the protrusions 32. It will be apparent that, without departing from the scope of the invention, the protrusions can also be located on the margins 26, and the recesses located on the margins 24, and also that the margins 24 and 26 can each be provided with both protrusions and recesses.
The circular front opening 16 lies in a plane normal to the plane 28, thus being inclined with respect to the supporting surface at an angle of approximately 60, for the purpose of receiving and retaining a circular front panel 36, having substantially the same diameter as the front opening 16. In order to fixedly hold the front panel 36, a circular rim 38 (see FIG. 6) is provided along the margin of the front panel 36, which has a cylindrical portion of larger diameter than the diameter of the front opening 16 and a tapered portion which engages with the inner surfaces of the semispherical portions 12 and 14, in the vicinity of the edge of the front opening 16. This tapered portion merges into a second cylindrical portion having the same diameter as the front opening 16, surrounding the front panel 36 and protruding from the front opening 16. On the other side, the portions 12 and 14 are each provided with a semicircular rim 40 and 42, respectively, defining grooves 44 and 46, respectively, along the edge of the front opening 16. The rim 38 of the front panel extends within said grooves 44 and 46 and abuts the rims 40 and 42, so that axial displacement of the front panel 36 is prevented. In order to also prevent angular displacement of this panel, the rim 38 is provided with two protrusions 48 which engage with corresponding recesses 50 defined by the rims 40 and 42.
The ,circular. side openings 18 and 20 essentially lie in spaced parallel panels normal to the plane 28 for the purpose of receiving and retaining the circular side panels 52 and 54, having substantially the same diameter as the side openings 18 and 20. Only panel 52 will be described in more detail, since panel 54 is analogous thereto. In order to fixedly hold the side panel 52 in theside opening 18, a circular rim 56, shown inFIG. 7, is provided along the margin of the side panel 52, stepped with respect to the outer surface of the panel and tapered in order to engage with the inner surfaces of the semispherical portions 12 and 14, in the vicinity of the edge of the side opening 18. The portions 12 and 14 are each provided with a semicircular rim 58 and 60, respectively, defining a groove 62 and 64, respectively, along the edge of the side opening 18. The rim 56 of the side panel extends within said grooves 62 and 64 and abuts the rims 58 and 60, so that axial displacement of the side panel 52 is prevented. In order to prevent angular displacement of this panel, the rim 56 is provided with two recesses 66 which are engaged by corresponding protrusions 68 located in the grooves 62 and 64. According to a preferred feature of the invention, the side panels 52 and 54 are provided with spherical outer surfaces having the same radius as the upper and lower portions of the enclosure, thus contributing to define a generally ball-shaped cabinet.
The substantially rectangular back opening 22 is provided at the opposite side from the front opening 16, and has the purpose of receiving and retaining a back plate 70 having essentially the same shape as the back opening 22. Plate 70 must be susceptible of being removed while the two semispherical portions 12 and 14 are secured to each other, in order to give access to the power supply of the device, for example the batteryenclosure 72. Therefore, the plate 70 is hingedly mounted on portion 12 by means of two protrusions 74 extending from the lower edge of plate 70 and beyond the edge of opening 22, engaging with the inner surface of portion 12, and a plurality of protrusions 76 extend from the edge of opening 22 and engage with the inner surface of back plate 70, thus acting as stops for the plate. A latching means 78 is mounted near the upper edge of back plate 70 for sliding vertical movement between an operative position engaging with the inner surface of portion 14, to fasten the back plate 70 in its closed position, and an inoperative position'withdrawn from said engagement to release the back'plate 70. The latching means 78 comprises two rectangular plates arranged at each side of the back plate 70, near the edge of its upper margin, and fixedly connected to each other by means of a rod which passes through the back plate 70 and is vertically slidable within an elongated slot. The back plate 70 is also provided with a spherical outer surface having the same radius as the remainder of the enclosure and matching the outer surfaces of those portions.
It will be apparent that, without departing from the scope of the invention, other arrangements can be provided to hold the different panels and back plate in their respective openings, particularly without the need for screws or other securing elements. For example, the front panel, the side panels and the back plate may be provided with circularrecesses along their margins,
which arefengaged by protrusions extending from the semispherical portions 12 and 14. s
The electronic communication components of a combined radio receiver and tape cartridge player are arranged within aself-supporting support chassis 80, which includes a receptacle 82 for the introduction of a cartridge and the batt'ery'enclosure' 72. Preferably, the chassis 80'is fixedly secured to the front panel 36 which basically comprises a radio. tuning dial 84, amplifier controls 86, operation'selector knob 88, radio tuning knob 90, power-switch 92, track selector 94' and a hinged door 96 covering the tape cartridge receptacle 82. In the inside of the cabinet the chassis 80 rests on correspondingly shaped support ribs 98 and 100 (FIG. of the lower semispherical portion 12, and is secured thereto by means of four screws 102. On the other side, the upper semispherical portion 14 is secured to the chassis 80 by means of two screws 104. Thus, the whole cabinet is firmly held together by means of screws 102 and 104, since the two semispherical portions 12 and 14 are secured to chassis to hold the front panel 36,
spect thereto. More particularly, the base 106 comprises an element 108 consisting of a substantially cylindrical element topped by a conical portion and provided with a central bore 110. The bottom of the portion 12 is provided with a conical surface which conforms to the conical surface of the base, and a bore 112, centrally aligned with bore 110, is provided at the center of the cone of portion 12, and a threaded rod 114 passes through the bores to be secured against axial displacement by means of a stop plate 116 abutting element 108, and a washer 118 and nut 120 located on the inside of the cabinet 10. The conical surface of portion 12 can freely slide over the matching conical surface of element 108. To enhance the sliding properties, a disk of fabric, for example of plush, or
other suitable material (not shown) can be inserted be tween the two conical surfaces. The axle 114 extends downwardly beyond the stop plate 116 and is provided with a second plate 122 which is secured to a disk 124 of resilient material, such as rubber. The diameter of disk 124 is the same as that of element 108, so that the edge of element 108 rests on disk 124. In addition, disk 124 is provided with an ear 126. When the cabinet is to be moved or lifted from its support surface, ear 126 has only to be slightly lifted to allow air to penetrate under disk 124, and the cabinet can easily be lifted. However, if the cabinet is only tilted or pushed, the force will be translated into a pulling force on rod 114, while the edge of disk 124 remainsapplied to the support surface. Consequently, the disk 124 will behave like a suction cup to hold the cabinet on the supporting surface. v
The two side panels 52 and 54 each hold a loudspeaker (not shown) connected to a respective channel of the stereophonic sound reproducing device arranged within cabinet 10, and are provided with perforations 128 to allow the sound to be projected outwardly. Since the loudspeakers are arranged as far as possible from each other on the cabinet surface, and the ballshaped cabinet defines an acoustically resonant housing, high fidelity and high efficiency stereophon'ic characteristics can be obtained with the system. lf'th'e cabinet of the invention isto be used in a' relatively fixed installation, additional loudspeakers can be connected to the output-jacks 130 located on each side panel 52 and The .upper portion 14' of cabinet l0 is alsoprovided with a bore 132 through which a telescopic antenna means, l34 may be pulled out. Also, at the uppermost portion of the cabinet 10,- a ring means 136 is fixedly secured to the portion 14 to permit the cabinet to be suspended, for'example, by a wire. Adjacently to this ring means 136, the upper portion 14 is provided with a recess to receive a retractable handle means 138 which in its hidden position covers the screws 104 and defines an upper surface matching with the periphery of the ball-shaped cabinet 10.
As mentioned before, the power supply of the chassis can be reached by withdrawing the back plate 70. Thus, the battery enclosure 72 slides out of the chassis 80 so that the batteries can easily be replaced. In addition, a power supply line cord for power supplied by an external source, such as a wall socket or a car battery, can also be provided near the back opening 22.
FIG. 8 shows another embodiment of the cabinet, indicated by numeral 140, of the invention, for use with a television chassis. The features of this cabinet 140 are identical to the ones of cabinet 10, excepting that the lower semispherical portion 142 and the upper semispherical portion 144 define a substantially rectangular front opening into which a correspondingly shaped front panel 146 is inserted. This panel 146 carries the television screen and the control knobs 148. The remaining parts, being identical to the preceding embodiment, are indicated by the same numerals.
From above, it is evident that the cabinet of the invention, in combination with a stereophonic sound reproducing device, can be used for many purposes. It combines the advantages of a portable device with optimal acoustic properties. In addition, the ball-shaped form and the pivotal mounting of the cabinet provides an attractive appearance suitable in any location, indoors or out. A further advantage resides in the fact that the cabinet may be manufactured completely independently from the interior chassis including the front panel, and that only a few screws are necessary to assemble both parts together.
It will be apparent that the described embodiments are for the purpose of illustrating the invention, and that changes and variations may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention which is defined in the appended claim.
1. A spherical cabinet to completely enclose an electronic communications equipment chassis, said cabinet being separable about the mid-plane to define semispherical upper and lower portions, a circular front panel, two side panels, and a removable back plate, each of the circumferential margins of said upper and lower portions being provided with three oppositely disposed semi-circular recesses to define with the corresponding recesses of the other portion openings to receive said front and side panels, said semi-circular recesses being provided with arcuate grooves within which the circumferential margins of said panels are received, means formed integral with said panels and semi-spherical upper and lower portions to prevent relative angular movement of the panels in said openings, the margins of each of said upper and lower protions being also provided with fourth oppositely disposed recesses to define with each other a fourth opening to removably receive said back plate, said recesses being spaced from each other to provide intervening portions of the circumferential margins of said upper and lower portions to abut against each other in mating engage ment, said portions in mating engagement being provided with complementary interengaging protrusions and recesses, means to attach said upper and lower portions to an equipment chassis contained within the cabinet to retain said panels in their respective positions, said fourth recess in the semi-spherical portions including a pair of spaced integral protrusions to position one edge of the back plate in the fourth opening, said plate including a pair of integral spaced protrusions also coacting with said protrusions in the fourth recess to permit the plate to be removed when the cabinet is assembled.
2. The cabinet as defined in claim 1, wherein the outer surfaces of said side panels and the back plate are defined by sections of a sphere, the entire enclosure thereby having a generally ball-shaped configuration with a generally fiat segmental area defined by the front panel.
3. The cabinet as defined in claim 2, wherein said enclosure also includes fastener means to secure the upper and lower portions together and retractable han dle means to carry the enclosure.
4. The cabinet as defined in claim 3, wherein said base includes resilient suction pad means to attach the base to a flat surface, and pivot means to rotate the enclosure about a vertical axis with respect to the base.
5. The cabinet as defined in claim 4, wherein said back plate includes latching means to removably secure the back plate in the opening defined by the upper and lower portions when secured together.
6. The cabinet as defined in claim 5, wherein said enclosure includes support means to mount electronic communications apparatus within the enclosure, said apparatus being of the type including power supply connector wiring, loudspeaker means and manual control means, said side panels including means to mount loudspeaker means on the interior thereof, said front panel being provided with openings for said manual control means, and said connector wiring being accessible through said back panel opening.
7. The cabinet as defined in claim 6, wherein said electronic apparatus includes magnetic tape reproducing apparatus, and said front panel is provided with a slotted opening to permit a tape cartridge to be inserted into said reproducing apparatus.
8. The cabinet as defined in claim 6, wherein said electronic apparatus includes means for electronically reproducing visual signals including a television screen, and said front panel is provided with an opening for viewing said screen.