US 3782718 A
A power operated endless rope is moved a selected predetermined speed either up or down to allow a climber to climb up or down on the rope while remaining safely close to the floor.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Jan. 1, 1974 3,358,968 l2/1967 Walsh et 254/l75.3 3,103,344 9/1963 ROPE CLIMBING MACHINE Figge 254/175.3
mm 00 8 69 S. h 4 0% W M3 n We K h m0 nN W e hv CA H O t n e v .m N 7 Prima ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle 2 F d: A 28, 1972 [2 ile P Att0rneyRiChard W. Seed et al.  Appl. No.: 248,679
 ABSTRACT A power operated endless rope is moved a selected predetermined speed either up or down to allow a  US. Cl. 273/60  Int Cl A63b 7/04  Field of Search....................... 272/60; 254/150,
climber to climb up or down on the rope while re- References C'ted maining safely close to the floor. UNITED STATES PATENTS l/l9OO 272/60 UX 4 Claims, 1 Drawing Figure ROPE CLIMBING MACHINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to rope-climbing equipment.
2. Description of the Prior Art Climbing ropes of the type customarily employed in gymnasiums or the like are stationary and suspended from a ceiling high above the gym floor. Such high rope climbing is known to be dangerous to the climber. Many climbers freeze when several feet above the floor level, others have been known to slip and sustain severe rope burns or other bodily injury during falls.
An exercising machine as shown in US. Pat. No. 641,519 is known and teaches the use of an endless rope combined with an adjustable friction device to vary the strength required to pull the rope. Although such a device is suitable for exercising the arms and upper body, the exerciser at all times remains with his feet on the floor and thus cannot simulate an actual rope-climbing experience.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of this invention to provide a rope climbing apparatus which eliminates the hazards of high rope climbing.
It is another object of this invention to provide a rope climbing device on which the climber actually climbs off the floor but remains at a safe distance above the floor. I
It is another object of this invention to provide a rope climbing apparatus in which the climbing rate can be selectively set at any desired speed allowing a beginner to climb at relatively slow rope travel speed and an expert to climb at a substantially faster rope travel speed.
Basically, the invention employs an endless rope, means for supporting the endless rope with one run lying vertically, and means for moving the vertical run at a predetermined selected speed whereby the climber can climb up or down the rope at a desired speed while staying close to the floor. The rope moving means may be mechanical, electrical or hydraulic.
Thus climbing can occur at a safe distance from the floor. Secondly an unlimited supply of rope is made available to the climber as opposed to conventional fixed ropes suspended from a ceiling.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The rope climbing apparatus includes an endless rope of a type suitably used for rope climbing in gymnasiums or the like, means 12 for supporting the rope above the floor, and means 14 for moving the rope at a predetermined speed.
The rope-supporting means 12 includes a bracket 16 mounted to the wall 17 of the gymnasium. The bracket is positioned a substantial distance above the floor 18 of the gymnasium, preferably only about 10 feet so that a climber may simulate a climb up or down the rope while staying relatively close to the floor. The bracket 12 includes a cantilevered frame 20 which mounts a rotary power source 22 and a rope pulley 24. The power source 22 is a variable speed electric motor as shown which attaches to a speed reducer 34 having an output chain sprocket 26. Hydraulic or mechanical variable speed power supplies may also be used. The rope pulley is mounted on a shaft 28 that is journaled on the frame 20. A power sprocket 30' is keyed to the shaft 28 and is powered by an endless roller chain 32 entrained about the output sprocket 26. A speed and reversing control 36 is mounted at operator height above the floor 18 and provides an adjustable speed reversible control for the power supply 22 in a conventional'manner. A sprocket 39 is keyed to a shaft 28. A chain drive 40 connects sprocket 39 with a secondary shaft having a secondary rope pulley 38 keyed thereto. As is readily apparent, the climbing rope 10 is entrained around pulley 38, reversed and then entrained around pulley 24. Pulley 24 has a rubber coated rope groove surface for better gripping of the rope. Both rope pulley 24 and secondary pulley 38 are powered so that no slack is created in the rope when run in either direction. The apparatus is also provided with a spacing pulley 44 positioned near the wall at a substantial distance from the pulleys 38 and 24 so that the remaining run of the rope does not interfere with the climber.
In operation the climber sets the rope speed at the range to which he is accustomed as determined by his present climbing ability. The rope can be moved in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction, depending on whether the climber wants to experience climbing up a rope or climbing down a rope. If the climbing run of the rope is moving up, the climber simulates a climb down. If the climbing run of the rope is moving down, the climber simulates a climb up at the set rope traveling speed. It is contemplated, of course, that a rope measuring device can be used to determine the amount of rope climbed during a particular time interval. For example, speed control 36 is calibrated into a feet per minute speed control. As an alternative a meter or footage counter may be added to count revolutions of the gear 38, which in turn are calibrated to measure rope travel distance. A visual readout 52 is then provided at eye level on the wall 17 to record the detected movement of rope at the meter 50. Obviously, when the climber is uncertain as to his climbing speed or in competition, another person may maintain the speed control 36 to continuously adjust to the speed of the climber.
A hand-actuated limit switch 46 is also provided adjacent the frame 20. The switch is operatively connected to the power supply to stop the rope should the climber be pulled upwardly too close to the rope pulley 24.
The rope moving mechanism can also be mounted at the ceiling of a gymnasium and a longer rope used for climbing. In this case, of course, inexperienced climbers could still remain safely close to the floor but more experienced climbers could climb at higher distances, if desired.
While the preferred form of the embodiment has been illustrated and described, it should be understood that variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the principles of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited to the specific form illustrated and described, but rather is to be limited only by a literal interpretation of the claims appended hereto.
What is claimed is:
l. Rope climbing apparatus for exercising and competitive rope climbing at a safe close-to-the-floor position, comprising a smooth endless rope free of attachments which would obstruct a climber,
rope supporting means including a bracket assembly adapted to be mounted on the wall of a room a substantial distance above the floor,
a plurality of pulleys mounted on said bracket and supporting said rope for continuous complete revolutions with one run vertically disposed, a variable speed reversible motor mounted on said bracket assembly,
means connecting said motor to a first one of said pulleys for driving engagement therewith,
remote control means for the motor to select a desired rate of speed in one direction or the other which is substantially equal to the rate at which the user climbs whereby the user remains substantially stationary relative to the floor when climbing the rope,
and means mounting said remote control means adjacent the lower end of said one run.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein a second one of said pulleys is disposed adjacent said first one of said pulleys in a manner so that the rope passes around said first pulley in one direction and then around the second pulley in the opposite direction.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 including means to drive said second pulley.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein a third one of said plurality of pulleys is spaced from said first and second pulleys a substantial distance to support the rope with a second vertical run which is spaced sufficiently from said one vertical run so as not to interfere with a user on said one vertical run.