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Publication numberUS3797171 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 19, 1974
Filing dateAug 25, 1972
Priority dateAug 25, 1972
Also published asCA965443A1
Publication numberUS 3797171 A, US 3797171A, US-A-3797171, US3797171 A, US3797171A
InventorsR Farmer
Original AssigneeR Farmer
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Garage door opener
US 3797171 A
Abstract
A door operating device having two identical sets of rollers spaced from one another along a guide rail. Each set of rollers has a roller engaging a surface of the guide rail, and another, opposed roller engaging another surface of the same guide rail. A frame supported by the rollers for movement therewith has mounted thereon a reversible motor and a drive train for transmitting power from the motor to a roller of each of the roller sets. A bar connected to the frame is attached to a shock absorbing arrangement mounted on a door to be opened and closed by the device. A control system including limit switches on the frame and triggering members associated with the rail limits and reverses movement of the device along the rail.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States, Patent 1191 Farmer 1 1 Mar. 19, 11974 GARAGE DOOR OPENER Primary Examiner-J. Karl Belu Inventor, Richard L Farmer Rt 2 Box Attorney, Agent, or FirmClarence A. OBrien; Har- 35 7-14, Tacoma, Wash. 98366 lambs [22] Filed: Aug. 25, 1972 [52] U.S. Cl 49/360, 49/199, 160/188 51 1111.01 E051 15/16 [58] Field of Search 49/199, 200, 358, 360; 160/188, 193

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,284,952 11/1966 Lodge 49/360 2,755,081 7/1956 Johnson'et al 160/188 2,869,860 1/1959 Jones 49/199 x 2,661,450 12/1953 Moler 49/199 x Appl. No.: 283,764

[57] ABSTRACT A door operating device having two identical sets of rollers spaced from one another along a guide rail. Each set of rollers has a roller engaging a surface of the guide rail, and another, opposed roller engaging another surface of the same guide rail. A frame supported by the rollers for movement therewith has mounted thereon a reversible motor and a drive train for transmitting power from the motor to a roller of each of the roller sets. A bar connected to the frame is attached to a shock absorbing arrangement mounted on a door to be opened and closed by the device. A control system including limit switches on the frame and triggering members associated with the rail limits and reverses movement of the device along the rail.

14 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures over the existing rail.

GARAGE DOOR OPENER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to a door operating device, and in particular to a device for opening and closing a garage door mounted on tracks for upward and downward movement.

2. Description of the Prior Art Numerous devices have been proposed for opening and closing garage doors. These known devices generally use one of several basic arrangements. A motor drive unit may move along either a door guiding rail or a specially provided guide rail, or such a unit may be mounted on the door and engage a, for example, rack arranged adjacent the door and parallel to its path. Alternatively, the motor may be fixedly mounted and manipulate the door by a cable in the manner of a winch, or by a, for example, chain and sprocket torque transmitting arrangement.

Examples of typical rail traveling, motor drive unit arrangements may be found in US. Pat. Nos. 2,925,267 and 3,202,415. A probelm encountered with this type of device is a tendency for the door to cock and bind in its track due to the moving force being applied to only one side of the door. Thus, prior proposals have attempted to provide a rigid, stable unit which will move the associated corner of the door parallel to its rail and cause thedoor to track properly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION proved tracking properties with respect to the rail which it engages.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a rail traveling, garage door operating device having a shock-absorbing attachment to the door for permitting the door to track smoothly.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a garage door operating device which may be installed on existing garage'doorssimply and inexpensively, and without requiring additional head-room These and jother objects are achieved according to the present invention by providing a door operating device having an arrangement including sets of rollers spaced from one another along an associated guide rail for engagingthe guide rail for movement along same, a power drive unit connected to the set of rollers for moving'same and itself along the guide rail, and an arrangement, including a resilient unit for. connecting a frame of the power drive unit to a door for moving the door with the device.

According to-a preferred embodiment of the present invention, each set of rollers is the same as each other set, and includes a roller engaging a one. surface of the guide rail, and anotherroller engaging a surface of the guide rail opposed to the one surface. One of the rollers is connected to the motor drive unit for actuation thereby, and its shaft-isin, turn connected to the drive unit frame for moving same along the guide rail.

1 According to an advantageous feature of the present invention, the distance between the rollers of each roller set may be varied for adjusting the tension of the rollers against the guide rail.

A preferred embodiment of the arrangement connecting the motor dirve unit to a door has a support bracket connected to the door. This support bracket is provided with a U-shaped portion at an end spaced from the door. rod is connected to and extended between legs of this U-shaped portion, and a pair of compression' springs are arranged on the rod. An angle bracket slidably engages the rod between the springs for being cushioned thereby. A bar is pivotally connected to the drive unit frame and the angle bracket.

An arrangement including limit switches and a stepping switch or relay is mounted on the motor drive unit frame, and limit switch trigger members are associated with the guide rail for limiting and reversing the movement of the device along the rail.

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a fragmentary, perspective view showing a door operating device according to the present invention operably connected to a garage door.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, side elevational view showing the device of FIG. 1.

- FIG. 3 is a top plan view, partly cut away and in section, showing the device of FIGS. '1 and 2.

FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view showing the devices of FIGS. 1 to 3.

. FIG. 5 is a sectional view, taken generally along the line 5-5 of FIG. 2..

FIG. 6 is a transverse, vertical sectional view through a garage door guide rail showing a limit switch trigger member mounted thereon.

FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram of a control system for a device according to the present invention. I

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS F IG; 1 of the drawings shows a door operating device 10 according to the present invention arranged on a guide rail 12 such as conventionally used for guiding upwardlyand downwardly moving garage doors and the like. Device 10 includes a motor drive unit 14 connected to a, for example, garage door 16 as by an arrangement 18. Door 16 has rollers 20 (only one of which is shown). mounted on brackets, such as bracket 22. It is to be understood that a rail (not shown) similar to rail 12 is arranged at the other vertical side (not shown) of door 16.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 to 5 of the drawings, device 10 engages rail 12 bymeans of, for example, two sets of rollers spaced from one another along the path of rail 12. Desirably, device 10 only travels along that portion of rail 12 which is normally arranged in a horizontal plane. Each set of rollers 24 has a roller 26 engaging the surface 28 of rail 12, and a roller 30 engaging a surface 32of rail 12 opposed to surface 28. Roller 26 may be standard door roller such as roller 20 and functions as a pinch roller, while roller 30 is a friction roller which may be constructed from a suitable, known resilient material such as a synthetic rubber.

Unit 14 is connected to roller sets 24 for movement therewith.

Unit 14 has a frame 34, and rollers 30 are mounted on shafts 36 rotatably mounted to frame 34 in a known manner. Rollers 30 rotate with shafts 36, which are rotated in a manner to be set out below.

An arrangement 38 may be provided for adjustably tensioning rollers 26, 30 with respect to rail 12. Rollers 26 are rotatably mounted on shafts 40, which may be pivotally mounted to supports 42 as by pins 44. Supports 42 are fixedly mounted on frame 34 in a suitable, known manner. A longitudinally extending member 46 is connected to shafts 40 as by means of holes provided therein. A, for example, rod 48 is fixedly mounted in a known manner on a, for example, angle member 49 forming a portion of frame 34, and is adjustably connected to member 46, as by screw threads 50 passing through an opening 52 provided in member 46 and by a nut 52 threadedly engaging screw threads 50. Selective adjustment of nut 54 permits the distance between shafts 36 and 40, the latter being fixedly connected to -frame 34, to be varied to achieve a desired tension of rollers 26, 30 against guide rail 12.

Frame 34 has a motor 56 which may be, for example, a reversible electric motor mounted thereon in a conventional manner. A drive train 58 transmits torque from motor 56 to shafts 36 of rollers 30 for reversibly moving device along rail 12.

Drive train 58 has a shaft 60 rotatably mounted on frame 34 in a known manner, and a pulley 62 and a sprocket 64 are mounted on shaft 60 for rotation therewith. A belt 66, which may be standard V-belt as shown, is arranged about pulley 62 and a motor pulley 68 mounted on a motor shaft 70 for rotation thereby and for transmitting torque from motor 56 to sprocket 64. A sprocket 72 is mounted on a one shaft 36 for rotation therewith, and a sprocket chain 74 is arranged on sprockets 64, 72 for transmitting torque to the one shaft 38 and rotating same. A sprocket 76 is also mounted on the one shaft 38 for rotation therewith, and a sprocket 78 is mounted on the other shaft 38 also for rotation therewith. A sprocket chain 80 is arranged on sprockets 76 and 78 for transmitting torque from the one shaft 38 to the other shaft 38 and rotating the latter. The various sprockets and sprocket chains may be any suitable, standard sprockets and sprocket chains.

As can best been seen in FIG. 1 of the drawings, arrangement 18 has a support bracket 82 connected to door 16. This support bracket 82 is provided with a U- shaped portion 84 at an end spaced from door 16, and a, for example, rod 86 connected to and extending between legs 88 of portion 84. A pair of compression springs 90 are arranged on rod 86, and an angle bracket 92 is arranged slidably engaging rod 86 between springs 90for being cushioned thereby. A bar is pivotally connected to frame 34 as a pivot joint 96 (FIGS. 2 and 3), and extends from frame 34 toward bracket 82 for being pivotally connected to bracket 92 as at a pivot joint 98. Springs 90 act to absorb sudden changes of motion be tween door 16 and device 10, and permit door 16 to move uniformly along its guide rails.

FIG. 6 shows one example of an arrangement for adjustably mounting a trigger member 100 on a guide rail position limit switch 106. A, for example, screw and nut assembly 108 is lockably arranged in a threaded bore provided in rail 12 for permitting adjustment of member parallel to rail 12 as by slot 109.

FIG. 7 of the drawings shows a schematic diagram of a preferred control circuit for limiting and reversing the movement of a device 10, according to the present invention, along a rail 12. Motor 56 is illustrated as a standard split-capacitor type of reversible electric motor with a pair of conventional capacitors 110, 112 connected together by a wire 113 and arranged in series with the auxiliary winding (not shown) of motor 56 by means of wires 114 and 116. Current can flow to motor 56 through wire 114 to rotate motor 56 in a one direction, and through wire 116 for rotating motor 56 in the opposite direction. A third wire 118 goes to motor 56 directly from a power line 120, which may be connected to a, for example, conventional residential electrical outlet (not shown). This outlet is advantageously part of an electrical distribution system provided with a ground wire connected to wire 122, which is in turn connected to frame 34 for grounding unit 14. The other power line 124 is connected to a contact 126 of a stepping switch or relay 128. This relay 128 may be, for example, a conventional two-position ratchet relay. A wire 130 passes from contact 126 to the primary of a suitable, known transformer 132, together with a wire 134 which is connected to power line 120 together with wire 118. Another wire 136 is run to a conventional lamp arrangement 138. Light switch 102 is also connected to lamp arrangement'138 as by a wire 140, and to contact 126 by a wire 142. The switch 102 and lamp arrangement 138 are in this manner connected across power lines 120, 124.

The secondary of transformer 132 is connected across a, for example, conventional push button switch 144 as by wires 146, 148 and wires 150, 152 connected to wires 146, 148, respectively, as by a suitable, known terminal board 154, and to an armature 156 of relay 128 by means of a wire 158. Switch 144 is a normally open switch, while a 24 volt coil has been found satisfactory for armature 156. Each actuation of switch 144 will move contact 126 of relay 128 from one of contacts 160, 162 to the other of same.

Contact 160 is connected to swtich 104 as by a wire 164. Switch 104 is also connected to capacitor 110 by a wire 166. Similarly, switch 106 is connected to contact 162 by a wire 168, and to capacitor 112 by a wire 170.

Switches 102, 104, and 106 are desirably normallyclosed switches opened by engaging an associated member 100. Thus, when door 16 is closed, contact 126 of relay 128will be in contact with contact 160, and switch 104 will be contacting its associated memher 100 on rail 12 to interrupt the circuit therethrough to motor 56. The alternate circuit to motor 56 through switch 106 is now interrupted by relay 128. Switch 102 is also opened by the, for example, same member 100 as interrupting switch 104 to place lamp arrangement 138 in an unlighted mode. Closing switch 144 as by manual actuation will now move contact 126 from contact 160 into contact with contact 162. Since switch 106 is closed, a circuit is completed in a one direction through capacitors 110, 112, wire 113, and wire 114 to rotate motor 56 in a corresponding one direction. Upon disengagement of switches 102, 104 from their associated member 100 by movement of device 10 ,jc. a shaft mountedon the frame, the one roller being e. adjustrnent means connected to the further shaft along rail 12, the circuit to lamp arrangement 138 will be closed by the closing of switch 102, but the reverse direction circuit to motor 56 through switch 104 will be interrupted by the motor relay 128. When switch 106 engages its associated member 100, the circuit there- 5 through will be broken. The next closing of switch 144 will move contact 126 back into contact with contact 160 and reverse the above procedure to close door 16.

Motor 56 is preferably provided in a conventional manner with a thermal cut-out switch (not shown). Thus, if door 16 is restrained by an obstacle arranged in its path as door 16 is opening or closing, rollers 30 will slip against rail 12, overheating motor 56 by overloading same so that the thermal switch will interrupt the circuit to motor 56.

With a, for example one-fourth hp. motor 56, a conventional garage door 16 has been opened and closed at the rate of 6 inches per second by application of 4 to 150 lbs. of force to the rail 12.

It is to be understood thatstructural details of a device 10 may be changed within-the scope of the present invention. In particular, a different drive train may be used for transmitting torque from motor 56 to rollers 30 than drivetrain 58 described above.

As can be readily appreciated from the above description, a device 10 according to the present invention can be installed on existing garage door track without major modification of the track and door, only bracket 82 and member 100 need be installed, and without itbeing necessary to provide extra head-room above the guide rail 12. The friction drive of rollers 26, may be adjusted, if necessary, by arrangement 38.

, The foregoing is considered as illustrative'only of the principles of the invention, Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in thear't, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown-and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling withinthe scope of the invention. I

What is claim'edas new is as follows: 1. A door operating device,comprising,in combination: a

a. a frame; a Y

b'. a pair of rollers forming a roller set, one roller of the pair being arranged engaging a one surface of a guide rail and the other roller of the pair being arranged engaging a surface of the guide rail opposed to the one surface, the pair of rollers also arranged opposite one another;

rotatably mounted onv the shaft;

I d. a further shaft pivotally mounted'on the frame, the

2. A structure as defined in claim 1, wherein same includes a plurality of sets of rollers spaced from one another along the guide rail.

3. A structure as defined in claim 2, wherein the shaft is a plurality of shafts, and a one roller of each of the sets of rollers is rotatably mounted on a respective one of the shafts, the adjustment means includes a longitudinally extending member; and the further shaft is a plurality of shafts 'pivitally mounted on the frame and passing through holes provided in the longitudinally extending member, and the other roller of each of the sets of rollers is rotatably mounted on a respective one of the further shafts.

4. A structure as defined in claim 3, wherein each of the sets of rollers has a roller engaging a one surface of a guide rail and another roller engaging a surface of the rail opposed to the one surface, one of the rollers of each of the sets of the rollers being connected to the moving means for actuation thereby.

5. A structure as defined in claim 4, wherein the moving means is connected to the rollers for movement therewith. g

6. A structure as defined in claim 5, wherein the moving means includes a motor mounted on said frame, and means for transmitting torque from said motor to the shafts of the one rollers for reversibly moving the device along a guide rail.

7. A structure'as defined in claim 6, wherein the transmitting means includes a torque transfer shaft rotatably mounted on said frame, a pulley and a first sprocket mounted on said transfer shaft for rotation therewith, a belt arranged about said pulley and connected to said motor for transmitting torque from the motor to the first sprocket, a second sprocket mounted on the shafts of the one roller of one set of rollers for rotating same, a first sprocket chain connected to said sprockets for transmitting power to the one roller shaft and rotating same, and a third sprocket mounted on the roller'shaft anda fourth sprocket mounted on the corresponding roller shaft of the other set of rollers for rotation with their associated shaft, and a second sprocket chain connected to the third and fourth sprockets for transmitting torque from the one roller shaft to the corresponding roller shaft.

8. A structure as defined in claim 7, wherein the moving means further includes means cooperating with elements associated with the guide rail for limiting and reversing the movement 'of the device along the rail.

9. A structure as defined in claim 8, wherein the con-' necting means has a support bracket connected to a door guided by the guide rail, said support bracket provided with a U-shaped portion at an end spaced from the door, a rod connected to and extending between legs of said portion, a pair of compression springs arranged on said rod and an angle bracket slidably engaging said rod and arranged between said springs for being cushioned thereby, anda bar connected to and extending from said frame and pivotally connected to said angle bracket. g I .10. 'A structure as defined in claim 1, wherein the moving means includes a motor mounted on said frame, and means for transmitting torque from said motor to the shafts of the one rollers for reversibly moving the device along a guide rai.

11. A structure as defined in claim 10, wherein the transmitting means includes atorque transfer shaft rotatably mounted on said frame, a pulley and a first sprocket mounted on said transfer shaft for rotation therewith, a belt arranged about said pulley and connected to said motor for transmitting torque from the motor to the first sprocket, a second sprocket mounted on the shafts of the one roller of one set of rollers for rotating same, a first sprocket chain connected to said sprockets for transmitting power to the one roller shaft and rotating same, and a third sprocket mounted on the roller shaft and a fourth sprocket mounted on the corresponding roller shaft of the other set of rollers for rotation with their associated shaft, and a second sprocket chain connected to the third and forth sprockets for transmitting torque from the one roller shaft to the corresponding roller shaft.

12. The structure as defined in claim 1, wherein the moving means is connected to the engaging means for movement therewith.

13. A structure as defined in claim 1, wherein the moving means includes means cooperating with elements associated with a guide rail for limiting and reversing the movement of the device along the rail.

14. A structure as defined in claim 1, wherein the connecting means has a support bracket connected to a door guided by the guide rail, said support bracket provided with a U-shaped portion at an end spaced from the door, a rod connected to and extending between legs of said portion, a pair of compression springs arranged on said rod and an angle bracket slidably engaging said rod and arranged between said springs for being cushioned thereby, and a bar connected to and extending from moving means and pivotally connected to said angle bracket.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2661450 *Jan 12, 1951Dec 1, 1953Overhead Door CorpReversible motor and control mechanism therefor
US2755081 *Oct 8, 1951Jul 17, 1956Johnson ClarenceGarage door operators
US2869860 *Jan 6, 1956Jan 20, 1959Edythe KendallClosure operator and radio control apparatus
US3284952 *Nov 27, 1964Nov 15, 1966Edward E LodgeAutomatic door operator
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4625456 *Feb 20, 1986Dec 2, 1986Lucien LafontainePower door operating device
US4668899 *Nov 8, 1985May 26, 1987Allan R. IdeOverhead garage door lock for use with automatic opener
US4732203 *Oct 31, 1986Mar 22, 1988Alten KSectional door with operator
US4750294 *Jul 14, 1987Jun 14, 1988Lucien LafontaineSafety mechanism for power operated door
US4791757 *Jul 9, 1987Dec 20, 1988Orlando Paul FRoller gate opener
US5135040 *Sep 12, 1990Aug 4, 1992Polynorm N.V.Door assembly with a flexible door panel
US5533561 *Nov 12, 1992Jul 9, 1996Forehand, Iv; L. LangstrothGarage door security system
US5544691 *May 19, 1995Aug 13, 1996Wandio; RaymondReversing mechanism for an overhead door opener
US5579616 *Oct 6, 1994Dec 3, 1996Farag; F. AzizPanel-securing system
US5954111 *Jul 16, 1998Sep 21, 1999Ochoa; Carlos M.Overhead door track structure
US6082429 *Mar 5, 1999Jul 4, 2000Ochoa; Carlos M.Stiffeners for sectional overhead doors
US6250360Aug 30, 1999Jun 26, 2001Icom Engineering IncorporatedOverhead door support structure and operator support members
US6250361Sep 2, 1999Jun 26, 2001Icom Engineering IncorporatedStiffeners for sectional overhead doors
US6719032 *Oct 5, 2000Apr 13, 2004Edward MiersShutter with articulated elements equipped with an electrical driving device
US7792602Aug 22, 2007Sep 7, 2010Precision Automation, Inc.Material processing system and a material processing method including a saw station and an interface with touch screen
US7878931 *May 24, 2005Feb 1, 2011Overhead Door CorporationDrive mechanism for barrier operator
US8251847 *Jan 12, 2011Aug 28, 2012Overhead Door CorporationDrive mechanism for barrier operator
US8493081Dec 8, 2010Jul 23, 2013Magna Closures Inc.Wide activation angle pinch sensor section and sensor hook-on attachment principle
DE8806956U1 *May 27, 1988Sep 28, 1989Robert Bosch Gmbh, 7000 Stuttgart, DeTitle not available
WO2010028764A1 *Sep 2, 2009Mar 18, 2010Sommer Antriebs- Und Funktechnik GmbhDrive system for a door
Classifications
U.S. Classification49/360, 49/199, 160/188
International ClassificationE05F15/16
Cooperative ClassificationE05F15/163, E05Y2900/106, E05Y2600/46, E05Y2201/434
European ClassificationE05F15/16B5