|Publication number||US3798651 A|
|Publication date||Mar 19, 1974|
|Filing date||Aug 23, 1972|
|Priority date||Aug 23, 1972|
|Also published as||DE2312104A1|
|Publication number||US 3798651 A, US 3798651A, US-A-3798651, US3798651 A, US3798651A|
|Original Assignee||Lehman R|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (11), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1191 Lehman Mar. 19, 1974 ANTENNA MOUNTING FIXTURE 3.254.344 5/1966 Rohrs 343/901  Inventor: Roger D. Lehman, 60504 Warwick 3.699.580 10/1972 Joseph et a1. 343/702 Rd., Deerfield, Ill. 60015 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Filed g 23 1972 1,132,278 9/1956 France 343/805  Appl. No.: 283,204 Primary Examiner-Eli Lieberman Attorney, Agent, or Firm--Neumann, Williams, Ander- 52 us. 01 343/702, 343/882, 174/153 A  Int. Cl. HOlq 1/24 58 Field of Search 343/702, 715, 805, 901,  ABSTRACT 3 3 2; 7 5 A A fixture for holding a whip antenna element in posttion outside a cabinet housing a television set or the 5 References Cited like is assembled with the cabinet by snapping it into UNITED STATES PATENTS place within an aperture in a wall of the cabinet. The fixture allows replacement of the antenna element 225:2; 343/901 from outside the cabinet. 3.560.981 10 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 1 ANTENNA MOUNTING FIXTURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION when not in use. When in use, the antenna element is extended from the cabinet, and adjustably supported by a ball structure at its lower end, to permit rotation of the antenna element into the most desirable orientation.
Because of theconstruction of the antenna element, which requires the use of a relatively thin tube for the extendable tube, the antenna elements are easily broken and frequently must be replaced. In conventional constructions, it is necessary to replace not only the antenna element, but also the fixture which maintains it in position relative to the cabinet of the television set. This necessitates, in most cases, removing the back of the cabinet in order to replace the fixture, and sometimes also requires the removal of the television set from the cabinet in order to gain access to the fixture.
It is also necessary, in conventional constructions, to
have access to the interior of the cabinet during original assembly of the antenna fixture with the cabinet, as a step in the manufacture of the television set. As a consequence, either this step must be performed before insertion of the television set into its cabinet, or the same problems which are encountered during replacement of broken antenna elements are also encountered during manufacture.
It is desirable to provide an antenna fixture which permits replacement of broken antenna elements without the need for access into the interior of the television cabinet. It is also desirable to provide an antenna fixture which may be originally installed from the exterior of the cabinet.
Accordingly, it is the principal object to the present invention to provide a fixture which permits replacement of antenna elements from outside the television cabinet.
Another object to the present invention is to provide such a fixture which may be assembled in fixed relation to the television. cabinet from outside the cabinet,
without the need for gaining access to the cabinet interior.
These and other objects of the present invention will become manifest upon an examination of the following description and the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTIONOF THE INVENTION In one embodiment of the present invention, there is provided an antenna fixture having a plastic housing, the lower portion of such housing being adapted to fit within an aperture provided in a cabinet for'a television set or the like,- the housing having integrally formed therewith a plurality of resiliant tabs adapted to normally extend outwardly from the housing but adapted to temporarily bend inwardly when the housing is inserted into the aperture, the upper extremity of said housing having threads for threadably receiving a cover, a ball retainer held in position by said cover, and an antenna element connected to said ball, whereby said antenna element may be replaced, if nec essary, from without said cabinet by removing said cover.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Reference must now be made to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a vertical cross-section of an antenna fixture incorporating the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical cross-section of a portion of the apparatus in FIG. 1 taking in plane 2-2 at right angles to the plane of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to FIG. 1, the antenna fixture 10 comprises a one-piece plastic housing 12 having an elongate tubular body 13, and a flange l4 protruding outwardly therefrom, disposed adjacent to the exterior surface of a thin wall 15 which is preferably the wall of a television cabinet or the like. An aperture 16 is provided in the wall 15 and the lower portion of the housing 12 is configured to fit snugly within the aperture 16. A key 17, formed integrally with the housing 12, is disposed in a keyway provided in the wall. 15 to prevent the housing 12 from rotating relative to the wall 15. Below the wall 15, and formed integrally with the housing 12 are a pair of tabs 20 which extend outward from the housing 12, with their upper ends engaging the lower surface of the wall 15. The tabs 20, therefore, cooperate with the flange 14 to hold the housing 12 in fixed relation to the wall 15 Above the flange 14, the tubular body 13 has external threads 21. A cover 22, having internal threads 23, isadapted to be threadably received on the housing 12, and retained in position thereon by means of the interlocking threads. The upward extremity of the cover 22 comprises an inwardly extending flange 24 such as to form a shoulder 25 above the tubular body 13. A ball retainer 26 is provided with a flange 27 which is adapted to be trapped within the cover 22 below the shoulder 25. A whip antenna element having an extendable tube 30, slidably engaged in an aperture extending through a ball 31. The tube 30 is held in position since the ball 31 is firmly seated against the lower surface of the ball retainer 26. Friction between the tube 30 and the aperture within the ball 31 maintains the tube 30 in its extended position, just as the several sections of the tube 30 are maintained 1 in adjustable fixed relation relative to each other by friction there between. The ball retainer 26 has a generally spherical surface with an aperture 32 centrally located at the upper extremity thereof. The aperture 32 is large in relation to the diameter of the tube 30 to permit, while the tube 30 is extended, the ball 31 to rotate within the ball retainer 32 and, thereby, to allow adjustable orientation of the antenna.
An electrically conducting ferrule 33 is formed in the shape of a hollow tube having a flared upper portion 34 and a flared lower portion 35. The flared upper portion 34 is of such a size in relation to the ball 31 as to provide a circular line of tangency between the interior surface of the flared portion 34 and the external surface of the ball 31. A spring 36 surrounds the ferrule 33 within the housing 12. The upper end of the spring 36 urges the flared upper portion 34 in an upward direction into contact with the ball 31, while the lower end of the spring 36 bears against a lower wall 37 of the housing 12. The wall 37 has a circular aperture 40 centrally located therein, and the ferrule 33 is received within the aperture 40.
An electrical lead 41 is connected to the ferrule 33 and preferably to the flared lower portion 35 by means of soldering or the like. The lead 41 is connected with the RF input of the television set by means of a pair of cooperating connectors 42 and 43, and a further lead 44 which interconnects the connector 43 with the RF input of the TV set. The flared lower portion 35 of the ferrule 33 retains the ferrule 33 in position within the housing 12, even when the cover member 24 is notassembled in relation thereto. When it is desired to store the tube 30 within the cabinet, the tube 30 is moved downwardly relative to the ball 31, through the hollow ferrule 33 and into the space below.
When it is desired to replace the tube 30 and the ball 31, the cover 22 is unscrewed from assembled relation with the tube 13, and then the ball retainer 26 and the cover 22 are disassembled from the ball 31 and tube 30 by drawing them outwardly along the length of the tube 30 past the outer end thereof. The cover 22 and the ball retainer 26 may then be assembled, together with a replacement tube 30 and ball 31, by placing the cover 22 and the ball retainer 24 over the end of the replacement antenna element tube and sliding them along the length of the antenna element tube until the ball retainer comes into fitted relationship with the replacement ball. The cover 22 is then assembled with the housing 12 by engaging the threads 21 and 23 and screwing the cover 22 into place.
The lower portion of the exterior surface of the cover 22 is provided with cut-away portions 45, so as to form a hexagonal cross-section. This enables the cover 22 to be assembled tightly in relation to the housing 12 by applying a wrench to the hexagonal cross-section portion of the cover 22. The housing 12 is prevented from rotating in relation to the wall 15 as the cover 22 is tightened, by the key 17. As the cover 22 is screwed down in relation to the housing 12, the spring 36 is compressed, thereby urging the ferrule 33 into tight contact with the ball 31 and insuring good electric contact therebetween. At the same time, the frictional force between the ball 31 and the ferrule 33 is increased so that the ball 31 is thereby maintained in any desired position.
The housing 12 and cover 22 are formed of plastic material so that the electrically conductive portions of the antenna are insulated from the cabinet wall 15. Accordingly, the antenna fixture may be employed with a cabinet having a wall 15 formed of conductive material, without interfering with the operation of the antenna.
The housing 12 and cover 22 are formed of a plastic material having good cold flow characteristics, such that they can maintain their shapes for long periods of time even though subjected to a constant force. Although a number of materials, including conventional plastics filled with glass strands or the like could be used, one material which has been found to be quite satisfactory is Acrylonitrile Butadiene-Styrene, and is commercially available from the Eastman-Kodak Company under the trademark Cycolac.
In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, the flange 14 may be eliminated altogether from the construction of housing 12. In this event, the function of the flange 14, of bearing against the outer surface of the wall 15, is performed by the innermost convolution of the threads 23. As another alternative, the cover 22 may be constructed to fit within the housing 12, in which case the cover 22 would have external threads and the housing 12 would have cooperating internal threads.
During the manufacture of the television set, the fixture of the present invention may be assembled by sim ply inserting the lower portion of the housing 12 into the aperture 16 of the wall 15. As the tabs 20 are attached to the remainder of the housing 12, only at their lower extremities, where they are aligned with the exterior surface of the housing 12, they are free to bend inwardly, toward the ferrule 33 during insertion, until the ends of the tabs clear the wall 15, and then spring into the position shown in FIG. 1. The step of assembling the antenna fixture with the cabinet may be performed at any time during the manufacture of the television set, allowing maximum flexibility therein. The connectors 42 and 43 serve to establish connection with the antenna without requiring any soldering at the time of assembly.
From the above description, it is evident that the present invention simultaneously achieves the objects of providing an antenna fixture which may be assembled initially in relation with a cabinet wall from outside the cabinet, simply by inserting the fixture into an aperture of the wall, and the function of permitting easy replacement ofa broken antenna element without the necessity of gaining access to the interior of the cabinet.
What is claimed is:
1. In an apparatus of the class described, a one-piece insulated housing having upper and lower portions, said housing lower portion being of generally cylindrical configuration and adapted to be received within an aperture in a supporting wall, said housing lower portion having a plurality of resilient tabs normally extending outwardly from said lower housing portion but adapted to be temporarily moved inwardly against aperturedefining portions of said wall in the course of inserting said housing lower portion in said wall aperture, said housing upper portion having a centrally-apertured cover detachably connected to said housing upper portion, an antenna element having an a enlarged portion, at least the lower portion of said enlarged antenna portion being disposed in said housing upper portion; and
a conductive member positioned within said housing, one end of said conductive member being in electrical contact with said antenna element and the other end of said conductive member projecting from said lower housing portion.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the upper portion of said housing has external threads, and said cover comprises a tubular body having cooperating internal threads, whereby said cover is removably secured in fixed relation to said housing.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said cover includes an inwardly extending flange at the extremity of said tubular body, the inner extremity of said flange defining said centrally disposed aperture,
and including a ball retainer having a curved surface portion and a flange portion, said curved surface portion being adapted to engage the enlarged portion of said antenna element, and the flange portion of said ball retainer being adapted to be retained in position by the flange of said cover.
4. Apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the exterior threads provided on said upper portion of said housing are adapted to engage one surface of said wall and said tabs being adapted to engage the opposite surface of said wall.
5. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said housing is provided with a flange protruding outwardly therefrom, said flange being adapted to engage one surface of said wall, and said tabs being adapted to en gage the opposite surface of said wall.
6. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said conductive member comprises a conductive ferrule, and including resiliant means for urging said ferrule into electrical contact with said antenna element, and electrically conductive means connected with the end of said ferrule remote from said antenna element.
7. Apparatus according to claim 6, wherein said electrically conductive means comprises a pair of cooperating connectors adapted for releasably completing an electrical connection with said ferrule.
8. Apparatus according to claim 1, including a key provided on said lower portion of said housing, said wall being provided with a notch adjacent to the aperture in said wall for receiving said key and preventing said housing from rotating relative to said wall.
9. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said upper and lower portions of said housing are integrally formed of plastic material.
10. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said cover has a portion of its outer surface formed with a regular polygonal cross-section.
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|U.S. Classification||343/702, 174/153.00A, 343/882|
|International Classification||H01Q1/12, H01Q1/08|