US 3868662 A
A tension sensing means is mounted on each adjustable anchor strand securing a mobile home adjacent the surface of the earth. The anchor strand is threaded through eyelets formed in the sensing means and tensioned to a predetermined degree. The sensing means subsequent to the initial tension setting of the anchor strand will sense any excess loosening or tightening of the strand and actuate a warning signal.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States. Patent 1191 Russell, Jr. 1
[ Feb. 25, 1975 MOBILE HOME ANCHOR STRAND TENSION INDICATOR Levi Russell, Jr., P. 0. Box 461, Ballinger, Tex. 76821 Filed: Mar. 25, 1974 Appl. No.: 454,636
US. Cl 340/213 R, 73/144, ZOO/61.18, 340/282, 340/421, 52/295 Int. Cl. G08b 23/00 Field of Search 340/213 R, 259, 283, 232, 340/421, 272, 282, 267 C; ZOO/61.5, 61.49, 61.13, 61.14, 61.15, 61.16, 61.17, 61.18; 307/119, 124, 132 M, 139, 142; 254/172,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,174,334 9 311965 McK ernan 73/144 3,594,773 7/1971 Conkle 340/421 3,646,553 2/1972 Conkle 340/421 3,724,151 4/1973 Kaywood et a1. 52/295 Primary ExaminerJohn W. Caldwell Assistant ExaminerDonnie L. Crosland Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Robert K. Rhea 6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 1 MOBILE HOME ANCHOR STRAND TENSION INDICATOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to mobile homes and more particularly to a tension indicator for actuating a warning signal in response to excess loosening or tightening of anchor strands connected with mobile homes.
Mobile homes, when permanently or semipermanently parked, are usually supported in spaced relation with respect to the surface of the earth by foundation means such as concrete blocks and are frequently damaged by high velocity winds during storms. This is generally due to the ratio of the mass of the mobile home to its surface area exposed to wind pressure. It is, therefore, desirable and in some States or localities it is required by law that mobile homes when parked for use as a dwelling be anchored to the surface of the earth.
This anchoring is usually accomplished by a plurality of deadman type anchors secured to the mobile home by cables or bands connected with the mobile home frame and/or entrained over the outer and upper surface of the mobile home. Further, some States now require that the tension on mobile home anchor bands or strands be within a prescribed range of tension measured in pounds. When a mobile home is parked and anchored as above described, the anchor strands frequently become loose as a result of the earth and/or foundation settling and decreasing the spacing between the mobile home and the surface of the earth. Conversely in cold climates soil adjacent the mobile home may expand, as by freezing, which results in excessive tension being applied to the anchor strands. ltis therefore a requirement that these tension strands be periodically inspectedfor maintaining tension between prescribed parameters.
2. Description of the Prior Art U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,724,151 and 3,751,866 both provide adjustable means for connecting a mobile home to an anchor but neither of these patents disclose means for sensing the tension or lack of it in the means connecting the mobile home with the anchor. U.S. Pat. No. 2,948,286 discloses air pressure supporting a building formed of lightweight flexible material which includes a spring retracted strand connected with the building wall w'hich upon partial collapse of the building wall closes a switch for energizing a motor driven blower to restore air pressure within the building. U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,343,008 and 3,521,265 each disclose filament tension monitors which feature a toggle linkage through which the moving filament is entrained for closing one or the other of a pair of switches in response to looseness ortightness of the filament which energizes a circuit connected with the filament drive control to maintain-the filament under a desired tension.
This invention provides a tension indicator for an anchor strand wherein the strand is threaded through eyelets formed in the indicator, with the strand then being placed under tension, to monitor the tension of the anchor strand by actuating a warning signal when the strand tension exceeds predetermined parameters.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In a mobile home supported by a foundation in spaced relation with respect to the surface of the earth an anchor band connected with the mobile home has its depending end adjustably connected with an anchor rod projecting above the surface of the earth by a band windlass. The tension indicator of this invention is secured to an intermediate portion of the anchor band between the mobile home and the band windlass. The tension indicator comprises a body of generally E- shape, when viewed in side elevation, characterized by recesses or open eyelets formed by the bars of the E- shape through which the anchor band is threaded. The body and central bar of the E-shape is laterally off-set with respect to the plane formed by the respective end portions of the body so that tension applied to the band tends to displace the central bar of the E-shape toward the plane formed by the end portions of the body E- shape. An indicator arm is connected at one end to one end portion of the E-shaped body and projects longitudinally in overlying spaced relation toward the other end of the E-shaped body. The free end of the indicator arm contacts a double acting switch forming a part of an electrical circuit connected with a source of electrical energy and warning signal device. A tension indicator .block connected with the E-shaped body adjacent the free end portion of the indicator arm provides visual indication of the tension on the anchor band by a scale scored on the indicator block.
The principle object is to provide a tension indicator and sensing device for connection with a linear adjustable anchor strand securing an object to the surface of theearth which is responsive to the tension or lack of it applied to the anchor strand.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partially in section, illustrating the device when connected with a mobile home anchor band; i
FIG. 2 is a perspective view ofthe device in operative position on an anchor band; and,
FIG. 3 is a schematic.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Like characters of reference designate like parts in those figures of the drawings in which they occur.
In the drawings:
The reference numeral 10 indicates a fragmentary portion of a mobile home including a support frame 12 in turn supported above the surface of the earth 14 by a foundation means, not shown. An anchor band 16,
hereinafter referred to as strand, may be a strand such as a cable or other flexible means, not shown, is usually secured to the mobile'home at the time of manufacture and depends therefrom for connection with a band Windlass 18 in turnsecured to an anchor rod 20 in turn secured to an anchor, not shown, below the surface of the earth'l4. The band Windlass 18 comprises a substantially U-shaped bracket 22 having a bolt or cotter pin 24 extending transversely therethrough for receiving the depending end portion of the anchor strand l6 and tensioning the latter by a wind-up action with the desired tension maintained by a locking pin and washing means 26 secured to the cotter pin and engageable with the adjacent surface of the bracket 22. The anchor strand 16 is shown secured to the frame 12 but may extend transversely over the mobile home 10. The above description is conventional in anchor means for mobile homes, or the like, and is set forth to dis- 3 close the general arrangementof the components with which the present device is intended to be used.
The sensing means, indicated generally at 30, comprises a substantially plate-like preferably metallic body 32, E-shaped in general configuration, having a longitudinal side portion 34 integrally joined to end legs 36 and 38 normal to the longitudinal axis of the side portion 34 and an integral intermediate leg 40. The body side portion 34 is longitudinally arcuately curved, intermediate its ends, to project laterally of the plane defined by the end legs 36 and 38 thus similarly offsetting the intermediate leg 40 in a plane parallel with the plane of the end legsjThe body 32 is fabricated so that in a position of repose the intermediate leg 40 is maintained laterally of the plane of the end legs 36 and 38. The end legs and intermediate leg thus form eyelets 42 and 44 open in a direction opposite the body side portion 34 so that the anchor strand 16 may be threaded through the eyelets 42 and 44 and linearly adju sted by the Windlass 18. The strand 16 is preferably entrained under the top 36, as viewed in FIG. 2, over the? intermediate leg 40 and under the bottom leg 38. Each of the end legs 36 and 38 are provided with a lug or projection 46 extending toward the respective oppositeleg in confronting relation to prevent accidental removal of thebody 32 in the event the strand 16 becomes loose. v
An elongated indicator arm 48 is secured at one end portion to one of the,leg end portions, for example, the leg 38 in overlying relation with respect to the body side portion 34 and extends at its other free end portion 52 toward the top leg 36 and is substantially coextensive with the body 32. The arm 48 is similarly arcuately curved, intermediate its ends, so that its free end portion 52 is arranged in laterally spaced relation with respect to the upper end portion of the body side portion 34. V
A double action switch means S, normally biased toward a closed position, projects through a suitable aperture formed in the body portion 32 in adjustably connected relation by nuts 54 in underlying relation with respect to the free end'portion 52 of the arm. The switch means S includes an armature portion 56 contacted by the arm free end portion 52 normally held in spaced relation with respect to spaced-apart contacts 58 and 60. of the switch for the purpose presently explained. A spring 62 normally urges the'switch armature 56 toward a closed position with its contact 58.
OPERATION In operation the device 30 is connected with the an- 7 chor strand 16, as described hereinabove, and the strand 16 is placed under a desired tension bytightening it in a roll-up action around the cotter pin 24, as indicated by dotted lines 64 (FIG; 1). The tension applied to the strand 16 tends to force the intermediate leg 40 and end legs 36 and 38 toward a common plane which results in movement of the arm free end portion 52 toward the switch armature 56. With the desired tension on the strand l6, connection with the body 32, the switch 8 is adjusted so that its armature is spaced between its contacts 58 and 60.
As shown in FIG. 3, the switch armature 56 is connected with a source of electrical energy, such as a battery B, with the switch contacts 58 and 60 connected in parallel to ground througha lamp L and a buzzer, bell or other type audible warning indicator W similarly connected in parallel between the switch contacts and ground. A normally closed switch 66 in the audible warning circuit is provided to silence the warning indicator W, when desired. Thus, if the strand l6 loosens or looses some of its tension the resilience of the body 32 returns its intermediate leg 40 toward its normal position of repose and moves the arm free end portion 52 away from the switch armature 56 so that the switch armature closes with the contact 58 thus energizing the 4 lamp and the warning indicator W, In the event tension applied to the strand 16 increases beyond a predetermined setting the resulting displacement of the body legs toward a common plane moves the arm free end portion 52 toward the switch armature 56 to close with its contact 60 thus similarly sounding a warning. When the warning signals are actuated the home owner normally manually opens the switch 66 to silence the audible signal W and calls a Serviceman to'restore the anchor strand tension within prescribed parameters. The warning lamp remains energized as a reminder that the anchor strand needs adjustment until the adjustment is made. a
The sensing device 30 further includes an indicator block 68 which is adjustably secured by lock nuts 69 to the body leg end portion 36 adjacent the switch means S and arm free end portion 52. The indicator block projects laterally of the body adjacent the arm. The surface of the indicator block adjacent the arm freeend portion 52 is provided with indicia or a scale 70 scored thereon for alignment with a surface of the arm. free end portion to visually indicate the tension applied to the anchor strand 16 by the position of the arm with respect to the scale 70.
Obviously the invention is susceptible to changes or alterations without defeating its practicability, therefore, I do notwish to beconfined to the preferred embodiment shownjn the drawings and described herein.
1. A tension sensing means for a flexible linearly adjustable anchor strand connecting an object to be anchored to the surface of the earth, comprising:
an elongated plate-like body having. longitudinally spaced eyelets for threadedly receiving longitudinally an intermediate portion of said anchorstrand, said body having a transverse intermediate portion laterally off-set with respect to the plane defined by its respective end portions; an indicator arm connected at one end portion with one end portion of said body and projecting at its opposite free end portion toward the other end portion of said body in overlying spaced relation with respect to the adjacent surface of said body;
6 body is substantially E-shaped having parallel leg end beyond the free end portion of said arm,
portions and having an intermediate leg portion said indicator block having indicia scored thereon parallel with the end leg portions forming a lateral visually indicating the tension applied to said anopening for the body eyelets; and, chor strand.
a lug formed on each said body end leg portion in 5 5. The sensing means according to claim 4 in which confronting relation for maintaining the threaded said engagement of said anchor strand through the eyeswitch means comprises: lets. a two-way switch having a pair of spaced contacts 3. The sensing means according to claim 2 in which and having an armature closeable with each said 10 contact of said pair of contacts.
body is arcuately curved longitudinally. 6. The sensing means according to claim 5 in which 4. The sensing means according to claim 3 and fursaid warning signal means includes: that including: a lamp; and,
an indicator block secured to said other end portion an audible signal device.
of said body and projecting laterally of said body