US 3879721 A
A lock containing a flexible shackle made of a flexible outer cable and a filament loosely carried in the cable wherein the filament is under tension and including an alarm device that is released or energized in the event the filament is severed.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 1 [111 3,879,721
Yereance 1 1 Apr. 22, 1975 54] LOCK HAVING FLEXIBLE SHACKLE WITH 3.605.458 9/1971 Best 70/49 SEVERANCE ALARM 3.771645 11/1973 Odenz et a1 340/65 3,781.861 12/1973 Adler. Jr. ct a1 340/63 Robert A. Yereance, 1362 Meadow Rd, Columbus, Ohio 43212 Filed: Sept. 27, 1973 Appl. No.: 401,194
US. Cl. 340/274; 70/49; 340/63; 340/65; 340/232; 340/280; 340/283 Int. Cl. G08b 13/12 Field of Search 340/274, 296, 280, 224, 340/63; 116/137 R,138.143,153,164,166. 116/168, 169, 80, 79, 33;
70/30, 31, 43, 49, 275, 277, 441, 457; ZOO/61.76, 39, 61.79, 61.8, 61.5 A, 40,161
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/1971 Ashley 340/224 43 Ill 111.1 11. HHHIO Primary Examiner-John W. Caldwell Assistant E.\uminerDonnie L. Crosland Attorney, Agent, or Firm-William S. Rambo  ABSTRACT A lock containing a flexible shackle made of a flexible outer cable and a filament loosely carried in the cable wherein the filament is under tension and including an alarm device that is released or energized in the event the filament is severed.
6 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures llll PiJEmEuAPazzzms 3,879,721
sum 1 or 3 III LOCK HAVING FLEXIBLE SHACKLE WITH SEVERANCE ALARM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention pertains to the field of security devices such as locks. More particularly, this invention pertains to a shackle-type lock wherein the ends of the shackle may be locked in a common casing, and released by manipulation of a key or numerical combination.
Security locks are one of the oldest forms of mechanical devices. Man seemingly has not been able to instill a sufficient degree of honesty in his fellow man to permit doing away with some form of securing his possessions from the hands of others.
Shackle locks in which this invention pertains are used extensively to secure a loop and hasp such as on a door, or the free ends of a cable that are wrapped about ones possession and a fixed object. Although the lock opening mechanism, i.e., the key lock or the numerical combination lock, has been developed to the point where overcoming the mechanism is rather difficult, the shackle-type lock does indeed suffer from a distinct disadvantage, that being the ease with which one may cut the shackle with a pair of common bolt shears, or hack saw.
In recent years, the increased use of bicycles and motorbikes has pointed up the ease with which shackletype locks may be broken. A steel cable having looped ends is usually wrapped about the frame of the cycle and shackle-locked about a tree or parking post. Thieves very conveniently cut the shackle or the steel cable and make off with the vehicle. Regardless of the strength of the shackle and/or the strength of the cable used with the shackle lock, a common pair of bolt cutters will easily break these items. Some development of alarm locks has already taken place such as in automobile locks wherein the horn sounds if one attempts to forceably open the door. However, these locks can be effectively circumvented by first severing the wires to the horn and then forcing open the door or lock. There is, therefore, a serious need for a better type of shackle lock.
SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION This invention is a shackle-type lock wherein the shackle is flexible and further where the shackle contains an inner filament that is tensioned at all times. The filament engages a trigger mechanism when locked in the lock casing. Severance at any point along the shackle releases the filament to trigger an alarm, either audible or inaudible, that will warn the owner the lock has been broken. This invention may take many forms or embodiments. The shackle may be of variable length; in one embodiment. it is capable of different lengths. The alarm device may be as simple as a siren or klaxon horn or as sophisticated as a radio-frequency oscillating device. The lock mechanism that locks and unlocks the shackle from the casing may take the form of virtually any conventional lock mechanism such as a keysplit tumbler assembly or a numerical combination lock.
One of the unique aspects of this device is that the alarm, alarm power device and lock are all conveniently arranged in the lock casing thus depriving the would-be wrongdoer from tampering with the components prior to cutting the shackle.
Succinctly stated, this invention comprises a lock casing including means for locking and unlocking a flexible shackle therein, a flexible shackle comprising a hollow cable having the ends thereof anchored in connectors that are adapted to lock in the casing and a filament of approximately equal length slideably carried inside the cable, means for tensioning the filament inside the cable, alarm means for emitting a signal including driving means therefor, and trigger means in the casing for activating the alarm means upon severance of the tensioned filament in the flexible shackle.
Therefore, the main object of this invention is a flexible shackle lock that contains its own lock severance alarm. Another object of this invention is a flexible shackle lock having a severance alarm that remains cocked and ready for use whether the shackle is locked in the lock casing or not. Still another object of this invention is a simple, low-cost security device for motorcycles, bicycles, and other objects that eliminates the need for extra cables. These and other objects will become more apparent to the reader upon reading the following description of the preferred embodiments in conjunction with the drawings appended hereto.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a medial vertical sectional view of one embodiment of flexible shackle lock showing in detail the arrangement of the elements within the lock casing.
FIG. 2 is a horizontal sectional view taken along the line A-A of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a similar view taken along the line B-B of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is another horizontal view taken along the line C-C of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of the lock shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 6 is a longitudinal, vertical sectional view of a modified flexible shackle lock having a take-up reel for the flexible shackle.
FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view taken through still another modified lock according to this invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION With respect to the drawings, FIGS. 1-5 show a preferred embodiment of this invention which comprises a lock casing or vault I that contains means 3 for locking and unlocking a flexible shackle 5 therein. Flexible shackle 5 comprises a hollow cable or sheath 7, whose ends are anchored in connectors or ferrules 9a and 9b that lock into complemental bores 11a and 11b in casing 1, and a filament 13 of approximately equal length that is slideably carried inside cable 7. Inside casing 1 is means 15 for tensioning filament 13 and connect it through a trigger means 17 to an alarm means 19 that becomes activated when filament 13 is severed.
Lock casing or vault 1 comprises a variable geometry container made of steel or other strong material having sides 21; top surface 23, and bottom surface 25. Means 3 for locking the ends of shackle 5 into casing I is shown to comprise a conventional lock cylinder 27 complementally received in a bore 29 formed in one surface, usually bottom surface 25, of casing l. Cylinder 27 is held in casing 1 by a hold-down plate 31, that is fastened to the innermost end of cylinder 27 by machine screws 33 (see FIG. 4), and is fashioned to ride against boss 35 cut into the bottom surface.
Between hold-down plate 31 and the adjacent end of lock cylinder 27 is positioned a latch 37 that is adapted to move transversely across the end of lock cylinder 27 and into and out of contact with a detent 39 formed in shackle connector 9a (see FIG. 4). A spring 41 urges latch 37 into engagement with detent 39. The lock includes the usual split tumbler pins 43 which are movable in pin bores 45 and are urged toward lock cylinder 27 by springs 47. Upon insertion of a proper key 49 into a complemental receiving slot formed in cylinder 27, the split tumbler pins 43 will have their mating ends aligned along the interface 51 of lock cylinder 27 and bore 29, thus permitting key 49 and lock cylinder 27 to be rotated with respect to casing 1. During rotation of the cylinder 27, one of the screws 33 engages the rear edge of a square aperture 53 formed in latch 37 and this slides latch 37 rearwardly out of contact with detent 39, permitting shackleconnector 9a to be withdrawn manually from bore 11a to thus open the lock.
Flexible shackle 5 may be of virtually any length. A length sufficient to slip through the wheel of a motorcycle and around a tree is contemplated herein and would eliminate the necessity of a secondary cable that is presently used with rigid shackle locks thereby eliminating this extra element from security locking devices. Cable or sheath 7 may be constructed of any strong material such as coiled steel wire not unlike that used in automobile manual choke cables, speedometer cables and the like. Cable 7 is anchored rigidly in members 9a and 9b by conventional techniques such as welding, silver solder, etc.
Connectors 9a and 9b are tubular metal elements having inside diameters similar to the outside diameter of cable 7 for ease in fastening them together. Connector 9a differs from 9b in that, as the lockable connector. its free end forms a beveled edge 40 for ease in inserting it into bore 11a and further has a lock detent or restriction 39 formed therearound to receive lock latch 37. While connector 9b is shown to be rigidly anchored in casing 1 by a weldment 59, it is contemplated in this invention that both connectors 90 and 9b may be made releasably lockable into casing 1 similar to connector 9a.
Filament 13 that is slideably carried in cable 7 may similary be made of virtually any strong material that is capable of tensioning short of plastic deformation, such as a steel wire. or a series of tightly spiraled wires, etc. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, cable 7 and filament 13 are rigidly anchored together in connector 9a and the other end of filament 13 passes completely through connector 9b terminating at means 15 for applying tension to filament 13. It is contemplated however, that both ends of filament 13 may be tensioned by means 15.
Means 15 comprises a cross-member or plate rigidly attached to filament l3 and a spring 57 compressed between crossmember 55 and the nearest end of connector 9b. Since connector 9b is rigidly anchored in bore 11b by a weldment 59, compressed spring 57 attempts to pull filament 13 through cable 7 and, because filament 13 is anchored with cable 7 in connector 90, filament 13 is placed under tensile stress or tensioned.
Alarm means 19 in FIG. 1 takes the form of a high pitch whistle or siren and includes a chambered rotor or cylinder 61 mounted on a shaft 63 passing completely therethrough. The shaft 63 is journaled in top surface 23 of easing 1 and lock cylinder 27. Fixed segmented baffles 65 are arranged in spaced apart relation about the outer wall of cylinder 61, (see FIG. 2). Apertures 67 are formed in cylinder 61 both vertically and transversely and react with baffles 65 during rotation of cylinder 61 to produce an audible siren-type signal. A series of holes or apertures 69 may be formed in the side walls 21 of casing 1 to improve emission of the audible signal from casing l.
A driving means for turning cylinder 61 is shown in FIG. 3 to comprise a spring motor which includes a coiled clock spring 73 joined at one end 75 to casing 1 and at the other end to shaft 63.
The rotor or cylinder 61 of the siren alarm is normally held against rotation by trigger means 17 which comprises a Z-shaped locking pin 77 reciprocally mounted in casing 1 and having a rigid bottom arm 79 extending transversely therefrom immediately beneath the cross-member 55. The pin 77 also includes at its upper end an oppositely extending catch 83 which normally engages within a notch formed in the lower peripheral edge of the rotor 61. The locking pin 77 is biased toward its rotor-locking position by a spring 81 which engages the lower trigger arm 79 of the pin 77.
Thus, in normal operation, the free end connector 9a of the shackle 5 may be released from or locked within the casing 1 of the lock by means of the key-actuated lock tumbler cylinder 27 and the latch plate 37 without activation of the alarm or signal mechanism, since the coaxial filament 13 will remain intact and under tension of spring 57. However, should the shackle 5 and its filament be severed by cutting or otherwise breaking it, the spring 57 will then expand and push the button 55 and trigger arm 77 downwardly to disengage the catch 83 from the notch or recess 85 of the rotor 61. This permits or causes the siren rotor 61 to be driven in comparatively high speed rotation by the tensioned clock spring 75 and its drive shaft 63. High speed rotation of the chambered rotor 61 in relation to the fixed baffle segments 65 causes a high pitched whistle to be emitted from the lock casing by way of the apertures 69.
FIG. 6 shows a slightly modified form of flexible shackle lock with severance alarm, and in which a substantially longer shackle cable is used. Since several of the parts of the modified lock shown in FIG. 6 are quite similar in structure and function to those employed in the preferred construction of FIGS. 1-5, similar refer ence numerals will be used with an additional postscript letter. In this modification, the casing 1a of the lock is substantially enlarged in its transverse dimensions to include an internal take-up reel chamber 87 which houses a springtensioned take-up reel 89. The inner or anchored end of the shackle cable 5a is fixed to the reel 89, as at 90, and the reel 89 normally contains thereon a number of coils or convolutions of the shackle cable 5a. The cable 5a exits from or enters into the chamber 87 by way of a grommeted opening 87a. The loose or lockable end portion 91 of the flexible shackle cable 5a is welded or otherwise securely connected to a rigid tubular connector sleeve 9c, but the coaxial filament 13a is slidable within the connector sleeve 9:. The outer end of the filament 13a is welded or otherwise secured to a washer or button 55a having a depending, semi-spherical cam surface 93. The filament button 55a and a compressed filament-tensioning spring 94 are normally positioned within a counterbore formed in the lower end of the connector sleeve 9c.
As will be noted, the connector sleeve 90 is arranged for insertion within the shackle-receiving bore 110 of the lock housing, and includes an intermediate, circumferential recess or notch 39a for cooperative locking engagement with the slidable, key-actuated latch plate 37a. The connector sleeve 90 may advantageously include a diametrically enlarged stop collar portion 96 which is arranged to abut the outer surface of the lock casing la when the connector sleeve 90 is fully inserted within the bore 116.
When the connector sleeve 9c is fully inserted within the bore 11c of the lock casing la, the cam surface 93 carried at the end of the filament 13a is disposed closely adjacent the inclined or beveled surface 98 of a slidable catch block 100. The catch block 100 is formed with a reduced end portion or detent 101 which is normally held within a notch or recess 102 formed in the upper peripheral edge portion of the siren rotor or cylinder 610 by a bow spring 103.
In the operation of the modified lock shown in FIG. 6, the free end portion of the shackle cable 5a, which includes the connector sleeve 90, may be selectively released from or locked within the lock casing la by proper activation of the key-activated locking mechanism as previously described in connection with the preferred locking mechanism shown in FIGS. l5. The cable storage or take-up reel 89 is normally springbiased to draw in and wind the intermediate portion of the flexible shackle cable 50 around the reel, but will readily permit a comparatively long length of the cable 50 to be withdrawn from the chamber 87 to accomodate a particular locking situation requiring a long shackle. When the rigid connector sleeve 90 of the shackle is fully inserted and locked in the bore 11c by the slidable latch 37a, the lock is then set to sound an audible siren alarm should the coaxial filament 13a of the shackle cable 5a be severed. 1f the filament 13a should be severed, the spring 94 immediately forces the cam button 93 against the inclined cam surface 98 of the catch block 100 and causes the block to shift rightwardly as viewed in FIG. 6 and to a position where the detent 101 is withdrawn from the notch 102 of the siren rotor 61a. The rotor 61a is then free to rotate under the driving force of the spring motor 73a and drive shaft 63a to emit the desired audible alarm. If desired, the slidable catch block 100 may be arranged so that upon severance of the filament 13a, it will not only release the siren rotor, but will also engage the reel 89 in such manner as to prevent rotation thereof.
P16. 7 illustrates still another modified form of flexible shackle, severance alarm lock in which an audible alarm signal is replaced by an inaudible radio frequency signal. The lock of FIG. 7 is substantially identical in construction and operation to that shown in FIG. 1, except that the siren rotor 61 is replaced by a rotary electric generator 61c which provides power for a radio frequency oscillator 112 which includes an extensible antenna extension 110. The antenna extension 110 is suitably electrically connected in the oscillator circuit and is arranged to be extended outwardly through an opening 111 in the bottom wall 25 of the lock casing upon severence of the filament 13 and release of the trigger pin 770. As in the locks of FIGS. 1 and 6, the motive power for the signal or alarm-producing means of FIG. 7 is supplied by a spring motor 73. It should be understood, however. that the spring motor is illustrative of only one prefered type of motive power, and may be replaced by other equivalent means, such as a small, battery-operated, electric motor.
In view of the foregoing, it will be seen that the present invention provides a portable, flexible shackle-type lock having a self-contained, or built-in alarm or signal means adapted to be automatically activated upon breakage, cutting, or other severance of the shackle of the lock.
While preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described in detail, it will be understood that various modifications in design and details of construction are possible without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the following claims.
1. In a lock, the combination of:
a. a lock casing including a locking mechanism for locking and unlocking a shackle therein;
b. a flexible shackle including an outer tubular cable having opposite ends arranged to be locked to said casing and a continuous filament slidably carried in said cable;
0. means engaged with the filament of said shackle and normally applying a tensile force thereto;
d. signal-producing means in said lock casing; and
e. trigger means in said casing connected between the filament of said shackle and said signal-producing means and arranged normally to engage and hold said signal-producing means against activation, but movable to activate said signal-producing means in response to the severance of the filament of said shackle.
2. A lock according to claim 1, wherein the means (c) for applying a tensile force to said filament comprises a spring positioned between an end of said tubular cable and an end of said filament and biasing said end of said filament toward movement outwardly from said end of said cable, and wherein said trigger means includes a lever arm positioned adjacent said end of said filament and movable in response to the outward movement of said end of said filament.
3. A lock according to claim 1, wherein said signalproducing means comprises a spring motor-driven whistle.
4. A lock according to claim 1, wherein said signalproducing means comprises a radio frequency oscillator.
5. A lock according to claim 4, wherein said radio frequency oscillator includes an antenna normally concealed in said casing, but arranged to be extended outwardly from said casing by said trigger means upon severance of said filament.
6. A lock according to claim 1, wherein the tubular cable of said flexible shackle is provided at one end thereof with a rigid connector sleeve which joins the said one end of said cable with an adjacent end of said filament, and which is normally releaseable from said casing by actuation of said locking mechanism.