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Publication numberUS3890744 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 24, 1975
Filing dateMar 1, 1974
Priority dateMar 1, 1974
Publication numberUS 3890744 A, US 3890744A, US-A-3890744, US3890744 A, US3890744A
InventorsMartin A Galis
Original AssigneeGiambalvo George
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Patio door operator
US 3890744 A
Abstract
A patio door operating unit comprises a housing which mounts on the floor beside the location that the door occupies when the sliding door is in its open position. Within the housing in an endless belt which engages the door adjacent its bottom and is trained for movement along a path at the bottom of the door. This belt is driven by an electric motor. There are limit switches to stop the electric motor at the open and closed positions of the door. The belt is tightened by a solenoid connected to the motor circuit so that when the electric power fails the belt is loose and the door can be moved by hand.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

O H Unite States atent [1 1 [111 3,890,744 Galis June 24, 1975 PATIO DOOR OPERATOR Primary Examiner-Kenneth Downey [75] Inventor: Martin A. Galis, Palatine, Ill. Attorney Agent or Flrm Darbo Robertson &

Vandenburgh [73] Assignee: George Giambalvo, Winfield, Ill.

22 Filed: Mar. 1, 1974 [571 ABSTRACT A patio door operating unit comprises a housing [21] Appl' 447097 which mounts on the floor beside the location that the door occupies when the sliding door is in its open po- [52] US. Cl 49/360; 49/139 Sition- Within the ng i n n l bel which en- [51] Int. Cl. E05F 15/14 g g the door ja n i s om nd is rained for [58] Field of Search 49/31, 139, 360, 118, 123-, movement ng a p h at he om f the door. 74/625; 160/ 193, 331 This belt is driven by an electric motor. There are limit switches to stop the electric motor at the open [56] Refere Cit d and closed positions of the door. The belt is tightened UNITED STATES PATENTS by a solenoid connected to the motor circuit so that 2 334 981 H943 Ackley 49/139 X when the electric power fails the belt is loose and the 3:403:474 10/1968 Spasoff.I........:.......:::...: 49/360 door can be moved by hand' 6 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATIO noon OPERATOR BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Electric operators for doors, windows and the like have been in use for a number of years. However, the present invention solves a need which is not met by the existing commercial units; that is, an operator for a patio door which is available as a package and which can be installed by the home handy man without structural modifications to the building. The unit mounts on the floor in a position beside the bottom of the patio door when it is in its open position. Thus, the unit is out of the way and relatively inconspicuous. Yet, it is easy to mount without structural modifications to the building. The unit can be prewired, except for a control switch and a connection to a source of electric power. The latter can merely be an appliance type cord which plugs into a wall socket. The electric switch is low voltage wiring which is easy to install and inconspicuous when installed, primarily because it requires only small wire with little insulation since there is no shock or fire hazard involved. When the unit is thus mounted and wired, there is only the single further necessary act of connecting the belt of the operator to the door.

An important feature of the operator is that it does not interfere with the manual operation of the door in the event of power failure. This is achieved by the use of a solenoid operated belt tightener. If the electric power fails, the solenoid will not be energized and the belt will be loose. Because of the loose belt, the door can be operated manually.

Further objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description and drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the interior of a patio door with an embodiment of the invention secured to the door;

FIG. 2 is a horizontal section as seen at line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a transverse section as seen at line 33 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic wiring diagram for the driving motor and belt tightener.

DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENT The following disclosure is offered for public dissemination in return for the grant of a patent. Although it is detailed to ensure adequacy and aid understanding, this is not intended to prejudice that purpose of a patent which is to cover each new inventive concept therein no matter how others may later disguise it by variations in form or additions or further improvements.

In the drawings a portion of an exterior wall of a building is illustrated. This building has an interior floor 11. In this exterior wall there is, what is commonly referred to as a patio door unit, generally 12. This comprises a fixed door or sash 13 and a sliding door or sash 14. The sliding door has tracks at the top and bottom which guide its movement between the open and closed position, one of which tracks is seen at 15 in FIG. 3. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the movable door 14 is in the closed position. It moves toward the open position by movement indicated by arrow 16. When it is in the open position it is approximately opposite the closed door 13, as illustrated in dot-dash lines in FIG. 2. As thus far described, the structure is conventional.

The operator or unit of the present invention comprises a housing 18. It is adapted to be positioned on the floor 11 immediately opposite the location that will be assumed by the movable door 14 when the movable door is open. It is affixed in position as by means of a plurality of wood screws 19 which engage the floor II. A portion of the housing 18 is readily removable to obtain access to the interior thereof, but this feature is not illustrated. The side of the housing immediately adjacent the door is open to form an opening 20. This opening 20 extends a distance greater than the extent of movement of the side 14a of the movable door 14 when that door moves between the closed and open positions.

Within the housing is an endless (i.e., as finally assembled) belt 22 which is trained for movement along a given path by idler pulleys 2325 and a driving member 26 in the form of a pulley on the output shaft 27 of a reversible gear motor 28. This is a conventional motor having a relatively slow speed at its output shaft. The electrical connections thereto are such that the rotation of the motor can be reversed simply as hereinafter described. The idler pulleys 2.3 and 24 are mounted on a support 29.

The idler pulley is mounted on one end on a pivotal arm or lever 30. This arm is pivoted on a fixed post 31 forming a part of the housing 18. A spring 32 hooked in an opening 33 at the other end of arm is also connected to the armature 34 of a solenoid 35. Thus when the solenoid 35 is energized, the armature 34 pulls in and applies a clockwise (as viewed in FIG. 2) force to the end of arm thus rotating idler pulley 25 in a clockwise direction to tension belt 22. The arrangement of the idler pulleys is such that belt 22 has a portion of its path of movement extending across opening 20 for a distance greater than the extent of movement of the side 14a of the door 14 when the latter moves between the open and closed position, said portion of the path being identified as 22a.

An L-shaped bracket 37 is adapted to be affixed to door 14 adjacent the left end thereof (as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 2) as by means of screws 38. The two ends 22b and 220 of the belt 22 are gripped between bracket 37 and plate 39. To this end screws 40 extend through bracket 37 and are threaded into plate 39. This connects the belt to the door and also forms the belt, in ef feet, into an endless belt.

A closed position limit switch 42 is mounted on a support 43. This limit switch has an actuating arm with a roller 44 on the end thereof. This roller is positioned so that it contacts the bracket 37 and operates the switch just as door 14 reaches the closed position. An open position limit switch 45 is similarly mounted on a support. It is positioned so that its roller 46 on the operating arm will actuate the switch as the door 14 reaches its open position, illustrated in dot-dash lines in FIG. 2.

There is a control box 48 which houses the electrical components other than those already described. A volt power supply cord 49 is adapted to be plugged into a suitable wall outlet 51, i.e. a source of 110 volt AC. power. There is an operating switch, generally 50, which is mounted at any convenient location adjacent the door. As hereinafter described, this switch is connected to the rest of the circuitry by low voltage wiring.

Referring now to the wiring diagram of FIG. 4, the power cord 49 terminates in two power supply wires 52 and 53, one or both of which are protected by fuses 54. The power supply wire also has a third grounded wire 55 connected to the metal component of, or within, housing 18. As illustrated, switch 50 is a rocker switch. It has a pivotally mounted insulated operator 57 which is normally centered by springs 58 and 59. In effect, there are two switches 60 and 61. As illustrated, when the operator 57 is rocked in the clockwise direction it closes switch 60. When released, spring 58 returns the operator to the center position. When the operator 57 is rocked in the counterclockwise direction it closes switch 61. Switch 61 remains closed as long as the operator 57 is held, but when the operator is released, the spring 59 returns the operator to the centered position and opens switch 61.

There are three relays, generally 62, 63 and 64. Each has a relay coil (respectively 62a, 63a and 64a). Each has a pair of switch arms (respectively 62b, 62c; 63b, 63c; and 64b, 64c). Each of these switch arms is movable between a normally closed and a normally open contact, the contacts being 62d, 62e, 62f, 62g; 63d, 63e, 63f, 63g; and 64d, 64e, 64f, 64g, respectively.

There is a step-down transformer 66 (e.g., 110 volts to 12 volts) having a primary 66a and a secondary 66b. As is conventional with a 110 volt reversible gear motor 28, it has four power leads 28a, 28b, 28c and 28d. A capacitor 67 connects lead 28a to power supply wire 53. A wire 68 connects lead 28b to switch arm 64b, contact 62g and contact 63 A wire 69 connects lead 280 to one end of solenoid 35, contact 64:? and contact 64f. A wire 70 connects lead 28d to the other end of solenoid 35, to contact 64d and to contact 64g. Power supply wire 53 connects to one end of transformer primary 66a and to switch arm 640. Power supply wire 52 connects to the other end of transformer primary 66a, to switch arm 62c and to switch arm 630. A wire 71 connects one end of transformer secondary 66b to one side of switches 60 and 61. A wire 72 connects the other end of transformer secondary 66b to one end of each of relay coils 62a, 63a and 64a. A wire 73 connects the other ends of relay coils 63a and 64a with switch contact 62d. A wire 74 connects the other end of relay coil 62a with switch contact 63d. A wire 75 connects switches 60 and 42. A wire 76 connects switch 42 and switch arm 62b. A wire 77 connects switches 61 and 45. A wire 78 connects switch 45 and switch arm 63b.

INSTALLATION AND OPERATION Generally speaking, an embodiment of the present invention will be sold as a package to be used with a given size of patio door. However, it is readily apparent that variations thereof may be employed. The home owner handy man (or professional installer) will mount the bracket 37 at the required height on the side 14a of the frame of movable door 14. He then will position the housing 18 on the floor in proper alignment with the open position of the door and so that run 22a of the endless belt 22 is properly aligned with bracket 37. The housing then is fixed in place and the two ends 22b and 22c of the belt are clamped to bracket 37 by screws 40 and plate 39, thereby completing the endless belt and engaging it with the door. If necessary, adjustments are made as to the position of limit switches 42 and 45 so that they will be actuated at the correct position of the door. Switch 50 is mounted in a convenient location and small size, low voltage wires 71, 75 and 77 are run from the control box 48 to the switch 50. Line cord 49 is plugged into a suitable receptacle. Drapes 80 may be hung so as to conceal the housing when the drapes are closed.

The wiring diagram of FIG. 4 presumes that the door 14 is fully closed. In this position it has actuated switch 42 to open the switch. If one now wants to open the door, he presses on operator 57 in a direction such as to rock it in the counterclockwise direction thus closing switch 61. This completes a low voltage circuit from the transformer secondary, wire 71, switch 61, switch 45, wire 78, switch arm 63b, contact 63d, wire 74, relay coil 62a and wire 72 back to the transformer secondary. This energizes relay coil 62a and causes switch arm 62b and 620 to change their position. Switch arm 62c creates a circuit from power supply wire 52 to contact 62g and wire 68 to motor lead 28b and through switch arm 64b to contact 64d, wire to motor lead 28d and one end of solenoid 35. This energizes the motor 28 and causes it to rotate in a direction such that the bracket 37 is moved in door opening direction, i.e., the direction indicated by arrow 16. The energizing of solenoid 35 pulls in armature 34, tensioning spring 32 and moving idler pulley 25 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 2, thus tightening belt 22. Immediately upon the door leaving the closed position, roller 44 no longer contacts bracket 37 so that it is able to move outwardly changing the position of switch 42. This closes the switch 42. It has no effect since switch 60 is open.

The opening movement of the door may be terminated in one of two ways, namely, (1) releasing switch operator 57 so as to open switch 61, or (2) allowing the door to move to the limit of its movement thus actuating limit switch 45. Either of these actions breaks the circuit from the transformer secondary through wire 71, etc., and deenergizes relay coil 62a. The deenergizing of that relay coil returns the switch arm 62b and 620 to the position illustrated. This breaks the power supply circuit energizing the motor 28 and the solenoid 35.

If it is now desired to move the door in door-closing direction, switch operator 57 is rocked in a clockwise direction so as to close switch 60. This creates a low voltage electrical circuit from the transformer secondary 66b, wire 71, switch 60, wire closed switch 42, wire 76, switch arm 62b, contact 62d, wire 73, relay coils 63a and 64a, and wire 72 back to the transformer secondary. Energizing relay coil 64a causes the switch arms 64b and 64c to change position. As will be apparent to those skilled in the art, this merely reverses the electrical connections to motor leads 28c and 28d; thus causing a reversal of direction of the motor 28 when energized. The energizing of relay coil 63a changes the positions of switch arms 63b and 630. This creates a power supply connection from supply wire 52, switch arm 63c, contact 63g, wire 68 to motor lead 28b and through switch arm 64b, contact 64c and wire 69 to motor lead 28c and the solenoid 35. The motor 28 is now energized in door closing direction. This door closing operation continues until either (1) actuator 57 is released so as to open switch 60, or (2) the door reaches the fully closed position thus again opening limit switch 42.

It will be apparent that movement of the door can be stopped in any position by releasing actuator 57. If desired, the door can then be moved in the reverse direction merely by turning the actuator 57 in the opposite direction.

As described, the solenoid 35 is connected to wires 69 and 70 so as to be energized when the motor is turned on. Thus at any time that the motor 28 is not energized, the belt 22 will be slack and the door 14 can be moved manually. An alternative arrangement is illustrated in dotted lines in FIG. 4. Here it will be seen that the solenoid 35 is connected across the power supply wires 52 and 53. Thus, the solenoid 35 is always energized (so long as the unit is plugged in) and the belt 22 remains taut. Thus, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to move door 14 in an opening or closing direction even though the motor 28 was not running. This could permit, for example, the door to be opened only a slight amount without intruders being able to open it farther to gain access to the building. However, if an electric power failure should occur, solenoid 35' becomes deenergized. This allows the belt 22 to go slack so that the door 14 can be opened or closed manually.

I claim:

1. An apparatus for operating a sliding door unit of the type commonly referred to as a patio door used in a building wherein there is a floor at the bottom of the door unit immediately to one side of the door unit, said door unit being movable between a closed and an open position, and wherein there is a fixed similar unit at the opposite side of said door unit, said door unit having a first end thereof immediately adjacent said similar unit when said door unit is in the closed position and a second end remote from said similar unit when said door unit is in said closed position, said apparatus comprising:

a housing adapted to be mounted on said floor immediately at said one side of said door unit when said door unit is in the open position, said housing having an opening on the side thereof adjacent said door unit, said opening being of a length approximately equal to the width of said door unit, electric motor means within said housing and having a generally circular driving member on the output shaft thereof, a flexible endless member, means mounted on the housing and contacting the endless member for training said endless member in a path of movement within the housing, a first position of said path being in engagement with the driving member so that when said motor is running said endless member will move along said path, a second portion of said path being parallel to said opening, and means extending through said opening and having a portion within the housing engaging said endless member and a position outside said housing for engaging said door unit immediately adjacent said first end thereof for causing said door unit to move with said endless member,

whereby said apparatus can be readily installed without structural modifications to the building by mounting it on said floor adjacent the position occupied by said door unit when it is in the open position.

2. An apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said endless member is a belt, said training means including a plurality of pulleys, said means extending through said opening including a bracket adapted to be affixed to said door unit, said bracket having. means gripping said belt.

3. An apparatus as set forth in claim 2 for use with a source of electric power and including circuit means for connecting said motor means to said source, the improvement comprising:

a belt tightener comprising one of said pulleys, means mounting said one pulley for movement in a direction into the belt, the last means including electric power means for, when energized, moving said one pulley in said direction to tighten the belt, and means connecting said electric power means to said circuit means for energizing said electric power means from said source when said motor means is energized to thereby tighten the belt for engagement with said driving member when the motor means is energized and when said source of electric power fails, said electric power means is deenergized and therefore fails to act to tighten said belt.

4. An apparatus as set forth in claim 3, wherein said electric power means is a solenoid having an armature, said last means including a pivotally mounted arm, said pulley being mounted on said arm at a distance from the pivot point, means connecting said armature to said arm a distance from said pivot point.

5. in an apparatus for operating a sliding door unit or the like, wherein there is an electric motor means, circuit means for connecting the motor means to a source of electric power, and a unit operating device connecting said unit and said electric motor means, said device including an endless belt and pulleys training said belt for movement along a given path, the improvement comprising:

a belt tightener comprising one of said pulleys, means mounting said one pulley for movement in a direction into the belt, the last means including electric power means for, when energized, moving said one pulley in said direction to tighten the belt, and means connecting said electric power means to said circuit means for energizing said electric power means from said source when said motor means is energized to thereby tighten the belt for engagement with said driving member when the motor means is energized and when said source of electric power fails, said electric power means is deenergized and therefore fails to act to tighten said belt.

6. An apparatus as set forth in claim 5, wherein said electric power means is a solenoid having an armature, said last means including a pivotally mounted arm, said pulley being mounted on said arm at a distance from the pivot point, means connecting said armature to said arm a distance from said pivot point.

STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENT N0. 1 3,890,744

DATED June 24, 1975 INV ENTOR(S) Martin A. Galis it is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Abstract, line 5, "in" should read -is-. Column 5, line 47, "position" should read --portion--. Column 5, line 54, "position'.' should read --portion-.

glgned and Emalcd thls twenty-fifth Day of November 1975 [SEAL] Attest:

RUTH c. MASON c. MARSHALL DANN Attestr'ng Officer (ummr'ssimwr of Patents and Trademarks

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2334981 *May 5, 1941Nov 23, 1943Percy A AckleyOpener for sliding doors
US3403474 *Jul 11, 1966Oct 1, 1968Spasoff JohnActuator mechanism for movable closure
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4674231 *May 2, 1986Jun 23, 1987Ready Metal Manufacturing CompanyMagnetic door opener
US4893435 *Apr 7, 1989Jan 16, 1990Remote-A-Matic, Inc.Low profile sliding door opener
US5422552 *Jun 17, 1994Jun 6, 1995Parisi; GaryAutomated actuator for sliding panels
US5634298 *Aug 21, 1995Jun 3, 19971101939 Ontario, Inc.Electro-mechanical door opening and closing device
US7506727 *Oct 2, 2003Mar 24, 2009Inventio AgDoor with sliding door leaf and with guide means
US20110138692 *Dec 16, 2009Jun 16, 2011Intradoor Inc.Automatic sliding door system
WO1990012185A1 *Apr 9, 1990Oct 18, 1990Remote A Matic IncLow profile sliding door opener
WO2008015300A1 *Aug 4, 2006Feb 7, 2008Amiserru S LDevice for motorizing sliding doors
Classifications
U.S. Classification49/360, 49/139
International ClassificationE05F15/14
Cooperative ClassificationE05F15/145, E05Y2600/13, E05Y2900/132, E05Y2201/246, E05Y2201/218, E05Y2800/11, E05Y2201/652, E05Y2201/668, E05Y2201/462, E05Y2201/47
European ClassificationE05F15/14F
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 17, 1981AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: GALIS,MARTIN A,3415 PEACHTREE LANE ARLINGTON, TX.
Effective date: 19810806
Owner name: GIAMBALVO, GEORGE
Aug 17, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: GALIS,MARTIN A,3415 PEACHTREE LANE ARLINGTON, TX.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:GIAMBALVO, GEORGE;REEL/FRAME:003887/0180
Effective date: 19810806