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Publication numberUS3899229 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 12, 1975
Filing dateAug 27, 1973
Priority dateSep 6, 1972
Also published asCA1001588A1, DE2248408A1, DE2248408B1, DE2248408C2, DE2343487A1, DE2343487C2, DE2366590C2
Publication numberUS 3899229 A, US 3899229A, US-A-3899229, US3899229 A, US3899229A
InventorsAckeret Peter
Original AssigneeIdn Invention Dev Novelties
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container for tape cassettes
US 3899229 A
Images(12)
Previous page
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Ackeret 1 CONTAINER FOR TAPE CASSETTES [75] Inventor: Peter Ackeret, Kusnacht,

Switzerland [73] Assignee: IDN Inventions and Development of Novelties AG, Lenzerheide, Switzerland [22] Filed: Aug. 27, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 391,962

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 328,015 10/1885 Davis 312/345 X 1,062,962 5/1913 Gaal 312/319 X 3,532,211 10/1970 Gellert 206/387 Aug. 12, 1975 Marcolongo 312/111 X Manheim 312/11 1 l/l97l 2/1972 [57 ABSTRACT A container for storing tape cassettes and including a case with an open front, a slide for endless drawer which fits into and slides out of the case, a spring biasing the drawer outwardly, a push button latch releasably retaining the drawer in closed position within the case, a retaining stop limiting outward movement of the drawer from the case, the drawer being cut away to allow the tape cassette to be manually gripped and removed from the drawer while the drawer extends partially from the case, the case having exterior slot and socket dovetail tracks for stacking adjacent cases one on the other and retaining adjacent cases side by side, the tracks being closed at the open front of the case to permit assembly and disassembly only in one direction.

42 Claims, 38 Drawing Figures PATENTED AUG I 21975 SHEET PATENTEB AUG 1 21975 SHEET Fig. 14

Fig. 15

PATENTEDAUEI 2|975 3, 899,229

SHEET 6 PATENTED AUG 1 21975 SHEET Fig. 19

PATENTEUAUBIZISYB 3,899,229

SHEET Fig. 25

1 Fig. 26

CONTAINER FORTAPE CASSE'I'IES The invention relates to a container for accommodating a tape cassette.

Various forms of container for tape cassette are known or have been proposed. The known containers all suffer from the disadvantage that they are very awkward to manipulate and/or that they are very complicated.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention aims at providing a tape cassette container that does not suffer from the above-mentioned disadvantages, is simple to use and can be produced in a particularly simple manner. It is intended for example that the cassette should be capable of being inserted into the container or removed therefrom with only one hand, which feature can be of importance when operating a tape recorder in a moving car.

According to the present invention a container for a tape cassette comprises a slide or endless slidably mounted in a case for movement between an outer, open position in which a cassette can be placed in or withdrawn from the drawer and an inner, closed position, biasing means biasing the drawer towards the open position, stop means defining the open position, and releasable catch means for holding the drawer in the closed position, the sides of the drawer being at least partially cut away so that a cassette contained in the drawer can be grasped and removed therefrom.

The container can be so constructed that it is possible to place a cassette in the drawer which is in the outer position and to move the drawer into the case by finger pressure.

All that is required for removing the cassette is to operate the catch, whereupon the drawer is moved out of the case by the biasing means. The cassette can then be removed from the slide with two fingers and can be placed in a play-back apparatus.

Preferably the drawer comprises a front wall and a rear wall interconnected by a base plate.

In this arrangement the front wall of the drawer preferably also serves to close off a narrow side of the case. This results in simplification of the container, and in addition a surface for carrying written matter is available, this surface being presented to the user when the cassette is being fitted into or removed from the container.

The base plate of the drawer may be provided with a slot which extends in the direction in which the drawer is movable and in which engages a guide projection on the case for guiding the drawer. This can result in a particularly simple construction of the container combined with saving in material, and the sides of the drawer can be completely omitted so that a cassette reposing in the drawer is particularly readily accessible.

Advantageously, the container may also be so designed that the rear wall of the drawer has at least one inner surface which slopes away from the base plate, and the case may be provided, on the inner face of the wall opposite the base plate, with guide ribs which extend in the direction of movement of the drawer and which are arranged to provide location for a cassette disposed in the container.

In this way the introduction of a cassette into the container and its removal therefrom are considerably facilitated by the use of simple means. The guide ribs can be arranged to prevent the thicker part of a standard recording-tape cassette from striking the front edge of the case with its own edge when it is being inserted into the case. On the other hand, cooperation between the inclined surface and the guide ribs results in the eassette tilting away from the base plate out of the drawer when the container is disposed vertically, so that the cassette can be more easily removed. This can be of particular importance for example when several containers with cassettes in them are so arranged on a central bracket in a car such that the direction of movement of the drawers are vertical.

The drawer and the case can be provided with an interengaging pin and slot, the slot extending in the direction of movement of the drawer and the ends of the slot forming stops for the pin for the purpose of limiting movement of the drawer. In this way a particularly simple form of stop for limiting movements of the drawer is obtained.

If the pin is chamfered at its forward edge, this enables the drawer to be inserted into the case in a particularly easy manner. When the drawer is being fitted to the case, the wall of the case in the vicinity of the pin and slot is deformed outwards by the inclined surface of the pin, so that the latter can be readily introduced into the slot.

The base plate can be provided with tabs for engagement in openings in the winding cores of a cassette.

In a particularly preferred form of construction of the container, the catch means includes a leaf spring extending in the direction of movement of the drawer and having at or near its free end a tooth arranged to engage a detent or recess, there also being provided a push button by means of which the tooth can be disengaged from the detent or recess. The push button may be let into the front of the drawer or one of the side walls of the case.

The catch means so constructed is simple, occupies little additional space in the case and can be actuated by the use of only one finger.

The leaf spring, push button and tooth are preferably integral with the drawer or the case and conveniently are of a plastics material.

In particular, the leaf spring, push button, and tooth are conveniently integral with the drawer, and the detent is formed by an aperture in the case. In this way a construction of container is obtained which can be particularly easily produced and which can be made in plastics material by injection-molding and by using relatively simple molds, the container consisting of three simple parts, namely, the case, the drawer and the spring biasing means which can be assembled by simply inserting one into the other.

It is also possible to provide the case with connecting elements for detachably connecting it to an adjacent similar container to form a block, these connecting elements taking the form for example of guide tracks facilitating sliding insertion. In this way several containers can be interconnected in a simple manner, and this facilitates accommodation of the containers.

One slide track preferably takes the form of an elongate projection having side faces chamfered to dovetail form and the other track can take the form of a complementary recess, the two tracks extending parallel to the direction of movement of the slide, and the recess being formed in the projection on the case guiding the slide.

An arrangementof this kind results in additional saving in material when. producing the container, and at the same time the wall of the case is reinforced by the connecting elements; furthermore, when a number of containers are stacked, the wall of one case is forced to occupy a position parallel to that of the adjacent container and this is of advantage in promoting movement of the slide in the guide.

The spring for moving the slide out of the case may take the form of a coil spring formed about a notional core of elongate cross section. Alternatively, in view of the production costs of such a spring, it is, of course, more convenient to use a normal coil spring of circular cross section together with provision for preventing buckling failure of the spring. In a further development of the invention, this is brought about by forming a guide channel of segmental cross section, or by providing a similar guide channel on the inner side of the housing lying opposite the base plate, or by employing both these features together. Neither of these solutions necessitates additional space and the material consumption is, in contrast, decreased.

It is desirable for it also to be possible to accommodate in the container an index of contents. For this purpose there may be a label inserted in the drawer and safeguarded against unintentional removal, preferably by stud-like mountings, which label can be read when the container is either standing or lying flat as soon as the drawer is opened and the cassette is removed.

As mentioned above several containers may be joined together to form a block, for which purpose joining means of the tongue and groove or dovetail type are provided. If a large number of containers are to be joined together then this type of simple guide may no longer be adequate to impart sufficient stability to the block. Auxiliary tracks may therefore be provided, adjacent to a main track which defines the positioning, as close as possible to the margin of the large external surface of the case, which auxiliary tracks, with skilled construction which is yet to be explained, in detail may be provided without causing undue complications in the production of the case by injection molding. When once attached, containers may be safeguarded against unintentional dismounting in a manner similar to that described above for the limitation of the drawer movement.

A widening of the possibilities of block formation is produced if the narrow lateral surfaces of the container housing are provided with guide tracks or grooves, since in this case adjacent containers may also be joined together in additional directions. It is naturally also possible to provide means permitting vertical and horizontal stacking.

The guide tracks or grooves can furthermore be used to join an angular mounting element with the container or a block of containers, and the mounting element can be attached in various ways, not only to a wall, to.

shelves or the like, but also, for example, to the dashboard of a motor vehicle. In a similar manner the guide means on the uppermost container can be used to mount a carrying handle by means of which a stack of containers may be comfortably carried.

Finally, several containers can be joined during manufacture to form a greater block; for example, five drawers may be provided one above the other in a shelf-like block housing. Even though the stability of such a block will be no greater than that of five individ ual containers rigidly joined together, there is nevertheless a reduction in costs and a saving in material, because the housing walls associated with the several drawer guides no longerneed to be made of double thickness. However, the guide means for attaching further containers or further block housings may be provided in a similar manner as described above. In such a large container the slides may lie above one another, adjacent to one another, or back to back, and there are of course also combinations of all these possibilities.

The combination of the aforementioned features results in a container which provides operating convenience with economy of material and a small number of individual parts. Assembly work is also simplified.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS Further details of the invention are provided in the following description of some embodiments illustrated in the annexed drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective illustration of the container in separated condition.

FIG. 2 is a section through part of the catch means on line II of FIG. 1, but with the drawer inserted in the case.

FIG. 3 is a view of the container with the drawer fitted in the case but in its outer position, a recordingtape cassette being placed on the drawer.

FIG. 4 is a section on line IV-IV of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 shows a section corresponding to that of FIG. 4, but with the drawer fully inserted into the case.

FIG. 6 is a partial section on line VIVI of FIG. 3 and on a larger scale, the drawer, located in its inner position, being shown by dash-and-dot lines. I

FIG. 7 is a section on line VII-VII of FIG. 3, with the spring omitted and with portions of background also omitted for clarity of detail. 7

FIG. 8 is a section through a further form of the catch means.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of that part of the case that cooperates with the catch means shown in FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a section through another form of catch means.

FIG. 1 1 is a perspective view of the form of retaining device shown in FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a modified form of case with the drawer removed.

FIG. 13 is a transverse section view of the case of FIG. 12 and taken on a section line as indicated at 13 in FIG. 15.

FIG. 14 is a longitudinal section view of the case of FIG. 12 with the drawer assembled therewith.

FIG. 15 is a section view similar to FIG. 14 but with the drawer shown in open position.

FIG. 16 is a top plan view of the case and drawer with the index card inserted.

FIG. 17 is a detail section view taken at line 17 in FIG. 16.

FIG. 18 illustrates details of the base and lugs of the drawer without the cardboard label, and includes FIG. 18a which is a detail section view taken approximately at line XVIIXVIII in FIG. 16, and also includes FIG. 18b which is a detail elevation view of the portions of FIG. 18a as viewed from the left in FIG. 18a.

FIG. '19 is a detailed view of the insert card.

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of the insert card assembled into the open dra'wer of the container.

FIG. 21 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 20, but showing the drawer opening in a vertical position.

FIG. 22 is a perspective view of two containers about to be joined together in a manner different from the arrangement shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 23 is a cross section similar to FIG. 7 but following the line 23 of FIG. 22.

FIG. 24 is a rear perspective view of an additional modified form showing two cases in partial assembly.

FIG. 25 is a rear elevation view of the cases of FIG. 24.

FIG. 26 is a front perspective view of the cases of FIG. 24 shown in stacked and side-by-side relation.

FIG. 27 is a perspective view of a mounting bracket.

FIG. 28 is a perspective view of the mounting bracket in partial assembly with a stack of cases.

FIG. 29 is an elevation view showing the mounting of the bracket to a wall.

FIG. 30 is a perspective view of a slightly modified form of the bracket.

FIG. 31 is a perspective view of a stack of cases and a carrying handle partially assembled therewith.

FIG. 32 is a perspective view of the carrying handle fully assembled with a stack of cases.

FIG. 33 is a perspective view of a slightly modified form of carrying handle for a block of cases.

FIG. 34 is a perspective view of a single case with a multiplicity of drawer-receiving compartments.

FIG. 35 is a perspective view of another form of case with a multiplicity of drawer compartments oriented in stacked and side-by-side relation.

FIG. 36 is a perspective view of a case with a multiplicity of drawer compartments arranged in back-toback relation and illustrating one of the drawers at the rear of the case in an open position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION The container illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 7 comprises a case 1, a slide or endless 2, and a spring 3. The case 1 is rectangular and flat, and matches the shape of recording-tape cassette 4 (FIG. 3). The drawer 2 has rear wall 5 which is connected to a front wall 7 by a base plate 6. The base plate 6 is provided with two tabs 8 which, as seen in FIG. 3, are intended to engage in openings in the winding cores of the cassette 4 and to prevent the tape from unwinding in the cassette. As can be seen in particular from FIG. 1, the base plate 6 has a slot which extends in the direction of movement of the drawer 2 and in which a guide projection 11 on the case 1 can engage. As seen from FIG. 7 the edges of the slot 10 and of the guide projection 11 have interengaging ridges l2 and 13 which prevent the drawer 2 from lifting away from the wall of the case 1. As can be seen in particular from FIGS. 1 and 6, the case has two slots 14 which extend in the direction of movement of the drawer 2. Rectangular pins 15, formed on the drawer 2, engage in the slots 14. Together with the pins 15, the slots 14 forms means for limiting the movements of the drawer 2 in the case 1 between an inner, closed position, in which the front 7 of the case 1 is closed by the front wall of the drawer, and an outer, open position, in which a cassette 4 can be placed on or removed from the drawer 2. As seen from FIG. 6, the pins have inclined faces 16 at the front as considered in the direction of insertion. The inclined faces 16 serve to facilitate the initial assembly of the drawer 2 in the case 1. Thus when the drawer 2 is inserted into the case 1, the inclined faces 16 deform the wall of the case 1 so that the wall moves away from the base plate 6 of the drawer, and the base plate may also be deformed slightly. As soon as the pins 15 move into the slots 14, they snap in and form the above-mentioned stop which prevents further movement of the drawer 2 out of the case 1.

As can be seen from FIGS. 1 and 4, the rear wall 5 of the drawer 2 has ribs 17 which have surfaces 18 that slope downwardly away from the base plate 6. Also, on the inner face of that wall of the case 1 opposite the base plate 6, the case has guide ribs 20. As shown in FIG. 3 the distance separating the guide ribs 20 is somewhat greater than the length of the thicker portion of the cassette 4, as measured transversely of the direction of movement of the drawer, which thicker portion is for placing on the sound head of a tape apparatus. Also, the dimension 0 (FIG. 4), to the extent of which the guide 20 projects from the wall of the cassette 4, is somewhat greater than the dimensional increase b of the thicker portion 21 of the cassette 4, as compared with the rest thereof. As will also be seen from FIG. 4, the guide ribs 20 are somewhat shorter than the wall of the case 1, so that they do not extend to its edge. Furthermore, each of the ribs is chamfered at that of its ends disposed near the mouth of the case 1.

The guide ribs 20 facilitate introduction of the cassette 4 into the case 1. They hold the cassette 4 at such distance from the wall of the case 1, that the thicker portion 21, when introduced into the case 1, cannot strike the edge of the wall on which the guide ribs 20 are provided. If, on the other hand, as shown in FIG. 4, the drawer is moved upwards while the container is in the vertical position, the cassette 4 slopes away from the base plate 6 of the drawer 2 under the effect of the inclined surfaces 18. As this happens, the cassette is supported at the upper ends of the guide ribs 20, with the result that the lower edge of the cassette, presented to the base plate 6, is urged towards the base plate. Thus, the inclination of the cassette, facilitating its removal from the drawer, is increased. FIG. 5 shows the position of the cassette in the container when the drawer 2 is pushed into the case 1. In this position, the spring 3 is compressed between the end wall 5 of the cassette and the wall of the case 1.

As shown in particular in FIGS. 1 and 2, catch 19 for holding the drawer 2 in the inner position in the case 1-includes a leaf spring 22 which is formed integrally with the drawer 2 and the flat face of which carries a tooth 23 near its free end, which tooth is for engagement in an aperture 24 in the case. Connected to the tooth is a push button 25 which extends laterally from the leaf spring 22 on that side thereof remote from the tooth 23 and is disposed in the same plane as the front wall 7 of the drawer 2. In the present construction, the leaf spring 22, the push button 25 and the tooth 23 are produced integrally with the drawer 2 and are of a plastics material by injection molding.

As also shown in FIG. 2, the tooth 23 has an inclined face 9. When the drawer 2 is pushed into the case by the application of, for example, finger pressure to the front wall 7, the spring 22 incorporating the push button 25 is deflected by the inclined surface 9 when the tooth 23 strikes the wall of the case 1, so that the tooth 23 is able to snap into the incision 24. When the container is to be opened for the purpose of removing or inserting a cassette, all that is needed is to apply finger pressure to the push button 25. The force that acts laterally on the spring 22 causes the latter to deflect to the right, as viewed in FIG. 2, so that the tooth 23 slides out of the incision 24. The drawer 2 can then be moved out of the case 1 by the spring 3 until the pins 15 strike the ends of the slot 14. In this position, illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the cassette 4 can be removed from the container.

The case of the container shown in FIGS. 1 to 7 is provided with connecting elements for detachably connecting the container to an adjacent similar container to form a block, these connecting elements taking the form of guide tracks designed to be slid one into the other. As seen from the illustration in the drawing and particularly that of FIG. 7, one of the guide tracks takes the form of an elongate projection 26 having side faces 27 chamfered to dovetail form. The projection 26 is intended to be pushed into a recess 28 having a complementary cross section. The recess 28 and the projection 26 are disposed parallel to the direction of movement of the drawer 2 in the case 1. As shown in FIG. 7 the recess 28 is formed in the guide projection 11 on the case 1. This projection serves to guide the drawer 2. FIG. 7 illustrates two containers with their cases 1 interconnected. For the sake of clarity, one of the conainers is shown without a drawer 2 therein. It will be appreciated that not just two, but a large number of containers, can be interconnected in this way.

From the figures described so far it can be seen that the spring 3 is a coil spring with a somewhat flattened cross section. Instead of using a spring of this shape, a leaf spring could be employed; another possible solution is the insertion of a foam plastics block spring. It is, however, preferable to use a normal coil spring of circular cross section, i.e. a cylindrical coil spring. This necessitates safeguards against buckling of the spring, however. Such an arrangement is now described with reference to the FIGS. 12 to 15.

FIGS. 8 to 11 show further possible forms of the drawer catch. Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, the spring 22 of the catch 19' is not arranged with its face parallel to the plane of the base plate 6' as in FIG. 1, but at right angles thereto. The mode of operation of the retaining device, which in addition to the spring 22 includes a tooth 23 and a push button 25 is the same as that already described. The tooth 23 is intended to engage in an incision 24 in a case 1' illustrated in FIG. 9. The parts 22, 23' and 25 may be made integrally with a drawer 2 in the manner previously described, and are preferably of plastics material.

FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate a retaining device 119 in which a spring 122 with a tooth 123 and push button 125 is provided on the case 101, spring, tooth and push button in fact being produced integrally with the case. The drawer 102 movable in the case 101 has a lip 124 having an inclined surface 126 designed to cooperate with the tooth 123. When the drawer is inserted, the inclined surface 126 pushes the tooth 123 away so that the latter can snap into position behind the lip 124. Pressure applied to the button 125 causes the spring 122 to deflect to the left, as seen in FIG. 11, so that the tooth 123 releases the lip 124 thus the drawer 102 to enable the latter to move out of the case 101 under the action of a spring, not illustrated.

FIG. 12 illustrates a case 1 with the spring 31 but without the drawer, while FIG. 13 is a cross section along the line l3" of FIG. FIGS. 14 and 15 are a semi-schematic illustration of the container closed (FIG. 14) and opened (FIG. 15) drawer. As before, the case 1 has a flanged guide projection 11 while the drawer 2 has the corresponding guide slot 10 of complementary shape on its underside. The guide projection 1 l is now provided on its surface facing the drawer with a segment-shaped groove 30, on which the cylindrical coil spring 31 is capable of being supported; according to experience such a guide is an adequate safeguard against buckling. As an alternative, or, as in the embodiment illustrated, in addition, it is also possible to provide in the upper side of the case, i.e., in the cover, in the region of the guide track 26, a groove or a channel of segmental cross section for additional lateral support of the spring. Since the guide track which is provided for stacking several containers requires a thickening of the case cover in this region, a decrease in this part of the cross section of the cover by the groove 32 can be accommodated. The upper groove 32 only extends as far as the rear edge of the portion of the cassette 21 thickened by the dimension b (FIG. 15) when the drawer is inserted, so that this guide groove finds sufficient space behind it without the internal width of the housing having to be increased.

The FIGS. 16 to 21 are representations of details concerning the formation and attachment of an index inside the container. In this further development of the invention a number of criteria for such a label are taken into account: it should be simple to introduce into the container both manually and automatically, and also be exchangeable; it should nevertheless be safeguarded against unintentional removal; finally, the container should, in so far as alterations are necessary for accommodation of the label, not be made more expensive in production.

FIG. 16 is a semi-schematic plan view of case, drawer and label, the case 1 with the drawer 2 and label 33 inserted in the drawer. The label (represented separately in plan view in FIG. 19) consists of stiff paper or cardboard, but may also consist, of course, of a flat piece of plastics material. On both sides of the label are imprinted numbered inscription spaces, which on the other side of the label (shown in FIG. 20) are upside down in relation to those shown in FIGS. 17, 19 and 21. The width of the label transverse of the direction of movement of the drawer 2 is smaller than the width of the cassette laying above (not illustrated) so that when the cassette is removed the label is not taken with it.

The drawer is provided with holding lugs 34, 39 which engage over the label and safeguard it from unintentional removal. A first holding lug 34 is injection molded to the front wall 7 of the drawer on the inside. It is located above the slot 10 in the base of the drawer and therefore does not hinder the deformation of the drawer in the direction of the base plate 6. The lug 34 has a locking surface 35 facing the label; the distance between the locking surface 35 and the upper side of the base plate 6 is sufficient to accommodate the thickness of the label, which is elastically deformable in the region of a tongue 36 projecting from the front edge of the label. FIG. 17 is a cross section along line 17" in FIG. 16, and further illustrates the construction.

The label 33 furthermore possesses two U-shaped notches 37 (FIG. 19) so that two more tongues 38 are produced. The notches 37 are guided over the tabs 8 when introducing the label in the drawer, which tabs have already been mentioned above and serve to secure the spools of a cassette placed over the tabs. On each of these tabs 8 a further holding lug 39 is provided which is formed in a similar manner to the lug 34 (see FIG. 18) and behind the locking surface 40 of which tongues 38 can project. For the same reason as was given for the lug 34, the lugs 39 are arranged over lateral apertures in the base plate 6.

An inscription on the label may be read from the front if the containers are lying flat (FIG. 20); if the container is upright (FIG. 21), the label is turned around. The positioning of the label in the drawer is effected substantially by the positive locking between the tabs 8 and the sides of the U-shaped notches 37.

Another solution consists in that the drawer or the rear wall of the drawer only is made transparent; the label then possesses a bent-up side adapted to the dimensions of the rear wall, the inscription of which may be read through the transparent rear wall.

It has already been explained above with reference to FIG. 7 how several containers can be stacked. It has now been stated that the central mounting track in a not too large number of containers is adequate; if, however, a large number of containers are to be stacked, the arrangement which is described in the following with reference to FIGS. 22 and 23 is recommended.

FIG. 22 is a semi-schematic rear view of two containers about to be joined together, while FIG. 23 is a cross section along line "23" in FIG. 22.

It is possible to see the two cases 1, which each possess on their larger upper external surfaces the main guide track 26 with a dovetail cross section, and on the underlying large external surface the guide groove 28 which is complementary to the main guide track. Thus far the arrangement agrees with that according to FIG. 7. Track 26 and groove 28 do not, however, extend as far as the front edge 41 of the housing; the groove is closed in this region (42 in FIG. 23). The same applies to the auxiliary guide tracks 43, 43 with the auxiliary grooves 44, '44 associated therewith, the auxiliary tracks and grooves beingshorter than the main tracks 26 and grooves 28. In this manner the joining procedure is simplified because the container to be inserted is first of all laid flat and then only the main track aligned; the positioning of the auxiliary tracks then takes care of itself. The auxiliary tracks all have a half dovetail cross section with lateral surfaces 47, 47' which are parallel to the dovetail surfaces 27 or 27 of the main guide track. This is therefore particularly advantageous because the molds are not substantially more complicated for the injection molding of the housing 1 because the surfaces 47, 47' are parallel to the surfaces 27 or 27'. The same applies to the grooves 28 and 44 or 44'. Also, in the case of the grooves of the auxiliary guide tracks there appear on the underside of the housing closed areas or end walls 45, 45 Together with the area or end wall 42 they form stops which limit the introduction movement of the two housing 1 relative to one another. Additional space is not claimed by the auxiliary grooves, since the cassette 21, on account of the height required for the drawer base 6, leaves free marginal sections inside the case which are thus utilized.

In order to prevent unintentional release of the stacked containers, wedge-shaped projections 46 are provided which, owing to their slope, elastically deform the base of the case during stacking, but then spring into the slots of apertures 14 which, as mentioned above (FIGS. 1, 3, 6), are accommodated in the base of the housing as stops for the drawer.

FIGS. 24 to 26 illustrate how a block formation is made possible by joining together several containers laterally. Corresponding cases 1 are shown in FIG. 24 at the moment of joining together, in FIG. 25 in rear view, and in FIG. 26 in perspective view.

The case shape according to FIGS. 22, 23 is supplemented here by similar joining tracks and receiving grooves on the narrow sides of the case which extend parallel to the direction of movement of the drawer. What was stated with respect to the main guide tracks 26 and the auxiliary guide tracks concerning length similarly applies to these elements.

The narrow sides 50, 50' of the cases are provided with a dovetail section guide tracks 51 and with a receiving guide groove 52 complementary to the latter. Tracks and grooves begin on the rear edges 57 and 57' but do not extend fully to the front edges 53, 53, so that in the block formation only straight continuous lines 54 between the individual containers are visible; at the same time the end edge 55 of the track 51 forms a stop which cooperates with the end edge 56 of the respective groove.

Safety means similar to the projections 46 in FIGS. 22 and 23 may also be provided here as a safeguard against unintentional removal. These safety means with associated apertures are not illustrated again in FIGS. 24 to 26, however.

It is possible to see in FIG. 26 how a container (above left) is introduced into an already formed block by introduction from the front.

If a block of a plurality of containers has to be securely mounted in a motor vehicle, a boat, or the like, it is advantageous to make use of a mounting bracket, details of which are explained in the following with reference to FIGS. 27 to 30.

Each of the containers forming the container block according to FIGS. 28 to 30 has in its case 1 the main tracks 26 and auxiliary guide tracks 43, 43' arranged on the upper side. On the underside of each container case 1 are the guide groovescomplementary to the tracks 26, 43, 43, which grooves cannot be seen in the FIGS. 27 to 30. By this means the individual containers are joined together to form a block of optional height.

To mount this block, for example, on a flat horizontal, vertical or even inclined surface, the right angle bracket 60 is used. The sides have slide-in guides on the inside and the limb 61 has grooves which are of a complementary shape to the guides 26, 43, 43, while the limb 62 has similar slide-in guide tracks 26', 43'. On using the limb 61 as a mounting the arrangement shown in FIG. 28 is produced, whereas if the limb 62 is used, the upright mounting according to FIG. 29 is produced.

Both limbs also have mounting holes 63 by means of which the one limb can be screwed onto a surface (FIG. 29) if the other limb is engaged with a container block. If the holes 63 have chamfers for counter-sunk screws the side engaged with the block can itself accommodate screws.

FIG. 30 shows that the mounting bracket may have alternative proportions; in this illustration a container block of two by four containers is illustrated, which block is mounted by a mounting bracket 64 with double sets of slide-in guides. Just as one of the brackets 60, 64 may be used in mounting a container block, it is conversely also possible to use the guide tracks on the uppermost container case of a block to attach a handle for carrying, by means of which a block of containers can be carried conveniently without necessitating a case, bag or the like. This is shown in FIGS. 31 to 33.

FIG. 31 shows how a handle 71 formed like a cutaway box is pushed onto a container block 70; the handle naturally has the receiving grooves for the main and auxiliary guide tracks 26 and 43, 43 of the uppermost container. For carrying, the user gets hold of the handle as shown in FIG. 32. In the case of a block 73 of double width, a handle 72 of double width is similarly used, according to FIG. 33. It will be clear that different forms of handle are conceivable.

The FIGS. 34 to 36 show that it is also possible to produce a large container according to the invention which accommodated more than one drawer. The drawers may be arranged one on top of the other in compartments (FIG. 34), above and next to one another (FIG. 35), or finally back to back (FIG. 36); clearly the possibilities according to the two lastmentioned figures may be combined.

Nevertheless, the large container can also be extended by the above-mentioned slide guides in that individual containers or large containers may be pushed on. It should be mentioned here that in the instance of the container according to FIG. 35, for two compartments lying next to each other only one main and two auxiliary guide tracks are provided; this container can therefore also be extended only by double containers with complementary receiving grooves.

The invention provides a container for cassettes, especially recording tape cassettes, which can be handled in an extremely convenient manner. As seen from FIGS. 1 annd 3, the base plate 6 is substantially narrower than the cassette 4 placed thereon. The sides of the drawer are therefore omitted so that the cassette can be readily gripped at the sides with two fingers or with finger and thumb, so that no change of grip is required for insertion into the play-back apparatus. Insertion of the drawer into the container by the application of pressure to the front wall 7, and the moving of the drawer 2 from the container by pressure on the push button 25 enable the container to be handled in a simple manner in practically all circumstances, for example in a car, and in all positions of the container. The container consists of two parts made of plastics material and of a spring. The parts of plastics material are so shaped that they can be produced in simple operations and with simple molds by injection molding.

I claim:

1. A container for a tape cassette, the container comprising a case with an open front, a cassette-carrying slide mounted in the case for sliding movement between an outer, open position in which a cassette can be placed upon or withdrawn from the slide and an inner closed position, the slide being open sided and including a base plate having an upper, cassettesupporting surface and having front portions adjacent the open front of the case, means retaining a tape cassette on the base plate, a spring continuously biasing the slide towards the open position, stop means defining the open position and restraining further movement of the slide out of the case, and releasable catch means movable between a locking position for holding the slide in the closed position and a release position permitting the slide to move outwardly through the open end of the case into the open position under the influence of the spring; the slide having open and unobstructed space at the open sides thereof and adjacent the front portion of the base plate to entirely expose edges of a cassette supported on the base plate so that a cassette supported on the base plate can be securely grasped by its exposed side edges and removed therefrom.

2. A container according to claim 1 wherein the slide has a front wall cooperating with the open end of the case to completely close the open end when the slide is in its inner, closed position.

3. A container according to claim 1 wherein the base plate is provided with a slot which extends in the direction in which the slide is movable and in which engages a guide projection on the case for guiding the slide.

4. A container according to claim 2 wherein the slide has a rear wall with at least one cassette-engaging inner surface which slopes upwardly and rearwardly away from the base plate and wherein the case is provided with an upper wall having a lower face with guide ribs which extend in the direction of movement of the slide and which are arranged to urge a cassette into seating location on the base plate as the slide is closed.

5. A container according to claim 1, wherein the slide and the case are provided with an inter-engaging pin and slot, one on the slide and the other on the case, the slot extending in the direction of movement of the slide, and the ends of the slot forming stops for the pin for the purpose of limiting movement of the slide.

6. A container according to claim 5, wherein the pin has at its forward end an inclined surface which facilitates introduction of the slide into the case.

7. The container according to claim 1 wherein the base plate is provided with a pair of tabs aligned normal to the direction of slide movement for engagement in openings in the winding cores of a cassette.

8. A container according to claim 1 wherein the catch means includes a cantilevered leaf spring extending forwardly in the direction of movement of the slide with its forward end having a tooth arranged to engage a recess, and a push button movable to disengage the tooth from the recess.

9. A container according to claim 8, wherein the leaf spring, the push button, and the tooth are integral with the slide or the case.

10. A container according to claim 8, wherein the leaf spring, the push button and the tooth are integral with the slide and the detent is formed by an aperture in the case.-

11. A container according to claim 1, wherein the case has external guide tracks designed to slide into other tracks for the purpose of detachably connecting the case to an adjacent like case to form a block.

12. A container according to claim 11, wherein the guide tracks are of dovetail form.

13. A container according to claim 1, wherein the spring is a coil spring formed about a notional core of elongate cross section.

14. A container according to claim 1, wherein the spring is a cylindrical coil spring and the case has spring guides to prevent the spring from buckling.

15. A container for a tape cassette comprising a case with top, bottom and side walls, a rear wall, and an open front; a cassette-carrying slide mounted in the case for sliding movement through the open front between an outer, cassette-exposing position and an innet, closed position, the slide having a base plate with a cassette-supporting surface and means retaining a cassette on the base plate; the container including an interior guide comprising a pair of elongated, closely spaced, parallel guide projections and means defining a pair of guide projection-receiving slots provided on confronting surfaces of the base plate and case, one pair on the base plate and the other pair on the case with the projections in sliding engagement with the slots, the guide projections and slots extending in the direction of sliding movement of the slide and positioned approximately midway between the side walls of the case, the projections and slots being mutually configured to restrain movement of the slide transversely of the direction of sliding movement and co-acting to guide the slide smoothly into and out of the case.

16. The container of claim 15 wherein the interior guide track provided on the bottom wall of the container includes a longitudinal reinforcing guide plate provided on the latter wall in alginment with the dovetail track on the other surface of the wall, and wherein the latter dove-tail track is formed into that portion of the bottom wall reinforced by the guide plate.

17. The container according to claim 15 wherein a spring extends along the interior guide and biases the slide to open position, and the case having a spring guide groove of segmental cross section in one of said walls and extending along said interior guide, the groove confining the spring against transverse movement as the slide moves between inner and outer positions.

18. A container for a tape cassette comprising, a case with top, bottom and side walls, a rear wall and an open front with exterior surfaces of both the top and bottom walls each having a pair of parallel, stacking dove-tails along their edges adjacent the side walls and a central stacking dove-tail approximately midway between the side walls and parallel to the pair of dove-tails; a cassette-carrying slide mounted in the case for sliding movement through the open front between an outer, cassette-exposing position and an inner, closed position, the slide including a base plate with an upper, cassette-supporting surface and means retaining a cassette on the base plate; mating slide tracks provided on confronting surfaces of the base plate and bottom case wall and extending in the direction of sliding movement of the slide, the slide track on the bottom case wall being aligned with and on the opposite side of the bottom case wall from the central dove-tail; the central dovetail being engageable with the central dove-tail of identical abutting containers for mutual support between containers against warping of adjacent cases to thereby assure smooth, sliding movement of the slides into and out of the cases.

19. The container of claim 18 wherein the base plate includes an elongated, slot-shaped recess having confronting inner edges slidably engaging outer longitudinal edges of the guide plate.

20. A container according to claim 11 wherein a spring guide groove of segmental cross section is accommodated within the said guide tracks.

21. A container accoridng to claim 7 including a label having spaced slots and which can be placed upon the base plate with the tabs extending through the slots to restrain unintentional removal of the label.

22. A container according to claim 21 wherein the label is made of stiff flat material and has two resilient tongues that can be snapped in under holding lugs provided on the slide.

23. A container according to claim 21, wherein matter printed on one surface of the label is repeated upside down on the other side of the label.

24. A container according to claim 11, wherein auxiliary guide tracks are provided close to the edges of the case and parallel to the main guide tracks.

25. A container according to claim 24, wherein the main guide tracks are of dovetail cross section and the auxiliary guide tracks are of half dovetail cross section.

26. A container according to claim 11, wherein the tracks do not extend over the whole length of the case.

27. A container according to claim 24, wherein the auxiliary tracks are shorter than the main tracks.

28. A container according to claim 11, wherein the guide tracks extend from the rear edge of the case and stop short of the front edge.

29. A container according to claim 5, wherein t0 facilitate rigid stacking of containers locking pins are provided on the case for engaging an end of the said slots.

30. A container according to claim 11 wherein guide tracks are provided in adjoining exterior sides of the case which extend parallel to the direction of movement of the slide.

31. A container according to claim 30, wherein none of the guide tracks extend the full length of the case and all of the tracks stop short of the front face of the case.

32. A container according to claim 11, and a mounting bracket having guide tracks adapted to engage and fit with at least some of the guide tracks on the case.

33. A container according to claim 1 l, and a carrying handle adapted to engage and fit onto at least some of the guide tracks on the case.

34. A container according to claim 1, wherein the case is formed in one piece to accommodate several slides arranged above, next to or behind one another.

35. A container for a tape cassette, comprising:

a case having top, bottom and side walls, a rear wall and an open front;

a cassette-supporting slide slidable into and out of the open front of the case, between an outer, cassetteexposing position and an inner, cassette-storing closed position, the slide having a bottom base plate with an upper, cassette-supporting surface, and a front wall on the slide adjacent the open front of the case and confronting a long edge of the cassette, the slide being free of obstructions preventing substantially free one-hand access to short edges of an exposed tape cassette lying on the base plate;

a spring positioned between confronting surfaces of the slide and case and biasing the slide toward its open position;

stop means defining the outer position of the slide and retaining the slide at least partially within the case; slide-orienting guide comprising guide projections and projection-receiving slots between the bottom wall of the case and a confronting surface of the slide and extending in the direction of sliding movement to guide the slide with respect to the case and to restrain the slide from movement in any transverse direction relative to such sliding movement; and

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Classifications
U.S. Classification312/9.57, G9B/23.16, 206/387.12, 312/111
International ClassificationG11B23/02, B65D85/575, G11B23/023
Cooperative ClassificationG11B23/0233
European ClassificationG11B23/023B