US 3907239 A
In a bracket for holding a transducer of the type useful for emitting sonar waves for detecting underwater terrain or fish, the bracket includes a first expansion clamp, and a fastening member generally disposed oppositely from said first expansion clamp, and a spacer designed for rigidly holding these two components a fixed distance from each other. The first expansion clamp may be secured to a support, such as the shaft of a trolling motor, while the fastening member is designed for holding the transducer. The fastening member may comprise either a second expansion clamp, having approximately three pairs of vertically aligned expansion grips, or it may include an angulated plate member, the upright portion of which is secured to the spacers, while a permanent form of transducer may be mounted through an aperture provided in the bottom portion of the plate member.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Ehrlich Sept. 23, 1975  BRACKET FOR HOLDING TRANSDUCER 75 Inventor: Harold P. Ehrlich, Florissant, Mo. 'f'
Asszstant ExammerRobert A. Hafer  Assignee: C. G. Manufacturing Co., Florissant,
57 ABSTRACT Filed! J 1974 In a bracket for holding a transducer of the type useful  AppL NO; 434,902 for emitting sonar waves for detecting underwater terrain or fish, the bracket includes a first expansion clamp, and a fastening member generally disposed op- 248/316 D; positely from said first expansion clamp, and a spacer 24/81 CC designed for rigidly holding these two components a Int. Clfixed distance from each other The first expansion of Search clamp may be ecured to a upport such as the Shaft 248/226 E, 316 D, 313; 24/81 B, 8 CC of a trolling motor, while the fastening member is designed for holding the transducer. The fastening mem- References Cited ber may comprise either a second expansion clamp, UNITED STATES PATENTS having approximately three pairs of vertically aligned 1,466,057 8/1923 Mathews 248/229 expansion grips or it may include angulated Plate 1 537 772 5 925 Hitz|er I I 2 229 member, the upright portion of which is secured to the 1,718,316 6/1929 Swenson 248/316 D spacers, while a permanent form of transducer may be 2,00 ,991 8/1935 Anderson.. 24/81 B mounted through an aperture provided in the bottom 2,803,417 8/1957 Gruber 248/229 portion of the plate member 2,858,093 10/1958 Knoll 24/81 CC 3.521332 7/1970 Kramer 24/81 cc 10 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures US Patent Sept. 23,1975
BRACKET FOR HOLDING TRANSDUCER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to a bracket, and more specifically, to a bracket for securing a sonic transducer to a shaft of a trolling motor. I
As any member skilled in the piscaton'al art knows, game fishing by the sportsmen has almost reached the obsession state, in which any method or means for enhancing the catch becomes a necessity, and one such instrument that has now become a tackle box requirement is the instrument for employing sonar in observing the geographies of the bottom of the lake, and for detecting the likelihood of locations of fish, if not actually observe schools of the same. Sonar instruments, which are generally referred to in the trade as transducers, are now being used for the foregoing purpose, and generally while the meter showing the sonar readings is maintained on board the boat to be retained within view of the fishermen, the transducer itself must be located under water for emitting and receiving the signals for transmission by electrical line to the display meter. The method generally used for holding the transducer submerged heretofore has been to use the crude technique, comprising simply the taping of said transducer to the shaft of the trolling motor, with the connecting electrical wire extending upwardly therefrom and into the boat where its signals are displayed upon the meter box or control center. One drawback of this method is the fisherman is never sure when the instrument may get loose, in addition that the mounting of the transducer to the motor shaft usually causes some blockage to its transmitted signal since the motor and prop of the trolling motor are of a greater diameter than its supporting shaft.
It is, therefore, the principal object of this invention to provide a portable typebracket that may be quickly clamped onto the shaft of a trolling motor or other support, and dispose its held transducer to the side providing adequate clearance for undisrupted sonar detection.
It is another object of this invention to provide a transducer bracket for a fish locater in which the said bracket includes a pair of expansion clamps to either side and providing for facile and quick removal or installation of its transducer to its trolling motor shaft.
Another object of this invention is to provide a permanent mount for a transducer that can be easily clamped onto or removed from the shaft of a trolling motor.
Another object of this invention is to provide a bracket incorporating a plurality of expansion clamps that securely support a sonar transducer to the shaft of a trolling motor.
A further object of this invention is to provide a sonar transducer bracket which is coated so as to make it noncorrosive.
These and other objects will become more apparent to those skilled in the art upon reviewing the summary of this invention, and studying the description of the preferred embodiment in view of its drawings.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The bracket explained in this application basically contemplates a two-fold purpose, first to provide resiliency in a bracket by incorporating expansion clamps that may easily secure the bracket to the shaft of a trolling motor or other support, while in the first embodiment, utilize a similar type expansion clamp for snugly embracing the cylindrically shaped sonic transducer, or in the second embodiment provide means for securing the transducer permanently. The second purpose is to incorporate spacer means between that portion of the bracket which clamps to the aforesaid shaft or support, and the clamp or other fastening means that secures the transducer, so as to displace the mounting of the transducer away from the bulk of the trolling motor located therebelow so as to eliminate any interference with the sonic beams being emitted and received by the transducer.
The bracket of the two embodiments provides means for stably securing the transducer to it, with one structure of the bracket incorporating, in the perferred embodiment, a series of three pairs of expansion grips, being vertically aligned, and forming the expansion clamp for snugly securing and holding the cylindrically shaped transducer within its grasp. The resiliency of the grips in adhering to the transducer provides for its secure retention, and prevents the transducer from being dislodged from operation of the trolling motor as when any impact is encountered as when either the boat or its motor may encounter an obstacle. In the modified embodiment of the invention the more permanent type of sonic transducer is rigidly fixed to an angular shaped plate of the bracket, being generally L-shaped, with the upright portion of the member being secured to the aforesaid spacers, while the horizontally disposed portion of the member is provided with an aperture therethrough and into which the transducer may be rigidly fixed by means of any form of fastening, such as by a threaded engagement.
Regardless of which style of transducer and bracket is used, since during operation of the transducer it and the bracket will always be submerged under water, it is desirable to encapsulate or coat the bracket with any form of rubber or polymer so as to prevent or delay its oxidation, in addition to enhancing the grasp or retention attributes of its expansion clamps in their grip about the transducer and the support.
Transducers of this type disclosed in this application, and as described herein, are readily available from many sources, and designed particularly for usage during fishing. Both the cylindrically shaped portable type transducer, or the transducer which is formed for permanent mounting, can be acquired from companies such as Lowrance Electronics of Tulsa, Okla, and Ray Jefferson Division of Jetronic Industries, located in Philadelphia, Pa., in addition to other companies. Whichever style of sonic transducer or depth finder may be acquired by the fisherman, the bracket described and claimed herein has been designed to provide for its accommodating and mounting any such transducer during usage.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the drawing,
FIG. 1 discloses a partial view of a trolling motor showing the bracket of this invention mounting a transducer to its motor shaft;
FIG. 2 provides a side view of the bracket of this invention;
FIG. 3 provides a sectional view of one of the expansion grips disclosing its encapsulation in either rubber or a polymer;
FIG. 4 provides a front end view of the fastening member of this bracket which secures a transducer;
FIG. provides a top view of the bracket of this invention;
FIG. 6 discloses a side view of a modified bracket showing an angulated plate member for fixedly retaining the more permanent type sonic transducer;
FIG. 7 depicts a front view of the fastening member, or L-shaped member, of the modified bracket of FIG. 6; and
FIG. 8 provides a top view of the bracket shown in FIG. 6.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In referring to FIG. 1, there is disclosed a portion of a trolling motor comprising its shaft S that supports the propeller P and its motor housing M. Mounted to the shaft S, and preferably below the waterline, is the bracket 1 of this invention, shown embracing the sonic transducer T in operative position for emitting and receiving signals representative of the underwater terrain or other things such as bodies of fish, tree stumps, or the like. An electrical line L normally connects with the transducer and extends to the boat where it connects with some form of a meter or display that provides readings representative of the objects detected by the sonar waves.
Referring to FIGS. 2 through 5, the bracket is shown comprising a series of expansion clamps 2 which are generally vertically aligned, to facilitate its insertion and snug retention upon the shaft of the trolling motor or other support. While an expansion clamp is herein described, other types of fixed clamping means may also be used. Extending away from the expansion clamps 2, and arranged generally oppositely disposed from said clamps, is a fastening member 3 also shown being formed as a series of expansion clamps incorporating three integrally connected pairs of expansion grips 4 that also are substantially vertically aligned to provide snug retention for the transducer T after its insertion therein. To provide adequate dimension between the clamp means 2 and the fastening member 3 for the purpose of providing clearance for the transducer as when mounted to a trolling motor, there are provided a series of spacers 5, generally one spacer for each expansion clamp 2, and said spacers are preferably formed as a sleeve, each having a channel 6 formed therethrough and which accommodates a fastener 7 useful for rigidly securing the clamp 2 to the member 3. Obviously these spacers could just as easily be formed as a rod having threaded apertures at each end to accommodate fasteners.
Each pair of expansion grips 4 are formed integral with each other, and are designed of rather arcuate shape to accommodate the cylindrical form style of transducer. These grips 4 join with a base 8 which is channel shaped in configuration so as to provide an inward seating of the nut 9 of each fastener 7, thereby providing clearance for the unencumbered seating of the transducer T within the grips of the expansion clamp 3. At the opposite end of each spacer 5 there is secured a disc like member 10 which provides a stable base for retention of each expansion clamp 2 and its securement in a vertically aligned relationship with other clamps 2 as shown both in FIGS. 2 and 5.
FIG. 3 is provided for showing that once the entire bracket is assembled, it is entirely encapsulated or coated with either a rubber or polymer material, such as shown at 11, in order to retard corrosion, but also to provide greater frictional adherence of the bracket to both the support to which its expansion clamps 2 mount and for the retention of the transducer T within its fastening member 3. Many type of polymers are available for this purpose, such as a polyvinyl chloride.
A modification in the construction of this bracket is shown in FIGS. 6 through 8, and generally the modified style of bracket is designed for accommodating the more permanent type of sonic transducer, as shown at TT, and which are designed having a threaded portion upon which a nut 12 may be turned until it fixes the transducer to another member, such as the bracket of this invention.
The expansion clamp and spacers of this modified form of bracket are identical in structure to those previously described, and also includes clamps 2, each fastened against a disc 10 to the spacers 5, and retained thereto by means of a fastener 7. The fastening member 13 of this modified form of bracket incorporates an angular shaped component which is formed in an L configuration having an upright portion 14 and a bottom or horizontally disposed integral portion 15. A series of apertures are provided through the upright portion 14 to allow for the insertion of the fasteners 7 and their retention by means of the nuts 9. The horizontally disposed portion 15 of the angular shaped member is provided with an aperture 16 therethrough, and through which the threaded portion of the transducer TT inserts for its eventual retention by the nut 12.
In view of the previous description of both the double expansion clamp member bracket, as shown in FIG. 2, and the bracket for more permanent mounting of the transducer, as shown in FIG. 6, it can be seen that adequate clearance in the mounting of such transducers is provided by the arrangement of the spacers 5 between the expansion clamps and the fastening members that support the respective style of transducer. It can been seen, from this description, that where the transducer is simply adhered by means of tape directly to the shaft S of the trolling motor, that any beam transmitted by the transducer downwardly is obstructed by the motor housing M and hence does not provide a complete pattern of the terrain or other objects located thereunder. This bracket is designed to obviate this impediment, and provides means for rapidly securing either a permanent type transducer or a portable type transducer to a bracket and also to the shaft or other support of the trolling motor. When the boat operator desires to operate either the trolling motor at its highest speed, or propel the boat by its other major motor power, the entire bracket and transducer may be rapidly disengaged from the shaft S by a simple forceful pulling of the expansion clamps from their embracement of the same. The transducer and its bracket may then be simply deposited in the boat until they are once again reapplied for use as when it appears a likely location for fishing is found.
Having thus described the invention what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. In a bracket for holding a transducer to the shaft for a trolling motor or other support and which is useful for detecting underwater objects such as terrain and location of fish, said bracket including at least one clamp means for securing said bracket to a support, said clamp means comprising a first expansion clamp for removably securing said bracket to a support, said expansion clamp including at least two pairs of integral expansion grips vertically aligned, at least one fastening member extending substantially oppositely away from said first expansion clamp and designed for securing a transducer, said fastening member comprising a second expansion clamp, said second expansion clamp including a base member, a series of pairs of arcuately shaped expansion grips integrally extending from said base member, at least one spacer means arranged fixed intermediate each expansion grip of the first expansion clamp and the base member of the second clamp and providing clearance for a secured transducer away from its support, each spacer comprising a length of sleeve, a fastener arranged through each sleeve for holding to its ends the grips of the first expansion clamp and the base member of the second clamp, and each said fastener being seated within the base member to provide clearance for support of a transducer by its series of expansion grips.
2. The invention of claim 1 and wherein said bracket is rubber coated.
3. The invention of claim 1 wherein said bracket is polymer coated.
4. The invention of claim 1 and wherein said second expansion clamp includes three pairs of vertically aligned expansion grips integrally formed with the base member.
5. In a bracket for holding a transducer to the shaft of a trolling motor or other support and which is useful for detecting underwater objects such as terrain and location of fish, said bracket including at least one clamp means for securing said bracket to a support, said clamp means comprising a first expansion clamp for removably securing said bracket to a support, said expansion clamp including at least two pairs of integral expansion grips vertically aligned, at least one fastening member extending substantially oppositely away from said first expansion clamp and designed for securing a transducer, said fastening member comprising an angular shaped member, said angular shaped member having an upright portion, there being an aperture formed through the other portion of said angular shaped memher and disposed for fixedly mounting to transducer therethrough, at least one spacer means arranged fixed intermediate each expansion grip of the first expansion clamp and the upright portion of said angular shaped member for providing clearance for a secured transducer away from its support, each spacer comprising a length of sleeve, and a fastener arranged through each sleeve for holding to its ends the grips of the first expansion clamp and the upright portion of the angular shaped member.
6. The invention of claim 5 and wherein said first expansion clamp includes a series of pairs of vertically aligned expansion grips, and said spacer means arranged for holding said grips a fixed distance from the angular shaped member.
7. The invention of claim 6 wherein said spacer comprises a length of sleeve for each pair of expansion grips, and a fastener arranged through each sleeve for fixing each pair of expansion grips and the angular shaped member a fixed distance from each other.
8. The invention of claim 7 and wherein said bracket is rubber coated.
9. The invention of claim 7 and wherein said bracket is polymer coated.
10. In a bracket for holding a transducer to the shaft of a trolling motor or other support and which is useful for detecting under water objects such as terrain and the location of fish, said bracket including at least one clamp means for securing said bracket to a support, said clamp means comprising a first expansion clamp for removably securing said bracket to a support, said expansion clamp including at least two pairs of integral expansion grips vertically aligned, at least one fastening member extending substantially oppositely away from said first expansion clamp and desigend for securing a transducer, said fastening member comprising a second expansion clamp, said second expansion clamp including a base member, a series of pairs of arcuately shaped expansion grips integrally extending from said base member, a spacer means for each said pair of grips of the first expansion clamp for holding the same a fixed distance from the second expansion clamp, and a fastener holding said base member to a contiguous spacer means.