Title:
Device for converting adjustable snorkel into fixed snorkel
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable snorkel is convertible into a fixed snorkel by attaching a curved clamping device onto a flexible section of the adjustable snorkel and thereby setting the flexible section to selected curvature and working angle. The clamping device includes a curved body having an overall length corresponding to that of the flexible section of the snorkel, and two pairs of clamping noses provided at two ends of the curved body for clamping at two ends of the flexible section after the latter has been adjusted to the desired curvature and working angle. The flexible section having the clamping device attached thereto becomes rigid without producing any back pull and therefore allows the adjustable snorkel to function like a fixed snorkel. By detaching the clamping device from the flexible section, the adjustable snorkel is restored from the fixed snorkel.



Inventors:
Feng, Le Jang -. (Taipei, TW)
Application Number:
10/015171
Publication Date:
02/27/2003
Filing Date:
10/22/2001
Assignee:
FENG LE - JANG
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
128/201.27
International Classes:
B63C11/20; (IPC1-7): B63C11/16
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
DAWSON, GLENN K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Keith Kline (PRO-TECHTOR INTERNATIONAL SERVICES 20775 Norada Court, Saratoga, CA, 95070-3018, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is;



1. A device for converting adjustable snorkel into fixed snorkel, said adjustable snorkel including a flexible section that could be adjusted into desired curvature and working angle, said device comprising a curved body having an overall length corresponding to that of said flexible section of said adjustable snorkel, and two pairs of clamping noses provided at two ends of said curved body for clamping at two ends of said flexible section and thereby attaching said curved body onto said flexible section to set said flexible section to said desired curvature and working angle, allowing said adjustable snorkel to function like a fixed snorkel; and said device being removable from said flexible section to restore said adjustable snorkel at any time.

2. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said curved body is a one-piece member.

3. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said curved body includes serially connected head segment and connecting segments, each of said connecting segments being provided at a first end with two opposite through holes, and at a second end opposite to said first end with two opposite studs, said second end of each said connecting segment being fitted into said first end of a following connecting segment with said studs engaged into said through holes on said first end of said following connecting segment; and said head segment having an end being fitted into said first end of any said connecting segment with two studs provided at that end engaged into said through holes on said first end of said connecting segment.

4. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein said curved body includes serially connected head segment, intermediate segments, and tail segment; each of said intermediate segments being provided at a first end with two lugs and two through holes, and at a second end with two recesses and two studs adapted to engage with said two lugs and said two through holes, respectively, on said first end of a following intermediate segment; said head segment being provided only at a second end with said recesses and said through holes for engaging with said lugs and said studs, respectively, on said intermediate segment following said head segment, and said tail segment being provided only at a first end with said lugs and said studs for engaging with said recesses and said through holes, respectively, on said intermediate segment preceding said tail segment.

5. The device as claimed in claim 2, wherein said curved body is connected to said flexible section of said adjustable snorkel by providing two engaging holes on one of said two pairs of clamping noses to engage with two studs correspondingly provided on one end of said flexible section of said adjustable snorkel, such that said device is attached to or detached from said flexible section through pivotally turning said curved body about said engaging holes and said studs to engage or disengage another said pair of clamping noses with or from said flexible section.

6. The device as claimed in claim 3, wherein said curved body is connected to said flexible section of said adjustable snorkel by providing two engaging holes on one of said two pairs of clamping noses to engage with two studs correspondingly provided on one end of said flexible section of said adjustable snorkel, such that said device is attached to or detached from said flexible section through pivotally turning said curved body about said engaging holes and said studs to engage or disengage another said pair of clamping noses with or from said flexible section.

7. The device as claimed in claim 4, wherein said curved body is connected to said flexible section of said adjustable snorkel by providing two engaging holes on one of said two pairs of clamping noses to engage with two studs correspondingly provided on one end of said flexible section of said adjustable snorkel, such that said device is attached to or detached from said flexible section through pivotally turning said curved body about said engaging holes and said studs to engage or disengage another said pair of clamping noses with or from said flexible section.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a device for converting an adjustable snorkel into a fixed snorkel, and more particularly to a device that is attached to a flexible section of an adjustable snorkel, so that the flexible section is set to previously adjusted curvature and working angle without producing a back pull, allowing the adjustable snorkel to own the advantages of a fixed snorkel.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Conventional snorkels for diving may be divided into two types, namely, fixed snorkels 10, as shown in FIG. 1, and adjustable snorkels 20 having a flexible section 21, as shown in FIG. 2. The fixed snorkel 10 includes a rigid tube connected to a mouthpiece at a fixed angle relative to the mouthpiece. The rigid and fixed tube does not produce any back pull and therefore does not easily result in a sore mouth holding the mouthpiece. A disadvantage of the fixed snorkel 10 is that the rigid tube is not adjustable to a suitable working angle according to a user's facial configuration and therefore possibly causes discomfort to the user. In contrast with the fixed snorkel 10, the adjustable snorkel 20 has a tube angular-adjustably connected to the mouthpiece through the flexible section 21 and therefore allows adjustment of the tube to a most comfortable working angle according to the user's facial configuration. However, the flexible section 21 produces a back pull while the user's mouth holds the mouthpiece. The back pull of the flexible section would result in sore mouth and cheeks when the user dives for a prolonged time.

[0003] A user may select the adjustable or the fixed snorkel, depending on personal preference. Normally, the fixed snorkel is more suitable for diving off shore because it does not produce any back pull to easily cause a sore mouth. However, the rigid tube of the fixed snorkel, due to its fixed working angle, might not always fit all users. On the other hand, a scuba diver would usually use the adjustable snorkel before reaching the deep sea to avoid unnecessary consumption of oxygen in the air tank. The reason for the scuba diver to use the adjustable snorkel before reaching the deep sea is that the mouthpiece of a fixed snorkel would interfere with the mouthpiece of the air tank. On the contrary, the mouthpiece of the adjustable snorkel automatically stretches straightly when it is not held in the user's mouth and therefore does not occupy any space around the user's mouth to interfere with the use of the mouthpiece of the air tank. However, the back pull produced by the inflexible section of the adjustable snorkel would inevitably cause a sore mouth when the adjustable snorkel has been used over a prolonged time during diving.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a device for freely converting an adjustable snorkel into a fixed snorkel when necessary, so as to combine the advantages of the adjustable and the fixed snorkels while eliminate the disadvantages of the two types of snorkels.

[0005] To achieve the above and other objects, the device of the present invention is a curve-setting clamp including a curved body having an overall length corresponding to that of the inflexible section of the adjustable snorkel, and two pairs of clamping noses provided at two ends of the curved body for clamping at two ends of the inflexible section and thereby attaching the entire curved body to the flexible section. A user may adjust the inflexible section of the adjustable snorkel to desired curvature and working angle most suitable for the user, and then attaches the curve-setting clamp to the inflexible section, so that the inflexible section is set to the adjusted curvature and working angle, allowing the adjustable snorkel to function just like a fixed snorkel without producing any back pull. Moreover, the curve-setting clamp may be freely removed or loosen from the flexible section to restore the adjustable snorkel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] The structure and the technical means adopted by the present invention to achieve the above and other objects can be best understood by referring to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments and the accompanying drawings, wherein

[0007] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional fixed snorkel;

[0008] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a conventional adjustable snorkel having a flexible section;

[0009] FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing a device according to an embodiment of the present invention and its relation with the conventional adjustable snorkel of FIG. 2;

[0010] FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the device of FIG. 3 is attached onto the flexible section of the conventional adjustable snorkel to convert the same into a fixed snorkel;

[0011] FIG. 5 shows another embodiment of the device of the present invention;

[0012] FIG. 6 shows a further embodiment of the device of the present invention;

[0013] FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view showing the mechanism for connecting two segments of the device of FIG. 6; and

[0014] FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of a device according to a still further embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0015] Please refer to FIGS. 3 and 4 in which a device 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention for converting an adjustable snorkel 20 having a flexible section 21 into a fixed snorkel 10 is shown. The device 1 includes a one-piece curved body having an overall length corresponding to that of the flexible section 21 of the adjustable snorkel 20, and two pairs of clamping noses 11 formed at two ends of the curved body. By adjusting the flexible section 21 according to a user's face configuration, the adjustable snorkel 20 may be set to an optimal working angle. When the device 1 is attached onto the flexible section 21 with the two pairs of clamping noses 11 firmly clamp at two ends of the flexible section 21, the flexible section 21 is set to the previously adjusted curvature and working angle and the adjustable snorkel 20 is converted into a fixed snorkel 10 for use. When the flexible section 21 is set to the adjusted angle by the device 1, it no longer produces any back pull while the adjustable snorkel 20 is in use. Therefore, the device 1 of the present invention not only allows free adjustment of the flexible section 21 of the adjustable snorkel 20 to a desired working angle, but also enables elimination of any back pull from the flexible section 21, allowing the adjustable snorkel 20 to own the advantage of the fixed snorkel 10.

[0016] There are times a user needs to restore the adjustable snorkel 20 that was previously converted into a fixed snorkel with the device 1, such as when the user wants to use the air tank while diving, the user may simply detach the clamping noses 11 of the device 1 from the flexible section 21 of the adjustable snorkel 20 at any time.

[0017] In another embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 5, the device 1 is provided on a first pair of clamping noses 11 with two engaging holes 12 for pivotally engaging with two studs 22 correspondingly provided on one end of the flexible section 21 of the adjustable snorkel 20. The user needs only to clamp a second pair of clamping noses 11 at another end of the curved body 1 onto the flexible section 21 to convert the adjustable snorkel into a fixed snorkel, or to pivotally lift the curved body at the second pair of clamping noses 11 to restore the adjustable snorkel 20. The pivotal engagement of one end of the device 1 with the flexible section 21 not only facilitates quick shifting of the snorkel between the adjustable and the fixed types, but also protects the device 1 from the risk of becoming lost.

[0018] FIGS. 6 and 7 show a further embodiment of the device 1 of the present invention. In this embodiment, the curved body is formed from a head segment 13 and a plurality of connecting segments 14. Each of the connecting segments 14 is provided at a first end with an expanded inner diameter and two opposite through holes 16, and at a second end opposite to the first end with two opposite studs 15. The second end of each preceding connecting segment 14 has an outer diameter adapted to fit into the expanded inner diameter of the first end of a following connecting segment 14, and the studs 15 on a preceding connecting segment 14 may be engaged into the through holes 16 on a following connecting segment 16. The head segment 13 may have first and second ends having the same outer diameter that is adapted to fit into the expanded first end of the connecting segment 14. The head segment 13 is also provided at the second end with two opposite studs 15 for engaging into the two through holes 16 on the expanded first end of the connecting segment 14. With the above arrangements, the head segment 13 and the connecting segments 14 are sequentially connected to form the curved body of the device 1 of this embodiment for detachably attaching to the flexible section 21 of the adjustable snorkel 20 and thereby converting the snorkel into the fixed snorkel.

[0019] FIG. 8 illustrates a still further embodiment of the device 1 of the present invention. In this embodiment, the curved body is formed from a head segment 17, a tail segment 18, and a plurality of intermediate segments 19. Each of the intermediate segments 19 is provided at a first end with two opposite lugs 111 and at a second end with two opposite recesses 112 adapted to receive the two opposite lugs 111 of a following intermediate segment 19. The two opposite lugs 111 of each intermediate segment 19 are provided with two studs 113, and the two opposite recesses 112 are provided with two through holes 114 adapted to pivotally engage with the studs 113. The head segment 17 is provided only at a second end with the recesses 112 and the through holes 114, while the tail segment 18 is provided only at a first end with the lugs 111 and the studs 113. With the above arrangements, the head segment 17, the intermediate segments 19, and the tail segment 18 are sequentially connected to form the curved body of the device 1 of this embodiment for detachably attaching to the flexible section 21 of the adjustable snorkel 20 and thereby converting the snorkel to the fixed snorkel.

[0020] From the above description, it can be found that the device 1 of the present invention is adapted to clamp onto the flexible section of an adjustable snorkel to set the flexible section to selected curvature and working angle, so that the adjustable snorkel is converted into a fixed type of snorkel to eliminate any back pull. Moreover, the device 1 may be freely removed from the flexible section to restore the adjustable snorkel at any time as desired. That is, the device of the present invention enables the adjustable snorkel to combine the advantages and eliminate the disadvantages of the adjustable and the fixed snorkels and is therefore novel and practical for use.