Title:
Telecommunications pole, which is wrapped with detachable camouflage, and related method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A telecommunications pole is wrapped along substantially its entire length with fabric, polymeric film, or weather-resistant paper, which displays camouflage, such as camouflage simulating bark or camouflage simulating foliage, and which is attached detachably to the pole. The fabric, film, or paper is wrapped around the pole in separate pieces, one above another along the pole, or a single piece. Each piece is attached detachably to itself via a releasable fastener or releasable fasteners, preferably a hook-and-loop fastener and alternatively a series of snap fasteners, or a zipper. Each piece may be suspended from the pole before being attached detachably to itself.



Inventors:
Ward, Horace (Birmingham, AL, US)
Application Number:
10/434549
Publication Date:
11/25/2004
Filing Date:
05/09/2003
Assignee:
ROHN Industries, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41G1/00; H01Q1/12; H01Q1/44; (IPC1-7): E04H12/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WOOD, KIMBERLY T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOOD, PHILLIPS, KATZ, CLARK & MORTIMER (500 W. MADISON STREET, CHICAGO, IL, 60661, US)
Claims:
1. A telecommunications pole, which is wrapped along substantially its entire length with fabric, polymeric film, or weather-resistant paper, which fabric, film, or paper displays camouflage.

2. The telecommunications pole of claim 1, wherein the fabric, film, or paper is attached detachably to the pole.

3. The telecommunications pole of claim 2, wherein the fabric, film, or paper is wrapped around the pole in separate pieces, one above another along the pole.

4. The telecommunications pole of claim 3, wherein each piece comprises a strip of the fabric, film, or paper, which strip is attached detachably to itself.

5. The telecommunications pole of claim 3, wherein each piece comprises a strip of the fabric, film, or paper, which strip is attached detachably to itself via a releasable fastener or releasable fasteners.

6. The telecommunications pole of claim 3, wherein each piece comprises a strip of the fabric, film, or paper, which strip is attached detachably to itself via a hook-and-loop fastener, snap fasteners, or a zipper.

7. The telecommunications pole of claim 2, wherein the fabric, film, or paper is wrapped around the pole in a single piece.

8. The telecommunications pole of claim 7, wherein the single piece is attached detachably to itself.

9. The telecommunications pole of claim 7, wherein the single piece is attached detachably to itself via a releasable fastener or releasable fasteners.

10. The telecommunications pole of claim 7, wherein the single piece is attached detachably to itself via hook-and-loop fastener, snap fasteners, or a zipper.

11. The telecommunications pole of any one of claims 1 through 10, wherein each piece of the fabric, film, or paper is suspended from the pole.

12. A method of disguising the appearance of a telecommunications pole, which method comprises wrapping the pole along substantially its entire length with fabric, polymeric film, or weather-resistant paper, which fabric, film, or paper displays camouflage.

13. The method of claim 12, which method comprises wrapping the pole so that the fabric, film, or paper is attached detachably to the pole.

14. The method of claim 13, which method comprises wrapping the fabric, film, or paper around the pole in separate pieces, one above another along the pole.

15. The method of claim 14, which method attaching each piece detachably to itself.

16. The method of claim 14, which method comprises attaching each piece detachably to itself via a releasable fastener or releasable fasteners.

17. The method of claim 14, which method comprises attaching each piece detachably to itself via a hook-and-loop fastener, snap fasteners, or a zipper.

18. The method of claim 13, which method comprises wrapping the fabric, film, or paper around the pole in a single piece.

19. The method of claim 18, which method comprises attaching the single piece detachably to itself.

20. The method of claim 18, which method comprises attaching the single piece detachably to itself via a releasable fastener or releasable fasteners.

21. The method of claim 18, which method comprises attaching the single piece detachably to itself via a hook-and-loop fastener, snap fasteners, or a zipper.

22. The method of any one of claims 12 through 21, which method comprises suspending the fabric, film, or paper from the pole.

23. The method of any one of claims 19, 26, and 21, which method comprises suspending the single piece from the pole before attaching the single piece detachably to itself.

24. The method of claim 23, which method comprises suspending the single piece via hooks, which are mounted to the pole.

25. The method of claim 23, which method comprises forming an upper portion of the single piece into a cap, which fits over the pole so as to suspend the single piece from the pole.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention pertains to a telecommunications pole and contemplates that the pole is wrapped with detachably attached fabric, polymeric film, or weather resistant paper displaying camouflage, which may simulate bark or foliage.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Commonly, as available commercially from ROHN Industries, Inc. of Peoria, Ill., and from other sources, telecommunications poles made from galvanized or painted steel are used to support telecommunications antennas. Telecommunications poles made from or covered with other materials, such as fiberglass or concrete, also are known. Outer walls of telecommunications poles may be tapered or cylindrical and, in cross-section, may be circular, polygonal, or polygonal with rounded corners.

[0003] In some rural, suburban, and urban locales, it is desirable and may be even mandated to disguise telecommunications poles. In the telecommunications industry, the term “stealth pole” has been coined to refer to a telecommunications pole that has been disguised.

[0004] Heretofore, as exemplified in U.S. Pat. No. 5,611,176, No. 5,789,649, No. 6,122,866, and No. 6,434,889, it has been known to disguise telecommunications poles as artificial trees, such as palm trees or pine trees, by wrapping or encasing such poles with various materials, which simulate tree trunks but which are difficult to attach to such poles and which cannot be easily detached, as for later painting of such poles or other maintenance. As practiced heretofore, it can be very expensive to disguise a telecommunications pole as an artificial tree, not only when the pole is disguised initially but also when later painting of the pole, antenna reconfiguration, or other maintenance is undertaken.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] This invention provides a telecommunications pole, which is wrapped along substantially its entire length with fabric, polymeric film, or weather-resistant paper. The fabric, film, or paper displays camouflage, such as camouflage simulating bark or camouflage simulating foliage, and is attached detachably to the pole.

[0006] This invention also provides a related method of wrapping a telecommunications pole. The related method comprises a step of wrapping the pole along substantially its entire length with fabric, polymeric film, or weather-resistant paper, which fabric, film, or paper displays camouflage, such as camouflage simulating bark or camouflage simulating foliage, so that the fabric, film, or paper is attached detachably to the pole. In a preferred mode for carrying out this invention, the pole is wrapped and the fabric, film, or paper is attached after the pole has been erected.

[0007] In connection with the pole provided by this invention and in connection with the method provided by this invention, the fabric, film, or paper may be thus wrapped in a series of separate pieces, one piece above another along the pole. Each piece may be thus formed by attaching a strip of the fabric, film, or paper detachably to itself via a releasable fastener or releasable fasteners, such as a hook-and-loop fastener, a series of snap fasteners, or a zipper. A hook-and-loop fastener is preferred.

[0008] Alternatively, the pole may be wrapped with the fabric, film, or paper in a single piece, which may be detachably detached to itself. Any of the releasable fasteners discussed herein may be used to attach the single piece detachably to itself. A hook-and-loop fastener is preferred.

[0009] Whether a series of separate pieces or a single piece is used, each piece may be suspended from the pole, preferably before said piece is attached detachably to itself. Hooks may be used to suspend each piece. Alternatively, if a single piece is used, the single piece may be closed at its upper end so as to form a cap, which fits over the pole.

[0010] Advantageously, this invention not only enables the enables the fabric, film, or paper to be readily mounted to the pole, before or after the pole has been erected, but also enables the fabric, film, or paper to be readily removed from the pole, as for pole painting, antenna reconfiguration, or other maintenance.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a telecommunications pole, which is wrapped along substantially its entire length with separate pieces of fabric displaying camouflage, one piece above another, as contemplated by this invention. FIG. 1 illustrates, in broken lines, two antennas supported by the pole.

[0012] FIG. 2, on a larger scale, is a fragmentary detail illustrating how two strips of such fabric are attached detachably to themselves, via hook-and-loop fasteners, to form such pieces wrapping the pole, as contemplated by a preferred embodiment of this invention.

[0013] FIG. 3, on a similar scale, is a fragmentary detail illustrating how a strip of such fabric is attached detachably to itself, via snap fasteners. FIG. 4, on a similar scale, is a fragmentary detail illustrating how a strip of such fabric is attached detachably to itself, via a mechanical zipper.

[0014] FIG. 5, on an intermediate scale, is a fragmentary detail illustrating that, if a polymeric film is used to wrap the pole, the polymeric film may be transparent except for a foreground simulation of camouflage simulating foliage.

[0015] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a telecommunications pole, which is similar to the telecommunications pole of FIG. 1, except that a single piece of fabric displaying camouflage is suspended from the pole and wraps the pole.

[0016] FIG. 7, on a larger scale, is a fragmentary detail illustrating how the single piece is suspended from an upper portion of the pole via hooks, which are welded to the pole and which pass through eyelets defining and reinforcing margins of holes in an upper portion of the single piece.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS

[0017] In one contemplated embodiment, which is illustrated in FIG. 1, a telecommunications pole 10 supporting telecommunications antennas is made of tubular steel having an outer surface 12, which is circular in cross-section and which tapers upwardly and inwardly from a lower end 14 of the pole 10 to an upper end 16 of the pole 10. As contemplated by this invention, the pole 10 is wrapped with ten separate pieces 20 of a flexible material displaying camouflage, such as camouflage simulating foliage or simulating bark, one piece 20 above another, along substantially the entire length of the pole 10, between the lower end 14 and the upper end 16.

[0018] Preferably, as illustrated, the flexible material is a woven fabric of a type used to make hunters' garments. Alternatively, the flexible material is a polymeric film, such as a polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride film, or a sheet of weather-resistant paper. In one contemplated embodiment, in which a polymeric film is used for the flexible material, the polymeric film displays a background color and a foreground simulation of foliage. In an alternative embodiment, which is illustrated in FIG. 5, a polymeric film is used for the flexible material of each piece 20, the pole 10 is painted with a background color, and the polymeric film is transparent except for a foreground simulation of foliage.

[0019] Each piece 20 is formed by attaching a strip 22 of the fabric detachably to itself, after wrapping the strip 22 around the pole 10, via a releasable fastener or releasable fasteners. Preferably, as illustrated in FIG. 2, one releasable fastener is used, namely, a hook-and-loop fastener 32 comprising a hook-faced tape 34 sewn to the strip 22, near a given end 24 of the strip 22, and comprising a loop-faced strip 36 sewn to the strip 22, near an opposite end 26 of the strip 22. Alternatively, other releasable fasteners are used, such as snap fasteners 42, as illustrated in FIG. 3, or a mechanical zipper 48, as illustrated in FIG. 4. Other releasable fasteners, not illustrated, may be alternatively used.

[0020] Because the pole 10 tapers upwardly and inwardly, the strip 22 to form each piece 20 can be loosely wrapped around the pole 10 and can be thereupon attached to itself, as described in the preceding paragraph, in a region above where said piece 20 is intended to repose and to be tightly wrapped around the pole 10, whereupon said piece 20 can be thereupon pulled downwardly to the region where said piece 20 is intended to repose and to be tightly wrapped around the pole 10.

[0021] Advantageously, each piece 20 can be readily mounted to the pole 10. Additionally, each piece 20 can be readily removed from the pole 10, as for pole painting, antenna reconfiguration, or other maintenance, and can be readily replaced.

[0022] In an alternative embodiment, which is illustrated in FIG. 5, a telecommunications pole 50, which is similar to the pole 10 except as illustrated and described herein, is wrapped with a single piece 60 of a flexible material displaying camouflage, along substantially the entire length of the pole 50. The flexible material is any one of the flexible materials discussed above. The single piece 60 is attached detachably to itself via any of the releasable fasteners discussed above. A hook-and-loop fastener is preferred.

[0023] As illustrated in FIG. 6, the single piece 60 is suspended from an upper portion of the pole 50, via hooks 52, which are welded, bolted, or fixed otherwise to the upper portion of the pole 50 and which pass through eyelets 62 defining and reinforcing margins of holes in an upper portion of the single piece 60. Advantageously, the hooks 52 bear the weight of the single piece 60, not only while the single piece 60 is being attached detachably to itself but also subsequently.

[0024] Advantageously, the single piece 60 can be readily mounted to the pole 10. Additionally, the single piece 60 can be readily removed from the pole 10, as for pole painting, antenna reconfiguration, or other maintenance, and can be readily replaced.