Title:
EQUIPMENT TOWER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An equipment tower includes a base having a base support, a pivot support pivotally connected to the base support at a fulcrum point and equipment mounted on the pivot support. A detachable winch is releasably securable to the equipment tower, the winch having a cable that is attachable to the pivot support. The equipment tower is operable by pivoting movement of the pivot support between a maintenance configuration, in which the equipment is lowered, and the erected configuration, in which the equipment is elevated. When the winch is secured to the base and the cable is attached to the pivot support, operation of the winch controls the pivoting movement of the pivot support.



Inventors:
Van Wyk, Jonathan (Granville, AU)
Application Number:
14/843111
Publication Date:
03/03/2016
Filing Date:
09/02/2015
Assignee:
ATF SERVICES PTY LTD
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H12/18; E04H12/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MICHENER, JOSHUA J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CARTER, DELUCA & FARRELL LLP (576 BROAD HOLLOW ROAD, MELVILLE, NY, 11747, US)
Claims:
1. An equipment tower operable between an erected configuration and a maintenance configuration, the equipment tower comprising: a base having a base support; a pivot support pivotally connected to the base support at a fulcrum point; equipment mounted on the pivot support; and a winch mounting for releasably securing a detachable winch to the equipment tower, the winch having a cable that is attachable to the pivot support; wherein the equipment tower is operable by pivoting movement of the pivot support between the maintenance configuration, in which the equipment is lowered, and the erected configuration, in which the equipment is elevated; and wherein, when the winch is secured to the winch mounting and the cable is attached to the pivot support, operation of the winch controls the pivoting movement of the pivot support.

2. The equipment tower of claim 1 wherein: the base support comprises a generally upright elongate member having a proximal end fixed to the base and a distal end; and the pivot support comprises an elongate member having a proximal end adapted to be attached to the cable and a distal end, wherein the fulcrum point is between the proximal end and the distal end of the pivot support and, on the base support, the fulcrum point is located at the distal end of the base support.

3. The equipment tower of claim 1 wherein the equipment is supported on an equipment support that is slidably mounted to the pivot support so as to be slidable relative to the pivot support.

4. The equipment tower of claim 3 wherein the equipment support is telescopically mounted to the pivot support.

5. The equipment tower of claim 3 wherein the equipment support is selectively securable to the pivot support in a plurality of different positions during sliding movement relative to the pivot support.

6. The equipment tower of claim 3 wherein the base support, the pivot support and the equipment support are coaxially aligned in the erected configuration.

7. The equipment tower of claim 1 further comprising an aperture in the base support that allows the cable of the winch to pass through the base support to attach to the pivot support.

8. The equipment tower of claim 1 wherein during operation between the erected configuration and the maintenance configuration, the pivot support pivots relative to the base support through an angle of greater than 90°.

9. The equipment tower of claim 1 further comprising a stop flange provided on the base support, the stop flange adapted to abut the pivot support and limit the pivoting movement of the pivot support in the maintenance configuration.

10. The equipment tower of claim 1 wherein the pivot support is releasably securable to the base support in the erected configuration to prevent pivoting movement of the pivot support.

11. The equipment tower of claim 1 wherein the equipment includes at least one solar panel.

12. The equipment tower of claim 11 wherein the at least one solar panel is pivotably mounted to the equipment support.

13. The equipment tower of claim 1 wherein the equipment includes at least one light.

14. The equipment tower of claim 1 wherein the equipment includes at least one camera.

15. The equipment tower of claim 1 wherein the base includes at least one battery and an electrical conduit is provided through the base from the battery to an interior of the base support.

16. The equipment tower of claim 1 wherein the equipment includes at least one battery for powering other items of equipment on the equipment support.

17. An equipment tower according to claim 1 and a detachable winch, the detachable winch being mounted on the winch mounting of the equipment tower.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to Australian Provisional Patent Application No. 2014903516, entitled “Equipment tower” and filed on 3 Sep. 2014, the entire content of which is incorporated as if fully set forth herein.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to an equipment tower for mounting equipment such as a solar panel, camera or light at an elevated height.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Construction, industrial or mining worksites often require the installation of temporary lighting and/or surveillance equipment at an elevated height. Temporary or movable lighting and/or surveillance is also required in many other remote or isolated applications.

As work progresses or finishes, the equipment may need to be relocated to follow the work location or be removed altogether. Mobile towers mounted on a wheel base or tripod are commonly provided for temporary installations. Such installations are typically complex constructions that are expensive to manufacture, transport and assemble.

Maintenance may also need to be carried out on the equipment during its deployment. Towers that allow the equipment to be lowered for maintenance typically have complex and expensive built-in mechanisms for raising and lowering the equipment. This results in the towers being expensive to manufacture and also means that the equipment on the tower can be lowered and tampered with on site by unauthorised users.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to substantially overcome or at least ameliorate one or more of the above disadvantages, or to provide a useful alternative.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a first aspect, the present invention provides an equipment tower operable between an erected configuration and a maintenance configuration, the equipment tower comprising:

a base having a base support;

a pivot support pivotally connected to the base support at a fulcrum point;

equipment mounted on the pivot support; and

a winch mounting for releasably securing a detachable winch to the equipment tower, the winch having a cable that is attachable to the pivot support;

wherein the equipment tower is operable by pivoting movement of the pivot support between the maintenance configuration, in which the equipment is lowered, and the erected configuration, in which the equipment is elevated; and

wherein, when the winch is secured to the winch mounting and the cable is attached to the pivot support, operation of the winch controls the pivoting movement of the pivot support.

Preferably, the base support comprises a generally upright elongate member having a proximal end fixed to the base and a distal end and the pivot support comprises an elongate member having a proximal end adapted to be attached to the cable and a distal end, wherein the fulcrum point is between the proximal end and the distal end of the pivot support and, on the base support, the fulcrum point is located at the distal end of the base support.

Optionally, the equipment is supported on an equipment support that is slidably mounted to the pivot support so as to be slidable relative to the pivot support. Further optionally, the equipment support is telescopically mounted to the pivot support.

Preferably, the equipment support is selectively securable to the pivot support in a plurality of different positions during sliding movement relative to the pivot support.

In a preferred embodiment, the base support, the pivot support and the equipment support are coaxially aligned in the erected configuration.

The equipment tower preferably further comprises an aperture in the base support that allows the cable of the winch to pass through the base support to attach to the pivot support.

In a preferred embodiment, during operation between the erected configuration and the maintenance configuration, the pivot support pivots relative to the base support through an angle of greater than 90°.

The equipment tower preferably further comprises a stop flange provided on the base support, the stop flange adapted to abut the pivot support and limit the pivoting movement of the pivot support in the maintenance configuration.

Preferably, the pivot support is releasably securable to the base support in the erected configuration to prevent pivoting movement of the pivot support.

Preferably, the equipment includes at least one solar panel. Further preferably, the at least one solar panel is pivotably mounted to the equipment support.

The equipment may also include at least one light and/or at least one camera.

In one optional arrangement, the base includes at least one battery and an electrical conduit is provided through the base from the battery to an interior of the base support.

Alternatively, the equipment includes at least one battery for powering other items of equipment on the equipment support.

In a second aspect, the present invention provides the equipment tower of the first aspect and a detachable winch mounted on the winch mounting of the equipment tower.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A preferred embodiment of the invention will now be described by way of specific example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of an equipment tower in an erected configuration;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the equipment tower of FIG. 1 in a maintenance configuration;

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of an alternative embodiment of an equipment tower moving between an erected and a maintenance configuration;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the base of the equipment tower of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view perpendicular to FIG. 4 of the base of the equipment tower of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a detail view from the cross-sectional view of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional plan view of a base support of the equipment tower of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

An equipment tower 10 is depicted in FIG. 1 in an erected configuration. The equipment tower 10 has a base 12 having a base support 14, a pivot support 16 and an equipment support 18 supporting equipment components 20 in the form of a solar panel 22, a camera 24 and a light 26.

The base 12, shown in further detail in FIGS. 4 to 7, is a concrete block 28 supporting the base support 14 that includes battery seats 30 for supporting batteries 32 on the base 12 that are provided for powering the equipment components 20. The base 12 includes a conduit 34 through the concrete block 28 to accommodate electrical wires extending from the battery seats 30 to the base support 14 for coupling to the equipment components 20.

The base support 14 is secured to the base 12 at a proximal end 40 in an upright orientation relative to the base 12 by way of embedded bolts 36 in the base 12. The base support 14 is an elongate member that extends upwardly from the proximal end 40 of the base support 14 to a distal end 42 of the base support 14. The base support 14 is typically a generally square post having a C-section profile, as depicted in FIG. 7. A lockable door 63 is provided at the proximal end 40 of the base support 14 to obscure and protect any cabling passing from the base 12 into the base support 14 and to lock the pivot support 16 in the erected configuration shown in FIG. 1.

The pivot support 16 is an elongate member that is pivotally connected to the base support 14 at a fulcrum point 44 located between a proximal end 46 of the pivot support 16 and a distal end 48 of the pivot support 16. On the base support 14, the fulcrum point 44 is located at the distal end 42 of the base support 14.

The equipment components 20 are mounted, by way of the equipment support 18, to the pivot support 16 at the distal end 48 of the pivot support 16. The equipment support 18 is slidably mounted to the pivot support 16 for slidable movement relative to the pivot support 16. An end of the equipment support 18 is telescopically received in the distal end 48 of the pivot support 16 and secured in place by bolts 50. The pivot support 16 and the equipment support 18 preferably have a hollow square sectional profile, allowing the equipment support 18 to be mounted to the pivot support 16 in any of four perpendicular axial orientations. The equipment support 18 may also have multiple longitudinal positioning options allowing it to be selectively located and secured in a number of different longitudinal locations as it slides telescopically within the pivot support 16. This allows the equipment support 18 to be selectively securable to the pivot support 16 in a plurality of different positions during sliding movement relative to the pivot support 16.

The solar panel 22 is mounted on the equipment support 18 and is pivotally mounted to the equipment support 18 so as to be pivotally adjustable to vary its operational angle of inclination. The camera 24 and light 26 are also mounted on the equipment support 18. The equipment tower 10 may be provided with one or more of, or all of, the solar panel 22, camera 24, light 26 and/or other equipment, such as battery packs, as is required for the particular application. In other embodiments, multiple solar panels 22, cameras 24 and/or lights 26 may be installed on the equipment support 18.

A detachable winch 52 having a retractable cable 54 is provided for mounting on the equipment tower 10 via a winch mounting 56, typically a pair of transversely projecting lugs, on the base support 14. The winch 52 is releasably securable to the equipment tower 10, typically by being bolted to the winch mounting 56 on the base support 14. The cable 54 is attachable to the pivot support 16. A longitudinal aperture 55, or apertures, in the base support 14 is provided to allow the cable 54 to pass through the base support 14 and to be detachably connected to a cable lug 58 on the proximal end 46 of the pivot support 16. When the winch 52 is secured to the equipment tower 10 and the cable 54 is attached to the pivot support 16, operation of the winch 52 controls the pivoting movement of the pivot support 16.

One or more locking lugs 60 are provided on the pivot support 16, which project through the aperture 55, or individual corresponding apertures, in the base support 14 in the erected configuration and are adapted to receive a padlock to releasably secure the pivot support 16 to the base support 14 in the erected configuration to prevent the pivoting movement of the pivot support 16.

A stop flange 62 is provided at the distal end 42 of the base support 14 to limit the pivotal movement of the pivot support 16 in the maintenance configuration.

A security bracket 64 is attached to the equipment support 18 to deter animals and people from climbing the equipment tower 10.

In order to lower the equipment components 20 for installation or maintenance, the equipment tower 10 is operable, by pivoting the pivot support 16 relative to the base support 14, between an erected configuration, shown in FIG. 1 in which the equipment components 20 are elevated, and a maintenance configuration, shown in FIG. 2 in which the equipment components 20 are lowered.

Firstly, the lockable door 63 is unlocked and opened, as shown in FIG. 2, and the padlock is removed from the locking lugs 60. Releasing the cable 54 then allows the proximal end 46 of the pivot support 16 to pivot upwardly away from the base support 14, thereby lowering the distal end 48 of the pivot support 16 and the equipment support 18 towards the maintenance configuration. Winding on the cable 54 draws the proximal end 46 of the pivot support 16 downwardly towards the base support 14, thereby raising the distal end 48 of the pivot support 16 and the equipment support 18 and drawing the equipment tower 10 towards the erected configuration.

This range of motion is depicted in the schematic diagram of an alternative embodiment of the equipment tower 10 shown in FIG. 3. The pivot support 16 pivots relative to the base support through an angle greater than 90° and typically through an angle of about 120°. As depicted in this embodiment, a battery or battery pack 70 may be included in the equipment 20 mounted to the equipment support 18. This does away with the need for battery seats, conduits or cabling to be provided in the base 12 and pivot support 16. Also as depicted in this embodiment, the equipment tower 10 may be designed for the winch 52 to attach onto the base support 14 below the cable lug 58 in the erected configuration.

As an alternative to, or in addition to, the locking lugs 60, coaxial bolt holes 65 may be provided through the base support 14 and pivot support 16 for receiving a locking bolt to lock the pivot support 16 to the base support 14 in the erected configuration and prevent the pivoting movement of the pivot support 16. The locking bolt needs to be removed from the bolt holes 65 before operating the tower 10 from the erected configuration to the maintenance configuration.

In the maintenance configuration shown in FIG. 2, the pivot support 16 rests on the stop flange 62 and the equipment tower 10 is accessible at ground level, allowing equipment components 20 to be replaced or repaired or allowing the equipment support 18 to be disassembled from the pivot support 16 and replaced with a replacement equipment support and associated equipment.

FIGS. 4 to 7 are different cross-sectional views of the base 12 and show in greater detail certain features of the base 12. The conduit 34, which is formed in the concrete block 28, extends between both battery seats 30 and the base support 14. The conduit 34 allows power cables to run from the batteries 32 through the concrete block 28 and into the base support 14. As depicted in FIG. 6, the batteries 32 may be provided in battery boxes 33. The embedded bolts 35 are provided to secure the base support 14 to the base 12.

As depicted in FIG. 5, two rectangular hollow section (RHS) beams 66 are secured to the bottom of the concrete block 28 in recesses to allow the base 12 to be lifted and relocated using a forklift. Further, lifting lugs 68 are embedded in the concrete block 28 to allow the base 12 to be lifted and relocated using a crane.

The equipment tower 10 described herein is simple and inexpensive to manufacture, transport and assemble. Each of the main components, being the base 12, the base support 14, the pivot support 16, the equipment support 18, the equipment components 20 and the detachable winch 52 can be manufactured individually and provided in a modular fashion. The equipment tower 10 can be easily transported in a disassembled state and assembled on site easily and quickly. This modular construction arrangement allows the equipment tower 10 to be manufactured, transported and installed inexpensively. It also allows components of the equipment tower 10 to be easily replaced if damaged.

By providing a detachable winch 52, which is only required during installation or maintenance of the equipment tower 10, manufacturing costs are saved. Removing the winch from the equipment tower 10 also prevents unauthorised personnel from lowering the equipment tower 10 and tampering with the equipment 20. Instead, the equipment tower provider is required to conduct any maintenance on the equipment tower 10.

Although the invention has been described with reference to specific examples, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the invention may be embodied in many other forms.