Title:
Remotely positionable and magnetically attachable securement device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved magnetic securing device that incorporates a neodymium magnet, a securing member, and a means of remote placement. The remote placement is intended to be manual and may be accomplished by magnetic or physical mating to a pole used for extending the reach of the person placing the device. The securing member may be a clip, hook, confining passageway, or other. If a securing member is not provided, objects desired to be secured to the remotely hung device could be permanently affixed.



Inventors:
Clement, Joe Raymond (Minnetonka, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/020061
Publication Date:
06/29/2006
Filing Date:
12/23/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/17
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CRANSON JR, JAMES W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Joe Clement (Minnetonka, MN, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A magnetic device comprising: a) a permanent magnet with a flat base and at least one other surface; b) a projecting tab affixed to said other surface; and c) said projecting tab includes a first part of a two part, releasable, cooperative mating system, whereby said first part of said two part, releasable, cooperative mating system may be matingly engaged to another object so that a predetermined movement of said other object will cause movement of said magnetic device.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein: a) said two part, releasable, cooperative mating system is constructed and arranged to provide physical interlocking and physical unlocking.

3. The device of claim 2: a) including a hub structurally independent of said magnetic device; and b) said hub includes a second part of said two part, releasable, cooperative mating system.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein: a) said first part of said two part, releasable, cooperative mating system located on said projecting tab defines an aperture with a predetermined cross section; b) said second part of said two part, releasable, cooperative mating system on said hub includes a projecting finger with a predetermined cross section; c) said predetermined cross section of said hub is similar in outline to said predetermined cross section of said aperture; and d) said predetermined cross section of said projecting finger being slightly smaller in outline than said predetermined cross section of said aperture, whereby said projecting finger may be inserted into said aperture and physical interlocking accomplished.

5. The device of claim 4 wherein: a) said hub includes a cylindrical bore with female threads, whereby a pole with male threads may be screwed into said cylindrical bore with said female threads and a connection made thereby.

6. The device of claim 1 wherein: a) said projecting tab includes a securing member; and b) said magnetic device and said securing member together forming a magnetic securement device, whereby structurally independent objects can be attached to said securing member of said magnetic securement device.

7. The device of claim 6 wherein: a) said securing member is selected from the group consisting of clip, hook, confining passageway, and part of a hook and loop system.

8. The device of claim 6 wherein: a) said securing member includes a partially enclosed channel, whereby structurally independent objects can be inserted into said partially enclosed channel and there be secured.

9. The device of claim 6: a) including a structurally independent decorative light strand comprising a plug, insulated electrical wires, and lights; and b) said structurally independent decorative light strand being securable by said securing member.

10. The device of claim 6 wherein: a) said projecting tab includes an elongated segment with a basal end and a projecting end; b) said basal end located proximal to said permanent magnet; c) said projecting end located a predetermined distance away from said permanent magnet; and d) said securing member located proximal to said projecting end, whereby structurally independent objects can be attached to said securing member and held a predetermined distance away from said permanent magnet.

11. The device of claim 10 wherein: a) said elongated segment is adjustable in length.

12. The device of claim 1 wherein: a) said permanent magnet is a rare earth magnet.

13. The device of claim 12 wherein: a) said permanent magnet is a neodymium magnet.

14. The device of claim 1 wherein: a) said two part, releasable, cooperative mating system is magnetic.

15. The device of claim 14: a) including a hub structurally independent of said magnetic device; b) said hub including a steel plate with an exposed surface; and c) said steel plate is a second part of said two part, releasable, cooperative mating system, whereby movement of said hub causes movement of said permanent magnet when said permanent magnet is magnetically attached to said exposed surface of said steel plate.

16. An elongated magnetic securement device comprising: a) a permanent magnet with a flat base and at least one other surface; b) a projecting tab affixed to said other surface; c) said projecting tab includes an elongated segment with a basal end and a projecting end; d) said basal end located proximal to said permanent magnet; e) said projecting end located a predetermined distance away from said permanent magnet; f) said projecting tab includes a securing member; and g) said securing member located proximal to said projecting end, whereby structurally independent objects can be attached to said securing member and held a predetermined distance away from said permanent magnet.

17. The device of claim 16 wherein: a) said projecting tab includes a first part of a two part, releasable, cooperative mating system, whereby said first part of a said two part, releasable, cooperative mating system may be matingly engaged to an other object so that a predetermined movement of said other object will cause movement of said elongated magnetic securement device.

18. A magnetic device comprising: a) a permanent magnet with a flat base and at least one other surface; and b) said other surface including a first part of a two part, releasable, cooperative mating system, whereby said first part of a two part, releasable, cooperative mating system may be matingly engaged to another object so that a predetermined movement of said other object will cause movement of said magnetic device.

19. A decorative light strand held by a magnetic securement device comprising: a) a permanent magnet with a flat base and at least one other surface; b) a projecting tab affixed to said other surface; c) said projecting tab including a securing member; d) said permanent magnet and said projecting tab together forming said magnetic securement device; e) said decorative light strand comprising a plug, insulated electrical wires and lights; and f) said decorative light strand held by said securing member, whereby said decorative light strand may be magnetically attached to ferric surfaces.

20. The device of claim 19 wherein: a) said projecting tab includes a first part of a two part, releasable, cooperative mating system, whereby said first part of said two part, releasable, cooperative mating system may be matingly engaged to an other object so that a predetermined movement of said other object will cause movement of said magnetic securement device.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of Invention

This invention relates to the field of magnetically supporting objects that are desired to be displayed on a ferric surface.

2. Description of Prior Art

The need to secure objects to vertical or overhead surfaces in everyday life is common. Our walls and ceilings are hung with a host of objects from calendars and clocks to photos and maps. Ferric surfaces exist in many locations in our environs. These include cabinets, inboxes, computer cases, window jambs and a host of other objects. The availability of these ferric surfaces provides the opportunity to magnetically hang objects desired to be displayed on them. This is an opportunity because magnetic securing devices provide many advantages over nails and adhesives that make up the bulk of hangers. Magnets can be easily applied and removed. They are inexpensive and they leave no scar or residue behind. They allow a great flexibility of display and many types and sizes are available today.

When these magnets are placed on ferric surfaces beyond the reach of the installer, ladders or chairs are employed to increase the attainable height. Stability problems often result from such use. Accidents can happen in these situations.

One special display type of display requiring hanging is that of Holiday or decorative lighting. The hanging of decorative light strands on the exterior of homes and businesses is presently accomplished through first securing hooks or wires onto elements of buildings. The decorative light strands are then hung on the hooks and wires. The task is laborious, time consuming, difficult, and even dangerous. The addition of hooks often leaves permanent holes and the hooks may also rust and stain the building. The unsightly hooks or wires are often left on year round due to the difficulty or removing them and replacing them each holiday season.

The attachment of these hooks and wires often takes place during frigid weather and this adds to the discomfort and time required to perform this task. Gloves must often be worn and this causes the job to be prolonged. When the lights are to be suspended from elevated objects such as eaves, trees, or lamp posts an element of risk is added. Ladders are often employed during inclement weather to accomplish the task. Frozen and icy ground conditions add an element of risk to this task.

When lights are hung inside, the job does become easier and less risky. However it is still time consuming and irksome. Tape, hooks and wires are the most common means of attachment but they can all leave residue or marks behind. This job is usually finished with a sigh of relief rather than a feeling of Holiday satisfaction due to its unpleasant nature.

Previous Patents

U.S. Pat. No. 3,275,818 to Campbell on Aug. 26, 1964 describes decorative lighting hung about a window utilizing magnets. However the actual clips which secure the insulated electrical wires are not magnetic. Rather they are of an elastic material that grips a steel channel. Than channel is then mounted to another steel member by magnets. This system is very heavy and complex and requires intensive labor to assemble.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,350,045 to Meyers on Oct. 31, 1967 describes a securing clip that may be held to a vertical surface by a magnet. However the clip must be placed by hand and has no means of remote placement. Also, the bar for holding the sheet materials is elongated and would not be a good securement for linear decorative lighting. The bar does not have an appropriate cross section required to grip the small insulated electrical wires of a decorative lights strand. Thus the strand could shift and become displaced. Also no remote placement structure is described. The potential of including decorative light strands is not foreseen.

SUMMARY

Many objects in our daily lives require hanging. Magnetic attachment is a viable option to perform this function when ferric surfaces are available. Objects needing to be hung on ferric surfaces may be hung within human reach or at remote locations. Since the act of hanging may thus require the securing device to be placed out of reach, a remote system of hanging is very desirous. This invention provides remote hanging potential through both a magnetically affixed extension and a physically interlocked extension. These temporarily attached extensions allow for remote placement. Also included in this invention are securing means integral to the remotely placed magnet so that objects that require hanging can therewith be secured. A prime use of this system would be the hanging of decorative light strands on overhead steel eaves. Also if remote placement is not required, this invention describes a magnetic securing device including a decorative lighting strand.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Accordingly, several objects and advantages of my design follow.

The placing of the magnetic securement device is much quicker and simpler than placing traditional non-magnetic hangers. The magnet is simply placed on the ferric surface and the preferential rare earth neodymium magnet is capable of tenacious adhesion. Traditional hangers often require drilling, screwing, or tying to accomplish the task. No tools are needed to attach the magnetic securement device. Traditional hangers may require drills, screwdrivers, scissors or other tools. These tools are often difficult to operate in winter weather when glove wearing becomes necessary.

The remote hanging of the magnetic securement device for a decorative light strand is safer than placing the traditional eave hanger because the use of a ladder is eliminated. Through the use of the attachable extension pole the magnetic securing device may raised into position. The drilling for hooks or winding of wires requires more time and more complex work sequences. These expanded work efforts require work on a ladder and expose the installer to greater danger.

The magnetic securement device can be removed simply and quickly by just pulling it away from the attachment surface. They will leave no disfiguring marks requiring repair or painting. The magnet may be coated with an epoxy or plastic to keep the metal surface of the magnet from scratching the attachment surface. The placing of conventional hooks leaves permanent holes when the hooks are removed. Wiring must be cut down or left on until the next year. These traditional hangers must be directly removed by hand and thus may require reuse of a ladder. Hangers applied with adhesives can remove paint when withdrawn and may also leave behind a sticky residue.

Still further objects and advantages of the magnetic securement device disclosed herein will become apparent from consideration of the following figures and descriptions.

DRAWING DESCRIPTIONS

FIG. 1: Front Elevation of Main Embodiment

FIG. 2: Front Elevation of Second Embodiment

FIG. 3: Front Elevation of Third Embodiment

FIG. 4: Front Elevation of Fourth Embodiment

FIG. 5: Front Elevation of Fifth Embodiment

DESCRIPTIONS: FIGS. 1-5

FIG. 1 illustrates a front elevation of the main embodiment. A magnetic securement device 8 includes a projecting tab 12 and a permanent magnet 10. Permanent magnet 10 includes a flat base 11. Included in the projecting tab 12 is an aperture 14 of a predetermined cross section. Also included in projecting tab 12 is clip 16 and a partially enclosed channel 18. The clip 16 has a point of discontinuity 17 with the projecting tab 12. A second device is hub 20. The hub 20 includes a projecting finger 22. Hub 20 also includes a cylindrical bore 26 with female threads 27. A third device is a pole 28 with male threads 29. A fourth device is a complete decorative light strand 30 with light 31, insulated electrical wires 32, and plug 34.

FIG. 2 illustrates a front elevation of the second embodiment. A magnetic securement device 60 includes a permanent magnet 10 with a flat base 11. A projecting tab 54 includes an aperture 14 of a predetermined cross section, an elongated segment 58, a basal end 61, a projecting end 62, and a securing member 64. A second device is hub 20 that includes a projecting finger 22 of a predetermined cross section. Hub 20 also includes a cylindrical bore 26 with female threads 27. A third device is a pole 28 with male threads 29.

FIG. 3 illustrates a front elevation of the third embodiment. A permanent magnet 40 includes a flat base 11 and a recess 42 with a predetermined cross section. A second device is hub 20. The hub 20 includes a projecting finger 22 of a predetermined cross section. Hub 20 also includes a cylindrical bore 26 with female threads 27. A third device is a pole 28 with male threads 29.

FIG. 4 illustrates a front elevation of the fourth embodiment. A magnetic securement device 88 includes a projecting tab 90 and a clip 89 affixed to permanent magnet 10 with flat base 11 and flat top 87. A second device is hub 80. The hub 80 includes two projecting fingers 82 and 84. Finger 82 has a thin steel plate 83 with exposed surface 81. Finger 84 has a permanent magnet 86. Hub 80 also includes a cylindrical bore 26 with female threads 27. A third device is a pole 28 with male threads 29.

FIG. 5 illustrates a front elevation of the fifth embodiment. A magnetic securement device 70 has a permanent magnet 10 with a flat base 11. A projecting tab 71 includes a securing member 72. Also included are insulated electrical wires 74.

Operation

Main Embodiment. The insulated electrical wires 32 of the decorative light strand 30 can be inserted into the partially enclosed channel 18 of clip 16 through the point of discontinuity 17 and there secured. Pole 28 has male threads 29 that can be screwed into female threads 27 in cylindrical bore 26 of hub 20. Pole 28 can thus be temporarily fixed to hub 20. The projecting finger 22 of the hub 20 can be inserted into aperture 14 of projecting tab 12 that is a part of the magnetic securing device 8. The projecting finger 22 has a cross section slightly smaller yet similar in outline to the aperture 14 into which it can be inserted. This insertion, longitudinal to the projecting finger 22, provides a connection that can be used to raise or lower the magnetic securing device 8 by applying transverse or lifting pressure to the projecting finger 22. Thus the pole 28, hub 20, and magnetic securing device 8 can all be temporarily connected. The magnetic securing device 8 can then be raised to a ferric surface at a remote location. It can there be magnetically attached through contact with the flat base 11 of permanent magnet 10. The hub 20 can then be detached from the magnetic securing device 8 by sliding the projecting finger 22 out of the aperture 14 with a reversed, longitudinal movement. Thus the decorative light strand 30 with light 31 and plug 34 can be remotely secured to a ferric surface. By placing several magnetic securing devices 8 along the length of a decorative light strand 30, an entire decorative light strand 30 can be hung.

Second Embodiment. Pole 28 has male threads 29 that can be screwed into female threads 27 in cylindrical bore 26 of hub 20. The pole 28 can thus be temporarily fixed to hub 20. The projecting finger 22 of the hub 20 can be inserted into aperture 14 of projecting tab 54 that is a part of the magnetic securing device 60. The projecting finger 22 has a cross section slightly smaller yet similar in outline to the aperture 14 into which it can be inserted. This insertion, longitudinal to the projecting finger 22, provides a connection that can be used to raise or lower the magnetic securing device 60 by applying transverse or lifting pressure to the projecting finger 22. Thus the pole 28, hub 20, and magnetic securing device 60 can all be temporarily connected. The magnetic securing device 60 can then be raised to a ferric surface at a remote location and there be magnetically attached through contact with the flat base 11 of permanent magnet 10. The hub 20 can then be detached from the magnetic securing device 60 by sliding the projecting finger 22 out of the aperture 14 with a reversed, longitudinal movement. The elongated segment 58 separates the basal end 61 of the projecting tab 54 from the projecting end 62. An element desired to be hung can then be attached to the securing member 64 and be held away from the permanent magnet 10. If the permanent magnet 10 is attached to a steel ceiling rib, the securing member 64 will hang down from the ceiling into a position that a person standing on the ground could reach if the elongated segment 58 is of a length designed to accomplish this. The elongated segment 58 could incorporate length adjustability to aid this requirement when differing ceiling heights are encountered. The elongated segment 58 could be constructed of two parts to allow for adjustability. For instance, an inner rod and an outer sleeve could function together so that the outer sleeve could slide over the inner rod. Or the elongated member 58 could include a cord and a squeezing member holding the securing member 64 with the squeezing member capable of sliding up and down the cord.

Third Embodiment. Pole 28 has male threads 29 that can be screwed into female threads 27 in cylindrical bore 26 of hub 20. The pole 28 can thus be temporarily fixed to hub 20. The projecting finger 22 has a cross section slightly smaller yet similar in outline to the recess 42 into which it can be inserted. This insertion, longitudinal to the projecting finger 22, provides a connection that can be used to raise or lower the permanent magnet 40 by applying transverse or lifting pressure to the projecting finger 22. Thus the pole 28, hub 20, and permanent magnet 40 can all be temporarily connected. The permanent magnet 40 can then be raised to a ferric surface at a remote location and there be magnetically attached by contact with the flat base 11. The hub 20 then can be detached from the permanent magnet 40 by sliding the projecting finger 22 out of the recess 42 with a reversed, longitudinal movement. The permanent magnet 40 can take the shape or a decoration such as a star and thus its hanging will fulfill a decorative objective. Alternately, a plastic decoration could be affixed to the magnet and thereby be hung.

Fourth Embodiment. Pole 28 has male threads 29 that can be screwed into female threads 27 in cylindrical bore 26 of hub 80. The pole 28 can thus be temporarily fixed to hub 80. The thin steel plate 83 attached to projecting finger 82 of hub 80 can be magnetically attached to flat top 87 of permanent magnet 10 through contact with exposed surface 81. Likewise, the permanent magnet 86 attached to projecting finger 84 of hub 80 can be magnetically attached to permanent magnet 10. The thin steel plate 83 is of a light enough design so that is has less magnetic attraction to permanent magnet 10 than to either permanent magnet 86 or the average heavy ferric surface. The thin steel plate 83 has enough magnetic attraction to permanent magnet 10 to support the magnetic securement device 88 while it is being placed. Once the magnetic securement device 88 is attached to a heavy ferric object, the thin steel plate 83 can be removed and the magnetic securement device 88 left behind. Conversely when the permanent magnet 86 is attached to flat top 87 of permanent magnet 10 and permanent magnet 86 is lifted away, permanent magnet 10 will stay attached to permanent magnet 86 and leave the heavy ferric surface behind. This result is achieved because the attraction of two magnets is greater than the attraction of a single magnet and a heavy ferric surface which in turn is greater in attraction than a single magnet and a thin ferric surface. Thus the magnetic securement device 88 can be placed on a heavy ferric surface with thin steel plate 83 and removed with permanent magnet 86. The two permanent magnets 10 and 86 must have their poles aligned for proper functioning.

Fifth Embodiment. Projecting tab 70 includes securing member 72 that secures insulated electrical wires 74. Projecting tab 70 is affixed to permanent magnet 10 with flat base 11. Flat base 11 of permanent magnet 10 can be magnetically attached to a ferric surface and thus secure the insulated electrical wires 74 proximal to ferric surface. The insulated electrical wires 74 are preferentially part of a complete decorative light strand.

CONCLUSION, RAMIFICATIONS AND SCOPE OF INVENTION

From the above descriptions, it is evident that the invention detailed herein improves upon the current art of object securement to ferric surfaces. The described ability to place desired objects in remote locations will reduce the work required and improve safety during this task. The act of hanging decorative light strands on steel eaves troughs will especially be improved.

Many minor variations to the above noted invention are possible. The permanent magnet could have a hollow foam sleeve fitted so that the sleeve would hang beyond the plane of the flat base of the magnet so that if it fell on an installer the foam would reduce the impact. The foam would be pressed back when the flat base draws itself to the ferric surface. The aperture for receiving the finger of the hub could be flared and colored to aid insertion. The device could include several apertures or rotationally adjustability to accommodate different angles of insertion. The securing member could also be rotationally adjustable to allow the article being displayed to be held at different angles to the permanent magnet.

Also, the magnetic securing device could be weighted so that they would preferentially hang in a certain manner during the installation process. The projecting tab could include sail like protrusions that would slow the device down if it is dropped from a height. The channel in the clip could be sized to securely grip an average wire of a light strand which is about nine hundredths of an inch. The securing member could have a rotating ability that would allow it to face any direction desired so that any opening the securing member might have would face upward or other advantageous direction.

These and many other permutations are possible. Therefore the scope of this invention should not be construed to be limited to the few example described herein, but by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.