Title:
Sunshade with socket device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sunshade includes a post, a canopy support mounted on the post, a canopy mounted on the canopy, and a socket device mounted to the post. The post includes at least one slot into which the socket device is mounted. The socket device includes an insulating casing mounted in the slot of the post. The socket device further includes at least one receptacle that is defined in the insulating casing and that is electrically connected to an external power source. Electric appliances such as a radio, a fan, a notebook type computer, a small television, etc can be used outdoors while proceeding with outdoor activities under the sunshade.



Inventors:
Tung, Benson (Kaohsiung, TW)
Application Number:
11/119948
Publication Date:
11/16/2006
Filing Date:
05/02/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/98
International Classes:
E04H15/02; E04H15/28
View Patent Images:
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20090235967Stick and handle componentSeptember, 2009Lerner
20070095373Pocketable folding umbrella as maximally flattenedMay, 2007Lin et al.
20060081276Assembled umbrella shankApril, 2006Tung



Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mayer & Williams, P.C. (Morristown, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sunshade comprising: a post comprising at least one slot; a canopy support mounted on the post; a canopy mounted on the canopy; and a socket device comprising an insulating casing mounted in said at least one slot, the socket device further comprising at least one receptacle that is defined in the insulating casing and that is adapted to be electrically connected to an external power source.

2. The sunshade as claimed in claim 1, wherein said at lease one slot is defined in a lower portion of the post.

3. The sunshade as claimed in claim 1, wherein the insulating casing has a perimeter size corresponding to that of said at least one slot.

4. The sunshade as claimed in claim 1, wherein the socket device further comprises a cover for shielding said at least one receptacle.

5. The sunshade as claimed in claim 4, wherein the cover is removably mounted to said at least one slot.

6. The sunshade as claimed in claim 4, wherein the cover is removably mounted to the insulating casing.

7. The sunshade as claimed in claim 4, wherein the cover is pivotally mounted to a sidewall delimiting said at least one slot.

8. The sunshade as claimed in claim 4, wherein the cover is pivotally mounted to the insulating casing.

9. The sunshade as claimed in claim 1, wherein the number of said at least one receptacle is at least two, said at least two receptacles being electrically connected in series, the socket device further comprising a power line extending from one of said at least two receptacles for electrical connection with the external power source.

10. The sunshade as claimed in claim 1, wherein the sunshade further comprises an illuminating device electrically connected to the socket device.

11. The sunshade as claimed in claim 10, wherein the socket device further comprises a switch for controlling on/off of the illuminating device.

12. The sunshade as claimed in claim 1, wherein the external power source is a solar energy device.

13. The sunshade as claimed in claim 12, wherein the solar energy device is mounted on top of the sunshade.

14. The sunshade as claimed in claim 10, wherein the external power source is a solar energy device.

15. The sunshade as claimed in claim 14, wherein the solar energy device is mounted on top of the sunshade.

16. The sunshade as claimed in claim 11, wherein the external power source is a solar energy device.

17. The sunshade as claimed in claim 16, wherein the solar energy device is mounted on top of the sunshade.

18. The sunshade as claimed in claim 9, wherein the post further comprises a hole through which the power line of the socket device extends.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a sunshade. In particular, the present invention relates to a sunshade with a socket device.

2. Description of the Related Art

A sunshade shields people from sunlight and is thus widely used in outdoor cafes, beaches, rest areas, etc. Conventionally, an illuminating device is mounted on the sunshade for illuminating purposes as well as decoration purposes. U.S. Pat. No. 6,840,657 discloses a sunshade with an illuminating device that has a solar energy receiver for receiving solar energy and providing electricity to the bulbs attached to the sunshade. However, the illuminating device could not provide electricity for other electric appliances such as a radio, a fan, or a small television carried by the user for outdoor activities. These electric appliances must be directly empowered by an external power source (e.g., indoor receptacles) or via an extension cord. Inconvenience occurs when the external power source is far away from the sunshade or the extension cord is too short, or the number of receptacles on the extension cord is insufficient for all of the electric appliances.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A sunshade in accordance with the present invention comprises a post, a canopy support mounted on the post, a canopy mounted on the canopy, and a socket device mounted to the post. The post includes at least one slot into which the socket device is mounted. The socket device includes an insulating casing mounted in the slot of the post. The socket device further includes at least one receptacle that is defined in the insulating casing and that is electrically connected to an external power source.

Preferably, the slot is defined in a lower portion of the post.

Preferably, the insulating casing has a perimeter size corresponding to that of said at least one slot.

Preferably, a cover is provided for shielding the at least one receptacle. The cover may be removably mounted to the slot or the insulating casing. Alternatively, the cover is pivotally mounted to a sidewall delimiting the slot or to the insulating casing.

Preferably, the socket device includes at least two receptacles that are electrically connected in series. Preferably, the socket device further includes a power line extending from one of the receptacles for electrical connection with the external power source.

Preferably, the post further comprises a hole through which the power line of the socket device extends.

Preferably, the sunshade further comprises an illuminating device electrically connected to the socket device. Preferably, the socket device further comprises a switch for controlling on/off of the illuminating device.

Electric appliances such as a radio, a fan, a notebook type computer, a small television, etc can be used outdoors while proceeding with outdoor activities under the sunshade.

Other objectives, advantages, and novel features of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of a sunshade in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of a lower portion of the sunshade in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the lower portion of the sunshade in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the lower portion of the sunshade in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1, an illuminating device 2 in accordance with the present invention is attached to a sunshade 1 that generally comprises a post 11, a canopy 19, and a canopy support. In the illustrated embodiment, the sunshade 1 comprises a base 17, a post 11 extends upright from the base 17, a rib-mounting member 12 on top of the post 11, a plurality of ribs 15 each having an end pivotally connected to the rib-mounting member 12, a runner 13 slidably mounted to the post 11, a plurality of stretchers 16 each having a first end pivotally connected to the runner 13 and a second end pivotally connected to an intermediate portion of an associated one of the ribs 15. A reel 14 is provided to the post 11 for unfolding and folding the sunshade 1. A tubular member 121 is provided on top of the rib-mounting member 12.

In this embodiment, the post 11 includes an upper post 111 and a lower post 112. As illustrated in FIGS. 2 through 4, the lower post 112 is tubular and includes at least one slot 113 (only one in this embodiment) in a periphery thereof, allowing mounting of at least one socket device 3 (only one in this embodiment). The slot 113 is in communication with an interior of the lower post 112. The socket device 3 includes an insulating casing 31 and at least one receptacle 33 (three in this embodiment). Preferably, the insulating casing 31 has a perimeter size corresponding to that of the slot 113.

Each receptacle 33 of the socket device 3 includes slots 32 for a plug of an electric appliance. The receptacles 33 are electrically connected in series by wires 34. Further, a power line 35 extends from one of the receptacles 33 and has a plug 36 attached to an outer end thereof. The power line 35 is long enough for the plug 36 to engage with an external power source. The power line 35 is extended outside the lower post 112 via a hole 114 in the lower post 112. When not in use, the power line 35 may be manually inserted into the interior of the post 112 via the hole 114 that is smaller than the plug 36.

Referring to FIG. 1, in use, electric appliances such as a radio 4, a notebook type computer (not labeled) placed on a table 6 below the sunshade 1 can be empowered by the socket device 3 mounted on the sunshade 1 by coupling plug(s) 411 on power line(s) 41 of the electric appliance(s) with the receptacle(s) 33 of the socket device 3.

An illuminating device 2 may be mounted on the sunshade 1. The illuminating device 2 includes a plurality of light units 21 on each rib 15. Each light unit 21 includes at least one bulb 22 for illuminating purposes and/or decoration purposes. The light units 21 are electrically connected to a switch 39 on the socket device 3 by wires 37 and 23 and couplers 24 and 38, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. On/off of the light units 21 is thus controlled by the switch 39. In an alternative arrangement, the light units 21 are electrically connected to one of the receptacles 33 of the socket device 3 instead of the switch 39. In another alternative arrangement, instead of the switch 39, the wires 23 of the light units 21 may be connected to a plug (not shown) for coupling with one of the receptacles 33 of the socket device 3.

A cover 5 may be provided to shield the socket device 3 from dust, water, rain, etc. The cover 5 may be removably mounted to the slot 113 or to the insulating casing 31 of the socket device 3. The cover 5 may be removed to allow access to the receptacles 33 and the switch 39. Alternatively, the cover 5 may include a side pivotally attached to a sidewall delimiting the slot 113 or a side of the insulating casing 31 of the socket device 3. Thus, the cover 5 may be pivoted to an open position, allowing access to the receptacles 33 and the switch 39.

The socket device 3 may be empowered by a solar energy device mounted on top of the sunshade 1. In this case, the plug 36 is omitted, and the power line 35 is electrically connected to the solar energy device. An example of the solar energy device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,840,657, the content of which is incorporated herein for reference.

Although specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications and variations are still possible without departing from the essence of the invention. The scope of the invention is limited by the accompanying claims.