Title:
Awning stabilizer and deployment assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This assembly kit allows one to stand on the ground to tighten or loosen rafter knobs via a deployment arm with fittings to secure the 3-pointed or 5-pointed rafter knobs. Further, once erected, the present invention has a stabilizer bracket that is secured to the slider support within an awning support arm.



Inventors:
Neuman, Randy (Hudsonville, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/151735
Publication Date:
12/14/2006
Filing Date:
06/13/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
81/121.1
International Classes:
E04F10/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070051479Sliding door with eplaceablecurtainsMarch, 2007Nien
20070240832Motorized awning installation and method of controlling such an installationOctober, 2007Cavarec
20060124254Light leaves of a Venetian blind and their manufacturing methodJune, 2006Nien et al.
20080128095Awning comprising an integrated spraying installationJune, 2008Van Zutven
20080135188RETRACTABLE ARCHED WINDOW COVERINGJune, 2008Debauche
20020092631Wall vent screenJuly, 2002Cavazos
20050269046Portable wind screenDecember, 2005Freeman
20050284590Pin assembly for towels, sheets, linen, and other items for displayDecember, 2005Mariconti et al.
20060237147Vertical shadeOctober, 2006Strand et al.
20070187048Venetian window with movable elevating blindsAugust, 2007Hung
20090314441Decorative window coveringDecember, 2009Ponder et al.



Primary Examiner:
CARDENAS-GARCIA, JAIME F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBERT J. SAYFIE, P.C. (GRAND RAPIDS, MI, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. An awning assembly kit, comprising: a deployment arm (10) having a handle (38) at one end, and a manual fastener grip (14) at the other end; and a stabilizer bracket (200) having two opposed side faces (204), a top face (208) extending to a rear end (210) and a front end (211), a rear face (212) extending downwardly from said rear end (210), a bottom face (216) extending in the direction of said front end (211) and said bottom face (216) substantially parallel with said top face (208) terminating at an angled face (220), said angled face extending angularly toward said front end (211) to a first leg (225) of a U-shaped surface (224), the U-shaped surface has an opposed second leg (226) that is oriented substantially parallel with said first leg (225), said second leg (226) extending downwardly beyond said first leg (225) to a straight lock face (228), said straight lock face (228) extending forwardly to a beveled lock face (232), said beveled lock face (232) extending from said straight lock face (228) to a tip (209) of said front end (211), said stabilizer bracket (200) having a bolt aperture (244) extending substantially linearly through said stabilizer bracket (200) from said top face (208) to said bottom face (216), said bolt aperture (244) having an axis that is disposed substantially perpendicular with said top face (208).

2. The awning assembly kit of claim 1, wherein the manual fastener grip (14) has a concavity that is substantially triangular-like in shape.

3. The awning assembly kit of claim 1, wherein the manual fastener grip (14) has a concavity that is substantially star-like in shape.

4. The awning assembly kit of claim 1, wherein said deployment arm (10) is about 41 inches in length.

5. The awning assembly kit of claim 1, wherein said manual fastener grip (14) has a diameter of about 2 9/16 inches.

6. The awning assembly kit of claim 1, wherein said manual fastener grip (14) has a height of about 1 ½.

7. A method of opening and securing an awning, comprising the steps of: securing a manual fastener grip (14) of a deployment arm (10) around an awning manually controllable fastener whereby said manual fastener grip (14) can rotate the manually controllable fastener; and fixing a stabilizer bracket (200) against a rafter slider support (300).

8. The method of claim 7, wherein said fixing step includes bolting said stabilizer bracket (200) via a bolt (236) therethrough and said bolt (236) extending through an awning lower support arm, said bolt (236) threadably engaged with a wing nut (240) that can be tightened against the awning lower support arm.

9. The method of claim 7, wherein said fixing step includes said stabilizer bracket (200) having a straight lock face (228) and a beveled lock face (232) that are both in contact with a rafter slider support (300).

10. An awning slider securing apparatus, comprising: a stabilizer bracket (200) having two opposed side faces (204), a top face (208) extending to a rear end (210) and a front end (211), a rear face (212) extending downwardly from said rear end (210), a bottom face (216) extending in the direction of said front end (211) and said bottom face (216) substantially parallel with said top face (208) terminating at an angled face (220), said angled face extending angularly toward said front end (211) to a first leg (225) of a U-shaped surface (224), the U-shaped surface has an opposed second leg (226) that is oriented substantially parallel with said first leg (225), said second leg (226) extending downwardly beyond said first leg (225) to a straight lock face (228), said straight lock face (228) extending forwardly to a beveled lock face (232), said beveled lock face (232) extending from said straight lock face (228) to a tip (209) of said front end (211), said stabilizer bracket (200) having a bolt aperture (244) extending substantially linearly through said stabilizer bracket (200) from said top face (208) to said bottom face (216), said bolt aperture (244) having an axis that is disposed substantially perpendicular with said top face (208).

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a structure and method to securely open and close awnings.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,382,293 discloses a tension assembly that locks a standard fluted roll bar. The '293 patent is a strap-like structure that maintains tension in fluted roll bar awnings.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,474,201 discloses a tool for attaching and removing swivel fittings. The '201 patent will not work for triangular or star-shaped rafter knobs.

Presently, people need to get up on chairs to screw or unscrew rafter knobs, also called manual fasteners to tighten awnings to keep the awning in an open position.

Further, if the awning is open or up, during high winds, the slider support may be caused to move, causing the awning and support arms or slider supports to move, possibly damaging the awning, support arms, or slider supports.

As can be seen, there is a need for an assembly that can be used to manually tighten or loosen rafter knobs and the sliders of fold-out awnings, and to further secure the sliders in both an axial direction and transverse direction to prevent damage from awnings that fold out, and encounter high winds.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An awning assembly kit, comprising: a deployment arm (10) having a handle (38) at one end, and a manual fastener grip (14) at the other end; and a stabilizer bracket (200) having two opposed side faces (204), a top face (208) extending to a rear end (210) and a front end (211), a rear face (212) extending downwardly from said rear end (210), a bottom face (216) extending in the direction of said front end (211) and said bottom face (216) substantially parallel with said top face (208) terminating at an angled face (220), said angled face extending angularly toward said front end (211) to a first leg (225) of a U-shaped surface (224), the U-shaped surface has an opposed second leg (226) that is oriented substantially parallel with said first leg (225), said second leg (226) extending downwardly beyond said first leg (225) to a straight lock face (228), said straight lock face (228) extending forwardly to a beveled lock face (232), said beveled lock face (232) extending from said straight lock face (228) to a tip (209) of said front end (211), said stabilizer bracket (200) having a bolt aperture (244) extending substantially linearly through said stabilizer bracket (200) from said top face (208) to said bottom face (216), said bolt aperture (244) having an axis that is disposed substantially perpendicular with said top face (208).

A method of opening and securing an awning, comprising the steps of: securing a manual fastener grip (14) of a deployment arm (10) around an awning manually controllable fastener whereby said manual fastener grip (14) can rotate the manually controllable fastener; and fixing a stabilizer bracket (200) against a rafter slider support (300).

Yet another aspect is an awning slider securing apparatus, comprising: a stabilizer bracket (200) having two opposed side faces (204), a top face (208) extending to a rear end (210) and a front end (211), a rear face (212) extending downwardly from said rear end (210), a bottom face (216) extending in the direction of said front end (211) and said bottom face (216) substantially parallel with said top face (208) terminating at an angled face (220), said angled face extending angularly toward said front end (211) to a first leg (225) of a U-shaped surface (224), the U-shaped surface has an opposed second leg (226) that is oriented substantially parallel with said first leg (225), said second leg (226) extending downwardly beyond said first leg (225) to a straight lock face (228), said straight lock face (228) extending forwardly to a beveled lock face (232), said beveled lock face (232) extending from said straight lock face (228) to a tip (209) of said front end (211), said stabilizer bracket (200) having a bolt aperture (244) extending substantially linearly through said stabilizer bracket (200) from said top face (208) to said bottom face (216), said bolt aperture (244) having an axis that is disposed substantially perpendicular with said top face (208).

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following drawings, description and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a pictorial of the awning deployment arm;

FIG. 2 is a pictorial of an exemplar embodiment of an awning manual faster grip;

FIG. 3 is a pictorial of an exemplar embodiment of an awning manual fastener grip;

FIG. 4 is a first pictorial of an exemplar of a stabilizer block;

FIG. 4A is a second pictorial of an exemplar of the stabilizer block;

FIG. 5 is a pictorial of the present invention in an operating environment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following detailed description is of the best currently contemplated modes of carrying out the invention. The description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.

FIG. 1 illustrates a deployment arm 10. The deployment arm 10 has a handle 38 secured at a first end 34, and a manual fastener grip 14 secured at a second end 30.

The manual fastener grip 14 has a substantially cylindrical shaped head 22 having a distal face 26 on one side and a proximal face 18 on the other. Extending inwardly from the distal face 26 is a sidewall 46, which may terminate at a 3-point head surface 44. In one exemplar the sidewall 46 has 3 a center axis 40, having 3 substantially equilaterally disposed radii 100. In one exemplar, said substantially equilaterally disposed radii 100 are connected by sidewall 46 that is defined by three different radii generated about three equilateral points 110 disposed radially outside of said distal face 26.

In one exemplar the manual fastener grip 14 has a 3-point grip structure 42 to grip manual fasteners that are triangular, or triangular-like in shape, as also illustrated in FIG. 3. FIG. 2 illustrates a 5-point grip structure 62.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, the manual fastener grip 14 can have either a 3-point grip structure 42 or a 5-point grip structure 62. In one exemplar, the manual fastener grip 14 is removable to allow the removal of, for example, the 3-point grip structure 42, for replacement with the 5-point grip structure 62. This can be done by many different structures, one of which may be an axle 76 that is received by a bore 64 that extends through the center axis 40, 66 of the cylindrical shaped head 22. The axle 76 may have a head 78 at one end and a locking pin 80 near the other end. The head 78 may have a diameter that is larger than that of the bore 64 to prevent the axle 76 from sliding though the bore 76. The depressible locking pin 80 may be received by a pin aperture 92 that is disposed near the second end 30.

In one exemplar, the deployment arm 10 is about 41″ long, the head 22 has a diameter of about 2 9/16″, and a height of about 1 ½″.

FIGS. 4 and 4A illustrate a stabilizer block 200. In one exemplar the stabilizer block 200 has two opposed side faces 204 disposed about ¾″ apart, which also defines the thickness of the stabilizer block 200. The stabilizer block or stabilizer 200 has a top face 208 extending to a rear end 210 and a front end 211. A rear face 212 extending downwardly from the rear end 210 of the top face 208. Said rear face 212 is oriented substantially perpendicular to the top face 208. A bottom face 216 extends away from said rear face 212, and the bottom face is oriented substantially parallel to the top face 208.

Extending forwardly and upwardly from the bottom face 216 is an angled face 220, which terminates in an upside-down-U-shaped surface 224. In one exemplar the angle between the angled face 232 and the top face 208 is about 360. Thus the upside-down-U-shaped surface 224 has a first leg 225 that is closer to the rear face 212 than the second leg 226. Both legs 225, 226 are substantially parallel with one another. The second leg 226 extends downwardly beyond first leg 225. The second leg 226 extending downwardly to terminate in a straight lock face 228. The straight lock face 228 extending forwardly to terminate to a beveled lock face 232. The beveled lock face 228 terminates to meet with the front end 211 of the top face 208.

In one embodiment the beveled lock face 232 is disposed at an angle of about 47° with respect with the top face 208.

In one exemplar the block 200 has a top face that is about 4 7/16″ long, the rear face 212 is about 1 ¾″ long, the bottom face 216 is about 1 7/32″ long, the angled face 220 is about 1 ⅜″ long, the opposed legs 225, 226 of the upside down U-shaped surface 224 is are separated by a distance of about 13/32″, the straight lock face 228 is about ½″ long, the beveled lock face 232 is about 1 11/16″ long.

The block 200 may have a locking bolt aperture 224 extending from the bottom face 216 to the top face 208, and the locking bolt aperture 224 is disposed near the rear face 212. In one exemplar the locking bolt aperture extends substantially normal to both the top face 208 and the bottom face 216.

A locking bolt 236 may extend through the locking bolt aperture 224, having its head adjacent the top face 208, and a threaded portion extending downwardly therethrough.

In operation, the deployment arm 10 is manually manipulated to secure the grip structure 42, 62 to a rafter knob, also called a manually controllable fastener that tightens or loosens the awning support arms. When the appropriate grip structure 42, 62 is secured to the manually controllable fastener, the deployment arm 10 can be turned to loosen or tighten the manually controllable fastener.

In operation the block beveled lock face 232 and straight lock face 228 is disposed in substantially continuous contact with the rafter slider support 300. While at the desired location the stabilizer block 200 may be secured to the lower support arm 400 by a hole 410 in the lower support arm. The hole 410 is aligned to receive the locking bolt 236, whereby a wing nut 240 may throatily engage with the locking bolt 236 to secure the stabilizer block 200 in place, and thus prevent the rafter slider support from moving.

It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing relates to exemplary embodiments of the invention and that modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.