Title:
Powerclimb
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A Powerclimb is a powered rope climbing devise used to pull a climber directly up a rope safely and quickly requiring little effort on the part of the climber. In the same way, the Powerclimb can also be used by a climber to go down a rope. This is accomplished using a power source, variable-speed switch, gearing, an ascender with a releasing devise, one powered grooved roller and a combination of two guide rollers and a rope paw.



Inventors:
Tillitski, Stephan W. (Athens, GA, US)
Ogletree, Stan (Comer, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/321384
Publication Date:
07/05/2007
Filing Date:
12/30/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIN-SHUE, ALVIN CONSTANTINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stephan Tillitski (Athens, GA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. The Powerclimb is a powered hoisting devise capable of lifting a climber directly up a rope requiring very little effort from the climber.

2. The Powerclimb is a powered hoisting devise capable of lowering a climber directly down a rope requiring very little effort from the climber.

3. The Powerclimb has an ascender and a system of three rollers and a paw to secure the climber to the rope. Either the ascender or the three roller and paw unit used alone would securely hold a man on a rope but used together they form a safety system unique to the Powerclimb.

4. The Powerclimb, because of the combination of ascender and three roller and paw system, gives a climber the ability to stop at any given point on the rope being climbed.

5. The Powerclimb, because of the combination of ascender and three roller and paw system, gives a climber the ability to operate this devise safely using only one hand freeing the other hand for other uses.

6. The Powerclimb, because of the combination of ascender and three roller and paw system, gives a climber the ability to use both hand freely while the Powerclimb is stopped at any point on the rope.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to rigging/climbing and in particular to rope climbing. The Powerclimb is a powered rope hoist designed both, to pull a climber into a tree or to pull a climber up a rope in other similar situations such as rock climbing, caving, construction work, military applications and the like, and to lower same.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the field of rigging and more specifically rigging using climbing ropes, it is often necessary to pull one's self strait up into air with little or no support from surrounding structures. There are various climbing techniques and different types of equipment that make the job of pulling strait up a single or double strand rope easier. Such as the use of climbing knots represented by the prussic, taut line hitch and the Blake's hitch. The climbing systems or rope walking techniques are represented by various uses of ascenders attached to the feet or grasped by hand, slings to connect components of the system and chest pulleys to stabilize the climbers position close to the rope being climbed. However, all of these techniques and equipment systems have their limitations. The various climbing techniques require an extra ordinary amount of strength and coordination and they also, even when used by a skilled climber, are slow and laborious especially if repeated several times a day. The rope walking systems while making this job easier, remain physically difficult and they add more hardware such as ascenders and chest harnesses which tend to be difficult to put on initially then also difficult to remove once the climb has been made. These equipment systems like the climbing techniques also suffer from their slowness in going up the rope. Accordingly, it can be seen that a need yet remains in the art for a device designed to pull a man safely up a rope. The devise needs to be light, simple to use and most importantly less burdensome in the physical requirements needed for its use. The Powerclimb is such a system.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly described, a Powerclimb is a powered rope hoist with a ascender or other similar devise on the top of the unit which acts both as a safety rope locking devise and as a rope guide. The rope is guided by the locking devise into the first idler roller that both holds the weight of the climber and also continues to guides the rope into a powered grooved roller which grips the rope securely for ascent or descent. The rope is then guided off of the powered grooved roller by another idler roller and a paw, that in addition to taking the rope off of the powered roller, guides the rope out of the Powerclimb. In addition, the Powerclimb is comprised of an engine or motor, a gearbox, a housing that incorporates a handle with a variable-speed switch. The bottom of the Powerclimb is equipped with an attachment point for the climber to affix their climbing harness with a caribiner or other suitable devise.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a side view of a Powerclimb, showing the housing (A), which unifies the whole of the components. The rope ascender (B), which acts both as a rope guide and safety-locking device. The electric motor (C), and battery to power the unit or alternately a small gas engine, the gear train (D), to power the grooved roller. The handle (E), to provide a stabilizing grip for the climber and to operated the variable-speed switch. The switch (F) is used by the climber to start and stop ascent as well as change to rate of ascent/descent. The attachment point (G), is used by the climber to affix the Powerclimb to the climbing harness using a caribiner or other suitable devise.

FIG. 2 is an top view of the Powerclimb of FIG. 1, showing the housing (A), the ascender (B) with the releasing devise (L), the motor or engine (C), the gearing (D), the handle (E), the climber attachment point (G). In addition, the powered grooved roller (H), and lower rope-guiding roller (K).

FIG. 3 is a side view of the four Powerclimb rollers showing the rope (M), the top rope guiding roller (I), the powered grooved roller (H), the bottom rope guide roller (K) and the rope paw (J) that removes the rope from the powered grooved roller.

FIG. 4 is a cut away view of the powered grooved roller showing the unique groove pattern (N) on the inside of the roller.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

The present invention may be understood more readily by reference to the following detailed description of the invention, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing figures, which form a part of this disclosure. It is to be understood that this invention is not limited to the specific metals, devices, methods, conditions, or parameters described and/or shown herein, and that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments by way of example only, and is not intended to be limiting of the claimed invention. Also, as used in the specification including the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include the plural, and reference to a particular numerical value includes at least that particular value, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Ranges may be expressed herein as from “about” or “approximately” one particular value and/or to “about” or “approximately” another particular value. When such a range is expressed, another embodiment includes from the one particular value and/or to the other particular value. Similarly, when values are expressed as approximations, by use of the antecedent “about,” it will be understood that the particular value forms another embodiment. Moreover, while the invention is described in connection with its use in various forms of climbing, it will be recognized that the invention is not limited to such use and that other types of uses such as in construction or tower maintenance could be foreseen.

Now with reference now to the drawing figures, a Powerclinb includes a housing (A), which contains the power source (C) (either electric, or gasoline), gearing (D) to drive the grooved roller (H). The rope (M) is guided and held secure by the ascender (B) that has a release feature (L) added to release the ascender for moving down the rope. The rope then moves through the guide roller (I) around the powered grooved roller (H) and then exits the Powerclimb through guide roller (K) and rope paw (J) that both forces the rope out of the powered grooved roller (H) and also guide the rope out of the Powerclimb. On the top part of the housing (A) is a handle (E) that serves as both a support for the climber and it holds the variable-speed switch (F) used by the climber to start and stop the ascent/descent as well as control the speed of the ascent/descent. On the top of the housing is an ascender (B) with a releasing devise (L). The ascender is a safety feature included so that if there were any kind of a failure of the Powerclimb either by operator error or by mechanical failure or rope breakage, the climber would be held secure on the rope by the locking ascender. The ascender is also equipped with a releasing devise (L) so that when the Powerclimb is used in reverse it can lower the climber to the ground. The grooved powered roller (H) is a unique roller that is designed to securely hold the rope without slippage with only ¾ of the circumference of the rollers surface used (FIGS. 3-4). This is accomplished by the unique grooves (N) that hold the rope securely and yet at the same time do not cut or crush the rope fibers.

While the invention has been described with reference to preferred and exemplary embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that a variety of modifications, additions and deletions can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined by the following claims.