Title:
Computer housing-and-lock assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A computer housing-and-lock assembly includes: a housing having a base and a top cover; a lock unit having a first interlocking member provided on the base, a slide mounted slidably on the top cover, and a second interlocking member provided on the slide, the slide being slidable between a locked position, where the second interlocking member engages the first interlocking member, and an unlocked position, where the second interlocking member disengages the first interlocking member; a latch member mounted slidably on the top cover, and movable relative to the top cover between a stopped position, where the slide is immobilized in the locked position, and a non-stopped position, where the slide is free to move between the locked and unlocked positions; and a driving member mounted movably on the top cover for driving movement of the latch member.



Inventors:
Hu, Chien-ming (Tainan Hsien, TW)
Liu, Kuo-kuang (Nan-Tou Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
11/366358
Publication Date:
10/04/2007
Filing Date:
03/02/2006
Assignee:
Universal Scientific Industrial Co., Ltd
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D43/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TRAN, HANH VAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OSTROLENK FABER LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A computer housing-and-lock assembly comprising: a housing having a base that has a rear wall and a lateral wall and that defines a top opening, and a top cover that has a rear wall pivoted to said rear wall of said base, and a lateral wall, said top cover being rotatable relative to said base between opened and closed positions for opening and closing said top opening; a lock unit having a first interlocking member that is provided on said lateral wall of said base, a slide that is mounted slidably on said lateral wall of said top cover, and a second interlocking member that is provided on said slide, said slide being slidable on said lateral wall of said top cover along a first axis between locked and unlocked positions, said second interlocking member engaging said first interlocking member when said top cover is disposed at said closed position and when said slide is disposed at said locked position, and disengaging said first interlocking member when said slide is disposed at said unlocked position; a controlling unit including a latch member having a stopper, mounted slidably on said top cover, and movable relative to said top cover between stopped and non-stopped positions, said stopper being aligned with said slide along said first axis and abutting against said slide when said latch member is disposed at said stopped position, thereby preventing movement of said slide from said locked position to said unlocked position, said stopper being misaligned with said slide along said first axis when said latch member is disposed at said non-stopped position, thereby permitting movement of said slide from said locked position to said unlocked position; and a driving member mounted movably on said top cover for driving movement of said latch member from said stopped position to said non-stopped position.

2. The computer housing-and-lock assembly as claimed in claim 1, wherein said latch member is movable along a second axis transverse to said first axis.

3. The computer housing-and-lock assembly as claimed in claim 2, wherein said latch member is in the form of a rod and further has a driven end and a stopping end that is opposite to said driven end and that defines said stopper, said driven end of said latch member having a slanted end face, said driving member including a driving plate that has a driving end having a slanted end face and disposed adjacent to said slanted end face of said driven end of said latch member, and being operable to move along said first axis between first and second lateral positions, said slanted end face of said driving end of said driving plate sliding on said slanted end face of said driven end of said latch member and pushing said latch member to move from said non-stopped position to said stopped position when said driving member is moved from said first lateral position to said second lateral position.

4. The computer housing-and-lock assembly as claimed in claim 1, wherein said slide is in the form of a plate, and has an end protrusion that defines said second interlocking member, said lateral wall of said base being formed with a retaining plate having an end groove that opens toward said end protrusion of said slide and that defines said first interlocking member, said end protrusion extending into said end groove when said slide is disposed at said locked position and when said top cover is disposed at said closed position, and being disposed outwardly of said end groove when said slide is disposed at said unlocked position.

5. A computer housing-and-lock assembly comprising: a housing having a base that has a rear wall and two opposite lateral walls interconnecting said rear wall, and that defines a top opening, and a top cover that has a rear wall pivoted to said rear wall of said base, and two opposite lateral walls interconnecting said rear wall of said top cover, said top cover being rotatable relative to said base between opened and closed positions for opening and closing said top opening; a lock unit having a pair of first interlocking members that are respectively provided on said lateral walls of said base, a pair of slides that are respectively and slidably mounted on said lateral walls of said top cover, and a pair of second interlocking members that are respectively provided on said slides, each of said slides being slidable on the respective one of said lateral walls of said top cover along a first axis between locked and unlocked positions, each of said second interlocking members engaging a respective one of said first interlocking members when said top cover is disposed at said closed position and when a respective one of said slides is disposed at said locked position, and disengaging the respective one of said first interlocking members when the respective one of said slides is disposed at said unlocked position; a controlling unit including a pair of latch members, each of which has a stopper, each of which is mounted slidably on said top cover, and each of which is movable relative to said top cover between stopped and non-stopped positions, said stopper of each of said latch members being aligned with a respective one of said slides along said first axis and abutting against the respective one of said slides when the respective one of said latch members is disposed at said stopped position, thereby preventing movement of the respective one of said slides from said locked position to said unlocked position, said stopper of each of said latch members being misaligned with the respective one of said slides along said first axis when the respective one of said latch members is disposed at said non-stopped position, thereby permitting movement of the respective one of said slides from said locked position to said unlocked position; and a driving member mounted movably on said top cover for driving movement of said latch members toward said lateral walls of said top cover, respectively, from said stopped position to said non-stopped position.

6. The computer housing-and-lock assembly as claimed in claim 5, wherein each of said latch members is movable along a second axis transverse to said first axis.

7. The computer housing-and-lock assembly as claimed in claim 6, wherein each of said latch members is in the form of a rod and further has a driven end and a stopping end that is opposite to said driven end and that defines said stopper of the respective one of said latch members, said driven end of each of said latch members having a slanted end face, said driving member including a driving plate that has a driving end having two opposing slanted end face and disposed adjacent to said slanted end faces of said driven ends of said latch members, and being operable to move along said first axis between first and second lateral positions, said slanted end faces of said driving end of said driving plate sliding respectively on said'slanted end faces of said driven ends of said latch members and pushing said latch members to move in opposite directions from said non-stopped position to said stopped position when said driving member is moved from said first lateral position to said second lateral position.

8. The computer housing-and-lock assembly as claimed in claim 5, wherein each of said slides is in the form of a plate, and has an end protrusion that defines a respective one of said second interlocking members, said lateral walls of said base being formed with a retaining plate having an end groove that opens toward said end protrusion of a respective one of said slides and that defines a respective one of said first interlocking members, said end protrusion of each of said slides extending into said end groove in said retaining plate of the respective one of said lateral walls of said base when the respective one of said slides is disposed at said locked position and when said top cover is disposed at said closed position, and being disposed outwardly of said end groove in said retaining plate of the respective one of said lateral walls of said base when the respective one of said slides is disposed at said unlocked position.

9. The computer housing-and-lock assembly as claimed in claim 7, further comprising an urging member that has two opposite ends secured to said latch members for restoring said latch members from said stopped position to said non-stopped position when said driving member is moved from said second lateral position to said first lateral position.

10. The computer housing-and-lock assembly as claimed in claim 7, further comprising a pair of urging members, each of which has one end secured to said top cover, and an opposite end secured to a respective one of said latch members for restoring said latch members from said stopped position to said non-stopped position when said driving member is moved from said second lateral position to said first lateral position.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a computer housing-and-lock assembly, more particularly to a computer housing-and-lock assembly having a lock unit and a controlling unit for controlling operation of the lock unit.

2. Description of the Related Art

For convenience in transport and saving room for storage, manufacture of electronic products has a trend toward miniaturization. Currently, there has been proposed a small-type computer having a computer housing that has a base defining a top opening, and a top cover that is pivotably connected to the base and that is rotatable relative to the base between opened and closed positions for opening and closing the top opening. Computer components are mounted on the base and the top cover, respectively.

Although the aforesaid small-type computer can be made to be relatively small, it is disadvantageous in that the top cover thereof is likely to be undesirably opened, which facilitates theft of the computer components inside the computer housing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the object of the present invention is to provide a computer housing-and-lock assembly that can overcome the above drawback associated with the prior art.

Accordingly, a computer housing-and-lock assembly of this invention includes: a housing having a base that has a rear wall and a lateral wall and that defines a top opening, and a top cover that has a rear wall pivoted to the rear wall of the base, and a lateral wall, the top cover being rotatable relative to the base between opened and closed positions for opening and closing the top opening; a lock unit having a first interlocking member that is provided on the lateral wall of the base, a slide that is mounted slidably on the lateral wall of the top cover, and a second interlocking member that is provided on the slide, the slide being slidable on the lateral wall of the top cover along a first axis between locked and unlocked positions, the second interlocking member engaging the first interlocking member when the top cover is disposed at the closed position and when the slide is disposed at the locked position, and disengaging the first interlocking member when the slide is disposed at the unlocked position; a controlling unit including a latch member having a stopper, mounted slidably on the top cover, and movable relative to the top cover between stopped and non-stopped positions, the stopper being aligned with the slide along the first axis and abutting against the slide when the latch member is disposed at the stopped position, thereby preventing movement of the slide from the locked position to the unlocked position, the stopper being misaligned with the slide along the first axis when the latch member is disposed at the non-stopped position, thereby permitting movement of the slide from the locked position to the unlocked position; and a driving member mounted movably on the top cover for driving movement of the latch member from the stopped position to the non-stopped position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic front view of the first preferred embodiment of a computer housing-and-lock assembly according to the present invention, illustrating a state where a top cover of the first preferred embodiment is disposed at a closed position;

FIG. 2 is a schematic side view of the first preferred embodiment for illustrating another state where the top cover is disposed at an opened position;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the first preferred embodiment with the top cover disposed at the opened position;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view to illustrate the structure of a lock unit of the first preferred embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view to illustrate the structure of a controlling unit of the first preferred embodiment;

FIG. 6 is a schematic front view to illustrate a state where a stopper of a latch member of the controlling unit of the first preferred embodiment is disposed at a non-stopped position;

FIG. 7 is a schematic front view to illustrate another state where the stopper of the latch member of the controlling unit of the first preferred embodiment is disposed at a stopped position;

FIG. 8 is a schematic side view to illustrate a state where the lock unit of the first preferred embodiment is disposed at the locked position; and

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary schematic view of the second preferred embodiment of the computer-and-lock assembly according to this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Before the present invention is described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying preferred embodiments, it should be noted herein that like elements are denoted by the same reference numerals throughout the disclosure.

Referring to FIGS. 1 to 5, the preferred embodiment of a computer housing-and-lock assembly according to the present invention is shown to include: a housing. 10 having a base 11 that has a rear wall 110 and two opposite lateral walls 111, 112 interconnecting the rear wall 110, and that defines a top opening 119, and a top cover 13 that has a rear wall 130 pivoted to the rear wall 110 of the base 11, and two opposite lateral walls 14, 15 interconnecting the rear wall 130 of the top cover 13, the top cover 13 being rotatable relative to the base 11 between opened and closed positions (see FIGS. 2 and 1) for opening and closing the top opening 119; a lock unit 80 having a pair of first interlocking members 863 that are respectively provided on the lateral walls 111, 112 of the base 11, a pair of slides 81 that are respectively and slidably mounted on the lateral walls 14, 15 of the top cover 13, and a pair of second interlocking members 84 that are respectively provided on the slides 81, each of the slides 81 being slidable on the respective one of the lateral walls 14, 15 of the top cover 13 along a first axis between locked (see FIG. 8) and unlocked positions, each of the second interlocking members 84 engaging a respective one of the first interlocking members 863 when the top cover 13 is disposed at the closed position and when a respective one of the slides 81 is disposed at the locked position, and disengaging the respective one of the first interlocking members 863 when the respective one of the slides 81 is disposed at the unlocked position; a controlling unit including a pair of latch members 50, 60, each of which has a stopper 52, 62, each of which is mounted slidably on the top cover 13, and each of which is movable relative to the top cover 13 between stopped and non-stopped positions (see FIGS. 7 and 6), the stopper 52, 62 of each of the latch members 50, 60 being aligned with a respective one of the slides 81 along the first axis (X) and abutting against the respective one of the slides 81 when the respective one of the latch members 50, 60 is disposed at the stopped position, thereby preventing movement of the respective one of the slides 81 from the locked position to the unlocked position, the stopper 52, 62 of each of the latch members 50, 60 being misaligned with the respective one of the slides 81 when the respective one of the latch members 50, 60 is disposed at the non-stopped position, thereby permitting movement of the respective one of the slides 81 from the locked position to the unlocked position; and a driving member 30 mounted movably on the top cover 13 for driving movement of the latch members 50, 60 from the stopped position to the non-stopped position.

The computer housing 10 further comprises a pair of pivot connecting members 12 for connecting pivotally the top cover 13 to the base 10.

With further reference to FIGS. 5 and 6, each of the latch members 50, 60 is movable along a second axis (Y) transverse to the first axis (X), is in the form of a rod, and has a driven end 51, 61 and a stopping end that is opposite to the driven end 51, 61 and that defines the stopper 52, 62 of the respective one of the latch members 50, 60. The driven end 51, 61 of each of the latch members 50, 60 has a slanted end face 511, 611. The driving member 30 includes a driving plate 32 that has a driving end having two opposing slanted end faces 321, 322 and disposed adjacent to the slanted end faces 511, 611 of the driven ends 51, 61 of the latch members 50, 60. The driving member 30 is operable to move from a first lateral position (see FIG. 6) to a second lateral position (see FIG. 7) such that the slanted end faces 321, 322 of the driving end of the driving plate 32 slide respectively on the slanted end faces 511, 611 of the driven ends 51, 61 of the latch members 50, 60 and push the latch members 50, 60 to move in opposite directions from the non-stopped position to the stopped position. Referring to FIG. 4, each of the slides 81 is in the form of a plate, and has an end protrusion that defines a respective one of the second interlocking members 84. Each of the lateral walls 111, 112 of the base 11 has a top end that is formed with a retaining plate 86 (see FIG. 2) having an end groove that opens toward the end protrusion of a respective one of the slides 81 and that defines a respective one of the first interlocking members 863. The end protrusion of each of the slides 81 extends into the end groove in the retaining plate 86 of the respective one of the lateral walls 111, 112 of the base 11 (see FIG. 8) when the respective one of the slides 81 is disposed at the locked position and when the top cover 13 is disposed at the closed position, and is disposed outwardly of the end groove in the retaining plate 86 of the respective one of the lateral walls 111, 112 of the base 11 when the respective one of the slides 81 is disposed at the unlocked position. Referring again to FIG. 5, the computer housing-and-lock assembly 10 further includes an urging member 71 that has two opposite ends secured to the latch members 50, 60 for restoring the latch members 50, 60 from the stopped position to the non-stopped position when the driving member 30 is moved from the second lateral position to the first lateral position. It should be noted herein that, in the second preferred embodiment as shown in FIG. 9, the computer housing-and-lock assembly 10 may include a pair of urging members 72, 73, each of which has one end secured to the top cover 13, and an opposite end secured to a respective one of the latch members 50, 60 for urging the latch members 50, 60 to restore from the stopped position to the non-stopped position when the driving member 30 is moved from the second lateral position to the first lateral position.

Referring again to FIGS. 2 and 6, each of the slides 81 is provided with an operating protrusion 82 protruding therefrom. Each of the lateral walls 14, 15 is further formed with an elongated slot 18 for extension of the operating protrusion 82 of a respective one of the slides 81 therethrough so that movement of the slides 81 can be manually operated through the respective operating protrusion 82.

With further reference to FIGS. 4 and 6, a pair of U-shaped guide members 24 are respectively mounted on inner sides 141, 151 of the lateral walls 14, 15 of the top cover 13 and are aligned with the elongated slots 18. Each of the guide members 24 includes a guide plate 241 that is spaced apart from the corresponding inner side 141, 151 of the lateral walls 14, 15, that is formed with a U-shaped opening 242, and that has a hook piece 243 spaced apart from the opening 242. Each of the slides 81 is movably retained in a clearance between the guide plate 241 and the corresponding inner side 141, 151 of the lateral walls 14, 15, and is provided with a screw 83 projecting therefrom, and a spring 85 having one end secured to the hook piece 243, and an opposite end secured to the screw 83 for urging the slide 81 to move from the unlocked position to the locked position. Referring again to FIGS. 2 and 4, in order to guide movement of the second interlocking members 84 to engage the first interlocking members 863 during movement of the top cover 13 from the opened position to the closed position, each of the second interlocking members 84 is designed to have a round shape, and each of the retaining plates 86 is designed to have an arcuate edge 865 extending from an upper edge of a groove-defining wall defining the end groove of the respective first interlocking member 863.

Referring again to FIG. 6, the top cover 13 is provided with a pair of spaced apart limiting blocks 21 disposed adjacent to the rear wall 130 of the top cover 13. The driving member 30 further includes an actuating piece 31 that has a portion disposed movably between and in sliding contact with the limiting blocks 21, and that is connected to the driving plate 32, and a hook stud 33 protruding from the driving plate 32. It is noted that operation of the actuating piece 31 is conducted using a key (not shown) so that the movement of the stoppers 52, 62 from the stopped position to the non-stopped position can be achieved solely by the key. A biasing member 40, which is a compression spring in this embodiment, has opposite ends secured respectively to the hook stud 33 and a hook member 19 protruding from the top cover 13 for providing a biasing force to urge the driving member 30 to move from the second lateral position (see FIG. 7) to the first lateral position (see FIG. 6).

Referring again to FIGS. 5 and 6, the top cover 13 further has a front wall 17 (see FIG. 6) that is formed with a pair of limiting posts 22. The latch member 50 is formed with a pair of elongated guiding slots 53 for extension of the limiting posts 22 respectively therethrough so as to guide movement of the latch member 50 along the second axis (Y).

The top cover 13 is further formed with three spaced apart limiting blocks 23 disposed alternately at opposite sides of the latch member 60 and abutting against the latch member 60 for guiding movement of the latch member 60 along the second axis (Y).

Each of the driven ends 51, 61 of the latch members 50, 60 is provided with a hook element 54, 63 for mounting the urging member 71.

At the normal condition, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the latch members 50, 60 are disposed at the non-stopped position, i.e., the stoppers 52, 62 are respectively misaligned with the slides 81.along the first axis (X). Hence, opening and closing of the top cover 13 can be conducted through operation of the slides 81. As shown in FIG. 8, when it is desired to close the top cover 13, the top cover 13 is pivoted relative to the base 11 toward the closed position such that the second interlocking members 84 engage respectively the first interlocking members 863 through guidance of the arcuate edges 865 of the retaining plates 86 so as to retain the top cover 13 at the closed position. When it is desired to open the top cover 13, the slides 81 are moved frontwardly so as to disengage the second interlocking members 84 from the first interlocking members 863 such that the top cover 13 can be pivoted upward to the opened position.

As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the top cover 13 can be locked using the key (not shown) such that the stoppers 52, 62 are retained at the stopped position to prevent movement of the slides 81 from the locked position to the unlocked position. Hence, when it is desired to open the top cover 13, the actuating piece 31 is actuated using the key so as to drive the driving member 30 to move from the second lateral position to the first lateral position, thereby permitting movement of the latch members 50, 60 from the stopped position to the non-stopped position by the urging action of the urging member 71, and movement of the slides 81 from the locked position to the unlocked position.

With the inclusion of the controlling unit in the computer-housing-and lock assembly of this invention, the aforesaid drawback associated with the prior art can be eliminated.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.





 
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