Title:
Media cabinet with reversing door
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A media cabinet with reversing door is adapted to house multimedia equipment. The door is hinged with the cabinet and adapted to selectively conceal and reveal the equipment. The cabinet may have left and right module sections, each of these module sections having a modular width. The door preferably has the same modular width. The cabinet may further have a center section of two modular widths and a second reversing door. At least one of the left, the center, and the right sections may define an equipment space. The reversing doors may alternatively hinge to conceal the center section, revealing the left and right sections, and hinge to reveal the center section, concealing the left and right module sections. Each door has two opposing face surfaces and presents a closed visual impression in each hinged position of alternatively concealing the center section or concealing the respective left and right sections.



Inventors:
Mccambridge, Joseph (Belmont, MI, US)
Byma, Ralph J. (Zealand, MI, US)
Sweel, Timothy (Zealand, MI, US)
Pulver, Jeffrey A. (Holland, MI, US)
Vanzalen, Dirk (Holland, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/401186
Publication Date:
10/11/2007
Filing Date:
04/10/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B97/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HANSEN, JAMES ORVILLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Oppenhuizen Law PLC (Grand Rapids, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A media cabinet that is adapted to house multimedia support equipment, the media cabinet having a front and an opposing back and having a swinging door that is adapted to selectively conceal and reveal the equipment, the cabinet comprising: a base; a top spaced above the base, the top being generally aligned with the base; a first panel extending upward from the base toward the top and extending between the front and the back; a second panel spaced a first distance from the first panel, extending upward from the base toward the top, and extending between the front and the back, the second panel being generally parallel with the first panel, whereby a first section is defined between the first and the second panels; a third panel spaced a second distance from the second panel so the second panel is interposed between the first and the third panels, the third panel extending upward from the base toward the top and extending between the front and the back, the third panel being generally parallel with the first panel, whereby a second section is defined between the first and the second panels; an equipment space defined within one of the first and the second sections, the equipment space being adapted to receive and house multimedia equipment; and a door extending between the base and the top, the door having opposing first and second side edges and two opposing face surfaces that extend between the side edges, the door being connected with the cabinet in swinging engagement whereby the door swings between a first position in which the first edge is adjacent the second panel and the door extends toward the third panel from the second panel and a second position in which the first edge is adjacent the second panel and the door extends toward the first panel from the second panel, one of the opposing face surfaces being revealed and the other face surface being concealed in the first position, while the other face surface is revealed and the one of the opposing face surfaces is concealed in the second position, each of the two opposing face surfaces being adapted to present a finished door front visual impression, whereby the door appears closed in each of the first and second positions.

2. The media cabinet defined in claim 1 wherein the cabinet further includes a fourth panel spaced a third distance from the third panel so the third panel is interposed between the first and the fourth panels, the fourth panel extending upward from the base toward the top, and extending between the front and the back, the fourth panel being generally parallel with the first panel, whereby a third section is defined between the third and the second panels.

3. The media cabinet defined in claim 2 wherein the door is a first of two doors and the second door is connected with the cabinet in swinging engagement whereby the second door swings between a first position in which a first edge of the second door is adjacent the third panel and the second door extends from its first edge adjacent the third panel toward the second panel to an opposite second edge and a second position in which the second door extends from its first edge adjacent the third panel toward the fourth panel.

4. The media cabinet defined in claim 4 wherein the second distance is a sum of the first and the third distances.

5. The media cabinet defined in claim 4 wherein the first and the third distances are equal.

6. The media cabinet defined in claim 3 wherein the second section is concealed by the first and the second doors when the first and the second doors are in their respective first positions, whereby the second edge of the first door is adjacent the second edge of the second door.

7. The media cabinet defined in claim 3 wherein the first and the third distances are equal.

8. The media cabinet defined in claim 3 wherein the first door second edge is adjacent the second door second edge when the first and the second doors are in their respective first positions, whereby the second section is concealed by the first and the second doors in their respective first positions.

9. A media cabinet that is adapted to house multimedia equipment, the cabinet having a front and an opposing back, having a left side and an opposing right side, and having at least three sections extending across the cabinet from the left side to the right side, the cabinet comprising: a base; a top, the top being spaced above and generally aligned with the base; a left panel, the left panel extending upward from the base toward the top and extending between the front and the back; a second panel, the second panel being spaced a first distance from the left panel, extending upward from the base toward the top, and extending between the front and the back, the second panel being generally parallel with the left panel, whereby a left section is defined between the left and the first panels; a third panel, the third panel being spaced a second distance from the second panel so the second panel is interposed between the left and the third panels, the third panel extending upward from the base toward the top and extending between the front and the back, the third panel being generally parallel with the left panel, whereby a center section is defined between the second and the third panels; a right panel, the right panel being spaced a third distance from the third panel so the third panel is interposed between the left and the right panels, the right panel extending upward from the base toward the top and extending between the front and the back, the right panel being generally parallel with the left side panel, whereby a right section is defined between the second and the right panels; an equipment space, the equipment space being defined in one of the left, the center, and the right sections, and further being defined between the base and the top and between the front and the back, the equipment space also being adapted to receive and house multimedia equipment; a first door, the first door extending between the base and the top and being connected with the cabinet in swinging engagement whereby the first door swings between a center position in which a first edge of the door is adjacent the second panel and the door extends from the first edge adjacent the second panel to an opposite second edge toward the right panel and a side position in which the first edge of the door is adjacent the second panel and the door extends from the the first edge adjacent the second panel toward the left panel, whereby the left section is at least partially concealed by the first door; and a second door, the second door extending between the base and the top and being connected with the cabinet in swinging engagement whereby the second door swings between a center position in which a first edge of the door is adjacent the third panel and the door extends from the first edge adjacent the third panel to an opposite second edge toward the first panel and a side position in which the first edge of the door is adjacent the third panel and the door extends from the first edge adjacent the third panel toward the right panel, whereby the right section is at least partially concealed by the second door, the first and the second doors concealing the center section in their respective first positions.

10. The media cabinet defined in claim 9 wherein each door has two opposing face surfaces that extend between the side edges, whereby one of the face surfaces is revealed and the other face surface is concealed in the first position, while the other face surface is revealed and the one face surface is concealed in the second position, and wherein each of the opposing face surfaces is adapted to present a finished door front visual impression, whereby each door appears closed in each of the first and second positions.

11. The media cabinet defined in claim 9 wherein the second distance is a sum of the first and the third distances.

12. The media cabinet defined in claim 11 wherein the first and the third distances are equal.

13. The media cabinet defined in claim 9 wherein the first and the third distances are equal.

14. The media cabinet defined in claim 9 wherein the first door extends from the second panel to the left panel, whereby the left section is fully concealed by the first door when the first door is in the side position.

15. A media cabinet that is adapted to house multimedia equipment, the cabinet having a front and an opposing back and having opposing left and right sides, the cabinet comprising: a base; a corresponding top that is spaced above and generally aligned with the base; a left panel that extends upward from the base toward the top and that extends between the front and the back; a second panel that is spaced a first distance from the left panel, that extends upward from the base toward the top, that extends between the front and the back, and that is generally parallel with the left panel, whereby a left modular section is defined by the left and the first panels; a third panel that is spaced a second distance from the first panel so the second panel is interposed between the left and the second panels, that extends upward from the base toward the top, that extends between the front and the back, and that is generally parallel with the left panel, whereby a center modular section is defined by the first and the second panels; a right panel that is spaced a third distance from the third panel so the third panel is interposed between the left and the right panels, that extends upward from the base toward the top, that extends between the front and the back, and that is generally parallel with the left panel, whereby a right modular section is defined by the third and the right panels; an equipment space that is defined within one of the left, the center, and the right modular sections and that is adapted to receive and house multimedia equipment; a first door that extends between the base and the top, that has opposing first and second edges, that has two opposing face surfaces extending from the first edge to the second edge, that is connected in swinging engagement with one of the top, the base, and the second panel, and that swings between a center position and a side position, whereby the first edge is adjacent the second panel, the door extends toward the third panel, and the door conceals at least a portion of the center modular section when in the center position, and whereby the first edge is adjacent the second panel, the door extends toward the left panel, and the door conceals at least a portion of the left modular section when in the side position; and a second door that extends between the base and the top, that has opposing first and second edges, that has two opposing face surfaces extending from the first edge to the second edge, that is connected in swinging engagement with one of the top, the base, and the third panel, and that swings between a center position and a side position, whereby the first edge is adjacent the third panel, the door extends toward the second panel, and the door conceals at least a portion of the center modular section when in the center position, and whereby the first edge is adjacent the third panel, the door extends toward the right panel, and the door conceals at least a portion of the right modular section when in the side position.

16. The media cabinet defined in claim 15 wherein one of the two opposing face surfaces of each door is revealed and the other face surface is concealed when the respective door is in the center position, while the other face surface is revealed and the one face surface is concealed in the side position, and wherein each of the two opposing face surfaces is adapted to present a finished door front visual impression, whereby each door appears closed in each of the first and second positions.

17. The media cabinet defined in claim 16 wherein the first door extends from the second panel to the left panel, whereby the left modular section is fully concealed by the first door when the first door is in the side position.

18. The media cabinet defined in claim 15 wherein the second distance is a sum of the first and the third distances.

19. The media cabinet defined in claim 18 wherein the first and the third distances are equal.

20. The media cabinet defined in claim 15 wherein the first and the third distances are equal.

21. The media cabinet defined in claim 15 wherein at the first door extends from the second panel to the left panel, whereby the left modular section is fully concealed by the first door when the first door is in the side position.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to furniture cabinets that are directed to housing what may commonly be referred to as multimedia or entertainment equipment, including signal processing and presentation devices. More specifically, a media cabinet with reversing door of the invention is directed to alternating concealment and revealing of multimedia devices and the like, with a door that has two opposing finished or front sides, instead of a finished front and a less than finished back. Thus, the door presents a visual impression of being closed when either surface is presented with the door in a position to conceal or a position to reveal the multimedia devices.

The multimedia devices may, more specifically, include audio and video tuners and amplifiers and speakers. These components of multimedia presentation may commonly be visually distracting or otherwise inconsistent with a room environment in which they may be located. Thus, one's attention may be inappropriately drawn to the multimedia equipment, merely by its presence, even when it is not active. Such components of technology support may also present an undesired contrast in the aesthetics of a room environment in which they are located; clashing with the room decor.

While various audio and video components, or multimedia equipment, must be readily accessible and seen in use, it is not always a desired visual element in many room environments when not in use. Thus, one may appreciate a desire to conveniently access and conversely conceal multimedia equipment in a manner in which the equipment does not impose upon its environment when not in use.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, a media cabinet with reversing door of the invention provides a cabinet that is adapted to house multimedia equipment and that is provided with at least one reversing door that conveniently conceals and reveals the equipment by swinging manipulation of the reversing door. The equipment is housed in a defined equipment space. The door has two opposing finished or front sides, instead of a finished front and a less than finished back. Thus, the door presents a visual impression of being closed when either surface is presented, with the door in a position to conceal or a position to reveal the multimedia equipment.

The media cabinet has a top spaced above and generally aligned with a base. A first or left panel extends upward from the base toward the top. A second panel is parallel with and spaced a first or modular distance from the left panel. A left or first modular section is defined between the left and the second panels. A right panel may be parallel with and spaced the same modular distance from the second panel, with the second panel interposed between the left and the right panels. A second or right modular section is defined between the second and the right panels. A reversing door extends between the base and the top and is connected in swinging engagement with one of the top, the second panel, and the base. The door is provided with opposing first and second front surfaces that are both finished and effectively a door front, instead of a conventional door that is provided with opposing front and back surfaces with only the front surface finished. The door preferably also has the modular width. Thus, the door may swing to alternatively cover or reveal one or the other of the first and the second modular sections, with the door presenting a finished surface and a closed appearance in either position.

In another aspect of the invention, a center modular section may be defined between the left and the right modular sections with the center section having a defined equipment space. Thus, a third panel may be interposed between the second and the right panels, be parallel with and spaced about two modular distance from the second panel. The center modular section is, thereby, defined between the second and the third panels. A second door may extend between the base and the top and be connected in swinging engagement with one of the top, the third panel, and the base. The second door may also be provided with opposing first and second front surfaces that are both finished and effectively a door front. The second reversing door may also have the modular width. Thus, the prior or first door and the second door may swing toward one another into a first or center position in which the doors conceal the center modular section and reveal the left and right, side sections. Alternatively, the doors may swing away from one another into a second or side position in which the side sections are concealed and the center section equipment space is revealed. The doors present a closed appearance in either position.

These and other features and benefits of the invention will be recognized by one having ordinary skill in the art and by those who practice the invention, from this disclosure, including the specification, the claims, and the drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a front left perspective view of a media cabinet with reversing door of the invention, showing a first alternative design with a pair of reversing doors in a center position;

FIG. 2 is a front elevation thereof;

FIG. 3 is a left side elevation thereof;

FIG. 4 is a right side elevation thereof with the doors in a reversed, side position;

FIG. 5 is a front right perspective view thereof, showing the reversing doors reversed in the side position;

FIG. 6 is a front elevation thereof;

FIG. 7 is a top plan view thereof;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary front elevation thereof;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary top plan view thereof;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged fragmentary view of detail X of FIG. 8, showing a top hinge pin arrangement in elevation; and

FIG. 11 is an enlarged fragmentary view of detail XI of FIG. 8, showing a bottom hinge pin in elevation;

FIG. 12 is an upper, front, and left perspective view of a media cabinet with reversing door of the invention, showing a second alternative design with reversing doors in a center position; and

FIG. 13 is the view of FIG. 12, showing the doors in a reversed, side position;

FIG. 14 is an upper, front, and left perspective view of a media cabinet with reversing door of the invention, showing a third alternative design with reversing doors in a center position; and

FIG. 15 is the view of FIG. 12, showing the doors in a reversed, side position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A preferred and exemplary embodiment 100 of a media cabinet with reversing door according to the invention is generally shown in the drawing figures and discussed below. More specifically, the media cabinet 100 is shown with left 142, center 144, and right 146 sections or modules (FIGS. 1, 2, 5, and 6).

The media cabinet 100 provides flexibility for housing multimedia support equipment, including signal processing and presentation devices. Thus, the media cabinet may be provided with various configurations for such equipment, including the shelving as shown, which shelving may be fixed or adjustable as is known by one having ordinary skill in the art. The multimedia devices housed in the media cabinet may include audio and video tuners and amplifiers, and speakers and video display devices. More specifically as to the storage shelving arrangement shown, a centered placement of the equipment is anticipated with an optional placement of a power center 132 and a cable pass through 134 (FIG. 6). Placement of a large video display device upon a top panel 102 of the cabinet 100 is also anticipated.

The power center may provide power conditioning and electronic component protection and may include various program source signal filtering, as is known. The inventor has found a power supply cord set model FC-717-CP with 720 Joules surge suppressor and with co-axial cable and phone wire connections from Furnlite, Inc. of Fallston, N.C., [www.furnlite.com] to be satisfactory.

The cable pass through 134 may be accomplished with various constructions and may preferably include a slot opening through the cabinet back as shown in the example. The cable pass through may further include two rows of flexible bristles 136 that extend into the slot from opposing top and bottom edges or the like. More specifically, Doug Mockett & Company, Inc. of Torrance, Calif., [www.mockett.com] offers a brush extrusion kit model BRKIT1 that is suitable for a pass through slot of about 3.75 inch (95 mm) width and about 12 inch (305 mm) length.

The top 102 of the media cabinet 100 may preferably be spaced above and generally aligned with a base 104 (FIGS. 1-6). A first or left side panel 112 extends upward from the base toward the top and extends between a front 106 and an opposing back 108 of the media cabinet (FIG. 3). A second panel 114 is spaced a first distance from the left panel. The second panel is parallel with the left panel and also extends upward from the base 104 toward the top 102 and between the front 106 and the back 108. The left and the second panels define a left section or module 142 of the media cabinet.

A third panel 116 is spaced a second distance from the second panel 114, so the second panel is interposed between the first and the third panels. The third panel is also parallel with the first panel 112, extends upward from the base 104 toward the top 102, and extends between the front 106 and the back 108. The second and the third panels define a center section or module 144 of the media cabinet.

As discussed above, an equipment space is anticipated in the embodiment shown as being defined between the second 114 and third 116 panels and the base 104 and top 102. The equipment space is adapted to house multimedia support equipment with placement of the power conditioner or a power strip 132 in the center section 144 for easy access and with placement of the cable pass through 134 in the center section. Of course, one may have a preference to adapt an alternative embodiment to use one or both of the side sections 142 and 146, for equipment housing with equivalent effect.

Finally, a fourth or right side panel 118 is spaced a third distance from the third panel 116, so the third panel is interposed between the second 114 and the fourth panels. The fourth panel is also parallel with the first panel 112, extends upward from the base 104 toward the top 102, and extends between the front 106 and the back 108. The third and the right panels define a right section or module 146 of the media cabinet.

The media cabinet 100 is provided as shown with at least one reversing door and more preferably a pair of doors 122 and 124. The reversing doors are connected with the media cabinet 100 in swinging engagement, so the doors swing between a first or center position (FIG. 1) in which the doors cover and conceal at least a portion of the center section 146, and a second or side position in which the center section is revealed and the doors cover and conceal at least a portion of the respective side sections 142 and 146. The swinging engagement may include pining the doors between the top 102 and the base 104, which is discussed further below, or hinging the doors 122 and 124 with the respective adjacent one of the second 114 and the third 116 panels, as one having ordinary skill in the art understands. Thus, the doors swing to cover the side media cabinet sections 142 and 146 separately (FIG. 5) or cover the center section 144 together (FIG. 1).

More specifically in the design example shown of a media cabinet 100, the left door 122 has a first door edge 126 that is adjacent the second panel 114 when in the first position and the door extends toward the third panel 116 to an opposite second door edge 128 (FIG. 1). The first door edge 126 is most preferably flush with a surface of the second panel that faces the left panel 112. The same arrangement is noted regarding the right door 124 in mirror image and relative to the third panel 116.

As shown in the drawing figures, this characteristic of the reversing doors is conveniently provided by pining the doors between the top 102 and the base 104. A top hinge pin 162 may be mounted on and extends downward from a bottom surface of the top panel 102 (FIG. 10). The pin 162 extends into a cooperating pin pocket 164 that is formed in a top edge of the door 122, near edge 126. The pocket 164 may be formed by various methods as may be desired and may include drilling or boring a blind hole into the top edge of the door and may further include pressing or placing a wear bushing into the hole.

A counter part bottom hinge pin 166 may extend upward through the base 104 (FIG. 11). The pin 166 extends into a cooperating pin pocket 168 that is formed in a bottom edge of the door 122, near edge 126. The pocket 168 may also be formed by various methods as may be desired, including drilling or boring a blind hole into the bottom edge of the door and further including pressing or placing a wear bushing into the hole. Threaded engagement of the bottom hinge pin 166 with the base 104 is preferably provided, so the pin 166 may be conveniently removable and facilitate installation and removal of the door 122. Thus, a screw may be provided for the pin 166. Further, a cooperating threaded insert 170 may be provided in the base 104. The threaded insert may be one of various commonly known hardware items, including a screw in or press in threaded barrel insert and a T-nut. While the pin hinge of door 122 is specifically discussed, the arrangement of door 122 again applies to the other door 124.

The left door 122 first door edge 126 remains adjacent the second panel 114 when in the second position and the door extends toward the left panel 112 to the opposite second door edge 128 (FIG. 5). The first door edge 126 is now most preferably flush with an opposing surface of the second panel 114, which opposing surface faces the third panel 116. Further in the design example shown, the second door edge 128 is preferably flush with an outer surface of the left panel 112, which outer surface faces away from the media cabinet. Thus, the first door aligns with and fully overlays the media cabinet left module 142 with the opposing door edges 126 and 128, flush with outer panel surfaces of the module. The same arrangement is again noted regarding the right door 124 in mirror image and relative to the third panel 116, the right panel 118, and the right module 146.

Another facet of the unique character of the reversing door media cabinet of the invention is a consideration that standard cabinet door latches and the like are not suited to use with reversing doors. Thus, an unique door catch is preferably used to releasably hold the doors 122 and 124 in their respective center and side closed positions. A magnet 182 may preferably be embedded into, although clearances may be arranged to permit surface mounting upon, the bottom surface of the top panel 102 (FIGS. 8 & 9). A cooperating magnet 184 may also be embedded into the top edge of the door 122 and near the door terminal edge 128. The magnet 184 and each of the magnets 182 are located to align in the respective center and side closed positions. A strong and durable magnet for this use is an earth magnet as is known. To further locate the door precisely, a stop 186 may be added as desired. This magnetic latch may alternatively or in combination, be located in the base 104. As an alternative, a bullet catch may be used as is commonly known to releasably latch a door. Again, this disclosure applies to door 124 as well as to door 122.

Considering again that the doors may swing inward across the front of the media cabinet to a first position in which the doors cover the center section 144 together (FIG. 1) and that the doors may swing outward across the front of the media cabinet to a second position in which the doors cover the side media cabinet sections 142 and 146 separately (FIG. 5), one understands that the center section extends along about half of a length of the media cabinet 100. Thus, the second distance, which is discussed above as being a spacing between the left and the second panels 112 and 114, is about half the length of the media cabinet and a remaining about half the length of the media cabinet is divided between the left and the right side modules 142 and 146, respectively. While the third distance, which is discussed above as being a spacing between the third and the fourth panels 116 and 118, may be different from the first distance, one having ordinary skill in the art appreciates an aesthetic desirability of having each of the first and the third distances the same. Having a common or modular width across the side sections also yields fabrication benefits in minimizing the number of unique components required and increasing use of duplicate components.

Understanding the relational geometry of the doors 122 and 124 with the media cabinet 100 and its various respective segments as suggested above, one having ordinary skill in the art will also understand that the doors may conceal a little more than half of the media cabinet when in either of the first (FIG. 1) and the second (FIG. 5) positions as shown. If the panels 112-118 had no physical thickness, then the doors would cover exactly half of the media cabinet. The panels do have thickness, however, which has a subtle and significant influence upon the relational geometry of the doors. A further influence of the same nature includes a foreseeable modification in which the doors do not overlay the side panels and abut them instead or in which the doors overlay only a portion of the side modules.

Considering that each of the reversing doors swings between the center (FIG. 1) and the side positions (FIG. 5) and thereby reveals each of two opposing surfaces or faces of the door panel, each door is provided with two opposing finished faces or front surfaces 152 and 154 relative to the left door 122, for example (FIGS. 2, 5, and 6). This is contrasted with a typical furniture door that has distinctly defined front and back surfaces.

The typical furniture door has its front surface displayed when the door is in a closed position. The back of the typical door is concealed when the door is closed and only revealed when the door is opened temporarily for access into the door's supporting cabinet. Thus, neither of the center (FIG. 1) and the side (FIG. 5) positions of the reversing doors 122 and 124 is dictated as either an open or a closed position by the character of each of the opposing door faces. Therefore, the cabinet provides enhanced flexibility of use by allowing a user to choose whether to consider the doors either opened or closed in either of the center and the side positions. This choice may also correspond with a choice to house the equipment in either the center or the side modules.

One having ordinary skill in the art understands that the media cabinet 100 is a piece of furniture that is assembled of various components, including the above panels 1 12-118, top 102, base 104, and doors 122 and 124. Each component may be fabricated of any suitable material and employing methods appropriate to the selected material. Further, the cabinet components may be interconnected with various suitable selected methods or connectors and adhesives. Materials technology and fabrication methods appear to develop and change fairly continually. One having ordinary skill in the art has knowledge of suitable materials and of effective methods for furniture fabrication, each of which is ancillary to the present invention of a configuration of a media cabinet with reversing door.

One having ordinary skill in the art and those who practice the invention will understand from this disclosure that various modifications and improvements beyond those suggested here, may be made without departing from the spirit of the disclosed inventive concept. One will also understand that various relational terms, including left, right, front, back, top, and bottom, for example, are used in the detailed description of the invention and in the claims only to convey relative positioning of various elements of the claimed invention.