Title:
Umbrella for reliably adjusting dome orientation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An angle-adjustable umbrella includes a central shaft consisting of at least a lower shaft tube and an upper shaft tube pivotally connected to the lower shaft tube by an angle-adjusting device; a rib assembly pivotally secured to an upper notch on a top of the shaft and a runner slidably held on the shaft; and the angle-adjusting device located in or adjacent to a central portion of a ferrule of the runner when opening the umbrella for ergonomically and reliably adjusting a dome orientation of the umbrella.



Inventors:
Lin, Chung-kuang (Taipei Hsien, TW)
Chang, Jung-jen (Taipei Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
11/430923
Publication Date:
11/15/2007
Filing Date:
05/10/2006
Assignee:
Fu Tai Umbrella Works, Ltd.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45B17/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060289046Mobility assistance devicesDecember, 2006Cato III
20090250088ERGONOMIC CRUTCHOctober, 2009Gibbons et al.
20070204896URB-Brella patentSeptember, 2007Gereke
20050087220Car tentApril, 2005Christensen
20070221263Reinforcement device of folding tentSeptember, 2007Tai
20030140953ShadeMeisterJuly, 2003Donald Jr.
20100024856Operation system for outdoor umbrellaFebruary, 2010Li
20040163691Foldable structure of large-sized umbrellaAugust, 2004Ma
20020104558Two-folded automatic opened umbrellaAugust, 2002Kuo
20080276977MOBILITY ASSISTANCE DEVICENovember, 2008Jowett et al.
20040200517Bow spring of a folded umbrellaOctober, 2004Ko



Primary Examiner:
JACKSON, DANIELLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TROXELL LAW OFFICE PLLC (FALLS CHURCH, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An angle-adjustable umbrella comprising: a central shaft consisting of at least a lower shaft tube and an upper shaft tube pivotally connected with an angle-adjusting means; a rib assembly for securing an umbrella cover thereon including at least a top rib pivotally secured to an upper notch formed on a top of said central shaft and a stretcher rib respectively pivotally secured to said top rib and to a ferrule of a runner slidably held on said central shaft; said angle-adjusting means located at or adjacent to a central portion of said ferrule of said runner; whereby upon biasing of said upper shaft tube about said angle-adjusting means, said umbrella cover will be angularly oriented by deviating an upper axis of said upper shaft tube from a lower axis of said lower shaft tube.

2. An umbrella according to claim 1, wherein said central shaft includes at least a lowermost shaft tube telescopically engaged with said lower shaft tube.

3. An umbrella according to claim 1, wherein said angle-adjusting means includes a first disk member formed with the lower shaft tube, a second disk member formed with the upper shaft tube and pivotally connected with said first disk member by a pivot; said first disk member rotatably engaged with said second disk member.

4. An umbrella according to claim 3, wherein said first disk member is secured to the lower shaft tube, and includes: a plurality of first teeth annularly formed on an inside periphery of the first disk member each said first tooth having a ridge line radially aligned with a radius of the first disk member, a central hole formed through the first disk member for pivotally inserting the pivot through the central hole, a first cylindrical chamber recessed in an outer portion of the first disk member for passing the pivot through the cylindrical chamber having a first tension spring disposed around the pivot and retained within the first cylindrical chamber in between a first chamber bottom and an end cap of the pivot, and a first disk recess adjacent to the first teeth for rotatably mounting therein the second disk member as releasably rotatably engaged with the first disk member.

5. An umbrella according to claim 4, wherein said first disk member, as engaged with said second disk member, further includes a lower sleeve protruding downwardly for inserting the lower shaft tube in a sleeve hole recessed in the lower sleeve, and a ring portion circumferentially formed on the lower sleeve for engaging a runner when opening the umbrella.

6. An umbrella according to claim 5, wherein said lower sleeve has a first disk recess formed in an upper portion of the lower sleeve for accommodating the second disk member in the disk recess.

7. An umbrella according to claim 3, wherein each said disk member is formed as a circular disk.

8. An umbrella according to claim 3, wherein said second disk member, equivalent to and corresponding to the first disk member and secured to the upper shaft tube, includes: a plurality of second teeth annularly formed on an inside periphery of the second disk member each said second tooth having a ridge line radially aligned with a radius of the second disk member, a central hole formed through the second disk member for pivotally inserting the pivot through the central hole, a second cylindrical chamber recessed in an outer portion of the second disk member for passing the pivot through the cylindrical chamber having a second tension spring disposed around the pivot and retained within the second cylindrical chamber in between a second chamber bottom and a nut rotatably engaged with the pivot, and a second disk recess adjacent to the second teeth for rotatably mounting therein the first disk member as releasably rotatably engaged with the second disk member.

9. An umbrella according to claim 8, wherein said second disk member further includes an upper sleeve protruding upwardly for inserting the upper shaft tube in a sleeve hole recessed in the upper sleeve.

10. An umbrella according to claim 9, wherein said upper sleeve has a second disk recess formed therein for accommodating the first disk member in said disk recess.

11. An umbrella according to claim 1, wherein said runner includes: a ferrule for pivotally securing the stretcher ribs of the rib assembly, a tubular body secured to the ferrule and slidably held on the shaft tube, and a push button slidably mounted in the tubular body for operatively disengaging the runner, when locked on an umbrella-opening position, for closing the umbrella.

12. An umbrella according to claim 11, wherein said push button includes a ring member slidably disposed on the shaft tube, a latch formed on the ring member and operatively engaged with a ring portion formed on a lower sleeve of an angle-adjusting means when opening the umbrella, and a spring retained in the tubular body of the runner and normally resiliently urging the latch and the push button outwardly in order to be depressed when intended to close the umbrella.

13. An umbrella according to claim 8, wherein said nut is formed with a socket recessed in the nut adapted to be driven by a tool.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

U.S. Pat. No. 5,086,797 disclosed an umbrella frame having a joint or tilting means (1) provided in between a top (3) of a shaft (4, 5) and a runner (2) for tilting the first part (4) of the shaft with respect to the second part (5) of the shaft. However, this prior art has the following drawbacks:

    • 1. Reviewing the sketch as illustrated in FIG. 8 for simulating the tilting of the upper part (S1) of the shaft with respect to the lower part (S2) of the prior art, even the upper part (S1) has been biased for a large angle A (such as 70° as deviated from the original shaft axis), the umbrella dome U is slightly biased since a central axis defined between a top T and a runner center C is only biased for a small angle B.
    • 2. A force arm of the upper part S1 of the shaft (between the top T and pivot D) is so small since the pivot D is located between the top T and the runner (at position C in FIG. 8) so that the tilting adjustment for tilting the umbrella dome U will require a heavier force, thereby causing an inconvenient or uncomfortable operation for tilting the umbrella dome or frame.
    • 3. The snout (12) of the joint ball (10) is obtuse (for the reason to be stably retained in the recess 15 formed in the cup 11) and the number of the annular recess or grooves 15 adapted to be engaged with the snout (12) of the prior art may thus be limited, the umbrella frame can not be micro-adjusted accordingly.

The present inventor has found the drawbacks of the prior art and invented the present umbrella for reliably adjusting a dome orientation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide an angle-adjustable umbrella including a central shaft consisting of at least a lower shaft tube and an upper shaft tube pivotally connected to the lower shaft tube by an angle-adjusting device; a rib assembly pivotally secured to an upper notch on a top of the shaft and a runner slidably held on the shaft; and the angle-adjusting device located in or adjacent to a central portion of a ferrule of the runner when opening the umbrella for ergonomically and reliably adjusting a dome orientation of the umbrella.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an illustration showing an opening umbrella in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an illustration showing an inclined umbrella of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a sectional drawing of the angle-adjusting means of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a modification of the angle-adjusting means of the present invention.

FIG. 5 shows a first disk member of the angle-adjusting means of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a right-side view of the disk member as shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is an illustration showing an inclined umbrella in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 8 is an illustration showing an inclined umbrella as inferentially made from the prior art of U.S. Pat. No. 5,086,797.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As shown in FIGS. 1˜7, the present invention comprises: a central shaft 1 consisting of at least a lower shaft tube 11 and an upper shaft tube 12; a rib assembly 2 pivotally secured to an upper notch 20 on a top of the shaft 1 and pivotally secured to a runner 4 slidably held on the shaft 1; and an angle-adjusting means 3 pivotally connecting the upper shaft tube 12 and the lower shaft tube 11 and located in or adjacent to a central portion of the runner 4 when opening the umbrella.

The central shaft 1 may be multiple folds consisting of a plurality of tubes telescopically engageable with on another. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a lowermost shaft tube 13 is telescopically engaged with the lower shaft tube 11. When opening the umbrella, the tubes 11, 13, 12 are extended and locked by a fastener 14 provided on the shaft 1. However, the number of tubes for forming the telescopic shaft 1 is not limited in the present invention.

The rib assembly 2 includes: a top rib 21 pivotally secured to the upper notch 20 on the top of the shaft 1, and a stretcher rib 22 pivotally secured to the top rib 21 and the runner 4.

The rib assembly 2 may also be formed as multiple folds, but not limited in the present invention.

The angle-adjusting means 3 includes: a first disk member 31, a second disk member 32 releasably rotatably engaged with the first disk member 31 and pivotally connected with the first disk member 31 by a pivot 33 resiliently axially retained in between the first and second disk members 31, 32.

The angle-adjusting means 3 is located in (or adjacent to) a central portion of a ferrule 41 of the runner 3 when locked on the shaft 1 when opening the umbrella (FIG. 1).

The first disk member 31 secured to the lower shaft tube 11, equivalent to and corresponding to the second disk member 32, includes: a plurality of first teeth 311 annularly formed on an inside periphery of the first disk member 31 each first tooth 311 having a ridge line (or top land) 311t radially aligned with a radius R of the disk member 31, a central hole 310 formed through the first disk member 31 for pivotally inserting the pivot 33 through the central hole 310, a first cylindrical chamber 312 recessed in an outer portion of the first disk member 31 for passing the pivot 33 through the cylindrical chamber 312 having a first tension spring 331 disposed around the pivot 33 and retained within the first cylindrical chamber 312 in between a first chamber bottom 312 and an end cap 333 of the pivot 33, and a disk recess 310r (FIG. 5) adjacent to the first teeth 311 for rotatably mounting the second disk member 32 as releasably rotatably engaged with the first disk member 31.

The first disk member 31 further includes a lower sleeve 313 protruding downwardly for inserting the lower shaft tube 11 in a sleeve hole 315 recessed in the lower sleeve 313, and a ring portion 314 circumferentially formed on the lower sleeve 313 for engaging the runner 4 when opening the umbrella.

The disk recess 310r is formed on an upper portion of the lower sleeve 313 for accommodating the second disk member 32 in the disk recess 310r.

Each disk member 31, 32 may be formed as a circular disk, or a semi-spherical shaped member.

Each disk member 31 or 32 may be integrally or directly formed with the shaft tube 11 or 12 respectively.

The second disk member 32, equivalent to and corresponding to the first disk member 31 and secured to the upper shaft tube 12, includes: a plurality of second teeth 321 annularly formed on an inside periphery of the second disk member 32 each second tooth 321 having a ridge line radially aligned with a radius of the disk member 32, a central hole 320 formed through the second disk member 32 for pivotally inserting the pivot 33 through the central hole 320, a second cylindrical chamber 322 recessed in an outer portion of the second disk member 32 for passing the pivot 33 through the cylindrical chamber 322 having a second tension spring 332 disposed around the pivot 33 and retained within the second cylindrical chamber 322 in between a second chamber bottom 322b and a nut 334 rotatably engaged with the pivot 33, and a disk recess 320r adjacent to the second teeth 321 for rotatably mounting the first disk member 31 as releasably rotatably engaged with the second disk member 32.

The second disk member 32 further includes an upper sleeve 323 protruding upwardly for inserting the upper shaft tube 12 in a sleeve hole 325 recessed in the upper sleeve 323.

The runner 4 includes: a ferrule 41 for pivotally securing the stretcher ribs 22 of the rib assembly 2, a tubular body 42 secured to the ferrule 41 and slidably held on the shaft tube 11, and a push button 43 slidably mounted in the tubular body 42 for operatively disengaging the runner 4, when locked on an umbrella-opening position, for closing the umbrella.

The push button 43 includes a ring member 43r slidably disposed on the shaft tube 11, a latch 44 formed on the ring member 43r and operatively engaged with the ring portion 314 formed on the lower sleeve 313 of the angle-adjusting means 3 when opening the umbrella, and a spring 45 retained in the tubular body 42 of the runner 4 and normally resiliently urging the latch 44 and the push button 43 outwardly in order to be depressed when intended to close the umbrella.

Other locking mechanisms for locking the runner 4 on the shaft when opening the umbrella may be further modified in the present invention, not limited.

As shown in FIG. 4, the nut 334 may be modified to have a socket 334a recessed in the nut adapted to be driven by a driver or other tools.

Upon fastening of the nut 334 on the pivot 33 as bearing against the resilience of the tension springs 332, 331 respectively retained in the cylindrical chambers 322, 312, the first and second disk members 31, 32 will be tightly engaged with each other as limited by the end cap 333 and the nut 334 of the pivot 33.

When it is intended to adjust an inclined angle or orientation of the umbrella dome U (or canopy or cover), the pulling of the umbrella dome U (or the biasing of the upper tube 12) will disengage the first disk member 31 from the second disk member 32 (namely, disengaging the first and second teeth 311, 321 rotatably engaging with each other) until obtaining the desired inclined dome orientation by biasing the upper tube 12 (about an upper axis X1) from the lower tube 11 (about a lower axis X).

When deadly locking the nut 334 on the pivot 33 for limiting the two disk members 31, 32 between the cap 333 and the nut 334, the two disk members 31, 32 will be “locked” without further rotation, thereby stably securely locking the upper shaft tube 12 above the lower shaft tube 11 defining a bending angle between the tubes 11, 12.

As illustrated in FIG. 7 for the present invention, the upper tube 12 is biased for angle A (e.g. 70°) and the opposite stretcher ribs 22 are each biased with angle A about a center C (which may be assumed as a fulcrum or center of the angle-adjusting means 3 and of the ferrule 41 of the runner 4 of the present invention). Therefore, the umbrella dome U is biased with the angle A which is greater than the tilting angel B as effected by the prior art as illustrated in FIG. 8 since angle A is always larger than angle B in view of the triangle TCD as shown in FIG. 8.

Accordingly, the present invention may be operated for precisely adjusting a biasing angle for reliably orienting the umbrella dome U. Meanwhile, the force arm F of the present invention is greater than that F1 of the prior art, indicating that the present invention may be operated more lightly and ergonomically.

For angularly biasing the umbrella dome of the present invention, it can be micro-adjusted due to the tooth-to-tooth engagement between the two disk members 31, 32. So, the present invention may be adjusted in a more precise biasing angle when tilting the umbrella dome.

Accordingly, this invention is especially suitable for serving as a beach umbrella or an umbrella for shielding sunlight in a play ground, pool or recreation center.

The present invention is superior to the prior art such as the U.S. Pat. No. 5,086,797.

The present invention may be modified without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.