Title:
Adjustable angle oscillating fan
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The adjustable angle oscillating fan comprises of a base with a mounting post to which is mounted a motor housing with an enclosed electric motor. The control for the fan speed is generally located in the base but may alternatively be positioned on the mounting post. The fan is affixed to one end of the electric motor axle. A fan cage is mounted to the motor housing and encloses the fan blades. A reduction gear box is affixed to the other end of the electric motor axle. The reduction gear box conveys the torque from the electric motor at a reduced rotational speed to a vertical axle extending generally below the electric motor. The adjustable mechanism is mounted at or near the bottom end of the vertical axle. The adjustable mechanism comprises of a flexible elongated member with a narrow section between its two ends. An adjustment means is connected to an end of the flexible elongated member and moves the end of the flexible elongated member vertically up and down. A pivoting arm connects the narrow section of the flexible elongated member to a fixed post on the base near the motor housing mounting post. The oscillating angle of the fan is varied depending on the distance of the narrow section from the vertical axle. The end user only needs to adjust the adjustable mechanism to move the narrow section's location to adjust the oscillating angle of the fan.



Inventors:
Tsaur, Garry (Rowland Heights, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/490552
Publication Date:
01/24/2008
Filing Date:
07/21/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24F7/007
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Primary Examiner:
TOWNS, BRITTANY E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOE NIEH (West Covina, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An adjustable mechanism to change the oscillating angle of an adjustable angle oscillating fan comprising a flexible elongated member with a narrow section between its two ends wherein a first end of said flexible elongated member is attached to a bottom end of a vertical axle in a fan and a second end of said flexible elongated member is attached to an adjustment means which moves said second end of said flexible elongated member vertically up and down.

2. An adjustable mechanism to change the oscillating angle of an adjustable angle oscillating fan as in claim 1, wherein said flexible elongated member is made from a single unitary piece of material.

3. An adjustable mechanism to change the oscillating angle of an adjustable angle oscillating fan as in claim 1, wherein said adjustment means is a threaded member which engages a fixed member on said fan with corresponding threads.

4. An adjustable mechanism to change the oscillating angle of an adjustable angle oscillating fan as in claim 3, wherein a first end of said threaded member is provided with a knob that can be rotated to raise or lower the threaded member against said flexible elongated member and a second end of said threaded member is rotatably engaged to said second end of said flexible elongated member with a ball joint type of connection.

5. An adjustable mechanism to change the oscillating angle of an adjustable angle oscillating fan comprising a first rigid elongated member and a second rigid elongated member pivotally joined at an end.

6. An adjustable mechanism to change the oscillating angle of an adjustable angle oscillating fan as in claim 5, wherein said end that is pivotally joined has a smaller cross section than the rigid elongated members.

7. An adjustable mechanism to change the oscillating angle of an adjustable angle oscillating fan comprising a first rigid elongated member and a second rigid elongated member each with an end pivotally connected to a separate end of a third member.

8. An adjustable mechanism to change the oscillating angle of an adjustable angle oscillating fan as in claim 7, wherein said third member has a smaller cross section than said first rigid elongated member and said second rigid elongated members.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to an oscillating electric fan. More specifically, the present invention relates to a mechanism for adjusting the oscillating angle of an oscillating electric fan.

2. Description of Related Art

Conventional oscillating electric fan generally comprises of a base with a mounting post to which is mounted a motor housing. The control for the fan speed is generally located in the base. The fan, generally comprises of plastic fan blades but may also be made of metal, is affixed to one end of the electric motor axle. A fan cage is mounted to the motor housing and encloses the fan blades. A reduction gear box is affixed to the other end of the electric motor axle. The reduction gear box conveys the torque from the electric motor at a reduced rotational speed to a small disc generally located under the electric motor. A pin is affixed at a fixed radius from the center of the disc. A pivoting arm connects the pin to a fixed post on the base near the motor housing mounting post. As the electric motor is activated, the fan blades would rotate and generate air movement. The disc under the motor housing would also rotate, although at a much slower rotational speed, and oscillate the motor housing. This results in an electric fan that would move its head left and right through a predetermined fixed arc. Traditionally, only the speed of the electric motor, thereby, the rotational speed of the fan, can be adjusted by the end user.

Furthermore, the relatively simplistic design and small number of parts in the conventional oscillating electric fan results in low manufacturing cost and retail price of the product. Therefore, to maintain the competitiveness and low cost of the design, any modification would necessarily require minimal changes to the existing structure and design of the oscillating electric fan and with the least number of parts required.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is an adjustable mechanism for adjustable angle oscillating fan. The mechanism would enable the adjustable angle oscillating fan to oscillate at various oscillating angles controllable by the end user. The adjustable mechanism is simple to operate and is reliable due to the minimal number of parts. The adjustable mechanism has relatively few parts and generally has a simple design to minimize changes to existing structure and to enable low production costs. The adjustable mechanism will enable the production of the adjustable angle oscillating electric fans at virtually the same cost as conventional oscillating electric fans and with virtually the same number of parts in the product.

The adjustable angle oscillating fan comprises of a base with a mounting post to which is mounted a motor housing with an enclosed electric motor. The control for the fan speed is generally located in the base. The control may also be positioned on the mounting post. The fan is affixed to one end of the electric motor axle. A fan cage is mounted to the motor housing and encloses the fan blades. A reduction gear box is affixed to the other end of the electric motor axle. The reduction gear box conveys the torque from the electric motor at a reduced rotational speed to a vertical axle extending generally below the electric motor. The adjustable mechanism is mounted at or near the bottom end of the vertical axle.

The adjustable mechanism comprises of a one-piece flexible elongated member with a narrow section between its two ends. The top end of the flexible elongated member is attached to the bottom of the vertical axle. The bottom end of the flexible elongated member is attached to an adjustment means which moves the bottom end vertically up and down. A pivoting arm connects the flexible elongated member at the narrow section to a fixed post on the base near the motor housing mounting post. As the bottom end of the flexible elongated member is moved up by the adjustment means, the flexible elongated member will bend at the narrow section thereby increasing the distance between the end of the pivoting arm and the axis of the vertical axle. As the bottom end of the flexible elongated member is moved down by the adjustment means, the flexible elongated member will straighten thereby moving the narrow section with the end of the pivoting arm closer to the axis of the vertical axle. As the electric motor is activated, the fan blades would rotate and generate air movement. The vertical axle would also rotate, although at a much slower rotational speed, and oscillate the motor housing and the fan. The oscillating angle of the fan is varied depending on the distance of the narrow section from the vertical axle. The end user only needs to adjust the position of the narrow section through the adjustment means to adjust the oscillating angle of the fan.

Alternatively, the flexible elongated member may comprise of two relatively rigid members pivotally joined at one end resulting in a structure similar to the one-piece flexible elongated member. A further embodiment of the adjustable device comprises of two relatively rigid members each with an end pivotally connected to an end of a third relatively rigid member thereby forming a similar structure to the one-piece flexible elongated member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a side view of a conventional free-standing oscillating electric fan.

FIG. 2 shows a rear view of a conventional free-standing oscillating electric fan.

FIG. 3 shows a side view of the preferred embodiment of the adjustable mechanism.

FIG. 4 shows a side view of the preferred embodiment of the adjustable mechanism in an adjustable angle oscillating fan.

FIG. 5 shows a side view of another embodiment of the adjustable mechanism.

FIG. 6 shows a side view of another embodiment of the adjustable mechanism.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The following description and figures are meant to be illustrative only and not limiting. Other embodiments of this invention will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art in view of this description.

A conventional oscillating electric fan is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. A conventional oscillating electric fan generally comprises of a base 1 with a mounting post 2 to which is mounted a motor housing 3. The control 4 for the fan speed is generally located in the base 1 but may alternatively be positioned on the mounting post 2. The fan 5 is affixed to one end of the electric motor axle 6. A fan cage 7 is mounted to the motor housing 3 and encloses the fan blades 5. A reduction gear box 8 is affixed to the other end of the electric motor axle 6. Extending from the top of the reduction gear box is a knob 9 for stopping the oscillation of the fan. When the knob 9 is pulled the transfer gear is disengaged from the electric motor 10 and the connection to the oscillating mechanism 11 is disengaged. The reduction gear box 8 conveys the torque from the electric motor 10 at a reduced rotational speed through a vertical axle 15 to the oscillating mechanism 11, which is a small disc 12 generally located under the electric motor 10. A pin 13 is affixed at a fixed radius from the center of the disc 12. A pivoting arm 14 connects the pin 13 to a fixed post on the base near the motor housing 3 mounting post 2. As the electric motor 10 is activated, the fan blades 5 would rotate and generate air movement. The disc 12 under the electric motor 10 would also rotate, although at a much slower rotational speed, and oscillate the motor housing 3.

The present invention is an adjustable mechanism to change the oscillating angle of an adjustable angle oscillating fan. The adjustable mechanism replaces the disc 12 and the pin 13. The adjustable mechanism is mounted at or near the bottom end of the vertical axle 15. In the preferred embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the adjustable mechanism comprises of a one-piece flexible elongated member 16 with a narrow section 17 between its two ends 18, 19. The top end 18 of the flexible elongated member 16 is attached to the bottom of the vertical axle 15. The bottom end 19 of the flexible elongated member 16 is attached to an adjustment means 20 which moves the bottom end 19 vertically up and down.

In the preferred embodiment, the adjustment means 20 is a threaded member which engages a fixed member with corresponding threads. One end of the threaded member is provided with a knob 21 that can be rotated to raise or lower the threaded member against the flexible elongated member 16. The other end of the threaded member is rotatably engaged to the bottom end 19 of the flexible elongated member 16 with a ball joint type of connection. Alternatively, the threaded member may be rotated by a step-motor to raise or lower the threaded member against the flexible elongated member 16.

One end of the pivoting arm 14 connects to the flexible elongated member 16 at the narrow section 17 while the other end of the pivoting arm 14 connects to the fixed post on the base near the motor housing mounting post 2. The connections at both ends of the pivoting arm 14 are such that the pivoting arm 14 can freely rotate around the flexible elongated member 16 and the fixed post. In the preferred embodiment, the pivoting arm 14 has a hole at each of its end through which the flexible elongate member 16 and the fixed post is inserted.

As the bottom end of the flexible elongated member 16 is moved up by the adjustment means 20, the flexible elongated member 16 will bend at the narrow section 17 thereby increasing the distance between the end of the pivoting arm 14 and the axis of the vertical axle 15. As the bottom end 19 of the flexible elongated member 16 is moved down by the adjustment means 20, the flexible elongated member 16 will straighten thereby moving the narrow section 17 with the end of the pivoting arm 14 closer to the axis of the vertical axle 15.

As the electric motor 10 is activated, the fan blades 5 would rotate and generate air movement. The vertical axle 15 would also rotate, although at a much slower rotational speed, and oscillate the motor housing 3 and the fan. The oscillating angle of the fan is varied depending on the distance of the narrow section 17 from the vertical axle 15. The end user only needs to adjust the position of the narrow section 17 through the adjustment means 20 to adjust the oscillating angle of the fan.

Alternatively, the adjustable mechanism may comprise of two relatively rigid elongated members 22, 23 pivotally joined at one end 24, 25 resulting in a structure similar to the one-piece flexible elongated member 16, as shown in FIG. 5. The cross-section of the end 24, 25 that is pivotally joined is preferably of a smaller diameter such that the end of the pivoting arm 14 can rotatably attach at the joint and rotate freely without binding. This alternate embodiment does not use a flexible material thereby eliminates any possible fatigue of the material due to bending and straightening at the joint.

FIG. 6 shows a further embodiment of the adjustable mechanism comprising two relatively rigid members 26, 27 each with an end pivotally connected to a different end of a third relatively rigid member 28 thereby forming a similar structure to the one-piece flexible elongated member 16. The third relatively rigid member 28 is preferably of a smaller diameter such that the end of the pivoting arm 14 can rotatably attach to the member 28 and rotate freely without binding. This embodiment also does not use a flexible material thereby eliminates any possible fatigue of the material due to bending and straightening at the joint.

Although the invention has been described in terms of particular embodiments and applications, one of ordinary skill in the art, in light of this teaching, can generate additional embodiments and modifications without departing from the spirit of or exceeding the scope of the claimed invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the drawings and descriptions herein are proffered by way of example to facilitate comprehension of the invention and should not be construed to limit the scope thereof.