Title:
Adhesive based digital single lens reflex camera sensor cleaner
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cleaning device for removing foreign particles off of a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera sensor filter comprising a hand held application wand, a double sided adhesive foam tape and a grouping of extra foam tapes that form a pad which is kept clean within a reusable bag. The user would hold the application wand by the finger grip, remove one release tab from the pad and adhere the base of the application wand to the top of the exposed foam tape so that the shape of the wand base and the foam tape align. The user would then lift up on the wand with their hand and remove the foam tape from the pad. The next step would be to insert the wand base and foam tape into the DSLR lens opening where the sensor filter resides. The foam tape would be pressed down onto the sensor filter and adhere any foreign particles to its adhesive. The wand and foam tape would then be removed by lifting up on the wand with ones hand. The cleaning adhesive is specially designed to leave no residue or contamination on the sensor filter. After cleaning the user would remove the used foam tape from the wand base by hand and discard. The wand would be kept for future cleaning.



Inventors:
Wordhouse, Ross (Bend, OR, US)
Application Number:
11/602025
Publication Date:
05/22/2008
Filing Date:
11/20/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/104.002
International Classes:
A47L25/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KARLS, SHAY LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HURLEY RE (BEND, OR, US)
Claims:
1. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter comprising: a first adhesive member having a first upper adhesive surface, and a second lower adhesive surface having a greater adhesive strength than the first upper adhesive surface; a release tab removably adhered to the first upper adhesive surface of the first adhesive member; a resilient pad adhered to the second lower adhesive surface of the first adhesive member; a polymeric adhesive layer thermally bonded to the resilient pad, the polymeric layer having an adhesive sensor filter cleaning surface facing away from the foam pad; and, a protective cover layer removably adhered to the adhesive sensor filter cleaning surface.

2. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter according to claim 1 wherein the length and width of the first adhesive layer are less than the respective length and width of the resilient pad.

3. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter according to claim 1 wherein the polymeric adhesive layer comprises polyethylene.

4. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter according to claim 1 wherein the adhesive sensor filter cleaning surface is selected to leave a residue-free sensor surface.

5. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter according to claim 1 wherein the release tab is removable from an upper adhesive surface of the first adhesive member.

6. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor according to claim 1 further comprising a handle adhered to the upper adhesive surface of the first adhesive member.

7. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter according to claim 7 wherein the handle comprises a lower surface for receiving the first upper adhesive surface of the first adhesive member and an upper elongate portion.

8. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor according to claim 1 further comprising a plurality of cleaning members mounted on a supportive under layer, each cleaning member comprising: a first adhesive member having a first upper adhesive surface, and a second lower adhesive surface having a greater adhesive strength than the first upper adhesive surface; a release tab removably adhered to the first upper adhesive surface of the first adhesive member; a resilient pad adhered to the second lower adhesive surface of the first adhesive member; a polymeric adhesive layer thermally bonded to the resilient pad, the polymeric layer having an adhesive sensor cleaning surface facing away from the foam pad; and, a protective cover layer removably adhered to the adhesive sensor filter cleaning surface.

9. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor according to claim 8 further comprising each member being individually releasable from the supportive under layer.

10. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter according to claim 8 wherein the length and width of the first adhesive layer are less than the respective length and width of the resilient pad.

11. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter according to claim 8 wherein the polymeric adhesive layer comprises polyethylene.

12. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter according to claim 8 wherein the adhesive sensor filter cleaning surface is selected to leave a residue-free sensor surface.

13. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter according to claim 8 wherein the release tab is removable from an upper adhesive surface of the first adhesive member.

14. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter according to claim 8 wherein the length and width of the first adhesive layer are less than the respective length and width of the resilient pad.

15. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter according to claim 1 wherein the polymeric adhesive layer adhesive sensor filter cleaning surface comprises and acrylic adhesive.

16. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter according to claim 15 wherein the polymeric adhesive layer adhesive sensor filter cleaning surface has a steel bonding strength of about 1 ounce per square inch.

17. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter according to claim 15 wherein the polymeric adhesive layer adhesive sensor filter cleaning surface has a steel bonding strength of between about 0.5 and 4 ounces per square inch.

18. A tool for cleaning a digital single lens reflex camera sensor filter according to claim 7 further comprising the upper elongate portion having a central longitudinal axis, and a gripping portion offset from the central longitudinal axis.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. More specifically this invention relates to the safe removal of foreign particles that accumulate on the internal imaging sensor filter found within a DSLR camera. A principle function of this invention is to clean the sensor without causing contamination, residue or damage to the sensor filter.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

DSLR camera sensor filters are most often cleaned by several means ie; electrostatic brush, sterile swab and liquid and hand held air puffers. Most of these systems don't function at a performance level that is desirable and leave many foreign particles on the sensor filter after cleaning. The brush and the swab cleaning method uses a dragging motion to remove the dust which might scratch the sensor filter during the cleaning process. Also, both the brush and the swab method uses parts that can not pass FAA security check points for airline passenger boarding. The brush uses canned air that can not be taken on a plane by any means and the swab used flammable liquid that can not be carried aboard the passenger compartment of a commercial airliner. Many traveling photographers do not like being separated from their camera equipment due to its high cost and being fragile. So, the ability to offer a device which can be carried on board an airliner is much desired.

An alternative solution would be using a cleaning device that uses a hand held motion of up and down during the cleaning process which would exclude the possible sensor scratching due to the dragging method of the brush and swab. In order to adhere the foreign particles to this new cleaning device an adhesive is being utilized. This adhesive has been specifically designed for glass and plastic applications that will not leave contamination or residue after application. This new cleaning device consists of three main elements, the hand operated application wand, a double sided foam tape and a pad used for storing multiple foam tapes. This new device does not use anything that is considered contraband by the FAA and can be brought aboard the passenger compartment of a commercial airliner.

Regarding prior art of an adhesive sensor filter cleaner, the inventor did a thorough search within the United States Patent and Application archives and could not find any reference to an adhesive based DSLR sensor cleaner that uses an up and down motion, leaves no residue during application and has an application wand, double sided foam tape and a pad for storing multiple foam tapes. It is the inventor's opinion that the above stated adhesive cleaning device is a new and effective invention for the intended use providing certain advantages to be described in detail.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is a cleaning device for removing foreign particles from a sensor filter found within the internal workings of a functioning DSLR camera. The unique aspects of the present invention are first, the combination of the three main elements, the application wand, the foam tape and the pad to create an easy to use and safe sensor filter cleaning device for the removal of foreign particles that can be used multiple times. Second, the adhesive used to remove the foreign particles leaves no adhesive residue or contamination after application. The Third feature is the use of soft foam between the application wand and the cleaning adhesive to help cushion and soften the hand held cleaning process. The fourth feature is using removable adhesive tape on the top of the foam so the foam can be removed from the wand by hand and discarded. This provides an effective and easy solution for the reuse of the wand and new cleaning foam tapes that reside on the pad. The island position of this removable adhesive tape is to eliminate the chance of adhesive contamination when the foam tape is kiss-cut during manufacturing. The fifth feature is the combination of many foam tapes to form a pad that is contained within a reseal-able bag. This feature allows for multiple future uses and keeps the unused foam tapes clean. The sixth feature is the unique application wand design, it has a finger grip that offsets the user's fingers so the user can have a clearer sight path of the sensor filter and can apply the invention more easily. The seventh feature is that the application wand base and the cleaning tape are sized so that no matter what size the DSLR sensor is, the foam cleaning adhesive can cover every inch of the sensor filter with only four applications. The eight feature of this new invention is the ability to pass FAA regulations regarding materials that can be carried aboard the passenger's compartment of a commercial airliner.

An alternative feature is the ability to produce pads that contain fewer or greater number of foam tapes in order to achieve a price point for the retail market. An alternative construction would be to apply a sprayed or coated adhesive directly to the sides of the foam to produce the desired adhesive properties found in this invention. Although adhesive is the preferred method of foreign particle removal, an electrostatic soft rubber, film or the like could be used in it's place to pick up the dust particles. This option is currently being researched.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective drawing of the application wand.

FIG. 2 is a perspective drawing of the double sided cleaning foam tape.

FIG. 3 is a perspective drawing of the foam tape pad and it's reseal able bag.

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the foam tape construction.

FIG. 5 is a top view of the foam tape and the removable tape.

FIG. 6 is a cross section of the foam tape pad construction.

FIG. 7 is a top view of the foam tape pad.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the foam tape pad.

FIG. 9 is multiple views of the application wand.

FIG. 10 is the first step in using the invention which is revealing the pad from the bag and removing a tab that exposes the strong removable adhesive on the top of the foam tape.

FIG. 11 is the second step in using the invention which is aligning the application wand to the top of the foam tape and pressing down. Then the user would lift up and remove the foam tape from the pad.

FIG. 12 is the last step in using the invention where the user would remove the used foam tape and discard it, keeping the wand for future cleaning.

FIG. 13 is the third step in using the invention where the user would place the application wand that has the cleaning foam tape on the end of it and place it within the DSLR camera.

FIG. 14a is the fourth step in using the invention which is placing the wand down onto the sensor filter within the DSLR.

FIG. 14b is the fifth step in using the invention which is placing one of the corners of the foam tape on a corner of the sensor filter and pressing down. The user would continue this process in each corner of the sensor.

FIG. 14c is the sixth step in using the invention which is removing the application wand and cleaning foam tape from the DSLR camera.

FIG. 15 is the process of applying the foam tape to the sensor filter.

FIG. 16 is the cleaning pattern of a full size sensor filter.

FIG. 17 is the cleaning pattern of a smaller sized sensor filter.

FIG. 18 is the FTIR analysis of applying one cleaning adhesive foam tape 4 times to a KBr crystal.

FIG. 19 is the FTIR analysis of applying 25 cleaning adhesive foam tapes 4 times each to a KBr crystal.

DRAWING REFERENCE NUMERALS

20 Finger Grip

21 Stem

22 Angle Support

23 Base

24 Wand Width Measurement

25 Wand Height Measurement

26 Side View

27 Side View

28 Top View

29 Base Height Measurement

30 Base Width Measurement

40 Release Tab

41 BC9418 High Tack/Medium Tack Removable Tape

42 BC13100 Soft Open Cell Foam

43 3M 2104C Polymask

44 Mylar Carrier Card

45 Reseal able Plastic Bag

50 BC 13100 Width Measurement

51 BC9418 Width Measurement

52 BC 13100 Height Measurement

53 BC9418 Height Measurement

54 Mylar Card Width Measurement

55 Mylar Card Height Measurement

56 Mylar Gap Height Measurement

57 Foam Pad Height Measurement

58 Mylar Gap Width Measurement

59 Foam Pad Width Measurement

70 DSLR Camera Without Lens

71 Sensor Filter of DSLR Camera

72 Internal Wall of DSLR Camera

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The cleaning device is made up of three main elements, the application wand FIG. 1, the foam tape FIG. 2 and the pad FIG. 3 that houses the additional foam tapes for future cleaning within a reusable plastic bag. The wand attaches to the foam pad and when removed from the pad forms the final device, the application wand and foam tape which is used for the actual sensor cleaning.

The application wand FIG. 1 has a finger grip 20 which is located at the top of the wand and protrudes on one side which runs parallel to the long side of the wand base 23. The stem 21 connects the finger grip to the wand base 23. The application wand is currently made of injection molded plastic but could be made of wood or metal. Referring to FIG. 9, the application wand measures 15/16″ wide 24 and 3.5″ high 25. This wand size offers optimal controllability but could be made larger or smaller. The wand base measures 0.5″ 29 by 0.75″ 30. This is the optimal size for the ability to cover the top of the foam tape and to clean any size sensor in four passes. This size could be smaller or larger by 1/16″. Helping to stabilize the base connection to the stem are four support angles 22. These could be omitted, reduced or increased in number.

The pad FIG. 2 (cross section) and FIG. 8 is made up of multiple laminated and kiss-cut layers of tape, foam and plastic which is contained within a plastic reusable bag. Referring to FIG. 6, the first lamination is a thermal lamination that bonds 0.2″ thick BC13100 Soft Open Cell Foam 42 to the adhesive free side of 3M 2104C Polymask 43 onto a Mylar carrying Card 44. There are no adhesives used between BC13100 Soft Open Cell Foam 42 and 3M 2104C Polymask 43, they are bonded during the thermal lamination. This reduces any chance of adhesive contamination during the kiss-cutting process that might drag unwanted adhesives to the edges of the Polymask layer 43, thus contaminating the sensor filter. The adhesive side of 3M 2104C Polymask 43 adheres to the Mylar carrying Card 44 with its adhesive properties. The thermal lamination process will be omitted due to its common public knowledge and use. The use of different foams, thicknesses and softness could be implemented but they would need to retain the ability to thermally bond to polyethylene, the substrate of 3M 2104C Polymask 43. Other forms of Polymask and their like could be used but they would need to retain the same non-residue forming properties and have the ability to thermally bond to foam. The next step is the lamination of BC9418 High Tack/Medium Tack Removable Tape 41 with the high tack side facing the foam and the medium tack facing up, and the release tab 40. The BC9418 High Tack/Medium Tack Removable Tape 41 is positioned in an island formation FIG. 7 so when the pad is kiss-cut, the blade will not drag the BC9418 High Tack/Medium Tack Removable adhesive down to the Polymask layer 43 and cause contamination. Other removable adhesive tapes could be used that have a greater sheer value than the Polymask or the like being used. The pad is then kiss-cut into twelve rectangles that form the shape of the final foam tapes. The Mylar carrying card 44 is then cut larger than the pad to allow for the users fingers to grasp the pad without contaminating the pad with their finger oils and dirt FIG. 7. The size of the pad and carrier card are as follows, 2″ 54, 3.38″ 55, 0.19″ 56, 0.26″ 58, 3″ 57 and 1″ 59. The card size could be reduced or enlarged if so desired. The final step is placing the card and pad into a reusable plastic bag 45 as seen in FIG. 3. The entire laminating, kiss-cutting and bagging occurs within a clean room environment.

The foam tape FIG. 2 is the accumulation of the lamination process and the kiss-cutting of the pad. As seen in FIG. 4, the exploded view shows another angle of the layering of the pads layers. The layering has already been discussed in the pad creation so that will not be redone here. The size of the finished foam pad can be seen in FIG. 5. The height of the foam pad 52 is 0.5″ and the width 50 is 0.75″. This is the optimal size of the foam tape due to its ability to cover any size sensor filter with four applications of the cleaning device. This size could be smaller or larger by 1/16″. The BC9418 High Tack/Medium Tack Removable Tape 41 measures 0.38″ high 53 and 0.63″ wide 51. This is to provide a gap during kiss cutting so no adhesives are dragged down by the cutting blade to the Polymask layer 43. The size of the High Tack/Medium Tack Removable adhesive 41 could be smaller if desired. The foam tape 42 is 0.2″ thick which provides for adequate cushioning of the hand held application process and insures that the wand, if leaned to one side, will not damage or harm the sensor filter. The foam thickness could be slightly taller or shorter.

Operation of the Invention

In use, the user would expose the foam pad from the plastic bag 45 and remove a release tab 40 which would reveal the medium tack removable adhesive 41 on the topside of the foam tape, shown in FIG. 10. The user would then grab the application wand by the finger grip 20 and align the base of the wand 23 to the top of the foam tape and medium tack removable adhesive 41 and place the wand base on the top of the foam, as seen in FIG. 11. The user would then lean the wand to one side and release the adhesive bond of the Polymask 43 and the carrier card 44 and then lift up. The user would then descend the application wand with the foam tape attached to its base into the DSLR camera 70, making sure not to touch the internal walls 72 of the DSLR, as seen in FIG. 13. The user would look down the shaft 21 of the application wand and align one corner of the wand base and foam tape 23 with the corresponding corner of the sensor filter 71. The user would descend the foam tape and wand by hand FIG. 14a onto the sensor filter and apply a soft force that would condense the foam tape FIG. 14bThis would insure that all sides of the foam tape came into contact of the sensor filter. Then the user would lean the wand to one side and release the adhesive and repeat the process in the remaining three corners FIG. 14aReferring to FIG. 15, this shows the order of doing the sensor filter cleaning. The corner order can change; it does not effect the cleaning process. Once the user has finished cleaning they can remove the wand from the camera and peel off foam tape FIG. 12 by hand, close the reusable bag 45 and keep the application wand for future cleaning.