Title:
Device for Both-Way Control of Length of Linear Member
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for reducing and extending length of a linear member such as various electric wires, a string, a strap, or the like in both directions if necessary is disclosed. The apparatus has a simple structure, is easily manufactured, and selectively adjusts the length of a desired portion of the linear member.



Inventors:
Yang, Gigam (Seoul, KR)
Yang, Giung (Seoul, KR)
Yang, Deokho (Seoul, KR)
Application Number:
11/910076
Publication Date:
09/04/2008
Filing Date:
03/31/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H75/08
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Primary Examiner:
KIM, SANG K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BROWN & MICHAELS, PC (ITHACA, NY, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions comprising: a winding shaft having an outer circumference around which the linear member is wound; and a pair of rotation members spaced apart from and coupled with the outer circumference of the winding shaft to rotate about the winding shaft, and having slots formed in the sides thereof and facing each other.

2. The apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions as set forth in claim 1, further comprising a structure independent from the linear member or a structure in which the linear member forms a part of the apparatus.

3. The apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions as set forth in claim 2, wherein when the apparatus comprises the structure independent from the linear member, in a state of placing a part of the linear member in the slots of the apparatus, the rotation members rotate to wind the linear member around the outer circumference of the winding shaft.

4. The apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions as set forth in claim 1, further comprising locking protrusions formed in inner sides of the slots.

5. The apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions as set forth in claim 1, wherein in a state of completely separating the rotation members, the winding of the linear member is carried out after coupling the rotation members with each other while the linear member is wound around the outer circumference of the winding shaft at least one turn and is projected to the exterior through the slots.

6. The apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions as set forth in claim 2, wherein when the linear member forms the part of the apparatus, one end of the linear member penetrates the winding shaft or a rotation member (a) (a portion except for the slot) and the other end of the linear member is projected to the exterior through the slot of another rotation member (b).

7. The apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions as set forth in claim 1, wherein in order to prohibit the rotation between the rotation members or between the rotation members and the winding shaft if necessary, locking members are formed at a portions where the rotation members contact each other or the rotation members contact the winding shaft.

8. The apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions as set forth in claim 1, further comprising a structure in which one (a) of the rotation members is fixed to the winding shaft, the winding shaft includes a spring, and the spring is connected to a rotation shaft fixed to a central axis of the opposite rotation member (b).

9. The apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions as set forth in claim 1, further comprising an intermediate member having a slot formed in the side thereof to communicate with the slots of the rotation members (a and b) when the slots of the rotation members (a and b) are aligned with each other and installed to the winding shaft to be disposed between the rotation members (a and b).

10. The apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions as set forth in claim 9, wherein the apparatus comprises a combination of two or more apparatuses whose intermediate members are coupled with each other.

11. The apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions as set forth in claim 1, wherein the winding shaft includes three or more branched shafts and pairs of rotation members are installed to the respective branched shafts, and inner rotation members are integrally formed.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a device for adjusting length of a linear member, and more particularly, to a device to reduce and extend length of a linear member such as an electric wire, a strap, a string, and the like in both directions if necessary, and having advantages of a simple structure, easy manufacture, and selective adjustment of a desired portion of the linear member.

BACKGROUND ART

There are several ways for adjusting length of a linear member, arranging the linear member, and holding the linear member, such as a method of winding around a specific object by hand, a method of winding the string by fixing one end of the string to a shaft and rotating the shaft by hand, electric force, magnetic force, or mechanical force, and the like. Moreover, when the one end of the string cannot be fixed to the shaft because the ends of the string are being used for another purpose, the string may be folded by a predetermined length and fixed by a clip, a band, or the like. In this case, the method is inconvenient to use and the string gets tangled when the length of the string is frequently adjusted. Moreover, in the case where the intermediate portion of the string is fixed to the shaft and the shaft is rotated to wind the string, since two strings are simultaneously wound, it is hard to wind the string. Since the length of the string is shortened as much as the other side is lengthened, trial and error is needed to adjust the length of the string so as to be as long as desired.

In order to solve the above-mentioned inconvenience, there have been developed several methods such as a method of electrically connecting one end of the string to an external device using a conductor (U.S. Pat. No. 4,942,617 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,422,957), and a method of selectively adjusting the length of the left side and right side of the string (Korean Patent Application No. 93-009410). According to the method, disclosed in Korean Patent Application No. 93-009410, a winding shaft includes a string fixing device, a string locking device, and a guide plate, a push rod follower, a clutch member, a driving shaft, and a winding wheel are disposed at the left side and the right side of a transmission including a handle, a rotation shaft, and bevel gears to differentiate the transmittal directions of rotation forces of a left clutch and a right clutch such that the winding wheel rotates about the winding shaft in a desired direction to wind the string. However, in the above conventional method, since a mechanism of transmitting the driving force to rotate the winding wheel and the winding shaft are complicated, it is difficult to use in industrial fields and these methods must be used only when the string is fixed to the winding machine.

DISCLOSURE

Technical Problem

Therefore, the present invention has been made in view of the above problems and technical requirements from the past.

Inventors of the present invention have carried out extensive research and repeated experiments, and developed an apparatus having a simple structure, that is easy to manufacture, and allows adjustment of a linear member such as an electric wire, a string, a strap, or the like so as to be as long as desired in both directions. The apparatus of the present invention can be applied to adjust an intermediate portion of a string when both ends of the string are used for other purposes as well as when one end of the string is fixed to a winding shaft.

Technical Solution

In accordance with an aspect of the present invention, the above and other objects can be accomplished by the provision of an apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions including a winding shaft having an outer circumference around which the linear member is wound, and a pair of rotation members spaced apart from and coupled with the outer circumference of the winding shaft to rotate about the winding shaft, and having slots formed in the sides thereof and facing each other.

There are various linear members, for example, electric wires and wirings of electric home appliances and industrial machines, a wire of a computer mouse, a skipping rope, wires of ear phones, a cord of mobile phone, or the like, but limited to these.

The winding shaft and the rotation members are coaxially positioned and coupled with each other to rotate such that the inner sides of the rotation members are spaced apart from the outer circumference of the winding shaft. Thus, the linear member is wound around the outer circumference of the winding shaft, in more detail, around the outer circumference of the winding shaft spaced apart from the inner sides of the rotation members by a predetermined distance due to the rotation of the rotation members.

If the structures of the winding shaft and the rotation members satisfy the specification as described above, the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member of the present invention (hereinafter often referred to an “adjustor”) may be separated and assembled if necessary.

The apparatus has a structure independent from the linear member or a structure in which the linear member forms a part of the apparatus.

When the apparatus has the structure independent from the linear member, in a state of placing a part of the linear member in the slots of the apparatus, the rotation members rotate to wind the linear member around the outer circumference of the winding shaft. In a preferred embodiment, the apparatus further includes locking protrusions formed in inner sides of the slots. When the linear member is rotated in a state of placing the linear member on the locking protrusions, the winding of the linear member is more easily carried out. Further, the locking protrusions clearly separate the portions around which the linear member is wound from each other. In more detail, the linear member is wound around and released from a corresponding portion A of the winding shaft corresponding to a rotation member and a corresponding portion B of the winding shaft corresponding to another rotation member.

According to circumstances, in a state of completely separating the rotation members, the winding of the linear member is carried out after coupling the rotation members with each other while the linear member is wound around the outer circumference of the winding shaft at least one turn and is projected to the exterior through the slots.

When the linear member forms the part of the apparatus, one end of the linear member penetrates the winding shaft or a rotation member (a) (a portion except for the slot) and the other end of the linear member is projected to the exterior through the slot of another rotation member (b). Thus, one end of the linear member is connected to the exterior via the winding shaft or an independent through-hole formed at a certain position of one of the rotation members. In this structure, the linear member may be installed in the adjustor when manufacturing the adjustor or when using the apparatus.

According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, in order to prohibit the rotation between the rotation members or between the rotation members and the winding shaft if necessary, locking members are formed at a portions where the rotation members contact each other or the rotation members contact the winding shaft.

The locking members formed in the portions against which the rotation members contact each other prevent the rotation members from freely rotating when the linear member is wound around the winding shaft or released from the same.

The locking member formed in the portions where the rotation members contact the winding shaft is useful to perform the winding of the linear member by rotating one of the rotation members in a specific direction. For example, to reduce the length of the linear member at one rotation member a, the locking members are driven to fix the opposite rotation member b to the winding shaft and to rotate the rotation member a so that a desired process can be performed. Moreover, the locking members of the respective rotation members contacting the winding shaft are respectively driven to keep the linear member in state of winding or releasing.

Various modifications of the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member according to the present invention are possible, and several examples are as follows.

According to a first modification of the adjustor, the apparatus has a structure in which one (a) of the rotation members is fixed to the winding shaft, the winding shaft includes a spring, and the spring is connected to a rotation shaft fixed to a central axis of the opposite rotation member (b).

The first modification of the adjustor accumulates the restoring force during the winding and releasing of the linear member and easily performs the reverse process (that is, the releasing or winding of the linear member) using the elastic force of a spring. According to the adjustor, the locking members are installed at the portion where the rotation members a and b contact each other to prevent the rotation members a and b from freely rotating, after the winding and releasing of the linear member, due to the accumulated restoring force. Moreover, the linear member forms a part of the rotation member to which the spring is fixed.

In a second modification of the adjustor, apparatus further includes an intermediate member having a slot formed in the side thereof to communicate with the slots of the rotation members (a and b) when the slots of the rotation members (a and b) are aligned with each other and installed to the winding shaft to be disposed between the rotation members (a and b).

According to the second modification of the adjustor, since the rotation members a and b are spaced apart from each other by an intermediate member and face each other, the adjustor can be fixed to or coupled with a specific portion by the intermediate member. The latter may be exampled by the following modification of the adjustor.

In a third modification of the adjustor, the apparatus includes a combination of two or more apparatuses whose intermediate members are coupled with each other.

Since for example, total of four rotation members are connected to each other by the interconnection (or the integration) of the intermediate members, the third modification of the adjustor can perform the winding and releasing of two independent linear members. According to the number of the rotation members coupled with each other, the winding and releasing of more linear members can be performed.

In a fourth modification of the adjustor, the winding shaft includes three or more branched shafts and pairs of rotation members are installed to the respective branched shafts, and inner rotation members are integrally formed.

Since the winding shaft includes, for example, a Y-shaped branched shaft (total three branched shafts), the fourth modification of the adjustor can perform the winding and releasing of different linear members by the rotation members on the respective branched shafts and has a compact structure.

As described above, various modifications of the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member may be achieved based on the principle of the present invention, and it must be understood that these various modifications are within the scope and spirit of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views illustrating an apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention and a winding shaft of the apparatus;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating a modification of the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention in which a locking protrusion is formed in an inner side of an opening;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating a first modification of the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions according to the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view illustrating a second modification of the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions according to the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view illustrating the shape of the winding shaft assembled in the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member as shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view illustrating a third modification of the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions; and

FIGS. 8 to 10 are an exploded perspective view illustrating a fourth modification of the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions, a perspective view illustrating a winding shaft, and a partial perspective view an assembly of the adjustor, respectively.

BEST MODE

Hereinafter, the preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, but the scope of the present invention may not be limited by the preferred embodiments.

FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views schematically illustrating an apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member in both directions according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention and a winding shaft of the apparatus.

As shown in the drawings, an apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member includes a cylindrical winding shaft 110, a pair of rotation members 120 and 130 respectively coupled with to the left side and the right side of the winding shaft 110, and locking members 140 and 150 formed in the lateral sides 111 and 112 of the winding shaft 110 contacting the rotation members 120 and 130.

The winding shaft 110 has an hourglass-shaped structure in which the lateral sides 111 and 112 are protruded from a main body 113 around which a linear member 500 is wound. The lateral sides 111 and 112 have multiple steps such that the lateral sides 111 and 112 are coupled with the rotation members 120 and 130 to rotate about the same axis as the axis of the rotation members 120 and 130. If necessary, the outer circumference of the winding shaft 110, as described above, may be formed with a groove or may have a helical structure such that the sequential fastening and releasing of the linear member 500 is easily carried out.

The rotation members 120 and 130 have openings 131 formed in the portions with which the lateral sides of the winding shaft 110 are coupled and opened slots 122 and 132 formed at the sides opposite to the openings 131. The two rotation members 120 and 130 are coupled with the winding shaft 110 and with each other to rotate. Thus, the sides, against which the two rotation members 120 and 130 contact each other, have a structure such that the rotation members 120 and 130 are engaged with each other.

Although the locking members 140 and 150 are formed on the winding shaft 110 contacting the rotation members 120 and 130, the locking members 140 and 150 may be formed on the rotation members 120 and 130 contacting the winding shaft 110. Moreover, the locking members 140 and 150 may be formed on the portions of the rotation members 120 and 130 contacting each other.

Operation of the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member 100 will be described as follows.

Firstly, the rotation members 120 and 130 rotate to arrange the slots 122 and 132 to be communicated with each other and to place a certain portion of the linear member 500 independent from the apparatus 100 in the slots 122 and 132. Since the winding of the string is carried out not at the ends of the linear member 500 but the certain portion thereof, the apparatus 100 is very useful when the ends of the string are used for another purpose. The linear member 500 placed in the slots 122 and 132 is pressed by the inner sides of the slots 122 and 132 when the rotation members 120 and 130 rotate and is wound around the outer circumference of the winding shaft 110, as shown in the drawings, when the rotation members 120 and 130 rotate. At this time, the rotation directions of the rotation members 120 and 130 are opposite to each other and the linear member 500 is wound around the winding shaft 110 of the rotation members 120 and 130 simultaneously. The release of the linear member 500 is carried out by rotating the rotation members 120 and 130 in the directions reverse to the rotation directions of rotation members 120 and 130 when the winding of the linear member 500 is carried out.

When the linear member 500 is wound or released only in one direction, the locking devices 140 and 150 are used. For example, when the linear member 500 is wound around only one rotation member 120, the corresponding locking member 140 is released and the opposite locking member 150 is driven to fix the rotation member 130 to the winding shaft 110 and to rotate the rotation member 120 so that the winding of the linear member 500 is carried out. When the linear member 500 is wound around only one rotation member 130, the winding of the linear member 500 is carried out reverse to the above-described winding of the linear member 500. When the winding is completed and the two locking members 140 and 150 are operated, the rotation members 120 and 130 cannot be rotated so that the linear member 500 is maintained at a wound state or the released state.

The apparatus 100 for adjusting length of a linear member can wind and release the linear member 500 around and from the winding shaft 110 and can easily change the position of the apparatus 100. For example, when the linear member 500 is wound, the ends of the linear member 500 are fixed and the respective rotation members 120 and 130 are moved in desired directions so that the apparatus 100 can move while the linear member 500 at the leading end of the apparatus 100 is wound around the winding shaft 110 and the linear member 500 at the rear end of the apparatus 100 is released in the traveling directions of the rotation members 120 and 130. Thus, the ratio of the linear members 500 at the leading end and the rear end of the apparatus 100 can be freely adjusted. The adjustment of the ratio of the linear member 500 can be carried out by hand or by applying electric force, magnetic force, or other mechanical force.

Moreover, the above-described principle can be reversely applied. In other words, when a driving force is applied to the winding shaft 110 to rotate, the apparatus 100 or additional device or equipment (not shown) installed in the apparatus 100 can be moved forward and backward along the linear member 500. For example, when the winding shaft 110 is rotated by a motor (not shown), since the apparatus 100 can travel along the linear member 500, the apparatus 100 can move between positions.

FIG. 3 illustrates a modification of the apparatus 100 for adjusting length of a linear member as shown in FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 3, the respective rotation members 120 and 130 have locking protrusions 126 and 136 formed in the inner sides of the slots 122 and 132. The locking protrusions 126 and 136 help to easily wind the linear member 500 independent from the apparatus 100. The locking protrusions 126 and 136 may be formed only in one sides of the slots 122 and 132 of the rotation members 120 and 130, or in the upper and lower sides of the slots 122 and 132. Moreover, the locking protrusions 126 and 136 may be formed at the positions spaced apart from the rotation members 120 and 130.

FIG. 4 schematically illustrates a first modification of the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention. In the drawing, only a part of the apparatus is depicted for the illustrative purpose.

As shown in FIG. 4, since the apparatus 200 for adjusting length of a linear member includes a spiral spring 270, restoring force is accumulated during the winding and the releasing of the linear member so that the reverse process is more easily carried out by help of the elastic force. The spiral spring 270 is installed in a winding shaft 210 and the winding shaft 210 is fixed to a rotation member 220. The winding shaft 210 has a cylindrical structure and has a coupling recess 212 formed in a side thereof such that an external end of the spiral spring 270 is inserted into and fixed to the coupling recess 212. The internal end of the spiral spring 270 is coupled with an end of a rotation member 280 and the rotation member 280 is connected to another rotation member a (not shown). The rotation member 280 is fixed to and coupled with another rotation member a. Thus, the rotation shaft 280 has a coupling recess 282 formed in one side thereof and coupled with the spiral spring 270 and a coupling protrusion 284 formed in the opposite side thereof and coupled with the spiral spring 270.

In the side of the rotation member 220 where the spiral spring 270 is installed, a groove 227 for operating a locking member (not shown) of the corresponding rotation member a is formed. One end of the linear member (not shown) is connected to the exterior through the rotation member 220 and another end thereof is wound or released through the slots of the corresponding rotation member a.

For example, when the restoring force is accumulated during the releasing of the linear member and the winding of the linear member is performed by the elastic force of the spiral spring 270, the linear member is wound around the winding shaft 210 in advance.

FIG. 5 schematically illustrates a second modification of the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member according to the present invention. The second modification of the apparatus is depicted in an exploded perspective view for illustrative purposes. Moreover, FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view schematically illustrating the shape of the winding shaft assembled in the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, in the apparatus 300 for adjusting length of a linear member, rotation members 320 and 330 having the same structures as those in FIG. 1 are spaced apart from each other by an intermediate member 360 and face each other.

The intermediate member 360 has a cylindrical structure and has a slot 362 formed in the side thereof and communicated with slots 322 and 332 of the rotation members 320 and 330 when the slots 322 and 332 are aligned with each other. The intermediate member 360 may be fixed to a winding shaft 310. For example, the intermediate member 360 may be coupled with the winding shaft 310 through a penetrating hole 364 formed in a side of the intermediate member 360 by a separate member (not shown). In this case, since a coupling hole (not shown) is formed in a corresponding portion of the winding shaft 310, the coupling may be firmly carried out. The intermediate member 360 is useful to fix the apparatus 300 to a specific portion, or to interconnect two more apparatuses 300 according to circumstances.

As the latter, FIG. 7 schematically illustrates a third modification of the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member.

Referring to FIG. 7, two pairs of rotation members 320, 320′, 330, and 330′ are interconnected through the intermediate member 360. The respective pairs of the rotation members are substantially identical to those depicted in FIG. 5 and are different from the same in that the respective pairs of the rotation members are interconnected by the intermediate member 360. The apparatus 300′ can perform the winding and releasing of two different linear members (not shown).

FIGS. 8 to 10 schematically illustrate a fourth modification of the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member.

As shown in the drawings, in the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member, a winding shaft 410 has a Y-shaped structure to form three branched shafts 412, 414, and 416, where respective pairs of rotation members 420 and 430 are installed to the branched shafts 412, 414, and 416, and inner rotation members are integrally formed such that a Y-shaped main rotation body 430 is formed.

The main rotation body 430 has a circular penetrating hole 431 and slots 432, 433, and 434 formed in the respective directions are communicated with the penetrating hole 431. Thus, the Y-shaped winding shaft 410 can be inserted into and installed in the main rotation body 430 through the penetrating hole 431 and the slots 432, 433, and 434. In the state of installing the winding shaft 410, the winding shaft 410 is fixed to the main rotation body 430 by inserting a cover 460 into the penetrating hole 431 of the main rotation body 430. The cover 460 has a plurality of protrusions 462 to form recesses into which the Y-shaped winding shaft 410 is inserted, and in order to secure the coupling, a central hole of the protrusions 460 is aligned with a central hole 418 of the winding shaft 410 and are coupled with each other by fastening members such as screws. However, if the above-described structure is a structure in which the winding shaft 410 is coupled with the main rotation body 430, there is no specific limit and various modifications are possible.

The rotation members 420 installed at the ends of the branched shafts 412, 414, and 416 are approximately identical to those depicted in FIG. 1. Respective slots 422 have locking protrusions 428 formed in inner upper and lower sides such that the linear member (not shown) is easily wound.

Moreover, locking members 450 are respectively formed at portions of the main rotation member 430 contacting the rotation members 420 such that the winding and releasing of desired rotation members 420 can be maintained.

The apparatus 400 for adjusting length of a linear member can adjust the lengths of three linear members if necessary, and according to circumstances, can be used in adjusting a very long single linear member.

Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

As described above, the apparatus for adjusting length of a linear member of the present invention has a simple structure, is easily manufactured, and allows selective adjustment of the length of the linear member so as to be as long as desired.