Title:
Operation mechanism for umbrella
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An operation mechanism for umbrellas includes a runner movably mounted to a shaft and including a first extension and a second extension connected to a top and a bottom of the runner. The first extension includes a hole. A cap is connected to a top of the shaft and has a third extension. A locking unit is located in the shaft or the third extension of the cap or the first extension of the runner. An operation unit includes an operation member and a driving member which is connected to the operation member by a link. The operation member is movably mounted to the second extension and the driving member is movably mounted to the first extension. The driving member includes a push portion extending from an inside thereof and the push portion pushes the locking unit to operate the umbrella by pulling the operation member.



Inventors:
Liu, Fu-tien (Taipei County, TW)
Application Number:
12/076290
Publication Date:
11/27/2008
Filing Date:
03/17/2008
Assignee:
Liu, Fu-tien
Su, Ping-tung
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45B25/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Fu-Tien Liu (Taipei, TW)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An operation mechanism for umbrellas, comprising: a runner movably mounted to a shaft and including a first extension and a second extension connected to a top and a bottom of the runner, the first extension including a hole, a cap connected to a top of the shaft and having a third extension; a locking unit located in the shaft, the third extension of the cap or the first extension of the runner, and an operation unit including an operation member and a driving member, a link connected between the operation member and the driving member, the operation member movably mounted to the second extension and the driving member movably mounted to the first extension, the driving member including a push portion extending from an inside thereof, the push portion pushing the locking unit.

2. The mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein the push portion includes a first inclined surface on a top thereof and a second inclined surface is defined on a lower end of the push portion, the first and second inclined surfaces push the locking unit respectively.

3. The mechanism as claimed in claim 2, wherein an escape area is defined in the inside of the driving member and located beneath the second inclined surface, a part of the locking unit is received in the escape area.

4. The mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein the second extension includes a guide rib extending from an outside thereof and the operation member includes a groove defined in the inside thereof, the guide rib is slidably engaged with the groove.

5. The mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least one of the stretchers includes an end member extending from an end thereof and a distal end of the end member contacts against the shaft.

6. The mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein the locking unit includes a protrusion and a spring member which pushes the protrusion outward from the hole, the protrusion is located in the hole in the shaft or the pin hole in the third extension and the hole in the shaft.

7. The mechanism as claimed in claim 6, wherein the spring member is a curved spring plate.

8. The mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first and second extensions are an integral piece and the runner is mounted to the integral piece.

9. The mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein the spring member includes a top end fixed in an inside of the third extension and the protrusion is connected to a lower end of the spring member, a space is defined in the third extension and allows the spring member and the protrusion to move therein.

10. The mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein the spring member includes a lower end fixed in an inside of the third extension and the protrusion is connected to a top end of the spring member, a space is defined in the third extension and allows the spring member and the protrusion to move therein.

11. The mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein the spring member is a compression spring or spring plate.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(1) Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an operation mechanism for umbrella and the user simply pulls an operation member along the shaft to expend or fold the umbrella.

(2) Description of the Prior Art

A conventional umbrella includes a shaft with a cap on a top thereof and a center of a piece of fabric is fixed at the cap and a plurality of ribs are connected to an underside of the fabric. The runner is movable along the shaft and a plurality of stretchers are pivotably connected between the runner and the ribs connected to the fabric. An operation mechanism for expending or folding an umbrella includes two locking members received in the shaft at a firs position and a second position. When the runner is located at the first position and engaged with the locking member, the umbrella is in folded status. When the runner is located at the second position and engaged with the other locking member, the umbrella is in expanded. However, there is only a small pressing area for the locking members so that the user's finger does not feel comfortable. Although some umbrella manufacturers put a button on the locking member to increase the area that the user to push, the button is fixed at a position and the user has to find the button and push it to operate the umbrella.

The present invention intends to provide an operation mechanism for umbrella and the user simply to pull the operation member to expand or fold the umbrella.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an operation mechanism for umbrellas and the operation mechanism comprises a runner movably mounted to a shaft and a first extension and a second extension are connected to a top and a bottom of the runner. The first extension includes a hole. A cap is connected to a top of the shaft and has a third extension. A locking unit is located in the shaft, the third extension of the cap or the second extension of the runner. The locking unit includes a protrusion removably extending out from the hole. An operation unit includes an operation member and a driving member. A link is connected between the operation member and the driving member. The operation member is movably mounted to the second extension and the driving member is movably mounted to the first extension. The driving member includes a push portion extending from an inside thereof and the push portion pushes the locking unit.

The present invention will become more obvious from the following description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings which show, for purposes of illustration only, a preferred embodiment in accordance with the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partial cross sectional view of the operation mechanism for umbrella of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the operation mechanism for umbrella of the present invention;

FIG. 3 shows the operation mechanism when the umbrella is folded;

FIG. 4 shows the operation mechanism when the umbrella is expanded;

FIG. 5 shows the stretchers include end members to contact against the shaft when the umbrella is expanded;

FIG. 6 is an exploded view to show the operation mechanism of the present invention;

FIG. 6-1 shows that the first and second extensions are made in one piece and the runner is mounted to the one piece;

FIG. 7 shows that the push portion of the driving member includes two inclined surfaces;

FIG. 8 shows the driving member includes a groove for receiving the guide rib on the second extension;

FIGS. 9-1, 9-2a and 9-2b show three different types of the escape area in the driving member;

FIGS. 10a to 10d show four different types of arrangements of the locking unit and the third section;

FIG. 11a shows an embodiment of the locking unit;

FIG. 11b shows another embodiment of the locking unit;

FIG. 12a shows that the locking unit is connected to the third section on the cap;

FIG. 12b is a partial cross sectional view to show that the locking unit is connected to the third section on the cap;

FIG. 12c is an exploded view to show another embodiment of the locking unit, the third extension and a sleeve;

FIG. 12b is a partial cross sectional view to show the embodiment in FIG. 12c;

FIG. 13 shows the arrangement in FIGS. 12a and 12b on an umbrella;

FIGS. 14 to 21 show several embodiments of the locking units.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1 to 4, the operation mechanism for umbrellas of the present invention comprises a runner 1 movably mounted to a shaft 2 and the runner 1 includes a first extension 11 and a second extension 12 connected to a top and a bottom of the runner 1. The first extension 11 includes a hole 13 for cooperated with the locking unit 3 which will be described later. A cap 4 is connected to a top of the shaft 2 and has a third extension 43 mounted to the shaft 2. A plurality of ribs are pivotably connected to the cap 4 and connected to an underside of the fabric of the umbrella and a plurality of stretchers 6 are pivotably connected between the runner 1 and the ribs.

The locking unit 3 is located in the shaft 2 or the third extension 43 of the cap 4. The locking unit 3 includes a protrusion 32 and a spring member 31 which pushes the protrusion 32 outward from the hole 13. The protrusion 32 is located in the hole 13 in the shaft 2 or the pin hole 41 in the third extension 43 and the hole in the shaft 2. The third extension 43 is mounted to the shaft 2 and the first extension 11 is mounted to the third extension 43. The locking unit 3 is located in the shaft 2 and the protrusion 32 extends through the hole in the shaft 2 and the hole 13 in the first extension 11 as shown n FIG. 2 when the runner 1 is moved upward to expand the umbrella.

An operation unit 5 includes an operation member 51 and a driving member 52, wherein a link 53 is connected between the operation member 51 and the driving member 52 such that the driving member 52 is moved together with the movement of the operation member 51. The operation member 51 is movably mounted to the second extension 12 and the driving member 52 is movably mounted to the first extension 11. The driving member 52 includes a push portion 521 extending from an inside thereof, the push portion 521 pushes the protrusion 32 of the locking unit 3.

As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the push portion 521 includes a first inclined surface C on a top thereof and a second inclined surface D is defined on a lower end of the push portion 521. When moving the driving member 52, the first and second inclined surfaces C and D pushes the locking unit 3 respectively. An escape area 522 is defined in the inside of the driving member 52 and located beneath the second inclined surface D so that a part of the locking unit 3 is received in the escape area 522 when the umbrella is expanded as shown in FIG. 2. FIGS. 9-1, 9-2a and 9-2b show that the escape area 522 can be an axial concavity, a notch-like deformation or an annular groove.

The second extension 12 includes a guide rib 122 (FIG. 6) extending from an outside thereof and the operation member 51 includes a groove 511 defined axially in the inside 512 thereof, the guide rib 122 is slidably engaged with the groove 511 so that the operation member 51 does not rotate relative to the second extension 12. A flange 121 extends outward from a lower end of the second extension 12 and the operation member 51 includes a shoulder 513 extending inward from the inside 512 thereof so that when moving the operation member 51, the flange 121 is stopped by the shoulder 513 so as to prevent the operation member 51 from dropping from the second extension 12.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, when expanding the umbrella, the user pushes the operation member 51 upward, the driving member 52 is moved upward and the first inclined surface C of the push portion 521 pushes the protrusion 32 of the locking unit 3 inward and then the pushing portion 521 moves over the protrusion 32 until the protrusion 32 is pushed by the spring member 31 and engaged with the escape area 522. The protrusion 32 extends through the hole in the shaft 2, the pin hole in the third extension 43 and the hole 13 in the first extension 11.

As shown in FIG. 4, an end member 61 of the stretcher 6 is pivoted to contact against the shaft 2 when the umbrella is expanded and the end member 61 pushes the shaft 2 so that the protrusion 32 of the locking unit 2 in the shaft 2 is ensured to extend through the hole 13 in the first extension 11. The number of the end members 61 also be two as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, to keep the shaft 2 is located at the center of the first and second extensions 11, 12.

As shown in FIGS. 6 and 6-1, the first and second extensions 11, 12 can be made to be an integral piece and the runner 1 is securely mounted to the integral piece. The first and second extensions 11, 12 and the runner 1 may also be made together with each other to be a one-piece member.

The spring member 31 can be a compressing spring as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 10d, or a curved spring plate as shown in FIGS. 10a to 10c. The protrusion 32 may extends through the shaft 2 as shown in FIG. 10b or extend through the shaft and the third extension 43. As shown in FIGS. 5 and 10c, the spring member 31 has a lower end fixed to an inside of the shaft 2 and the protrusion 32 is connected to a top end of the spring member 31, the protrusion 32 extends through the shaft 2 and the third extension 43 so as to be engaged with the hole 13 in the first extension 11.

FIG. 11a shows that the protrusion 32 may include a recess in a rear end thereof so as to receive an end of the spring member 31. FIG. 11b shows that the protrusion 32 may have a protrusion extending from the rear end thereof and one end of the spring member 31 is mounted to the protrusion.

FIGS. 12a and 12b show that the third extension 43 includes a cruciform passage and the cruciform passage includes a pin hole 41 which defined through a wall of the third extension 43. The locking unit 3 is located in the transverse passage of the cruciform passage and the shaft 2 is inserted into the upright passage of the cruciform passage, the shaft 2 have a notch for positioning the spring member 31. As shown in FIG. 13, when expanding the umbrella, the user pushes the operation member 51 upward, the driving member 52 is moved upward and the first inclined surface C of the push portion 521 pushes the protrusion 32 of the locking unit 3 inward and then the pushing portion 521 moves over the protrusion 32 until the protrusion 32 is pushed by the spring member 31 and engaged with the escape area 522. The protrusion 32 extends through the hole in the shaft 2, the pin hole 41 in the third extension 43 and the hole 13 in the first extension 11. The shaft 2 does not need to drill a hole so as to maintain its strength.

FIGS. 12c and 12d show that the third extension 43 includes an upright passage and a transverse passage communicates with one side of the upright passage, the locking unit 3 are inserted into the transverse passage from out side of the third extension 43, and the shaft 2 is inserted into the upright passage and includes a notch to position the spring member 31. A sleeve 7 is mounted to the third extension 43 and includes an aperture through which a part of the protrusion 32 extends.

FIG. 14 shows that the spring member 31 includes a top end fixed in an inside of the third extension 43 and the protrusion 32 is connected to a lower end of the spring member 31. A space 42 is defined in the third extension 43 and allows the spring member 31 and the protrusion 32 to move therein.

FIG. 15 shows that the spring member 31 includes a lower end fixed in an inside of the third extension 43 and the protrusion 32 is connected to a top end of the spring member 31. A space 42 is defined in the third extension 43 and allows the spring member 31 and the protrusion 32 to move therein.

FIG. 16 shows that the spring member 31 is a compression spring and is located in the shaft 2 and the protrusion 32 is pushed by the spring member 31 to protrude out from the hole 13 in the first extension 11 when the umbrella is expanded.

FIG. 17 shows that the spring member 31 is a spring plate and has one end fixed in the shaft 2 and the protrusion 32 is connected to the other end of the spring plate. The protrusion 32 is pushed by the spring member 31 to extend through a hole in the third extension 43 and protrude out from the hole 13 in the first extension 11 when the umbrella is expanded.

FIG. 18 shows that the spring member 31 is a curved spring plate and has one end fixed in the third extension 43 and the other end contact against the inside of the shaft 2, the protrusion 32 is connected to the spring plate and pushed by the spring plate to protrude out from the hole 13 in the first extension 11 when the umbrella is expanded.

FIG. 19 shows that the spring member 31 is a spring plate and has one end fixed in the shaft 2 and the protrusion 32 is connected to the other end of the spring plate. The protrusion 32 is pushed by the spring member 31 to extend through a hole in the shaft 2 and protrudes out from the hole 13 in the first extension 11 when the umbrella is expanded.

FIG. 20 shows that the spring member 31 is a compression spring and has one end contacting against a notch of the shaft 2 and the protrusion 32 is pushed by the spring member 31 and extend through a hole in the shaft 2 and a hole in the third extension 43 and protrudes out from the hole 13 in the first extension 11 when the umbrella is expanded.

FIG. 21 shows that the spring member 31 is a compression spring and received in a recess in the third extension 43 which is received in the shaft 2. The protrusion 32 is pushed by the spring member 31 and extends through a hole in the shaft 2 and protrudes out from the hole 13 in the first extension 11 when the umbrella is expanded.

The operation mechanism provides a convenient and easy operation for the umbrella, wherein the user pushes the operation member 51 upward until the protrusion 32 protrudes through the hole 13 in the first extension 11. When folding the umbrella, the user simply pulls the operation member 51 downward and the protrusion 32 of the locking unit 3 is pushed inward by the push portion 521 of the driving member 52 so that the umbrella is folded. The user does not need to find out where the button is and then push the button as the conventional operation mechanism.

While we have shown and described the embodiment in accordance with the present invention, it should be clear to those skilled in the art that further embodiments may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.