Title:
YIELDABLE FIXTURE ASSEMBLY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fixture assembly includes a base post assembly and a support post assembly which includes opposed post members. The fixture assembly includes a yieldable assembly which allows the support post assembly to repeatably move between upright and tilted positions in response to an applied force. The opposed post members are positioned to restrict movement of the support post assembly from the upright position to the tilted position.



Inventors:
Newbill, Anthony J. (Wickenburg, AZ, US)
Application Number:
12/265662
Publication Date:
03/05/2009
Filing Date:
11/05/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G29/122
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20090001151Boat motor, submarine, and other structures mailbox designJanuary, 2009Wagner
20060261143Refuse sorting containerNovember, 2006Sola Barbarin et al.
20050082358Mail delivery indicatorApril, 2005Mckenzie
20030205614Mailbox deviceNovember, 2003Walter Jr. et al.
20080035719Drive Up MailboxFebruary, 2008Lyristakis
20100065623DEVICE FOR HANDLING BANKNOTESMarch, 2010Sauter
20030127506Decontaminating mailboxJuly, 2003Fritz Jr.



Primary Examiner:
EPPS, TODD MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREG L. MARTINEZ (TEMPE, AZ, US)
Claims:
1. A fixture assembly, comprising: a base post assembly; a support post assembly which includes opposed post members; and a yieldable assembly which allows the support post assembly to repeatably move between upright and tilted positions in response to an applied force; wherein the opposed post members are positioned to restrict movement of the support post assembly from the upright position to the tilted position.

2. The fixture assembly of claim 1, further including a mailbox carried by the support post assembly, wherein the opposed members balance the mailbox over the base post assembly.

3. The fixture assembly of claim 1, wherein the support post assembly carries a reinforcement member.

4. The fixture assembly of claim 3, wherein the reinforcement member is repeatably moveable between positions coupled to and decoupled from the support post assembly.

5. The fixture assembly of claim 1, wherein the yieldable assembly includes a spring with a rigid fastener extending therethrough.

6. The fixture assembly of claim 1, further including a light post carried by the support post assembly, wherein the opposed members balance the light post over the base post assembly.

7. The fixture assembly of claim 1, wherein the base post assembly includes an upwardly facing opening and the yieldable assembly includes a downwardly facing opening.

8. A fixture assembly, comprising: a base post assembly having an upwardly facing surface with an opening extending through it; a support post assembly which includes opposed upright post members; and a yieldable assembly which includes a spring that allows the support post assembly to move between upright and tilted positions in response to a force applied thereto; wherein the opposed upright post members are positioned to bias the support post assembly to the upright position.

9. The fixture assembly of claim 8, further including an angled post member coupled to each upright post member.

10. The fixture assembly of claim 8, further including a horizontal post member extending between the opposed upright members.

11. The fixture assembly of claim 10, further including a reinforcement member which extends between the opposed upright members and horizontal post member.

12. The fixture assembly of claim 10, further including a mailbox carried by the horizontal post member.

13. The fixture assembly of claim 8, further including a lamp fixture assembly carried by the support post assembly.

14. The fixture assembly of claim 13, wherein the lamp fixture assembly includes a lamp, the lamp being repeatably moveable between engaged and disengaged positions with the lamp fixture assembly.

15. The fixture assembly of claim 8, wherein the yieldable assembly includes inner and outer springs.

16. A fixture assembly, comprising: a base post assembly; a support post assembly which includes opposed upright post members; and a yieldable assembly which includes a spring and a fastener, wherein the spring and fastener couple the base post assembly and support post assembly together; wherein the opposed upright post members are positioned to restrict movement of the support post assembly from an upright position to a tilted position.

17. The fixture assembly of claim 16, wherein the fastener is a rigid fastener which extends through the spring.

18. The fixture assembly of claim 16, wherein the fastener is an eyebolt which couples the spring to the base support assembly.

19. The fixture assembly of claim 16, wherein the yieldable assembly includes a housing and the base support assembly includes an upwardly facing cup sized and shaped to receive the housing.

20. The fixture assembly of claim 16, further including a mailbox which is carried by the support post assembly so it is balanced over the base post assembly.

21. The fixture assembly of claim 16, wherein the opposed upright post members are positioned to bias the support post assembly to the upright position.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/487,674, entitled “Yieldable Support for a Mailbox”, which was filed on Jul. 17, 2006, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a self-righting fixture for a mailbox.

2. Description of the Related Art

There are many different types of mailboxes in use, and they can be supported in many different ways. Mailboxes are often supported by a support structure which holds the mailbox at a location so it is easy to insert and retrieve mail. However, most mailboxes are supported by a rigid support structure which breaks in response to an applied force, such as being engaged by a car. More information regarding mailboxes, and their corresponding support structures can be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,249,315, 1,266,152, 1,269,212, 1,679,623, 1,384,365, 1,402,465, 1,435,363, 1,435,379, 3,161,397, 3,658,284, 3,899,150, 4,172,579, 4,357,772, 4,546,944, 4,792,088, 5,029,783, 5,155,470, 5,215,283, 6,017,131, 6,513,284, 6,575,423 and the contents of all of which are incorporated herein by reference.

Some of these mailboxes are supported by a self-righting support structure which yields in response to the applied force. Some self-righting support structures are designed to right themselves in response to the applied force being removed from the support structure. However, some of these self-righting support structures may undesirably yield without experiencing the applied force, and may not self-right in response to the applied force being removed.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a fixture assembly, which includes a base post assembly and a support post assembly which includes opposed post members. The fixture assembly includes a yieldable assembly which allows the support post assembly to repeatably move between upright and tilted positions in response to an applied force. The opposed post members are positioned to restrict movement of the support post assembly from the upright position to the tilted position.

The fixture assembly can include many other features. For example, in some embodiments, the fixture assembly includes a mailbox carried by the support post assembly, wherein the opposed members balance the mailbox over the base post assembly. In some embodiments, the fixture assembly includes a light post carried by the support post assembly, wherein the opposed members balance the light post over the base post assembly.

The support post assembly can include many other features. For example, in some embodiments, the support post assembly includes a reinforcement member.

The base post assembly can include many other features. For example, in some embodiments, the base post assembly includes an upwardly facing opening and the yieldable assembly includes a downwardly facing opening.

The yieldable assembly can include many different features. For example, in some embodiments, the yieldable assembly includes a spring with a rigid fastener extending therethrough.

The present invention also provides a fixture assembly, which includes a base post assembly having an upwardly facing surface with an opening extending through it, and a support post assembly which includes opposed upright post members. The fixture assembly includes a yieldable assembly which includes a spring that allows the support post assembly to move between upright and tilted positions in response to a force applied thereto. The opposed upright post members are positioned to bias the support post assembly to the upright position.

In some embodiments, the fixture assembly includes an angled post member coupled to each upright post member. In some embodiments, the fixture assembly includes a horizontal post member extending between the opposed upright members. In some embodiments, the fixture assembly includes a reinforcement member which extends between the opposed upright members and horizontal post member. In some embodiments, the fixture assembly includes a mailbox carried by the horizontal post member.

In some embodiments, the support post assembly includes a lamp fixture assembly which includes a lamp. In some embodiments, the lamp is repeatably moveable between engaged and disengaged positions with the lamp fixture assembly. In some embodiments, the yieldable assembly includes inner and outer springs.

The present invention provides a fixture assembly, which includes a base post assembly and a support post assembly which includes opposed upright post members. The fixture assembly includes a yieldable assembly which includes a spring and a fastener, wherein the spring and fastener couple the base post assembly and support post assembly together. The opposed upright post members are positioned to restrict movement of the support post assembly from an upright position to a tilted position.

In some embodiments, the opposed upright post members are positioned to bias the support post assembly to the upright position. In some embodiments, the fastener is a rigid fastener which extends through the spring. In some embodiments, the fastener is an eyebolt which couples the spring to the base support assembly.

In some embodiments, the yieldable assembly includes a housing and the base support assembly includes an upwardly facing cup sized and shaped to receive the housing. In some embodiments, the fixture assembly includes a mailbox which is carried by the support post assembly so it is balanced over the base post assembly.

These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following drawings and description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of a fixture assembly, which includes a base post coupled with a support post through a yieldable assembly.

FIG. 2a is a perspective view of one embodiment of a fixture assembly, in accordance with the invention.

FIGS. 2b, 2c and 2d are front, side and back views, respectively, of the fixture assembly of FIG. 2a.

FIG. 3a is a perspective view of another embodiment of a fixture assembly, in accordance with the invention.

FIGS. 3b, 3c and 3d are front, side and back views, respectively, of the fixture assembly of FIG. 3a.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a fixture assembly, in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 5a is a front view of the reinforcement display piece of FIG. 3a.

FIGS. 5b and 5c are front views of the reinforcement display piece of FIG. 4.

FIGS. 5d and 5e are side views of wrought iron reinforcement display pieces which can be included with the fixture assembly of the invention.

FIGS. 5f and 5g are side views of wrought iron reinforcement display pieces, which can be included with the fixture assembly of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a fixture assembly, in accordance with the invention, with a removeable lamp.

FIGS. 7a, 7b and 7c are front, back and side views, respectively, of a fixture assembly, in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 8a is a perspective view of a fixture assembly 150b, in accordance with the invention.

FIGS. 8b and 8c are front and side views, respectively, of another embodiment of a fixture assembly, in accordance with the invention.

FIGS. 9a, 9b and 9c are partial cut-away views of one embodiment, of a yieldable assembly, in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 10a is an exploded view of a fixture assembly, which includes a yieldable assembly, in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 10b is an exploded close-up view of the yieldable assembly of FIG. 10a.

FIGS. 10c, 10d and 10e are cut-away views of the yieldable assembly of FIG. 10a.

FIG. 11 is a cut-away side view of a yieldable assembly.

FIG. 12 is a cut-away side view of another yieldable assembly.

FIGS. 13a, 13b and 13c are flow diagrams of a method, in accordance with the invention, of manufacturing a fixture assembly.

FIGS. 14a, 14b and 14c are flow diagrams of a method, in accordance with the invention, of installing a fixture assembly.

FIGS. 15a, 15b and 15c are flow diagrams of a method, in accordance with the invention, of balancing a fixture assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a side view of a fixture assembly 100, which includes a base post 101 coupled with a support post 103 through a yieldable assembly 102. Yieldable assembly 102 can be of many different types, such as the yieldable assembly shown in FIGS. 9a, 9b and 9c. In this embodiment, base post 101 extends through the ground, and yieldable assembly 102 and support post 103 extend above the ground. Base post 101 is typically driven into the ground to provide support for support post 103. Fixture assembly 100 includes a mailbox support plate 131 coupled with support post 103, and a mailbox 104 carried by mailbox support plate 131.

Yieldable assembly 102 allows support post 103 to tilt relative to base post 101 in response to a force applied to it or mailbox 104. In this way, support post 103 and mailbox 104 are less likely to be damaged in response to a force applied to them. Support post 103 is shown in an upright position in FIG. 1, wherein a reference line 106 is parallel to a reference line 105. Reference lines 105 and 106 extend through base post 101 and support post 103, respectively. Support post 103 is in a tilted position when reference line 106 is not parallel to reference line 105. Reference line 106 is at an angle relative to reference line 105 when reference line 106 is not parallel to reference line 105. It should be noted that yieldable assembly 102 allows support post 103 to be repeatably moveable between the upright and tilted positions.

In this embodiment, reference lines 105 and 106 are aligned with each other because support post 103 extends upwardly from, and is aligned with, base post 101. However, a reference line 107, which extends through mailbox 104, is spaced apart from reference lines 105 and 106 because mailbox 104 is offset from base post 101 and support post 103. Mailbox 104 can undesirably tilt support post 103 in a direction 109 because it is offset from base post 101 and support post 103. Further, mailbox 104 can undesirably rotate and torque support post 103 in direction 109 because it is offset from base post 101 and support post 103. Hence, mailbox 104 can undesirably move support post 103 from the upright to the tilted position because mailbox 104 can rotate and torque support post 103 in direction 109. In this way, support post 103 can undesirably move from the upright to the tilted position in the absence of an applied force because mailbox 104 is offset from base post 101 and support post 103. It should be noted that, in some situations, support post 103 can tilt side-to-side, which is in a direction perpendicular to that shown in FIG. 1. The side-to-side direction is shown in FIGS. 2b and 2d.

FIG. 2a is a perspective view of one embodiment of a fixture assembly 110a, in accordance with the invention. FIGS. 2b, 2c and 2d are front, side and back views, respectively, of fixture assembly 110a. More information regarding fixture assembly 110a can be found in U.S. Pat. No. D549,924, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. In this embodiment, fixture assembly 110a includes a base post assembly 111 coupled with a support post assembly 120 through a yieldable assembly 170. Yieldable assembly 170 can be of many different types, such as those discussed in more detail below with FIGS. 9a, 10a, 11 and 12. Base post assembly 111 can include many different components, but here it includes base post 101. Base post 101 is typically driven into the ground to provide support for support post assembly 120. Support post assembly 120 carries mailbox 104, which is coupled to mailbox support plate 131.

In accordance with the invention, yieldable assembly 170 allows support post assembly 120 to repeatably move between upright and tilted positions in response to an applied force. The upright and tilted positions are discussed in more detail above with FIG. 1. Further, more information regarding the upright and tilted positions is provided in the above referenced U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/487,674.

Support post assembly 120 generally moves from the upright to the tilted positions in response to the applied force. The force can be applied in many different ways, such as by engaging mailbox 104 or support post assembly 120 with a vehicle. In these situations, it is desirable for support post assembly 120 to move from the upright to the tilted positions in response to being engaged by the vehicle to reduce the amount of damage to fixture assembly 110a. It should be noted that support post assembly 120 is typically capable of rotating, in a direction 127, about reference line 106 relative to base support structure 111. In this way, support post assembly 120 can also rotate in response to the applied force.

It is generally desirable, however, to have support post assembly 120 remain in the upright position in the absence of the applied force. Hence, it is desirable to balance support post assembly 120, as well as the components carried by it, such as mailbox 104, so that support post assembly 120 is less likely to undesirably move from the upright position to the tilted position in the absence of the applied force. Support post assembly 120 can be balanced in many different ways, one of which will be discussed in more detail presently.

In this embodiment, support post assembly 120 includes opposed angled post members 121a and 121b extending upwardly from yieldable assembly 170. Post members 121a and 121b are angled post members because they extend at a non-zero angle relative to base post 101. In this way, post members 121a and 121b to not extend parallel with base post 101. In accordance with the invention, opposed angled post members 121a and 121b are chosen to restrict the movement of support post assembly 120 from the upright position to the tilted position. In this way, mailbox 104 is carried by support post assembly 120 so it is balanced over base post assembly 111. Opposed angled post members 121a and 121b can be chosen to restrict the movement of support post assembly 120 from the upright position to the tilted position in many different ways.

In some embodiments, opposed angled post members 121a and 121b are chosen so that the center of mass of support post assembly 120 is driven to be aligned with reference line 105. In one example, the weights of angled post members 121a and 121b are chosen to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 120 to be aligned with reference line 105 (FIG. 2c). The center of mass of support post assembly 120 is moved towards angled post member 122a in response to increasing the weight of angled post member 122a. Further, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 is moved towards angled post member 122b in response to increasing the weight of angled post member 122b. In this way, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 can be adjusted relative to reference line 105 in response to adjusting the weights of angled post members 121a and 121b. Further, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 can be adjusted relative to base post assembly 111 in response to adjusting the weights of angled post members 121a and 121b.

In this embodiment, support post assembly 120 includes opposed upright post members 122a and 122b extending upwardly from angled post members 121a and 121b, respectively. In some embodiments, post members 122a and 122b extend at an angle to base post 101. However, in this embodiment, post members 122a and 122b extend parallel with base post 101. In accordance with the invention, opposed upright post members 122a and 122b are chosen to restrict the movement of support post assembly 120 from the upright position to the tilted position. In this way, mailbox 104 is carried by support post assembly 120 so it is balanced over base post assembly 111. Opposed upright post members 122a and 122b can be chosen to restrict the movement of support post assembly 120 from the upright position to the tilted position in many different ways.

For example, opposed upright post members 122a and 122b are positioned to restrict movement of support post assembly 120 from the upright position to the tilted position. Opposed upright post members 122a and 122b are chosen so that the center of mass of support post assembly 120 is driven to be aligned with reference line 105. In one example, the weights of upright post members 122a and 122b are chosen to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 120 to be aligned with reference line 105. The center of mass of support post assembly 120 is moved towards upright post member 122a in response to increasing the weight of upright post member 122a. Further, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 is moved towards upright post member 122b in response to increasing the weight of upright post member 122b. In this way, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 can be adjusted relative to reference line 105 in response to adjusting the weights of upright post members 122a and 122b. The center of mass of support post assembly 120 can be adjusted relative to base post assembly 111 in response to adjusting the weights of upright post members 122a and 122b.

Hence, opposed angled post members 121a and 121b, as well as opposed upright members 122a and 122b, are used to balance mailbox 104 over base post assembly 111. Opposed angled post members 121a and 121b, as well as opposed upright members 122a and 122b, are positioned to bias support post assembly 120 to the upright position. Further, opposed angled post members 121a and 121b, as well as opposed upright members 122a and 122b, are used to balance mailbox 104 over base post assembly 111. Opposed angled post members 121a and 121b, as well as opposed upright members 122a and 122b, are positioned to restrict movement of support post assembly 120 from an upright position to a tilted position. Further, opposed angled post members 121a and 121b, as well as opposed upright members 122a and 122b, are positioned to bias support post assembly 120 to the upright position. In this way, support post assembly 120 is balanced so that mailbox 104 is balanced over base post assembly 111.

In this embodiment, support post assembly 120 includes a horizontal post member 123 which extends between upright post members 122a and 122b. Horizontal post member 123 is connected to ends of upright post members 122a and 122b opposed to angled post members 121a and 121b. Further, mailbox support plate 131 is carried by horizontal post member 123, wherein mailbox 104 is carried by mailbox support plate 131.

In accordance with the invention, horizontal post member 123 is positioned to restrict movement of support post assembly 120 from the upright position to the tilted position. In this way, mailbox 104 is carried by support post assembly 120 so it is balanced over base post assembly 111. Horizontal post member 123 is chosen so that the center of mass of support post assembly 120 is driven to be aligned with reference line 105. In one example, the weight distribution of horizontal post member 123 is chosen to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 120 to be aligned with reference line 105 (FIG. 2c). The center of mass of support post assembly 120 is moved towards upright post member 122a in response to increasing the weight of horizontal post member 123 proximate to upright post member 122a. Further, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 is moved towards upright post member 122b in response to increasing the weight of horizontal post member 123 proximate to upright post member 122b. In this way, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 can be adjusted relative to reference line 105 in response to adjusting the weight distribution of horizontal post member 123. Further, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 can be adjusted relative to base post assembly 111 in response to adjusting the weight distribution of horizontal post member 123.

In some embodiments, support post assembly 120 carries a reinforcement member 125 (FIG. 2c). Reinforcement member 125 can be of many different types, such as a reinforcement display piece, but here it is embodied as a reinforcement plate 125a. In this embodiment, reinforcement member 125 extends between upright post members 122a and 122b and horizontal post member 123. Reinforcement member 125 provides many different functions. For example, reinforcement member 125 provides reinforcement for support post assembly 120 to make it sturdier. Reinforcement member 125 reinforces support post assembly 120 to make it sturdier because it restricts the ability of upright post members 122a and 122b to move towards and away from each other, such as when a force is applied thereto.

Reinforcement member 125 also provides additional balancing to balance support post assembly 120 over base post assembly 111. For example, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 is moved towards upright post member 122a in response to increasing the weight of reinforcement member 125 proximate to upright post member 122a. Further, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 is moved towards upright post member 122b in response to increasing the weight of reinforcement member 125 proximate to upright post member 122b. In this way, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 can be adjusted relative to reference line 105 in response to adjusting the weight of reinforcement member 125. Further, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 can be adjusted relative to base post assembly 111 in response to adjusting the weight of reinforcement member 125. More information regarding adjusting the weight of reinforcement member 125 is provided in more detail below with FIGS. 5a-5g.

Support post assembly 120 can carry reinforcement member 125 in many different ways. In this embodiment, fixture assembly 110a includes brackets 126a and 126b which hold reinforcement member 125 to opposed upright members 122a and 122b, respectively. Brackets 126a and 126b allow reinforcement member 125 to be repeatably coupled to and decoupled from support post assembly 120 in a repeatable manner. It should be noted that reinforcement member 125 can be held to support post assembly 120 in many other ways, such as by using bolts or other types of fasteners. More information regarding different ways in which reinforcement member 125 can be coupled to support post assembly 120 is provided in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,940,900, 4,059,923, 4,634,157, 5,283,975, 6,578,664, 7,152,368, as well as in U.S. Design Pat. Nos. D288,854 and D288,367.

In general, however, reinforcement member 125 is held to support post assembly 120 in a repeatably removeable manner. In this way, reinforcement member 125 can be removed and replaced with another reinforcement member. Hence, the reinforcement members carried by support post assembly 120 are interchangeable. This is useful so that the balance of support post assembly 120 can be adjusted in response to removing one reinforcement member 125 and replacing it with another reinforcement member having a different weight. This is also useful so that the balance of support post assembly 120 can be adjusted in response to removing one reinforcement member 125 and replacing it with another reinforcement member having a different weight distribution. In this way, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 can be adjusted in response to interchanging reinforcement members.

FIG. 3a is a perspective view of one embodiment of a fixture assembly 110b, in accordance with the invention. FIGS. 3b, 3c and 3d are front, side and back views, respectively, of fixture assembly 110b. More information regarding fixture assembly 110b can be found in U.S. Pat. No. D549,923, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. In this embodiment, fixture assembly 110b includes fixture assembly 110a. Further, fixture assembly 110b includes a lamp fixture assembly 140 carried by support post assembly 120. Lamp fixture assembly 140 can be carried by support post assembly 120 in many different ways. In this embodiment, lamp fixture assembly 140 extends upwardly from upright post member 122b. In particular, lamp fixture assembly 140 includes a lamp post 141 which extends through an upwardly facing opening 124a (FIG. 10a) of upright post member 122b. Upwardly facing opening 124a of upright post member 122b is covered by a cap 124 in FIG. 2a. Lamp fixture assembly 140 includes a lamp 142 carried by lamp post 141, wherein lamp 142 emits light in response to being powered. Lamp 142 can be powered in many different ways. For example, in some embodiments, lamp 142 is powered by electrical energy provided by the power grid (not shown) and, in other embodiments, lamp 142 is solar powered. Examples of lamps and lamp posts are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,017,131.

Lamp fixture assembly 140 provides many different functions. For example, lamp fixture assembly 140 provides light, which is emitted by lamp 142. Lamp fixture assembly 140 also provides additional balancing to balance support post assembly 120 over base post assembly 111. The center of mass of support post assembly 120 is moved towards upright post member 122a in response to decreasing the weight of lamp fixture assembly 140. Further, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 is moved towards upright post member 122b in response to increasing the weight of lamp fixture assembly 140. Hence, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 can be adjusted relative to reference line 105 in response to adjusting the weight of lamp fixture assembly 140. In this way, support post assembly 120 is balanced so that mailbox 104 is balanced over base post assembly 111.

It should be noted that the weight distribution of reinforcement member 125 can be adjusted, as described above, to compensate for the weight of lamp fixture assembly 140 so that support post assembly 120 is balanced over base post assembly 111. For example, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 is moved away from lamp fixture assembly 140 in response to increasing the weight of reinforcement member 125 proximate to upright post member 122a. Further, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 is moved towards lamp fixture assembly 140 in response to increasing the weight of reinforcement member 125 proximate to upright post member 122b. Hence, the center of mass of support post assembly 120 can be adjusted relative to reference line 105 and lamp fixture assembly 140 in response to adjusting the weight distribution of reinforcement member 125.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of fixture assembly 110c, in accordance with the invention. In this embodiment, fixture assembly 110c includes reinforcement member 125 which is embodied as a reinforcement display piece 125b. Reinforcement display piece 125b can be manufactured in many different ways. In general, reinforcement display piece 125b is manufactured by cutting it from a larger piece of material, such as a sheet of steel or a sheet of another rigid material. Reinforcement display piece 125b can be cut from the larger piece of material in many different ways, such as by using a laser or plasma beam. Machines that are capable of cutting pieces of material include Computer Numerical Control (CNC) cutting machines, laser cutters and plasma cutters, among others. Reinforcement display piece 125b are provided by many different manufacturers, such as Texas Metal Industries of Mesquite, Tex. The larger piece of material can be provided with a desired weight and thickness distribution so that reinforcement display piece 125b is cut with the desired weight distribution to balance support post assembly 120 with base post assembly 111. Reinforcement member 125 can also be manufactured using the technology as disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,667,935, 6,701,608 and 7,121,004, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

Reinforcement display piece 125b can be coated with a material after it is cut from the larger piece of material. It is desirable to coat reinforcement display piece 125b for many different reasons, such as to protect it from the weather and to provide it with a desired finish. It may also be desirable to coat reinforcement display piece 125b to adjust its center of mass so that it drives the center of mass of support post assembly 120 to a desired location relative to reference line 105.

Reinforcement display piece 125b is positioned to provide support to support post assembly 120. Further, reinforcement display piece 125b is positioned to balance support post assembly 120 over base post assembly 111. Reinforcement display piece 125b is shaped to adjust the center of mass of support post assembly 120 by a desired amount, as will be discussed in more detail presently.

FIG. 5a is a front view of reinforcement plate 125a, which has regions 116 and 117 positioned on opposed sides of reference line 105. Also shown in FIG. 5a are center of masses 128, 129 and 130, which are represented by arrows. Center of masses 128 and 130 are on opposed sides of reference line 105, wherein center of mass 128 is on the same side of reference line 105 as region 116 and center of mass 130 is on the same side of reference line as region 117. Center of mass 129 is aligned with reference line 105 so that center of mass 129 corresponds with a center of mass between center of masses 128 and 130.

In one example, the mass distribution of reinforcement plate 125a in regions 116 and 117 is chosen to be equal so that the center of mass of reinforcement plate 125a corresponds with center of mass 129. In another example, the mass distribution of reinforcement plate 125a in region 116 is greater than in region 117 so that the center of mass of reinforcement plate 125a corresponds with center of mass 128. In another example, the mass distribution of reinforcement plate 125a in region 117 is greater than in region 116 so that the center of mass of reinforcement plate 125a corresponds with center of mass 130. Hence, the mass distribution of reinforcement plate 125a in its different regions is chosen to provide a desired center of mass. In this way, support post assembly 120 is provided with the desired center of mass when it carries reinforcement plate 125a.

FIGS. 5b and 5c are front views of reinforcement display piece 125b and support post assembly 120. In FIG. 5b, reinforcement display piece 125b is carried by support post assembly 120 and oriented so that the center of mass of support post assembly 120 corresponds with center of mass 130 (FIG. 5a). In FIG. 5c, reinforcement display piece 125b is carried by support post assembly 120 and oriented so that the center of mass of support post assembly 120 corresponds with center of mass 128 (FIG. 5a). Hence, the orientation of reinforcement plate 125a is chosen to provide support post assembly 120 with a desired center of mass. In this way, support post assembly 120 is provided with the desired center of mass when it carries reinforcement display piece 125b in a chosen orientation.

FIGS. 5d and 5e are side views of wrought iron reinforcement display pieces 125c and 125d, respectively. Further, FIGS. 5f and 5g are side views of wrought iron reinforcement display pieces 125e and 125f, respectively. More information regarding wrought iron reinforcement display pieces can be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,955,800, 4,138,094, 4,214,734, 5,149,060, 5,645,271, 5,890,702, 6,560,941, 6,598,649, 6,848,677, 7,090,202, 7,121,004, 7,207,551 and 7,246,792, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. More information is also provided in U.S. Patent Application Nos. 20030132426 and 20070272910, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. Reinforcement member 125 can also be in the form of lattice tiles, such as those disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,333,287, as well as U.S. Design Pat. No. D371,447.

In the embodiments of FIGS. 5f and 5g, wrought iron reinforcement display pieces 125c, 125d, 125e and 125f include a number of horizontal bars 118 and vertical bars 119 connected together to form a single integral piece. In particular, wrought iron reinforcement display pieces 125c, 125d, 125e and 125f include a number of horizontal bars 118 and vertical bars 119 connected together to form a fence. Horizontal bars 118 and vertical bars 119 can be connected together in many different ways, such as the way disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,022,435, 4,667,935, 5,557,889 and 7,121,004, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

The number of bars included with wrought iron reinforcement display pieces 125c, 125d, 125e and 125f, as well as their weights are chosen to provide support post assembly 120 with a desired center of mass. In this way, support post assembly 120 is provided with the desired center of mass when it carries one of wrought iron reinforcement display pieces 125c, 125d, 125e and 125f. It should be noted that wrought iron reinforcement display pieces 125c, 125d, 125e and 125f can be replaced with other reinforcement display pieces which include a number of horizontal and vertical bars connected together to form a single integral piece. Further, the horizontal and vertical bars can include many different materials other than iron, such as wood. It should also be noted that the bars can be curved in some embodiments. However, the bars of reinforcement display pieces 125c, 125d, 125e and 125f are shown as being straight for illustrative purposes.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a fixture assembly 11d, in accordance with the invention. In this embodiment, fixture assembly 110d includes fixture assembly 110a, which is discussed above with FIG. 2a. Further, fixture assembly 110b includes a lamp fixture assembly 140a coupled to support post assembly 120. In this embodiment, lamp fixture assembly 140a includes lower and upper lamp posts 141a and 141b which are coupled together through a lamp post bracket assembly 143, wherein lamp 142 is carried by upper lamp post 141b. Lamp post bracket assembly 143 allows upper lamp post 141b to be repeatably coupled to and decoupled from lower lamp post 141a. In this way, upper lamp post 141b and lamp 142 can be decoupled from lamp fixture assembly 140a and replaced with another upper lamp post and lamp.

Lamp post bracket assembly 143 can be of many different types. In this embodiment, lamp post bracket assembly 143 includes clamps 147a and 147b coupled together with an arm 146. Clamps 147a and 147b can be of many different types, such as hose clamps. Examples of hose clamps are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,638,531, 5,185,907 and 5,177,836, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

In some embodiments, such as the embodiment indicated by an indication arrow 148a, lamp post bracket assembly 143 can be repeatably coupled to and decoupled from lower and upper lamp posts 141a and 141b. In particular, clamps 147a and 147b can be repeatably coupled to and decoupled from lower and upper lamp posts 141a and 141b, respectively. In the embodiment indicated by an indication arrow 148b, lamp post bracket assembly 143 can be repeatably coupled to and decoupled from upper lamp post 141b. However, lamp post bracket assembly 143 is fixedly attached to lower lamp post 141a. Lamp post bracket assembly 143 can be fixedly attached to lower lamp post 141a in many different ways. In this embodiment, clamp 147a is welded to lower lamp post 141a with a weldment 149.

FIGS. 7a, 7b and 7c are front, back and side views, respectively, of a fixture assembly 150a, in accordance with the invention. More information regarding fixture assembly 150a can be found in U.S. Pat. No. D566,778, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. In this embodiment, fixture assembly 150a includes a support post assembly 151a coupled with a base post assembly (not shown) through yieldable assembly 170. Support post assembly 151a includes a lower sign post 152 extending upwardly from yieldable assembly 170, and opposed upright members 153a and 153b extending upwardly from lower sign post 152. Support post assembly 151a includes an upper sign post 154 extending upwardly from opposed upright members 153a and 153b. A traffic sign 156 is coupled to upper sign post 154, and a traffic sign 155 is positioned so it extends between opposed upright members 153a and 153b. Traffic signs 155 and 156 can display many different types of information, such as traffic commands like “STOP”, “YIELD” or “SLOW”, among others.

In accordance with the invention, upright members 153a and 153b are chosen to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 151a so it is aligned with reference line 105. There are many different ways in which upright members 153a and 153b can be chosen to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 151a so it is aligned with reference line 105. For example, in one embodiment, the weight of upright member 153a is chosen to be greater than the weight of upright member 153b so that the center of mass of support post assembly 151a is driven towards upright member 153a. In another embodiment, the weight of upright member 153b is chosen to be greater than the weight of upright member 153a so that the center of mass of support post assembly 151a is driven towards upright member 153b. In this way, the center of mass of support post assembly 151a can be adjusted by adjusting the weights of upright members 153a and 153b.

FIG. 8a is a perspective view of a fixture assembly 150b, in accordance with the invention. More information regarding fixture assembly 150b can be found in U.S. patent application No. 29/286,032 filed on Apr. 23, 2007, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. In this embodiment, fixture assembly 150b includes a support post assembly 151b coupled with base post assembly 101 through yieldable assembly 170. Support post assembly 151b includes opposed angled post members 160a and 160b which extend from yieldable assembly 170, and opposed upright post members 161a and 161b which extend upwardly from angled post members 160a and 160b, respectively. Support post assembly 151b includes a horizontal post member 162 which extends between opposed upright post members 161a and 161b at ends thereof opposed to the ends connected to angled post members 160a and 160b. Traffic sign 156 extends upwardly from horizontal post member 162. Support post assembly 151b includes cross-post members 163a, 163b and 163c which extends between opposed upright post members 161a and 161b, wherein cross-post members 163a, 163b and 163c are spaced apart from each other along the length of upright post members 161a and 161b.

In this embodiment, fixture assembly 150b includes a plurality of reinforcement members 125, which are embodied as display pieces 125a, 125b and 125c. Display piece 125a is positioned between cross-post members 163a and 163b, as well as opposed upright members 161a and 161b. Display piece 125b is positioned between cross-post members 163b and 163c, as well as opposed upright members 161a and 161b. Display piece 125c is positioned between cross-post member 163c and horizontal post member 162, as well as opposed upright members 161a and 161b.

In accordance with the invention, angled post members 160a and 160b are chosen to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 151b so it is aligned with reference line 105. There are many different ways in which angled post members 160a and 160b can be chosen to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 151b so it is aligned with reference line 105. For example, in one embodiment, the weight of angled post member 160a is chosen to be greater than the weight of angled post member 160b so that the center of mass of support post assembly 151b is driven towards angled post member 160a. In another embodiment, the weight of angled post member 160b is chosen to be greater than the weight of angled post member 160a so that the center of mass of support post assembly 151b is driven towards angled post member 160b. In this way, the center of mass of support post assembly 151b can be adjusted by adjusting the weights of angled post members 160a and 160b.

In accordance with the invention, upright post members 161a and 161b are chosen to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 151b so it is aligned with reference line 105. There are many different ways in which upright post members 161a and 161b can be chosen to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 151b so it is aligned with reference line 105. For example, in one embodiment, the weight of upright post member 161a is chosen to be greater than the weight of upright post member 161b so that the center of mass of support post assembly 151b is driven towards upright post member 161a. In another embodiment, the weight of upright post member 161b is chosen to be greater than the weight of upright post member 161a so that the center of mass of support post assembly 151b is driven towards upright post member 161b. In this way, the center of mass of support post assembly 151b can be adjusted by adjusting the weights of upright post members 161a and 161b.

In accordance with the invention, display pieces 125a, 125b and 125c are chosen to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 151b so it is aligned with reference line 105. There are many different ways in which display pieces 125a, 125b and 125c can be chosen to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 151b so it is aligned with reference line 105. For example, in one embodiment, the weight of display pieces 125a, 125b and 125c are chosen to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 151b so it is aligned with reference line 105. In some embodiments, the orientation of display pieces 125a, 125b and 125c are chosen to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 151b so it is aligned with reference line 105. More information about choosing the weight and orientation of a display piece to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 151b so it is aligned with reference line 105 is provided in more detail above.

FIGS. 8b and 8c are front and side views, respectively, of another embodiment of a fixture assembly 150c, in accordance with the invention. More information regarding fixture assembly 150c can be found in above referenced U.S. patent application No. 29/286,032.

In this embodiment, fixture assembly 150c includes support post assembly 151b, which carries reinforcement display piece 125h and traffic sign 156. Traffic sign 156 is coupled to horizontal post member 162 using a bracket 158. Support post assembly 151b carries reinforcement display piece 125h so that display piece 125h is repeatably moveable between positioned coupled to and decoupled from support post assembly 151b. In this way, one reinforcement display piece can be decoupled from support post assembly 151b and replaced with another one to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 151c so it is aligned with reference line 105.

FIGS. 9a, 9b and 9c are partial cut-away views of one embodiment of a yieldable assembly 170a, in accordance with the invention, wherein yieldable assembly 170a couples base post assembly 111 and support post assembly 120 together. In this embodiment, support post assembly 120 includes a housing 171, and angled post members 121a and 121b extend upwardly from housing 171. Yieldable assembly 170a includes a spring 173 with a rigid fastener 172 extending therethrough. Rigid fastener 172 extends through spring 173 so it extends through opposed ends of spring 173. Rigid fastener 172 extends through an upwardly facing opening 114 of base post 101, as well as through a downwardly facing opening 114 of housing 171. Spring 173 is positioned proximate to downwardly facing opening 114 and receives rigid fastener 172. Hence, fastener 172 extends through opening 114 and spring 173. A washer 174 and nut 175 are coupled to rigid fastener 172 so that spring 173 extends between downwardly facing opening 114 and washer 174. In this way, spring 173 and rigid fastener 172 couple base post assembly 111 and support post assembly 120 together. Spring 173 and rigid fastener 172 allow support post assembly 120 to move between upright and tilted positions in response to a force applied thereto. The upright position is shown in FIGS. 9b and 9c in solid lines, and the tilted position is shown in FIGS. 9b and 9c in broken lines.

FIG. 10a is an exploded view of a fixture assembly 110e, which includes a yieldable assembly 170b, in accordance with the invention, wherein yieldable assembly 170b couples base post assembly 111 and support post assembly 120 together. FIG. 10b is an exploded close-up view of yieldable assembly 170b, and FIGS. 10c, 10d and 10e are cut-away views of yieldable assembly 170b. In this embodiment, base post assembly 111 includes base post 101, and a cup 113 extending upwardly from base post 101, wherein cup 113 extends around upwardly facing opening 114 (FIG. 10e).

In this embodiment, support post assembly 120 includes housing 171 (FIG. 10b) and angled post members 121a and 121b which extend upwardly from housing 171. Support post assembly 120 includes upright post members 122a and 122b which extend upwardly from angled post members 121a and 121b, respectively. Support post assembly 120 includes horizontal post member 123 which extends between upright post members 122a and 122b. It should be noted that cup 113 is sized and shaped to receive housing 171, as shown in FIG. 10d.

In this embodiment, fixture assembly 110e includes a mailbox support bar 133 which is carried by horizontal post member 123, and mailbox 104 which is carried by mailbox support bar 133. Further, fixture assembly 110e includes lamp fixture assembly 140 which is carried by support post assembly 120. In this embodiment, lamp fixture assembly 140 includes lamp post 141 which extends upwardly from an opening 124a of support post assembly 120. It should be noted that opening 124a is covered by cap 124 in FIG. 2a. Lamp fixture assembly 140 includes lamp 142 which is carried by lamp post 141. Lamp fixture assembly 140 includes a personal sign 157 which is carried by lamp post 141. Personal sign 157 can display many different types of personal information, such as a name and/or address. It should be noted that personal sign 157 can be removed from lamp post 141 and replaced with another personal sign. This is useful when it is desired to change the personal information displayed by the sign carried by lamp post 141, such as when moving to another address or when it is desirable to display a different name.

Fixture assembly 110e includes a reinforcement display piece 125g which is carried by support post assembly 120 in a manner described in more detail above. In this embodiment, fixture assembly 110e includes brackets 126a and 126b which couple reinforcement display piece 125g to upright post members 122a and 122b, respectively. Reinforcement display piece 125g is embodied as a wrought iron fence. Reinforcement display piece 125g can be removed from support post assembly 120 and replaced with another display piece.

It should be noted that reinforcement display piece 125g is generally configured to counterbalance the weight of lamp fixture assembly 140 so that the center of mass of support post assembly 120 is driven towards reference line 105 (FIG. 10c). The adjustment of the center of mass of support post assembly 120 in response to carrying a display piece is discussed in more detail above with FIGS. 5a-5g. Further, reinforcement display piece 125g is generally configured to counterbalance the weight of mailbox 104 so that the center of mass of support post assembly 120 is driven towards reference line 105 (FIG. 10c). In general, the weights of mailbox 104, reinforcement display piece 125g and lamp fixture assembly 140 are chosen to drive the center of mass of support post assembly 120 towards reference line 105.

In this embodiment, yieldable assembly 170b includes spring 173 with a rigid fastener 172 extending therethrough, as described above. Rigid fastener 172 extends through upwardly facing opening 114 of base post 101, as well as through downwardly facing opening 114 of housing 171. Spring 173 is positioned proximate to downwardly facing opening 114 and receives rigid fastener 172. Washer 174 and nut 175 are coupled to rigid fastener 172 so that spring 173 extends between downwardly facing opening 114 and washer 174. In this way, spring 173 and rigid fastener 172 couple base post assembly 111 and support post assembly 120 together. Spring 173 and rigid fastener 172 allow support post assembly 120 to move between upright and tilted positions in response to a force applied thereto.

FIG. 11 is a partial cut-away view of one embodiment of a yieldable assembly 170d, wherein yieldable assembly 170d couples base post assembly 111 and support post assembly 120 together, in accordance with the invention. More information regarding yieldable assembly 170d can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 2,949,324, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. In this embodiment, yieldable assembly 170d includes inner and outer springs 173a and 173b positioned between upper and lower flanges 181 and 180. Yieldable assembly 170d is coupled with base post 101 by a split sleeve clamp 115. Housing 171 is coupled with upper flange 181 and angled post members 121a and 121b. Angled post members 121a and 121b extend from opposed sides of housing 171. Upper flange 181 includes an upwardly facing opening and housing 171 includes a downwardly facing opening, wherein the upwardly and downwardly facing openings face each other. Lower flange 180 includes a downwardly facing opening which faces an upper surface of base post 101.

Yieldable assembly 170d includes an eyebolt 182 which is coupled to one end of inner spring 173a and is fastened with the downwardly facing opening of lower flange 180. Yieldable assembly 170d includes an eyebolt 183 which is coupled to an opposed end of inner spring 173a and is fastened with the openings of housing 171 and upper flange 181. Eyebolt 183 is coupled with housing 171 by using nut 174.

Housing 171 is repeatably moveable between positions towards and away from base post 101 in response to compressing and decompressing, respectively, inner and outer springs 173a and 173b. Further, housing 171 is repeatably moveable between tilted and upright positions in response to bending inner and outer springs 173a and 173b. In accordance with the invention, support post assembly 120 has a center of mass that is directed along reference line 105.

FIG. 12 is a partial cut-away view of one embodiment of a yieldable assembly 170e, wherein yieldable assembly 170e couples base post assembly 111 and support post assembly 120 together, in accordance with the invention. More information regarding yieldable assembly 170e can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 1,679,623, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference. In this embodiment, yieldable assembly 170e includes upper and lower flanges 191 and 190 which are coupled together with fasteners. Lower flange 190 is coupled to base post 101 and upper flange 191 is coupled with housing 171. Angled post members 121a and 121b extend from housing 171, as described in more detail above.

In this embodiment, yieldable assembly 170e includes a moveable flange 192 housed by housing 171 and engaged with upper flange 191. A flexible fastener 193, extends through openings of moveable flange 192, upper flange 191 and lower flange 190, wherein the openings of moveable flange 192, upper flange 191 and lower flange 190 are aligned with each other. In this way, flexible fastener 193 extends between housing 171 and base post 101 through the openings of moveable flange 192, upper flange 191 and lower flange 190. Yieldable assembly 170e includes spring 173 which extends through base post 101. Flexible fastener 193 extends through spring 173.

FIG. 13a is a flow diagram of a method 200, in accordance with the invention, of installing a fixture assembly. In this embodiment, method 200 includes a step 201 of providing a base post assembly and support post assembly. Method 200 includes a step 202 of providing a yieldable assembly and coupling the base post assembly and support post assembly together with the yieldable assembly. Method 200 includes a step 203 of adjusting the center of mass of the support post assembly so that the support post assembly is balanced with the base post assembly. The support post assembly is repeatably moveable between upright and tilted positions with the base post assembly.

FIG. 13b is a flow diagram of a method 210, in accordance with the invention, of installing a fixture assembly. In this embodiment, method 210 includes a step 211 of providing a base post assembly and yieldable assembly and coupling them together. Method 210 includes a step 212 of providing a support post assembly and coupling it to the yieldable assembly so it is balanced with the base post assembly. The support post assembly is repeatably moveable between upright and tilted positions with the base post assembly.

FIG. 13c is a flow diagram of a method 220, in accordance with the invention, of installing a fixture assembly. In this embodiment, method 220 includes a step 221 of providing a support post assembly which includes a yieldable assembly. Method 220 includes a step 222 of providing a base post assembly and coupling it to the yieldable assembly so that the support post assembly is balanced with the base post assembly. The support post assembly is repeatably moveable between upright and tilted positions with the base post assembly.

The yieldable assemblies of methods 200, 210 and 220 can be of many different types. In some embodiments, the yieldable assembly includes a spring with a rigid fastener extending therethrough. In some embodiments, the yieldable assembly includes inner and outer springs.

The support post assemblies of methods 200, 210 and 220 can be of many different types. In some embodiments, the yieldable assemblies include opposed upright post members which are positioned to balance the support post assembly with the base post assembly. In some embodiments, the yieldable assemblies include opposed angled post members which are positioned to balance the support post assembly with the base post assembly. In accordance with the invention, the opposed post members and opposed angled members are positioned to restrict movement of the support post assembly from the upright position to the tilted position.

In some embodiments, the yieldable assemblies include a horizontal member which extends between the opposed upright members. In some embodiments, a mailbox is positioned so it is carried by the support post assembly, wherein the support post assembly balances the mailbox over the base post assembly.

In some embodiments, the support post assembly includes an upwardly facing opening and the yieldable assembly includes a downwardly facing opening. The upwardly facing opening and downwardly facing opening face each other so that a fastener can extend between them. In some embodiments, the fastener extends through a spring.

It should be noted that methods 200, 210 and 220 can include many other steps. For example, in some embodiments, methods 200, 210 and 220 include a step of adjusting the center of mass of the support post assembly. The center of mass of the support post assembly can be adjusted in many different ways, such as by providing a reinforcement member and coupling it to the support post assembly. In some situations, the center of mass of the support post assembly is adjusted by decoupling a reinforcement member from the support post assembly and replacing it with another one. In some embodiments, the center of mass of the support post assembly is adjusted in response to adjusting the weight of the components (i.e. angled post members, upright post members, horizontal post member) of the support post assembly.

In some embodiments, the center of mass of the support post assembly is adjusted in response to carrying a lamp fixture assembly with the support post assembly. The lamp fixture assembly typically includes a lamp carried by a lamp post. The lamp fixture assembly can be carried by the support post assembly in many different ways. For example, in some embodiments, the support post assembly includes an upwardly facing opening for receiving the lamp post.

In these embodiments, the weight of the lamp fixture assembly can be adjusted by decoupling a lamp from the lamp post and replacing it with another one. A lamp can be repeatably coupled to and decoupled from the lamp post in many different ways. For example, the lamp can be repeatably coupled to and decoupled from the lamp post using a lamp post bracket assembly.

FIG. 14a is a flow diagram of a method 230, in accordance with the invention, of manufacturing a fixture assembly. In this embodiment, method 230 includes a step 231 of providing a support post assembly which includes opposed upright post members. Method 230 includes a step 232 of providing a reinforcement member and positioning the reinforcement member so it is carried by the opposed upright post members. Method 230 includes a step 233 of coupling the support post assembly to a yieldable assembly so the support post assembly is repeatably moveable between upright and tilted positions.

In some embodiments, step 232 of providing the reinforcement member includes a step of cutting through a piece of flat stock material. The flat stock material can be cut in many different ways, such as by using a CNC machine which utilizes laser or plasma cutting.

FIG. 14b is a flow diagram of a method 240, in accordance with the invention, of manufacturing a fixture assembly. In this embodiment, method 240 includes a step 241 of providing a support post assembly which includes opposed angled post members and opposed upright post members. Method 240 includes a step 242 of providing a base post assembly and coupling it to the support post assembly with a yieldable assembly. Method 240 includes a step 243 of adjusting the center of mass of the support post assembly so it is balanced with the base post assembly.

FIG. 14c is a flow diagram of a method 250, in accordance with the invention, of manufacturing a fixture assembly. In this embodiment, method 250 includes a step 251 of providing a support post assembly. Method 250 includes a step 252 of providing a base post assembly and coupling it to the support post assembly with a yieldable assembly. Method 250 includes a step 253 of providing a lamp fixture assembly and coupling it to the support post assembly. Method 250 includes a step 254 of adjusting the center of mass of the support post assembly so it is balanced with the base post assembly.

FIG. 15a is a flow diagram of a method 260, in accordance with the invention, of balancing a fixture assembly. In this embodiment, method 260 includes a step 261 of providing a fixture assembly which includes a support post assembly and base post assembly coupled together with a yieldable assembly. Method 260 includes a step 262 of adjusting the center of mass of the support post assembly so that the support post assembly is balanced over the base post assembly.

FIG. 15b is a flow diagram of a method 270, in accordance with the invention, of balancing a fixture assembly. In this embodiment, method 270 includes a step 271 of providing a fixture assembly which includes a support post assembly and base post assembly coupled together with a yieldable assembly. In accordance with the invention, the support post assembly includes a reinforcement member. Method 270 includes a step 272 of adjusting the center of mass of the reinforcement member so that the support post assembly is balanced over the base post assembly.

FIG. 15c is a flow diagram of a method 280, in accordance with the invention, of balancing a fixture assembly. In this embodiment, method 280 includes a step 281 of providing a base post assembly and a step 282 of providing a support post assembly with a desired center of mass. Method 280 includes a step 283 of coupling the support post assembly with the base post assembly using the yieldable assembly so that the support post assembly is balanced over the base post assembly.

The center of mass of the support post assembly can be chosen in many different ways. For example, in one embodiment, the support post assembly includes opposed upright post members and the center of mass of the support post assembly is chosen by choosing the weight of the opposed upright post members. In one embodiment, the support post assembly includes opposed angled post members and the center of mass of the support post assembly is chosen by choosing the weight of the opposed angled post members. In one embodiment, the support post assembly includes a reinforcement member and the center of mass of the support post assembly is chosen by choosing the weight distribution of the reinforcement member.

In some embodiments, the fixture assembly includes a lamp fixture assembly carried by the support post assembly. In these embodiments, the center of mass of the support post assembly is chosen to counterbalance the weight of the lamp fixture assembly. In some embodiments, the lamp fixture assembly includes a lamp carried by a lamp post. If desired, the lamp can be coupled to and decoupled from the lamp post in a repeatable manner. Hence, a lamp can be decoupled from the lamp post and replaced with another one. In this way, the weight of the lamp fixture assembly is adjustable.

The embodiments of the invention described herein are exemplary and numerous modifications, variations and rearrangements can be readily envisioned to achieve substantially equivalent results, all of which are intended to be embraced within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.