Title:
MANUAL HAND CRANK PUMP AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A manual hand crank pump has a housing with an inlet and an outlet and has a gearbox with an input and an output and a rotation speed of the output is greater than 50 or 100 times a rotation speed of said input. A hand crank connected to and operable to drive said input of said gearbox and a fan is within the housing and is connected to the output of the gearbox and is operable to pump air from the inlet to the outlet. The gearbox has a gear train with first and second single gears and first, second, third and forth composite gears, each composite gear having a small gear and a large gear coaxial with said small gear which provide an aggregate gear ration of more than 1:50 or more than 1:100. The hank crank pivots between a stored position and an operating position.



Inventors:
Lau, Vincent W. S. (Sai Kung, HK)
Application Number:
12/268468
Publication Date:
05/14/2009
Filing Date:
11/11/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F04B33/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOLLWEG, THOMAS A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ST. ONGE STEWARD JOHNSTON & REENS LLC (STAMFORD, CT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A manual hand crank pump, comprising: a housing having an inlet and an outlet; a gearbox including an input and an output and a rotation speed of said output is greater than 50 times a rotation speed of said input; a hand crank connected to and operable to drive said input of said gearbox; a fan within said housing, said fan being connected to said output of said gearbox, and being operable to pump air from said inlet to said outlet.

2. A manual hand crank pump, as in claim 1, wherein said rotation speed of said output of said gearbox is greater than 100 times said rotation speed of said input.

3. A manual hand crank pump, as in claim 1, wherein: said gearbox has a gear train with first and second single gears and first, second, third and forth composite gears, each composite gear having a small gear and a large gear coaxial with said small gear; said first single gear is connected to and is driven by said input of said gearbox and said first single gear drives a small gear of said first composite gear, a large gear of said first composite gear drives a small gear of said second composite gear, a large gear of said second composite gear drives a small gear of said third composite gear, a large gear of said third composite gear drives a small gear of said forth composite gear, a large gear of said forth composite gear drives said second single gear, and said second single gear is connected to and drives said output of said gearbox.

4. A manual hand crank pump, as in claim 3, wherein: said output of said gearbox includes a rotating fan shaft, and said fan is connected to said fan shaft; said first and third composite gears are independently rotatably supported by said fan shaft, whereby said first and third composite gears rotate at rates different than a rate of rotation of said fan shaft; said gearbox includes an intermediate shaft; one of said second and forth composite gears is independently rotatably supported by said intermediate shaft, whereby said one composite gear rotates at a rate different rate than any rate of rotation of said intermediate shaft, and an other of said second and forth composite gears has an axis which is coaxial with an axis of said intermediate shaft.

5. A manual hand crank pump, as in claim 4, wherein: said second and forth composite gears are independently rotatably supported by said intermediate shaft, whereby said second and forth composite gears rotate at rates different than any rate of rotation of said intermediate shaft.

6. A manual hand crank pump, as in claim 5, wherein said intermediate shaft does not rotate with respect to said gearbox.

7. A manual hand crank pump, as in claim 1, wherein: said hand crank has a crank handle sized and shaped to be gripped by a user; said housing has a crank handle recess sized and shaped to receive said crank handle; said hand crank has a stored position in which said crank handle is received within said crank handle recess; and said hand crank has an operation position in which said crank handle may be gripped by said user to operate said pump.

8. A manual hand crank pump, as in claim 7, wherein: said pump has a crank base connected to said input of said gearbox; and said hand crank has a crank shaft pivotally connected to said crank base about an axis substantially perpendicular to an axis of rotation of said input of said gearbox.

9. A manual hand crank pump, as in claim 8, wherein said crank shaft pivots with respect to said crank base through about 180 degrees between said stored and said operating positions.

10. A method of inflating an inflatable body, comprising: providing a manual hand crank pump with a housing having an inlet and an outlet, with a gearbox including an input and an output and a rotation speed of said output is greater than 50 times a rotation speed of said input, with a hand crank connected to and operable to drive said input of said gearbox, and with a fan within said housing, said fan being connected to said output of said gearbox and being operable to pump air from said inlet to said outlet; interconnecting said outlet of said pump to said inflatable body; and rotating said hank crank of said pump to inflate said inflatable body.

11. A method of inflating an inflatable body, as in claim 10 wherein said rotation speed of said output of said gearbox is greater than 100 times said rotation speed of said input.

12. A method of inflating an inflatable body, as in claim 11, wherein: said gearbox has a gear train with first and second single gears and first, second, third and forth composite gears, each composite gear having a small gear and a large gear coaxial with said small gear; and said first single gear is connected to and is driven by said input of said gearbox and said first single gear drives a small gear of said first composite gear, a large gear of said first composite gear drives a small gear of said second composite gear, a large gear of said second composite gear drives a small gear of said third composite gear, a large gear of said third composite gear drives a small gear of said forth composite gear, a large gear of said forth composite gear drives said second single gear, and said second single gear is connected to and drives said output of said gearbox.

13. A method of inflating an inflatable body, as in claim 12, wherein: said output of said gearbox includes a rotating fan shaft, and said fan is connected to said fan shaft; said first and third composite gears are independently rotatably supported by said fan shaft, whereby said first and third composite gears rotate at rates different than a rate of rotation of said fan shaft; said gearbox includes an intermediate shaft; and one of said second and forth composite gears is independently rotatably supported by said intermediate shaft, whereby said one composite gear rotates at a rate different rate than any rate of rotation of said intermediate shaft, and an other of said second and forth composite gears has an axis which is coaxial with an axis of said intermediate shaft.

14. A method of inflating an inflatable body, as in claim 13, wherein: said second and forth composite gears are independently rotatably supported by said intermediate shaft, whereby said second and forth composite gears rotate at rates different than any rate of rotation of said intermediate shaft.

15. A method of inflating an inflatable body, as in claim 14, wherein said intermediate shaft does not rotate with respect to said gearbox.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/987,833, filed Nov. 14, 2007.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention pertains to pumps and, in particular, to manual pumps.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Inflatable bodies, such as air beds and the like often require a considerable amount of pressurized air to fully inflate the body. Therefore, it is desirable and convenient to use a pump to inflate the body. It is known to use electric powered pumps or foot powered pumps for this purpose. However, electric pumps require a source of electric power and foot powered pumps often to not provide a sufficient rate of inflation. Therefore, what is desired is a pump for inflating inflatable bodies which does not require electric power and provides a substantial rate of inflation.

The pump constructed according to the present invention uses manual power applied through a hand crank. A gearbox within the pump provides a very high gear ratio which generates a substantial rate of rotation in the fan to produce a jet of air to inflate and inflatable object, such as an air bed or other inflatable body.

The pump is an environmentally conservative device as it costs nothing to operate—there are no batteries and no usage of electricity. It can be use anywhere in any environment, especially where power is not available. It is safe and doesn't pose any risks of electric shock and can used in any wet or dry condition.

The device includes of a foldable crank, gearbox, fan, air inlet and outlet, and a detachable air hose with nozzle adapters. The device can be stored in a case adapted to contain all of the external parts.

To operate the device, the user simply unfolds the crank and turns the crank handle by hand, and the gears inside the gear box rotate to turn the fan, which boosts the air from the air inlet to the outlet. The aggregate gear ratio from the inlet to the outlet is 1 to 127. It is efficienct and costless.

It is contemplated that different devices may be attached to the crank and gearbox such as a electric generator to power lights, radio, television, or other electronic devices, or for other purposes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a complete understanding of the above and other features of the invention, reference shall be made to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention and to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a manual hand crank pump constructed according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the pump of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the pump of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a rear elevation view of the pump of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a partial exploded view of the pump of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a full exploded view of the pump of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the gearbox of the pump of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 8 is an exploded view of the sub-assembly of the crank shaft, gearbox and fan housing.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1-8, a pump 100 constructed according to the present invention includes a main housing 110, having first and second parts 1, 2. The main housing 110 partially encloses a sub-housing 120 having first and second parts 7, 21 and a middle portion 18. The sub-housing 120 encloses a gearbox 250 with a gear train. The sub-housing also encloses a fan 19. The first part 1 of the main housing 110 has an opening 130 in a wall 140 thereof, through which a first end 150 of the sub-housing 120 projects. The second part 2 of the main housing has an air inlet opening 160 in a wall 170 thereof through which an air intake 22 of the second half 21 of the sub-housing 120 projects. When connected together, each of the second part 21 and the middle portion 18 of the sub-housing 120 form a air outlet 180. In addition, the first and second parts 1, 2 of the main housing 110 form a main air outlet 190 which is in fluid communication with the fan outlet 180.

The pump 100 includes a crank 200 which drives the fan 19 via the gear train of the gearbox 250, to urge air from an air inlet 22 to the main air outlet 190. An air hose 24, with a nozzle 25 attached to a free end thereof, may be connected to the air outlet 190 to inject pressurized air into an inflatable body.

The crank 200 has a crank arm 36 that has a first end 210 connected to a crank base 5. The crank base 5 is connected to a crank shaft 8 which is connected to and forms an input of the gear train. A crank grip 35 is rotatably supported by a handle shaft 33, which is connected to a second end 220 of the crank arm 36.

For storage, the crank arm 36 is preferably pivotally connected to the crank base 5 and the crank base 5 permits the crank 200 to pivot through approximately 180 degrees about an axis substantially perpendicular to an axis of rotation of the crank shaft 8 and input of the gearbox. In a stored position, the crank grip 35 is received within a crank handle recess 230 in the wall 140 of the first part 1 of the main housing 110, and the crank arm 36 lies substantially flush (or against) a first end 240 of the sub-housing 120 and/or the wall 140 of the first part 1 of the main housing 110. In this manner, the crank 200 may be conveniently stored during periods of non-use. Preferably, the recess 230 has a shape that is complementary to the outline of the crank arm 36, or at least an end portion thereof, such that the crank arm 36 and handle are closely received in the recess. It can be appreciated that it may be necessary to rotate the crank 200 about the crank shaft 8 into order to store the crank 200 in the crank recess 230.

To move the crank 200 from the stored position to an operation position, the crank arm 36 is pivoted from the stored position to the position shown in FIG. 1, wherein the crank handle is entirely outside the crank handle recess 230. In this position, the user may induce rotation of the fan 19 by rotating crank 200 about an axis of rotation of the crank shaft 8, via the crank grip 35. Thus, as can be appreciated, the crank base 5 is adapted to allow pivoting of the crank handle arm 36 (for storage), but to transmit torque/rotation to the crank shaft 8. Preferably, the crank 200 allows rotation in only one direction about the axis of the crank shaft 8.

The gear train is enclosed with a gearbox 250 having first and second halves 12, 28 and a cap 29. The gear train includes two single gears A and F and four composite gears B, C, D and E, each composite gear having a small gear and a large gear, which large gear is coaxial with the small gear. Gear A is connected to the crank shaft 8 (which forms an input of the gearbox) and gear A drives the small gear of a composite gear B. The large gear of composite gear B drives the small gear of a composite gear C. The large gear of composite gear C drives the small gear of a composite gear D. The large gear of composite gear D drives the small gear of composite gear E. The large gear of composite gear E drives single gear F. Gear F is connected to a fan shaft 27 which forms an output of the gearbox and which drives the fan 19.

Composite gears B and D are preferably rotatably supported on the fan shaft 27 and rotate independently of each other (i.e., at different speeds) and independently of the rotation of the fan shaft 27, such that they rotate about a common axis of rotation that is coaxial with the axis of rotation of the fan shaft 27. Composite gears C and E are preferably rotatably supported on intermediate shaft 30 and rotate independently of each other (i.e., at different speeds), but about a common axis of rotation that is coaxial with the axis of the intermediate shaft. Preferably, the intermediate shaft 30 does not rotate. However, the intermediate shaft could be fixed with respect to (e.g., integrally formed with) one of the composite gears C or E and rotate with such gear. Preferably, the shafts which rotate, namely the crank shaft 8 and the fan shaft 27 are rotatably supported by bearings 260.

The gear train is preferably configured to provide a very high total (aggregate) gear ratio of over 1:100, and preferably about 1:127 between the input and output of the gear train such that the output rotation speed of the fan is over 100 times (and preferably about 127 times) the input rotation speed of the hand crank. Single gear A preferably has 29 teeth and single gear F preferably has 11 teeth. The small gears of composite gears B, C, D and E preferably have 11 teeth and the large gears thereof preferably have 27 teeth. In this manner, the pump 10 provides a significant mechanical advantage to the user allowing the user to induce a very high rate of rotation in the fan.

The pump provides a convenient and efficient means to inflate inflatable bodies which provides a high rate of inflation, without the use of electric power.

It should be understood, of course, that the specific form of the invention herein illustrated and described is intended to be representative only, as certain changes may be made therein without departing from the clear teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, reference should be made to the following appended claims in determining the full scope of the invention.