REEL/SPOOL WITH HANDLE AND LOCATING/STABILIZING BUMP APPARATUS AND A METHOD THEREOF

The present invention relates generally to a reel or spool with a handle and a locating and/or stabilizing bump apparatus and a method of using same. More particularly, the invention encompasses a reel or spool having at least one handle and at least one locating and/or stabilizing bump disposed on at least one of the exterior surfaces or flange of the reel or spool. The invention also provides a method of using the inventive reel or spool having at least one handle and at least one locating and/or stabilizing bump.

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Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

The instant patent application claims priority to and the benefit of pending Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/926,921, filed on Jan. 13, 2014, titled “Reel/Spool Handle and Locating/Stabilizing Bumps,” the entire disclosure of which provisional application is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a reel or spool with a handle and a locating and/or stabilizing bump apparatus and a method of using same. More particularly, the invention encompasses a reel or spool having at least one handle and at least one locating and/or stabilizing bump disposed on at least one of the exterior surfaces or flange of the reel or spool. The invention also provides a method of using the inventive reel or spool having at least one handle and at least one locating and/or stabilizing bump.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

U.S. Pat. No. 4,796,830 (Stanley Gelfman), the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference, discloses a cable reel comprising a first cylindrical member about which cable can he wound having a longitudinal axis and a hollow interior, first and second flanges disposed at opposite ends of the cylindrical member substantially at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the cylindrical member, one of the flanges having an outside surface having at least one opening arranged adjacent the periphery of the one flange through which the cable can be tranversed and a second opening in the surface disposed adjacent the center of the one flange and opening into the hollow interior of the cylindrical member, the hollow interior adapted to receive ends of the cable wound on the cylindrical member through the second opening, and further comprising a plate attached to the one flange forming a wall disposed adjacent and parallel to the outside surface of the one flange and at a spacing from the surface of the one flange equal to at least approximately the thickness of the cable, for receiving the cable between the surface and the wall, thereby protecting the cable extending between the first and second openings. Preferably, the protective plate comprises a pair of plates with a zig-zag slot formed therebetween for routing the cable so that it can be received under the plate. Furthermore, a flexible strap is provided for protecting the cable in the area between the plate and the second opening.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,880,182 (Stanley Gelfman), the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference, discloses a cable reel comprising a fast cylindrical member about which cable can be wound having a longitudinal axis and a hollow interior, first and second flanges disposed at opposite ends of the cylindrical member substantially at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the cylindrical member, one of the flanges having an outside surface having at least one opening arranged adjacent the periphery of the one flange through which the cable can be traversed and a second opening in the surface disposed adjacent the center of the one flange and opening into the hollow interior of the cylindrical member, the hollow interior adapted to receive ends of the cable wound on the cylindrical member, at least one end being received through the second opening, and further comprising a plate attached to the one flange forming a wall disposed adjacent and parallel to the outside surface of the one flange and at a spacing from the surface of the one flange equal to at least approximately the thickness of the cable, for receiving the cable between the surface and the wall, thereby protecting the cable extending between the first and second openings. An opening is also provided in the cylindrical member opening into the hollow interior for allowing one end of the cable optionally to be received through the opening of the cylindrical member into the hollow interior, thereby preventing the one end from interfering with the winding process.

This invention improves on the deficiencies of the prior art and provides an inventive reel or spool with at least one handle, and at least one locating and/or stabilizing bump apparatus and a method thereof.

PURPOSES AND SUMMARY Of THE INVENTION

The invention is an inventive reel or spool with at least one handle, and at least one locating and/or stabilizing bump apparatus and a method thereof.

Therefore, one purpose of this invention is to provide a novel inventive reel or spool with at least one handle, and at least one locating and/or stabilizing bump apparatus and a method thereof.

Therefore, in one aspect this invention comprises a cable reel comprising:

    • (a) a first cylindrical member about which cable can be wound having a longitudinal axis and a hollow interior, said first cylindrical member having a plurality of longitudinal tabs along each of peripheral edges of said first cylindrical member;
    • (b) first and second flanges disposed at opposite ends of said cylindrical member substantially at right angles to the longitudinal axis of said cylindrical member, one of said flanges having an outside surface having at least one opening arranged adjacent the periphery of said one flange through which the cable can be traversed and a second opening in the surface disposed adjacent the center of said one flange and opening into the hollow interior of the cylindrical member, said hollow interior adapted to receive ends of the cable wound on said cylindrical member through the second opening, and further comprising slot means in said first and second flange to securely accommodate and secure each of said longitudinal tabs of said first cylindrical member;
    • (c) at least one of said first and second flange having at least one locating and stabilizing bump; and
    • (d) at least one of said first and second flange having at least one handle on said exterior surface of said first and second flange.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A, and FIG. 1B, illustrate a first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2A, FIG. 2B, and FIG. 2C, illustrate a second embodiment of the present invention, and where FIG. 2AA, FIG. 2BB, and FIG. 2CC, are an enlarged view of FIG. 2A, FIG. 2B, and FIG. 2C, respectively.

FIGS. 3A, 3B, and 3C, illustrate a third embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 4F, 4G, and 4H, show various views of the handle.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The invention is a reel or spool having at least one handle, and at least one locating and/or stabilizing bump, and more specifically a reel or spool that has at least one area on the side wall or flange to secure at least one handle, and/or at least one area for the location of at least one locating and/or stabilizing bump.

The inventive aspects of the new concept will greatly improve the functionality of reels or spools for cable, such as, for example, fiber optic cables, telephone cables, electric cables, to name a few. These reels or spools can also be used for military purpose, such as to modify the reels or spools disclosed in national stock number (NSN) 8130-01-375-3802, NSN 8130-01-375-3803, and NSN 8130-01-582-9784.

One concept of this invention is the addition of an opening into the drum area so that a hand can be inserted and be used to carry the reel with ease. This concept can be used, for example, on NSN 8130-01-375-3802, and NSN 8130-01-582-9784, since these reels have drums that can accommodate the opening. NSN 8130-01-375-3803 could have two retractable handles attached on each flange so that two man can carry the reel that is full with cable or wire.

Another concept of this invention is the stack-ability of two or more reels by means of a series of projections or bumps or depressions in the flange that will nest in the cable guide opening and around the stabilizing bumps. This will improve stability and avoid accidental fall of a full reel or spool.

Yet, another concept of this invention is the manufacturing process. For example, presently the drums are manufactured in two sections, thus creating additional welded connections in the drum area, by redesigning the drums it can be made in one part thus decreasing labor cost, and thus resulting in a better product.

FIG. 1A, and FIG. 1B, illustrate a first embodiment 23, of the present invention where the reel or spool 20, has a central shaft opening 22, with the reel or spool 20, having an inner edge 24, and an outer edge 26. The reel or spool 20, has two sides or flanges 17, 27, that are secured to the axis of the cylinder or drum 15, via cylinder tab 13, that mates with a corresponding hole or slot 14. The reel or spool 20, has at least one locating and/or stabilizing bump 25, which can be flat or protrude above the planar surface 11, 21, of the side or flange 17, 27, of the reel or spool 20, and could be a male portion 25, or a female portion 25. At least one retractable handle 30, is secured to the side surface or flange 27, of the reel or spool 20. Preferably, the retractable handle 30, has at least one hinge means 32, so that the retractable handle 30, can lay flat against the side or flange 27, of the reel or spool 20, when not in use. Optionally, the reel or spool 20, has at least one rib 35, to reinforce the reel or spool's side or flange 27. Preferably the edges 26, of the spool or reel 20, and the edge 18, of the connector opening 28, are curled or folded inwardly 39, so as to create a smooth edge 39, and not a sharp edge 39. The slot(s) 14, for the drum or cylinder assembly 16, allow for the secure mating of the drum or cylinder 15, to the connector flange 27, and back flange 17. The projection or locator or dimple 37, are used for locating a cable guide or a webbing guide (not shown). The handle 30, haying a handle shaft 31, and a handle base 34, is secured to the flange connector 27, and the back flange 17, by at least one securing means 33, such as, for example, a spot weld 33.

FIG. 2A, FIG. 2B, and FIG. 2C, illustrate a second embodiment 53, of the present invention where the reel or spool 50, has a central shaft opening 52, with the reel or spool 50, having an inner edge 54, and an outer edge 56. The reel or spool 50, has two sides or flanges 47, 57, that are secured to the axis of the cylinder or drum 15, via cylinder tab 13, that mates with a corresponding hole or slot 14. The reel or spool 50, has at least one locating and/or stabilizing bump 55, which can be flat or protrude above the planar surface 41, 51, of the side or flange 47, 57, of the reel or spool 50, and could be a male portion 55, or a female portion 55. At least one curled edge handle 60, is punched and/or formed to the side surface or flange 47, 57, of the reel or spool 50. Preferably, the curled edge handle 60, has a smooth edge surface 61, as it is curled or folded inwardly 62, so that it does not cut a user's hand when the reel or spool 50, is lifted. Additionally, the curled edge handle 60, should be large enough for a user to put his hand in to pick-up the reel or spool 50. FIG. 2C is a top cut-out view are curled 62, of the curled edge handle 60, from FIG. 2B. Preferably the edges 61, of the spool or reel 50, opening for lifting are curled 62, and the connector opening 58, are curled 59, so as to create a smooth 59, and not a sharp edge 59. The slot 14, for the drum assembly 16, allows for the secure mating of the drum 15, to the connector flange 57, and back flange 47. The projection or locator or dimple 67, are used for locating a cable guide or a webbing guide. The curl or inward fold 62, could be an upward and inwardly curl 62A, or a downward and inwardly curl 62B, as clearly shown in FIG. 2C. It should be appreciated that FIG. 2AA, FIG. 2BB, and FIG. 2CC, are an enlarged view of FIG. 2A, FIG. 2B, and FIG. 2C, respectively.

FIGS. 3A, 3B, and 3C, illustrate a third embodiment 73, of the present invention where the reel or spool 70, has a central shaft opening 72, with the reel or spool 70, having an inner edge 74, and an outer edge 76. The reel or spool 70, has two sides or flanges 17, 27, 47, 57, 77, that are secured to the axis of the cylinder or drum 15, via cylinder tab 13, that mates with a corresponding hole or slot 14. The reel or spool 70, has at least one locating and/or stabilizing bump 75, which can be flat or protrude above the planar surface 71, of the side or flange 77, of the reel or spool 70, and could be a male portion 75, or a female portion 75. FIG. 3B, and FIG. 3C, show as side sectional view of locating and/or stabilizing bump 75, where a portion 75A, of the bump 75, is above the planar surface 71, of the side surface or flange 77, of the reel or bump 70, and where a portion 75B, of the bump 75, is below the planar surface 71, of the side surface or flange 77, of the reel or bump 70. Preferably the edges 76, of the spool or reel 70, are curled or folded inwardly 79, so as to create a smooth edge surface 79, and not a sharp edge 79. The slot 14, for the drum assembly 16, allow for the secure mating of the drum 15, to the connector flange 77, and the back flange 17, 47, 77.

FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 4F, 4G, and 4H, show various views of the handle 30, where the handle 30, has a handle shaft 31, and a handle base 34. One surface of the handle base 34, is secured to the outer surface of the side or flange 17, 27, of the reel or spool 20, while the opposite surface of the handle base 34, is secured to the handle shaft 31, via at least one hinge means 32, where the hinge means 32, could be at least one spring means 36, such that the spring means 36, would force the handle shaft 31, to retract when not in use. The handle 30, having the handle shaft 31, and the handle base 34, is secured to the flange connector 27, and the back flange 17, by at least one securing means 33, such as, for example, a spot weld 33. The ends of the handle shaft 31, could have a male or a female portion 32B, to mate with a corresponding female or male portion 32A, on the handle base 34, so as to create the binge 32. The spring 36, could be inserted between feature 32A, and 32B, so as to create the spring loaded retractable handle 30.

The cable reel 20, 50, 70, has at least one slot or opening adapted to receive a cable (not shown). The cable reel 20, 50, 70, has a dram or cylinder member 15, or assembly 16, and the flanges 17, 27, 47, 57, 77, comprise sheet metal or plastic material. The cable reel 20, 50, 70, comprises of at least one shelf disposed in the hollow interior for supporting ends of a cable in the hollow interior. The cable reel 20, 50, 70, has at least one bump means 25, 55, 75, disposed on the outside or flange surface 11, 21, 41, 51, 71, of the flange 17, 27, 47, 57, 77, respectively, and wherein the bump means 25, 55, 75, are spaced equiangularly about the flange 17, 27, 47, 57, 77. The cable reel 23, 53, 73, is particularly adapted for the storage of fiber optic cable, telephone cable, electrical cable, to name a few. The cable reel 23, 53, 73, wherein the peripheral edge of the flange 17, 27, 47, 57, 77, is curled 29, 39, 59, 79. The handle 60, is formed within the plane of the flange surface 11, 21, 41, 51, 71, to form a flange handle 60, and wherein peripherally the edge 26, 56, 76, of the flange handle 60, is curled 31, 62, respectively. It should be appreciated that the handle 30, is formed as a separate handle unit 30, and is then secured to the flange surface 11, 21, 41, 51, 71, via securing means 33, such as, welds 33, rivets 33, screws 33, etc., to name a few, so as to form a flange handle 30.

Thus, the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described herein and the constituent elements of the invention can be modified in various manners without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Various aspects of the invention can also be extracted from any appropriate combination of a plurality of constituent elements disclosed in the embodiments. Some constituent elements may be deleted in all of the constituent elements disclosed in the embodiments. The constituent elements described in different embodiments may be combined arbitrarily.

Still further, while certain embodiments of the inventions have been described, these embodiments have been presented by way of example only, and are not intended to limit the scope of the inventions. Indeed, the novel methods and systems described herein may be embodied in a variety of other forms; furthermore, various omissions, substitutions and changes in the form of the methods and systems described herein may be made without departing from the spirit of the inventions.

It should be further understood that throughout the specification and claims several terms have been used and they take the meanings explicitly associated herein, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. For example, the phrase “in one embodiment” as used herein does not necessarily refer to the same embodiment, though it may. Additionally, the phrase “in another embodiment” as used herein does not necessarily refer to a different embodiment, although it may. Thus, various embodiments of the invention may be readily combined, without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention.

While the present invention has been particularly described in conjunction with a specific preferred embodiment, it is evident that man alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the foregoing description. It is therefore contemplated that the appended claims will embrace any such alternatives, modifications and variations as falling within the true scope and spirit of the present invention.

Claims

1. A cable reel comprising:

(a) a first cylindrical member about which cable can be wound having a longitudinal axis and a hollow interior, said first cylindrical member having a plurality of longitudinal tabs along each of peripheral edges of said first cylindrical member;
(b) first and second flanges disposed at opposite ends of said cylindrical member substantially at right angles to the longitudinal axis of said cylindrical member, one of said flanges having an outside surface having at least one opening arranged adjacent the periphery of said one flange through which the cable can be traversed and a second opening in the surface disposed adjacent the center of said one flange and opening into the hollow interior of the cylindrical member, said hollow interior adapted to receive ends of the cable wound on said cylindrical member through the second opening, and further comprising slot means in said first and second flange to securely accommodate and secure each of said longitudinal tabs of said first cylindrical member;
(c) at least one of said first and second flange having at least one locating and stabilizing bump; and
(d) at least one of said first and second flange having at least one handle on said exterior surface of said first and second flange.

2. The cable reel recited in claim 1, wherein said cable reel has at least one slot adapted to receive said cable.

3. The cable reel recited in claim 1, wherein said drum member and flanges comprise sheet metal.

4. The cable reel recited in claim 1, wherein said drum member and flanges comprise a plastic material.

5. The cable reel recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one shelf disposed in said hollow interior for supporting ends of said cable in said hollow interior.

6. The cable reel recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one bump means disposed on the outside surface of said one flange.

7. The cable reel recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one bump means disposed on the outside surface of said one flange, and wherein said bump means are spaced equiangularly about said flange.

8. The cable reel recited in claim 1, wherein said cable reel is particularly adapted for the storage of one of fiber optic cable, telephone cable, and electrical cable.

9. The cable reel recited in claim 1, wherein said peripheral edge of said one flange is curled.

10. The cable reel recited in claim 1, wherein said handle is formed within the plane of said flange surface to form a flange handle.

11. The cable reel recited in claim 1, wherein said handle is formed within the plane of said flange surface forming a flange handle, and wherein peripheral edge of said flange handle is curled.

Patent History
Publication number: 20150197409
Type: Application
Filed: Jan 8, 2015
Publication Date: Jul 16, 2015
Inventor: Domenico Caldieri (Amawalk, NY)
Application Number: 14/592,890
Classifications
International Classification: B65H 75/18 (20060101);