Ball And Socket Type Patents (Class 248/481)
  • Patent number: 10829052
    Abstract: A vehicular interior rearview mirror assembly includes a prismatic mirror reflective element having a glass substrate with a planar front surface and a circumferential edge along the periphery of the glass substrate. A plastic molding is circumferentially disposed about the circumferential edge of the glass substrate without overlapping onto the front surface of the glass substrate, with an outermost part of the plastic molding providing a curved transition between the planar front surface of the prismatic mirror reflective element and another part of the plastic molding. The outermost part of the plastic molding includes an outer curved surface and lacks an exposed sharp edge. The plastic molding includes a portion of a mirror housing of the interior rearview mirror assembly. A mounting structure is configured to mount the vehicular interior rearview mirror assembly at an interior portion of the equipped vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2020
    Assignee: DONNELLY CORPORATION
    Inventors: John T. Uken, Lee Karner, Richard R. Hook, Niall R. Lynam
  • Patent number: 10493919
    Abstract: An exterior mirror unit for a motor vehicle includes a mirror part and a carrier which carries the mirror part. The mirror part is detachably fixed to the carrier via a coupling. A method is also provided for detaching a mirror part of an exterior mirror unit for a motor vehicle from a carrier of the exterior mirror unit in which a coupling between the mirror part and the carrier is adjusted from the lock position to the release position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: MCi (Mirror Controls International) Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: François Roderik Henri Bouaziz, Stefan Fritz Brouwer
  • Patent number: 10479277
    Abstract: A rearview mirror assembly includes a main housing defining an exterior surface, an interior, and an open side, the exterior surface having a recess therein. The assembly also includes a control module coupled within the interior of the housing, a mirror coupled over the open end of the housing, and a communication module. The communication module includes an antenna electrically coupled with the control module and an antenna housing at least partially enclosing the antenna and coupled within the recess of the exterior surface of the main housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: GENTEX CORPORATION
    Inventors: Andreas Kraus, Christopher J. Koleszar, Sebastien C. Jaeger
  • Patent number: 10370809
    Abstract: A feces retrieval assembly for collecting animal feces from the ground includes a housing that has an opening extending therethrough to define a handle for gripping the housing. A plurality of bags is stored in the housing and a grabbing unit is coupled to the housing. The grabbing unit is actuatable into an extended position to extend away from the housing and being directed toward feces on the ground. The grapping unit is actuated into the extended position for being positioned around feces on the ground. The grabbing unit is actuatable into a grabbing position to grab the feces on the ground for disposal. The grabbing unit is actuatable into a retracted position to retract the grabbing unit. A lighting unit is coupled to the housing and the lighting unit emits light outwardly from the housing for illuminating a darkened area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Inventor: Moris Samen
  • Patent number: 10363139
    Abstract: A ball and socket assembly including a ball component with a notch formed therein. The socket is a one-piece structure including an opening sized to receive the ball component. The ball is a capable of being inserted into the socket when the notch, cavity, or undercut is properly oriented relative to the opening of the one-piece socket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2019
    Assignee: MOXIMED, INC.
    Inventors: Alan C. Regala, Clinton N. Slone, Michael E. Landry
  • Patent number: 10358092
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for the adjustment of a shell-shaped housing part, for example a mirror housing. The device, in particular a door mirror device, comprising a base part (2) on which a support frame (3) is provided by means of a first hinge construction (3, 20, 25, 30, 60). Furthermore, the device comprises a first actuator (4) with which the carrier frame is pivotable relative to the base portion to a part of a substantially upwardly extending first pivot axis (5) between a folded position, in which the supporting frame, for example, lying substantially along the body of a motor vehicle, and a unfolded position, in which the supporting frame, for example, is oriented substantially transversely to the body. With the aid of a second hinge construction (30, 35, 60, 63) a carrier (6), in particular for carrying a mirror surface, is disposed on the support frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2019
    Assignee: MCi (Mirror Controls International) Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Stefan Fritz Brouwer, François Roderik Henri Bouaziz
  • Patent number: 10247908
    Abstract: An adjustable mirror bracket is provided for supporting a mirror in a rearward facing position on a watercraft. The mirror bracket includes a base member having a body having a socket formed therein and a spherical bearing within the socket and including a stud projecting therefrom. The mirror bracket also includes a pivot member having a cupped lower end shaped to conform to the hemispherical top end of the base member, a bore formed through the cupped lower end for receiving the stud of the spherical bearing, and an attachment surface formed in an upper end of the pivot member. An elongate support arm is provided and is pivotally attached with a fastener to the attachment surface of the pivot member at the first end of the support arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Inventors: Jeff S. Bohanan, Kevin R. Disney, Dale L. Lambert, William M. Reid
  • Patent number: 10240712
    Abstract: A socket for a vehicle assembly is disclosed. The socket comprises a mounting structure comprising a plurality of side portions forming a first frame and a ball receiving structure formed by a second frame. The second frame is disposed within a perimeter of the first frame and comprises a plurality of support beams interconnected with the side portions of the first frame. The socket further comprises a ball mount interface comprising a contoured recess formed in each of the beams. The ball mount interface is configured to receive an exterior surface of a ball to form a ball and socket assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: GENTEX CORPORATION
    Inventors: Kenneth R. Filipiak, Christopher J. Koleszar, Ulrich A. Kuester, Danny L. Minikey, Jr.
  • Patent number: 10167894
    Abstract: A joint between two structures to allow the structures to be rotatably, connected at a variety of angles while increasing the pull-out resistance and decreasing rattling. The joint has a first portion connected to a structure and a second portion connected to a structure. The first and second portions are also connected to one another via a ball and socket connection and a pin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2019
    Assignee: Dowco, Inc.
    Inventor: Tim James
  • Patent number: 9958638
    Abstract: A high performance kinematic mirror mount facilitating the reduction of thermally and mechanically induced optical distortion of a precision mirror is disclosed. The mirror mount assembly includes a mirror with a front reflective surface and a rear support surface. A set of sub-tier mounting assemblies are provided being affixed to the rear support surface of the mirror utilizing a number of strut pairs and a number of bonded mount pads arranged so as to connect the sub-tier mounting assemblies to the mirror with numerous strut pairs arranged as bipods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2018
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Hans P. Naepflin, Alexander K. Raco, Maciej D. Makowski
  • Patent number: 9599786
    Abstract: An optical mount is disclosed having at least one restraining element for an optic having at least one contact point with a first surface of the optic and at least one force element having at least one contact point with a second surface of the optic, wherein each contact point on the first surface of the optic has a corresponding contact point on the second surface of the optic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: Thorlabs, Inc.
    Inventors: Brett D'Alessio, Alex Ezra Cable
  • Patent number: 9511713
    Abstract: A side view mirror having a rotatable housing comprises a cover plate mounted on an exterior of a vehicle body, wherein an inside and outside of the cover plate are divided based on the vehicle body. A stay includes a lever disposed at an inner side of the cover plate. An up/down/left/right angle adjusting part is integrated with a connection bar, connected to the lever through the connection bar, and configured to be movable in up/down and left/right directions with respect to an outer surface of the cover plate. A folding supporting part is integrated with the up/down/left/right angle adjusting part at the outer surface of the up/down/left/right angle adjusting part and connected to the mirror-integrated housing. A mirror-integrated housing is foldably or unfoldably coupled with the folding supporting part, and an angle of the mirror-integrated housing is adjusted in up/down and left/right directions by the up/down/left/right angle adjusting part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignees: Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation, SMR Poong Jeong Automotive Mirrors Korea Ltd.
    Inventors: Ill Soo Kim, Jong Sik Bae, Chan Mook Choi, Chang Seok Lee, Dong Young Jang, Kyoung Joon Lee, Myung Ho Jung
  • Patent number: 9499100
    Abstract: The need for an O ring cover is eliminated when a gap between a shaft portion of a mover for mirror surface angle detection and a hole in a sensor case is sealed using an O ring. An O ring that allows a shaft portion of a slide block to be inserted therethrough is interposed between a sensor case and an actuator housing. The sensor case and the actuator housing are interconnected by means of screw-fastening via screws, and the O ring is brought into pressure contact with and held between the sensor case and the actuator housing by means of the screw fastening forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: MURAKAMI CORPORATION
    Inventor: Ryosuke Iba
  • Patent number: 9475431
    Abstract: A rearview mirror assembly includes a mirror reflective element, a front mirror casing portion configured to receive the mirror reflective element, a rear mirror casing and a mirror backplate. The mirror backplate includes a generally planar attachment portion for attaching at a rear surface of the mirror reflective element and includes a perimeter flange circumscribing a perimeter of the generally planar attachment portion. The perimeter flange is partially received in the rear mirror casing portion and partially received in the front mirror casing portion, and the perimeter flange couples the front and rear mirror casing portions to the mirror backplate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2016
    Assignee: MAGNA MIRRORS OF AMERICA, INC.
    Inventors: Mark R. Brummel, Darryl P. De Wind, Gregory A. Huizen
  • Patent number: 9327647
    Abstract: A clamp is for mounting on an arm. The clamp comprises a frame, a gripping element and a moveable clamping member. The frame comprises an upright portion and a lip located at a lower end of the upright portion and extending substantially perpendicularly to the upright portion. The gripping element is connected to the frame, and is arranged to mount on the arm, and comprises a first component and a second component connected together at one end and spaced apart at the other end, the arm to be located between the first component and a second component in a hole. The moveable clamping member is mounted through a hole in the second component, and comprises a shaft and an engaging portion arranged to be moved towards the lip of the frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2016
    Assignee: Milenco Limited
    Inventor: Frederick Nigel Milbank
  • Patent number: 9185197
    Abstract: The disclosure of the present application includes accessories for securing mobile devices. In an exemplary embodiment of an accessory for securing a mobile device of the present disclosure, the accessory includes a socket having a receiver portion opposite an attachment surface, where the attachment surface is capable of attaching to a mobile device, and a connector including a connecting member disposed on a base, where the receiver portion is configured to engage and retain the connecting member. In at least one embodiment, the accessory further includes a sleeve having a tubular wall defining an opening through the sleeve, where the sleeve is adapted to accept and retain a digit of a user and is mechanically connected to the connecting member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: CoJam, LLC
    Inventors: Cole B. Keesling, Jason B. McCrocklin
  • Patent number: 9168065
    Abstract: A ball and socket assembly including a ball component with a notch formed therein. The socket is a one-piece structure including an opening sized to receive the ball component. The ball is capable of being inserted into the socket when the notch, cavity or undercut is properly oriented relative to the opening of the one-piece socket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2015
    Assignee: MOXIMED, INC.
    Inventors: Alan C. Regala, Clinton N. Slone, Michael E. Landry
  • Patent number: 9168066
    Abstract: A ball and socket assembly including a ball component with a notch formed therein. The socket is a one-piece structure including an opening sized to receive the ball component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2015
    Assignee: MOXIMED, INC.
    Inventors: Alan C. Regala, Clinton N. Slone, Michael E. Landry
  • Publication number: 20150060628
    Abstract: A socket joint for a mirror assembly having a first concave portion receiving a support tube that attaches to the vehicle. A pair of anchors disposed in the first concave portion extend through openings in the support tube. The anchors project outwardly from the first concave portion into the support tube. Each anchor engages an interior surface of the support tube. A fastener engages each anchor from a front side of the socket joint to clamp the support tube between the anchor and first concave portion. A central connecting post extends outward from the front side of the socket joint for cooperating with various assembly components to pivotally mount a mirror head. A second concave portion is disposed around the central connecting post which receives a complementary convex portion of the mirror head housing so that the housing can pivot on the second concave portion around the central connecting post.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 25, 2014
    Publication date: March 5, 2015
    Inventors: Rolf Reitz de Swardt, Alexandre Petroff, Andreas Enz
  • Patent number: 8960629
    Abstract: A rearview device mounting assembly includes a bracket having a windshield engagement surface. The bracket further includes a neck with a ball. The ball has at least one of either a knurled patch or a striation and the ball is configured to engage a socket in the rearview device. The socket of the rearview device includes fingerlike projections and a ball engaging surface. The ball engaging surface has raised features to frictionally engage the ball and minimize or eliminate droop of the rearview device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Peter N. Rizk, Kenton J. Ypma, Kenneth R. Filipiak
  • Patent number: 8814116
    Abstract: A portable navigation assembly is disclosed. In at least one embodiment, the portable navigation assembly includes a portable navigation device including a housing, the housing including a speaker port defined by a speaker port periphery; and a mount including a connector arm. In at least one embodiment, the connector arm is adapted to be connected to the portable navigation device around at least a portion of the speaker port periphery without covering at least a portion of the speaker port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: TomTom International B.V.
    Inventor: Martin Riddiford
  • Patent number: 8777429
    Abstract: A blind spot mirror configured to attach to an automobile, thereby providing an enhanced view, comprising a base having a flat rear surface configured to couple to an automobile mirror. The blind spot mirror also includes a mirror housing pivotally coupled to the base through a ball and socket coupling member, wherein the ball and socket coupling member is coupled to the mirror housing substantially off-center on the mirror housing. The ball and socket coupling member is disposed substantially off-center to the mirror housing, 60/40 respectively. The blind spot mirror further includes a mirror disposed within the mirror housing and coupled thereto through a hook and groove coupling device. The mirror is inset into a receiving portion around the perimeter of the mirror housing and secured to the hook and groove coupling device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Inventor: Harry Snegg
  • Patent number: 8636370
    Abstract: The present invention provides an engagement assembly for connecting a reflector and a connecting rod. The engagement assembly has a fixing base and a fixing plate. The fixing base has a head accommodating room for holding a head portion of the connecting rod and a plate retaining space formed between two protrusion rings. The fixing plate is mounted in the plate retaining space and has a position-limiting portion and two fixing portions. The position-limiting portion has a through hole for inserting the head portion and at least two tongues. The tongues are mounted on an inner edge of the through hole for clamping the head portion of the connecting rod that has entered the head accommodating room. The engagement assembly provides a strong linking structure for the reflector and the connecting rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Assignee: T.Y.C. Brother Industries Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Cheng-kang Tsai, Jin-hua Wu, Fu-chi Shieh
  • Patent number: 8506099
    Abstract: A freestanding portable holding apparatus for a handheld mirror comprises a base which ensures stability and a center-mounted pole extending upward from the base having a height adjustment mechanism that allows the pole to be extended upwards or downwards as desired by the user. An upper end of the apparatus is provided with an adjustable clip to hold a variety of handheld mirrors in an inverted fashion. It is adjustable in height so that a user can see the rear of their head while looking in another stationary mirror. This feature affords the user the use of both hands while styling hair without having to constantly switch and move the handheld mirror in one hand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Inventors: Jacklyn Abdool, Denise Abdool
  • Patent number: 8454178
    Abstract: A mirror adapter mounting device formed of a substantially rigid mounting base portion with one surface thereof comprising a wedge-shaped receiver slot, and a different surface thereof comprising a wedge-shaped coupler; a part-spherical ball coupler; and an arm projected from the mounting base portion and presenting the ball coupler adjacent to an end thereof distal from the mounting base portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Inventor: Jeffrey D. Carnevali
  • Patent number: 8413398
    Abstract: Ball pivot assemblies for mounting panels to a cable regardless of panel geometry or orientation include a ball pivot. The ball pivot includes geometry configured to enable a panel to pivot about the ball pivot in a plurality of orientations in a plurality of planes with respect to the cable. One or more implementations of the present invention can include a ball socket configured to receive the ball pivot, and provide a secure interface between the ball pivot assembly and the panel. Also, systems of at least one implementation of the present invention include a plurality of panels mounted to one or more cables using one or more ball pivot assemblies. In addition, one or more implementations of the present invention include methods of mounting panels using one or more ball pivot assemblies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: 3form, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles B. Allred, Brian Hillstrom, Guillaume Martin, Jeremy Porter
  • Patent number: 8315797
    Abstract: A navigation system provides sensors and a user interface mounted in a single unit while allowing individual users to make adjustments to the user interface without affecting the functionality of the device. This is accomplished by mounting the orientation sensitive sensors (e.g. accelerometers, gyros, etc) rigidly to a mounting bracket rigidly mounted to the vehicle (such as to the dashboard). The sensors are mounted within a ball rigidly mounted to the bracket and the ball is secured within a rotatable socket on the user interface enclosure. In this manner, the user interface enclosure can rotate on the ball, but the orientation of the sensors relative to the vehicle will remain the same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Assignee: Navigation Solutions, LLC
    Inventors: David W. Allen, Larry E. Spencer
  • Patent number: 8226064
    Abstract: A sliding torque between a pivot portion and a fitting portion may be preferably secured. In an inner mirror device, pivot portions are arranged on both end portions in an axis line direction of a stay formed by a resin material. One pivot portion is fitted in a fitting hole of a holder main body, and the other pivot portion is fitted in a fitting hole of a device main body. In this manner, the holder and the device main body are connected to each other through the stay. In this case, plural notches are formed in the pivot portions, and outside dimensions of the pivot portions may be elastically expanded and reduced. A metal spring pin is pressed into the stay, and the spring pin biases the pivots in a dimension-expansion direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai-Rika-Denki-Seisakusho
    Inventor: Masatsugu Ohashi
  • Patent number: 8157238
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a stay device for a vehicle comprising a mount having a ball formed protrudely on a front surface thereof and a wire passage formed therein and extended into the ball; a body coupled to the mount through the ball of the mount, the body having a wire passage formed therein; a plate spring provided for pressurizing the body; a body cover for wrapping the body and the plate spring; and a pivot ball assembly having a ball protrudely formed on a rear surface thereof, the pivot ball assembly being coupled to the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2012
    Assignee: SMR Patents S.a.r.l.
    Inventor: Kyung Jun Lee
  • Patent number: 8016438
    Abstract: A spherical mounting assembly for mounting an optical element allows for rotational motion of an optical surface of the optical element only. In that regard, an optical surface of the optical element does not translate in any of the three perpendicular translational axes. More importantly, the assembly provides adjustment that may be independently controlled for each of the three mutually perpendicular rotational axes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2011
    Assignee: Raytheon Company
    Inventors: Jay L. Meyer, Glenn C. Messick, Carl A. Nardell, Martin J. Hendlin
  • Patent number: 7878667
    Abstract: A novel latch for pivoted optical elements of a solar concentrator and other equipment latches them in position between orientation operations. The mirrors may be on a universal pivot that can rotate or tilt in any direction; or on gimbal pivots. The orientation power can be turned off between alignments with the mirrors remaining in alignment orientation during this off-power period. Turning off the alignment power between alignments, saves on both energy resources and on expensive apparatus. It permits a great reduction in power supply as the optical elements can be aligned sequentially. This not only reduces operating costs, but also capital investment because smaller power supplies can suffice. A preferred embodiment utilizes the freezing of a liquid material. Since this involves no moving parts for latching, the instant invention is ideally adapted for fabrication from the nano- to the mini-realm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2011
    Inventor: Mario Rabinowitz
  • Patent number: 7862189
    Abstract: A mirror device for observing an infant in a rear-facing child safety car seat secured to the rear seat of a vehicle including a front seating area, a rear seating area, and a rear seat within the rear seating area, the rear seat having an upwardly-extending headrest. The mirror device includes a mirror and backing assembly having a rear surface, and an attachment connected to the rear surface for attaching the mirror device to the headrest. The attachment in turn includes a swivel device having a concavity element including a first bowl-like structure having a concave working surface; and a corresponding convexity element including a second bowl-like structure having a convex working surface configured to engage the concave working surface. The concavity and convexity elements are frictionally maintained in a desired adjusted position with reference to each other, while at the same time permitting manual adjustment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Assignee: BRICA, Inc.
    Inventor: Lawrence O. Freese
  • Patent number: 7806536
    Abstract: A convex mirror formed of a back board, a mirror, a ball head connecting rod, a ball socket, a socket cover and a mounting frame is disclosed. The back board has stub rods and retaining holes for receiving respective locating holes and hollow cylindrical posts of the ball socket to facilitate installation of rivets in affixing the ball socket and the back board together. The mirror has a rim inserted in between a rim and equiangularly spaced locating blocks of the back board to facilitate installation of self-tapping screws in affixing the rim of the back board and the rim of the mirror together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2010
    Inventor: Cheng-Shun Liu
  • Patent number: 7784953
    Abstract: An apparatus includes a mirror head assembly including a rearwardly-extending ball section, and a mirror support assembly including a tube having a larger-diameter mid-section and a smaller-diameter tapered end section. A socket on the mirror support assembly, when in the end section, captures the ball section with friction to permit angular adjustment but with enough friction to maintain a selected angular position. A spring biases the socket from the mid-section into the end section, but is compressible so that assembly is possible by pressing the ball section against the socket, causing the socket to move from the end section into the mid-section where the ball section snaps into the socket. It is conceived that the ball section and socket components can be reversed, and also that the mirror support assembly can include a two-ball mount, with a ball-and-socket connection at each end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Wayne Rumsey, John W. Carter
  • Patent number: 7722199
    Abstract: A rearview mirror system for a vehicle includes an interior rearview mirror assembly having a mounting structure, an electrical actuator and a reflective element. The mounting structure may be configured to be detachably mounted at an attachment element adhered to an inner surface of the vehicle windshield. The mounting structure is adjustable relative to the vehicle windshield to generally vertically adjust a nominal setting of a rearward field of view of the reflective element. The electrical actuator is operable to adjust the reflective element in order to vertically and horizontally adjust a rearward field of view of the reflective element. The interior rearview mirror assembly may include an imaging sensor having a forward field of view through the vehicle windshield. The forward field of view of the imaging sensor may not be adjusted when the electrical actuator adjusts the rearward field of view of the reflective element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2010
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: Joshua L. DeWard, Keith D. Foote
  • Patent number: 7677741
    Abstract: An auxiliary accessory for a vehicle rearview mirror having a linking segment with an outer end, a casing formed on the outer end of the linking segment with an outer rim and a mirror mounted in the casing has a cover and an auxiliary mirror assembly. The cover is detachably mounted on the casing of the vehicle rearview mirror and has a body, a mounting gap and multiple retaining tabs. The body has a shape corresponding to the casing of the vehicle rearview mirror and two mounting recesses. The auxiliary mirror assembly is detachably connected to the cover and has an auxiliary mirror mounted in one of the mounting recesses of the body to increase the viewing range of the vehicle rearview mirror.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2010
    Assignee: Ken Sean Factory Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Peng-Kai Chuang
  • Patent number: 7637683
    Abstract: A sliding structure and a joint member, which are provided with a sliding means which substantially eliminates the so-called Stick-Slip effect. This is achieved through the provision of free ends of a plurality of projections, sliding upon the surface of a complementary opposed and facing surface. By appropriately dimensioning the individual free end contact surfaces of the projections and by selectively varying in the number of the projections per area unit, the difference between the initial still-stand holding effect and the sliding friction in the case of selected material pairings is considerably reduced. The force, which is necessary to set the two sliding components into motion, relative to one another, is then only insignificantly greater than the force necessary to overcome dynamic or sliding friction. The Stick-Slip effect is known and unavoidable in a case with a sliding pair of unfavorable materials and, in this manner, can be effectively reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2009
    Assignee: Lang Mekra North America, LLC
    Inventors: Werner Lang, Jaap-Jan Snel, Stefan Centmayer
  • Patent number: 7585081
    Abstract: A fully adjustable mirror is attached to a housing having a ball and socket mount modified to allow the mirror support shaft to pass through. A collet with a knurled locking collar slides and locks at any desired point along the length of a straight mirror receiving shaft. The shaft is drilled and threaded to accept an end piece if a proper end is not cast as part of shaft to fit a desired mirror mount on the handlebars or bodywork of a vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2009
    Inventor: John Henry Vanderslik
  • Patent number: 7572020
    Abstract: A vehicle side mirror (10) that includes an internal case frame (30) having a spherical concave support portion (38) and a ‘T shaped’ retention post (40). The spotter mirror (28) also includes a backing plate (54) having a dish portion (56) with a center opening (58). The backing plate (54) is positioned against the case frame (30) so that the support portion and the dish portion (56) cooperate and the retention post (40) extends through the opening (58) in the dish portion (56). The spotter mirror (28) further includes a single piece retention ring (66) having ramped cam surfaces (72, 74) and leaf springs (78). The retention ring (66) is positioned within the dish portion (56) so that the retention post (40) extends through a center slot (58) in the ring (66). The retention ring (66) is rotated so that ramped cam surfaces (72, 74) push against a back surface of the post (40). The pointing direction of the glass (86) can be manually adjusted by rotating the dish portion (56) on the support portion (30).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2009
    Assignee: Visiocorp Patents S.a.r.l
    Inventor: Paul R. Henion
  • Patent number: 7520063
    Abstract: A device assembly (216) for positioning a device (222) in a precision apparatus (10) includes a first housing (224), a second housing (226), a movement ball joint (229), and a locking ball joint (249). The first housing (224) retains the device (222). The second housing (226) is coupled to an apparatus frame (12). The movement ball joint (229) facilitates movement of the first housing (224) relative to the second housing (226). The locking ball joint (249) facilitates locking of the first housing (224) to the second housing (226). The movement ball joint (229) can guide movement of the first housing (224) relative to the second housing (226). For example, the first housing (224) can include a first guide surface (230) and the second housing (226) can include a second guide surface (232). In this embodiment, the guide surfaces (230) (232) cooperate to form the movement ball joint (229). Additionally, each of the guide surfaces (230) (232) can form a portion of a sphere.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2009
    Assignee: Bookham Technology plc
    Inventors: Bing Zheng, Joseph Christman
  • Patent number: 7510287
    Abstract: An interior rearview mirror assembly for a vehicle includes a circuit element having a mirror wire harness extending therefrom and extending from a mirror casing. The mirror assembly includes a mirror mounting assembly having a mounting base and a support arm for adjustably mounting the mirror reflective element at the mounting base. The mirror wire harness is routed along an exterior surface of the support arm and an exterior surface of the mounting base. A support arm sleeve is attached at an exterior of the support arm and routes and may contain the mirror wire harness substantially along the support arm and within the support arm sleeve. A mounting base cover assembly is disposed at the mounting base of the mirror assembly and substantially conceals the mounting base and the mirror wire harness at the mounting base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2009
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventor: Richard R. Hook
  • Patent number: 7506857
    Abstract: A mirror supporting plate for supporting a mirror glass of a wing mirror for a motor vehicle includes a substantially flat support provided with a substantially rod-shaped actuator part for coupling with a drive. The actuator part is integrally formed with the support and is adjustable relative to the support from a first position in which the actuator part is oriented substantially in or along the plane of the support, to a second position in which the actuator part is oriented so as to reach substantially outwards relative to the support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Assignee: MCI (Mirror Controls International) Netherlands, B.V.
    Inventor: Stefan F. Brouwer
  • Patent number: 7500646
    Abstract: A mount for a light tool having a bore is for use at an associated tool station. The ball joint has a ball for engaging a socket joint. The ball joint has a stub extending therefrom and a wedge-lock element having a collar for engaging the stub. A carriage is mounted to the collar. A pair of finger elements are mounted to the carriage for pivotal movement relative to the carriage, toward and away from each other. The wedge lock element includes a wedge movable along the axis between the fingers to urge the fingers outward as the wedge moves toward the carriage. The wedge lock element is positioned with at least a portion of the carriage and the fingers in the tool bore and the wedge is drawn in to secure the ball joint portion in the tool bore. A clamp element is operably connected to the ball joint portion to indirectly secure the ball joint to a fixture. The clamp element includes a front plate, a bracket and a brake element disposed and movable between the front plate and the brake element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2009
    Assignee: Illinois Tool Works Inc.
    Inventor: Lawrence J. Chapman
  • Patent number: 7473001
    Abstract: The invention is directed to a mirror adjustment mechanism with an electrical connection having at least one pair of contact parts disposed movably relative to each other. The contact parts jointly form a sliding contact for maintaining electrical contact during pivotal motion of a mirror connector relative to a base frame, while one of the contact parts of the sliding contact is fixedly connected with the mirror connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2009
    Assignee: MCi (Mirror Controls International) Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Andreas Johannes Petrus Schalkwijk, Marius Brand
  • Patent number: 7428131
    Abstract: A protective shield that may be secured to an electrical racking rod of the type used for performing electrical work on various types of energized electrical equipment. The protective shield includes a transparent plate formed of an impact resistant, fire retardant material; a clamping mechanism secured to the plate and at least one adaptor for securing the racking rod to the plate. The adaptor is engaged by the clamping mechanism to secure the racking rod to the plate. The protective shield provides physical protection to workers when removing or resetting electrical circuit breakers by acting as a barrier between the worker and the equipment while providing complete visibility to the task being performed. A plurality of adaptors may be provided to enable the plate to be utilized with any one of a plurality of different diameter racking rods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2008
    Assignee: Gary Guard, Inc.
    Inventors: James R. Stillwagon, Elihu Hoagland, IV
  • Patent number: 7370985
    Abstract: A motorized tilt actuator assembly comprises one or more threaded jack screws attached to a mirror glass case and traveling along one or more threaded actuator shafts with rotation of the motor. When a jack screw reaches its limit of travel, relative movement between the actuator shaft and the glass case can occur through a slip clutch mechanism during such time as the motor continues to operate. In one embodiment, the relative movement is accommodated by a spherical actuator head rotating in a compressively spring-biased socket. In another embodiment, the relative movement is accommodated by slippage along a friction surface interposed between the actuator shaft and the motor. Manual repositioning of the mirror can be accommodated by slippage of the jack screw threads past the actuator shaft threads, or by a coarse threaded interconnection of the jack screw and the actuator shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2008
    Inventors: Ian Boddy, Keith D. Foote
  • Patent number: 7341356
    Abstract: A dual magnification vanity mirror adjustable in height and orientation includes an elongated stanchion curved into the shape of a C having a downwardly depending threaded support leg insertably receivable through a central hole in a base plate and removably fastenable thereto by a nut threaded onto the leg. The mirror includes a mirror frame which holds therein a pair of back-to-back mirror plates of different relative magnifications, the frame being joined by a ball-and-socket joint to a bushing rotatably mounted on a horizontal end arm of the stanchion, whereby the frame is swivelable and/or rotatable about an axis of the ball-and-socket joint to adjustable azimuth and inclination angles, orbital about a longitudinal axis of the coupler bushing to an adjustable height, and secured thereat by a screw tightened into radial bore through the bushing onto the arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2008
    Inventor: Zlatko Zadro
  • Patent number: 7264217
    Abstract: An interior rearview mirror assembly for a vehicle includes a mirror head, a mounting base, a support arm and a cover element. The mirror head includes a reflective element and at least one electronic component which is electrically connected to a power source of the vehicle via wiring. The support arm has an elongated shaft portion, a first end and a second end opposite said first end. The mirror head is pivotable about the first end via a first ball and socket joint, and the second end is pivotable about the mounting base via a second ball and socket joint. The wiring is disposed between an outer surface of the shaft portion and the cover element. The cover element attaches to the shaft portion such that the wiring is routed at least partially along the outer surface and is at least partially hidden from view by the cover element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2007
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventor: Jonathan E DeLine
  • Patent number: 7216885
    Abstract: A trailer mounted and adjustable mirror assembly for attachment to a trailer or hitch being towed by a towing vehicle. The assembly, when secured, helps facilitate securement of the trailer to the towing vehicle while the driver/operator remains in the towing vehicle. The assembly comprises a removable clamp mounting a pair of adjustable, telescopic tubular members on which is mounted a pivotal mirror mechanism pivotal throughout 360° and countless angles relative to the plane of the pivotal mirror mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2007
    Inventor: Brian Stopka
  • Patent number: 7175292
    Abstract: An external mirror assembly for a motor vehicle with a base (16) and an adjustable mirror head (12) and a pivot and vibration absorption mechanism (14) on the base (16) allowing manual adjustment of the mirror head (12) with respect to the base (16). The pivot and vibration absorption mechanism (14) has a ball joint (22, 26) to enable pivoting and frictionally engaging faces (36, 38, 42) spaced apart from the ball joint (22, 26) on the base (16) and the mirror head (12) to provide vibration absorption. The respective faces (36, 38, 42) are part spherical surfaces resiliently urged together by resilient means (46).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2007
    Assignee: Schefenacker Vision Systems Australia Pty Ltd
    Inventor: Darryl Flynn