WO1998038622A1 - Scrolling display device - Google Patents

Scrolling display device

Info

Publication number
WO1998038622A1
WO1998038622A1 PCT/US1998/003849 US9803849W WO9838622A1 WO 1998038622 A1 WO1998038622 A1 WO 1998038622A1 US 9803849 W US9803849 W US 9803849W WO 9838622 A1 WO9838622 A1 WO 9838622A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
tube
housing
mechanism
image band
driven
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US1998/003849
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Parker B. Lyle
Frank W. Lyle
Original Assignee
X-Caliper, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09FDISPLAYING; ADVERTISING; SIGNS; LABELS OR NAME-PLATES; SEALS
    • G09F11/00Indicating arrangements for variable information in which the complete information is permanently attached to a movable support which brings it to the display position
    • G09F11/12Indicating arrangements for variable information in which the complete information is permanently attached to a movable support which brings it to the display position the display elements being carried by endless belts, chains, or the like
    • G09F11/15Indicating arrangements for variable information in which the complete information is permanently attached to a movable support which brings it to the display position the display elements being carried by endless belts, chains, or the like the elements being flexible sheets

Abstract

A multiple image display mechanism (A) includes a housing (10) having an opening therein, a driving tube (20) supported by the housing (10) and a driven tube (30) supported by the housing (10) in a spaced manner from the driving tube (20). An image band (40) extends between the driving tube (20) and the driven tube (30). A plurality of spaced indicial panels (43, 44) are disposed on the image band (40) with each panel (43, 44) containing information desired to be displayed by the display mechanism (A). Preferably, the image band (40) is a flexible endless band which is supported by the driving tube (20), the driven tube (30) and by one or more idler tubes (36) around which the image band (40) is looped. An indexing mechanism (60) selectively moves the image band (40) to display each of the indicial panels (43, 44) through the housing opening. Preferably, a light source (130) is positioned in the housing (10) behind the image band (40) to illuminate each indicial panel (43, 44) as it is indexed over the housing opening.

Description

SCROLLING DISPLAY DEVICE

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to the field of display apparatus. More particularly, the present invention relates to a lightbox with multiple image display capability. Pictorial display fixtures are used in the retail environment as point of purchase displays, in outdoor advertising for a variety of products and services and also at trade shows and the like.

Graphical display of advertising material is a multi-billion dollar business. Such displays are frequently used in the retail environment to advertise a particular vendor's products. Displays are also employed in outdoor advertising for such establishments as theaters, hotels, restaurants and car dealerships as well as for products. In addition, conventions, trade shows and the like employ large numbers of display fixtures .

One popular type of display structure utilizes numerous modular panel sections which can be joined together to form a number of customizable structures to suit the end user's needs. When not used, this structure can be broken down for storage and shipping. The modular panel sections have a frame structure assembled from rail sections with openings formed between the rails. The openings are typically occupied by opaque, transparent or translucent panels, depending on how the panels will be used. In some of these systems, spotlights are placed in front of the display structures to illuminate the graphics and images on the panels . Also known are backlit systems to illuminate images which have been placed on transparent or translucent panels by printing, silk screening or laminating. In the display stand industry, images are printed on a light diffusing film which is then laminated to a sheet of plastic, such as PLEXIGLAS® . The light diffusing film is used to prevent the outline of the light source which is positioned behind the panels (generally a fluorescent lamp) from being too noticeable. The image bearing light diffusing film is then overlaid with a transparent protective layer. These image bearing panels can be backlit by a lightbox which is affixed to the frame behind the image bearing panels . Such backlit panels have an attractive look and impact and are popular. However, the known types of panels are heavy and expensive. Their weight and overall bulkiness makes such backlit panels difficult to move, as is constantly necessary in the trade show industry. Trade show display structures are constantly being set up and taken down as the trade shows move from one city to another. The cost and bulkiness of the known backlit panels restricts their use in the retail environment as well. Presently, the known backlit lightboxes consist of relatively heavy (10 to 20 lbs.), deep (6 to 8 inches), and expensive sheet metal or aluminum structures into which light fixtures, e.g. fluorescent lamps or incandescent bulbs, are permanently mounted. These lightboxes are then mounted with clips, screws or bolts to the back of the panels to be backlit. The known lightboxes cannot be broken down into flatter structures for storage and shipping. Because of their weight, these lightboxes are more difficult to handle during the assembly of the display structures. Also, since these prior art lightboxes have a substantial depth and a substantial weight, it is difficult to mount them on a wall and they do not present a pleasing appearance.

Moreover, the known lightboxes do not allow for multiple images to be displayed in the lightbox. In other words, a single image is constantly displayed by the lightbox panels. The known lightboxes do not allow a changeable pictorial display in which a series of images are displayed, one after the other, in a timed sequence .

Changeable multiple image display devices are known in the art. One such display device includes a flexible display film bearing an image on at least one face and a plurality of elastomeric tensioning members for detachably mounting the thin film display. The display film is changed and replaced as desired to correlate with a worded message. One such device is illustrated in U. S. Patent No. 3,824,726. Other known such devices are offered for sale by Geode Corporation and by Clearr Corporation. However, none of the known multiple imaging systems provide a continuous image bearing format for repeatability of the images. A looping, continuous image band would be desirable for a changeable multiple image display device to provide a simple and inexpensive display.

Accordingly, it is desirable to develop a new and improved display apparatus used for presenting, one at a time, a series of images for either illuminated or non- illuminated displays which would overcome the foregoing difficulties and others while providing better and more advantageous overall results. BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention, a new and improved multiple image display apparatus is provided.

More particularly in accordance with this aspect of the invention, the multiple image display apparatus comprises a cartridge, an image band, a light source and a backplate. A housing can also be used to enclose the cartridge. The cartridge can comprise a driving tube with sprockets, driven tubes with sprockets and a series of idler tubes, all supported by a pair of side frames. The image band is supported by the various tubes and contains at least two different images. The cartridge can support the light source for back lighting the image display. The cartridge is mounted on the backplate. The necessary electronics can be mounted on the backplate as well.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, an endless belt display mechanism is provided.

More particularly in accordance with this aspect of the invention, the mechanism comprises a housing having an opening therein, a driving tube supported by the housing and a driven tube supported by the housing with the driven tube being spaced from the driving tube so that the driving tube is located on one side of the housing opening and the driven tube is located near another side of the housing opening. An idler tube can be mounted in the housing in a spaced manner from the driving tube and the driven tube. A flexible endless image band is supported by the driving tube and the driven tube as well as the idler tube. The image band has at least two different images thereon with the two different images being spaced from each other. A light source is positioned in the housing behind the image band to illuminate at least one of the two different images thereon.

One advantage of the present invention is the provision of a new and improved thin and light weight scrolling display device for presenting, one at a time, a series of images. The display device can either be illuminated or non-illuminated.

Another advantage of the present invention is the provision of a new and improved thin and light weight light source which can be included in a display device or retrofitted into an existing non-illuminated display device .

Still another advantage of the present invention is the provision of a backlighting fixture which is low in cost, light weight, relatively compact and cost effective for storage, shipment and display. A further advantage of the present invention is the provision of a changeable multiple image display apparatus which is illuminated. The display apparatus can be in the form of a scrolling lightbox or a scripting lightbox.

A still further advantage of the present invention is the provision of a multiple image display device which enables different images to be displayed by the device as regulated by a control mechanism mounted in the device.

A yet further advantage of the present invention is the provision of a display device with a set of driving, driven and idler tubes as well as an image band, either pre-printed or containing a set of separate images, which can be driven around the several tubes so as to allow the display device to show individual images as desired.

An additional advantage of the present invention is the provision of an endless image band having punched holes along opposed top and bottom edges thereof which cooperate with sprockets on at least a driving tube in order to provide consistent timing and graphic registration and to insure proper regulation of movement of the image band by a control mechanism. When the motion of the image band is a scripting motion (i.e. the band moves from left to right or right to left) the holes are located adjacent the top and bottom edges of the band. When, however, a scrolling motion is desired for the band (the band moves from bottom to top or top to bottom) , the holes are located adjacent the left and right edges of the band.

A still additional advantage of the present invention is the provision of a multiple image display apparatus which can be formed as a rectangle, a cylinder, a triangle, an end cap, a double-sided display or in any other desired shape so that the apparatus can be used in a trade show, a point of purchase display or in other graphic advertising uses as may be desired.

Still other benefits and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading and understanding of the following detailed specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention may take form in certain components and structures, preferred embodiments of which will be described in detail in this specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein:

Figure 1 is a perspective view, partially broken away, of a multiple image display device according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention; Figure 2 is an enlarged perspective view of one end of the device of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is an enlarged perspective view of a portion of the device of Figure 2 ;

Figure 4 is a side elevational schematic view of the device of Figure 1;

Figure 5A is an enlarged side elevational view of a portion of the device of Figure 4 ;

Figure 5B is a perspective view, partially broken away, of a driver tube and associated components of the device of Figure 5A;

Figure 6A is an enlarged front elevational view, partially broken away, of the driver tube of the device of Figure 5 ;

Figure 6B is a front elevational view, partially broken away, of a drive shaft of the device of Figure 5; Figure 6C is an enlarged front elevational view, partially broken away, of an idler tube of the device of Figure 5 ;

Figure 6D is a front elevational view, partially broken away, of an idler shaft of the device of Figure 5; Figure 7A is a top plan view of a portion of an image band employed with the device of Figure 1;

Figure 7B is an enlarged top plan view of a portion of the image band of Figure 7A; Figure 8 is an exploded perspective view of a light panel employed in the device of Figure 1;

Figure 9 is a schematic top plan view of a multiple image display device according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention; Figure 10 is a schematic top plan view of an end cap multiple image display device according to a third preferred embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 11 is a perspective view, partially broken away, of a double multiple image display device according to a fourth preferred embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 12 is a side elevational schematic view of a multiple image display device according to a fifth preferred embodiment of the present invention; Figure 13 is an exploded perspective view, on a reduced scale, of the display device of Figure 12;

Figure 14 is an enlarged exploded perspective view of a portion of the display device of Figure 13 ;

Figure 15 is an enlarged exploded perspective view of another portion of the display device of Figure 13; Figure 16 is a schematic top plan view of a multiple image display device according to a sixth preferred embodiment of the present invention; and,

Figure 17 is a schematic top plan view of a multiple image display device according to a seventh preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings wherein the showings are for purposes of illustrating preferred embodiments of the invention only and not for purposes of limiting same, Figure 1 illustrates a display device A according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention. It should be appreciated by those of average skill in the art that the invention disclosed herein, as being applied to a variety of display devices A-G illustrated in the figures of the instant application, could also be employed in a number of other image display apparatus designs having a variety of different configurations .

With reference now to Figure 1, the display device A comprises a housing 10 having a bottom and four sides. Located in the housing is a first end wall 12 and a second end wall 14 of a cartridge. Extending between the end walls is a hollow driver tube 20 (Fig. 5B) . The driver tube has at each end, shoulders (Fig. 6A) for accommodating, respectively, a first sprocket housing 22 and a second sprocket housing 24. A bearing 25 (Fig. 5B) is located on the second end wall 14. A driver rod 26 extends through the first sprocket housing 22, the drive tube 20 and the second sprocket housing 24 and finally the bearing 25. The drive rod 26 is powered by a motor 28 via a drive shaft 29. The motor 28 can be a conventional electric motor.

Any type of A.C. or D.C. motor such as a synchronous motor, a stepper motor, a permanent magnet motor or a permanent split capacitor motor can be employed. If the motor is a low speed motor, e.g. about 60 or 70 rpm or less, the motor can directly drive the drive shaft 29. However, some motors have a significantly higher nominal speed (e.g., up to 3000 rpm) . Such motors need to have a gear box attached to decrease the speed from 3000 rpm to about 60 or 70 rpm.

Preferably the motor is of fractional horsepower size, i.e. l/25th to l/l0th horsepower and can be either A.C.

(running at 110 or 220 volts and at 50 or 60 hertz) or

D.C. The drive shaft 29 extends into an opening in the drive rod 26, to rotate the tube 20 at a preset speed from, e.g., 1 to 60 rpm as may be desired. Also rotatably mounted on the end walls 12 and 14 is a driven tube 30 which comprises first and second sprockets 32 and 34. Similarly mounted on the end walls 12 and 14 are a plurality of hollow idler tubes 36 (Fig. 6C) . Each of these is mounted via suitable bearings 37 (Fig. 5A) on rods 38 (Fig. 6D) that are secured to the first and second end walls 12 and 14 of the cartridge. The several tubes 20, 30, 36 and the end walls 12, 14 together can be termed a cartridge .

The driver tube 20 and driven tube 30, as well as the plurality of idler tubes 36, are so positioned between the end walls 12 and 14 as to support an endless image band 40. With reference now also to Figure 7A, the image band comprises a substrate 42 made of a clear material, usually a thermoplastic, with ultraviolet inhibitors. Located on the substrate 42 are first and second translucent or transparent images 43 and 44. A joint 46 secures the two ends of the substrate together to form a continuous band of material. The joint 46 can be achieved by any conventional technique, such as welding, thermal fusion or by the use of adhesives or tapes . The images can be secured to the substrate with a conventional clear double-faced tape for easy removal and replacement or repositioning. Instead of employing separate images which are adhered to a clear substrate, graphic images can be printed directly on the substrate.

The length of the substrate equals the number of images multiplied by the height of the images. It should be appreciated that the geometry of the display device cartridge, i.e. the location of the driver tube 20, driven tube 30 and idler tubes 36 is precisely calculated to support the length of the image band 40 in such a way that it has neither too little nor too much tension.

The substrate 42 has secured to a first side edge thereof a first side tape 48. Extending through the tape are a plurality of longitudinally spaced apertures 50. The apertures can, if desired, be spaced apart by about half an inch and have a one-eighth inch diameter. Located on the second side of the image band 40 is a second side tape 52 which is similarly provided with apertures 54. The apertures 50 and 54 are engaged by suitable sprocket teeth 56 (Fig. 3) provided on the first and second sprockets on each of the driver tube 20 and driven tube 30. In this way, the several images, such as the images 43 and 44 secured on the substrate 42, can be sequentially presented for view between the driver tube 20 and driven tube 30 at the top of the display device A. At the same time, the other images held on the substrate 42 are hidden from view as is evident from Figure 4. It should be appreciated that the image band 40 is positively driven by the sprocket teeth 56 for accurate positioning of the images 43 and 44.

With reference now to Figure 2, a sequential timing mechanism 60 is provided for scrolling the image band 40 as desired. The sequential timing mechanism can be mounted on the first end wall 12 if so desired. Also located on the first end wall is a terminal barrier block 62, having from four to eight contacts, and a timing relay 64. The timing relay can be a conventional 110 VAC solid state relay with time-off adjustment as is well known in the art.

With reference now to Figure 3 , the sequential timing mechanism 60 comprises a driven idler shaft 70 that engages the driven sprocket tube 30. Mounted on the idler shaft 70 is a spur gear 72 which can be in a one-to-one ratio with the driven sprocket tube. The spur gear engages a timing ratio gear 74 which is mounted by an idler post 76 on the first end wall 12. A pin 78 protrudes from the timing ratio gear. As the gear 74 rotates, being driven by the spur gear 72, the pin will selectively engage a contact member 80 of a conventional limit switch 82. When this occurs, the limit switch- -which can be an SPDT limit switch powered by 110 VAC- -signals the motor 28. The timer then stops the motor thereby stopping any further rotation of the driver tube 20. At this time, the next image on the image band is correctly positioned for display. When the desired time span has elapsed, as preset by the time off potentiometer, the timer restarts the motor which then begins to rotate the driver tube thereby moving the image band. The image band then rotates the driven tube 30 with the engagement of apertures 50 and 54 on the image band 40 with the sprocket teeth 56 (Fig. 3) which restarts the continuation of sequential timing and positioning of the graphics. Figure 3 also illustrates a plurality of fasteners 84, 86 and 88 which are employed to secure the three idler tubes 36 located adjacent the driven tube 30 as may be best seen in Figure 4.

With reference again to Figure 1, a light panel 100 can be positioned in the display device A beneath the portion of the image band 40 located between the driving tube 20 and the driven tube 30 to illuminate an image which is held taut between them. Referring now to Figure 8, the light panel comprises a cover 102 which can be made from a scratch resistant Lexan, acrylic or P.E.T.G. material. The cover 102 includes a top face and a depending skirt. Located directly below the cover is a first diffuser layer or panel 104. This panel can be made from a suitable conventional thermoplastic material, such as vinyl. One preferred thickness of the vinyl material is 2 mils. The vinyl material is preferably clear.

Printed on the vinyl material is a light diffusing print pattern 106 which reduces the hot spot from the light source which is held in the light panel 100. It is evident from Figure 8 that the print pattern is most pronounced directly over the light source in the light panel and fades away to either side of the light source. Positioned directly beneath the first diffuser panel 104 is a second diffuser panel 108. This diffuser panel can be made from a Thermo-Clear brand clear polycarbonate material which is produced by 3M Corporation of Minneapolis, Minnesota in a corrugated form. The second diffuser panel both disperses light and dissipates heat. The first diffuser panel can be laminated directly on the second diffuser panel if desired. The second diffuser panel is located above the light source held in the light panel 100. To this end, the second diffuser panel is secured over an open top of a pan or housing 110 of the light panel 100. The panel can be made from a known DiBond material which comprises a two layer aluminum product available from Alucobond Technologies, Inc. of Benton, Kentucky. The pan comprises a plurality of side walls 112 and a base wall (not visible) . Held within the pan is a reflector dish 114. The reflector dish can be made from a high gloss white aluminum material if so desired. The reflector dish comprises a bottom wall 116, a tapered base wall 118 and a tapered side wall 120. It should be appreciated that the reflector dish also includes another tapered side wall and a tapered top wall which are not visible in Figure 8. The skirt of the cover 102 is sufficiently large so as to overlie the side walls 112 of the pan 110. If desired, the skirt of the cover 102 can be long enough so as to hide the side walls 112 of the pan 110.

Mounted in the pan 110 is a lamp 130. The lamp is mounted on a lamp base 132 which extends through an opening in the reflector dish bottom wall. It is powered via a conventional power cord 134. As is evident, the lamp 130 is a fluorescent lamp. Suitable conventional coaxial fluorescent lamps of the sort illustrated in Figure 8 are termed Biax lamps and are available from General Electric Corporation of the United States, or from Phillips Corporation of the Netherlands. Alternatively, General Electric produces a lamp under the trade name T5 which is also suitable for this use. The Biax type of lamp illustrated in Figure 8 is available in lengths from 6 inches to 5 feet and gives good dispersion of light. The lamps 130 are chosen for long life, up to 20,000 hours, so that the light panel does not need to be removed from the display device A and disassembled in order to insert a new lamp very often. The ballast for the fluorescent bulb 130 is accommodated in the pan 110, preferably being located beneath the tapered base wall 118 of the reflector 114.

One advantage of the Thermo-Clear material of 3M is that it is an ultraviolet resistant material. In other words, the second diffuser panel 108 acts as an ultraviolet radiation barrier minimizing the UN intensity emanating from the lamp 130. The reason that this is advantageous is because the images 43, 44 held on the substrate 42 of the image band 40 are susceptible to ultraviolet radiation and would degrade fairly quickly were it not for the ultraviolet barrier provided by the diffuser panels.

Once the lamp 130 is illuminated, the light is dispersed via the reflector 114, the second diffuser panel 108, the first diffuser panel 104 and shines through the cover 102 and through the images on the image band 40 so as to make the images visible to viewers. It should be appreciated that the entire light panel 100 is supported in the housing 10 on the end walls 12 and 14. For this purpose, the end walls have a suitable centrally located indentation 136 as is illustrated in Figures 1 and 4.

While the light panel 100 is illustrated as being positioned in a display device beneath an image band or web, it should be appreciated that the light panel 100 could be employed simply as a lightbox so as to illuminate a single display image. In this embodiment, the display image (not illustrated) would be positioned between the cover 102 and the diffuser panel 104. Alternatively, the diffuser panel 104 could be eliminated with only the display image and the second diffuser panel 108 positioned above the lamp 130. Thus, the light panel 100 can be used separately as a lightbox for display purposes such as advertising or the like. Of course, in this embodiment, suitable fastening means would be provided to allow a) the display image to be secured in the light panel 100 and b) the light panel to be secured to a suitable support surface such as, e.g., a wall.

With reference now to Figure 9, a cylindrical display device B is there illustrated according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention. The cylindrical display device B comprises a housing 140 in which are mounted a plurality of spaced sprocket tubes 142 and spaced idler tubes 144. Extending around the sprocket tubes and idler tubes is an endless image band 146 containing a number of images. As can be seen from Figure 9, the band 146 is looped in such a way that four images are visible at any given time around the periphery of the housing 140. It should, of course, be appreciated that any desired number of images could be viewed around the periphery of the cylindrical lightbox by a suitable choice of the diameter of the housing 140 and the number of sprocket tubes and idler tubes. Thus anywhere from two images to ten or more images could be so viewed depending upon the circumference of the housing 140 and the widths of the several images.

In the embodiment of Figure 9, four light sources 148 are provided with one light source illuminating each of the four images that are visible on the image band at any one time. For the sake of simplicity, the pans or housings of the light sources or lamps 148 are not illustrated in Figure 9. A single diffuser panel 150 is shown as being located inwardly of each visible image on the image band 146. A cover or housing 152 is shown as being located outwardly of the image band 146. With reference now to Figure 10, an end cap display device C is there illustrated according to a third preferred embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, three images are visible at one time on three orthogonal surfaces of the display device . The display device C comprises a housing 160 in which are mounted four sprocket tubes 162 and a plurality of idler tubes 164. An endless image band 166 is looped around the several idler tubes and sprocket tubes . With the end cap display device of Figure 10, three images can be viewed at any one time. This display device is particularly adapted for use in a retail environment where it can be incorporated in an end cap located at an end of an aisle of a retail establishment, such as a super market, hardware store or the like.

With reference now to Figure 11, a double display device D is there illustrated according to a fourth preferred embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, a housing 180 holds a driver sprocket tube 182 powered by a motor 184. Also mounted on the housing is a driven sprocket tube 186 and a plurality of idler tubes 188. The housing also includes a first light panel 190 which illuminates a first image band 191 that is looped around the driver and driven sprocket tubes 182 and 186 and the idler tubes 188.

Mounted to the housing 180 is a gearing 192 which is located adjacent the driven sprocket tube 182 so that the rotation of the motor 184, and hence of the driven sprocket tube 182, can be employed to also power a secondary driver sprocket tube 194 mounted on the housing 180 in a direction transverse to the driven sprocket tube 182. The gearing 192 can be conventional miter gearing so that an equated ratio of miter gears can drive the secondary driver sprocket tube 19 . Also mounted on the housing is a secondary driven sprocket tube 196, as well as a plurality of idler tubes 198. A second image band 200 is looped around the secondary driver and driven sprocket tubes 194, 196 as well as the idler tubes 198. A secondary light panel pan 202 houses a secondary light 204 within the housing and directly beneath the second image band 200 so as to illuminate same .

The design of Figure 11 allows for a scrolling and scripting double display device in which a first set of images, on the image band 191, scrolls downwardly or upwardly whereas a second set of images, on the second image band 200, scripts sideways. With suitable gearing, one can control the speed of the two image bands so as to have equally timed images or differently timed images.

With reference now to Figure 12, a display device E, according to a fifth preferred embodiment of the present invention, includes a cartridge 220. With reference now also to Figure 13, the cartridge comprises a first side frame 222 and spaced therefrom a second side frame 224. A driver sprocket tube 226 and a pair of driven sprocket tubes 228 and 230 are provided along with a plurality of spaced idler tubes 234. The driver sprocket tube 226 and driven sprocket tube 230 are secured by sprocket members 242 which are secured on rods 236 such that the rods 236 extend through bearings 240 that are mounted on the side frames 222 and 224 and extend through the respective sprocket members 242 at either end of the drive sprocket tube 226 and the driven sprocket 230. The driven sprocket tube 228 is secured by sprocket members 242 which are secured to a rod 235 such that the rod 235 extends through bearings 240 which are mounted on side frames 222 and 224 and through the respective sprocket members 242 at either end of the sprocket tube 228. At each end of all of the idler tubes 234 is positioned a bearing 240 to which the idler tubes are secured. The idler tubes 234 are mounted on spacer rods 237 which are secured to the side frames 222 and 224 via conventional fasteners 238 which extend through the bearings 240 at each end of the idler tubes 234. The bearings allow the idler tubes to rotate freely around the spacer rods 237.

With reference now to Figure 14, a motor 250 having a shaft 252 cooperates with a drive gear 254 positioned adjacent the second side frame 224. The drive gear cooperates with a driven gear 256 which, in turn, is fastened to rod 236 which has the driver tube 226 fastened to it by sprocket members 242. A roller chain 258 transmits the rotation of the drive gear 254 to the driven gear 256. It should be appreciated that one can vary the size of the sprockets on the drive gear 254 and driven gear 256 to vary the speed with which the band is driven. A plurality of fasteners 260 secure the motor 250 to the inner surface of the second side frame 224 as is more readily apparent from Figure 13.

Positioned adjacent the drive gear 254 is a timing gear 264 which is fastened via a suitable conventional fastener 266 to rod 235 which in turn has the driven sprocket tube 228 secured to it by sprocket members 242

(Fig. 13) . The timing gear 264 meshes with a ratio gear

268 which is mounted on an idler post 270 via a flanged bushing 272 and a fastener 274. The idler post 270 is mounted on the second side frame 224 by a suitable fastener 276. Located on the ratio gear 268, near an outer circumference thereof, is a roll pin 278. The roll pin selectively engages a conventional limit switch 280 mounted on the side frame 224. Once the limit switch 280 is engaged, the limit switch signals timer 310 (Fig. 13) . The timer 310 then stops the motor 250, thereby stopping the motion of the system to position the image band 296 (Fig. 12) for a preset time, established by the potentiometer 312 (Fig. 13) . Once the preset time has elapsed, the timer restarts the motor for the continuation of sequential timing and positioning of the graphics . With reference now to Figure 15, one of the rods mounting the idler tubes is a rod 284 having reduced diameter ends 286. These ends protrude through respective slots 288 located in both the first and second side frames. It is apparent that Figure 15 only illustrates side frame 224. A suitable fastener 238 extends into a threaded bore in the reduced diameter end 286. A conventional tension spring 290 has one end looped around the rod reduced diameter end 286 or the stem of the fastener 238. The other end of the spring 290 is looped around a post 292 or a respective fastener attached thereto. In this way, a certain amount of resilient bias is provided for a web 296 (Fig. 12) which is threaded around the several sprocket tubes and idler tubes.

With further reference to Figure 13, the cartridge 220 is mounted on a back mount plate 300 via suitable fasteners 301. The back mount plate comprises an access panel 302 to which is secured an electric cord 304, as well as an on-off switch 306. Mounted on the access panel is a terminal block 308. Positioned adjacent the terminal block is a conventional timer 310 which can be set via a potentiometer 312. Once the timer times out, the motor 250 is again actuated and the web 296 moves until the pin 278 again engages the limit switch 280, stopping the motor.

The two side frames 222 and 224 have aligned openings 318 which are so shaped and configured as to accommodate a lamp housing 320. In this way, the lamp housing can be selectively mounted in the cartridge. Fastened to the lamp housing are pairs of lamp holder elements 322 and 324 positioned at each end of each of a plurality of suitable conventional fluorescent bulbs 326 or similar lamps. A ballast 328 is also mounted on the lamp housing 320. The multiple lamps illustrated in Fig. 13 are advantageous from the standpoint that they provide an even light dispersion for the images on the band. It should also be appreciated that, for a scrolling system, the diffusion material illustrated in Fig. 8 may not be necessary.

It has been found advantageous to employ an endless belt for cycling the images in a timed fashion for as many times as may be desired. It should be appreciated that the cartridge can be used to display images from an endless band even without the images being backlit by the lamps or bulbs 326 of the lamp housing 320. In addition, it should be appreciated that the cartridge or a plurality of cartridges can be mounted in a housing of the type illustrated in Figure 1.

With reference now to Figure 16, a triangular display device F is there illustrated according to a sixth preferred embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, a housing 340 holds a driver sprocket tube 342, a pair of driven sprocket tubes 344 and a plurality of idler tubes 346. A plurality of lamps 348 are located in the housing 340 with each lamp being housed in a respective reflector frame 350 so as to illuminate an image located on an endless web 352 which is looped around the several sprocket tubes 342 and 344 and idler tubes 346. In this embodiment, three images of a web can be simultaneously displayed on the three sides of the housing 340.

With reference now to Figure 17, a two sided display device G is there illustrated. This display device comprises a housing 360 having a driver sprocket tube 362, a driven sprocket tube 364 and a plurality of idler tubes 366. In this embodiment, a plurality of spaced lamps 368 are centrally positioned in the housing 360. Light from the lamps can shine through a pair of reflector assemblies 370 and 372, one located on each side of the housing 360. It should be apparent that in these reflector assemblies 370 and 372, there is no back wall so as to allow light from the lamps 368 to shine directly therethrough and onto selected portions of a web 374 which is looped around the sprocket tubes 362 and 364 and idler tubes 366. This device allows the display of two images on opposing sides of the housing 360. It should be appreciated that the operation of the image bands in any of the display devices A through G can be coordinated with an audio tape so as to provide an inexpensive audiovisual display system. It should also be appreciated that via conventional means, one could activate such a system remotely as by a pushbutton, an infrared control device or a similar device so that the images can be changed when so desired. Alternatively, a suitable conventional timer can be positioned in the housing of any of the display devices A through G in order to actuate the movement of the respective image bands with any desired dwell time or display time for a selected image. It would thus be possible to have different dwell times for different images on the image band if so desired. Alternatively, the dwell time or display time of each image could be the same as for any other image .

The invention has been described with reference to several preferred embodiments . Obviously, modifications and alterations will occur to others upon a reading and understanding of this specification. It is intended to include all such modifications and alterations insofar as they come within the scope of the appended claims and the equivalents thereof.

Claims

We claim :
1. A multiple image display mechanism, comprising: a housing having an opening therein; a driving tube supported by said housing; a driven tube supported by said housing in a spaced manner from said driving tube; an image band extending between said driving tube and said driven tube; a plurality of spaced indicia panels disposed on said image band, each panel containing information desired to be displayed by the display mechanism; a motor supported in said housing for rotating said driving tube; and, a means for indexing said image band to selectively display each of said indicia panels through said housing opening, said means for indexing comprising a timer for selectively actuating said motor.
2. The mechanism of claim 1 further comprising a first idler tube mounted in said housing in a spaced manner from said driving tube and said driven tube, said image band being looped around said idler tube, said driving tube and said driven tube .
3. The mechanism of claim 2 further comprising at least a second idler tube mounted in said housing said second idler tube being spaced from said first idler tube and said image band being looped around said second idler tube .
4. The mechanism of claim 2 wherein said first idler tube is located in a different plane from a plane of said driven tube and said driving tube .
5. The mechanism of claim 1 wherein said means for indexing said image band further comprises: a plurality of spaced teeth positioned on said driving tube; and, said image band comprises a plurality of spaced apertures engaged by said spaced teeth and wherein said image band is endless and is looped around said driving tube, and said driven tube.
6. The mechanism of claim 5 wherein said means for indexing further comprises a drive transmission for connecting said motor to said driving tube.
7. The mechanism of claim 5 wherein said means for indexing further comprises a ratio gear including an upstanding pin and a limit switch which is selectively contacted by said pin to deactivate said motor.
8. The mechanism of claim 1 further comprising: a drive gear connected to said motor; a driven gear connected to said driver tube; and, a power transmissing means for connecting said drive gear to said driven gear.
9. A sign mechanism for an image band traversable along an axis of movement, comprising: a housing having an opening therein; a driving tube supported by said housing, said driving tube comprising a plurality of spaced teeth on a periphery thereof; a driven tube supported by said housing in a spaced manner from said driving tube; a flexible image band supported by said driving tube and said driven tube and extending therebetween, said image band comprising a plurality of spaced apertures engaged by said sprocket teeth for positively driving said image band; a plurality of spaced indicia panels disposed on said image band, each panel containing information desired to be displayed by the sign mechanism.
10. The mechanism of claim 9 further comprising a light source positioned in said housing to illuminate at least one of said indicia panels through said housing opening, wherein said light source is positioned at a location behind said flexible image band.
11. The mechanism of claim 10 wherein said light source comprises : a reflector dish; a light element mounted in said reflector dish; and, diffuser panel mounted over said light source.
12. The mechanism of claim 9 further comprising an indexing mechanism for said image band to selectively position each of said indicia panels over said housing opening.
13. The mechanism of claim 12 wherein said indexing mechanism comprises a motor drivingly connected to said driving tube and a timer for selectively actuating said motor.
14. The mechanism of claim 9 further comprising an idler tube, wherein said idler tube is positioned in a different plane from a plane of said driving tube and said driven tube .
15. An illuminated sign comprising: a light pan having at least one side wall and an open front wall; a reflector dish mounted in said light pan; a lamp mounted in said reflector dish; a first diffuser panel mounted over said lamp; a sign mounted on said diffuser panel; a transparent cover overlying said sign.
16. The illuminated sign of claim 15 further comprising : a second diffuser panel mounted beneath said first diffuser panel.
17. The illuminated sign of claim 16 wherein said second diffuser panel comprises a print pattern and wherein said print pattern is most pronounced over said lamp.
18. The illuminated of claim 15 wherein said first diffuser panel comprises: a means for dispersing light; and, a means for dissipating heat.
19. The illuminated sign of claim 15 further comprising a housing for holding said sign, said light pan being mounted in said housing.
20. An endless belt display mechanism, comprising: a cartridge having an opening therein; a driving tube supported by said cartridge; a driven tube supported by said cartridge, said driven tube being spaced from said driving tube; an idler tube supported by said cartridge in a spaced manner from said driving tube and said driven tube ; a flexible endless image band supported by said driving tube, said driven tube and said idler tube, said image band having at least two different images thereon, said two different images being spaced from each other; and, a light source positioned in said cartridge behind said image band to illuminate an image disposed over said cartridge opening.
PCT/US1998/003849 1997-02-28 1998-02-27 Scrolling display device WO1998038622A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US3967597 true 1997-02-28 1997-02-28
US60/039,675 1997-02-28
US3098198 true 1998-02-26 1998-02-26
US09/030,981 1998-02-26

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WO1998038622A1 true true WO1998038622A1 (en) 1998-09-03

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Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/US1998/003849 WO1998038622A1 (en) 1997-02-28 1998-02-27 Scrolling display device

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Cited By (2)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8016260B2 (en) 2007-07-19 2011-09-13 Formulatrix, Inc. Metering assembly and method of dispensing fluid
US8100293B2 (en) 2009-01-23 2012-01-24 Formulatrix, Inc. Microfluidic dispensing assembly

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US2585687A (en) * 1949-05-05 1952-02-12 Sanderson Leonard Watson Intermittent mechanism
US3864861A (en) * 1973-09-21 1975-02-11 Jr Richard H Hill Illuminated display device
US5020252A (en) * 1985-05-31 1991-06-04 Boef J A G De Illuminated sign system
US5251392A (en) * 1991-02-08 1993-10-12 Vemco Corporation Artificial window

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2585687A (en) * 1949-05-05 1952-02-12 Sanderson Leonard Watson Intermittent mechanism
US3864861A (en) * 1973-09-21 1975-02-11 Jr Richard H Hill Illuminated display device
US5020252A (en) * 1985-05-31 1991-06-04 Boef J A G De Illuminated sign system
US5251392A (en) * 1991-02-08 1993-10-12 Vemco Corporation Artificial window

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8016260B2 (en) 2007-07-19 2011-09-13 Formulatrix, Inc. Metering assembly and method of dispensing fluid
US8100293B2 (en) 2009-01-23 2012-01-24 Formulatrix, Inc. Microfluidic dispensing assembly
US8550298B2 (en) 2009-01-23 2013-10-08 Formulatrix, Inc. Microfluidic dispensing assembly

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