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Aug; & 1946. J. STURGE'SS ET AL - ' 2,405,377 CABLE TENSION REGULATOR Filed Aug. 2, 1945 4 Sheets-Shee£ 1 M INVENTORS o _ 7 d0 HN 8 TUE 6585 . A E ilk/S T'IAN W. 8.4 VI 7‘Z ‘JOHN .4 Tree/v5)? Aug. 6, 1946. .LsTuRsEss ETAL CABLE TENSION REGULATOR ‘ Filed Aug.. 2, 1943 4 Sheets—Sheet I r\x E?"a U .. IA ~~s.5?i JHMuQ.MmWIA z ,. 1 T,I~. \, Wmuw. wn 4%, 02Q w we“ A mm. W 4>, #. 5 Y. H‘ . Aug, 6, 1946. J. STURGESS ET AL 4 2,405,377 CABLE. TENS ION REGULATOR Filed Aug. 2, v19,43 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 . JOHN JOHN INVENTORS STURGESS m 0405 EXI/EISTIAN w. \ AVITZ ATTORNEY " Patented Aug. 6, i946 2,405,377 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,405,377 CABLE TENSION REGULATOR John Sturgess and John W. Cade, LaCanada, and Christian W. Savitz, Norwalk, Calif., assignor's to Sturgess, Inc, Glendale, Calif., a corpora tion of California Application August 2, 1943, Serial No. 497,028 16 Claims. 1 . I This invention relates to devices for automati cally regulating or maintaining the desired ten sion in a work cable, rope, or wire, or a pair of such cables or wires which are required to be free from slack at all times or kept under a minimum operating tension, yet subject to greatly increased tension when the work load is applied, as in the operation of remote controls, signal, arms, etc. (01. 74-501) ' The principal object of the present invention is to provide an improved cable tension control ling device particularly adapt-ed for use with the rudder, elevators, ailerons, and other movable 2 intervals to a greatly increased tension when a working pull is applied to it to accomplish the work to be done, and after the working pull is removed the cable is slacked off below its prede , termined tension. The function of the regulator is to take up» (through its spring) any slack in the cable to maintain the cable taut at the said predetermined tension when not being subject to the extra work ing pull, and to lock out the spring during such time as the working pull is applied, so that the working pull will be transmitted direct without passing through the spring. parts of aircraft which are situated a consider The looking out of the spring during the Work able distance from the point where the control 15 ing pull is accomplished ‘through bodily move ling force is applied to the cables. ment of the regulator with respect to an adjacent A feature of importance is that the improved relatively ?xed tripping device past which the construction adapts the tension regulator to be regulator moves, and the unlocking of the spring used in any type of cable control system, and similarly taking eifect upon reverse bodily move for any kind of movable control surface or device. 20 ment of the regulator relative to‘ the tripping Particular advantages and features of the im device. proved construction Will appear in the following In its preferred form the regulator comprises description and accompanying drawings. a hydraulic cylinder with a slidable piston inside ‘ In the drawings-— , having a piston rod extended from one end of Fig. 1 is a side elevation of our improved cable the cylinder, and with a spring tending to force tension regulator as applied to the ends of a the piston toward the opposite end of the cyl work cable at an intermediate point in the run inder. _ of the cable. The rope or cable to be tensioned is cut and Fig. 2 is an end elevation of the device of 30 the regulator interposed between the ends by Fig. 1. securing them respectively to the cylinder‘ and to Fig. 3 is a View similar to that of Fig. 1 but the piston rod with the spring tensioned to yield showing the device in longitudinal cross section. the minimum cable tension desired to be main Fig. 4 is a sectional detail of the by-pass valve tained. The cylinder is ?lled with a hydraulic liquid, preferably oil, and a valved by-pass pas of the device. 35 sage extending from opposite ends of the cylin- . Fig. 5 is a sectional view similar to that of Fig. der around the piston, provides when its valve is 3 but showing a modi?cation of the construction. closed for stopping the piston from movement Fig. 6 is a bottom plan view of the track and cam of Fig. 5. within the cylinder under a working pull, thus Fig. 7 is a side elevation of a modifiedform of 4-0 effectively looking out the spring and transmit cam. Fig. 8 is a perspective sketch showing a typical aircraft rudder control system with our tension regulator applied at an intermediate point in the run of one of the control cables. - Fig. 9 is a perspective sketch of an aircraft rudder control showing one‘way of using our tension regulator in the so-called dead end cable‘ system. Before describing the drawings in detail it may be stated that broadly the regulator com prises a spring compensator adapted to be in ting the pull direct, whereas upon opening the by-pass valve the liquid is free to surge back and forth from either end’ of the cylinder so that the spring tension is always maintained on the 45 rope when not subjected to a working pull. The by-pass valve is arranged to be normally closed except when tripped to open position by a cam. device or its equivalent which is relatively ?xed with respect to the bodily movement of the regu 50 "lator with the movement of the cable in which it is interposed. In ordinary aircraft controls having two cables terposed as a link in an operating cable desired to be maintained. taut at allitimes'with a prede either side from a central position there may be termined tension, but which cable is subject at one of the regulators for each cable, and the valve for forcibly pulling the rudder, elevator, etc., to 2,405,377 4 3 trip set to open the by-pass only along the cen tral position of the rudder or other control sur face, while for signal or other purposes where a pivoted device is moved the entire distance either way respectively, each time either cable is pulled, the valve trip is set to open the by pass only at the» ?nal end of the movement of the non-pulling ca‘ble. Various novel and important features are in corporated in the above general structure as will appear later. ‘ ' ' force to open or stretch it to hold the piston in about the center of the cylinder with a tension of about sixty pounds on the cable (depending on the size and service to which it is put). The spring is mounted at opposite ends upon two flanged disks, 3i and 32 spirally grooved or “threaded” as indicated at 33 to tightly receive the ends of the closed coil of wire which is forcibly , screwed upon it and preferably welded at the end ‘of the wire to prevent unscrewing. Disk 3| is provided with a central hub to slidably fit over the outer end of the piston rod and also over the With respect to the design shown in. Figs. 1 to 3, the cylinder is designated I, the piston body 2, projecting ends ‘of key 25. Disk 32 is revolvably tion as an oil displacement and make-up reser ring 49 in a Wide recess 59 below the cap insures carried over the end of the cylinder i ‘as by a piston rod secured thereto 3, closed head of the cylinder 4, ends of cable between which the 15 cup-shaped metal stamping 34 which is secured to the end of the cylinder as by cap screws 35 regulator is interposed are designated 5 and 5’ which also hold a cup-leather packing 36 for the respectively secured to the closed end of the cyl piston rod in place and also hold an inner tubular inder and the outer end of the piston rod. collar 3? in position within the cylinder to pro In use the regulator isrollably suspended on a fixed track 6 by means of grooved idlers 1 car 20 vide a limit stop for the piston movement and protection for the cup-leather. ried by'a bracket 8 in turn secured to the cylin The cylinder is ?lled on both sides of the piston der, or rather to end bolting flange 9 of the cyl with a suitable hydraulic liquid able to stand low inder to which the closing head 4 is secured as by temperatures without freezing, as is also the dis bolts l0. Bolts It! also secure the arms of a, spider H to 25 placement space within the hollow piston rod un til its spring 28 is compressed about half way, the head 4 and ?ange 9 of the cylinder, and which the by-pass passage 38—38' is here indicated as spider revolvably supports a cable connecting extended in tubes 39, 39’ through a shut-off or draft rod IE-provided with a flattened apertured by-pass valve 40, and which passage opens at its head I 3. The rest of the rod is round and formed with a portion of reduced diameter embraced 30' ends to opposite ends of the cylinder. The by-pass valve t!) is shown in section in within the two halves of a split bushing collar Fig. 4 and wherein the by-pass passages con it which rotatably fits within a, central hole in nect respectively to the lower and upper portions the spider, and which split bushing is held in of a vertically disposed plunger valve chamber 42 place bya solid locking ring 11 engaging over the neck of the split bushing and urged against the 35' in which is slidably positioned a plunger valve 43 normally forced outward by a'spring 44 to close spider by a, small compression spring l8 reacting off passage 38' as shown, but which when de at its outer end against a shoulder 19 formed on pressed open "both passages 38 and 38' through rod 12. . This construction makes it easyto dis the bore 45 and side ports E6 of the plunger. A connect the draft rod l5 and its cable' 5 from the cylinder by backing off the locking ring ll 40 cap 47 at the upper end of the valve body I30 ?ts over the reduced upper end $3 or stem of the against spring 18 and slipping out the halves of valve which projects for operating the valve, the split bushing 16. while suitable packing, such as a rolling Thiokol The piston rod 3 is here shown hollow to func voir, and it is formed with a head 20 at its inner end against which the piston body 2 of the piston bears and is clamped thereagainst by a nut 2i screwed on the rod against a washer 22 and also clamping a conventional cup-leather packing 23 in place. . > ’ Hollow piston rod 3 is closed at its outer end by a draft‘ rod 24 which is keyed through the tube by a key 25, and the outer end of the rod is' flattened as at 26 and apertured to'receive the cable 5' ‘like the end l3 of the opposite draft rod described Within the hollow piston rod is a small ?oating suitably packed thimble-like piston 21 normally urged toward the cylinder l by a against liquid leakage around the stem.’ The track 6 upon which the regulator rolls is of a length great enough to support the regu lator for the full distance the cable must move, as well as to allow for some longitudinal adjust ment if required. The track is preferably of T form in cross section as shown in Fig. 2 and with the cross bar of the T extending vertically with the grooved rollers l engaging it from above and below so that the regulator cannot become de tached. Attached to the horizontally extending central leg 6’ of the track is a valve tripping cam 51 bolted or otherwise secured thereto in a position to depress or trip the stem 48 of by-pass valve at its outer end against the inner end of draft 60 46 as the regulator is moved longitudinally along the track and hold the by-pass passage open as rod 24. A small vent 29 in hollow rod 3 provides long as the regulator is in valve tripping position. for air circulation at the outer side of piston 21, The exact position of tripping the valve may while at the inner end is a small disk screen I30 be determined by longitudinal adjustment of crimped in place. While a coiled compression spring may be used 65 the track at its end supports 53 to which it may be adjustably secured as by bolts 54 passing within the cylinder to urge the piston one way through slots 55 formed adjacent the ends of for tensioning the cable, and as shown in the de the track after cutting away some of the central sign of Fig. 5 to be later described, in Figs. 1 to' 3 ‘ leg 6' of the track as indicated in Fig. 1 or in any a relatively large diameter coiled tension spring 30 is used at the outer end of the cylinder as 70' other suitable manner. In some installations the regulators are in such a spring has advantages not found in a stalled on a pair of cables as used for aircraft compression spring, particularly‘ in operating controls in a position to trip or open the by-pass over a greater range and not requiring support valves when the control surfaces are in neutral against inward collapse; This spring is initally very tightly wound so as to require considerable 75 or central position, whereas for the other kinds of light wire compression spring 28'which is seated 5 2,40,51,37? service, it, may be desirableto hold the valves. open. on the. slack cable. at theextremev endsof been included to indicate two modes of installing the regulator in the rudder control system of an the non-pulling movementor “stroke,” while airplane. instill others the. valve may be kept open. for In the ?guresa rudder is. indicated at 15,-.tho. half; of the stroke. Such variations of setting. 5 this is for illustrationonly as. the pivoted. control my. be secured. through. the original setting or surface or other device to be operated may be installing, or to a limited exentby shifting the anything which it is desired to swing by cable, tracks longitudinally and/or the position or. the rope, or Wire pull from a remote point, such as tripping cam Si, or by the. use of special cams from the pilots position on the plane. At 16 and 512.. 6.7- shqwn. atFies-?. and 7. to. bedescribed. ‘I1; respectively is the pedal operated control. Alecia some. service requirements. a one way light spring. loaded check. valve may he placed inithghead of. the. piston as. shown at 56 in. Fig. 3 (and Fig. 5)v wherein the passage is normally, closed, This insures the freedom\ of the spring to exert itsnliniitof pull; atv alltimeson the. cable evlengthe the wqrkinepull should iallbelow it at times when‘ the by-pas's valve is closed. Inv thesmodi?ed form. Qfthe regulator. shown. shafts geared or linked together as at ‘I8 for reverse rotation and provided with two pairs of: pedals 19 with the control cables 5, 5" either connected at their forward ends directly to» 15 cranks 80 and at their rearward ends to the; rocker arm 8| secured to the rudder shaft 82,. and the cables suitably guided by idler pulleys 83 as may be required, all as shown in Fig.8 and‘ which is a conventional system, or as shown in; in Fig. 5' theparts which operate the same as 20 Fig. 9 the cables 5, 5" from the rudder may pass those in. the. preceding figures have been given, over pulleys 84 carried on a crank arm 85 on one the same numerals so as to, avoid the necessity of the control shafts and then extend to a ?xed of. 'redescr-ibing them. The same features differ ing. slightly from the preceding are in the use anchor plate 86. or a cast cylinder body I Witha cast head 4 with the cable. connection I3 cast integrally with it. Also. cast. channel 39 for the by-pass passage 38 and the use of two brackets 8 for two grooved rollers ‘I. each, embracing the track 6. In this ?gure the spring 30’ is an open coil compression spring instead of a tension‘ spring and is placed within the cylinder I which is made longer. for this, purpose, whilea tubular stop 60' surrounds the piston'rod' to limit the piston travel in compressing the spring. Thejrod. packing. box is indicated at 36’, and the oil displacement and make-up» chamber in stead‘ of being within a hollow, piston rod, is‘ vertically positioned at 6_l at one» end vof the Similarly at the rudder the cables pass over pulleys 81, and returntoa ?xed anchor plate 88 secured to a convenient part of; the plane fuselage. Besides, any number of guide pulleys or idlers 83 used to lead the cables around obstacles to their desired destinations. This latter arrangement is known as the “dead 30 end control system.” ' ' In the conventional systemas, shown in Fig‘. 8 our regulator I is shown interposed in one cable only, and rollably supported onits track 6; as ex— plained previously in detail, tho as stated, prefer 35 ably there is one in each of the cables. Since any bodily movement. of the regulator from cen-. tral position of’ the rudder, trips the by-pass valve. it is desirable that the body of the regulator. or cylinder I should, only move as the control: regulator andprovided with a screw ?lling cap 62‘. 40 pedals are moved and not from relative elonga In this. showing a. ball. type by-pass valve 43' tion or contraction of the cables with respect to: isused, and the body 40 is cast integral, and the; the airplane structure lying between the pilot stem d8is. tripped by the track cam. as before, and the rudder, it is therefore preferable that but. the cam 52 is shown as formed by bending the regulator be mounted as near the pilot end. a ?at strip- of metal 63in turn bolted as at 64 45 of the system as practicable and. that the short tothe- track through slots 65 cut in the track piece of cable fromv the control crank be. secured. forv longitudinal adjustment (see Fig. 6)., to the cylinder portion of the regulator. Also suit InFig. 7 is shownin- side elevation a form of. able turnbuckles are provided in the cables as at. elongated cam 66 to holdtheby-pass valve open 89 to provide for proper setting of. the regulator during any desired part of. the travel of theregu 50 piston at mean temperature. lator, and close it when the valve stem passes In the “dead end” type of installation, Since the the slanted end 61. cylinder I is anchored and cannot move back and As the position of the piston of this form forth to trip the by-pass valve, the track with its should be. about. one third from the closed end tripping cam is moved instead. This is accom of. the cylinder’ when the pull on the cables is plished by pivotally connecting one end of a short under spring control only (with by-pass open) 55 piece of track 6v or otherrod to the operating and at. mean temperature of the locality in which crank 85 of the control shaft as at 9!) and extend ing the free end of vthe track over the cylinder I embraced by its grooved rollers ‘I and with the This: gage may take the form of a rod 68 pro tripping cam 5| carried by the track, all so that 60 J'ectingfrom the body of the cylinder parallel to as the cable is moved back and forth from central the piston rod and adjacent which rod a thin rudder position in operating the control shaft it disk. 69. secured to the piston‘rod travels. The will trip the by-pass valve as previously described. rod 68 being. marked at 10 for the proper posie From the above description of the operation of tion for the piston, and also colored or marked at ‘Hand projecting to 12, to show opposite ex 651 our cable tension regulatinggapparatus it is evi dent that while we show it interposed in the the installation is. being used, a suitable gage is provided to' facilitate accomplishing this. tremes ofv travel. From the above descriptionand explanation cables of a manually controlled system, it will operatejust as well in any automatic control sys tem in maintaining, a predetermined minimum of. the functioning of the various parts, the op» eration-of the tension regulator should be clear, 70 tension on the control cables. howevenas there are various. ways of installing the regulator, depending on the service to which the. cable or. cables are put, aswell as the par ticlllar, arrangementv and relation of the operat Having thus described‘ our invention and its mode of operation, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes in detail of construction maybe madev within the spirit of. ing to-the. operated Ilarts, Figs. Sand: .(Lhaye 75 the ,inventionassoughtto be coveredin our. ap.-. 2,405,377. 8 pended claimsand our use of the words “cable” said regulator and a relatively ?xed track ‘along or “cables” herein is intended to cover the equiv alent for some installations where ropes, wires, chains, or ‘rods, under tension, : are commonly ,which said regulator moves as the>control cable is operated, and tripping means carried ‘by'said track arranged to operate said locking means as the regulator moves relatively therealong, said» employed to operate from-a distance a pivotally movable member backand forth. Weclaim: . - ' 5 a T tripping means being set tounlock said spring - - l. Ina control cable tension regulatorof the meansat a minor portion of the travel of said regulator along said track and to lock it at the major portion of its travel. I type adapted to be interposed in a run of control 6. Ina control cable tension regulator of the cable with the ends of the cable secured thereto so 10 type adapted to be interposed in a run of con as to form a link in said run and said regulator trol cable with the ends of the cable secured including! tensioning means for maintaining a thereto so as to form a link insaid run movable tension on said cable: the. improvement which longitudinally back and forth therewith as the comprises locking means for looking out said ten sio'ning means whereby the cable pull‘ is rendered 15 cable is moved longitudinally and said regulator including spring-means for maintaining a ten direct through said regulator and means extra sion on said cable; the improvement which com neous to and movable with respect to said regu prises locking means for locking out said'spring lator adapted to lock and unlock said locking means whereby the cable pull is rendered direct means as the regulator moves bodily with the 20 through said regulator and a relatively ?xed track control cable. ' ' ‘I a - a 2. In a control cable tension regulator of the ‘along which said regulator moves as the control cable is operated, and=tripping means carried by~ said track arranged to operate said locking means as the regulator moves relatively therealong, said so as to form a link in said run and said regu lator including tensioning meansvfor maintaining 25 tripping means being set to unlock said‘ spring-' means at the central portion of the travel of said a tension on said cable: the improvement which cable and to lock it out for the remainder of its‘ compriseslocking means for looking out said ten travel. , sioning means whereby the cable pull-is rendered 7. In a control cable tension regulator asset direct through said regulator, an elongated member along which said regulator moves rela 30 out in claim 4, means for adjustably securing said tripping means relative to said regulator and tively as the control cable is operated, and means along the path of travel thereof. carried by said member for operating said look type adapted to be interposed in a run of control cable with the ends of the cable secured thereto 8. In a control cable tension regulator as set ing means as the regulator moves relatively. out in claim 4, said track being T shaped in cross 3. In a control cable. tension regulator of the type adapted to be interposed in a run of control 35 section with the leg of the T carrying said trip cable with the ends of the cable secured thereto ping means, and rollers engaging the edges of so as to form a link in said run and said regu the cross arm of the T rollably supporting the lator including tensioning means for maintaining regulator thereon. a tension on said cable: the improvement which ‘ ‘ 9. In a control cable tension regulator of the comprises locking means for looking out said ten 40 character described having a hydraulic cylinderv with a piston slidable therein and piston rod ex sioning means whereby the cable pull is rendered tending therefrom and means for securing the direct through said regulator, including a mem ends of a-cable respectively to the outer end of ber along which said regulator moves relatively said piston rod and to the remote end of said‘ as the control cable is operated, and means car ried by said member for operating said‘ locking 45 cylinder and spring-means urging said piston to ward one end of the cylinder and a liquid by,»v means as the regulator moves relatively, a mov pass passage extending from the cylinder spaces able control element for pulling said cable, said at opposite sides of the piston: the improvement member linked for movement by said control ele which comprises a valve on said passage, and a ment to move said member relative to said regu 50 relatively ?xed valve tripping device arranged lator as the cable is pulled. adjacent said cylinder adapted'to trip said valve 4. In a control cable tension regulator of the as the cylinder is moved longitudinally upon op type adapted to be interposed in a run of control erating the control cable. ‘ ' cable with the ends of the cable secured thereto 10. In a control cable tension regulator of the so as to form a link in said run movable longi tudinally back and forth therewith as the cable 55 character described having a hydraulic cylinder‘ with a piston slidable therein and piston rod is moved longitudinally and said regulator includ extending therefrom and means for securing the ing spring-means for maintaining a tension on ends of a cable respectively to the outer end of said cable; the improvement which comprises saidpistonrod and to the remote end of said locking means for locking out said spring-means whereby the cable pull is rendered direct through 60 cylinder and spring-means urging said piston to ward one end of the cylinder and a liquid by-pass said regulator and a relatively ?xed track along passage extending from the cylinder spaces at which said regulator moves as the control cable opposite sides of the piston: the improvement is operated, and tripping means carried by said which comprises a valve on said passage, and a track arranged to operate said locking means as 65 relatively ?xed'valve tripping device arranged the regulator moves relativelytherealong. adjacent said cylinder adapted to trip said valve 5. In a control cable tension regulator of the as the cylinder is moved longitudinally upon type adapted to be interposed in a run of control operating the control cable, a track supporting cable with the ends of the cable secured thereto so said cylinder for relative movement therealong,‘ as to form a link in said run movable longi~ tudinally back and forth therewith as the cable 70 and said tripping device carried by said track. 11. In a control cable tension regulator of the is moved longitudinally and said regulator in character described having a hydraulic cylinder cluding spring-means for maintaining a tension with a piston slidable therein andpiston rod-ex on said cable; the improvement Whichcomprises tending therefrom and means for securing the locking means for looking out said spring-means whereby the cable pull is rendered direct through 7.5: ends‘of a cable respectively to the outer end of > 2,405,377 10 said piston rod and to the remote end of said reservoir extending upwardly from the rear end of said cylinder serving also as an air trap, cylinder and spring-means urging said piston to ward one end of the cylinder and a liquid by pass passage extending from the cylinder spaces 14. In a control cable tension regulator of the type adapted to be interposed in a run of control cable with the ends of :the cable secured thereto at opposite sides of the piston: the improvement which comprises a valve on said passage, said pis ton rod being hollow with its inner end open to the cylinder space at one side of the piston only, so as to form a link in said run to move longi tudinally back and forth with the cable as the cable is moved longitudinally and said regulator including spring-means for maintaining a ten and a piston slidably positioned within the bore of the hollow piston rod urged inwardly by a light 10 sion on said cable: the improvement which com spring to afford a liquid displacement and loss prises locking means for locking out said spring make-up chamber. means whereby the cable pull is rendered direct 12. In a control cable tension regulator of the through said regulator and means for operating character described having a hydraulic cylinder said locking means from a point extraneous to with a piston slidable therein and piston rod ex I’ said regulator as the regulator moves longitudi tending therefrom and means for securing the ends of a cable respectively to the outer end of said piston rod and to the remote end of said cylinder and spring-means urging said piston to ward one end of the cylinder and a liquid by-pass passage extending from the cylinder spaces at op posite sides of the piston: the improvement which comprises a valve on said passage, and a check valved passage extending directly through the piston to permit ?ow of liquid in opposite direc tion to movement of the piston by said spring nally with the cable. 15. In a structure as set out in claim 9, said valve comprising a piston-type plunger slidably arranged to shut o? or open the by-pass passage and normally held in close position by a spring and with the end of the plunger extending for operation by said tripping device. 16. In a structure as set out in claim 9, gage means carried by said piston rod, and cooperat ing gage means carried by said cylinder denot ing the position of said piston in said cylinder. means. 13. In a structure as set out in claim 9, means supporting said cylinder substantially horizon tally, and a liquid displacement and make-up 30 JOHN STURGESS. JOHN W. CADE. CHRISTIAN W. SAVITZ.