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Патент USA US3037129

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May 29, 1962
Filed NOV. 2, 1959
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
May 29, 1962
Filed Nov. 2, 1959
' 3,037,119‘
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
United States Patent 0
Patented May 29, 1962
making an external connection to the X-ray source
mounted below on the telescoping column. Means are
Arthur J. Kizaur and Edward A. Labus, Brook?eld, Wis.,
assignors to General Electric Company, a corporation
of New York
Filed Nov. 2, 1959, Ser. No. 850,369
10 Claims. (Cl. 250-91)
This invention relates to X-ray equipment and more
particularly to apparatus for positioning an X-ray source
also provided for handling the electric cable and main
taining constant tension therein for various positions of
the tube carriage.
A more detailed description of what is considered a
preferred embodiment of the invention will now be set
forth in reference to the following drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective plan view, with parts broken
away, of an X-ray tube positioner embodying the inven
or tube at any selected horizontal or vertical location
with respect to a work station.
When X-ray tube positioners are used to cover a large
area in order to perform radiography several conditions
must be met before the installation can be considered
away, showing details of the curtain operating mecha
fully satisfactory. First, the high voltage cables supply
nism; and,
FIG. 2 is a schematic representation of various parts
of the positioner embodying the invention;
FIG. 3 is a top view of ‘the beam, with parts broken
ing the-source must be supported so that they do not inter
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view showing the relation
ship between the electric cable and the curtain mechanism.
must be supported without oatenary droop and in a state
In FIG. 1 of the drawing, there is shown a universally
of tensile equilibrium so as to impose no force or re. 20 positionable X-ray source 10 carried on the lower end
sistance on the source which would tend to change its
of a vertical telescopic column 11 which is adapted for
position or impede its free movement. Thirdly, it is de
movement lengthwise of a hollow beam member, gen
sirable that the cables be supported so that moving them
erally designated by the reference numeral 12.. Beam
by changing the position of the source requires small but
member 12 is provided with end rollers 13‘ engaged with
wall mounted stationary rails 14 that enable movement
equal effort for any direction of motion. Fourth, it is
of the beam lengthwise of an operating or X-ray diag
prefer-able for practical and esthetic reasons that the cables
nostic room.
and all mechanism for controlling the positioner be con
The beam or bridge member 12 comprises a pair of side
cealed from the view of the patient and operating per
members in the form of channels 15‘ arranged in parallel
Accordingly, it is a general object of this invention to 30 ism and opposed relation with respect to each other.
The two channels are tied together at opposite ends by
provide an X-ray source positioner with improved means
a suitable end plate member 16 in order to impart rigid
for handling the various electric high voltage and control
ity to the structure and to provide means for journaling
cables associated with operation of the source.
the rollers 13‘. On the respective vertical walls inside of
Another object is to provide means for changing the
side members 15 are provided nails 17 and on the top
disposition of the cable in order to compensate its length
of one side member 15 is provided a rail 17’ in the form
for various positions of the X-ray source and to bring
of rectangular sectioned bars on which a tube carriage
about this result with the imposition of only a minimum
plate 18 is adapted to roll and be guided while traversing
frictional restraint to the end that the positioner may be
the length of the beam member .12.. For this purpose
manipulated in any direction with equal and small phys
fere with the operating personnel. Secondly, the cables
ical or mechanical elfort.
40 carriage plate 18 is provided with horizontal axis guide
rollers 19 and vertical axis rollers 20 that cooperate with
A further object is to arrange the cables so they are not
subjected to small radius bends or abrading frictional
contact that might bring about premature electrical or
mechanical failure.
Yet another object is to provide means which, to the
greatest extent conceals the cables and other positioning
mechanism from view, this means comprising a ?exible
but laterally self supporting curtain whose operating
rails 17 and 17' respectively to maintain plate 18 in ver
tical and transverse alignment with respect to the beam
12. Carriage plate 18 has all‘ixed directly to its under
side and by any suitable bracket means a vertically ex
tending, square cross-section non-telescoping hollow
column 2.1. Additional column sections 22, 22' may be
mechanism is also designed for minimum restraint on the
arranged to telescope within section 21 and within each ‘
other in order to provide for vertical movement of X
source positioner and which requires substantially equal
ray source 10'.
forces for any direction of movement.
Other more speci?c objects will appear from time to
The various sections 22 of the telescopic X-ray source
f0 support are maintained in selected vertical location by
means of a balancing system which is illustrated to the
time throughout the course of the speci?cation.
X-ray apparatus embodying the invention may be
generally characterized as comprising a. hollow open
bottom beam extending laterally from and mounted for
extent that its coaction with one vertically movable sec
tion 22 is shown, see FIGS. 1 and 2. The counterbalanc
ing system is seen to comprise a pulley 23 journaled on
the inside of telescoping section 22. A wire rope 24
rolling movement on a stationary track disposed longi
is looped over a pulley 23 and each leg of the rope ex
tudinally of a room. An X-ray source carriage is in
tends vertically upwardly through an aperture 25 in car~
turn mounted on rails carried interiorly of the beam
and the carriage includes a multiple section telescopic 60 riage plate 18 and over a pair of pulleys 26, 26' that are
suitably journaled on plate 18‘ by any conventional bear
column supporting an X-r-ay tube casing at its lower end.
ing support, not shown. In FIGS. 1 and 2 it will be
The column extends through the open bottom of the
seen that one side of the wire rope 2'4 runs to the right
beam and is adapted to be moved bodily along the beam.
over 26 and over another ?xed pulley 27 whereupon the
A novel curtain mechanism is provided for closing the
opening in the beam regardless of the X-ray source’s
lateral position.
Electric cables, emanating from X-ray tube control ap
paratus and from a high voltage supply, enter the beam
Wire rope returns to the remotely opposite foreground
end of the beam 12 where it passes over another pulley 28
carried on end plate 16 and then it emerges and terminates
in a wall anchored attachment 29. The other end of
at one end and run along its interior in a lengthwise di
the cable 24 running over pulley 26’ extends immediate
rection whereupon they are reentrantly bent to follow 70 ly to theleft in FIG. 1 after it leaves vertical column 21
and runs over another stationary pulley 28/ whereupon
the opposite side of the beam. Then they emerge down
wardly through an opening between the curtain reels for
it emerges and extends to the right where it rides on a
pulley 30. The wire rope extends vertically after passing
over pulley 36 to a point where it has attached a pulley
supported counterweight 31, see FIG. 2.
The purpose of this arrangement is to permit carriage
plate 18 to traverse along beam 12‘ without a?ecting or
changing the vertical elevation of the X-ray source 10.
In order words, when the tube source is shifted from left
to right in FIG. 1, for example, wire rope 24 merely feeds
15. Another set of rollers 47 mounted for rotation on
the bottom of take-up carriage 44, see FIG. 3, engage
with a track 48 of right angular cross section that is
a?ixed to the inside of channel 15 bottom 42 in order
to guide the take-up carriage 44 in the beam member 12
against lateral shifting.
To assure that frictional drag of electric cable 35 is
minimized vand equalized so as to impart no force to the
source carriage and in order to assist flexing of the cable
over pulleys 26', 23 and 26, increasing the length of rope
24 between pulleys 28' and 26’ and decreasing rope length 10 35 and prevent it from fouling, a mechanical advantage
between pulleys 26 and 27. Such movement of the X
ray source 10 in a horizontal plane does not affect the
elevation of counterweight 31.
system is used to move the take-up carriage 44.
system comprises a wire rope 51 that is ?xed at one end
to the beam member through the agency of a rope ten
sioning coil spring 52. Wire rope 51 then extends over
a pulley 53 which is rotatably mounted on the bottom of
take-up carriage 44. The wire rope 51 extends further
to a ?xed pulley 54 at the far right end of beam member
12 in FIG. 1 whereupon it loops back to the far left end
and over another pulley 55. It then terminates in a con
carriage at the desired vertical elevation. When a section
22 is moved downwardly the converse occurs.
20 nection 56 with X-ray source support carriage 18. It will
be evident that when source carriage 18 is shifted to the
Each telescoping section 22, two of which are shown,
right in FIG. 1, for example, a tensile force will be
has its own pulley, rope and counterweight system. The
exerted on wire rope 51 that will be transmitted there
number of systems needed corresponds with the number
through to exert a corresponding force on take-up car
of telescoping sections employed. In a commercial em
riage 44 which will be translated toward the right half
bodiment, there are actually two such wire rope systems
the distance through which the source carriage 18 is
using a common counterweight for each telescoping sec
moved, thereby bringing ‘about a mechanical advantage
tion 22 each of which has a wire rope like 24 capable of
while at the same time maintaining both legs of cable
sustaining the full load by itself. The second wire rope
35 in a straight equal tension condition. A converse
system acts as a safety support in the even one of the wire
30 action takes place when carriage 18 is shifted to the left
ropes fails.
in which case tensile force is imparted to the cable 51
Attention is now invited to the novel means provided
On the other hand, when one of the movable sections
22 is telescoped upwardly in ?xed support section 21,
the counterweight 31 assists by moving downwardly so
that only the small frictional forces in the system need
be overcome by the operator who is positioning the tube
for handling the electric cables 35, that supply X-ray
source 10, and that are concealed within beam member
through the translation of pulley 53 that is mounted
on take-up carriage 44. In either case, take-up carriage
44 translates half the distance of tube carriage 18 so
cables 35 and at least one control cable, not shown, which 35 that movement of the latter is accounted for by division
between each leg of cable 35.
emanate from the beam member 12 and terminate in the
An ‘advantage of this system is its low frictional forces
vicinity of X-ray source 10 exteriorly of the beam mem
and lack of drag on the cable 35 as a result of it being
ber. In this illustration of the invention only one cable
merely laid out where it ‘is supported on the bottom 42
35 is shown in order to avoid confusion in the drawing.
Those versed in the art will be able to carry out the ex 40 of channel members 15. Flexing parts of the cable are
never bent sharply. Cables 35 are largely suspended in
ample to handle any desired number of cables.
space so that they make little frictional contact. The
Cable 35 may originate at a high voltage power source
principal but insigni?cant energy requirement is the small
36, see FIG. 2, and run horizontally over a large drum
12. Usually there are two high voltage supply electric
wheel 37, which may be of plastic, and is journaled for
rotation on carriage plat 39. Rollers 38 on the carriage
plate 39 are adapted to bear on a track 40 supported
parallel to the stationary longitudinal track 14 that sup
amount necessary to overcome friction inherent in the
ball bearings supporting pulleys 45 on the take-up car
riage 44 and the small ?exing force involved in reforming
the re-entrant loop 35' when carriage 18 is moved.
Means are also provided, see FIGS. 1 and 2, for main
taining electric cable 35 unfouled and in a condition of
Cable 35, see FIG. 1, after looping over wheel 37, extends
constant tension exterior of beam assembly 12 between
through a suitable aperture 41 and into the interior of
beam 12. It is desirable to clamp cable 35 immediately 50 exit aperture 41, where the cable emerges from the end
of beam member 12, and an X-ray source Power supply
on the inside of aperture 41. One leg of cable 35 then
36. As outlined earlier, cable 35 extends over a large
extends along the bottom 42 of channel side member 15
plastic wheel 37 that is journaled for rotation on a plate
whereupon it makes a re-entrant loop 35' and returns on
39 which is in turn mounted on rollers 38, bearing on
the opposite side of the beam assembly 12 in a parallel
passageway constituting the bottom 42 of other channel 55 part of a stationary track 40. A wire rope 59 for posi
tioning wheel 37 so that it translates half the distance
member 15. It then emerges vertically from beam 12
through which beam member 12 is moved longitudinally
through a suitable opening on the side of ?xed column
of the room connects ?xedly to the beam member at an
member 21 whereupon cable 35 extends through space
chor point 60 and extends over a pulley 61 that may be
next to column sections 21, 22, with some slack, to the
60 journaled for rotation on a pivot that is ?xed to any suit
X-ray source 10.
able support such as at the far right end of track 40, for
The re-entrant bend portion 35' of the cable 35 is
example. The wire rope 59 after looping around the pul
formed over a take-up carriage plate 44 which has sev
ports transversely extending movable beam assembly 12.
eral stacks of grooved pulleys 45 that impart the desired
ley 61 extends to another similarly mounted pulley 62
whereupon it loops back and runs over a carriage plate
are used and three or more pulleys 45 may be stacked over 65 mounted pulley 63 whence it terminates in an anchor
connection 64. Thus, wheel 37 is translated, through the
each other and arranged for rotation on a common spindle.
wire rope and pulley system, half the distance through
Then all cables vare parallel to each in different horizontal
which the beam member 12 moves along track 14 and
cable 35 is taut at all times.
Take-up carriage 44 is adapted to move along beam
12 one-half the distance that tube carriage plate 18 70 Although it forms no part of the instant invention,
means are provided for stabilizing beam member 12 in
traverses along the beam when the X-ray source 10 is
order that both ends remain at perfect right angles with
manipulated into a different horizontal position by the
respect to longitudinal track 14 when the beam is moved
operator. For this purpose, cable take-up carriage 44 is
therealong. By referring to FIG. 2, one may see that
provided on its sides with rollers 46 that bear in rolling
engagement on the bottom 42 of channel side member 75 there is provided a wire rope 66 that terminates at anchor
curvature of the cable.
Usually a plurality of cables
connections 67 and 68 near opposite ends of the room.
Supported on the beam member are a pair of pulleys 69
over which are run the wire ropes originating from oppo
adapted for being moved without interfering with other
moving parts of the apparatus. Further, a curtain is pro~
vided for impressing the apparatus with a heretofore in
experienced esthetic quality resulting from obscuring mov
ing mechanical parts of the apparatus from view. The
curtain and its operating mechanism feature requiring
balanced forces for operation in either direction and the
site directions and which extend along the full length of
beam member 12 whereupon they pass over pulleys 70,
71 and 72 in a criss-cross manner and thereupon extend
to opposite points Where they terminate at 67' and 68'.
By this arrangement, any force that would tend to skew
the beam member with respect to stationary track 14 is
absence of any stored energy device or dragging of the
curtain to the end that wear and operating forces are
corrected by a converse tensile force set up in the criss~ 10 minimized.
cross cable.
It is highly desirable that the mechanism and electric
Although what is contemplated as a preferred way of
practicing the invention has been described, those versed
in the art will now perceive from this example modi?ca
tions and alternatives demonstrating that the invention
ray apparatus without introducing mechanical complica 15 may be variously embodied. The inventive concepts in‘
tions or increasing the manual effort required for position~
volved, however, are to be determined by the scope and
ing the X-ray source over a work station. In accordance
construction of the claims which follow.
cables interior of box-like beam assembly 12 be con
cealed in order to enhance the esthetic quality of the X
It is claimed:
with the present invention the interior of hollow beam
1. X-ray source positioning apparatus comprising lon
assembly ‘12 is obscured from view below the beam by a
translucent curtain 81, which may be a substance known 20 gitudinally disposed stationary track means, beam means
by the registered trademark “Mylar,” that bridges the
extending laterally from and supported on said longitudi
rrctangular gap between side members 15 and that extends
nal track means for movement therealong, an X-ray
source carriage supported for movement along said beam
ft. om each end of beam 12 to closely on opposite sides of
?xed source carriage column 21.
means, an electric cable extending into said beam means
In FIG. 3 particularly, one may see that the curtain 81 25 and re-entrantly bent to form two substantially straight
parallel cable portions one of which is attached to said
is divided into two sections each of which is adapted to
be rolled and unrolled from a pair of similar reels 74 that
source carriage for movement therewith, means com
pensating for the length of cable required for various
are provided with shafts 76 journaled for rotation in
positions of the source carriage on said beam means, said
brackets 75. The brackets may be attached by screws or
other suitable means to X-ray source carriage plate 18.
30 last named means including take-up carriage means en
gaging said cable in the region of its re-entrant bend, a
The ends of each respective curtain 81 section are
plurality of rope sheave means at least one of which is
anchored at remotely opposite ends of beam assembly 12
rotatably mounted on said take-up carriage means and
by a strap 79 that spans between side members 15, see
others of which are rotatably mounted near opposite ends
FIG. 3. Immediately below the bottom ?anges 42 of
channel side members 15 and at thin inner margins, a dec 35 of said beam means respectively, rope means attached at
one end to said source carriage means and passing around
orative strip 80 running the length of beam 12 is provided
for supporting curtain 81 at its edges. Further guidance
for the curtain is obtained by it ?tting between upwardly
turned ?ange edges 82 on the channel bottoms 42.
It is desirable that the curtain 81 should be ?at and 40
without any sag across its Width as it spans between side
members 15. ‘For this reason the curtain has small in
tegrally formed ribs 83 that may be spaced at intervals
in order to impart the necessary rigidity without affecting
its ?exibility insofar as rolling is concerned.
The present invention seek-s to operate the curtain with
out storing energy in springs as is customary and without
at any time bringing about any dragging movement of the
said other sheave means and said one sheave means into
attachment with said beam means, said rope means being
adapted to translate said take-up carriage means a lesser
distance than the distance which the source carriage is
2. X-ray source positioning apparatus comprising sta
' tionary longitudinal track means, beam means extending
laterally and supported from said track means for move
ment therealong, said beam means including parallel
spaced apart side members de?ning an opening sub
stantially coextensive with the length of said beam means,
an X-ray source carriage supported ‘for movement along
said beam means and having an element thereof extending
a1 force and in curtain wear. This is important where all 50 through said opening, an electric cable extending into
possible restraints on the X-ray source must be eliminated
said beam means ‘and re-entrantly bent to ‘form two par
in view of the technician positioning the source manually
allel cable portions one of which is attached to said
in the absence of motor drive means. It is also important
source carriage means for movement therewith, means
that the effort for operating the curtain be equal and
associated with said side members de?ning parallel pas
constant for any position or direction.
55 sageways for accommodating portions of said electric ca
To handle the curtain 81 so it merely lays out on the
ble on opposite sides of said opening, cable take-up car~
riage means engaging said electric cable in the region of
support strips 80‘ without dragging, the two reels 74 are
coupled for simultaneous rotation by means of an endless
its re-entrant bend, said take-up carriage means being
?exible member comprising chain 78 that runs over wheels
mounted for movement along said beam means, and
in the form of sprockets 77 carried on the ends of reel 60 means connecting said take-up carriage with said X
ray source carriage so that movement of the latter will
shafts 76. Since each curtain section is anchored at an
translate the tower to compensate for the change in
end, movement of the carriage 18 and reels 74 in either
cable length and thereby maintain sides of said cable
direction will cause one of the latter to roll curtain 81
and the other to unroll at the same rate, so regardless of
straight in said passageways.
3. X-ray source positoning apparatus comprising beam
the source carriage 18 position the same total amount of 65
curtain that would manifest itself as an increased friction~
curtain will be handlai by the reels. Space is allowed be
tween reels 74 for passing the cable 35 downwardly next
to column 21 and to the X-ray source 10.
means, said beam means including spaced apart parallel
side members de?ning a substantially rectangular open—
ing therebetween, an X-ray source carriage rollably sup—
ported on said beam means for movement lengthwise
In summary, the foregoing speci?cation has described
an overhead X-ray tube hanger that features handling the 70 thereof, said source carriage including an element ex
tending through said opening, a ?xed length of electric
electric supply and control cables in such manner that the
cable passing into said beam means and out in the re
force requirements for changing vertical or horizontal
gion of said element, said electric cable being re-entrantly ,
locations of the X-ray source are extremely low. The
bent between said side members to ‘form two par-allel
cables, although being concealed from view to a large
extent and being in proximity with other mechanism, are 75 cable portions one of which is attached to said source
7. An overhead supported X-ray source positioner com
prising a substantially closed hollow beam means hav
ing an elongate opening in its bottom, an X-ray source
carriage for movement therewith, means associated with
said side members forming parallel channel passageways
for accommodating respective parallel cable portions on
"support‘member extending through said opening, said
opposite sides of said opening, cable take-up carriage
member being movable lengthwise of said opening, a pair
of reels with their axes parallel and spaced from each
other, curtain means having corresponding ends attached
means engaging said cable in the region of its re-entrant
bend, said last named means being mounted for move
ment along said beam means, and means connecting both
said carriage means together so that movement of one
to the reels for winding thereon and opposite ends at
tached to the remote opposite ends of the beam means,
translates the other to maintain said cable portions in
substantially constant tension and in substantially straight 10 said curtain means spanning said opening on the bottom
of the beam means to conceal from view the interior of
condition in opposite passageways.
the beam means, and electric cable means extending from
the interior of said beam means into connection with
4. The invention set forth in claim 3 including means
for concealing the cable and cable handling mechanism
from view through said rectangular opening, said con
said source through the space between said reel means.
8. The invention set forth in claim 7 wherein each
cealing means comprising a pair of reel means supported 15
reel means has sprocket means coaxially attached, and
an endless chain engaging both sprockets for joint ro
on said source carriage means with their axes of rota
tion spaced and parallel with each other, curtain means at
tation when said curtain means are operated by move
tached on each reel means for reeling thereon and each
ment of said source carriage.
having an end attached near respectively opposite ends
9. The invention set forth in claim 7 wherein the cur
of said beam means so that said opening is closed in 20
tain means constitutes a pliable plastic member having
both directions from said movable source carriage.
integral ribs across its width at spaced intervals to im
5. The invention set forth in claim 4 including wheel
part sti?’ness across the opening and allow ?exibility along
means axially connected with each reel means at a corre
sponding end thereof, a member jointly engaging said
wheel means for concurrent rotation when said source
carriage is moved along said opening, whereby the force
required to move said source carriage to operate the
curtain means is substantially equal for any direction
or position thereof.
6. An X-ray source positioner comprising beam means,
the length thereof.
10. An X-ray source positioner mechanism concealing
assembly, comprising a hollow elongate member having
an opening therein through which mechanism would ordi
narily be visible, an X-ray source support extending
through the opening and being movable therealong, a
30 pair of reels spaced from each other and rotatably mount
said beam means including side members connected with
ed on said source support, a flexible curtain on each
each other and having horizontally disposed portions de
reel with a curtain end attached to a respectively oppo
site end of the hollow member, wheel means attached
axially of each reel, and an endless flexible member con
?ning passageways for an elongate ?exible cable substan
tially coextensive with its length, X-ray source support
means mounted for movement lengthwise of said beam 35 necting the wheel means together for joint rotation when
means between said side members, a continuous electric
the source support undergoes translation.
cable extending into said beam means and having one
portion lying in said passageway and another portion
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
which is re-entrantly bent and lying in a substantially
horizontal plane ‘and still another portion continuing
from said bent portion lying in the other passageway at
the other side of said beam means, said cable projecting
outside of said beam means adjacent said source support
means, and a carriage means mounted for movement
along said beam means and supporting said cable in the 45
region of its re~entrant bend.
Hynes ______________ __ Sept. 15,
Koerner _____________ __ June 28,
Haupt ______________ -_ Mar. 6,
Wagner ______________ __ Dec. 23,
Schneeman ___________ __ July 7,
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