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Патент USA US3099454

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July 30, 1963
Filed Oct. 4, 1960
3 Sheets-Sheet l
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July 30, 1963
Filed oet. 4, 19Go
3 sheets-sheet 2
July 30, 1963
Filed oct. 4, 1960
s sheets-sheet s
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United States Patent O " ice
Patented July 30, 1963
opera-ting cables and their guide means including a vieW
of a switch adapted to control certain cable manipulating
Fred E. Burt, 82.3 13th St., Alexandria, La.
Filed 06f. 4, 1960, Ser. No. 60,417
6 Claims. (ci. 27s-_27)
FIGURE 13 is a fragmentary view, partly in section,
showing certain switch contact means on the cover reel.
FIGURE 14 is a fragmentary perspective view showing
the manner in which the cables are stored in an out-of-the
This invention relates to improvements in automatical
ly operated protective ground covers for field areas.
Way position during retraction of Áthe cover.
FIGURE l5 is a view, partly in section, taken on‘the
line 15-15 of FIG. 12.
FIGURE 16 is a partly sectional view taken substan
tially on the line 16-16 of FIG. 4, showing a slip ring
forming part of the controlling circuits for the cover reel.
In the drawings, wherein for the purpose Iof illustration
is lshown only a preferred embodiment of the invention,
the letter A may generally designate the improved auto
It is a primary purpose of this invention to provide a
ground cover for protecting iield areas such as baseball
in?ields, recreation areas, football fields, .and other ground
areas, which is `automatic in operation in that rain water,
snow or moisture may be made to serve the purpose of
automatically setting desired electrical circuits into ‘opera
tion for the purpose of quickly covering a ground area and
‘thus protecting the same; the invention :also comprehend
matically operated protecting ground cover system. It
ing an automatic retraction 'of the cover as soon las the
rain or snow ceases to fall.
may include ‘a flexible cover or tarpaulin B adapted to be
the way in which the cover may be extended over the
desired ground .area to be protected.
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary view showing certain
extended `or retracted in order to hold the cover off the
wound and unwound with respect to a reel C. A main
A further object of this invention is the provision of a 20 cable motor M1 is provided to serve the purpose of un
reeling the cover B from the reel C. The motor M2 is
fully automatic ground protective cover which can be
»adapted to `operate thereel for the purpose of retracting
extended in protective relation over a ground area ‘or re
the cover from the protected ground area. Motors M3
tracted therefrom automatically; the parts being so con
.and M4 are cable retriever motors adapted to manipulate
structed and arranged that no part of the same upon
retraction of the cover will obstruct occupancy of the 25 the cover `or tarpaulin main cable. D may refer to the
protected area and also adjacent areas.
general circuit, and E to the water collectors and switch
means for setting the circuits in operation.
A further object of this invention is the provision of a
practical and easily operated mechanism for the auto
The cover B is flexible Vand may be fabricated of rubber,
rubber like material or impermeable plastic. lIt may be
matic extension and retraction of `a protective ground area
30 of any desired size, within practical limits, and if desired
cover, without manual assistance.
a plurality of these covers B may be placed throughout
Other objects and advantages of this invention will be
the varea to be protected; manipulated by .their own indi
apparent during the course of the following description.
vidual Control systems.
`In the accompanying drawings:
The reel C is »a roller provided with a shaft 20, shown
FIGURE 1 is -a plan view iof the improved automatically
operated protective ground cover showing the cover in 35 in FIG. 4, connected therewith; the latter being rotatably
supported upon suitable standards 21 within an under
extended relation over the diamond of a baseball field
ground housing structure 23 providing a chamber 24
having a protective cover 25. Usually the housing 24
FIGURE 2 is a view of the details shown in FIG. 1,
will be located beneath =a grandstand structure 26, as
with the cover retracted and all «the controls which oper
shown in FIG. 3, so that the entire device may be posi
ate the cover retracted into an out 'of the way position;
tioned in an yout-of-the-way location.
certain dotted lines showing the position of the controls
in semi-retrieved positions.
The cover B has a front rigid bridle rod 27 which at
each of its ends beyond the side margins of the cover B
FIGURE 3 is a cross sectional view taken substantially
is provided with a rotatable wheel 28 bearing thereon in
in the line 3--3 of FIG. l showing the manner in which
a cover reel may be located in an out lof the way rela 45 any `suitable manner, and which is adapted for ground
contact as shown in FIG. 8, as the cover B is being
tion, such as beneath la grandstand, and further showing
details of the reel and its electrical circuit controlling
FIGURE 5 is a diagrammatic view of the wiring, switch
ground, or at least at such elevation as Ato space it above
the bases of the baseball infield, shown at 30 in FIG. 8.
Furthermore, the cover B is provided with a rear rigid
bridle rod 31 connected thereto, which has connected there
with iiexible cables 32 of electrically conductive material;
and motor controlling features of the invention, showing
the latter being secured »as at 33 to the reel C, as shown
the position of parts as they appear when the system it at
in FIG. 13. These conductor cables 32 wind Aspirally
upon the reel ‘C upon retraction of the cover B. A plural
ity of electrical contacts 34 forming part of the electric
circuit D are fixed in insulated positions upon the reel,
rest with the cover retracted from the area 1to be protected.
`FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary view showing certain
cables used in operating land controlling the cover.
FIGURE 7 is a cross sectional View taken substantially
on the line 7-7 of FIG. 6.
.and connected by a lead wire 35. When the cover B is
details of the cover and its supporting carriage.
their respective contacts 34. However, as the rewind
moto-r M2 operates the reel C, the conductor cables 32
will be spirally Wound on the said reel, as is shown in
FIG. 4 until ultimately they will engage the respective
contacts 34 for circuit closing purposes.
extended fully as shown in FIG. l, the cables 32, which
60 are grounded on the reel C, are Kout of engagement with
FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary view showing certain
FIGURE 9 is a side elevation of `a liquid or moisture
collecting box adapted to receive rain Water or snow for
the actuation of :a float switch in order to operate the
control circuits.
FIGURE 10 is a fragmentary cross sectional view show
ing certain internal details of the collector of FIG. 9.
FIGURE 11 is a cross sectional view taken substantially
on the line 11-11 of FIG. l2, and showing guide roller
means for the cover operating cables.
FIGURE 12 is a fragmentary plan view of certain
The cover B has its bridle rod 27 connected midway of
its ends with a main pull out cable 4t) which is attached to
the bridle rod by cable lines 4l. This main cable 40 at
the opposite side of the recreational area or playing field
is `adapted to be wound upon a winch or drum 42 operated
by means of a motor M1; the latter being connected to
the drum by means of .a reduction gear arrangement 43.
This reduction gearing and the reduction gear arrange
ments` of themotors M2, M3 and M4 act as drag brakes
upon the drums during cable retraction. Each of the
and under tension during movement of the switch arm 115
returns the switch> arm to starting or. “off” position. The
lights and the horn or siren provide warning signals to
motors M1, M2, M3 and M4 is respectively provided with
clear the ñeld of personnel and operate a determined time
while the delay switch ‘81)- holds the circuit open ‘with re
spect to a solenoid relay switch 83, shown in FIG. 5.
After a time delay the switch 83 closes on contacts 84
and the pull out motor M1 is started through the variable
main cable 40 on the winch or drum 42 to pull out the
cover B to the position shown in FIG. 1.
resistance type conventional star-ter box 43a. Cable 40
The motors M3 and- M4 are respectively provided with 10 is pulled out of the storage channels S6, which are shown
in FIGURES 1 and 2 and in a larger perspective detail
drums or Winches 46 and 47 and respectively the motors
in FIG. 14. The channels 86 permit substantially com
are igeared to these drums by a reduction gearing 418 for
plete storage of the cable 46 therein. As the cable 40 is
the purposes above described.V The motor M2 also has
reduction gearing 41a.
wound upon the drum 42 operated by motor M1 it
conventional starter boxes 43a, 44, 45, and 46a in order
to facilitate motor operation with but a small quantity
of water in the collectors E. The motor Ml winds the
It is quite evident that retracting cables will be' neces
stretches out and ultimately pulls the tarpaulin or cover
sary to pull' the main cable 4€) off- of the recreational or
playing area 'aifter the cover -B has been wound on the
reel C. To> that end the motor M3 is provided with a
B oñ the reel C and onto the field «for covering the same.
Motors M2, M3 and `M4 are not operating during this phase
of the operation, but the retracting cables 50 and 512 are
drawn oif their respective winches 46 and 47', the gear
retrieving cable 5l), windable upon the drum 46 and hav
ing aA sheave block connection 51 movable along the cable 20 reducers acting as drag brakes during this procedure.
4t). The motor M4 is provided with a retrieving cable 52
`In order toy guide the cable 40 so that it 'will have a
windable upon the drum 47 and likewise has a block or
true winding on its winch 412, I prefer to provide pulleys
sheave 53 movable along the cable di); FIG. l shows the
or sheaves 89, around one of which the cable 40 will be
relative positions of the retrieving cables Sti and `52 when
trained since the cable ‘lil extends directly from the motor
the main cable is in a straight line and has extended the 25 M4 to the motor Ml when the cover is off `field. Simi
larfly, for the motor M3 I may provide guide pulleys or
sheaves 8g3 and. for the motor M4 guide pulleys or sheaves
The collectors E are detailed in IFIGURES 9 and l0
and may be positioned at the most appropriate locations
on the playing field or recreational area. Each collector
The motor M1 continues to drive the winch 42 and
E includes a «funnel shaped casing structure 6u having a 30 wind the cable 4l) -thereon until the power circuit to motor
chamber 1611 therein open at the top and. preferably elec
M1 is interrupted by the conductor cables 32 winding 01T
their respective contact plates 34. Disengagement of the
trically heated and screened at 62 for the collection of
water in the lower part thereof. A ñoat contact 63 is
cables 32 from the contacts 34 also shuts» olf the warning
movably connected as at 64 to the casing structure and
lights and horn or siren, as will be noted from the generaly
rises and falls according to the amount of water in the 35 circuit D.
chamber I61. The iloat 63 acts as a switch arm to engage
As the tarpaulin B starts to unroll a limit switch ar
lower and upper contacts 65 and 66 respectively »for pur
rangement is closed in a ready circuit so that when the
poses to be subsequently described. These contacts and
water level in the collectorsv E lowers to a predetermined
the iloat arm have been diagrammatically shown in FIG.
degree and the ñoat switch 63 closes on contact 65 the
40 motor M2 will be energized and star-t- to retrieve Athe tar
5 and they are identical for each of the collectors E.
The circuit D’ is provided with slip rings 76]y and 71,
paulin or cover `B. Generally this limit switch is desig
shown in IFIG. 16 as mounted upon the reel shaft 20, re
nated at 90 in FIG. 5 of the drawings. It is spring
spectiyely provided with stationary contacts 72 and 713.
biased to normally engage contactsy 91 but when the tar
The collector ring 711 is `directly connected in conducting
paulin is woundV upon ythe reel C a switch operating army
relation with the contacts 34 mounted on the reel» C and 45 92a, preferably on the bridle rod 27 of the tarpaulin,
the slip ring 70‘ is grounded upon the conductor reel C.
engages the arm of the switch 9€) throwing the switch outl
Assuming the system is at rest with the cover or tar
of engagement with the contacts 91. During pull out
pauiin B wound uponthe reel C as shown in FIG. 2 and
and retrieving cycles the limit switch 90- is disengaged
the cables ‘50 and 52 retracted to the `full line positions
yfrom contacts 92 and thus the motors M3 and M4 are de
shown in FIG. 2, when sufficient rain -water collects in the 50 ienergized. The power circuit condition is as follows:
casing chambers 61 of the collectors E, the iloat switches
they current ñows through the positive line, through closed
«63 engage contacts 66and close the electric circuit through
switch `90, through contacts v9‘1. and to motor M2 and
a relay switch 180, `as shown in FIG. 5; the circuit then
thence to the negative line through iloat switch 63-l closed
operates .'Warning lights 81 inthe circuit D. A siren SZ
on contact 65..
is alsolocatedin the circuit D. The delay switch 80 is 55
When the tarpaulin or cover B has been fully woundv on
conventional in structure and includes, as diagrammati
the reel< or roller C, the limit switch 90 opens contacts
cally shown in FIG. 5, a rotatable contact arm 115 keyed
91 and close the contacts 92. This opens the circuit to
to a split shaft 116. At the division of the'shalft is lo
the motor M2 and places the cable retrieving motors M3
cated a centrifugal clutch 117 and the shaft 116 re
and M4 in operation. The motors M3 andA M4 are wired
mote from that portion to which the arm 1.15 is connected 60 in series. The cables 511' and 52 are now reeled on their
is driven by an actuator motor 118i which is in parallel
respective Winches 416 and 47. This pulls the main cable
circuit .with the light :andhorn circuit. Between the clutch
4001i of the field into the storage channels 86. Switch
1'17 and the arm 115 is located a speed reducing gear
strikers 1110 are provided on the retrieving cables Si) and’
train 1119 and a coil spring 1211. The latter has one `end
52 which, when the main cable Y46' has been fully re
attached: to fthe switch box and the other end attached 65 trieved, open spring biased switches 101 and 192, thus
tothe portion of the shaft 116 to which the arm 1:15 is
stopping fthe ilow of power to the motors M3 and M4.
connected. Since the motor 1118 is in parallel with the
This actuation of the switches 101 and 111-2 also closes the
horn andk light circuit the motor 1118/ starts upon closing
circuits to the “all clear” indicator lights 164. When the
the horn and light circuit and drives the switch arm 1-15
idelay switch 80 is opened the relay switch 83 is released
until it engages the contact 121. This closes the circuit 70 and closes the circuit through “all clear” light 11M-a.
for energizing the coil of relay `83. The motor 4118 keeps
It will be appreciated that the motors M3 «and M4 may
running until the iield cover is pulled over the iield and
be placed at different locations than that shown, or more
the circuit through motor M1 is broken by cables 32 losing
or less or these motors may be provided depending upon
connection with contact 34. The circuit through motor
the shape of the recreational `area or ñeld. In the ex
118 is then broken and spring 1211 «which has been wound 75 ample shown, cable 40‘ is retracted in right angled rela
cover B to protect the desired area.
tion into the channels l86; the dotted lines in FIG. 2
after the warning signal means has been set into operation.
4. In an automatically operated protective system for
covering ground areas, the combination of a reel, means
indicating the various step by step retrieving positions of
the cables lStir and 52 »as they operate to remove the cable
4t) from the field area after the tarpaulin B has been fully
wound upon its reel C.
mounting the reel on a horizontal :axis for rotation, a field
Referring again to the collectors E shown in IFIG. 9,
for unwinding and winding with respect to the reel,
covering tarpaulin having means connecting it to the reel
electrically actuated motor means for fwinding the «tar
an overflow outlet line 110` is provided. A iine connected
in the ‘bottom of the chamber 6i and designated lili is
paulin upon the reel, a cable unwinding electric motor
provided, having a valve control at lllZ, to `bleed oii’ the
means positioned remotely 'from the reel, the motor means
Water just sufficiently to enable proper operation of the 10 last mentioned having a winch connected thereto, a cable
switch iloat 65. A line M3 may also be provided for
for winding and unwinding on said Winch connected to
the outer end of the tarpaulin, a `first cable retrieving
inlet of city water for Afair weather control and testing of
the system.
motor positioned adjacent to the reel having connection
with the tarpaulin cable close to its connection with said
Various changes in the shape, size, and arrangement of
tarpaulin, a second cable retrieving motor positioned re
parts may be made to the form of invention herewith
motely from the tirst mentioned cable retrieving motor
shown and described, without departing from the spirit
of the invention and scope of the claims.
having a cable connected thereto which in turn is con
l claim:
nected at its outer end to the tarpaulin connected cable
l. In an automatically operated protective system [for
intermediate the ends of the latter whereby when the tar
covering a «ground area, the combination of «a reel, a 20 paulin is wound upon said reel the cable retrieving motors
will both operate to wind their respective cables thereon
ilexible tarpaulin connected to the reel windable and un
and pull the tanpaulin connected cable oflî` the ground area
Windable with respect to said reel, electrically actuated
motor means connected to the reel for rotating said reel
to an o-ut of the Way location.
5, An automatically operated protective system for
to 'wind the tarpaulin thereon, electrically actuated motor
means connected to .the tanpaulin remote from the reel 25 coverin-g yground areas comprising a reel, a «flexible tar
paulin mounted upon said reel «for winding land unwind
for pulling the tarpaulin from the reel, the last mentioned
motor means including a winch and a cable =windable
ing with respect thereto, an electric motor connected to
upon said winch which cable is connected to the tarpaulin
said neel :to 'wind the tarpaulin thereon, an electric motor
remotely positioned from the reel having means connected
for .unwinding it from the reel, retrieving cable means
connected to the ñrst mentioned cable, and electrically 30 to the free end of the tarpaulin for unwinding the tar
paulin rfrom said reel including a cable connected to the
actuated motor means having Winch means Ithereon hav
tarpaulin, liquid level dloat actuated switch and circuit
ing the retrieving cable means connected thereto whereby
means «for actuating the motor for unwinding the tar
the iìrst mentioned «cable may be retrieved and moved off
paulin from the reel, switch and circuit means controlled
a ground area after the tarpaulin has been wound com'
pletely upon said reel.
2. The system described in claim i1 in which Water level
actuated ñoat type switch means is connected in circuit
with the aforesaid motor means Which pulls the tar
paulin oif the reel whereby to open and close said circuit,
switch means connected to and controlled by the tarpaulin 40
and reel for automatically shutting oft the reel unwinding
motor means when the tarpaulin has been unreeled there
from, and automatically operated switch means actuated
by means on the tarpaulin controlled by the complete
by the limit of unwinding of the tanpaulin from the reel
to cut out the unwinding motor at the time of the comf
pletion of unwinding the tarpaulin from the reel, retriev
ing motor means connected to the cable for pulling it
out oi obstructing relation with respect to a lground area
ywhen the tarpaulin has been fully wound upon said reel,
and switch and circuit means actuated by the dull »winding
of the tarpaulin upon the reel for shutting olf the motor
operating the reel and for turning on the cable retrieving
motor means.
winding of the tarpaulin upon said reel for automatically 45
`6. The system described in claim 5 in which warning
signal means is electrically operated prior to the unwind
setting the retrieving cable motor means in operation as
ing of the tarpaulin rfrom the reel for signaling to clear
soon as the tarpaulin has been wound upon said reel, and
the ground anea and in which operating signal means is
switch means actuated by means on the retrieving cable
provided to indicate that the cable has been retrieved
means to automatically shut off the retrieving motor
50 yfrom the ground area.
means when the yfirst cable has been fully retrieved.
3. The system described in claim 2 in which electrically
References Cited in the file of this patent
actuated Warning signal means is provided for clearing
personnel from the ñeld in circuit with a-nd @actuated by
the said water actuated float type switch means, and a
«O’Donnell ____________ __ Oct. 25, 19‘10
time delay switch means connected with and between the
Weidhaas et al __________ __ Mar. 7, 1933
warning signal means and the tarpaulin pull out motor
means and in circuit therewith for setting the tarpaulin
pull out motor means in operation a predetermined time
Sykes et al _____________ __ Oct. 24, 1939
Edgar et al ____________ __ May 13, 1952
Patent No. 3,099 ,444
July 30 , 1963
Fred E. Burt,
ears in the above numbered pat
It is hereby certified that error app
atent should read as
ent requiring correction and that the said Letters P
corrected below.
Column l,
line 53,
line 54, for "it" read -- is --; column 3,
for "relay" read -- delay --.
Signed and sealed this 28th day of January 1964.
Attestìug Officer
AC ting
Commissioner of Patents
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