US 3505684 A
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April 1970 L. c. HUTCHINSON ETAL 3,505,684
ATTACHMENT MOUNTING MEANS FOR HEARING PROTECTOR EAR CUPS Filed March 5, 1969 INVENTOR 5 LAWRENCE C. HUTCHINSON ATTORNEY WARD P EGARRY United States Patent 3,505,684 ATTACHMENT MOUNTING MEANS FOR HEARING PROTECTOR EAR CUPS Lawrence 'C. Hutchinson, Southbridge, and Edward P.
Megarry, East lBrookfield, Mass., assignors to American Optical Corporation, Southbridge, Mass., 2 corporation of Delaware Filed Mar. 3, 1969, Ser. No. 803,569 Int. Cl. A42b 1/06 US. Cl. 2-209 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Hearing protector ear cup supporting means including an adjustable headband of lightweight construction having provision at each of its opposite ends for supporting an ear cup. Attachment means for the ear cups include at each end of the headband an arcuately shaped formation of spaced parallel wires between which an ear cup mounting stud extends. The stud is aligned coaxially with the cup and is so constructed and arranged in conjunction with its respective arcuately shaped end of the headband as to permit rotational adjustment of the ear cup about its axis as well as tilting adjustment thereof for accurately positioning each ear cup of the hearing protector structure in comfortably fitted acoustically sealed relationship about the ear independently of the positional relationship of the headband selected by the wearer for maximum comfort in its extension over, behind, or beneath the chin of a wearers head.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention Hearing protectors with particular reference to headband supported ear cups.
Description of the prior art Hearing protector ear cups are currently being provided with elongated or elliptically shaped openings into which the ear auricle is inserted for providing a seal closely around the ear against the wearers head. This arrangement requires that the ear cup be rotationally oriented according to the configuration of the wearers head for proper fitting. Further in achieving comfortable fitting and optimum acoustical sealing against the head, tilting of individual ear cups relative to their supporting structures is required in amounts corresponding to particular shapes and sizes of various heads to which they are applied.
Heretofore, hearing rotector ear cups have been supported in yokes provided at terminal ends of the headband whereby pivotal connections at diametrically opposed sides of the cup permit tilting of the cup but prevent rotational adjustment thereof. Consequently in order to achieve both rotational and tilting adjustments in the fitting of such hearing protectors, it is required that an offthe-head rotational adjustment of the cushioned annulus of the cup be made on the cup body. This usually requires that several trial and error rotational adjustments be made with a corresponding number of applications and removal of the complete structure from the head before reasonable comfort and accuracy of fitting is achieved.
On the other hand, in prior art constructions wherein headbands may be afiixed to axially disposed mounting means on hearing protector cups, the facility of allowing for on-the-head rotational adjustment of the hearing protector cups is, at least to a large extent, defeated by the requirement that for tilting adjustment of such cups, an off-the-head bending of the headband or similar adjustment is usually required.
Accordingly, in either of the alternatives offered by prior art headband supported ear cups, the lack of uni- Patented Apr. 14, 1970 versal ear cup rotational and tilting adjustment relative to the headband is a serious drawback in that it prevents or at least makes difficult an on-the-head fitting of ear cups. This is particularly noticeable in instances where such hearing protector devices are used interchangeably by a number of persons and, even when used privately, time consuming off-the-head adjustments necessitated by cup misalignment during non-use are seriously distracting.
The present invention overcomes such as the aforesaid drawbacks in the field of headband-ear cup apparatuses by affording universal rotational and tilting adjustment of ear cups relative to a lightweight adjustable headband structure which is adaptable to being worn in any comfortable osition over the head, behind the head or beneath the chin.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to improvements in headband-ear cup attachment means which provide for both rotational and tilting adjustment of ear cups relative to their supporting headband. Each ear cup is provided with a centrally or axially disposed mounting stud on its rearward side, i.e., the side opposite to that having the ear receiving opening therein.
Opposite terminal ends of the headband are formed of a length of wire having an intermediate bight wherewith the wire is doubled to form spaced parallel slideways between which at least a portion of the stud is extended. The bight provides a stop which prevents accidental detachment of the stud from the headband.
Ends of the length of wire are fixed to a slide block on the headband wherewith the ear cup may be raised or lowered by lengthening or shortening the headband. It is contemplated that the stud be formed as an integral extension of the rearward side of the ear cup or, alternatively, provided with an enlarged headed portion and extended through an opening in the rearward side of the cup with its headed portion engaging the inner surface of said side of the cup. In either case, the outwardly disposed end of the stud is circumferentially grooved to a width and depth sufficient to freely but intimately receive the aforesaid slideways at the end of the headband between which the stud may be freely rotated and longitudinally slidably adjusted along the length of said headband end portion. A cupped tension washer is preferably placed over the stud between the wire end of the headband and the adjacent surface of the ear cup wherewith an outwardly directed frictional force is applied to portions of the wire within the groove of the stud to hold the cup in desired positions of rotational and longitudinal adjustment on the end of the headband. A substantial portion of the length of the wire from the bight is arcuately shaped to form an outwardly directed concave slideway along which the stud, carrying the ear cup, may be adjusted to produce a desired tilting of the cup relative to the headband.
In the case where the stud extends through an opening in the ear cup it is also contemplated that, in place of the circumferential groove in the stud, a pair of parallel grooves or spaced parallel openings be provided for receiving the arcuately shaped extensions of the Wire slideway. In such instances the ear cup, being frictionally engaged between the enlarged head of the stud and the outer friction washer, will be rotatable upon the stud.
The present invention will be more fully understood by reference to the following detailed description and the accompanying drawing.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective illustration of one embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken generally along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the headband, ear cup attachment means illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective illustration of an alternative embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is an end view, partially in cross-section, of a further modification of the ear cup, headband attachment means; and
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view similar to FIGS. 2 and 5 of a still further modification of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Hearing protector headpiece 10 (FIGS. 1 and 2) comprises headband 12 having an ear protector cup 14 pivotally and slidably connected to each of its opposite ends.
Headband 12 is formed of a pair of arcuately shaped spaced parallel wires 16 supported by blocks 18 and intermediate spacer blocks 20. Terminal ends of headband 12, only one of which is shown in FIG. 1, are formed of a length of wire 22 having a bight 23 intermediate of its opposite ends wherewith extensions 24 and 26 from bight 23 are directed in spaced parallel relationship with each other slidably through block 18 and are securely fixed to slide block 28. Sliding movement of block 28 along wires 16 toward and away from block 18 lengthen and shorten the span of headband 12.
Each ear cup 14 is provided with an axial opening 30 in its rearward side 32 (FIG. 2) through which a stud 34 is extended. Stud 34, preferably formed of nylon or its equivalent, has an enlarged somewhat flexible head portion 36 which peripherally engages the inner surface of side 32 around opening 30. Extensions 24 and 26 of wire 22 are entered into a circumferential groove 38 across opposite sides of stud 34 and lock stud 34 in place on cup 14. Tension washer 40 on stud 34 forced against the outer surface of side 32 by the positioning of wire 22 in groove 38 brings head portion 36 of stud 34 into intimately peripherally engaged relationship with side 32. Together with washer 40, head portion 36 provides an acoustic seal around opening 30. At the same time, cup 14 may be axially rotationally oriented relative headband 12 so as to orient an elongated ear opening therein by amounts required for accurate comfortable fitting of the cup upon the head of a wearer. This rotation of cup 14 may involve rotation of stud 34 between extensions 24 and 26 of wire 22 or rotation of cup 14 about stud 34 or combinations of both such actions. Under the first mentioned condition, stud 34 may be an integrally molded extension 34 of surface 32 of cup 14 as shown in FIG. 7. Alternatively, in instances where it is desired that rotation of cup 14 take place around stud 34 the circumferential groove 38 (FIG. 2) may be replaced by parallel slots 44, see FIG. 6, into which extensions 24 and 26 of wire 22 are entered.
In addition to being rotatably adjustable relative to headband 12, each cup 14 is tiltably adjustable upon headband 12 by sliding along extensions 24 and 26 of wire 22. In this regard, a substantial length of each of extensions 24 and 26 from bight 23 is arcuately shaped to an outwardly directed concave configuration as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. By sliding cup 14 upwardly along extensions 24 and 26 to a position shown by dot-dash outline 14 (FIG. 3), for example, an outwardly directed tilting of the upper portion of cup 14 is efiected. By sliding cup 14 below the midpoint of the curvature of extensions 24 and 26 an oppositely directed tilting of the cup results. lilting of cup 14 forwardly and rearwardly to further ac- :ommodate for various head shapes will take place autonatically upon its application to the head as a result of he thin wire extensions 24 and 26 being freely torsionally :ompliant to such adjustment. Bight 23 prevents accidental disconnection of cup 14 from headband 12.
In FIGS. 4 and 5 there are illustrated modifications of the invention wherein a flat steel band 46 (FIG. 4) is substituted for wires 16 of headband 12. Block 48 fixed to band 46 and slide block 50 slidably mounted on hand 46 correspond to blocks 18 and 28 shown and described with relation to the embodiment of FIG. 1. Block 48 guides extensions 24 and 26 of wire 22 along headband 46 for lengthening or shortening the extension of the headband by sliding block 50 therealong.
Referring more particularly to FIG. 5, it will be seen that stud 34" and its adaptation to ear cup 14 is similar to the arrangement depicted in FIG. 2 With the exception that spaced parallel openings 52 in stud 34" are substituted for groove 38 in stud 34. Acordingly, in this case, extensions 24 and 26 of Wire 22 are directed through openings 52 whereby cup 14 may be rotated about stud 34" and slidably adjusted along the arcuately shaped portions of extensions 24 and 26 for effecting tilting adjustments of the cup.
What is claimed is:
1. In a hearing protector headset including a headband and at least one ear protector cup having a front ear receiving opening, the improvement in attachment mounting means for adjustably supporting said cup upon one end of said headband comprising:
a mounting stud on said cup extending coaxially rearwardly therefrom, said stud having guideway means adjacent its terminal end for slidably receiving attachment means disposed upon said end of said headband;
said attachment means including a length of wire having a bight intermediately of its opposite ends with extensions from said bight disposed in spaced parallel relationship with each other and slidably extended through said guideway means one diametrically opposite the other on said end of said stud, said extensions being correspondingly outwardly concave ly curved throughout a substantial portion of their lengths from said bight whereby sliding of said stud along said portion effects a tilting of said ear protector cup; and
a block on said headband to which opposite ends of said wire are fixed to maintain said spaced parallel relationship of the extensions thereof.
2. A hearing protector headset according to claim 1 wherein said guideway means on said stud comprises a circumferential groove.
3. A hearing protector headset according to claim 1 wherein said stud has an enlarged head portion oppositely of said terminal end thereof and said ear cup has an axially disposed aperture in its side opposite to said ear receiving opening therein; said stud being extended through said aperture with its enlarged head portion brought into engagement with the inner surface of said side of said ear cup, and tensioning means between said wire extensions and the outer surface of said side of said cup whereby said tensioning means functions cooperatively with said head portion of said stud to form an acoustic seal about said aperture.
4. A hearing protector headset according to claim 2 wherein said guideway means comprises a pair of diametrically opposed parallel slots adjacent said terminal end of said stud.
5. A hearing protector headset according to claim 2 wherein said guideway means comprises a pair of spaced parallel passageways extending transversely through said stud adjacent said terminal end thereof.
6. A hearing protector headset according to claim 1 wherein said stud comprises an integral cylindrical extension of said cup and said guideway means is a circumferential groove whereby said cup and stud may be rotated as a unit between said parallel extensions of said wire attachment means.
7. A hearing protector headpiece according to claim 1 wherein said block on said headband is provided with a References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,801,423 8/1957 Shaw et a1. 2209 2,990,553 7/1961 Ulrich et a1. 2-209 3,104,398 9/1963 Palmaer 2209 MERVIN STEIN, Primary Examiner G. H. KRIZMANICH, Assistant Examiner
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