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Publication numberUS3550466 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date29 Dec 1970
Filing date26 Nov 1968
Priority date26 Nov 1968
Also published asCA921369A1
Publication numberUS 3550466 A, US 3550466A, US-A-3550466, US3550466 A, US3550466A
InventorsHam John E
Original AssigneeByron Jackson Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multidirectional control
US 3550466 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 29, 1970 J. E. HAM 3,550,466

MULTIDIRECTIONAL CONTROL Filed Nov. 26, 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR JdH/V HAM A770E/V6V Dec. 29, 1970 J. HAM

MULTIDIRECTIONAL CONTROL 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 26, 1968 H W F E 3 7% .w 0 v m FUN. L m j f u 9 4 L V Z w w Z w W wig ww 7 3 3 L! A r Tam/6V Dec. 29, 1970 J. E. HAM 3,550,466

MULTIDIRECTIONAL CONTROL Filed Nov. 26, 1968 I5 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR JOHA/ 6. HAM

A 770EA/6V United States Patent O 3,550,466 MULTIDIRECTION AL CONTROL John E. Ham, Long Beach, Calif., assignor to Byron Jackson Inc., Long Beach, Calif., a corporation of Delaware Filed Nov. 26, 1968, Ser. No. 779,046 Int. Cl. Gg 9/00 US. Cl. 74-471 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A multidirectional control for actuating control systems, in which an operating lever is movable in opposite directions in different planes, and movement of the lever in either direction in one plane actuates a control switch and drives a potentiometer, movement of the lever in either direction in the other plane actuating another switch and driving another potentiometer.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Apparatus has heretofore been developed for racking stands of drill pipe and drill collars in vertically disposed positions in a pipe racking finger board, as more particularly disclosed in the application for United States Letters Patent of N. E. Johnson and J. W. Turner, Jr., Ser. No. 687,820, filed Dec. 4, 1967, now Pat. No. 3,501,017, entitled Finger Board and Racker Apparatus. Such apparatus includes racker arms movable on X and Y axes, that is, between extended and retracted positions relative to the center line of the derrick and in a direction at right angles to the extension and retraction direction, whereby a length of pipe may be moved between a racked position and a position at which it may be made up with a drill string, or I vice versa. In the application for United States Letters Patent J. E. Ham, Ser. No. 779,171, filed Nov. 26, 1968, entitled Pipe Racking Control System, there is disclosed an electrohydraulic system for effecting operation of the racking arms on the above-noted XY axes.

In order to facilitate the manual operation of the justmentioned system, it is desirable that a fioorman seated at a control console on the derrick floor or a derrick man seated at a control console aloft in the derrick be capable of simply manipulating operator mechanism for effecting movement of the racker arms at a controlled rate and in a selected direction.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a multidirectional control mechanism enabling a derrick man or a floorman operating the same, by the simple expedient of shifting a lever in opposite directions in either of two planes, to effect the controlled extension and retraction of the racker arms or the lateral movement of the arms a desired distance and at a desired rate.

More particularly, the invention provides a control operator mechanism in which the lever is connected for pivotal movement about axes extending normally with respect to one another. In this connection the apparatus provides a first shaft pivotally supporting the lever for movement in opposite directions from a central position in one plane and a second shaft which pivotally supports the lever for pivotal movement in either direction from a central position in a plane normal to the first-mentioned plane.

Still more specifically, the control mechanism of the invention provides means operable in response to movement of the control lever in either direction in one plane for actuating a first switch and for driving a first control potentiometer, whereby to control the operation of an electrohydraulic control and operating system; the appara- 3,550,466 Patented Dec. 29, 1970 tus also including means responsive to pivotal movement of the lever in either direction in a second plane for actuating a second switch and driving a second potentiometer.

An object of the invention is to provide a multi-directional control system which is of simple but reliable construction and which facilitates operation of a system for moving apparatus, such as pipe racker arms, in multiple directions at different times and at a selected rate.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be hereinafter described or will become apparent to those skilled in the art, and the novel features of the invention will be defined in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a multidirectional control mechanism embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a view in vertical section and on an enlarged scale, as taken on the line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view in vertical section, as taken on the line 33 of FIG. 2,

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary detail view in vertical section, as taken on the line 44 of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is a view in horizontal section, as taken on the line 55 of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS As seen in the drawings, the multidirectional control apparatus comprises a housing 1 having a bottom closure 2 and a dome-like top closure 3. The dome-like top closure 3 has a crossed slot generally denoted at 4 therein consisting of a slot X intersected by a second slot Y, the slots X, Y being disposed normal to one another. Projecting from the dome-like top closure 3 through the slot 4 is an operating handle or lever 5 which may be provided with a hand grip or knob 6, the lever 5 being limited in its movement to travel in either direction in slot X or in slot Y from a central location.

The lever 5 is supported for movement in the slot X on a shaft X which transversely spans the housing 1, as well as for pivotal movement on a sectional shaft Y which also spans the housing 1, the shifts X and Y being on axes extending normal to one another.

Internally of the housing 1 are a first microswitch 7 and a first potentiometer 8 respectively operated in response to pivotal movement of the lever 5 about the X axis in the X slot. Also within the housing 1 are a second microswitch 9 and a second potentiometer 10 adapted to be operated in response to pivotal movement of the lever 5 about the Y axis in the Y slot.

From the foregoing general description it will be understood that if the control apparatus be located at a derrick mans seat in a well drilling derrick having a pipe racker system according to the disclosure of the above-identified I. E. Ham application, the derrick man or other operator may effect the control of the racking arms by moving the control lever 5 to the right or left in the X slot or forward or reverse in the Y slot. Movement of the lever 5 to the right or the left in the X slot will effect actuation of the microswitch 7 and will simultaneously drive the potentiometer 8 in a direction depending upon the direction movement of the lever 5. Likewise, movement of the lever 5 either forward or reverse in the Y slot will effect actuation of the microswitch 9 and will simultaneously drive the potentiometer 10 in either direction.

More specifically, the housing 1 is a cylindrical body having an annular base flange 11 welded as at 12 or otherwise suitably atfixed thereto, the bottom closure 2 being fastened as by fasteners 13 to the flange 11, and a seal gasket 14 being interposed between the flange 11 and the bottom closure 2. At its upper end the housing 1 has an upper fiange 15 welded as at 16 or otherwise secured thereto and the dome-like top closure 3 includes a radial base flange 17 secured as by fasteners 18 to the housing flange 15, a suitable sealing gasket 19 being disposed between the flanges 15 and 17.

The shaft X extends diametrically through the housing 1 and is supported at its opposite ends, as best seen in FIG. 3, in bushings 20, 20 suitably affixed in openings 21 in the housing 1, these bushings 20 having set screws 22 or other suitable means for fixing the axial disposition of the shaft X and for preventing rotation thereof. Centrally of the shaft X is an inner ring 23 through which the shaft X extends. A stop collar 23a fixed on the shaft X by a set screw 2312 provides means for holding the ring 23 against movement along the shaft X in one direction. The ring 23 at its upper portion has a radially opening, angularly extended slot 24 through which the lever projects.

The shaft Y is sectional and includes short shaft sections respectively mounted in bushings 26 disposed in diametrically spaced relation in the housing 1 in openings 27 therein, as Well as in normal relation to the shaft X. Each of the sections of the shaft Y is fixed in its bushing 26 by means of a set screw 28 or the like. At their inner ends the shaft sections of the shaft Y extend into an outer ring 29. This ring 29 is held against movement in one direction along the sections of shaft Y by a stop collar 29a fixed on one of said shaft sections by a set screw 29b. In its upper portion the ring 29 has a radially opening, angularly extended slot 30, the lever 5 extending through the slot 30 as well as through the slot 24 in the inner ring 23. A guide or slide member 31 is fixed upon the lever 5 by a set screw 32 and has a portion 33 slidably disposed in the slot 30.

Thus, the lever 5 may be moved in slot X, as seen in FIG. 2, and will pivot about shaft X to effect corresponding pivotal movement of the inner ring 23, as the lever 5 moves angularly in the slot 30 of the outer ring 29. correspondingly, as seen in FIG. 3, the lever 5 may be pivoted about the shaft sections of the shaft Y and will move angularly in the slot Y in the dome-like top closure 3 and slot 24 in the inner ring 23.

Such pivotal movement of the lever 5 on these intersecting axes is permitted by a universal bearing structure generally denoted at 34 mounted on the shaft X within the inner ring 23. This bearing structure includes a sectional sleeve 35 secured at its outer ends by set screws 36 to the shaft X, and the inner ends 37 of which may be axially moved along the shaft X so as to be disposed in an annular bushing 38 to provide a central bearing section for the bushing 38. This bushing 38 has a partly spherical outer surface 39 which supports a partly spherical bushing 40. The inner end of the lever 5 is provided with a hub or head 41 having an internal partly spherical surface 42 engaged with the bushing 40, the lever 5 being inserted endwise through the ring slots 24 and 30 and threaded as at 43 into the head 41 following assembly of the bearing structure 34 and the head 41. While the head 41 is universally movable on the bearing structure 34, the permissible movement of the lever 5, as indicated above, is only in the two intersecting directions defined by the slots X, Y.

Each of the inner and outer rings 23 and 29, respectively, is provided with actuator means for actuating the respective control means comprising the microswitches 7 and 9 and the potentiometers 8 and 10. Accordingly, as seen in FIG. 3, the inner ring 23 is provided with a gear plate 45 having a central opening 46 therethrough for accommodating the shaft X, the gear plate 45 being welded as at 47 or otherwise affixed to the inner ring 23 for angular movement therewith. About its periphery the gear plate 45 has gear teeth 48 (see FIG. 4) engageable with a pinion 49 which is aflixed as by a set screw 50 to the operating shaft 51 of the potentiometer 8. The potentiometer 8 is supported in adjacent relation to the gear plate 45 by a support member 52 which is disposed on the shaft X and secured in place by suitable means, such as a set screw 53. This support member 52 also provides a support for the microswitch 7 which is secured as by fasteners 54 to the support member 52 and has a switch arm 55 projecting toward the gear plate 45. The face of the gear plate 45 adjacent the microswitch 7 has a depression providing opposing shoulders 56 and 57 adapted for engagement with the switch arm 55. Thus, angular movement of the inner ring 23 in either direction from a position at which it is vertically disposed will both effect actuation of the microswitch 7 and driving of the pinion 49 of the potentiometer 8.

Means are provided for normally maintaining the inner ring 23 in the just-mentioned neutral or vertical position, such means comprising a lever 58 through which the shaft X extends and which is affixed as by welding at 59 to the inner ring 23. The lever 58 has an outstanding arm 60 engaged by one end of a coiled tension spring 61 which, as seen in FIG. 5, is connected at its other end by a suitable eye 62 within the housing 1; and a similar coiled tension spring 63 is also connected to the lever arm 60 and to another eye 64 so as to oppose the spring 61 whereby to normally maintain the inner ring 23 in a neutral or vertical position.

correspondingly, as seen in FIG. 2, the outer ring 29 carries a gear plate 65 having an opening 66 therethrough through which one of the shaft sections Y extends, the gear plate 65 being welded or otherwise suitably affixed as at 67 to the outer ring 29 for angular movement therewith. The gear plate 65 has teeth 68 thereon engaged with the mating teeth of a pinion 69 which is secured as by a set screw 70 to the operating shaft 71 of the potentiometer 10. The potentiometer 10 is mounted on a support member 72 fixed on one of the shaft sections Y by a set screw 73 or the like. The support member 72 also sup ports the microswitch 9 which is secured to the support member 72 by suitable fasteners 74. The microswitch 9 includes a switch arm 75 which extends into a depression 76 in the adjacent face of the gear plate 65 and which provides opposing shoulders similar to the shoulders 56 and 57 in the gear plate 45 previously described.

Means are provided for normally maintaining the outer ring 29 in a neutral or vertical position at which the microswitch 9 will be open and, in the illustrative embodiment, the outer ring 29 supports a lever 78 which is welded as at 79 or otherwise atfixed to the outer ring 29, the lever 78 having a pair of opposing coiled tension springs 81 and 83 connected thereto, the other ends of the springs 81 and 83 respectively being connected to an eye 84 and to the previously described eye 64 in the housing 1. Thus, the outer ring 29 is normally maintained in a neutral position by the springs 81 and 83 but, upon movement of the outer ring 29 in either direction, the gear plate 65 will effect actuation of the switch arm 75 and rotation of the drive pinion 69 of the potentiometer 10.

In the illustrative embodiment a drag device is provided between the lever 5 and the dome-like top closure 3 of the housing 1. This drag device comprises a coiled compression spring interposed between a suitable stop collar 91 afiixed to the lever 5 by a set screw 92 or the like, the spring 90 acting upon a slide member 93 disposed about the lever 5 and frictionally engaging the inner face of the dome-like top closure 3.

In the use of the apparatus described above, and assuming that the respective microswitches 7 and 9 are off while the potentiometers 8 and 10 are in a mid position when the lever 5 is in the upright position extending through the intersection of the slots X and Y in the dome-like top closure 3, the lever 5 may be moved, for example, to the right or to the left in the X slot or, alternatively, may be moved forward or reverse in the Y slot of the dome-like top c1osure'3, but the lever 5 may not be moved along both of the slots simultaneously. Movement of the lever either to the left or to the right in slot X will effect tilting of the inner ring 23 and corresponding angular movement of the gear plate 45, resulting in the closure of microswitch 7 and driving of the potentiometer 8 in the corresponding direction. Movement of the lever 5 back to the point of intersection of the slots X, Y will result in reopening of the microswitch 7 and the returning of the potentiometer 8 to its starting point or mid point. Likewise, movement of the lever 5 in either a forward or reverse direction in the Y slot will effect closure of the microswitch 9 and driving of the potentiometer 10 in the corresponding direction; and the return of the lever 5 to the point of intersection of the slots X, Y will result in reopening of the microswitch 9 and the return of the potentiometer 10 to its starting point or mid point.

Thus the control mechanism is well suited to use with a control system of pipe racking apparatus of the type disclosed in the above-mentioned applications for Letters Patent, the respective microswitches 7 and 9 being adapted for effecting the energization and de-energization of solenoid control valves in a hydraulic system for effecting extension and retraction of pipe racking arms, as well as lateral movement of such arms in either the extended or retracted positions; and the potentiometers being adapted to, for example, regulate the rate of fluid flow to the hydraulic actuators for the racking arms.

The apparatus of the invention may also be availed of for other applications in which the simultaneous operation of control means, such as the microswitches and potentiometers, is desirable in response to movement of a control lever or stick in intersecting directions.

What is claimed is:

1. A multidirectional control device comprising: a housing having first and second shaft means therein on intersecting axes, a lever projecting from said housing, means interconnecting said lever with said shaft means for pivotal movement about either of said axes, actuator means responsive to movement of said lever in either direction about either of said axes, and control means operable by said actuator means, wherein said means interconnecting said lever with said shaft means includes means pivotally mounting said lever on one of said shaft means, and said actuator means includes a pair of rings, one ring of said pair being inside the other ring, one of said rings being pivotally mounted on said first shaft means, the other of said rings being pivotally mounted on the other of said shaft means, said lever engaging both of said rings to move said rings angularly with said lever, and said actuator means including an actuator member operatively connected with each ring.

2. A multidirectional control device comprising: a housing having first and second shaft means therein on intersecting axes, a lever projecting from said housing, means interconnecting said lever with said shaft means for pivotal movement about either of said axes, actuator means responsive to movement of said lever in either direction about either of said axes, and control means operable by said actuator means, wherein said means interconnecting said lever with said shaft means includes means pivotally mounting said lever on one of said shaft means, and said actuator means includes a pair of rings, one ring of said pair being inside the other ring, one of said rings being pivotally mounted on said first shaft means, the other of said rings being pivotally mounted on the other of said shaft means, said lever engaging both of said rings to move said rings angularly with said lever, said actuator means including a gear carried by each of said rings and said control means including a pinion engaged with said gear.

3. A multidirectional control device comprising: a housing having first and second shaft means therein on intersecting axes, a lever projecting from said housing, means interconnecting said lever with said shaft means for pivotal movement about either of said axes, actuator means responsive to movement of said lever in either direction about either of said axes, and control means operable by said actuator means, wherein said means interconnecting said lever with said shaft means includes means pivotally mounting said lever on one of said shaft means, and said actuator means includes a pair of rings, one ring of said pair being inside the other ring, one of said rings being pivotally mounted on said first shaft means, the other of said rings being pivotally mounted on the other of said shaft means, said lever engaging both of said rings to move said ring angularly with said lever, said actuator means including a gear carried by each of said rings and said control means including first control means having a pinion engaged with said gear and second control means, said second control means having an actuator arm, said gear having opposing shoulders engageable with said actuator arm.

4. A multidirectional control device comprising: a housing having first having first and second shaft means therein on intersecting axes, a lever projecting from said housing, means interconnecting said lever with said shaft means for pivotal movement about either of said axes, actuator means responsive to movement of said lever in either direction about either of said axes, and control means operable by said actuator means, wherein said means interconnecting said lever with said shaft means includes means pivotally mounting said lever on one of said shaft means, and said actuator means includes a pair of rings, one ring of said pair being inside the other ring, one of said rings being pivotally mounted on said first shaft means, the other of said rings being pivotally mounted on the other of said shaft means, said lever engaging both of said rings to move said rings angularly with said lever, said actuator means including an actuator member operatively connected with each ring, and including means normally biasing said rings to a neutral position.

5. A multidirectional control device comprising: a housing having first and second shaft means therein 0n intersecting axes, a lever projecting from said housing, means interconnecting said lever with said shaft means for pivotal movement about either of said axes, actuator means responsive to movement of said lever in either direction about either of said axes, and control means operable by said actuator means, wherein said means interconnecting said lever with said shaft means includes means pivotally mounting said lever on one of said shaft means, and said actuator means includes a pair of rings, one ring of said pair being inside the other ring, one of said rings being pivotally mounted on said first shaft means, the other of said rings being pivotally mounted on the other of said shaft means, each of said rings having an angularly extending slot through which said lever extends, and including a part on said housing having crossed slots through which said lever also extends, said slots in said ring being on intersecting planes corresponding to the intersecting planes of said crossed slots.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,545,649 3/1951 Capellaro 74471UX 2,747,035 5/1956 Hansen et a1. 7447lX 3,095,754 7/1963 Mayon et al. 74471 3,308,675 3/1967 Jonsson 74471 MILTON KAUFMAN, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 200-6

Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification74/471.0XY, 338/128, 200/6.00A
International ClassificationG05G9/00, G05G9/047, E21B19/00, E21B19/14
Cooperative ClassificationE21B19/14, G05G2009/04748, G05G9/047, G05G2009/04718
European ClassificationG05G9/047, E21B19/14
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
22 Feb 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: HUGHES TOOL COMPANY, P.O. BOX 2539, HOUSTON, TX. 7
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BJ-HUGHES INC.,;REEL/FRAME:004098/0273
Effective date: 19821231