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United States Patent Application 20170224103
Kind Code A1
Newhouse; Thomas J. ;   et al. August 10, 2017

DESKTOP RECEPTACLE WITH HINGED COVER

Abstract

A desktop receptacle includes a box including a front wall connected to a back wall opposite the front wall by at least one additional wall, the box having an opening formed therein; an electrical assembly held within the box; a first cover assembly connected to the back wall and including a first hinge and a first cover hingedly connected to the first hinge, the first cover being movable about the first hinge to at least partially cover the opening; and a second cover assembly connected to the front wall and including a second hinge and a second cover hingedly connected to the second hinge, the second cover being movable about the second hinge to at least partially cover the opening, the first hinge being a stop for the second cover and the second hinge being a stop for the first cover.


Inventors: Newhouse; Thomas J.; (Grand Rapids, MI) ; Maranto; Vincent; (Fort Wayne, IN)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Group Dekko, Inc.

Garrett

IN

US
Assignee: Group Dekko, Inc.
Garrett
IN

Family ID: 1000002035615
Appl. No.: 15/018284
Filed: February 8, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A47B 21/06 20130101; A47B 2021/066 20130101; B65D 43/163 20130101
International Class: A47B 21/06 20060101 A47B021/06; B65D 43/16 20060101 B65D043/16

Claims



1. A desktop receptacle, comprising: a box including a front wall connected to a back wall opposite said front wall by at least one additional wall, said box having an opening formed therein; an electrical assembly held within said box; a first cover assembly connected to said back wall and including a first hinge directly connected to said back wall and a first cover hingedly connected to said first hinge, said first cover being movable about said first hinge to at least partially cover said opening; and a second cover assembly connected to said front wall and including a second hinge spaced apart from said first hinge and directly connected to said front wall and a second cover hingedly connected to said second hinge, said second cover being movable about said second hinge to at least partially cover said opening, said first hinge being a stop for said second cover and said second hinge being a stop for said first cover.

2-3. (canceled)

4. The desktop receptacle according to claim 1, wherein said first hinge has a first side surface hingedly connected to said first cover and a top surface defining a stop portion that limits movement of said second cover.

5. The desktop receptacle according to claim 4, wherein said second hinge is a mirror image of said first hinge.

6. The desktop receptacle according to claim 1, wherein said first cover and at least one of said front wall and said back wall define a gap therebetween when said first cover contacts said second hinge.

7. The desktop receptacle according to claim 6, wherein said gap allows an electric cable to pass therethrough.

8. The desktop receptacle according to claim 6, wherein said second cover and at least one of said front wall and said back wall define a second gap therebetween when said second cover contacts said first hinge.

9. The desktop receptacle according to claim 8, wherein said second gap allows an electric cable to pass therethrough.

10. The desktop receptacle according to claim 1, wherein said first cover is hingedly connected to said at least one additional wall.

11. The desktop receptacle according to claim 1, wherein said opening is formed in a top of said box.

12. An article of furniture, comprising: a work surface having a receptacle opening formed therein; and a desktop receptacle placed in said receptacle opening, said desktop receptacle comprising: a box including a front wall connected to a back wall opposite said front wall by at least one additional wall, said box having an opening formed therein; an electrical assembly held within said box; a first cover assembly connected to said back wall and including a first hinge directly connected to said back wall and a first cover hingedly connected to said first hinge, said first cover being movable about said first hinge to at least partially cover said opening; and a second cover assembly connected to said front wall and including a second hinge spaced apart from said first hinge and directly connected to said front wall and a second cover hingedly connected to said second hinge, said second cover being movable about said second hinge to at least partially cover said opening, said first hinge being a stop for said second cover and said second hinge being a stop for said first cover.

13. The article of furniture according to claim 12, wherein said opening of said box has a similar shape to said receptacle opening of said work surface.

14. The article of furniture according to claim 12, wherein said desktop receptacle includes a peripheral portion at least partially surrounding said opening and contacting said work surface.

15. The article of furniture according to claim 12, wherein said first cover and at least one of said front wall and said back wall define a gap therebetween when said first cover contacts said second hinge.

16. The article of furniture according to claim 15, wherein said gap allows an electric cable to pass therethrough.

17. The article of furniture according to claim 12, wherein said first hinge has a side surface hingedly connected to said first cover and a top surface defining a stop portion that limits movement of said second cover.
Description



BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to desktop receptacles, and, more particularly, to desktop receptacles with covers.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Desktop receptacles are known that can be connected to an electrical or data source, such as a wall outlet or computer, and installed in a work area to allow for electronic devices in the work area to connect to the wall outlet or computer. For aesthetic purposes, many installed desktop receptacle are hidden from sight. This can be accomplished by installing the desktop receptacle in an out of sight location of the work area, such as underneath a desk. Such receptacles are difficult to access, which is inconvenient for work spaces where electrical devices are often connected and disconnected from the electrical assembly held in the desktop receptacle.

[0005] To provide convenient connection and disconnection to, for example, power from a wall outlet, many desktop receptacles have both exposed and hidden portions. The exposed portion allows a user to access an electrical assembly held in the receptacle to connect an electrical device to a power or data source, while the hidden portion provides structure for the desktop receptacle. In such desktop receptacles, the exposed portion typically is accessed from the work surface, while the hidden portion is held underneath the work surface and normally out of sight from the user. The hidden portion also usually isolates circuitry of the electrical assembly from the user to conform to accepted industry standards.

[0006] Once the electrical device is plugged into the electrical assembly, a user may want to close access to the electrical assembly for aesthetic purposes. A variety of covers are known that will close access to the electrical assembly. One problem with known covers is that in order to connect a cable to the electrical device and electrical assembly, one or more openings must exist in the cover that the cable can be held in after closing the cover. When many cables are connected to the electrical device and electrical assembly, the combined sizes of the cables can fill the cover opening and prevent additional cables being connected to the electrical assembly. Further, the placement of the opening can require one or more of the cables to be excessively bent in order to connect to the electrical assembly and exit through the cover opening, which can result in damage to the cable. Even further, many desktop receptacles include elaborate safety stops to prevent overextension and damage to the cover when opening and closing the cover.

[0007] What is needed in the art is a desktop receptacle that can allow convenient cable access to an electrical assembly in the desktop receptacle and has a relatively simple stop.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] The present invention provides a desktop receptacle including a box and cover assemblies connected to opposite walls of the box, a hinge of each cover assembly being a stop for a cover of the other cover assembly.

[0009] The invention in one form is directed to a desktop receptacle including: a box including a front wall connected to a back wall opposite the front wall by at least one additional wall, the box having an opening formed therein; an electrical assembly held within the box; a first cover assembly connected to the back wall and including a first hinge and a first cover hingedly connected to the first hinge, the first cover being movable about the first hinge to at least partially cover the opening; and a second cover assembly connected to the front wall and including a second hinge and a second cover hingedly connected to the second hinge, the second cover being movable about the second hinge to at least partially cover the opening, the first hinge being a stop for the second cover and the second hinge being a stop for the first cover.

[0010] The invention in another form is directed to an article of furniture including a work surface having a receptacle opening formed therein and a desktop receptacle placed in the receptacle opening. The desktop receptacle includes a box including a front wall connected to a back wall opposite the front wall by at least one additional wall, the box having an opening formed therein; an electrical assembly held within the box; a first cover assembly connected to the back wall and including a first hinge and a first cover hingedly connected to the first hinge, the first cover being movable about the first hinge to at least partially cover the opening; and a second cover assembly connected to the front wall and including a second hinge and a second cover hingedly connected to the second hinge, the second cover being movable about the second hinge to at least partially cover the opening, the first hinge being a stop for the second cover and the second hinge being a stop for the first cover.

[0011] An advantage of the present invention is the hinges being stops for the covers is a relatively simple yet effective way to limit the risk of the covers over-rotating.

[0012] Another advantage is the covers can be spaced from the box to form a gap that cables can pass through.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] The above-mentioned and other features and advantages of this invention, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the invention will be better understood by reference to the following description of embodiments of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0014] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a desktop receptacle according to the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the desktop receptacle shown in FIG. 1;

[0016] FIG. 3 is a close-up top view of the desktop receptacle shown in FIGS. 1-2;

[0017] FIG. 4 is a close-up perspective view of the desktop receptacle shown in FIGS. 1-3;

[0018] FIG. 5 is another perspective view of the desktop receptacle shown in FIGS. 1-4;

[0019] FIG. 6 is yet another perspective view of the desktop receptacle shown in FIGS. 1-5; and

[0020] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a work surface according to the present invention incorporating the desktop receptacle shown in FIGS. 1-7.

[0021] Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. The exemplifications set out herein illustrate embodiments of the invention and such exemplifications are not to be construed as limiting the scope of the invention in any manner.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0022] Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1-2, there is shown a desktop receptacle 10 which generally includes a box 12 including a front wall 14 connected to a back wall 16 which is opposite the front wall 14 by sidewalls 18, an electrical assembly 20 held within the box 12, a first cover assembly 22 connected to the back wall 16 and a second cover assembly 24 connected to the front wall 14. It should be appreciated that all references to relative locations, such as "front," "back," and "side," are for convenience of description only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention in any manner. As can be seen, the box 12 has a rectangular shape with a closed bottom 26 and an opening 28 formed in a top 30 of the box 12. While the box 12 is shown as being rectangular in shape, the box 12 can be formed to have any desired shape. The box 12 can be configured to isolate any circuitry (not shown) of the electrical assembly 20, preventing easy access to any live electrical components of the electrical assembly 20 and conforming to industry standard such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards. The desktop receptacle 10 can also include an additional electrical assembly 20, which is partially obstructed from view in FIG. 2 by the second cover assembly 24. As shown in FIG. 2, the box 12 can have an isolation wall 32 connected to the walls 14, 16 and 18 of the box 12 and, in combination with the closed bottom 26, covering any circuitry of the electrical assembly 20, with the circuitry being accessed by various electrical ports 34 formed in a faceplate 36 of the electrical assembly 20. The electrical assembly 20 can be any type of assembly that includes circuitry and/or other components that allow an electrical device, such as a computer, to connect to a power or data source, such as a wall outlet. Many electrical assemblies are known and it should be appreciated that any desired electrical assembly can be included in the desktop receptacle 10.

[0023] Referring now specifically to FIG. 2, it can be seen that the first cover assembly 22 connected to the back wall 16 includes a hinge 38 and a cover 40 that is hingedly connected to the hinge 38. As used herein, the cover 40 is "hingedly connected" to the hinge 38 in the sense that the cover 40 is connected to the hinge 38 in a way that allows the cover 40 to rotate about a connection point to the hinge 38, such as the cover 40 being connected to the hinge 38 by a pivot pin 42. The cover 40 can have a pivoting tab 44 adjacent to a lateral edge 46 of the cover 40 with a pivot opening (not seen in FIG. 2) that the pivot pin 42 extends through to connect the pivoting tab 44 to the hinge 38 to allow the cover 40 to rotate about the hinge 38. The cover 40 can have another pivoting tab 48 attached to another lateral edge 50 opposite the lateral edge 46 that can be hingedly connected to the sidewall 18 of the box 12, stabilizing both lateral edges 46, 50 of the cover 40.

[0024] Referring now specifically to FIGS. 3 and 4, a closer view of the hinge 38 of the first cover assembly 22 is shown. As can be seen, the hinge 38 can have a side surface 52 that is hingedly connected to the cover 40 and a top surface 54 that defines a stop portion of the hinge 38. The stop portion 54 of the hinge 38 is placed in a closing path of a cover 56 of the second cover assembly 24 so that the stop portion 54 interferes with the cover 56 of the second cover assembly 24 rotating past the hinge 38 toward the isolation wall 32. In this sense, the hinge 38 is a stop for the cover 56, with the cover 56 contacting the stop portion 54 of the hinge 38 in a closed position. The stop portion 54 of the hinge 38 can be adjusted, as desired, to determine the closed position of the cover 56. For example, the relative position of the stop portion 54 can be adjusted to change the relative position of a top surface 58 of the cover 56 in the closed position. As shown in FIG. 3, the top surface 58 of the cover 56 is substantially flush with the top 30 of the box 12, but the stop portion 54 can also be positioned so the top surface 58 of the cover 56 is recessed or raised relative to the top 30 of the box 12. As shown, the hinge 38 is connected to the back wall 16 of the box 12, but it is contemplated that the hinge 38 can be otherwise connected to the box 12 or another element of the desktop receptacle 10 to place the hinge 38 in the closing path of the cover 56.

[0025] As can be seen in FIG. 4, the pivoting tab 44 has a pivot opening 60 formed therein that the pivot pin 42 extends through to connect the cover 40 to the hinge 38. The pivot opening 60 can be formed as an elongated opening to allow for various positions of the pivot pin 42 within the pivot opening 60 to adjust how the cover 40 rotates about the hinge 38. As shown, the pivot pin 42 is placed in the elongated opening 60 at a back of the opening 60, so the cover 40 has a greater distance from the back wall 16 of the box 12 than if the pivot pin 42 were placed in, for example, the front of the opening 60. To allow the pivot pin 42 to stay placed in its relative position within the opening 60 while still allowing the cover 40 to rotate about the hinge 38, the pivot pin 42 can have a square shaped section corresponding to the square shape of the opening 60 and a round shaped section that will be inserted in a round opening (not shown) formed in the hinge 38. Such a configuration prevents relative rotation between the square shaped section of the pivot pin 42 and the opening 60 while allowing the round section of the pivot pin 42 to rotate about the hinge 38.

[0026] The second cover assembly 24 also has a hinge 62 that stops the cover 40 of the first cover assembly 22 from rotating past the hinge 62 and is hingedly connected to the cover 56 of the second cover assembly 24. The hinge 38 of the first cover assembly 22 and hinge 62 of the second cover assembly 24 are shown as being connected to the box 12 in a way that prevents the two covers 40 and 56 of the respective cover assemblies 22 and 24 from contacting each other as the covers 40, 56 rotate about their respective hinge 38, 62. However, it is contemplated that the cover assemblies 22 and 24 can be arranged to have overlap between the covers 40, 56, if desired. As can be seen in comparing the first cover assembly 22 to the second cover assembly 24 in FIGS. 1-4, the second cover assembly 24 can be a substantially mirror image of the first cover assembly 22, i.e., a perspective view of the desktop receptacle 10 from the front and the rear can be substantially identical. By mirroring the first cover assembly 22 and second cover assembly 24, the first cover assembly 22 and second cover assembly 24 can be interchangeable parts that can simplify manufacturing of the desktop receptacle 10 by only requiring tooling to produce one type of cover assembly. The manufactured cover assembly can then be connected to its respective wall 14, 16 of the box 12 to produce the desktop receptacle 10. While the second cover assembly 24 is shown as being a mirror image of the first cover assembly 22, it should be appreciated that the second cover assembly 24 can be configured differently from the first cover assembly 22.

[0027] Referring now to FIG. 5, it can be seen that an additional stop 64 has been attached to the sidewall 18 that is level with the hinge 62 of the second cover assembly 24. The additional stop 64 stops the cover 40 adjacent to the other lateral edge 50 so the cover 40 is braced on both sides when in the closed position. Bracing the cover 40 on both sides can help prevent bending of the cover 40 when downforce is applied to the cover 40. The additional stop 64 is shown as being attached to the sidewall 18, but can be attached to other parts of the box 12 to brace the cover 40 on the side of the lateral edge 50.

[0028] Referring now to FIG. 6, it can be seen that the first cover assembly 22 can be connected to the back wall 16 of the box 12 using a screw 66 that goes into the back wall 16 and the hinge 38 of the first cover assembly 22. Using the screw 66 to connect the first cover assembly 22 to the back wall 16 allows for easy replacement of the first cover assembly 22 in the event that any component of the first cover assembly 22 is broken. Although the hinge 38 of the first cover assembly 22 is shown as being directly connected to the back wall 16 of the box 12, the first cover assembly 22 does not need to be directly connected to the back wall 16 and can have an element separate from the hinge 38 that connects to the box 12.

[0029] Referring generally to FIGS. 1-6, it can be seen that when the cover 56 of the second cover assembly 24 is in the closed position and contacting the hinge 38 of the first cover assembly 22, there are gaps 68 formed between the cover 56 and the front wall 14 and back wall 16. The size of the formed gaps 68 can be adjusted to allow cables (not shown) of varying sizes to extend through the gaps 68 so electrical devices can be plugged into the electrical assembly 20 while the cover 56 is in the closed position. The cover 40 of the first cover assembly 22 can be configured similarly to also form gaps between the cover 40 and the front wall 14 and back wall 16. To form the gaps 68, the size of the cover 56 can be adjusted so the cover 56 has a cover width WC that is less than an opening width WO. The hinge 62 that the cover 56 is hingedly connected to can also extend away from the front wall 14 and connect to the cover 56 a desired distance from the front wall 14, allowing the cover 56 to rotate about the hinge 62 until the cover 56 contacts the front wall 14 and forming the gap 68 between the cover 56 and front wall 14 when the cover 56 is closed. As illustrated by the cover 40 of the first cover assembly 22 being in a completely open position, the covers 40, 56 can contact the back wall 16 and front wall 14, respectively, when fully opened. In this sense, the back wall 16 and front wall 14 also act as stops to prevent over-rotation of the covers 40, 56. The formed gaps 68 can be sized to allow both power and data cables to extend through the gaps 68 without pinching the cables when the cover 56 opens and closes, with the gaps 68 having exemplary gap widths WG of 0.25 to 0.5 inches. While each gap width WG is shown as being equal half of the difference between the opening width WO and the cover width WC, the gap widths WG do not need to be equivalent and can be varied to allow different sized cables to extend through each gap 68. The box 12 can also include a peripheral portion 70, shown as flanges 70A, 70B, 70C, and 70D connected to the top 30 of the box 12 and that surround the opening 28 formed in the top 30 of the box 12. The peripheral portion 70 can fully surround the opening 28, as shown, or only a portion of the opening 28 if desired, as will be described further herein.

[0030] Referring now to FIG. 7, an embodiment of an article of furniture 100 according to the present invention is shown that includes a work surface 102 with a receptacle opening 104 formed in the work surface 102 and the desktop receptacle 10 shown in FIGS. 1-6 placed in the receptacle opening 104. The electrical assembly 20 of the desktop receptacle 10 can be connected to a wall outlet (not shown) by a power cord 72 (shown in FIG. 1) so that an electronic device 106, such as a laptop computer, can be connected to and receive electrical power through the electrical assembly 20 from the wall outlet. To help support the box 12 in the receptacle opening 104, brackets 74 (shown in FIG. 1) can be connected to the box 12 and then connected to a bottom of the work surface 102. The flanges 70A, 70B, 70C, and 70D of the peripheral portion 70 can also contact the work surface 102 to help support the box 12. The flange 70A is omitted from FIG. 7 so the receptacle opening 104 can be seen, but it should be appreciated that the flange 70A will obstruct view of the receptacle opening 104 as well, if included. The receptacle opening 104 can be sized and shaped to be substantially filled by the walls 14, 16, and 18 of the box 12 and leave little, if any, space between the walls 14, 16, and 18 of the box 12 and the walls (not seen) of the receptacle opening 104. The opening 28 formed in the top 30 of the box 12 can have a similar shape to the receptacle opening 104, but have smaller dimensions. The difference in dimensions of the opening 28 compared to the receptacle opening 104 can be, for example, a thickness of the walls 14, 16, and 18 of the box 12 so the box 12 is tightly fit within the receptacle opening 104.

[0031] While this invention has been described with respect to at least one embodiment, the present invention can be further modified within the spirit and scope of this disclosure. This application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention using its general principles. Further, this application is intended to cover such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which this invention pertains and which fall within the limits of the appended claims.

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