Patent application title: SUPPORT TRAY WITH INFINITE MOUNTING POSITIONS
Nicholas L. Blackburn (Wellesley, CA)
IPC8 Class: AA47F314FI
Class name: Supports: racks tray single
Publication date: 2009-03-05
Patent application number: 20090057253
Patent application title: SUPPORT TRAY WITH INFINITE MOUNTING POSITIONS
NICHOLAS L. BLACKBURN
DARYL W SCHNURR;MILLER THOMSON LLP
Origin: WATERLOO, ON CA
IPC8 Class: AA47F314FI
A tray for supporting a peripheral at a workstation has T-slots extending
across the tray. The T-slots are used with corresponding T-nuts to mount
the tray on an articulating support arm and mount a mouse support onto
the tray. The mounting positions are infinite in each slot as the T-nuts
can be tightened at any location. Preferably, the T-slots extend from
side to side across the tray.
1. A tray for supporting a peripheral at a workstation, said tray being
used with a support arm, said tray comprising a front, a rear, top,
bottom and two sides, said tray having a T-slot extending across said
tray from at least one of said sides, thereby permitting said tray to be
mounted on said support arm using a T-nut at infinite locations along
said T-slot, said T-slot having a T-shaped cross-section, said T-nut
extending between said support arm and said tray.
2. A tray as claimed in claim 1 wherein said T-slot extends across said tray from side to side.
3. A tray as claimed in claim 2 wherein said T-slot is a first T-slot and extends along an approximate centre line of said tray.
4. A tray as claimed in claim 3 wherein said T-slot is a first T-slot and there is a second T-slot extending from at least one of a front, rear and two sides of said tray, said second T-slot providing means to support a mouse support at infinite locations in said second T-slot, said second T-slot having a second T-nut extending between said tray and said mouse support.
5. A tray as claimed in claim 4 wherein said mouse support is mountable in said first T-slot or in said second T-slot.
6. A tray as claimed in claim 5 wherein said support arm is mountable in said first T-slot or in said second T-slot.
7. A tray as claimed in claim 4 wherein said first T-slot and said second T-slot are mounted across a bottom of said tray.
8. A tray as claimed in claim 4 wherein said first T-slot and said second T-slot extend from side to side of said tray.
9. A tray as claimed in claim 4 wherein said first and second T-slots are parallel to one another.
10. A tray as claimed in claim 4 wherein said top of said tray has a friction surface extended thereon to assist in preventing a keyboard from sliding on said tray.
11. A tray as claimed in claim 1 wherein said T-slot is a first T-slot and said T-nut is a first T-nut, there being a second T-slot and corresponding T-nut extending from at least one of a front, rear, and two sides of said tray, one of said T-slots extending only partway across said tray.
12. A tray as claimed in claim 11 wherein both of said T-slots extend only partway across said tray.
13. A tray as claimed in claim 1 wherein said tray has more than two T-slots and corresponding T-nuts.
Applicant claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser.
No. 60/953,092 filed on Jul. 31, 2007.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to a tray for supporting a peripheral at a workstation for the tray as mounted on a support arm and there are infinite locations along a T-slot in the tray.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Keyboard trays that are mounted on articulating support arms are known. The tray is centrally mounted on the keyboard arm in a fixed location on the tray. When a keyboard is supported on the tray it can be inconvenient for a user to have to access the keyboard when it is located on a tray that is centrally mounted on the support arm. For example, if a user will be using mainly the number keys on the keyboard, the use of those keys might cause more strain to the user as those keys are located off center or further away from the user than is comfortable. Repetitive strain injuries are a serious concern in the computer industry.
Similarly, while it is known to have mouse supports mounted onto trays, the location of the mouse support mounts are fixed and do not allow an infinite choice of locations. As with keyboards, for a particular user, the available location or locations for mounting a mouse support on a tray may be uncomfortable to a user and cause unnecessary strain to the user. It is known that using a keyboard or clicking a mouse can cause pain in the arm muscles or other muscles in the user that continues after the work has been completed and can result in time off work at great expense to an employer. Also, sometimes different users have different preferences or requirements as to the location of a tray or mouse support on a tray in order to provide a working atmosphere that is comfortable for a particular user or for a particular task. Sometimes, more than one user works at a particular workstation during a work day.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is an object of the present invention to provide a tray for supporting a keyboard and the like that is mountable on a support arm where the tray has infinite locations at which the tray can be mounted onto the support arm, the locations being easily changeable as the needs of a user or users change. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a tray that provides infinite locations for mounting a mouse support thereon and those locations are also variable as desired by a user or users.
A tray for supporting a peripheral at a workstation, the tray being used with a support arm, comprises a front, top, bottom and two sides. The tray has a T-slot extending across the tray from at least one of the sides, thereby permitting the tray to be mounted on the support arm using a T-nut at infinite locations along the T-slot. The T-slot has a T-shaped cross-section and the T-nut extends between the support arm and the tray.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tray having a mouse support mounted on a support arm;
FIG. 2 is a side view of a tray, mouse support and support arm partially in sections; and
FIG. 3 is a sectional end view of a T-slot in the tray.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
In FIG. 1, an articulating support arm 2 is shown in dotted lines as the support arm is not part of the present invention. A tray 4 is mounted on the support arm 2 where the support arm is mounted in a T-slot located (not shown in FIG. 1) using a T-nut (not shown in FIG. 1) where the tray 4 can be mounted in an infinite number of locations between two sides 6 of the tray 4. The tray 4 has a rear 8, a front 10, top 12 and bottom 14. A wrist support 16 is located along the front 10 on the top 12. Also on the top 12, there is a band 17 extending between the sides 6 near a rear 8. The band 17 contains a plurality of serrations that are created during the extrusion of the tray and provide a friction surface for a keyboard (not shown) and the like that are supported on the tray. In a right rear corner 18 of the tray 4, there is located a mouse support 20 that is supported in a T-slot (not shown in FIG. 1) on the tray. As with the tray itself, relative to the support arm 2, the mouse support 20 can be mounted in infinite locations between the sides 6 of the tray 4 within either of the T-slots.
In FIG. 2, the same reference numerals are used as those used in FIG. 1 for those components that are identical. The support arm 2, which is preferably an articulating support arm, is conventional and is only partially shown in dotted lines in FIG. 2. A sectional view of the tray 4 is shown and it can be seen that the tray has a first T-slot 22 that extends from side to side near a center of the tray 4 between the rear 8 and the front 10. A T-nut 24 is located within the first T-slot 22 and connected to the support arm 2 so that the tray 4 can be fixedly secured to the support 2 at any location within the first T-slot 22 between the two sides 6. A second T-slot 26 is located in the bottom 14 of the tray 4. A T-nut 28 is located within the second T-slot 26 and receives a bolt 30 that threads into the T-nut 28 and is connected to a handle 32 beneath the mouse support 20. When the handle 32 is turned so that the bolt and nut are loosely affixed to one another, the mouse support can slide along the entire second T-slot 26, which preferably extends from one side 6 to the other side 6 of the tray 4. The handle can be turned to tighten the bolt 30 and T-nut 28 to affix the mouse support in any one of an infinite number of positions within the second T-slot 26.
In FIG. 3, there is shown an enlarged sectional view of the first T-slot 22 of the tray 4. The same reference numerals are used in FIG. 3 as those used in FIG. 2 for those components that are identical. The T-slot 22 shown in FIG. 3 is identical to the T-slot 26 and could have been designated as the second T-slot 26 rather than the first T-slot 22.
While it is preferable that both T-slots extend across an entire width of the tray 4, a tray can have one or both of the T-slots extending only part way across the tray from one of the sides. A T-slot can extend partially or fully across the tray from a front or rear, or both rather than from a side. A tray can have one T-slot only with both the support arm and the mouse support mounted in the same T-slot. T-slots can also be located at locations in the tray other than those shown in the drawings and a tray can have more than two T-slots located therein. Further, the tray can be connected to a support arm by using either T-slot where there are two T-slots or any T-slot where there are more than two T-slots.
Patent applications by Nicholas L. Blackburn, Wellesley CA
Patent applications in class Single
Patent applications in all subclasses Single