Patent application title: USER-ADJUSTABLE WALL MOUNT FOR DISPLAY PANEL
Joseph D. Lee (Santa Monica, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AE04B1343FI
Class name: Static structures (e.g., buildings) with lifting or handling means for primary component or assembly construction or component having means to engage hand or cable-type lifting means
Publication date: 2012-07-05
Patent application number: 20120167486
A wall mount for mounting a flat display panel on a wall enables an
attached panel to be user-movable within predetermined limits in a curved
travel path including an upper limit location with the panel in proximity
to the wall, and a lower working location with the panel spaced out from
the wall at a predetermined distance. A parallelogram type support
structure with four double-hinged coupling arms enables the required
movability while holding the panel level and vertically oriented. In a
powered embodiment, an electric motor/winch assembly is controlled by a
local and/or remote, wireless, wired and/or Wi-Fi control unit enabling a
user to relocate the panel to any desired location in the travel path and
to lock the panel in place for viewing.
1. A wall mount assembly for adjustable support of a generally flat
display panel, comprising: a wall plate made and arranged to be attached
to a vertical wall; a panel plate, having a designated vertical
dimension, made and arranged to support a display panel in a vertical
plane; coupling structure made and arranged to couple said wall plate
together with said panel plate in a manner that, with said wall plate
attached to the vertical wall, said panel plate is enabled to support the
display panel in stabilized viewing condition at one of at least two
predetermined locations relative to the wall including an upward
location, close to the wall, and a downward location spaced further from
the wall than the upward location by a predetermined horizontal distance,
and located lower than the upward location by a predetermined vertical
distance; and a hoist system, applying primary actuating tensile force
via at least one flexible tension-drive member, deployed in a manner to
perform user-directed relocation of the display panel in a predetermined
travel path between the upward and the downward locations.
2. The wall mount assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein the predetermined horizontal distance is made approximately equal to the predetermined vertical distance.
3. The wall mount assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein said coupling structure comprises a plurality of coupling arms each having a first end hingedly attached to said wall mount plate at a selected location thereupon, and a second and opposite end hingedly attached to said panel mount plate, at corresponding predetermined attachment locations at top and bottom regions thereof, such that said coupling arms are held parallel to each other causing said wall plate and said panel plate to form a first pair of parallel opposite sides of a hinged parallelogram, and causing said coupling arms to form a second pair of parallel opposite sides of the hinged parallelogram, such that, with said wall plate attached to a vertical wall, said panel plate is movable in an arcuate travel path extending in a travel range between (1) an upper limit at the upward location, characterized by said coupling arms being oriented in a generally vertical direction and said panel plate being located in close proximity to the wall, and (2) a lower limit at the downward location characterized by said coupling arms being oriented in a generally horizontal direction with said wall plate and said panel plate being displaced from the upper limit panel location by the predetermined horizontal distance and by the predetermined vertical distance.
4. The wall mount assembly as defined in claim 3 wherein: said panel plate is attached to a flat display panel; and said wall plate is attached to a vertical wall at a location intended for viewing the display panel.
5. The wall mount assembly as defined in claim 4 wherein said panel plate is attached to said display panel via intermediate panel attachment hardware.
6. The wall mount assembly as defined in claim 4 wherein said hoist system comprises: a cylindrical roller rotatably mounted in close proximity to the wall at a predetermined height dimension above a bottom edge of said wall plate that approximates twice the vertical dimension of said panel plate: a first end of said at least one flexible tension-drive member being attached to said cylindrical roller in a wrap-around manner to act as a winch; a second and opposite end of said at least one flexible tension-drive member being attached to a lower region of said panel plate: and actuation means enabling a user to actuate said cylindrical roller in a rotational manner to provide capability of supporting and relocating said panel plate and the display panel via tension in said at least one flexible tension-drive member as required to move the display panel in the travel path and to support the display panel in a stable condition at any selected location.
7. The wall mount assembly as defined in claim 6 wherein said at least one flexible tension-drive member comprises two fabric webbing straps each located in a corresponding opposite end region of said cylindrical roller and wound spirally thereupon.
8. The wall mount assembly as defined in claim 6 wherein said actuation means comprises an electric motor located in a hollow end region within said cylindrical roller along with an associated gear reduction mechanism, the electric motor being attached, at least indirectly, to the wall by a mounting bracket.
9. The wall mount assembly as defined in claim 8 wherein said electric motor further comprises braking and locking capability automatically applied to said cylindrical roller whenever electrical power is absent in said electric motor.
10. A wall mount assembly for wall-mounting a generally flat display panel in a manner to be user-relocatable, comprising: a wall plate attached to a vertical wall; a panel plate, having a designated vertical dimension, attached to the display panel; four coupling arms each having a first end hingedly attached to said wall mount plate at a selected location thereupon, and a second and opposite end hingedly attached to said panel mount plate, at corresponding predetermined attachment locations at top and bottom end regions thereof, such that said coupling arms are held parallel to each other causing said wall plate and said panel plate to form a first pair of parallel opposite sides of a hinged parallelogram, and causing said coupling arms to form a second pair of parallel opposite sides of the hinged parallelogram, such that the display panel is movable in a travel path approximating a 90 degree arc extending in a travel range between two user-selectable locations including an upward location close to the wall at a predetermined height with said coupling arms oriented in a generally vertical direction, and a downward location, wherein with the coupling arms are oriented in a generally horizontal direction and the display panel is displaced downwardly by a vertical dimension and displaced further from the wall by a horizontal dimension that approximates the vertical dimension; and a hoisting system comprising: a cylindrical roller rotatably mounted in close proximity to the wall at a predetermined height dimension, relative to a bottom edge of said wall plate, that approximates twice the vertical dimension of said panel plate; a first fabric webbing strap having a first strap end attached to said cylindrical roller in a first end region thereof and spirally wound thereupon, and having a second strap end attached to a lower region of said panel plate near a first end thereof; a second fabric webbing strap having a first strap end attached to said cylindrical roller in a second end region thereof and spirally wound thereupon, and having a second strap end attached to a lower region of said panel plate near a second end thereof: and an actuation mechanism including a control system made and arranged to enable a user to initiate and control rotation of said cylindrical roller in a manner to apply supportive motive force to said panel plate via tension in said first and second fabric webbing straps as required to move and relocate said panel plate in the travel path, and to apply locking against rotation, upon demand, so as to support said panel plate in a stable condition at any selected location.
11. The wall mount assembly as defined in claim 10 wherein said actuation mechanism includes an electric motor, including reduction gearing, located in an end region of said cylindrical roller and having a housing attached by a bracket to a fixed mass that includes the wall and said wall plate, said electric motor enabled to rotate said cylindrical roller and thus relocate the panel upon actuation by the user, and to prevent rotation of said cylindrical roller in absence of actuation.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention is in the field of mounts for display devices and more particularly a wall-mount system, for a flat display panel, with capability of adjustment over a designated range in a path that includes height and wall-to-panel spacing variation, optionally powered and remotely controllable.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The evolution from bulky CRT type TV/video displays to flat panel display technology has brought to public reality the previously wished-for picture-on-the-wall configuration. With the availability of virtually any desired size panel for optimal viewing as determined by room size, audience size, or taste, flat panel displays have opened up many new interior decorating and placement concepts, and along with the adoption of high definition standards, and an abundance of programming, including movies, sports, shows, information, games, etc., have become a highly desirable and popular feature, in business, regular homes, and particularly in high-end custom home entertainment systems.
 While floor or table-top support may be required or desired for unusually large and heavy panels and/or in institutional/commercial environments, there has been considerable increasing demand for wall-mounting, especially for residential installations, typically adapted to depend upon engagement with wall studs for structural integrity.
DISCUSSION OF KNOWN ART
 For video flat panel mounting, a variety of wall-mounting hardware has become available. The great majority of such mounting hardware currently available provides some range of location adjustment at installation, typically in conjunction with additional rear mounting hardware, allowing an installer to initially secure basic framework to the wall studs and to then utilize the available amount of adjustment range provided by the mounting hardware to accomplish a desired final fixed location. Interior decoration and placement considerations taking into account variations in room size, shape and available wall space frequently pose difficult choices that cannot be resolved satisfactorily with available mounting hardware.
 For example, if the optimal location in a room is already occupied by a fireplace, art, seating, or an electronic equipment cabinet, the user may have to make a difficult choice with an unacceptable compromise of either mounting the viewing panel on the wall above the fireplace mantel, which is typically too high for comfortable seated viewing, or mounting the viewing panel and/or center loudspeaker offset to one side, off-center to the seating and other loudspeaker placement in the room.
 Known available display panel mounting products, even those made to be user-adjustable, with tilt, swivel, and/or cantilevered side to side adjustment, either by hand or powered, fail to provide a satisfactory solution to room obstacle problems such as the fireplace dilemma described above. Thus there remains an unfulfilled need and demand for special mounting hardware that provides such extraordinary additional degree of versatility.
 U.S. Pat. No. 7,784,757 to Woods et al for TILTABLE WALL MOUNTS and U.S. Pat. No. 7,494,099 to Shin for WALL MOUNT USABLE WITH DISPLAY APPARATUS typify disclosures of wall mounts that are hinged to provide tilt adjustment.
 U.S. Pat. No. 7,661,640 to Persson for WALL MOUNTABLE STRUCTURE FOR IMAGE DISPLAY SCREEN typifies disclosures of wall mounts that provide some degree of movement in one specified direction at installation.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,324,027 to Nye for METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ADJUSTING A BASKETBALL GOAL and U.S. Pat. No. 3,765,676 to Bearson et al for ADJUSTABLE BASKETBALL GOALS both disclose a parallelogram support structure wherein a goal backboard is pivotally mounted onto a main structure by pair of upper and lower radius arms, with horizontal hinge axes at each end, to enable manual height adjustment during which the goal backboard remains vertical while it moves in curved path set by the length of the radius arms, causing a variation in goal-to-support spacing. For play use, the backboard is locked in place at the adjusted location by one or more angled support struts, optionally fitted with a form of turn-buckle.
 Published application US 2008/0237424 to Clary for WALL AFFIXED VERTICALLY ARTICULATED FLAT PANEL DISPLAY discloses two frame assemblies connected by pivotally connected links, counter-balanced by pneumatic springs and optionally powered by a linear actuator.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
 It is a primary object of the invention to provide a wall mount hardware structure for supporting a flat display panel onto a vertical wall in a manner that enables adjustment and holding in place within a travel range that includes an upper limit located in proximity to the wall and a lower location spaced out from the wall at a predetermined distance.
 It is a secondary object for the wall mount hardware structure to be equipped with a motive mechanism enabling the display panel to be relocated and set for use at any user-selected location within the travel range by a remote control from any viewing location.
 It is a further object to provide an embodiment wherein the display panel can be set for use in at least two designated locations within a designated range of deployment, by a hand-held, table-top or computerized remote control.
 It is a further object to provide an embodiment made and arranged to locate the wall mount assembly behind a large display panel in a manner to be concealed from a normal viewpoint when the panel is located at the upper limit.
 It is a further object of the invention to operate in conjunction with at least one standard and/or front-center type surround loudspeaker located so as to be concealed when the wall mount holds the panel at the upper limit location, and revealed when the wall mount holds the panel at the lower limit location.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The objects of the invention have been met by configuring wall mount hardware that enables an attached display panel to be user-movable within predetermined limits in a curved travel path including an upper limit location with the panel in proximity to the wall, and a lower working location with the panel spaced out from the wall at a predetermined distance. A parallelogram type support structure with four double-hinged coupling arms enables the required movability while holding the panel level and vertically oriented. In a powered embodiment, an electric motor/winch assembly including braking and locking capability, controlled by a local and/or remote, wireless and/or wired control unit, can relocate the panel to any desired location in the travel path.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a perspective side/front view of an adjustable wall mount assembly of the present invention in a first illustrative embodiment characterized by an upward extending wall plate supporting a motorized winch assembly and an optional loudspeaker. The wall plate is attached by four hinged coupling arms to four corner regions of a movable panel mounting plate, shown set at the lower limit of the adjustment range.
 FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the wall mount of FIG. 1 reset to the upper limit of the range.
 FIGS. 3-6 are side and front views depicting lower and upper limit panel locations of a relatively small sized display panel attached to the wall mount assembly of FIG. 1, also exemplifying a first installation option that exposes the winch assembly and upper wall plate extension when set at the lower limit (FIGS. 1, 3 and 4) and conceals the entire wall mount assembly when set at the upper limit (FIGS. 2, 5 and 6).
 FIGS. 7-10 are side and front views depicting working and upper limit panel locations of a second illustrative wall mount embodiment, characterized by the winch assembly being mounted directly to the wall (FIG. 7), and also depicting a second installation option that enables a relatively larger-sized display panel to conceal the entire wall mount assembly within the adjustment range (FIGS. 8 and 10).
 FIG. 1 is a perspective side/front view of an adjustable wall mount 10 of the present invention in a first illustrative embodiment, characterized by the winch assembly with roller 10D being supported by wall plate 10A and optionally providing a cutout pattern 10H for mounting of a loudspeaker. Upwardly extended wall plate 10A, made to be fastened to a wall, and a substantially narrower panel plate 10B, made to be fastened to a display panel typically via adaptive rear attachment hardware, are linked together by four doubly-hinged coupling arms 10C, one attached at each corner region of panel plate 10B and attached at corresponding locations in the lower portion of wall plate 10A. Each coupling arm 10C has both ends configured to form a hinged attachment to a corresponding one of the four plate-attached angle brackets, as shown.
 A motorized winch assembly, formed by tubular roller 10D surrounding electric drive motor 10F (e.g. Somfy model L40 or L50), is attached to an uppermost region of wall plate 10A. At the left hand end of roller 10D, the motor 10F is attached to wall plate 10A by angle bracket 10G'; at the right hand end of roller 10D, a bearing for roller rotation is supported from wall panel 10A by angle bracket 10G''. A pair of webbing straps 10E, attached to roller 10D and spiraled around opposite end regions thereof, extend diagonally to ends that are securely clamped to a bottom region of panel plate 10B. The winch assembly motor 10F is actuated by a user control to exert tensile force via webbing straps 10E as required to relocate panel plate 10B in its arcuate travel path. Motor 10F also provides a brake-lock action to support panel plate 10B at any location including the lower limit shown in FIG. 1 and the upper limit (FIG. 2).
 A loudspeaker mounting hole pattern 10H may be provided in wall plate 10A, immediately beneath roller 10D, for optional mounting of a loudspeaker, typically 6-10 inch diameter, e.g. to serve as front-center speaker of a surround sound system.
 The four coupling arms 10C with their eight hinged ends form a variable-angle corner-hinged dual parallelogram assembly that defines the arcuate travel path for panel plate 10B, ranging from the lower limit shown in FIG. 1, with the coupling arms 10C oriented horizontally, to the upper limit shown in FIG. 2, with the coupling arms 10C oriented vertically.
 FIG. 2 shows the panel plate 10B having been relocated to the upper limit, the coupling arms 10C having rotated to the vertical orientation shown.
 FIGS. 3-6 are side and front views depicting lower and upper limit panel locations of a display panel 16 attached to the wall mount assembly 10 of FIG. 1 exemplifying a first illustrative embodiment of the present invention characterized by mounting of the winch assembly with roller 10D to an upper extension of wall plate 10A, and also depicting a first installation option that exposes the extended upper portion of wall plate 10A supporting the winch assembly with roller 10D and webbing straps 10E when the panel 16 is set to the lower limit setting (FIGS. 1, 3 and 4). The entire wall mount assembly is concealed behind panel 16 when set to the upper limit (FIGS. 2, 5 and 6).
 FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the wall mount 10 of FIG. 1, exemplifying the first illustrative embodiment of the present invention, shown installed with wall plate 10A secured onto a wall 12 at a substantial distance above the mantel of fireplace 14, and supporting a panel 16, e.g. 61''×35'', from panel plate 10B, located at the lower limit as shown. Panel plate 10B is secured to rear mounting hardware 16A located in the upper rear region of panel 16 in accordance with the first installation option. Panel 16, being spaced away from the wall 12 by the horizontally-oriented coupling arms 10C at the designated lower limit of the travel range, extends downwardly past the mantel of fireplace 14. As an option, immediately beneath roller 10D a loudspeaker 18 may be either flush mounted or surface mounted in panel plate 10B and may be provided with a rear enclosure set into the wall 12 as indicated by the dashed lines. The travel path is an arc of approximately 90 degrees, as indicated by the curved dashed line showing the lower edge of panel 16 clearing the mantel of fireplace 14. Optionally, the lower viewing location could be designated at a lower level, making the travel range arc greater than 90 degrees and moving the panel 16 back closer to the wall 12.
 FIG. 4 is a frontal elevation of FIG. 3 as seen from a room viewpoint, showing a lower portion of panel 16 concealing an upper portion of fireplace 14, while above the top of panel 16, the speaker 18 is exposed for acoustic benefit: also exposed is an upper portion of wall plate 10A including the attached winch assembly with roller 10D and webbing straps 10E.
 FIG. 5 is a side elevation showing panel 16 having been relocated to the upper limit location as shown, with the panel 16 located at its maximum height, close to the wall 12, and with the coupling arms vertically oriented as shown.
 FIG. 6 is a frontal elevation of FIG. 5, as seen from a user viewpoint, showing panel 16 at the upper limit, entirely above the mantel of fireplace 14, totally concealing the wall mount assembly and speaker. This upper limit location of the panel 16 could provide a preferred display condition in the event of many occupants standing in the room, while the lower limit location of FIG. 4 provides a display advantage to seated occupants by locating panel 16 about two feet lower and two feet closer into the room.
 FIGS. 7-10 show side and front views depicting lower and upper limit panel locations of a second illustrative embodiment implemented by wall mount assembly 10', characterized by mounting the winch assembly, with roller 10D, directly to the wall 12, and also depicting an installation option that can enable a sufficiently large panel 16' to conceal the entire wall mount assembly 10' at any location of panel 16' within the travel range.
 FIG. 7 is a side elevation of the wall mount 10', exemplifying the second illustrative embodiment of the present invention, with a wall plate 10A' that may be made equal in height to panel plate 10B as shown. Wall plate 10A' is secured to wall 12 at a location that leaves only minimal working clearance above the mantel of fireplace 14, and the motorized winch assembly with roller 10D is separately attached directly to the wall 12 above panel plate 10B.
 According to a second installation option, along with the relatively lower location of wall mount 10A' on wall 12, panel plate 10B is attached by rear panel mounting hardware to a central region of panel 16' as shown. This second installation option, with panel 16' sufficiently large, e.g. 80''×45'', enables the wall mount assembly 10' to remain totally concealed throughout its full travel range including the lower viewing location shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 and the upper limit location shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. The travel path approximates a 90 degree arc as indicated by the curved dashed line showing the lower edge of panel 16' clearing the mantel of fireplace 14.
 FIG. 8 is a frontal elevation of FIG. 7 as seen from a room viewpoint, showing panel 16' located at the lower working location, exposing an optional pair of (stereo) loudspeakers 18 mounted in the wall 12 above. Optionally, a single loudspeaker could be located centrally to serve as a mono or as front-center of a surround sound system.
 FIG. 9 is a side elevation showing the items of FIGS. 7 and 8 with display panel 16' relocated to the upper limit, close to the wall 12 above the fireplace 14, with the lower edge of panel 16' having moved upwardly in the travel path shown by the curved dashed line in FIG. 7.
 FIG. 10 is a frontal elevation of FIG. 9 as seen from a room viewpoint, showing panel 16' located at its upper limit above the fireplace 14, fully concealing the wall mount assembly and speakers from the viewer.
 Power and signal cables may be dressed alongside or within one or more of the coupling arms 10C, extending from the wall to the display panel. The motor and roller assembly may be enclosed by a decorative cover.
 Either of the first or second illustrative embodiments, characterized mainly by the relative panel size and height dimensions of wall plates 10A and 10A' and plate-mounting versus wall-mounting of the winch assembly, can be utilized in conjunction with either the first or second installation option described above as well as with other installation options relating to panel size and the choice of height for attachment of the wall plate onto the wall and the choice of height on the panel for attachment to the panel plate via panel attachment hardware, with regard to consequences regarding viewer concealment/exposure of the wall mount assembly and optional loudspeaker(s) at the travel range limits.
 In the first illustrative embodiment described above in connection with FIGS. 3-6, intended for typical viewing panel sizes ranging from 3' to 5' wide, the wall plates and panel plates are made 36'' long from T6 aluminum 3/8'' thick. Wall plate 10A (FIGS. 1-3) is made 24'' high. Panel plate 10B and wall plate 10A' are made 8'' high. The coupling arms 10C are made 24'' long at hinge hole centers, and are made 1/2'' by 11/4'' in cross-section. Roller 10D is approximately 24'' long. The invention could be practiced with variations in these dimensions and/or ruggedized construction, e.g. to accommodate unusual-sized display panels. The wall plates and panel plates could be fabricated from alternative metal material or non-metal material of equivalent strength, possibly formed from thinner material stiffened with flange edges, wood, plastic, carbon fiber, or even cast from renewable materials. The coupling arms 10C could be made with other cross-sectional shapes such as square or round, tubular or solid, and other hinge options, such as a simple folding hinge, engaging a pin through an eyelet installed, cast, welded, or molded to the wall plate and panel mounting plate. The function of the two fabric webbing straps 10E could be performed by a single strap, by more than two straps, or by one or more equivalent flexible tension-drive members made from other suitable material such as such as leather, rope, chain, mesh, plastic or stranded metal cable e.g. stainless steel, optionally plastic-sheathed.
 It is a normal design objective that the panel is to be held accurately in a vertical (or designated near-vertical) plane at all locations within the travel range. Excessive clearance or "play" in the fit of the hinge pins can allow the weight of the panel to allow some downward tilt of the panel plate and the panel, especially at the upper end of the travel range where the parallelogram shape has approached or folded into a straight line and the bulk of the weight has been shifted from the hoist system onto the vertically-oriented coupling arms. Also, in a powered embodiment, when relocating the panel from the upper location, there could be potential difficulty in initiating the transfer of the weight load from the vertically-oriented coupling arms back onto the flexible straps of the powered hoist system, depending on the system design and configuration. This "dead center" effect could require the design to include a mechanical "boost" to ensure positive automatic start-up outward from the upper end location. Either or both of these two issues can be addressed by the inclusion of at least one compressible resilient buffer, e.g. in the form of steel coil spring or equivalent made from suitably-resilient material, attached to a corresponding coupling arm at a designated distance near the panel plate or the wall plate, made and arranged to become compressed between the coupling arm and the panel plate or the wall plate by the hoist system in the final approach to the upper travel limit location such that, when docked at the limit location, the panel remains held securely in the desired non-tilted vertical orientation by compression of the buffer(s), and then, in panel relocation, the needed initial "boost" is provided by the buffer(s).
 In an alternative implementation of the first illustrative embodiment, wall plate 10A could be made with a substantially smaller height dimension, e.g. same height as panel plate 10B, and the motor-driven winch assembly could be supported in a functionally equivalent manner at the desired location above wall plate 10A by alternative smaller structure, e.g. a pair of structurally adequate members, attached to wall plate 10A, extending upwardly and attached to each end of motor-driven winch assembly.
 In addition to the ability to move the panel in the travel path described above, the invention could be practiced with the addition of further user-controllable movement capabilities such as tilting the panel about a horizontal axis and/or rotating the panel about a vertical axis.
 Actuation of the wall-mounted panel 16 by the motor/winch assembly requires some form of user control, e.g. operable by a pushbutton or switch, preferably including sensor-controlled automatic motor shutoff and braking, e.g. at the lower and upper limit locations. The control could be local, e.g. located nearby on wall 12 or elsewhere in the room, since location on the movable panel 16 is impractical. The control could be wired and/or wireless (e.g. IR, RF and/or Wi-Fi), hand-held and/or affixed. The control can be made to activate only a transition between the lower and the upper limit location of the panel, or it can be made to further stop and hold the panel 16 at any setting between the upper and lower limit to provide a desired display condition.
 In an "automatic" powered embodiment, wherein it desired for panel 16 to remain "parked" in the upper limit location whenever the associated electronic unit, e.g. television receiver and/or video player, is not in use, the system may include limit sensors controlling an automatic relay that activates the motor to lower the panel to the lower limit location automatically whenever the associated electronic unit is turned on (typically by remote control), and to return the panel to the "parked" upper limit location automatically whenever the electronic unit is turned off.
 To reduce the power requirements of the motor, the winch assembly could be further fitted with a counterbalancing mechanism such as a coil spring, counterweight, hydraulic or pneumatic system. Typically any counterbalancing would be made under-equilibrium so the power winch would never become unloaded. A coil spring could be enclosed in the roller 10D.
 The invention could be practiced in a manual embodiment to be raised and lowered directly by the user; the motor of the winch assembly could be replaced by a counterbalancing mechanism such as a coil spring, counterweight, hydraulic or pneumatic system along with suitable user handling hardware including a friction/braking/locking mechanism. A mechanical manual system could provide toggling or detent between two stable locations at the travel limits, e.g. with over-equilibrium counterbalancing at each of the two limits. Optionally, the upper limit location could be positively secured by a user-releasable latching mechanism.
 In addition to the travel path described in connection with the illustrative embodiment above, i.e. an arc of about 90 degrees, the available travel path could be extended downwardly to increase the angle to substantially greater than 90 degrees, to provide a greater range of height selection, for example in a large room with an unusually high ceiling.
 The invention may be embodied and practiced in other specific forms without departing from the spirit and essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description; and all variations, substitutions and changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
Patent applications in class Construction or component having means to engage hand or cable-type lifting means
Patent applications in all subclasses Construction or component having means to engage hand or cable-type lifting means