Patent application title: Archery Bow Sight
Steven C. Sims (Shelton, WA, US)
Steven C. Sims (Shelton, WA, US)
George Clark (Lacey, WA, US)
Scott Eastman (Dupont, WA, US)
Johnathan F. Sell (Shelton, WA, US)
Greg Winters (Shelton, WA, US)
Greg Winters (Shelton, WA, US)
SIMS VIBRATION LABORATORY
IPC8 Class: AF41G1467FI
Class name: Straight-line light ray type structurally installed archery bow
Publication date: 2012-10-11
Patent application number: 20120255187
The combination of an optical sight and an attachable/detachable
adjustable range sighting device accessory, in which the optical sight
comprises a support and an array of fixedly positioned fiber optics
sighting devices carried by the support; and the accessory comprising a
displaceable fiber optics sighting device and a mechanism for shifting
the position of the displaceable fiber optics device relative to the
array of fixedly positioned sighting devices.
1. The combination of an optical sight and an attachable/detachable
adjustable range sighting device accessory: the optical sight comprising
a support and an array of fixedly positioned fiber optics sighting
devices carried by the support; and the accessory comprising a
displaceable fiber optics sighting device and a mechanism for shifting
the position of the displaceable fiber optics device relative to the
array of fixedly positioned sighting devices.
2. A combination as defined in claim 1 wherein the accessory comprises: a support for the displaceable fiber optics device; and a carriage; the support being displaceable relative to the carriage; and the mechanism for shifting the displaceable fiber optics device comprising a rotatable, carriage-mounted member threaded through the support and an operator-manipulatable component for rotating the carriage-mounted member.
3. A combination as defined in claim 1 which comprises a shock/vibration damper mounted to the carriage of the accessory.
4. A combination as defined in claim 1 which the accessory comprises: a sighting device mount; the adjustable sighting device being displaceable in the mount relative to the array of fixedly positioned sighting devices; and the accessory further comprising a user-manipulatable component in a selected position in the mount.
5. A combination as defined in claim 1 in which the sight comprises a shroud surrounding the array of fixedly positioned sighting device and the adjustable sighting device, there being a dimple in the shroud configured to accommodate the adjustable range sighting device and thereby increase the range for which that sighting device can be adjusted.
6. The combination of: a fiber optics sighting device; and a metallic glass encapsulating the sighting device.
7. The combination of an optical sight and an accessory offering torque and cant compensation of a bow to which the sight is mounted: the optical sight comprising a frame and an optical unit; and the torque and cant compensation accessory being mounted to the frame.
8. A combination as defined in claim 7 wherein the torque and cant adjustment accessory comprises: first and second brackets; a vertically orientable pin hingedly connecting the first and second brackets; and a third mounting bracket assembled to a first of the hingedly connected brackets.
9. A combination as defined in claim 7 wherein the accessory comprises a user-manipulatable, optical sight shifting, torque compensating mechanism for adjusting the angular relationship between the first and second, hingedly connected accessory brackets.
10. A combination as defined in claim 7 wherein the torque and cant compensation accessory has a cant compensation mechanism which comprises: a component fixing the first of the hingedly connected accessory brackets to the mounting bracket of the accessory for relative pivotable movement about a horizontal axis; and a user-manipulatable component for locking the first and second accessory components together in a user-selected angular relationship.
11. A combination as defined in claim 10 in which the optical sight has a level bubble which is centerable by effecting relative pivotable movement between the first and second, hingedly connected accessory brackets.
12. An optical sight which comprises: a fiber optics sighting device; a sighting device shroud; and a level bubble mounted to a lower part of the shroud.
13. The combination of an optical sight and a shock/vibration damper; the optical sight comprising a frame; and the damper being mounted to the frame.
14. A combination as defined in claim 22 wherein the damper is fabricated from an elastomer.
15. An optical sight which comprises: a sighting pin; a sighting pin support; and a housing; the sighting pin and the sighting pin support being removable from the housing as a single unit.
 This application (Attorney's Ref. No. P216934) is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/008,392 filed Jan. 9, 2008, which claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/879,944 filed Jan. 10, 2007. The subject matter of the foregoing related applications is incorporated herein by reference.
 The present invention relates to novel, improved, archery bow sights.
 A common type of archery bow sight employs a set of vertically-spaced apart sight pins, each corresponding to a different range (distance to a target). These pins are installed in a frame which is mounted to the riser of the bow.
 In low-light conditions, those ends of the pins used for sighting can be difficult to see clearly, if at all. Accordingly, it has been proposed that the sighting ends of the pins be illuminated.
 One approach that has been suggested involves the use of fiber optics to illuminate the sighting ends of the pins. Sights of that character are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,435,068 issued Jul. 25, 1995 to Thames, et al., and 7,082,690 issued Aug. 1, 2006 to Knoshnood.
 There have now been invented and disclosed herein new and novel bow sights which likewise employ fiber optics, but have a number of significant features and advantages which are not possessed by previously proposed, fiber optics bow sights.
 One such feature is a light collecting system which gathers light over a wide hemispherical field and thereby significantly increases the amount of light that can be transmitted to the sighting ends of the pins, which are the terminal segments of optical fibers. This makes those ends readily visible under even extremely poor lighting conditions. That the sight provides bright, easily seen aiming points when the ambient light is poor is significant because a number of jurisdictions do not allow artificial light to be used in hunting game.
 A companion feature of the sights disclosed herein is that the optical fibers are side-loaded as well as end-loaded. This significantly increases the efficiency with which light can be loaded into the fibers. Also, maximizing fiber optic loading reduces the needed lengths of the fibers, which is advantageous from the viewpoints of cost, manufacturability, and serviceability.
 A second, related feature is a novel light trap for the collected light. The light trap redirects the collected light onto the optical fibers and also makes a significant contribution to the efficiency of the sight.
 Another important feature of the present invention is the encapsulation of the exposed optical fiber segments constituting the sighting pins in a metallic glass such as one of those available from Liquidmetal Technologies. These materials are extremely resistant to corrosion, which is a common problem, particularly in the sights of hunting bows. Metallic glasses may be lighter than competing materials such as steel, have considerable flexibility, and are readily molded.
 Yet another feature of the present invention is a novel modular construction which allows a fully functional basic sight to be upgraded to provide additional features. One module adds an adjustable sighting pin for more distant ranges to the sight. Another add-on provides adjustable torque and cant compensation for the bow on which the sight is mounted.
 Also significant is the attachment of elastomeric dampers, akin to those disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,362,046 issued Nov. 8, 1994, to Sims, to the sight at strategic locations. These dampers significantly reduce shock and vibration loads imposed on the sight when the bow is fired, contributing to accuracy and increased service life of the sight, reducing the sound made when the bow is fired, and reducing the possibility of shock and vibration knocking the sight out of alignment.
 Another feature of the invention is that the sighting pins and supporting frame are removable from and installable in the sight as a single unit. This is important from the viewpoints of manufacturability and serviceability. Also, this feature makes it convenient for the archer to use interchangeable sight pin units to optimize the bow for different poundage settings and arrow weights.
 Other important objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be apparent to the reader from the appended claims and as the ensuing detailed description and discussion proceeds in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a side view of a compound bow equipped with a bow sight which is constructed in accord with, and embodies, the principles of the present invention;
 FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view of the bow and the sight; this view is to a larger scale than FIG. 1 and is of the opposite side of the bow and sight; it is a basic, albeit fully functional, sight that is shown in this figure;
 FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the bow sight; two bow sight add-ons (or accessories) are also shown;
 FIG. 3A is a perspective view of one of an array of sight pins which are components of the FIG. 1 bow sight;
 FIG. 38 is a horizontal section through the FIG. 3A sight pin;
 FIG. 3c is a front-to-rear perspective view of an assembly of: (a) the array of sight pins, and (b) a sight pin support; this assembly can be removed from and installed in the sight as a unit;
 FIG. 4 is a rear view of the bow sight;
 FIG. 5 is a plan view of an add-on used to adjust the torque on, and the cant of, the bow;
 FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an add-on used to provide an additional sighting pin that can be adjusted for (typically) longer range shots;
 FIG. 7 is a front view of the bow sight;
 FIG. 8 is a top view of the bow sight;
 FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an optics unit employed in the FIG. 1 bow sight; this figure shows a single one of the light transmitting, sight pin fibers; these optical fibers are housed in and coiled against the side wall of the optics unit casing;
 FIG. 10 is a side view of the bow sight;
 FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a component of the FIG. 5 add-on configured to provide for adjustment of the cant of the bow;
 FIG. 12 is a fragmentary view of the bow sight included to show a level with a bubble that is centered for cant-free, optimum bow performance;
 FIG. 13 is a vertical section through a light trap; this trap is a component of the optics unit of the FIG. 1 bow sight;
 FIG. 14 is a perspective view showing: (a) a fragment of the bow sight including the optics unit, and (b) an elastomeric diaphragm mechanism that can be employed to control the light reaching the light trap of the optics unit;
 FIG. 15 is a section through the optics unit and the elastomeric diaphragm mechanism;
 FIG. 16 is a perspective view of the optics unit and an adjustable shutter mechanism that can be employed to control light reaching the optics unit light trap; and
 FIG. 17 is a view like FIG. 16 but with the shutter of the light controlling mechanism adjusted to further restrict the light reaching the light trap.
 Referring now to the illustrations, FIGS. 1 and 2 depict a compound bow 20 equipped with a fall-away arrow rest 22, an optical sight 24, and a modular stabilizer 26. Bow 20 is of conventional construction. It has a riser 28, upper and lower limbs 30 and 32, cams 34 and 36 at the far ends of limbs 30 and 32, buss cables (collectively identified by reference character 38), a bow string 40, and a cable slide 42 mounted on an elongated guide 44.
 Bow sight 24 includes a basic unit 46 (FIG. 2); an optional add-on or accessory 48 (FIG. 3) which provides an additional sighting capability; and a second, also optional, add-on or accessory 50. This accessory is employed to adjust torque and cant.
 The basic unit 46 is assembled directly to the riser 28 of bow 20 (FIG. 2). If the torque and cant compensation accessory 50 is added, the add-on is assembled to the basic unit; and it is a mounting component of the accessory which is mounted to bow riser 28.
 Referring now most particularly to FIGS. 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, and 10, the basic bow sight 46 includes a mounting bracket 54 and a complementary component 56 which functions as a housing and as a support for optical components of the sight. The two components 54 and 56 are connected by a slot-and-dovetail arrangement 58 and a threaded fastener 60. The latter clamps the two legs 62 and 64 of bracket 54 together to securely assemble components 54 and 56.
 The two legs 62 and 64 of mounting bracket 54 are attached to the riser 28 of bow 20 as by the headed and threaded fasteners 66 and 68 shown in FIG. 2 to mount sight 24 to the bow.
 A plate 70 located therebetween integrates the legs 62 and 64 of mounting bracket 54 into a unitary structure.
 The support/housing component 56 of bow sight 24 and the components housed in and supported from that component are best shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 3A-3C, 4, 7, and 8.
 Referring now to these figures, it was pointed out above that optical bow sights embodying the principles of the present invention employ vertically-spaced apart sight pins, each of these pins corresponding to a different bow-to-target range. The sight pins of bow sight 24 are identified by reference characters 74 . . . 82.
 The sight pins are composed of optical fibers encased in protective housings that are preferably made from a metallic glass. Housings fabricated from the preferred materials are highly resistant to corrosion in contrast to the rust-susceptible metallic pin components of conventional bow sights. Reference characters 82f and 82h in FIGS. 3A and 38 respectively identify the optical fiber and housing of representative sight pin 82.
 The sight pins 74 . . . 82 are mounted to a pin support 83, forming a sight pin assembly 85 (see FIG. 3c). Assembly 85 is housed in bow sight housing/support component 56, which also supports the casing 84 of an optics unit 86. The assembly 85 can be removed from component 56 as a unit, which is advantageous from the viewpoints of manufacturability, serviceability, and interchangeability.
 In the currently preferred sight pin assembly shown in FIG. 3e, sight pins 74 . . . 82 are installed in a selected two of three vertical slots 88, 90, and 92 in sight in support 83, slot 88 being nearest the front of the support and slot 92 being nearest its rear. Alternate pins are installed in slots 88 and 90, pins 74, 78, and 82 thus being installed in front slot 88 and pins 76 and 78 being installed in center slot 90. Rear slot 92 provides a protected path for the optical fibers.
 The distal ends 94 . . . 102 of the sight pin optical are exposed (see FIG. 7). It is these exposed, dot-like features of the sight pins with which a target is acquired. The sight pin housings are curved such that the optical fibers are supported from pin support (or frame) 83 with sight features 94-102 facing the archer.
 The array 104 of sight pins 74 . . . 82 is surrounded by a shroud 106, also to protect the pins from damage. Shroud 106 is an integral component of support/housing component 56.
 As shown in FIG. 2, the optical fibers of sight pins 74 . . . 82 are trained through bow sight component 56 to the optics unit 86 of the bow sight. There, the fibers are coiled, one above the other, against the inner side 108 of optics unit casing 86. The lowermost optical fiber 109 (of sight pin 82) is shown in FIG. 9.
 The casing 84 of optical unit 86 has inner surfaces, described below, which are elements of a light trap 110 (FIGS. 8 and 13). The casing supports a light collecting lens 112 directly above, and in axial alignment with, light trap 110 at the open end 114 of casing 84.
 Light trap 110 is a one-piece, typically injection molded component (see FIG. 13). The light trap includes: the inner surface 115i of the bottom wall 115 of casing 84; the inner surface 116i of casing side wall 116; and a conical, cored-out, integral element 117 with: (a) a uniform wall thickness "I", (b) a base 118, (c) an apex 119, and (d) a convex external surface 120. The light trap may be made from any appropriate polymer as by injection molding, for example. The light trap surfaces are coated by vapor deposition or otherwise treated to make those surfaces highly reflective.
 Lens 112 gathers light from a field which encompasses almost an entire hemisphere. Light reaching light trap 110 through lens 112 may fall on the external surface 120 of conical element 117, the optical fibers in and coiled against the wall 116 of casing 84, the inside surface 116i of wall 116, or the inner surface 115i of casing bottom wall 115. Light that does not directly strike the optical fibers is reflected and/or redirected onto the fibers. Therefore, essentially all of the incident light reaches and is loaded into the fibers; and the optical unit is highly efficient in collecting light from the ambient surroundings and in insuring that the collected light reaches the optical fibers for transmission through the fibers to the sighting dots 94-102 at the ends of the fibers.
 Lens 112 is not a mandatory component of optical bow sights embodying the principles of the present invention. Even without a lens, light will fall on and into light trap 110 and be loaded into the optical fibers housed in casing 84 essentially in the manner discussed above.
 Turning now primarily to FIGS. 3, 5, 8, and 10 the torque and cant adjustment accessory or add-on 50 includes two brackets, 121 and 122, connected by a vertically-extending hinge pin 124 and a mounting bracket 126 which replaces the mounting bracket 54 of the basic bow sight 46. Mounting bracket 126 is assembled to bracket 122 with threaded fasteners 128 and 130 (FIG. 5). The optical components of sight 46 are attached to mounting bracket 126 of accessory 50 in the same above-discussed manner and with the same type of slot-and-dovetail coupling and threaded fastener that are used to attach those components to basic bow sight 46.
 A variety of factors, such as a particular archer's grip, the balance of the bow, the angle of a shot, whether the archer is shooting from a tree stand or other elevated position, shooting uphill, etc. causes the archer to impose torque--that is a force pivoting the bow to the left or right about a vertical axis--on the bow. An important feature of accessory 50 is that it can be employed to provide compensation for the torque. Specifically, by tightening setscrew 132, bracket 121 and the optical components carried by that bracket, especially the sighting pins, are shifted to the right, i.e., in the direction indicated by arrow 132 in FIG. 5. Conversely, by tightening complementary setscrew 136, bracket 121 is shifted in the opposite direction to move the supported optical components to the left.
 The fastener 128 securing the mount 121 of accessory 50 to optical unit-supporting bracket 126 extends through a laterally oriented adjustment slot 138 in the bracket (see FIG. 11) and is threaded into mount 121.
 The cant of the optical sight is adjusted by loosening fasteners 128 and 130, rotating optical unit support 126 about the lower fastener 130 until the bubble 140 of a level 142 mounted on the bottom of sight pin shroud 106 (see FIG. 12) is centered, and then retightening fasteners 128 and 130. This cant compensation adjustment can contribute significantly to accuracy.
 Turning now most particularly to FIGS. 3, 5, and 6, it was pointed out above that the optional add-on or accessory 48 is employed to provide a sight pin for a range typically greater than those ranges for which sight pins 74 . . . 82 are intended. Accessory 48 is bolted or otherwise mounted to the basic bow sight unit 46 in the location shown in FIGS. 3 and 4.
 Accessory 48 includes a sight pin 144 mounted to a support 146, a carriage 148, and an elongated, threaded member 150 supported from, and rotatable in, the carriage. The threaded member is rotated by a knob 152 fixed to member 150 by setscrew 154.
 Carriage 148 has end plates 156 and 158. Posts 160 and 162 extend between and are mounted at their opposite ends to end plates 156 and 158. Threaded member 150 is located equidistantly between posts 160 and 162 as shown in FIG. 6.
 Sight pin support 146 can be moved vertically up and down on posts 160 and 162 as indicated by double-headed arrow 164 in FIG. 6. Specifically, elongated member 150 is threaded through an internally-threaded extension 166 of sighting pin support 146. Consequently, as the threaded member 150 is rotated, the support 146 and sight pin 144 are moved vertically up (or vertically down) to locate the aiming point 168 at the end of the sighting pin at the height appropriate for a selected bow-to-target range. The support is locked in place by rotating knob 170.
 The aiming feature 168 of sight pin 144 can be moved in and out of sight pin mount 146 to align aiming feature 168 with respect to the aiming features 94 . . . 102 of sight pins 74 . . . 82. This is accomplished by loosening a screw 171 threaded into pin mount 146, shifting the sight pin into or out of support 146 as indicated by double-headed arrow 172, and then retightening the screw.
 As is best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, there is a dimple 174 at the bottom of sight pin shroud 106. This increases the distance over which the sighting end 168 of sight pin 144 can be displaced with a concomitant increase in the ranges for which sight pin 144 can be used.
 Another important feature of the present invention, employed whether or not it is the basic sight 46 that is involved, or that sight with one or both of the accessories 48 and 50 discussed above, is an elastomeric shock and vibration damper 176. In the case of the basic unit, the damper is mounted on that vertical wall 178 of bow sight component 56 opposite mounting bracket 54 (see FIG. 2). If accessory 48 is also present, damper 176 is instead mounted on that side of the accessory opposite the basic bow sight 46 (see FIGS. 3 and 4). Damper 176 makes a significant contribution to smooth and quiet operation of bow 20; and it reduces the possibility that shock and/or vibration might damage bow sight 24.
 It is advantageous to be able to control the light which reaches light trap 110. This can be done with, for example, an apertured elastomeric boot 182 as shown in FIGS. 14 and 15 or an adjustable shutter mechanism 184 as shown in FIGS. 16 and 17.
 Boot 182 has a side wall element 186 and an integral diaphragm 188 with a central aperture 190. The boot is slid down over optics unit casing side wall 116 and retained in place by friction. The size of aperture 190 controls the light reaching light trap 110. By exerting a downward, arrow 192 force on the boot, the diaphragm 188 can be stretched, increasing the size of aperture 190 and, consequentially, that proportion of incident light reaching trap 110.
 The shutter mechanism 184 shown in FIGS. 15 and 16 has a cylindrical casing 196, a stationary plate 198, and a complementary shutter 200.
 Plate 198 and shutter 200 have arrays 202 and 204 of complementary trapezoidal apertures 206 and 208. Plate 198 is fixedly mounted in the upper end of casing 196, and shutter 200 is mounted above plate 198 for rotation about a vertical axis 210.
 Rotating shutter 200 about axis 210 changes the fraction of incident light that can reach light trap 110 through apertures 206 and 208. With shutter 200 rotated relative to plate 198 as shown in FIG. 16, the apertures 206 in plate 198 and the apertures 208 in shutter 200 are nearly aligned; and most of the incident light passes through aperture 208 and then aperture 206 to light trap 110. When shutter 200 is rotated about axis 210 to the orientation shown in FIG. 17, imperforate areas 209 of the shutter span the major parts of the apertures 206 in plate 198. This reduces the size of the aperture 206, 208 light passages, and, consequentially, substantially reduces that fraction of the incident light which can reach trap 110.
 Light controlling shutter mechanism 184 is assembled in any convenient manner over the open upper end 114 of optics unit casing 84. The light controlling mechanism shown in FIGS. 14-17 can be employed irrespective of whether or not the optics unit of the associated bow sight has a lens.
 The invention may be embodied in many forms without departing from, the spirit or essential characteristics of the invention. 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 changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
Patent applications by George Clark, Lacey, WA US
Patent applications by Greg Winters, Shelton, WA US
Patent applications by Johnathan F. Sell, Shelton, WA US
Patent applications by Scott Eastman, Dupont, WA US
Patent applications by Steven C. Sims, Shelton, WA US
Patent applications in class Archery bow
Patent applications in all subclasses Archery bow