US Patent No. 5,427,327

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Issue Date: 06/27/1995

Abstract: A cable handling apparatus uses a reeling mechanism to reel a cable into a coiled configuration by securing one end of the cable to the reeling mechanism. A capture mechanism is used to locate the other end of the cable by using a channel to guide the cable as it is reeled, and a detector to detect the end of the cable as it enters the channel.

What is claimed is:
1. A cable handling apparatus, said apparatus comprising:

reeling means for reeling a cable starting with a first end of said cable, said first end being secured to said reeling means;

a frame;

capture means for capturing said cable along a length of said cable, said capture means being supported by said frame and forming a channel in which said cable is captured;

cable securing means for holding said cable in said channel while permitting said cable to be drawn through said channel, said cable securing means being pivotably mounted to said frame; and

detection means for detecting a second end of said cable.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said reeling means draws said cable through said channel.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said reeling means is responsive to said detection means.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said detection means is an optical sensor.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said cable securing means comprises a roller.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said capture means moves vertically along said frame.

7. A cable handling apparatus, said apparatus comprising:

a frame;

reeling means for reeling a cable starting with a first end of said cable, said first end being secured to said reeling means and said reeling means stopping in a position which is independent of said cable’s length;

capture means for capturing said cable along a length of said cable, said capture means being supported by said frame and forming a channel in which said cable is captured;

detection means for detecting a second end of said cable; and

loop means for creating a loop in said cable, said loop being located between said capture means and said reeling means.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein said loop means controls a level of said cable on said reeling means.

9. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein said reeling means draws said cable through said channel.

10. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein said capture means moves vertically along said frame.

11. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein said loop means draws said cable through said channel.

12. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein said loop means is responsive to said detection means.

13. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein said loop means moves vertically along said frame to form said loop.

14. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein said loop means comprises a roller.

15. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein said loop means comprises a pivotally mounted roller.

16. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein said detection means is an optical sensor.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein said cable securing means comprises a roller.

18. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein said cable securing means are pivotally mounted to said frame.

19. The apparatus of claim 7, further comprising cable securing means for holding said cable in said channel while permitting said cable to be drawn through said channel.