The invention concerns an attachment assembly for mounting
electronic devices, especially for mounting hard disks drives.
The increased level of complexity of home electronic appliances,
such as television set-top boxes, digital video recorders, home media servers, DVD
players or personal computers, calls for a careful design of those appliances, taking
into account many factors important for their proper operation.
An important issue is an assembly of disk drives, such
as optical disk drives or hard disk drives, to provide their proper operating conditions.
There are several aspects that should be taken into account, namely isolation of
vibrations, protection from mechanical shocks and cooling. The designs should be
cost-effective both at manufacturing and assembly stages of the production process.
Disk drives operate at high rotational speeds, which cause
vibrations of the drive. The vibrations, if not properly isolated, can be transferred
to the housing of the appliance, which may result in a noise highly undesirable
by the user. Home appliances are often displaced, for example during house cleaning
works. If the displacement occurs during operation of the disk drive and results
in a mechanical shock to the device, the disk drive may become damaged. Furthermore,
disk drives, especially hard disk drives, emit large amounts of heat, which should
be efficiently carried away from the drive.
There have been several attempts of providing a disk drive
assembly of electronic devices, but none of them provided all of the aforementioned
The US patent application No.
entitled "Hard Disk Cartridge" presents a hard disk drive attachment assembly
in which the hard disk is secured by means of a cushion member, which is attached
to the hard disk by screws. The mounting screws is time consuming, which presents
a considerable cost of the assembly stage of the production process.
US patent No. US6,570,7590
entitled "Guide/elector device for computer" presents a hard disk drive
attachment assembly utilizing two longitudinal guiding tracks of a shockproof rubbery
material, which are to be attached to the sides of the hard disk. They have considerably
large dimensions, which results in a considerable production cost. Moreover, since
they cover the whole side surface of the hard disk, they limit the cooling efficiency.
US patent No. US6,882,528
entitled "Suspension-type shock-avoiding structure for a hard disk" presents
a hard disk drive attachment assembly comprising a plurality of double-portion fasteners
and shock absorbing members which hold the hard disk in position and isolate it
from shocks. Due to a large number of components, such solution requires a lot of
time to be mounted, which presents a considerable cost of the assembly stage of
the production stage. Moreover, large number of elements results in a considerably
high cost at the manufacturing stage.
US patent No. US6,496,362
entitled "Method and apparatus for protecting a hard disk drive from shock"
presents a hard disk drive attachment assembly utilizing four resilient elements
to be mounted at the corners of the hard disk. The elements are formed from two
different materials, which make them relatively expensive to manufacture. Moreover,
being mounted at the corners of the drive, they can be mounted only in a casing
providing support at corners. This limits the freedom of casing design.
US patent No. US6,304,440
entitled "Shock-proof device of external hard disk drive box" presents
a hard disk drive attachment assembly comprising a fixing block with a plurality
of soft protecting pads. The fixing block is to be attached to the hard disk by
means of screws. Such solution is neither inexpensive nor easy to mount.
US patent No. US6,873,524
entitled "Data storage device" presents a hard disk drive attachment assembly
utilizing two types of shock-isolating pads. The pads of the first type are L-shaped,
and 8 pads are necessary to secure the hard disk. This is both expensive and not
easy to mount. The pads of the second type enclose the hard disk both from the top
and from the bottom, but they are mounted at the corners, therefore 4 pads are necessary
to secure the hard disk. Moreover, they can be mounted only in a casing providing
support at all corners.
Therefore, there is a need for a cost-effective assembly
of electronic devices, which would provide isolation of vibrations, protection from
mechanical shocks and would not limit the design of the case, therefore enabling
case design allowing efficient cooling.
The idea of the invention is that in an attachment assembly
with a housing for mounting inside at least one electronic device, and with at least
one distance element inserted between the housing and the electronic device, the
housing consists of a casing with stops and a cover whereas the distance element
is bracket-shaped and surrounds the electronic device at three sides and is placed
in a region adjacent to the stops.
Preferably, the distance element has a top arm longer than
a bottom arm to avoid interfere with the electronic circuits on a bottom side of
the electronic device and to provide good holding conditions of the electronic device.
It is of special advantage that the distance element has
a protrusion extending from a surface facing the electronic device and has a diameter
adapted to be inserted in an opening situated in a side wall of the electronic device.
In a preferred embodiment, the distance element has a vertical
wall with thickness g which is greater than a distance between a side wall
of the casing and the electronic device and has height h, which is greater
than a distance between a bottom surface of the cover and a surface of a stop extending
perpendicularly from a side wall of the casing.
Preferably, a vertical axis of symmetry of the distance
element and axis of symmetry of the first connecting elements are situated in one
plane running perpendicularly to the side wall of the casing. It is advantageous
that the casing and the cover has additional walls forming an air channel connected
with an inside of the housing as well as that in the casing is mounted a fan causing
flow of air stream from the outside of the housing to the electronic device.
Preferably, the casing is provided with first connecting
elements and the cover is provided with second connecting elements adapted to be
engaged with the first connecting elements wherein the first connecting elements
and the second connecting elements are placed in a region adjacent to the placement
of the distance elements.
The cover can have openings providing more efficient cooling
of the electronic device.
Preferably, the distance element has a top arm which is
rounded such as to provide easier airflow over a top surface of the electronic device.
The invention will now be described by way of example and
with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
- Fig. 1 shows an exploded perspective view of a first embodiment of an attachment
- Fig. 2 shows an enlarged top plan view of the attachment assembly shown in Fig.
- Fig. 3 shows an enlarged cross-section view of the attachment assembly taken
according to line A-A shown in Fig. 2;
- Fig. 4 shows an enlarged perspective view of a distance element;
- Fig. 5 shows an enlarged side view of the distance element shown in Fig. 4;
- Fig. 6 shows an exploded perspective view of a second embodiment of an attachment
- Fig. 7 shows a top plan view of a third embodiment of an attachment assembly.
An attachment assembly 100, shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 3,
is one of embodiments of assemblies for mounting electronic devices especially for
mounting hard disk drives according to the present invention. The attachment assembly
comprises a housing 105 and distance elements 120. An inside of the housing 105
substantially matches in form the electronic device, for example a hard disk drive
110, to be placed in. The housing 105 is formed by a casing 130 with first connecting
elements 151 and a cover 160 with second connecting elements 161. The distance elements
120 are bracket-shaped or have a form of distance brackets. Preferably, a vertical
axis 121 of symmetry of the distance element 120 and an axis 152 of the first connecting
elements are situated in one plane running perpendicularly to the side wall 133,
134 of the casing 130.
The casing 130 includes side walls 133, 134 provided at
the bottom with stops 141, and side walls 131, 132. Before placing the electronic
device in the casing 130, the distance brackets are attached to the hard disk 110
in places matching the stops 141. The casing 133 has additionally slide guides 142
adapted to receive the distance elements 120. In turn, the cover 160 has pads 162
or flat reinforcements in form of beads situated near the second connecting elements
161. The cover has also openings 165, which increase the efficiency of cooling of
the hard disk.
Figs. 4 and 5 present the distance element 120 in details.
The distance element 120 has a height h, which is shortened by the pads 162
of the cover 160 after the distance element is inserted in the casing 130 and the
cover 160 is fastened. A vertical wall of the distance element has thickness
g which is greater than a distance between the side wall 133, 134 of the
casing 130 and the hard disk drive 110, and which is also shortened when the hard
disk drive 110 is inserted together with the distance elements 120 into the casing
130. The distance element 120 has a top arm of length m and a bottom arm
of length n. Preferably, the bottom arm is short, in order not to interfere
with the electronic circuits on the bottom side of the hard disk. The top arm is
long, in order to provide good holding conditions of the hard disk. For example,
the bottom arm may have the length m of 1cm and the top arm may have the
length n of 1.5 cm. The distance element 120 has a protrusion 121 in a shape
of a pin of a diameter d and a length p. The protrusion 121 is adapted
to be inserted into a hard disk opening 111 for screws, thus providing additional
holding force of the disk. The length of the protrusion p is greater than
the distance c between the hard disk drive 110 and the side walls 131, 132
of the casing 130. When the housing is subject to a shock in the direction of the
longer dimension of the hard disk, the displacement of the hard disk will be limited
by the side walls 131, 132 to the distance c, thus preventing the slip-off
of the protrusions 121 having length p greater than c.
Figs. 6 and 7 show second and third embodiments of attachment
assemblies that differ in shape of the top arm of the distance elements 220, 320,
namely the distance element 320 shown in Fig. 7 has the top arm which is rounded
such as to provide easier airflow over a top surface of the electronic device. The
housing of the attachment assembly shown in Fig. 6 consists of a casing 230 and
a cover 260 with pads 262, connecting elements 261 and a top air intake 263. The
casing 230 has a support plate 241 functioning as a stop for the distance elements
120, an elongated wall 231, side walls 233, 234 with connecting elements 251, a
short wall 235 and a cross-bar 232. A part of the elongated wall 231 with adjacent
to it the short wall 235 and a part of the support plate 241 form an air channel
with a side air intake 264. In the air channel there is inserted a fan 270 which
causes flow of air stream from the outside of the housing to both the top and bottom
of the hard disk drive, as shown in details in Fig. 7. The air channel has two air
intakes, namely the side air intake 264 and the top air intake 263. The housing
may have apertures 242, 265 providing air flow outside the housing, which increases
the cooling efficiency. The increase in cooling efficiency decreases the workload
of the fan - it may operate for shorter periods or at lower speed. The top arm of
the distance element 320 is rounded such as to provide easier airflow over the top
surface of the electronic device
The placement of the first connecting elements 151 along
the symmetry axis of the stops 141 has the advantage that the distance elements
120, when inserted into the casing 130, provide a springing force to the first connecting
elements 151, thus making the connection between the first connecting elements 151
and second connecting elements 161 more durable. However, if the material of the
casing 130 is elastic enough, the first connecting elements 151 and the second connecting
elements 161 can be placed at other positions of the casing.
The placement of pads 162 close to the second connecting
elements 161 guarantees maximum force exerted by the pads on the distance elements
120. However, a design with second connecting elements 161 offset from the pads
162 would also provide some force exerted by the pads 162 on the distance elements
120, and thus would also be beneficial.
The embodiments presented have been described in relation
to a hard disk drive, but the attachment assembly according to the invention can
be used for mounting other electronic devices as well.
The distance elements thanks to their large surface can
be made from the material that is soft enough, so they behave as shock and vibration
absorbing elements when the disk operates. The distance elements prevent the hard
disk drive before damage in case of drop of the appliance. The distance elements
can is made of soft, elastic material, such as elastomeric material, silicone rubber,
polyutherane or polyether-based polyutherane. The material can have compression
characteristic around 35Sh.
The assembly of the hard disk drive is quicker than in
case of screws. The cost of these elements is also smaller than the cost of common
metal screws. The casing is made from plastic, such as ABS or other thermoplastic
material, which considerably reduces the costs in comparison with the metal casing.
Moreover, even in case of trembling transfer to the plastic, the hard disk drive
works quieter than the hard disk drive mounted in a metal casing.
In addition, the disk is installed in the middle section
of the casing, so the air is flowing at its upper and bottom surface, so the efficiency
of cooling is improved.