US 2551533 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May l, 1951 R. N. GERNHEUSER 2,551,533
PLUG EJECTOR FOR ELECTRICAL OUTLETS Filed Feb. 21, l19m@ 2 sheets-sheet 1 33 54 INVENTOR. Raaf-:RT NEBHNHEUEBH May 1, 1951\ R. N. GERNHEUSER PLUG EJECTOR FOR ELECTRICAL OUTLETS Filed Feb. 2l, 1946 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 l INVENTOR. RDBERT M Emmi-:UEE E Patented May 1, 1951 PLUG EJECTOR FOR ELECTRICAL OUTLETS Robert N. Gernheuser, Toledo, Ohio, assignorv to Gernheuser Industries, Inc., Toledo, Ohio, a
corporation of Ohio Application February 21, 1946, Serial No. 649,311
This invention relates to plug electors, and particularly to devices for cjecting a male member, such as an electrical plug or the like, from engagement. with a female member, such as an electrical socket or the like.
Ordinarily, disengagement of mating plug and socket members is effected by drawing on. the electrical cord connected to the plug, which procedure, not. infrequently, results in the detriment or the ultimate breakage of the cord, the connection, or the plug and socket members, thereby to create an electrical hazard.
It is. an object of this invention to provide a new and improved means for eiecting the remaval of the. plug from the socket member by the generation of force actingy to eject one from the other.
Another objectof this invention is to produce a plus ejecting device which may be easily and simply mounted onv the socket covery plate enabling the conversion of presently installed receptacles into units having the desired improvements.
A further object off this invention is` to producea device of the type described having a combined cam and lever action eiectively to eject a plug from a socket member in response to the application of slight pressures on an adjacent button lever. The device, being comprised of relatively few and simply formed elements which may be used in combination on the cover plate, is adapted to be mounted on presently installed outlets to expedite. the. further improved usage thereof.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a devicev of the type described which. opcrates in connection with the socket member to eject the inserted plug in response to the application of slight pressure to an adjacent button to release tensioned springs which force the ejection of the inserted plug member.
A still further object of this. invention is to produce a simple,V and efficient ejection. device which is reliable in operation, relatively easy to manufacture and assemble, and in which areembodied new and improved features of construction,` arrangement and operation` hereinafter described, For purposes of illustration but not of limitation,1 various embodiments of. the invention are shown in the accompanying. drawings, in which:
Figui-ca 1 is a. detailed top view of. the receptaclev plate having a pair of plug ejectors for operation in association with adjacent plugs, one of which is shown in the inserted position, the other of which is shown in the ejected position;
Figure 3 is a sectional elevational view taken along the line 3-3 of Figure 1, showing the relationship of members when the plug is in the engaged position;
Figure 4 is a sectional elevational view taken along the line 4-4 of Figure 1, showing the mounting bracket for the cammed lever, the axis being shown disengaged for purposes of clarity;
Figure 5 is a sectional side elevational view taken along the line 5--5 of Figure 1, showing the cammed lever as disposed when the plug is in the engaged and disengaged position;
Figure 6 is a perspective view of thev cammed lever;
Figure 7 is a perspective view of the formed leaf spring which may be used with the plug ejector illustrated in Figures' 1 to 6;
Figure. 8 is a top view of a double electrical receptacle in which the plug ejector device` is associated with the enclosed socket member;
Figure 9 is a detailed elevational view showing the release button lever for use in connection with the ejection device illustrated in Figure 8;
Figure l0 is an elevational view partially in section taken along the line I--I of Figure 8, showing one plug in the engaged position, and the other plug, in the disengaged position with some of the associated elements not being illustrated in section for purpose of clarity;
Figure 11 is a. detailed sectional elevational view taken along the line ll--ll of Figure 8; and
Figure 12. is a detailed sectional elevational view of another form of plug ejector for use in combination with socket members.
Figures 1A to 7 of the illustrated embodiments of theV invention show one form of the device in which lll indicates a cover plate having two receptable openings Il for enclosure of socket members (Snot shown), and a centrally positioned aperture l2 for insertion therethrough of a screw f3 adapted to secure the cover plate on to the receptacle housing (not. shown), in which the electrical socket members are positioned.
The drawings show electrical socket members having spaced vertically disposed slots adapted for engagement with spaced prongs I4 comprissing apart of the male. member or plug l5, which:
prongs are associated with separate wires which comprise a party of the cord [6 leading from the plug member l5. Detailed description of the plug and socket members are considered unnecessary in View of their general usage and knowledge in the electrical art.
Heretofore, removal of the plug from the engaged position has been effected by the exertion of withdrawing forces on the attached cord I6. 'I'his has led to the frequent breakage of the cord and has harmfully affected the complementary plug and socket members. It is, therefore, expedient to provide a means for effecting the disengagement of the plug from the socket members by other positively actuating means. For this purpose, each end portion of the cover plate I I] is provided with a plug ejector I l, having a mounting frame I8 comprising a pair of spaced uprights I9 which is interconnected by a cross brace 20 increasing the rigidity and strength of the frame as well as providing an anvil` `for purposes hereinafter described. Each mounting frame I8 is positioned at the central outer edgey portions of the cover plate and in secured thereto by means of screws (not shown) which extend through suitable openings in the cover plate to engage the under side of the spaced uprights I9. It is to be understood that the mounting frame I8 may be molded as an integral part of a molded cover plate comprising such materials as metals, plastics, wood, ceramics or the like.
Aligned apertures 2I in the spaced uprights are adapted to receive an elongate pivot pin 22, which also extends through an arcuate slot 23 formed in the heel 24 of a curved lever 25, which slot substantially conforms to the curvature of the heel.
As illustrated in detail in Figure 6, the lever 25 comprises a substantial flat elongate rectangular arm or shoe 26 which is integral with a rectangular handle 21 of greater cross section extending upwardly therefrom at an angle substantially greater than 90, but less than 180. The integrally connecting intermediate portion is curved to form a cam shoulder 28 which enters into the function of the ejector as will be hereinafter' described. The outer end of the handle 2'!` is provided With a concave disc portion or button 29 which may or may not be knurled for purposes to prevent iinger slippage on the application of finger pressures.
Manifestly, the curved lever 25 may be rocked upon the pivot pin 22 whereby the elongate arm 26, which extends over and into the cut-out portion II of the cover plate I0, is moved in an upwardly or downwardly direction in an arc having the pin 22 as its pivotal center. In the assembled relation the arm 2E is adapted to be disposed between the prongs I4 of the plug member I and to abut the underside of the plug. Thus movement of the plug in the direction towards engagement effects the downward movement of the arm 26, and concomitantly the rocking movement of the integral handle 27 in the upwardly direction. At the same time, the lever 25 is moved transversely in the direction away from the plug in view of the permissible `sliding movement of the pin 22 in the arcuate slotj23 formedv in the heel portion. Conversely, the application of slight pressure upon the disc button 29 urges the handle in the downwardly direction and, responsive to the engagement of the curvilinear heel portion againstl the cross brace 20, the simultaneous inward movement of the lever 25, which movement brings the curved shoulder 28 into vengagement with the edged portion of the plug causing it to be cammed lupwardly and away from the engaged socket member. Concomitantly, the arm 26 is rocked in the upwardly direction to further aid and complete the movement of the plug from the engaged position in cooperation with the cammed shoulder action.
It is well understood by those skilled in the art that greater forces are required to initiate the disengagement, which forces are adequately and expeditiously provided bythe initial camming action lin combination with the lifting forces resulting from the arm movements. However, it is to be understood that sufficient forces might be developed solely by means of the simple lever acti-on to eject the engaged complementary members thereby to eliminate the need for the camming action and the arcuate slot 23. It is may also be formed in the spaced uprights I9,
the lever merely having an aperture for receipt of the pin 22, thereby similarly to provide the camming action previously described.
It isevident that thev movements described occur during the engagement or disengagement of the plug member with a complementary socket member. However, it may be desirable normally to maintain the lever in the position assumed during plug engagement, and for such purposes, a formed spring metal strip 39, shown in Figure 7, is provided. The spring metal strip 3U `has a central looped portion 30a which urges the ends to extend divergently therefrom. One curved end portion 3i is adapted to bear against lthe cover plate I, the other spaced end portion v'32 is `formed with a inwardly extending shoulder portion 33 and a substantially perpendicular laterally-extending end portion 34 integral therewith for engagement with a similarly formed aperture S5 in the lower handle portion of the lever 2o. It is thus apparent that the end portions 35 and Sil are adapted to pivotally engage' the aperture 35, and in cooperation with the spaced end portion BI to urge the handle portion 2'! vin the upright position.
Obviously the elements described may be formed of electrical insulating materials such as molded or machined plastics, wood, ceramics or the like, and may be assembled either on rpresent cover plates or may be combined by means of a simple molding operation with cover plates being manufactured for subsequent'sales and distribution.
For purposes of protection and neatness normally it is 'desirable to venclose the operable elements of a device ofthetype described within confined portions of the unit, and in such instances, it is expedient to incorporate the ejecting device vfor `operation in connection with the socket member, which incorporation may be effected during the manufacturing processes thereby to make commercially available receptacles having improved characteristics. One modification illustrating such construction isr shown in Figures 8 to 11, in which a cover plate 3G hasl afpair of receptacle openings 3l' each superposed overnsocket members 38. v p
As previously described, the socket members comprise a pair of vertically disposedslots 39 having electrical contact plates 40 connected by conducting metal strips 4I to separated electrical binding posts 42. In the engaged position,I the spaced prongs 3 of each .plug 4 4 are adapted to contact each electrical plated@ Vre'spe.c'tivelyy i0. ,CODSi-iltfelegtrical'. Current therefrom through. the extension cord lieto' the element to be ener-- gized. The cover .plate ispositionedin relation to the sockel? member by a :dat head screw '4 which engages a three-.ded aperture H the socket housing 48.
The ejecting device associated with the: socket member comprises.v an inverted; hollow cylinder 49 slidable longitudinally in a cylindrical cavity 55', which. comprises part of the: socket.- housing and is positioned centrally of the s1ots'3v9. In the. normal position the cylinder 49 extends outwardly beyond the surface of the cover' plate, in which position itis urged by a coil, spring 5l having one end portion enclosed by the cylinder 49 and the other end` portion bearing: against the base of the cavity 50. The extending, cylinder 49 is. adapted to abut the central portion oi the plug 44 duringthev movementsv oi theY same in the, direction towards engagement',l tensioning the coil spring, during which. movementthe cylinder 49 is guided in the downwardly direction by a pin 52 extending through the cavity wall and engaging a verticalA slot,I 53 in the cylinder.
Upon movement of the plug member to the engaged position, an opening 54'is adapted to be engaged by a pawl 55 thereby to prevent retrograde movement of the cylinder until such time as the pawl has been Withdrawn from engagement by the application of force operating in a manner hereinafter described.
Normally a tubular button 'iis urged in an outward direction to extend beyond the cover plate 3E by means of a coil spring 5E having a considerable portion disposed within they cylinder 51 and the other end bearing against the base of a cylindrical cavity 58', in which the tubular button 5'! is reciprocal, which cavity forms a part of the socket housing 48. A link 5%9- pivotally connected to the lower end portion of the cylinder 51 extends downwardly to pivotally engage one end of a lever arm 60, which, in turn, is pivotally mounted at 6| upon an ear 62 forming a part of the cavity 50. The pawl 55 forms an integral part of the other end of lever arm 6U and is urged in the direction toward engagement with the opening 54 in response to the spring forces urging the cylinder 51 in the outwardly direction.
It is to be understood that the forces generated by the spring 5B, when related to the pawl 55, are sufficient to hold the pawl in engagement with the edge of the opening 54 overcoming the static forces of the spring 5| urging the cylinder 49 in the outwardly direction and, concomitantly, urging the pawl in the direction towards disengagement from the edges of the opening 54.
When in the engaged position, the depression of the tubular button 5l effects the movement thereof and the associated link 59 in the downwardly direction, thereby pivotally to rock the arm 6D in the direction withdrawing the pawl 55 from engagement with the aperture 54 which permits the tensioned coil spring 5! to move the cylinder 49 in the upwardly direction, ejecting the plug 44 from the engaged position.
Another modication of an ejection device which may be assembled in connection with the socket member is illustrated in Figure 12, in which rigid elongate insulating strips 63, which may be formed from the various plastics, mold-ed rubber-like materials or the like, are disposed within the slots 39a of the socket member. An inwardly extending ange 64 integral with the lower end of the strip 63 is adapted to abut a cup-shaped disc member 65 having one end of a coil spring 66 seated therein, the other end bearing against the bottom of the socket housing 48a. A leaf spring 6l, having its central portion formed about a pin 68 associated with the socketfmember intermcdiatefof thevertically disposed slots, curved; downwardly and retained in theflexedstatei-byfspaced: ngers secured to lateral end portionscfa 'lf-shaped arm 7.0 which is` Vmovable-in. the verticaldirection within a vslot 'Il formed in the socket portion intermediate of the slots 39a.
Movement .of the T-plate 10 in the upward direction to abutment with. the upper edge of the slot 'Il causes the ends of the tensioned leaf spring 61 to extend beyond the inner edge portions of the flanges At4. Thus, movement of the plug 44a in the direction toward engagement, of the socket member effects the downward movement of. the elongate strips 63., tensioning the coil spring 66, and flexing the leaf spring. V(il. in the inwardly direction. During the iinal movements of the plug into the engaged position, the ends of the tensioned leaf spring are adapted to clear the upper edge of the flanges M, and thereafter to snap into 'engagement with the shoulders 'l2 formed by the flange thereby to prevent retrograde movement of the insulating strips 63. It is evident thatA movement of the T-plate in the downward direction will effect the inward ilexure of the leaf spring 6T causing the endsyof same to be withdrawn from engagementwith the shoulders 62, freeing the ejecting elements for movement in the upward direction, which movement is eiected by the tension coil spring 66V resulting in the emission of the plug 44a from the socket member.
Downwardl movement of the T-plate l!! may be effected by any suitable lever means to be associated with an adjacent button extending beyond the surface of the cover plate, partial illustration only being made to an arm 13 connected to the lower end of the plate 72, which may be actuated in a downward direction by pivotally connected levers I4 mounted in a manner to move the illustrated end in a downward direction in response to the application of pressure to an associated button.
It is manifest that I have produced various modifications of plug ejectors which may be assembled in combination with cover plates or the socket members for operation in response to the application of slight pressures to eject an electrical plug from the engaged position. It is to be understood that other modifications may be made with respect to the construction, arrangement and operation of the associated elements to effect the desired result without departing from the spirit of the invention especially as denned in the appended claims.
What I claim is:
1. In combination with an electrical receptacle having a cover plate and mating plug and socket members, an ejection device comprising an element having a pair of arms extending divergently at an angle greater than but less than 180 and an integral intermediate curvilinear section providing a cam shoulder, a curvilinear slot in said intermediate section, spaced supports on said cover plate, and an axle through said slot and spaced supports enabling said arms to be rocked vertically in opposite directions toward or away from said socket member and to be shifted longitudinally in the direction toward or away from said plug member, one of said arms being disposed between said mating members when in the engaged position, whereby movement of said other arm in the direction towards said socket member concomitantly causes the 10n- 7 gitudinal shifting movement of said element in the direction towards said plug camming same from engagement with said socket member and the vertical movement of said first arm lifting said plug out of engagement with said socket member.
2. An electrical plug ejection device comprising a relatively staticnary support having an aperture for affording access to an electrical plug receiving socket, an element having a pair of divergently extending arms, one arm constituting a plug ejecting arm and being disposed in the region of the aperture for positioning between the plug and socket, the other arm of said element constituting the actuating arm for imparting plug ejecting movement to the rst arm, and a combined longitudinal shifting and rocking connection between an intermediate portion of said element and said support whereby upon depression of said actuating arm, the element is concomitantly rocked and shifted to cause the ejecting arm to force the plug away from the socket.
3. The organization as claimed in claim 2, including a curvilinear cam surface on the under side of the element between the arms, said cam surface slidably and rockably engaging the adjacent surface of said support during plug ejecting operation.
4. In combination with an electrical receptacle having a cover plate and mating plug and socket members, an ejection device comprising an element having a pair of arms extending divergently at an angle greater than 90 but less than 180 and an integral intermediate curvilinear section providing a cam shoulder, spaced supports on said cover plate between which said curvilinear section is disposed, and a connection between said intermediate section and spaced supports enabling said arms to be rocked vertically in opposite directions toward or away from said socket member and to be shifted longitudinally in the direction toward or away from said plug member, one of said arms being disposed between said mating members when in the engaged position, whereby movement of said other arm in the direction towards said socket member concomitantly causes the longitudinal shifting movement of said element in the direction toward said plug camming same from engagement with said socket member and the vertical movement of said first arm 1ifting said plug out of engagement with said socket member.
ROBERT N. GERNHEUSER.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the f'lle of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,051,425 Schlums Aug. 18, 1936 2,134,345 Sheeran Oct. 25, 1938 2,142,284 Park Jan. 3, 1939 2,277,605 Palitzsch Mar. 24, 1942 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 445,486 England Apr. 14, 1936 652,140 Germany Apr. 30, 1936