US 2591009 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 1, 1952 A. L. I QICHE 2,591,009
SEPARABLE ELECTRI CAL CONNECTOR Filed Dec. 20, 1948 Patented Apr. 1, 1952 UNITED STATES SEPARABLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Arthur L. Riche, Freeport, Il!., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Company, Minneapolis, Minn, a corporation of Delaware Application December 20, 1943, Serial No. 66,195
This invention relates to separable connectors and more particularly to separable connectors for use in effecting connections in electric circults.
An object of the present invention is to provide a novel separable connector of the above character that permits of connection and disconnection of the respective parts a relatively large number of times without impairment of its electrical conductive characteristics.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel separable connector of the above characponents with which it is used.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel connector of the above character that does not require the use of solder to insure a positive electrical conductive connection.
Another object of the invention is to provide a separable connector of the above character that is simple in construction, compact and sturdy and is relatively inexpensive to manufacture.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel separable connector of the above character comprising a female and a 'male member arranged for telescopic interconnection with means for insuring that the members are in alinement upon movement of the parts together.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which- Figure 1 is a bottom view of a switch utilizing separable connectors embodying the present invention;
. Fig. 2 is a longitudinal sectional View of a separable connector mounted on aswitch;
Fig. 3 is a view similar to Fig. 2 inwhich the parts of the separable connector are'in a position to effect their separation; I
Fig. 4 is a top .plan view of a terminal portion of the separable connector;
Fig. 5 is a View taken substantially along the line 5-5 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 6 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 6-6 of Fig. 2;
Figs. 7, 8, and 9 are longitudinal sectional views of a modification of theseparable connector with 4 Claims. (Cl. 173363) a connector portion of the separable connector in different relative positions with respect to a terminal portion thereof;
Fig; 10 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line iii-4 0 of Fig. 7;
- Fig. 11 is a modification of the separable connector shown in Figs. 7, 8 and 9 adapted to interconnect a pluralit of electrical conductors, and
Fig. 12 is a modification of the separable connector shown in Figs. 2 and 3 adapted to interconnect a plurality of electrical conductors. Y
Referring now to Figs. 1-10 of the drawings, the invention is shown embodied in a separable connector for connecting a small precision switch [2 in an electric circuit. While the invention is shown embodied in a form for use with a small precision switch it is to be understood that the connector may be used for other types and sizes of switches and also may with slight modification as shown in Figs. 11 and 12 be used to interconnect a plurality of electric wires or cables and the like. As shown in Figs. 1-6 the separable connector comprises a male member 13 adapted to be secured to a terminal post M on the switch i2 as by a screw 16 and a female member I! adapted to be connected to an electric wire l8 and shaped to be detachably interconnected with the male member 53 to provide a positive electrical conductive connectipn between the male member 13 and-the female member l'l.
As shown the male member l3 comprises a base or attachment portion l9, an offset narrow portion 2! defining a prong projecting outwardly from the base, and an upstanding portion 20 integrally connecting the prong 2! with the base portion 19. The base portion is shaped to be disposed between spaced outwardly projecting ribs 25 on opposite sides of the terminal post 14 to prevent rotation of the male member and .is formed with an aperture 22 for the reception of the screw it. The latter fixedly secures the base portion H! to the terminal post M of the switch [2. The'portion 26 as shown in Figs. 2 and 3 spaces the prong 2| from the base IS a suflicient distance to permit interconnection of the female portion ll and the male portion l3 and also serves as a stop to prevent the female member H from being pressed too far onto the male member I3. As shown in Fig. 5, the prong 2| has a cross-sectional area in which the upper edges are defined by relatively sharp corners for a purpose to presently appean Where desired. to facilitate interconnection of the female member ll and the male member 13, the prong 2| may be inclined with respect to the base portion l9 as shown in Figs. 2 and 3.
The female member I! comprises a body portion 23 having an attachment portion, such as a sleeve..24, .at one end shaped to receive a stripped. end of a wire l8. In this-embodiment of the invention, the female member is made from sheet metal parts and the sleeve 24 is defined by bending tabs 26 and 21 at one end of the body 23 upwardly and inwardly in a curved manner as shown in Figures 1 and 5. Preferably the inner walls of the sleeve 24 are corrugated as shown at 28 so that when the wire I8 is disposed in the sleeve 24 a good electrical connection is assured between the wire and the connector H. The thickness of the material forming the sleeve is such that the sleeve may be securely clamped on the end of the wire by deforming the side walls of the sleeve. At its opposite end the .female member I! is formed with an opening or passage 39 for receiving the prong 2|. Herein the opening 30 is defined by bending laterally extending tabs on the body portion 23 downwardly as "shown in Fig. to form sides 29 and 3] and bending the extreme ends of the tabs at positions spaced from the body 23 inwardly as shown at 32 and 33. It will be seen that with this construction the body 23, the sides 29 and 3|, and the inturned portions 32 and 33 form a sheath defining a generally rectangular shaped opening 39 for receiving the correspondingly shaped prong 2| of the terminal l3. It is to be understood that other cross sectional shapes of the opening may be used where desired. The dimensions of the opening 39 are such that when the prong 2| is disposed wherein the'upper edges 34 and 3B of the prong 2| make a wiping contact with the more rounded corners 3'! and 38 between the body 23 and sides 29 and 3|, respectively, defining the opening 39 and the center portion of the prong between its edges is spaced from the body 23 of the sheath, as seen in Fig. 5. The rounded corners 31 and 38 also form a guide means for the male-member and insure that when the female member is telescoped on to the male member that the female and male members are in alinement. The latter is important in preventing short circuits between adjacent terminals on small precision .switches where two connecting members may be in substantially parallel relation and close together such as shown in Figure 1. Since the edges of the male member always seat on some portion of the arc defining the cornersthis construction. permits of fairly Wide manufacturing tolerances on both the male and female member without affecting the electrical or mechanical characteristics of the connector.
Means is provided for urging the female member l1 and the male member |3 into a tight electrical conductive relation when the prong 21 is received in the opening 39. This is accomplished in the present instance by a resilient spring 39. The'latter may have many different shapes as will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For purposes of illustration, as best seen in Fig. 5, the spring 39 is of substantially the same width as the opening 39 in the connector I! and is arched intermediate its ends (see Figs. 2 and 3) sothat when the connector is telescoped over the prong 2| the resiliency of the spring 39 forces the relatively sharp edges 34 and 39 of the ter minal 2| into engagement with the inwardly facing rounded edges 31 and. 38, respectively, of thefernale member As shown in Fig. 6, at one end the spring 39 is formed with laterally extending arms 4| and 42 shaped to fit in slots 43 and 44 respectively, formed at the forward end'of the sides 29 and 3| of the female member ll. At itsopposite, end the. spring 39 is, turned down as shown at 46 to engage the shoulders 41' and 48 formed at the rear end of the connector by removing end portions of the inturned portions 32 and 33, as shown in Fig. 6. Thus, opposite ends of the spring 39 engage respectively the opposite axially facing edges of the sheath. The above construction positively secures the spring 39 in position in the female member I1 against accidental displacement while at the same time it permits the spring to flex between the position it assumes in which the ends of the spring 39 engage the ends of the sheath and a position in which the spring is flexed and at least one of the ends of the spring is out of engagement with the ends of the sheath as shown in Fig. 3. It is to be understood that the spring 39 operates to positively maintain the respective parts in a good electrical conductive relation even though the parts wear due to numerous connections and disconnections of the female member l7 and the male member I3.
Releasable interlocking means is provided for maintaining the female member I! and male member i3 in an assembled electrical conductive relation so that the respective members cannot become accidentally displaced relative to each other. To effect the above in this embodiment as shown in Figs. 2 and 3, the prong 2| of the male member 3 is formed with a tongue 49 such as by depressing a portion of the prong out of the plane thereof and an opening 5| is formed in the body 23 of the female member I! so that when the female member I? is telescoped over the prong 2|, the end of the tongue 49 engages a sidewall 52 of the opening 5|. Under these conditions the female member I? is interlocked with the male member |3 and cannot be accidentally removed. To facilitate telescoping of the female member 5? over the prong 2| of the male member l3, the tongue 49 is inclined in a direction away from the end of the prong 2| that is first inserted in the opening 39 of the connector I! as shown in Fig. 2.
The female member I? may be readily removed from the male member I3 by means of conventional tools such as a screw driver 59 and the like. Thus, as shown in Fig. 3 the forward end of the body 23 is formed with an upwardly inclined tab 53. the bit end 54 of the screw driver 50 is inserted under the tab 53 so that the extreme end of the screw driver 59 rests on the lower end of the prong 2|. Upward movement of the handle of the screw driver 59 raises the female member ll from the position shown in Fig. 2 to the position shown in Fig. 3 against the pressure of the spring 39 so that the tongue 49 is out of the opening 5|. In this position the female member Il may be readily pulled off the prong 2| of the male member l3 to effect a disconnection of the parts.
The male member l3 and female member I! may be formed as stamped metal parts or the like. The male member i3 and the female member I! are extremely easy to use. For example to use these parts it is only necessary to strip the end of a wire I8, insert the wire in the sleeve 24 and deform the sleeve to insure a good contact between the female member I? and the wire l8. After the male member I 3 is mounted on the switch such as shown in Figs. 2 and 3 by means of a screw I6, the female member I! may be, readily telescoped over the prong 2|. The wiping contact between the. edges 34 and 36 of the prong 2| and the corresponding rounded portions 31 and 38 respectively, together with the action of the spring 39 insures that a positive To remove the connector 17,
electrical conductive connection is assured. Moreover the interactionbetween the edges 34 and 3B and the rounded corners 3i and 38 also insures that the male and female members are maintained in positive alignment. As shown in Figure 1 the wire 18 may be inserted in either end of the sleeve 24. This permits of great flexibility in making connections.
In Figs. 7, 8, 9 and there is shown another embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment the separable connector includes a male member 55 and a female member 5?. In general the male member 56 is formed in the same manner as that described for the embodiment shown in Figure 1 and includes a base portion 58 and an offset prong 59. Intermediate its ends the prong 59 is formed with an aperture 6!. The female member 51 comprises a deformable sleeve 62 shaped to receive the end of an electric wire andv a body portion 65 having an axially facing opening 63 shaped to receive the prong 59 as described for the embodiment illustrated in Figs. 1-6. A spring 54 is disposed in the opening 83 of the female member 51 in the manner previously described for urging the female member 51 and male member 58 into a tight electrical conductive engagement. The body portion 65 is formed with a depressed portion 66 interme diate its ends shaped to interfit in the opening 6| in the prong 59 to form a means for interlocking the male member 56 and the female member 51. In this embodiment of the invention the female member El may be removed manually from the male member 55 without the use of tools by merely applying an axial pulling force on the female member 57.
This embodiment of the invention permits of more mounting positions of the female member 51 with respect to the male member be than the embodiment shown in Figs. l-6. For example, in Fig. '7 the female member 51 is mounted on the male member 56 in its normal position. In Fig. 8 the female member 51 is shown in an inverted position, and in Fig. 9 the female member 51 is shown in an end for end position.
The foregoing constructions permit of great versatility in making connections between an electric circuit and a switch. As described, the
connections between a switch and an external circuit may be made entirely without the use of solder. may be eliminated and the electric connecting wires I8 may be connected directly with the male member l3. In such case the stripped end of a wire [8 is disposed in the hole H (see Fig. 4) formed in the prong portion 2| member in a conventional manner.
Fig. 11 shows a modification of the connection means in Figs. '7, 8 and 9 adapted for interconnecting a plurality of electric wires or conductors. The parts shown in Fig. 11 may be formed in the same general manner as described hereinbefore for the connection means shown in Fig, '7. As shown the separable connector comprises a male member ll and a female member 12. In general the male member H includes a prong 13, having an opening 14 intermediate its ends, projecting outwardly from a sleeve portion l6 shaped to receive an end of an electric wire H. The sleeve 16 may be formed as hereinbefore described from deformable material so that the sleeve may be crimped on the wire 11. The female member 12 includes a sleeve portion 18 shaped to receive the end of an electric wire 80 Where desired, however, the connector of the male member l3 and the wire is soldered to the male and a sheath portion 19 shaped to receive the prong 13 in a .manner to effect a positive elec-'- trical connection as described for the embodiments of the invention shown in Figs. 1-10. To minimize the space required for the connection means, the sleeve 18 is disposed in spaced axial relation to the sheath 19. A spring 81 disposed in the sheath as described hereinbefore for the embodiment shown in Fig. 2 urges the female member 12 and the male member H into tight electrical conducting relation when the prongportion 73 is disposed in the sheath 19. A pro jection 82 formed on the interior of the sheath l9 shaped to interfit in the opening 14 in the male member ll locks the female member 12 andv male member ll in a positive electrical conducting assembled relation.
Fig. 12 shows a modification of the separableof the female member 86 as shown in Fig. 2.
The male member 84 comprises a sleeve portion 91 and a prong portion 92 extending axially outwardly from the sleeve 92. Adjacent the sleeve portion 9| the prong 92 is inclined toward the center axis of the sleeve to define a shoulder 94. The purpose of the shoulder is to define a stop against which the end of a wire. 96 abuts when the wire is received in the sleeve 9| and to prevent the female member from being pressed too far onto the male member. The male and female member may be held in their interconnected relation by a tongue 91 interfitting in an opening 98 in the manner described for theembodiment shown in Figs. 2 and 3.
From the aforegoing it will be seen that the invention renders itself equally well to making connections between an electric cable or wire and a switch or between a plurality of electric cables or wires. It is apparent that this construction is extremely simple yet positive in its action. As pointed out herelnbefore positive electrical connections may be made without the use of solder. By being made from stamped parts the components of the connection means can be made in a very inexpensive manner.
1. In a separable connector, the combination of a female member of electrical conductive material comprising a body, a portion at one end of the body for attachment to an electric conductor and a generally rectangular shaped opening at the opposite end of the body, the corners defining said rectangular opening adjacent the body being slightly rounded, a male member of electrical conductive material having an attachment portion shaped for connecting the male member in an electric circuit and a prong connected to said attachment portion shaped to be receivable in said generally rectangular opening and having spaced edges shaped to engage the female member at positions on said rounded corners to align the female and male members when the parts are telescoped together, and spring means acting between said female memher and said prong portion to maintain the parts 7 in electrical conductive relation, the, spring means acting in adirection to force said spaced edges of the prong portion into engagement with the rounded corners of the opening upon movement of the parts together.
2. In a separable connector the combination of a female member comprising a body having an attachment portion at one end for connecting the female member into anelectric circuit and an opening at theopposite end defined in part by generally arcuate surfaces, a male member comprising an attachment portion shaped for connecting the male member in an electric circuitand a prong portion connected to said attachment portion shaped to be received in said opening in the female member and having spaced edges shaped to engage the female member at positions on said arcuate surface to align the female and male members when the parts are telescoped together, and spring means acting between said female member and said prong portion in a direction to force said spaced edges of the prong into engagement with the arcuate surfaces of the opening as the parts are telescoped together to maintain the parts in electricalconductive relation.
3. In a separable connector the combination of a female member-comprising a body having an attachment portion at one end for connecting the female member into an electric circuit and an opening defined by spaced side Walls extendingoutwardly from the body, a male member comprising an attachment portion shaped for connecting the male member in an electric circuit and a prong portion connected to said atachment portion shaped to bereceived in said opening in the female member and having spaced edges shaped to engage the female member at positions on said side walls adjacent the body to align the female and male members when the parts are telescoped together, and spring means acting between said female member and said prong portion to force said spaced edges into engagement with the side-walls of the opening adjacent the body as the parts are telescoped together to maintain the parts in elec trical conductive relation.
4. In a separable electrical connector, the combination of a male member having an attach ment portion for connecting the male member in an electrical circuit and a prong extending outwardly from said attachment portion and shaped to have a generally rectangular cross section, a female member having an attachment portion for connecting the female member in an electric circuit. and a sheath portion shaped to releasably receive said prong, said sheath portion having a fiat body of lesser width than said prong, depending side portions spaced apart a distance greater than the width of the prong and rounded corner portions connecting the side portions with opposite edges of said body and shaped to be engaged by corner edges of the prong and space the prong from the body portion of the sheath when the prong is received in the sheath and spring means in said sheath having its opposite ends engageable with opposite extreme ends of the sheath to mount it in the sheath disposed to act between said prong and said sheath to bias the respective parts into electrical conductive relation.
ARTHUR L. RICHE.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,517,017 Roth Nov. 25, 1924 1,995,115 Douglas Mar. 19, 1935 2,055,114 Woernley Sept. 22, 1936 2,068,452 Hansen Jan. 19, 193'! 2,405,111 Carlson et a1 Aug. 6, 1946 2,411,014 Warnke Nov. 12, 1946 2,499,296 Buchanan Feb. 28, 1950 2,513,305 Gagnier et a1. July 4, 1950 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 539,811 Great. Britain Sept. 24, 1941