US 2634312 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 7, 1953 H. W. BATCH ELLER CONTINUOUS CONNECTOR FOR GANG SWITCHES Filed April 17, 1951 Jl ll m GEM/U14 4 4% M 22 /x m 4 F-' Patented Apr. 7, 1.?53
UNITED STAT 7 CONTINUOUS CONNECTOR FOR GANG swrrcrms Hugh Batcheller',Newton, Mass., assignor Ark-Les Switch Corporation, Watertown, Mass., a corporation of Massachusetts Application April 17, 195 Serial No. 221508 'lhisinvention relates to a gang switch construction such as is useful, for example, in electric cooking'ranges. Such ranges usually have two or more separate heating units, each of which is controlled by a separate switch. In most cases it is desirable to employ switches adapted to connect the elements of a heating unit to a source of electric energy which is supplied at two voltages (e. g 1l0 'v. and 220 v.) in various combinations adapted to result in the generation of heat by the unitat anyone of a series of different rates, the
. desired rate being selectedbyoperating the switchto the corresponding position. Aswitchof this type is described and illus trated in my copending application Serial No. 138,021, filed January 11, 1950, this switch being characterized by the complete absence of bolts or screws in its structure with the one exception of-a threaded external sleeve to receive a nut by which the switch can be secured to a supporting wall through which the sleeve projects. This absence of bolts and screws is a decided advantage as there are none ofthese elementsto workloose, connections to the switch are made rapidly and without the use ofa tool, and such connections cannot work loose even if the switch is subjected to prolonged vibration. I It is an object of the present invention to short- 'en the time and labor required to assemble an electric cooking range by providing a-composite unit which can quickly and easily be installed and connected, with no danger of any connection subsequently working "loose. For this purpose the required'number of switches are. mounted on a common supporting plate in some convenient array, and connectors of the bus bar type are employed to connect together corresponding ,terminals on the several switches so that by connecting lead'wires'to appropriate. bus bars, the lead wires. aresimultaneously connected to the correct terminal 'of'each of the switches. By using a male-and-female type of connection throughout, the use of screws in connecting the conductors together is entirely avoided and thetask of making the connections is greatly simplifled. The switches employed in the present invention are characterized by external terminals which are all in the form of fiat tongues of uniform width projecting from the rear face of the switch casing. Each tongue is formed to be the male member of a connection having a corresponding female member to receive the tongue into spring-pressed inter-facial engagement. By employing bus bars with female connection members, the terminals of the several switches which I 2 1 l are to be connected together can quickly be so connected without the use of any tool, the connections thus made being spring'held and incapable of working loose.
-Fo1' a more complete understanding of the invention, reference may be had to the. following description thereof and to the drawin of which- Figure l is a rear elevational view of a group of range switches mounted and connected togetherfor installation in a'range; t
Figure 2 is a perspective view of some of the separate elements shown in Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a section on the line 3-3 of Figure 2;
a Figure 4 is a section on ure 3; and v 1 Figure 5 is a fragmentary rear elevation similar to Figure l but showing a different arrangement of switches.
The usual electric cooking range is equipped with anywhere from two to four or more heating units, each of which is provided with a control switch so that it can be controlled independently of the other units. These switches are to be connected to the same source of electrical energy when the range is installed for use. Thus if the the line 4-4 of Fig- 'range is designed for use with a two-wire power circuit, each switch will have two terminals to be connected to the respective lines of the power circuit. The, switches shown on the drawing are designed for use on athree-wire power circuit, and therefore are made with three terminals. According to the invention the required number of switches 10 are mounted on a supporting frame member such as a metal plate 12 and the three power terminals l4, l6, and 18 of each switch are connected respectivelyto the corresponding ter minals of all the. other switches. Suitable bus bars 20, 22, and 24 are provided for this purpose. The bus bar 20 connects'together all the "terminals 14; the bus bar 22 connects together all the term'i nals l6; and the bus bar 24 connects together all of the terminals [8. The bus bars are adapted to be connected respectively to the three wires of a three-wire power circuit when the range is installed for use, a lead 30 from one such wire being shown in Figure 2.
To make a quick, easy and efiective connection between the bus bars and the terminals, the bus bars are provided-with female connector members 32 adapted to receive the terminals which, as shown, are in the form of male connector members or tongues which project out from the rear face of the switch casing. Each female connector member 32 is made by shaping a strip of resilient metal such as bronze to have a central portion 34 offset from end portions 36, as indicated in Figure 3. When the end portions 36 are fixed to a bus bar, there is enough clearance between the bus bar and the offset portion 34 of the metal strip to receive a male connector member 14. To ensure a good interfacial contact between the male connector member and the bus bar, the offset portion 34 of the spring strip is indented as indicated in Figures 3 and 4, the offset portion sloping slightly downward from all four side edges to a central dimple or depression 38. This depression results in a downwardly projecting boss adapted to enter a corresponding dimple 40 in the male connector member which is inserted in the clearance between the metal strip and the bus bar. The indenting of the offset portion 34 of the metal strip makes it necessary for a tongue 14 to push the offset portion resiliently outward when the tongue enters the clearance. This distortion of the portion 34 results in a spring pressure being exerted on the tongue to hold the faces together firmly for good electrical contact. The engagement of the boss 38 in the dimple 40 of the tongue holds the connector members together and prevents accidental separation, but permits withdrawal of the tongue if sufficient force is applied.
The bus bars are preferably made of strips of copper, brass or bronze of the same thickness and substantially the same width as the terminals [4. An end of each bus bar can thus be easily shaped to form a male connector member 42 like the members l4, I6, and I8. Lead wires from the power circuit are equipped with suitable female connector members, such as the member 44 shown in Figure 2, which can quickly be attached to the male connector member 42 on a bus bar without the use of tools.
In addition to the female connector members 32 provided on the bus bars to engage the terminals l4. l6, and 18 of the switches, other female connector members can be provided at convenient points to receive male connector members 45 which are mounted on lead wires from electrically operated accessories in or on the range, such as lights, clocks, outlet sockets, or the like. one such wire is indicated at 48 .in Figure 2.
Each of the switches shown on the drawing has a set of four terminals 50 three of which are adapted to be connected with the resistance elements in the corresponding burner or heating unit, the fourth being connected with a pilot light to indicate whether the burner associated with that switch is on or off.
The switches I!) in any group may be arranged in various ways on the supporting plate l2. In Figure 1 the plate I2 is approximately square, the switches being arranged thereon in two symmetrical rows of two each. The bus bars are made in U form, as shown, to connect the cor- 6 responding terminals of the several switches. Figure 5 illustrates an alternative arrangement in which the switches are in a single line, the bus bars in this case being straight and parallel. The length of these bus bars depends on the number of switches mounted on the supporting member52 which is suitably shaped to accommodate the desired number of switches.
- 1. An article of the class described comprising a frame member, a plurality of electric switches having casings secured to said frame member, each said switch having terminals to be connected to power outlets, and individually removable bus bars connecting the power terminals of one switch tothe corresponding terminals of all the other said switches and supported solely by said terminals, each said bus bar having thereon connector members in mating engagement with said terminals, each said terminal and its mating member being constructed to constitute an electric connector of the male and female type.-
2. An article as in claim 1, said terminals being flat metal tongues projecting from the switch casing, the connector members on the bus bars being shaped to receive said tongues with resiliently pressed interfacial engagement.
3. An article of the class described comprising a frame member, a plurality of electric switches having casings secured to said frame member, each switch having three terminals projecting from the rear of the casing for connection with a three-wire power line, each said terminal consisting of a flat tongue of metal strip stock with a shallow dimple in each face thereof, and three bus bars of metal stock similar to that of the terminals connecting together corresponding terminals of the several switches and supported solely thereby, each said bus bar having pieces of spring metal strip secured thereto to form female connector members into which said terminals are received with tight interfacial engagement, each said spring strip having a boss thereon to enter a dimple in the tongue in engagement therewith, and additional spring metal strips secured to said bus bars to form extra connector members.
4. An article as in claim 3, an end portion of each said bus bar being shaped to form a tongue similar to said terminals.
HUGH W. BATCHEILER.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,995,115 Douglas Mar. 19, 1935 2,098,414 De Mask Nov. 9, 1937 2,209,560 Carlson July 30, 1940