US 2761111 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
A118- 28, 1956 c. w. KLOSTERMANN 2,761,111
BREAKAWAY CONNECTOR Filed Feb. 16, 1953 l This invention relates to electrical connectors and has peciiic reference to a connector of the type known in the art as breakaway connectors, wherein the plug of the connector hasmeans to vhold it firmly within the receptacle, yet with the parts so arranged that it may be almost instantly released.
Itis a primary object of the invention to provide a breakaway connector wherein the plug will be self-retaj uing if simply snappedinto place within the socket, yet
-may be removed therefrom by a sharp pull, exerted either 1directly upon the plug or on the cable associated with it. lAnother extremely important object of the invention is the provision of a breakaway connector having a receptacle and detachable plug wherein the parts are so related to each other that the plug may be instantaneously with- `drawn from the receptacle either by an outward pull or by a lateral pull or thrust in any direction, irrespective of whether the force is applied to the plug itself or to the cable through which its connections are established.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a breakaway connector wherein the plug and socket may lbe quickly, easily and conveniently snapped into engagemerit with each other, yet wherein the parts coact to` `accomplish an air tight and water tight seal around the electrical contacts of the device.
A further object is the provision of a breakaway connector of the general type indicated above, wherein the plug may be held in `fixed orientation with respect to the receptacle if desired, yet wherein the plug is fitted within `thelreceptacle in such a manner as to be rotatable with respect thereto. This permits polarizing the contacts when desired, yet permits relative rotary movement between the plug and receptacle in the event that the conhector used with concentric or coaxial contacts and cables, or in any case wherein it is unnecessary to provide means for polarizing the contacts.
A preferred embodiment of the invention isillustrated in the drawings of this specification, wherein:
Figure 1 is a longitudinal sectional view taken substantially on the center line of a receptacle and plug constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention, with the parts shown in connected position;
Figure 2 is a reduced scale, front elevational view of the connector of Figure 1; and
Figure 3 is a view similar to Figure l, but showing the plug in a changed position through which it may pass when being detached from the receptacle by a lateral pull or thrust.
The connector includes a receptacle generally designated as A, and a plug, generally indicated at B. The receptacle is preferably provided with a mounting flange 10 through which counterbored screw holes 11 are provided for securing the device to any suitable mounting. The receptacle has a central socket 12 (Figure 3) with a dielectric insert 13 mounted centrally within a bottom wall 14 of the socket and held in fixed relationship there- `with by a clamping ring 15. The ring 15 is threaded on 2,761,1 ll Patented Aug, 28, `1956 an inside neck portion 16 of the receptacle, which is provided with an annular sealing pocket 17 concentric with and spaced from a sealing surface 18 on the insert. An air tight and water tight seal between the insert and the receptacle is accomplished by a'precision molded rubber or synthetic ring `19, commonly known `in the trade as an O ring.
The dielectric insert 13` of the receptacle is provided with at least one electrical Contact and may have a plurality of contacts 21 having their forward faces exposed within `the socket 12 and having soldering pockets or other connecting means at their rearward ends 22. These lcontacts are arranged to engage the individually spring urged plungers 23 of coacting contact members 24 secured within dielectric inserts 25 and 26 in the metal shell 27 of the plug B. As best illustrated in Figure 1, the shell 27 includes an internal packing 28 with a tightening `nut' 29 and gland 31 arranged to clamp against the exterior iusulating braid or aiinor `of a ilexible cable 32, through which a plurality of individual conductors 33 extend to the soldering pockets 34 of the several contacts 24. With thisarrangement, the plug of the4r connector Vis firmly secured to the cable so that the forces exerted by outward or lateral pulls on thecable will be transmitted to the shell 27 `of the plug, rather than to the individual conductor leads 33 and contacts 34.
The plug shell 27 is provided with an annular shoulder 35 so that the portionof the plug between the shoulder 35 and the forward ends of thecontact plungers 23 constitutes a head portion of the plug adapted Vto be received in the socket 12 `of the receptacle. The sockerincludes a sealing portion 36 which is lof smoothly curvedand gradually tapered configuration, preferablyV having the radius R (Figure 3) equivalent to the diameter ofthe socket; with the arcuate walls of the sides of their socket having their center at the forward edge ofthe opposite wall as indicated at C.
An annular groove 37 is cut in rearwardly of the sealing portion 36, and an endless helical coil spring 38 is positioned within the groove. The coil spring is of a diameter adapted to fit rather closely within the groove 37 and is of suiiicient length sothat it will retain itself in the groove, but. will normally project partially into the socket as shown in the drawings. The forward end portion 39 of theplug is tapered Ato exert a cam action whereby an inward thrust of the plugwill expand the spring 38 outwardly into the groove'` 37, but an annular latching groove 41 is provided around the end of the plug so that the spring will snap into place in the groove as illustrated in Figure 1, and thus hold the plug iirmly within the receptacle. Thus the spring plungers 23 of the contacts 24 of the plug will be held in rm pressure engagement with the fixed contacts 21 in the receptacle.
It will also be seen from Figure 1 that when the plug is inserted within the receptacle the tapered exterior surfaces of the plug shell fit closely into and correspond in Athe socket at a point shape with the tapered sealing surfaces 36 of the recep Also, it will be seen that `the plug is provided withy tacle. an annular groove 42 in which another D ring 43 is mounted so that the O ring bears firmly against the sealing surfaces of the plug and receptacle to establish an air tight and water tight seal around the electrical contacts thereof.
If desired, the plug may be polarized with respect to the receptacle by the provision of one or more polarizing pins 44 in the mounting flange of the receptacle, with corresponding notches 45 in the annular shoulder 35 of the plug, as best illustrated in Figures 1 and 2. A swiveled anchor plate 46 can be connected to a steel cable hookup.
The combination of plug and receptacle illustrated vmay. be imposed on iittings yimportance in connectors vwhich may be employed in on `the shoulder-35 as illustrated in Figure 3. -plug will be detached without excessive stresses upon grugged, dependable `construction groove disposed herein has important advantages over known prior art structures'in that it provides a breakaway connector wherein the plug may be easily and quickly attached or detached yby handyet vvvhereinthe parts are of such `design and construction that they are not apty to be damaged even ,by the imposition of extremely violentl forces such as of this type. This is of special military guided missiles, etc., wherein they function to maintain electrical communication between external control apparatus, and themissile until the instant of departure, yet are violently jerked loose as the missile starts its night.
f A further practical advantage: of the structure here illustrated arises from the flactvt'hat the plug and socket of the receptacle are tapered in acurve having its center atgtheoppositepside of thesocket, so that when a lateral it .mayrelease by pivoting Thus, the it or upon,its related parts, irrespective of whether the force is applied tothe plugitself or to its connecting cable, and irrespective of the ydirection in which such force is exerted.
force is applied to the plug,
`I t will respond equally well to an outward pull or to a thrust or pull in any lateral direction. This makes for i which maybe quickly, simply. and easily coupled or uncoupled, yet cannot be easily damaged evenA by the most rugged or careless use.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as newand desire to secure by United States Letters Patent is: 1. A breakaway connector` comprising, in combination,
receptacle having a circular socket with an insulating insert atthe bottom of the socket carrying at least one metallic contact of the end engaging type; said socket having annular side walls with a smoothly tapered sealing portion extending inwardly in an arc having its center at the forward opposite` edge of said socket; together with a circularplug adapted to be inserted within said socket and having. an insulatinginsert with at least one co-acting electrical contact of end engaging type to engage the aforementioned contact within the said socket; said plug having side Walls with a taper corresponding to the taper of the socket Walls and tted therein, with a sealing groove extending around the plug and a resilient annular sealing ringof circular cross section seated therein and engaging the smooth tapered portion of the socket; an annular latch spring groove in the walls of said socket with an endless coil spring` carried therein, and a coacting latch spring atthe `end of said plug and adjacentthe groove in said socket and also engaging said endless coil spring to hold the plug releasably in the socket, and hold the aforementioned contacts in abutting engagement with each other.
a receptacle having a circular socket with an insulating insert at the bottom of the socket carrying at least one metallic Contact of end engaging type; annular side Walls with a smoothly tapered sealing portion extending inwardly in an arc having its center at the forward opposite edge of said socket; and a circular plug adapted to be inserted within said socket and having an insulating insert with at least one co-acting electrical contact of end engagingtype to engage the aforementioned contact within the said socket; said plug having side Walls with a taper corresponding to the taper of the socket 'walls and itted therein, with a sealing groove extending around the plug and a resilient annular Vsealing ring of circular cross section seated therein andengaging the smooth tapered portion of the socket; A with latching means in the opposed walls of said socket and coacting latching means at the end of said plug engaging each other to hold the plug lreleasably in the socket and hold the aforementioned contacts in abutting engagement with each other, with -additional spring means holding yeach contact of theplug in engagement with acorre'sponding contact of the receptacle. v
3. A breakaway connector comprising, in combination, a receptacle having a circular socket, with an insulating insert at the bottom of the socket carrying at least one metallic contact of end engaging'type; said socket having annular side Walls with a smoothly tapered sealing portion, together-with a circular plug adapted to be inserted within saidsocket and having an insulating insert with at least one co-acting electrical contact of end engaging type to engage the aforementioned contact within the said socket; said plug having side walls with a taper corresponding to the taper of the socket Walls and iitted therein, with a sealing groove extending around the plug and a resilient annular sealing ring ofcircular cross section seated therein and engaging the smooth tapered portion of the socket; with coacting latch means between said plug and said socket to hold the plug releasably in the socket, and lhold the aforementioned contacts in abutting engagement with each other, with additional spring means holding 'each contact of ythe plug in engagement with a corresponding contact of the receptacle.
References `Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,687,074 Wicheit Oct. 9, 1928 2,369,860 Schroeder Feb. 20, 1945 2,384,327 Mendelsohn Sept. 4, 1945 2,404,176 Huelster July 16, 1946 2,619,515 Doane Nov. 25, 1952 2,623,917 Savitz Dec. 30, 1952 2,677,811 Anderson et al May 4, 1954