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Publication numberUS2824183 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 18, 1958
Filing dateOct 31, 1955
Priority dateOct 31, 1955
Publication numberUS 2824183 A, US 2824183A, US-A-2824183, US2824183 A, US2824183A
InventorsBlake James A, Marasco Anthony D
Original AssigneeNottingham & Co Inc J B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cable connectors or couplers embodying novel circuit making and breaking devices
US 2824183 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 18, 1958 A. D. MARASCO ETAL 2,824,183

CABLE CONNECTORS OR COUPLERS EMBODYING NOVEL CIRCUIT MAKING AND BREAKING DEVICES Filed Oct. 31. 1955 '2 Sheets-Sheet 1 1s- 6 lOb- ME-99 sey/ Glen I 95 INVENTORS 9 IL loo figg 96 James A. Bloke IOc Anthony D, Morusco MM ww 98 98 I ATTORNEYS 1953. A. D. MARASCO ETVAL 2,82

CABLE CONNECTORS OR COUPLERS EMBODYING NOVEL CIRCUIT MAKING AND BREAKING DEVICES w Filed Oct. 31. 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I INVENTORS v James A. Bloke Anthony D. Morosco ATTORNEYS FIG. 7;

United States Patent CABLE CONNECTORS 0R COUPLERS EMBDDY- IN G NOVEL CIRCUIT MAKING AND BREAKING DEVICES Anthony D. Marasco, Norwalk, and James A. Blake, Cornwall Bridge, Conn, .assignors to J. B. Nottingham & Co., Inc., New York, Y., a corporation of New York Application October 31, 1955, Serial No. 543,682

26 Claims. (Cl. ZOO-51.09)

This invention relates to improvements in electric circuit making and breaking devices and cable connectors or couplers and this application is a continuation-impart of application Serial No. 498,548, filed April 1, 1955, and now abandoned.

Electrical connectors or couplers, either of the slip-in type or the threaded-in type, such as sockets for receiving the threaded base of an incandescent lamp bulb or a threaded plug, conventionally comprise a body of hard or semi-hard insulation material, such as rubber or the like, having one or more open recesses or sockets in which exposed conductor terminals are located to be electrically contacted by another current conductor inserted in the socket.

In those electrical connectors formed to receive a threaded member, such as a lamp base, a threaded metal liner is usually found with which one current conductor wire is connected, forming one terminal, while in the bottom of the socket is fixed an exposed or uncovered terminal which is insulated from the first and to which a second electrical current conductor is connected. Conventional sockets of this form are well known and it is also known that such connectors present a certain hazard because of the ease with which a shock can be received by the accidental insertion of a finger in the socket or a short circuit can be caused by the insertion of a metallic object in the socket. Also such open sockets are dangerous to use where there is a possibility of water or current conducting liquid entering the same. This applies also with respect to other types. of sockets where slip-in current conductors are used, that is, where the socket presents a straight or smooth passage in which an elongated member in the nature of a jack may be inserted for establishing the desired electrical connection.

In the other types of connectors referred to, that is, those embodying sockets in which a slip-in plug is received, an exposed metal terminal is located in the socket receiving the inserted member. In addition to the possibility of short circuits being caused by moisture bridging the terminals in the sockets of these types of connectors, the use of the same in an atmosphere laden with volatile inflammable vapors or with inflammable gases is extremely hazardous due to the possibility of arcing between the terminals in the making and/or breaking of connections between conductors.

In the light of the foregoing it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and novel circuit making and breaking device which will effectively prevent short circuiting in wet situations in which it may be required for use and which will also be effective to open and/or close a circuit without creating an open or exposed are which might result in the ignition of inflammable vapors or gases.

Another object of the invention is to provide an electrical connector embodying a socket adapted to receive another current conductor, which connector is of water proof construction so that even though the socket may be immersed in water .or have water introduced thereinto, short circuiting cannot occur since the transmission of current by the liquid between terminals, as between the central terminal and the shell portion of a screw type socket, is effectively prevented.

Still another object of the invention is to provide, in a manner as hereinafter set forth, a new improved connector of the character conventionally employed for receiving the base of an electric incandescent lamp, which is so designed as to avoid the possibility of any one re ceiving electric shock even though the finger or a metallic object maybe inserted in the connector socket.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a new connector embodying a housing formed to receive or have another connector inserted therein, with means Within the receiving housing formed to be actuated by the inserted connector to complete an electric circuit and in which a waterproof seal is established between the housing and the inserted connector member before such means is so actuated.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a new electric contact making and breaking unit which is adapted for use in any electrical circuit set-up whether it he in association with current conducting couplers, or as a plurality of in-line contacts functioning as switches or in any other capacity where the opening and closing of electric circuits is desired, wherein the relatively movable contact points by which the desired circuit is opened or closed are completely enclosed in a sealed airtight chamber or envelope formed wholly or in part of an elastomer whereby any arc which may be formed between the points in making or breaking contact will be confined and may be quenched by having the chamber filled with an inert gas or liquid, to avoid accident, particularly where the opening and closing of a circuit may be effected in an atmosphere of inflammable vapors or gases.

The several objects stated are attained by the provision of a basic electric contact making and breaking unit embodying an air tight seal or envelope of an elastomer, plastic or other suitable elastic material, having two spaced, peripherally joined or sealed together walls, preferably walls of concavo-convex form, which carry spaced opposed inside contacts each of which has electrical connection with an outside terminal and said seal or envelope may contain only air under normal atmospheric pressure or increased pressure, or an inert gas or are quenching liquid. Such basic unit may be employed per se or it is contemplated that the same be incorporated, singly or in multiple, in connectors of many and various types and when so incorporated in socketed connectors, for example, fulfillment .of the several objectives set forth will be realized as, for example, by the incorporation of such unit in any type of socketed connector which permits the use of such connectors in wet places or under water or in atmospheres of inflammable vapors or gases, and, therefore, permits the making and breaking of circuit connections in complete safety.

The invention will be best understood from a consideration of the following detail description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings forming a part of the specification, with the understanding, however, that the invention is not confined to a strict conformity with the showing of the drawings but may be changed or modified so long as such changes or modifications mark no material departure from the salient features of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.

'In the drawings:

Fig. 'l is a transverse sectional view through a basic circuit making and breaking unit constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, the contacts in the envelope and the terminals on the outside thereof being in elevation;

Fig. 2 is a transverse sectional view through another. embodiment of the unit shown in Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view through the body or housing of a conventional type of screw threaded socket showing one application of the basic circuit making and breaking unit therein;

Fig. 4 is a sectional view corresponding to Fig. 3, but showing the application therein of a pair of circuit making and breaking units for controlling current flow through the conventional center contact and through the threaded shell terminal of the socket;

Fig. 5 is a view illustrating an end-on slip type connector in which two terminal prongs carried by one element of the connector are inserted in sockets forming a part of the other element of the connector, such other element being in section and illustrating the employment therein of one embodiment of the circuit making and breaking unit;

Fig. 6 illustrates an end-on slip type connector of another form and illustrating another application of the circuit making and breaking unit;

Fig. 7 is a partial longitudinal section through a screw threaded type socket showing another application of the invention wherein one convex wall of the unit is sealed in the bottom of the socket for cooperative action with the conventional center contact thereof; 7

Fig. 8 is a transverse section taken substantially on the line 8--8 of Fig. 3;

Fig. 9 is a fragmentary section taken substantially on line 99 of Fig. 4, showing the circuit making and breaking unit exposed through the side wall of the threaded shell socket, when the unit is mounted in the side of the socket according to the showing of Fig. 4;

Fig. 10 illustrates another embodiment of the circuit making and breaking unit wherein means is employed around one of the contact elements for establishing a yield able resistance to the bringing together of the contact elements;

Fig. 11 is a fragmentary section illustrating the circuit making and breaking units molded into a body similar to that shown in Fig. 5 and illustrating the manner in which the units are compressed by inserted conductor prongs.

Referring now particularly to the drawings, reference will first be made to the circuit making and breaking units which are subsequently illustrated in connection with several different constructions in which the units are adapted to be used. It is to be understood, however, that the illustration, description and claiming of the several structures in association with the basic units is in no way intended to be limiting in the use to which the units may be put.

The circuit making and breaking unit in its simplest form, as shown in Fig. 1, is generally designated 10. In this construction the numerals 12 and 14 designate two spaced walls which in this figure are represented as being of concavo-convex form and positioned with the concave sides in opposed relation with the peripheries thereof abutting and sealed or hermetically joined at 15.

One of the walls, here being the wall 14, carries at the center upon the inner side a metal current conducting contact 16 which is electrically connected through an intermediate portion passing through the wall 14, as indicated at 17, to an external electric current conducting terminal 18.

Opposite from the contact 16 and in line therewith the wall 12 carries on its inner side of the electric current conducting metallic contact element 20 which is electrically connected by an intermediate portion passing through the wall 12 as indicated at 21, with a threaded stem 22. The intermediate portion may be an integral part of the stem or of the same diameter if desired, and the stem 22 has threaded thereon a nut 23 which compresses the material of the wall 12 against the contact 20. The connections 17 and 21 between the inside contact elements and the outside terminals 18 and 22 are sealed in any suitable 4 t manner to the walls 14 and 12 respectively, so as to form a liquidand gas-tight connection. There is thus provided a compressible envelope by the joined walls 12 and 14 which may be filled with air under atmospheric pressure or under increased pressure if desired, or such envelope may be filled with a suitable inert gas or a suitable liquid which would tend to quench any spark which may formed upon the contacting and separation of the ele ments in and 20 when the envelope is compressed in use.

The walls 12 and 14 of the envelope are formed of a suitable elastomer, an elastic plastic or any other suitable material having desired elastic qualities which will cause such walls to return to their arcuate form when the envelope is compressed to bring the elements 16 and 20 together.

In the construction of the circuit making and breaking unit shown in modified form in Fig. 2, the unit is generally esignated 10 and is made up of opposed concavoconvex walls 24 and 25. These walls are peripherally joined and hermetically sealed as at 26 so as to form a liquid and gas-tight envelope. The wall 25 has fixed in the center thereof an insulation sleeve 27 which is suitably formed at its ends as by fianging or the like to secure it in position and on the inner and outer surfaces of the wall 25 are insulation washers 28 which encircle the inner and outer ends of the insulation sleeve and are secured together by rivets 29 passing through them and through the portion of the wall 25 lying therebetween.

The insulation sleeve 27 has a metal current conducting stud 3!) extending therethrough which is formed on the inner and outer ends to provide on the inside the contact 31 and on the outer side the terminal 32 corresponding respectively with the contact 16 and terminal 18 of the first described structure.

The Wall 24 has formed centrally therethrough in line with the insulation sleeve 27 an opening in which is an insulation sleeve 33 of the same form as the sleeve 27 and which is encircled by insulation washers 34 disposed on the inner and outer sides of the wall 24 and secured thereto by rivets 35.

Extending through the insulation sleeve 33 is a current conducting pin 36 having at its inner end on the inner end of the sleeve 33 the contact head which is adapted in the use of the device to be brought into electrical connection with the contact 31.

In this second embodiment of the circuit making and breaking unit the outer end of the pin 35 has rmanently joined thereto an end of a current conductor 33 which is enclosed in an insulation covering 3!? and this conductor together with the sleeve 33, washers 3e and adjacent end of the insulation covering 39, is completely encased in an insulation head 4%). In this construction of the circuit making and breaking unit the walls 2 5 and 25 may be of any non-insulating material, such as thin spring metal, if desired. Also in this modified construction the envelope may contain only atmospheric air or may be filled with a suitable inert gas or are quenching liquid. When the walls 2 5 and 25 are of metal, the insulation of the conductors 3t and as from the walls 24 and 25 is required but it is of course understood that the Walls may be of an elastorner or suitable plastic, in which case the insulation sleeves 27 and 33 and washers 28 and 34 would be omitted.

Referring now to Fig. 3, the application of the basic unit shown in Fig. l is illustrated. in this figure, the numeral 41 generally designates a connector body, such as is conventionally employed in connection with the use of an electric incandescent lamp or threaded electric plug and which may be formed of rubber, plastic or the like. This body is here illustrated as being of elongate, transversely cylindrical form and comprises a flanged forward end 42 and a socket extending longitudinally therein through the major portion of the length thereof 5 indicated at 43 and opening through the flanged end as indicated at 44 vfor the reception of a threaded lamp base or threaded plug. The socket 43 is shown as having a liner 45 of current conducting metal and inside of this liner 45 which is in the form of a straight cylinder, is a threaded inner liner shell 46 which is open at its inner and outer ends and which inner and outer ends are preferably embedded in the material of the body.

The opening 44 is shown as defined by a rib 44 the diameter of which is smaller than the shell 46. When the body 41 is made of soft rubber or other soft resilient material, the introduction of a lamp base, or threaded plug, is easily accomplished as the mouth of the opening 44 and the rib 44 will yield or stretch for this purpose. At the same time the yielding or stretching of this internally ribbed opening, or an opening of a smaller diameter than the element inserted in the socket, will effect a tight connection between the socket and the inserted element, setting up an air-tight joint between the parts.

It will, of course, be understood that the socket may be constructed without the internal rib or flange, in which case, obviously, the diameter of the opening would be such as to permit the easy introduction of the connector element for threaded connection with the threaded liner shell 46.

At the inner end of the threaded liner 46 a circuit making and breaking unit 1% is fixed. The inner end of the socket 43 in this embodiment is suitably shaped to conform to the curvature of the outer side of the wall 12 of the unit or the body 41 may be directly molded thereagainst in the making of the connector, as may be desired. The latter procedure would preferably be followed so that the threaded terminal 22 would be molded in the insulation material of the body 41 together with a current conductor 47 and a portion of the insulation covering 48 therefor, so that a tight waterand gas-proof connection will be established between the body 41 and these last mentioned parts.

Also the body 41 when formed or molded has embedded therein the current conductor wire 49 which is firmly electrically connected with the sleeve 45 and the shell 46, it being interposed between these latter elements as shown. In the molding operation the insulation covering 50 for the wire is also partly embedded in the body as illustrated.

The internal diameter of the threaded shell 46 is such with respect to the overall diameter of the unit as to closely embrace or encircle the unit as shown and if desired a suitable sealing compound may be employed between the periphery of the unit and the surface of the threaded shell 46 which would prevent any moisture entering the shell working its way between the inner wall of the unit and the adjacent surface of the body 41 and reaching the terminal 22. With the construction thus described, it will be seen that when the base of an electric incandescent lamp is threaded into the socket contact with the center electrode of the base will first be made with the outer terminal is and further movement of the base inwardly will then compress the envelope against the resistance of encased air or other iiuid until the inner contact 16 is brought into electrical connection with the contact to thus complete the desired circuit.

Fig. 4 illustrates another application of the circuit making and breaking unit using the same in multiple, each being connected with one of the electric current conducting wires of the socketed connector. In this figure the connector body is generally designated 51 and has fixed in the socket 52 thereof, which opens through the flanged end 53 of the body, the metal current conducting sleeve 5-4 which corresponds to the sleeve 45 and fixed within this sleeve 54 is the metal current conducting threaded shell 55. In this second construction or embodiment of the threaded socket connector the circuit making and breaking unit 10 is fixed in position in the 6 same manner as in Fig. 3 and is connected as in Fig. 3 with the usual center or hot wire terminal 22.

In this second construction the threaded shell '55 is provided with a recess 56 and a similar recess 57 is formed in the sleeve 54. Between the sleeves 54 and shell 55 a circuit making and breaking unit '10 is fixed in the manner shown with the wall 14 carrying the outside terminal 18 exposed through the opening 56' of the threaded sleeve while the opposite wall 12 projects through the opening 57 of the sleeve 54 and is partly embedded, together with the terminal 22, in the insulation material of which the body 51 is formed. In this construction the current conducting wire 49' is extended through the insulation material of the body to and joined with the terminal 22.

In the structure shown in Fig. 4, it will be seen that upon the threaded insertion into the socket of a lamp base or other threaded connector, compression will first be effected of the unit 10 mounted in the side wall of the socket and exposed through the threaded shell to close the contacts with which the wire 49' will be connected and further insertion of the threaded base or plug will then efiect the compression of the second unit in the bottom of the socket to bring the contacts 16 and 20 therein into electrical connection. This socket 51 is also shown as having the open end defined by an internal rib which is designated 53*. This rib, being of yieldable or resilient material like the rib 44 functions in the manner described for the rib 44 The rib 53 may be omitted if desired.

Fig. 5 illustrates another adaptation of the basic unit, having the external terminals or contacts slightly modified.

The units 10 are removably mounted in suitable chambers in a two part receptacle, generally designated 58, forming one unit of an end-on slip type connector, the other unit of which is generally designated 59, and carries two fiat current conducting prongs 60.

The unit 58 comprises an outer casing 61 and an insert-62.

The casing 61 is moulded of soft resilient insulation material and may be of cylindrical form or other-wise with an end opening socket 63 and a passage 64 leading thereinto through the body from the other end for an insulated, two wire cable 65, the covered or insulated wires of which are designated 66.

The insert 62 is retained in the socket 63 in any suitable manner. That here shown comprises a flange 67 around the edge of the socket which engages over the end of the insert as shown when the latter is forced into the socket.

The insert body 62 has two chambers 68 which open through the inner end of the insert. At the outer end of the insert these chambers have leading thereinto the prong receiving slots 69 which enter the chambers along the adjacent sides of the latter and are properly spaced to receive the two prongs 60.

Each chamber has placed therein from the inner end of the insert, one of the units 10 and to the terminal thereof which corresponds to the terminal 36 of the unit 10 an insulated wire 66 is connected in the same manner as the wire 38 and insulation 39 thereof are connected to the terminal 36 and embed in an insulation covering like the covering 40. Such insulation covering for the terminal and in which the end of the insulated wire is embedded is designated 40.

The terminals engaged by the inserted prongs .60 are, in these units 10*, modified by having electrically joined thereto, wiper plates or strips 70 which face and may position against that wall of the portion of the insert lying between the chambers, along which the prongs 60 slide upon insertion into the chambers through the slots 69. Thus the strips 70, which lie upon a curved face of the unit envelope are curved and, as they extend from the center of the unit outwardly toward the slots 69, they present a curved surface along which the advancing ends 7 f the prongs slide as they are forced between the strips andthe opposing wall faces.

Fig. 6 illustrates another construction of an end-on slip type connector, where the circuit making and breaking units are positioned so that the inserted prongs or jacks compress the latter by applying lateral pressure to the same. in this latter construction the body carrying the prongs or jacks is generally designated 72 and the socketed body is generally designated 73. The body 72 carries two prongs or jacks 74, each of which is encircled at its inner end by a collar 75 which may form an integral extension of the insulation body 72. The body 73 in which are formed the two sockets 76 is preferably of a yieldable material such as a semi-hard rubber, plastic or the like, and the outer ends of the sockets rs are of slightly enlarged diameter to form the annular chambers 77. These chambers are of a size to tightly receive the collars 75 when the prongs or jacks '74 are fully inserted into the sockets 76, and thereby form a fiuid tight joint or coupling.

Each of the sockets 76 has located in the inner end a circuit making and breaking unit which, in construction, is a composite of the two forms shown in Figs. 1 and 5.

These units 10 are shown with a wire terminal 79 to which a wire 78 is attached and side of the unit carrying this terminal 79 is embedded with the attached wire in the insulation material of the body 73.

The opposite or front side of the unit lr'l which lies in the socket 76, has a contact strip or plate 8% which extends toward the outer end of the socket and which, before the insertion of a prong 74, bows outwardly into the center of the socket. This contact strip is electrically connected to the adjacent contact inside the envelope. Accordingly it will be seen that when the prongs or jacks 74 are inserted each will first contact a curved strip Si? and as it continues to move in it will impose lateral pressure on the strip and envelope to compress the latter sufliciently to electrically couple the contacts within the envelope.

The construction illustrated in Fig. 5, in addition to providing a socket which may be completely immersed in water without being short circuited, is also designed so as to completely eliminate any possibility of sparking when the prongs are introduced into the slots 69 and brought into contact with or separated from the terminals of the circuit making and breaking unit. This construction achieves a completely water proof device or connector which is designed so that partial insertion of the prongs or jacks will establish a water proof seal between themselves and the housing before such. insertion exerts sufficient pressure on the unit or units to complete contact between the envelope enclosing contact points. The construction also continues or maintains said seal during completion of the insertion and until partial withdrawal of the jacks or prongs is made.

In the construction of Fig. 5 the insulation body 53 is of a suitable character to yield upon the introduction of the prongs or jacks 63 into the slots 69 at the outer ends of the chambers 63, and accordingly the slots 6? may be slightly smaller than that of the prongs entering therein if such tight connection is desired. Thus it will be seen that as soon as the prongs are forced into the slots at the outer ends of the chambers a seal will be effected which will be maintained until the inner ends of the prongs compress'the envelopes to produce the desired completion of the circuit.

In the construction of Fig. 6 it will be apparent that when the jacks are introduced the collars 75 will enter the chambers 77 and establish a sealing locking connection with the body 73.

While in Figs. 5 and 6 the connectors have been shown as embodying a pair of prongs or jacks, it is to be understood that single jacks or prongs may be employed in 8 association with a single socketed body and one or more of the circuit making and breaking units therein.

In the second described embodiment of the invention, as illustrated in Fig. 2, as previously pointed out, this may be constructed to have the walls 24 and 25 of metal and the envelope may be placed in any suitable situation Where opening or closing of a circuit can be effected by forcing the contacts 31 and 37 together, either by an element adapted to conduct electric current or by an insulated element, with the outer terminal 32 electrically connected with a suitable conductor.

Fig. 7 illustrates another embodiment of the invention wherein an envelope is formed in the base or bottom of a conventional socket of the type having a screw threaded shell. In this construction the body of the connector, which is formed of insulation material, preferably yieldable resilient rubber or plastic, is generally designated 32 and the socket 253 has fitted therein a metal liner sleeve 84 and a threaded shell $5 of the same construction as disclosed in Fig. 3. The body $2 here is shown with the open end defined by a rib 82 like the ribs 44 and 53*, which will yield upon the insertion of a threaded base of a lamp or a threaded plug.

The center contact in the base of the socket is designated 86 and in accordance with the present invention there may be fitted in the inner end of the threaded sleeve a half section of an envelope such as is shown in Fig. 1, which half section is of concavo-convex circular form and is designated 87. This wall section 87 corresponds to the wall 14 of the unit it and carries the inner contact 33 and the outer terminal 89 which is electrically connected through the wall 87. The material of the wall 87 may be of any suitable elastic non-conducting character and the unit is of the proper diameter to conform to the inner end diameter of the threaded sleeve or shell and is inserted and sealed at its periphery as at 90 to the shell. The Wall 87 is arranged with the convex side outwardly so that the contact 88 will be normally maintained spaced from the inside contact or terminal 86 and it will be apparent that in this construction when a lamp base is threaded into the socket, the closing of the circuit can only be elfected when the elastic Wall 87 has been deformed or pressed inwardly sufficiently to bring the contacts 86 and 83 together.

In Fig. 10 there is shown another modification of the envelope structure wherein the wall 14 has secured thereto upon the inner side thereof and in encircling relation with th inner contact 16 an annular guard 91. This annular guard is of a height slightly greater than the contact 16 which it encircles and it will thus be seen that when the envelope is compressed to the extent where the periphery of the guard comes in contact with the surface of the opposing wall 12*, some considerable additional pressure will be required to flex the portion of the wall 14 lying within the area defined by the guard in order to bring the contacts 16 and 29 into electrical connection. This is an additional safety feature whereby when the envelope'is used in a socket as illustrated in Figs. 3 and 4, if for example, a child should insert a finger into the socket, it would be unlikely that it would be able to exert sutlicient pressure to overcome the resistance offered by the Wall 91 in order to bring the con tacts into connection one with the other.

in the manufacture of the circuit making and breaklog units the same can be made of different Weights to suit the conditions under which they are to be used, by minor alterations in the basic design, as, for example, by increasing or decreasing a wall thickness throughout or in a part thereof; by alteration of the degree of elasticity of the materials composing the wall or increasing or decreasing pressure of internal gas or fluid used in the unit.

In connection with the devices as shown in Figs. 5 and 6 when a contact is made between the jacks and the opposing terminals of the units, pressure suflicient to close or bring together the inner contact points cannot be exerted until after contact has been established between the jacks and the external terminals or plates nor can a circuit be broken except when the inner contacts open before the outer contacts break. Consequently any spark formed will be contained within the envelope so that the whole structure will remain spark proof, even without an outer spark proof seal.

Also, while the foregoing description and illustration have been directed to a unit in which both of the walls 12 and 14 or the walls 24 and 25 are of circular concavoconvex form with the concave faces in opposed relationship, some variation in this construction may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention, as, for example, by having one of the walls more or less fiat and the opposing wall arched or concave.

While Figs. and 6 of the drawings show the prongs or jacks 60 and 74' as being respectively flat and round and the sockets for receiving them are shown of same cross section, it is to be understood that these parts may take any desired form and the sockets may be correspondingly formed to receive them without departing from the spirit of the invention.

The external contacts or terminals, such, for example, as the terminal 18 or 32, may vary in form as necessary, particularly in the use of the unit in the structures of Figs. 5 and 6, to make contact with the appliance or device to which it may be opposed. The simplest forms of these contacts are shown as being a disk or button, used principally when the opposing device will come into contact from a plane more or less perpendicular to the disk, or a plate or channel, where the opposing device will come into contact from a plane more or less parallel to the plate.

'When contact with opposing device is made to plate or channel as above described in a plane more or less parallel to the face of the unit, pressure sufficient to close inner contact points can not be exerted until after contact has been established between the opposing device and said external plate nor can a circuit be broken except when inner contacts open before this outer contact breaks; consequently any spark will be contained within the envelope so that the whole structure will remain spark-proof even without an outer spark-proof seal.

The construction disclosed in Fig. 5 pertains to a receptacle wherein the units are inserted in chambers in a removable body 62. Here the assembly of the parts can be made by running the cable 65 through the bore in the body 61 opposite from the socket in which the insert 62 is fitted and the circuit making and breaking units may then be placed in position in the chambers 68 and the two parts 61 and 62 assembled in the obvious manner, that is, by forcing the insert 62 past the flange 67 which defines the outer end of the socket.

It is also contemplated to mold the units 10 in the receptacle body as illustrated in Fig. 11. This figure also illustrates the manner in which the units will be compressed when the prongs of the plug or .body to be coupled with the receptacle are inserted in the receiving slots.

In the structure of Fig. ll a portion only of the receptacle is illustrated and this is generally designated '58, the non-conductor material of which it is formed being designated 61 The circuit making and breaking units are here designated 10 and as shown, the wall portion "95 which carries the terminal 96 on its outer side is embedded in the non-conductor material while the opposite wall which is designated 97 lies within the narrow chamber 98 into which leads the slot 99 through which the prongs 60 are extended in the operation of electrically coupling a prong carrying plug withthe receptacle 58*. In this figure the prongs 60 are shown inserted through the slots 99 and into the chambers 98 in which he outer walls 97 of the units lie and it will be seen that when the prongs are so. inserted they will be forced between the wall of the chamber opposing the unit wall 97 and such unit wall and compress the unit so as to bring the internal contacts into electrical connection. These units 10 are of the same construction as the units 10 in that the contacts 100 carried by the walls 97 are joined to a metal strip 101 which lies against the outer side of the unit wall 97 and extends toward the slots 99 so that when the prongs 60 are introduced they will engage the strip 101 and slide therealong so as to establish the desired firm electrical connection.

The current conducting wires 102 shown in this construction are likewise embedded in the insulation material and thus it will be seen that the receptacle is entirely waterproof since any water or other current conducting fluid entering the chambers 98 cannot reach the terminals 96 or the wires 102 and form a short circuit between them and the contacts 100 and 101.

While in the constructions shown in Figs. 3 and 4 the circuit making and breaking units have been illustrated and described as being molded in the bodies 41 and 51, it will be understood that these units may be inserted directly into sockets of the conventional construction. When so employed it will be apparent that when the unit is placed in the bottom of the socket or in the inner end of the threaded shell, one of the terminals of the inserted unit will be electrically connected with the regular or conventional terminal in the base of the socket and, therefore, the desired electrical connection will be established on the insertion of a threaded incandescent lamp base or a threaded plug in the manner hereinbefore described. Obviously the units will be made of the required diameter to hold them by friction in the inner end of the threaded shell or, if desired, a suitable adhesive may be employed to form a tight joint between the periphery of the unit and the shell with which the periphery is in contact.

In addition to the foregoing manner of using the circuit making and breaking units, such units may be used in multiple in sockets for the purpose of closing a corresponding number of circuits upon the introduction of a threaded plug or other unit designed to carry electric current to the electrically engaged outer contacts of the units.

Another arrangement in which a multiplicity of the units shown in Figs. 1 and 2 might be employed would be in an arrangement where the units would have the terminal 22 or the terminal 36 connected with an electric current conductor while at the opposite sides of the units a single current conducting body might be disposed for simultaneous electrical connection with the outer terminals 18 and 30 of such multiplicity of units. By compressing all of the units simultaneously by means of a suitable insulated member it will be seen that all of the units would be closed to effect the distribution of electric current from the common element to the several circuits with which the opposite sides of the units may be connected.

We claim:

1. An electric circuit contact make and break unit comprising an envelope having two opposed walls at least one or which is formed of elastic material, said walls being peripherally liquid and gas tight, spaced opposed electric contact elements carried on the inner sides of the walls, electric terminals on and at the center of the outer sides of the walls and each electrically joined to a contact, one of said walls being outwardly bowed away from the other whereby said contacts are fully separated, and said envelope being completely liquid and gas tight.

2. The invention according to claim 1, wherein said envelope is filled with a spark quenching fluid.

3. An electric circuit contact make and break unit 11 r 7 comprising a compressible envelope embodying two opposed walls of elastic material peripherally sealed together, said walls being outwardly bowed, opposed electric contact elements carried on the inner sides of said walls and maintained thereby in separated relation, electric terminals secured on the outer sides of said walls and each electrically connected to a contact element, said envelope being liquid and gas tight and said contact elements being electrically joined only by and upon application of required compressive force upon the envelope in the direction to flex the bowed Walls inwardly.

4. An electric circuit contact make and break unit comprising an envelope embodying two opposed concavoconvex walls joined and sealed together about their peripheries with the concave sides opposed, at least one of said walls being of elastic material, electric contact elements secured in spaced opposed relation to the inner sides of and fully supported by the walls, electric terminals secured to the outer sides of the walls and each electrically connected to a contact element, and said envelope being completely liquid and gas tight.

5. The invention according to claim 4, wherein one of said terminals is formed to facilitate attachment of an end of an electric current conductor thereto.

6. The invention according to claim 4, with an electric current conductor joined to one of said terminals, and an insulation material encasing said one terminal and the conductor joined thereto.

7. An electric cable connector comprising an insuiation body having a socket for reception of a current conducting member, a circuit make and break unit within said socket comprising a compressible envelope within the socket and having two joined walls one of which is in bowed spaced relation with the other, electric contact elements carried in opposed spaced relation on the inner sides of said walls, said bowed wall being of a resilient non-current conducting material, a terminal carried on the outer side of the bowed wall and having electrical connection with one contact element and disposed in a position in said socket to be engaged and the envelope compressed by a conducting member inserted in the socket to join said contact elements, an electric current conductor in said insulation body and electrically connected to the other contact element, said other contact element being shielded from contact with moisture entering the socket, and said envelope being liquid and gas tight.

8. An electric circuit closer comprising a member formed to provide a receptacle adapted to receive a conduetor element, a hollow envelope body having two opposed walls in peripherally sealed relation, one of said walls being of elastic material and in bowed spaced relation with the other wall, a pair of opposed contact elements carried upon the inner sides of said walls and normally in spaced aligned relation, terminal forming elements carried upon the outer sides of said walls and each electrically connected to a contact element, a current conduetor connected to one terminal forming element, said body being joined to the member with said one Wall having the terminal forming element thereof lying within said receptacle, and means insertable into the receptacle for engaging the last named terminal forming element and compressing the envelope body to join said contact elements, said envelope being liquid and gas tight.

9. Electric circuit control means, comprising an envelope having two spaced walls sealed together to form a closed chamber, one of said walls being flexible, contact elements carried upon the inner sides of said walls and normally in spaced aligned relation, a terminal on the outer side of each wall electrically connected to the adjacent contact element, an electric current conductor connected to one terminal, means supporting the envelope in operative position, means movable into and'out of engagement with the other terminal for flexing the flexible wall to bring said contact elements into electrical connection, and means for conducting electric current to 12 and from the said other terminal, said envelope being completely liquid and gas tight.

10. Electric circuit control means, comprising a unit embodying two opposed walls joined together in a sealed relation and formed to provide a closed chamber, contact elements carried by the opposed walls within the chamber in spaced opposed relation, one of said walls being of concave-convex form with the concave side opposed to the other wall, said one wall being of flexible material and adapted to be flexed inward to bring said contact elements into electrical connection, an external terminal on each wall in electrical connection with the adjacent contact element, means attached to one terminal for conducting electric current to and from the same, means supporting the unit in a position of use, means movable into engagement with the other terminal for flexing said flexible wall, and means for conducting electric current to and from said other terminal, said chamber being completely liquid and gas tight.

11. An electric circuit make and break unit comprising an envelope having two opposed spaced resilient walls, said walls being of concave-convex form with the concave sides opposed and peripherally sealed together, contact elements carried in spaced opposed relation upon the inner sides of said walls, an electric terminal on the outer side of each wall in electrical connection with the adjacent contact, and said envelope being completely liquid and gas tight.

12. A connector of the character stated, comprising a body of insulation material, said body having an elongate socket for slidably receiving a current conducting pin or jack, a sleeve lining the major portion of the socket from the inner end thereof outwardly and in which said pin or jack is slidably engageable, a circuit make and break unit in the socket at the inner end of said sleeve and comprising a compressible envelope having two spaced hermetically sealed together Walls, spaced opposed contacts carried by said walls within the envelope, terminals car ried externally on said walls and .each electrically connected to a contact, one of said contacts being exposed in the socket in a position to be engaged by a pin or jack, the envelope Wall carrying said one contact being resilient and adapted to be compressed by the inserted pin or jack to effect engagement of said contact elements, and a current conductor electrically connected with the other terminal and embedded with the latter in the insulation body.

13. The invention according to claim 12, with means for effecting a water-tight seal between the socket at the outer end of the sleeve and the inserted pin or jack.

14. The invention according to claim 12, wherein said envelope is fixed in the bottom of the socket by the inner end of the sleeve and covers said sleeve end with said resilient wall bowing into the sleeve. 7

15. The invention according to claim 12, wherein said sleeve has a wall opening and said envelope is positioned in the side of the socket with the said resilient Wall projecting through said opening whereby the terminal on the resilient wall is engaged and the wall pressed inward by the side of the pin or jack sliding thereacross.

16. An electric cable connector comprising an insulation body having an elongate socket for receiving a conduetor element, a fixed terminal secured in the insulation of the body in the bottom of the socket, a metal current conducting sleeve lining the socket and electrically separate from said terminal, a concavo-convex wall closing the inner end of said sleeve in covering relation with said terminal and sealed around its periphery to the surrounding insulation body, said wall being of resilient material and having the convex side directed outwardly, said wall forming withthe bottom of the socket a liquid and gas tight chamber, a contact carried upon the inner side of said well in opposed spaced relation with said terminal, and a terminal member carried upon the outer side of said wall and having electrical connection with said terminal.

17. A shock and water-proof electric socket comprising an insulation body having a socket therein, a screw shell terminal in the socket to receive a threaded conductor, a fixed central contact terminal in the bottom of the socket, a movable contact, means forming an air cushion support for the movable contact and yieldingly maintaining the movable contact in spaced alignment with the fixed contact terminal, and means for connecting said terminals in an electric circuit.

18. The invention according to claim 17, wherein said air cushion forming means embodies an elastic diaphragm forming one side of an air tight chamber and covering the fixed contact terminal and shielding the latter against contact with moisture.

19. A shock and water-proof electric socket comprising an insulation body having a screw shell terminal to receive a threaded conductor such as the base of an incandescent bulb, a closed hollow fluid tight resilient and compressible body in the bottom of the shell, opposedly spaced inner and outer electric terminals carried by said hollow body, and said inner terminal being in electrical and fluid tight separation from the screw shell, said terminals being movable into electrical connection upon compression of the hollow body.

20. A shock and water-proof electric socket comprising an insulation body having a socket, a screw shell terminal secured in the socket to receive a threaded conductor such as the base of an incandescent bulb, a resilient compressible body in the bottom of the socket and shell and having an air tight chamber, opposedly spaced inner and outer electric terminals carried by opposite walls of said chamber and each exposed upon opposite sides of its respective wall, the wall carrying the inner terminal being sealed in the bottom of the socket whereby the inner terminal is in electrical and fluid tight separation from the screw shell.

21. A shock and Water-proof electric socket comprising a body of insulation having a socket therein, the socket having a substantially concave bottom wall, a screw shell terminal secured in said socket, a fluid filled hollow shell unit in the bottom of the socket having inner and outer convex walls, the outer wall being resilient and adapted to be flexed toward and away from the inner wall, the inner wall being sealed against said concave bottom wall, inner and outer contacts carried respectively by and extending through said inner and outer walls in aligned relation whereby they will be brought together upon inward flexing of the outer wall, an electric current conductor having an end sealed in the insulation body and electrically connected with said inner terminal, and an electric current conductor having an end embedded in the insulation body and electrically connected with the screw shell.

22. A shock and water-proof electric socket comprising an insulation body having a socket, a screw shell terminal secured in the socket to receive a threaded conductor such as the base of an incandescent bulb, a resilient compressible body in the bottom of the socket and shell and having an air tight chamber, opposedly spaced inner and outer electric terminals carried by opposite walls of said chamber and each exposed upon opposite sides of its respective wall, the wall carrying the inner terminal being sealed in the bottom of the socket whereby the inner terminal is in electrical and fluid tight separation from the screw shell, and a metal sleeve encircling the screw shell and secured to the wall of the socket.

23. The invention according to claim 21, wherein said shell is formed in one piece of resilient material such as rubber, plastic or the like.

24. A shock and water-proof electric socket comprising an elongate body formed of an electric insulation material and having a circular socket formed therein from one end, a metal sleeve lining the major part of the socket from the inner end thereof, the inner end wall of the socket being concave, a screw shell terminal lining said sleeve and secured at its ends to the body, a circular hollow body formed in one piece of resilient material and the double convex wall form positioned in the bottom of the socket with one convex side positioned against and secured to said concave socket wall, opposedly spaced electric terminals carried by and extending through said hollow body walls, one terminal on the outer side of the supporting wall therefor being embedded in the insulation body in electric and fluid tight separation from the screw shell, and electric current conductors having end portions embedded in the insulation body and one being electrically connected to the shell and the other being electrically connected to the said one terminal.

25. A shock and water-proof electric socket comprising a body of insulation having a socket therein, the socket having a substantially concave bottom wall, a screw shell terminal secured in said socket, a fluid filled hollow shell unit in the bottom of the socket having inner and outer convex walls, the outer wall being resilient and adapted to be flexed toward and away from the inner wall, the inner wall being sealed against said concave bottom wall, inner and outer contacts carried respectively by and extending through said inner and outer walls in aligned relation whereby they will be brought together upon inward flexing of the outer wall, an electric current conductor having an end sealed in the insulation body and electrically connected with said inner terminal, an electric current conductor having an end embedded in the insulation body and electrically connected with the screw shell, and a spacer means upon the inner side of said outer convex wall in spaced surrounding relation with said outer contact for limiting the flexing movement of the outer wall toward the inner Wall, said spacer extending slightly beyond the adjacent contact whereby the wall portion lying in the area defined by the spacer must be additionally flexed to bring the contacts together.

26. A shock and water-proof electric socket comprising a body of insulation having a socket therein, the socket having a substantially concave bottom wall, a screw shell terminal secured in said socket, a fluid filled hollow shell unit in the bottom of the socket having inner and outer convex walls, the outer wall being resilient and adapted to be flexed toward and away from the inner wall, the inner wall being sealed against said concave bottom wall, inner and outer contacts carried respectively by and extending through said inner and outer walls in aligned relation whereby they will be brought together upon inward flexing of the outer wall, an electric current conductor having an end sealed in the insulation body and electrically connected with said inner terminal, said shell having an opening in the wall thereof, a second fluid filled shell unit disposed against the side of the socket and having one convex wall projecting through said opening of the shell, said second shell unit being a duplicate of the first unit with the outer contact on said one wall positioned within the shell, and an electric current conductor having an end embedded in the insulation body and electrically connected with the outer contact on the other wall thereof.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 449,302 Varley Mar. 31, 1891 2,040,919 Caldwell May 19, 1936 2,158,851 Ceader May 16, 1939 2,161,774 Cooke June 6, 1939 2,450,961 Heymann et a1. Oct. 12, 1948

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification200/51.9, 439/592, 200/83.00N, 200/302.1
International ClassificationH01R13/70, H01R13/703
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/7036
European ClassificationH01R13/703D