US 2848705 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 19, 1958 H. D. WILLIAMS ET Al. 2,848,705
WIRING DEVICE QUICK CONNECT TERMINALS Filed June 30. 1955 United States Patent (3 WIRNG DEWCE QUCK CONNECT TERMINALS Herbert D. Williams, Monroe, and Donald J.' Krom,
Bridgeport, Conn., assigner-s to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Application .lune 30, 1955, Serial No. 519,212
4 Claims. (Cl. 339-200) The present invention relates to wiring devices having quick connect terminals and particularly to lamp-holders for double-ended electric discharge lamps, commonly known as uorescent lamps.
In the past it has been the common practice to provide binding screws for making electrical connection between the contacts of a wiring device and the lead wires. This invention involves an elimination of such binding screws and a substitution of quick connect terminals that are designed to reduce the time necessary in wiring such a device.
The present invention, of which there are several rnodifications, relates generally to a movable slider of insulating material that extends through one side of the device so that when a lead wire is inserted `through an opening in an adjacent wall of the housing, the slider may be moved to clamp the wire into iirm electrical connection with the terminal of the contact. This invention is specially designed for stranded lead wires as distinguished from those having solid conductors. Stranded wire is very exible, hence it may be forced into very tight bends for engagement with the terminal portions of the contacts.
The rst modification of this invention has a single slider for connecting a pair of lead wires to the terminal portions of a pair of contact members. The second modication incorporates a separate slider for each'terminal portion of a contact which will increase the ease of Wiring a device embodying our invention. Once the sliders are in clamping engagement with the lead wires of the device, it is necessary to lock the sliders in position to insure a trustworthy connection between the elements. Also, there are several modifications of such a locking means.
The principal object of this invention is to provide a wiring device with quick connect terminals having a movable slider for clamping a lead wire to the terminal portion of a contact.
A further object of this invention is to provide a wiring device with quick connect terminals by using a movable slider for clamping the lead wires and by providing a novel latching means for holding the slider in its clamping position.
A further object of this invention is to utilize the back cover of a wiring device for locking the movable slider of the quick connect terminal means in its clamping position.
Our invention will be better understood from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing and its scope will -be pointed out in the appended claims.
Figure l is a side elevational View showing the general arrangement of a fluorescent lamp supported between a pair of lampholders embodying our invention.
Figure 2 is a fro-nt elevational view of one of the lampholders of Figure l.
Figure 3 is a partial sectional view of the back of the lampholder of Figure 2.
Figure 4 is a View of the lowerv portion of Figure 3 after the movable slider is forced into the lampholder.
Figure 5 is a view similar to Figure 4 except that the back cover member has been assembled in place to show how it cooperates with the movable slider to hold it in its clamping position.
Figure 6 is a View similar to Figure 4 showing a modiiication of the movable slider. l
Figure 7 is a bottom plan view of the lampholder'of Figure 6 showing the cooperation between the back cover of the lampholder and the movable sliders for holding the sliders in their clamping positions.
Figure 8 is a bottom plan view ofthe lampholder of Figure 4 showing the cooperation between the back cover member and the movable slider.
Figure 9 is a bottom plan view vof the lampholder of Figure 3 showing amodiied latching means for holding the movable slider in either its inner or its outer positions.
Referring in detail to the drawing, Figure l shows a standard bi-pin uorescent lamp 10 supported at its opposite ends in identical lampholder-s 11 and 12 which are constructed in accordance with your invention. The lampholders are in turn supported from a reflecting surface 13 forming partof the lighting fixture. The lamp l0 'has a tubular glass envelope 14 that has its ends closed by lamp bases 15 and 16. Each lamp base is provided with a pair of contact pins (not shown) to bel supported in the lampholders 1l and 12. Although we have chosen to illustrate our invention as being incorporated in a bi-pin fluorescent lampholder, it should be appreciated that the quick connect terminals of this invention have general utility in the wiring device art.
Turning now to a consideration of the lampholder12 of Figures 2 and 3, it will be seen that it comprisesa recessed body member 20 having a cover member 21 for closing the back of the lampholder to form a hollow housing of suitable insulating material. A front face 22 is provided at its upper end with a circular opening 23 that communicates with the interior of the holder. A vertical partition 24 formed centrally within the body member 20 has a split cylindrical embossment 25 centrally located within the circular opening 23. A vertical slot 26'at the top of the body member 2G provides an opening through which a pair of verticallyaligned contact members on the lamp base may be inserted until the lower pin rests on the bottom edge of the circular opening 23. The present lampholder is provided with a pair of symmetrical contacts 27 for making electrical connection with the contact pins extending from the end of the lamp. These contacts 27 are separated by the partition 24 and are provided at their upper ends with inwardly facing V- shaped notches 23 which are located adjacent the outer opposed sides of the embossment 25. Accordingly, after inserting the contact pins of the lamp through the slot 26 until the lower pin rests on the edge of opening 23, a twisting force applied to the lamp will move the contact pins against the contacts 27 to spread them apart until the contact pins slip into the V-shaped notches 2S, which is the normal lamp supporting position.
Looking at Figure 3, the interior ofthe body member 20 is provided with a pair of spaced protrusions 30 extending from the side walls of the body member to serve as a fulcrum means for the contacts 27. The back cover member 2l is assembled to the body member 20 by means of the screw fastener 29 which threads into an opening in the partition 24. Figure 5 shows two additional screwV fasteners 29 at the lower end of the lampholder for holding the cover member 2l onto the body member 20. The design of the main portion of the lampholder, as explained above, is conventional as is illustrated in the Bryant Patent No. 2,262,091 which is assigned to the same assignee as is the present invention.` Each contact member 27 is provided with a terminal portion 31 which extends at a right angle to the main'portion of the contact slotV 33 so that a movable slider or plate 35 of suitable insulating material may be operated within the slot 33 as is best shown in the bottom plan View of Figure 9.
The bottom wall 32 of the housing is provided with a pair of conductor wire-receiving apertures 36. The lterminal portion 31 of each contact has an opening 37 formed by lancing the tongue 38 to aord a rounded bearing surface for the bare lead wire as will be explained hereinafter. The leading edge of the slider'35 is slotted as at 39 so that when the slot 39 is in alignment with the aperture 36 of the housing and the opening 37 in the adjacent terminal portion, a wire-receiving opening 4G of the slider will be in alignment with the opening 37 in the other terminal' portion. Consequently, it is possible to insertV the bare strands 41 of the lead wires 42 into the housing through the apertures 36, then through the slider and nally the terminal portions of the contacts as is best seen in Figure 3. It is then apparent that if the slider 35 is forced into the housing, the strands 41 will be moved by the slider until they are wedged between the terminal Y portion of each contact and the opposed inner surface of the bottom wall 32 of the housing as it best seen in Figure 4. The importance of the lanced tongue 38 is now apparent since its rounded configuration does not cut into the individual strands of the lead wires to weaken the connection. Thus,` the slider makes both a firm mechanical and electrical connection between the lead wires and the contacts.Y
However, a positive latching means must be provided for holding the slider 35 in its innermost clamping position; otherwise a pull on the lead wires would tend to force the slider out of the housing. Figure 8 of the drawing shows a bottom plan view ,of the lampholder of Figure 4 with the slider 35 in its innermost position. The back cover 21"of the holder is provided with a square-shaped opening 45 adjacent one edge of the cover, as is best seen in Figure 5. This opening overlies a side edge of the movable slider 35.l A cam-shaped latch 46 is located on this side edge of the slider` for mating engage- -ment with the opening 45. The latch 46 is provided with an inclined front surface 47 and a perpendicular rear surface 48. Since the back cover 21 is of thin insulating material such as Textolite, it springs upwardly when the slider is-forced into the housing and the inclined surface 47 of the latch 46 strikes the edge of the cover. When the wires 42 which will force the slider outwardly of the holder until the wires are disconnected.
A second modification of the latching means for the movable slider 35 is shown in Figure 9 of the drawing. Here a U-shaped spring locking member 50 is assembled in the housing before the cover member 21 is applied, with the free end 51 of the spring in cooperation with the pair of notches 52 in the adjacent edge of the slider. The purpose of the two notches 52 is to make provisions for locking the slider in either its inner or its outer positions. As shown in Figure 9, the slider is locked in its v`outer position and it stands ready to receive the lead wires 42 and to be depressed inwardly of the holder. When the sliderS is depressedfthe free end 51 of the -springmember 50 will snap into the other notch 52 and hold the slider against unintentional displacement. To remove the slider it is merely necessary to insert a small screw driver or nail to retract the free end 51 of the locking spring 50 so that when the lead wires are pulled, the slidery will move to its outermost position. It should be apparent that this latching means could be yused with either the single slider arrangement of Figure 3 or the double sliders of Figure 6. Y
The modification of Figure 6 of the4 drawing shows a single slider 53 for each -contact member 54. This permits the terminal portionV of the contract 54 to be made into a channel shape for'adouble wiping action between the bare lead wire and the terminals. The channel shape 55 is madeY by Yformingar perpendicular leg 56 and then by lancingra complementary leg 57 to be parallelwith the former leg. Thus `the leading edge of the slider engages the bare lead wire 41 and wedges it between the legsof the channel-shaped terminal portions of the contacts. Y This modicationmay be considered by some to be an advantage over that shown in Figure 3 since itis not necessary to connect both'lead wires at the Vsame time and the double wiping engagement between the bare lead wire and the terminal portion of the contact would be an improvement over the single wiping action of Figure 3.
Figure 7 merely shows a bottom plan view of the modification of Figure 6 where the separate sliders are locked in the housing by the cooperation of the back covermember 58and the latch 59 on the edge of the slider.
Accordingly, having described our invention of a novel:
quick connect terminal means for a fluorescent lampholder, it will be readily appreciated that our invention is both simple in deisgn and reliable in operation and that Y it should increase the ease of wiring such a device. Since it is not necessary to provide tapped openings for the usual binding screws, we have also been ableto reduce the cost of manufacturing this device so thatV it represents a` decided improvement over the prior art.
Modifications of this invention vwill occur to those skilled in this art and it is to be understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed but that itis intended to cover all modiications which are within the true spirit and scope of thisl invention.
What we claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
l. An electrical wiring device comprising a hollow housing having at least one contact member located therein, the terminal end of said contact being arranged in a spaced parallel relation to an inner wall of said housing, a conductor wire-receiving aperture in said wall, and a lanced opening in said terminal portion substantially in alignment with the aperture in the. saidV wall, a slider extending through an adjacent wall of said housing and movable between the said terminal portion and said apertured wall, the opening inthe said terminal portion being lanced in a direction away from the slider to leave a rounded edge surface on the side of the opening remote from the outer position of the slider so that when a lead wire is inserted through the aperture in the housing the slider may bedepressed to wedge the wire between the said terminal portion and the opposed parallel wall surface of the housing, and locking means for holding the slider within the housing.
2. An electrical wiring deviceV comprising a hollow housing having a pair of contacts located therein, the terminal end of each contact being arranged within the same plane and in a spaced parallel relation to an'inner wall of said housing, a Vconductor wire-receiving aperture in said wall and adjacent each of said terminal portions to be in alignment with an opening in said terminal portions, and a slider extending through an adjacent wall of said housing and movable between the said terminal portions and said apertured wall, the leading edge of the slider being provided with an `opening so that when Vthe said opening is aligned with the opening in the adjacent terminal portion, an additional opening in fthe wire between the said terminal portions and the adjacent inner wall surface of the housing to form a rm electrical connection therewith, and releasable latch means for holding the slider in this inner clamping position.
3. An electrical wiring device as recited in claim 2 wherein the releasable latch means comprises a spring locking member for alternate engagement in a pair of notches formed in the side of the slider.
4. An electrical Wiring device comprising a hollow housing having atleast one contact member located therein, a resilient cover member for closing the housing, said contact having a terminal portion for making an electrical connection with a bare lead wire, a wirereceiving opening formed in one wall of the housing, and a slider extending through an adjacent wall of the housing and movable from an outermost position to one in which the slider forces a lead wire into engagement with the said terminal portion, said slider being arranged with one side edge engaging the underside of the cover, and means for locking the said slider in its clamping position comprising a latch formed on said edge of the slider for cooperation with an opening in the said cover whereby the cover is exed upwardly by the latch as the slider moves into the housing until the latch nally is confined in the said opening of the cover.
References Cited in the flle of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Sellers July 12, 1949