|Publication number||US2853690 A|
|Publication date||Sep 23, 1958|
|Filing date||Jul 29, 1955|
|Priority date||Jul 29, 1955|
|Publication number||US 2853690 A, US 2853690A, US-A-2853690, US2853690 A, US2853690A|
|Inventors||Madison William F|
|Original Assignee||Madison William F|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (20), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
p 3, 1958 w. F. MADISON ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed July 29, 1955 OmI INVENTOR. WILLIAM F. MADISON Xlwflw 2 4. ATTOR N E YS United States Patent ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR William F. Madison, Pasadena, Calif Application July 29, 1955, Serial No. 525,409
Claims. (Cl. 339-45) (Granted under Title 35, U. S. Code (1952), see. 266) The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
This invention relates to electrical connectors, and more particularly concerns electrical connectors of quickdisconnect type suited for use in conjunction with acoustic homing torpedoes or the like.
Modern acoustic homing torpedoes, whether intended to be dropped from aircraft, catapulted from surface craft, or launched underwater from surface or under- Water craft, must often be provided with an exteriorly accessible electrical connector member which is wired to internal torpedo components or circuits so that, for pre-heating, battery charging, pre-selection of operating characteristics, or for other reasons, these components or circuits may be energized orcontrolled by external apparatus or from a remote control station prior to actual launching. It is desirable that the mating members of the electrical connector in such application shall be adapted to resist uncoupling forces exerted by its external electrical cable due to vibration or wind-whipping action occurring in above-water launching environments, or due to water-whipping action when the torpedo is being submerged and positioned for controlled assessment or test operations, or adapted to resist uncoupling forces which may arise in any other manner. Such protection against premature uncoupling would be best accomplished by providing some form of positive locking means which must be disengaged before the mating members can be separated. members of the connector shall be separable simply by application of a pull force to a lanyard connected to the removable connector member. Conventional connectors, however, having means for positively locking their mating members in engaged condition, are not separable except by relatively complex manipulation which is not readily converted from manual to lanyard operation for torpedo use.
Further, conventional connectors having means for positively locking their mating members in engaged condition, when employed in a torpedo as above described require that the torpedo connector member either be mounted to project beyond the exterior surface of the torpedo shell, or that it be mounted in a well structure with suificient annular clearance, to accept the locking mechanism of the mating connector member. This is disadvantageous, however, for it has been found that the relatively high speeds of modern acoustic homing torpedoes aggravates the problem of acoustic noise disturbances or decoying actions as produced by such connector discontinuities in the otherwise smooth exterior surface of the torpedo shell.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved electrical connector assembly of quickdisconnect type for use with torpedoes and other missiles.
it is another object to provide such an electrical con- It is also desirable that the mating members 32 and 34- are of suitable outer and inner di nector assembly which can be unlocked and disengaged simply by application of a pull force.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a connector assembly, particularly adapted for use in making electrical connections through a missile shell, having mating members which can be locked in engaged condition but which, when unlocked and uncoupled, leave the surface continuity of the missile shell substantially undisturbed.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
Fig. 1 illustrates the mating connector members of the assembly, partly in section, in uncoupled condition;
Fig. 2 illustrates the configuration of the latch-operating plunger forming a part of the separable connector member; and
Fig. 3 is a view of the connector members of the assembly, shown partly in cross-section, in fully mated and locked condition.
Referring now to Fig. 1, a typical embodiment of a connector assembly in accordance with the present invention and intended for torpedo use comprises a cylindrical connector member 10 adapted to be fitted into a torpedo shell 12, as indicated, and a separable mating member 14 having a latch-operating plunger 16 to which a lanyard 18 may be attached as shown. Connector member 10 extends through a circular opening in torpedo shell 12, and may be designed to be secured thereto in any manner which places its outer face 20 in flush relationship to the exterior surface of the torpedo shell, for example by provision of a flange 22 which threadedly fits into a corresponding recess formed as part of the circular opening in torpedo shell 12. A rubber O-ring 24 compressed in the said recess by flange 22 serves as a seal against any possible entry of sea-water between the threads into the torpedo. The connector plug 26 in connector member 10 is mounted at the outer end of a plunger structure 28 which is depressible into the body of connector member 10 against the action of a compression spring 30. This plunger structure includes inner and outer tubular members 32 and 34, respectively, which are suitably shouldered and threadedly engaged to clamp between them the base portion of'connector plug 26, as shown. A rubber O-ring 36 positioned and compressed in an annular groove formed in outer tubular member 34 provides an effective seal between that member and plug 26 to prevent passage of any sea-water therebetween. Plug 26 itself is inherently water-tight and may be conventional in structure, made of molded dielectric material into which are sealed a plurality of sleeve-type electrical contact elements (not shown) having terminals 38 to which the stripped ends of insulated connecting leads 40 may be soldered. A water-tight seal between the described plunger arrangement and the casing member 42 of connector member 10 is effected by provision of a lubricated rubber O-ring 44 mounted as a piston-ring in a groove formed in the outer tubular member 34, as shown. Outward displacement of the plunger structure 28 is limited by provision of a shouldered portion 46, upon outer tubular member 34, which abuts a complementary shoulder at 48 in casing member 42, such that'the outward displacement of the plunger structurev 28, as produced by the action of compression spring 30, will position outer face 20 of connector plug 26 in flush relationship to the outer faces of flange 22 and torpedo shell 12.
An end cap 50, threadedly engaged upon the inner end of casing member 42, as shown, serves to contain the ing 39 within the casing member 42. The tubular ameters, respectively, to define between them a deep annular recess to accommodate the relatively long spring 30. Inner tubular member 32 further acts as a conduit which protects the connecting leads 40 from entanglement with or injury by spring 30, and a circular opening in endcap 50 accommodates movement and passage of this tubular member 32 which occurs during engagement and disengagement of the connector members. L. Inward moveinent of the plunger structure 28 is limited by abutment of outer tubular vmember 34 against end cap t).
Separable connector member 14 comprises a tubular body portion 52 which carries, at one end, a mating connector plug 54 which is sealedand secured in place by means of a rubber washer 56 and clamping ring 58. Connector plug 54, like connector plug 26, is of conventional structure and may be made of molded dielectric material, into which are sealed at corresponding number of pin-type electrical contact elements 60 having terminals '62 to which the stripped ends of insulated connecting leads 64 may be soldered. Protection against electrical leakage between contact elements 60 in the presence of sea-water is obtained by potting insulating material 66 into the connector cavity containing these terminals, and by providing a lubricated O-ring 68 in a circumferential groove of body portion 52 to serve as a seal when connector members and 14 are engaged. Separable member 14 also carries one or more detents or latches 7t), and the latch-operating plunger 16 which is adapted to cam and lock the latches 70 into latch-engaging notches or grooves 72 of connector member 10 when plugs 54 and 26 are mated and depressed into casing member 42, as illustrated in Fig. 3.
Referring now to Figs. 1 and 2, latch-operating plunger 16 is of generally cylindrical configuration, comprising a tubular body portion 74 which slidably fits through a circular opening in end-cap 76 of mating connector 14, and a loop-handle 78 to which the lanyard 18 can be fastened. End-cap 76 may be threadedly secured to body portion 52 of connector member 14 as shown. A flange 80 formed upon the inwardly extending portion of latch-operating plunger 16 assists in supporting the plunger for sliding movement in connector member 14 and also serves to limit the outward movement of plunger 16 relative to connector member 14. The insulated connecting leads 64 pass freely through body portions 52 and 74 to any desired external apparatus.
The detents or latches 70 are so designed and pivoted in slots 82 formed in body portion 52, as indicated, that with plunger 16 pulled outwardly, the latches 70 are free to pivot inwardly to enable connector member14 to slidably enter -or emerge from casing member 42. During a plug mating and locking operation, inward movement of plunger 16 tends to cam the latches 70 outwardly and to lock them into'the latch-engaging grooves 72 when connector members 10 and 14 are fully engaged, as shown in Fig. '3','so that the connector members 10 and 14 are held in locked engagement within casing member 42 and against the action of compression spring 30.
In use, connector members 10 and 14 are engaged and locked in position, prior to a torpedo launching, by mating the plug members 54 and 26, pulling the latch-operating plunger 16 outwardly to free the latches 70, pushing the mating connector member 14 into casing member 42 with latches 70 pivoted inwardly to permit entry of con nector member 14 to the point where latches 70 can be cammed into latch-engaging grooves 72, then moving latch-operating plunger 16 inwardly to eifect this camming and locking operation. In this engaged and locked condition, the connector assembly is sealed against entry of water to the electrical contact elements of the plug members when the torpedo upon which this assembly is mounted is submerged or otherwise encounters sea-water, and the connector members cannot be disengaged by any forces exerted upon connectingleads 64 or upon cabling (not shown) whichmay contain these connecting leads. Prior to launching, or as a part of the launching operation, mating connector can be unlocked, disengaged and removed simply by application of a pull force to lanyard 18, which moves latch-operating plunger 16 outwardly, frees latches for pivotal movement, and earns these latches inwardly to permit outward movement of connector member 14. At this time, also, compression spring 30 forces the plunger structure 28 outwardly until its outer face 20 is in flush relationship to the exterior surface of the torpedo shell.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention arepossible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
What is claimed is: e
l. A separable electrical connector comprising first and second mating connector members, said first connector member having a cylindrical bore therein, a plunger member slidably disposed in said bore and carrying a first electrical plug accessible for mating through an outer end of said bore, spring means urging said plunger member toward said outer end, and stop means fixing inner and outer displacement limits for said slidably disposed plunger member and said first electrical plug carried thereby, said second connector member being insertable through said outer end into said bore against the action of said spring means and carrying a second electrical plug adapted to mate with said first electrical plug, said cennector members having latch means and latch-engaging. means adapted and arranged to lock said connector members in mated engagement, and connector-disengaging means adapted to operate by application of a pull force thereto and carried by said second connector member, said disengaging means being arranged to release-said latch means during application of said pull force.
2. A separable electrical connector according to claim 1; wherein said latch-engaging means is a groove formed in said first connecting member within said cylindrical bore and inwardly of said outer displacement limit.
3. An electrical connector member having a cylindrical bore therein, a plunger member slidably disposed in said bore and carrying an electrical plug accessible for mating through an outer end of said bore, spring means urging said plunger member toward said outer end, stop means fixing inner and outer displacement limits for said slidably disposed plunger member and saidfirst electrical plug carried thereby, latch-engaging means disposed Within said cylindrical bore and inwardly of said outer displacement limit for accepting latch means carried by a mating connector member, said electrical connector member including means for securing it to a missile shell with the outer end of said cylindrical borein registry with a corresponding port in said shell, and said outer displacement limit positioning said electrical plug in flush relationship to the outer surface of said shell.
4. An electrical connector member for operative engagement with a mating connector member having latch engaging means, comprising a tubular body member, an electrical plug mounted at one end thereof, a latch-operating and connector-disengaging member slidably disposed within the other end of said body member and adapted to have a lanyard secured thereto, and latches pivoted in slots formed in the tubular wall of said body member, said latches being constructed and arranged to be cammed outwardly, by movement of said latch-operating member inwardly toward said plug, to lock into said latch-engaging means when said connector members are operatively engaged, and to be released by outward movement of said latch-operating member to unlock said connectors for separation upon application of a pull force to said lanyard.
5. In a missile having a shell enclosing electrical apparatus requiring external control or energization prior to missile launching, said missile shell having a circular port formed therein through which to provide electrical connections to said electrical apparatus, in combination,
5 an electrical connector member having a cylindrical bore, said connector member being mounted upon and extending Within said shell With its cylindrical bore in substantially axial alignment with said port, a plunger member slidably disposed in said bore and carrying an electrical plug accessible for mating through said port, spring means urging said plunger member toward said port, stop means fixing inner and outer displacement limits for said slidably disposed plunger member and the electrical plug carried thereby, said plug when positioned at said outer limit being disposed in flush relationship to the outer surface of said shell, and latch-engaging means formed in the cylindrical bore of said connector member and disposed inwardly of said outer displacement limit, said latch-engaging means being constructed and arranged to accept latch means carried by a mating connector mem- 6 ber adapted to enter the cylindrical bore of said electrical connector member.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS OTHER REFERENCES Tele-Teck, May 1954, pages 71-72, Guided Missile Launching Connectors.
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|U.S. Classification||439/155, 439/258|