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Publication numberUS2924687 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 9, 1960
Filing dateJan 13, 1956
Priority dateOct 20, 1951
Also published asUS2924802, US2924803, US2924804, US2942224, US2943292
Publication numberUS 2924687 A, US 2924687A, US-A-2924687, US2924687 A, US2924687A
InventorsPlatz Elwood T
Original AssigneeIte Circuit Breaker Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electric receptacle
US 2924687 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 9, 1960 E. T. PLATZ ELECTRIC RECEPTACLE Original Filed Oct. 20, 1951 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. Flu dad 7T fizzz.

Feb. 9, 1960 E. T. PLATZ 2,924,687

ELECTRIC RECEPTACLE Original Filed 001:. 20, 195] 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Ma u 6 A2 22 k INVENTOR.

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United States ELECTRIC RECEPTACLE Original application October 20, 1951, Serial No. 252,272. Divided and this application January 13, 1956, Serial No. 558,882

3 Claims. (Cl. ZOO-115.5)

This invention relates to a continuous outlet electric distribution system generally and particularly to an outlet receptacle utilized with such a system.

Such a system comprises a flexible duct formed of a dielectric material which contains a pair of concealed conductors, and outlet receptacles and feed-in devices that are readily attachable to the duct at any point along its length. The outlet receptacle used is of the type that contains a plurality of apertures into which conventional pronged connector plugs can be inserted.

This application is a division of application Number 252,272 which was filed October 20, 1951 and assigned to the assignee of this application and now abandoned.

A primary object of the invention is to provide an outlet receptacle for use in a continuous outlet distribution system which is easily and directly connectible thereto at any point along its length without requiring piercing of the conductor insulator covering, or any other type of connection that may require tools or special working.

Another object is to provide a novel type of outlet receptacle that is easily and positively attachable to the continuous outlet conductors, this receptacle being of simplified design and presenting an attractive functional appearance.

Another object of this invention is to provide an outlet receptacle for attachment to a continuous outlet power distribution duct wherein the connection between the receptacle and the live conductor of the distribution duct is through a fuse element that forms a part of the outlet receptacle.

Another object is to provide a means for establishing the polarity of the outlet receptacle so it can be attached to the conductor duct in only one way to insure proper fusing of the system, etc., or in instances having one wire grounded, the grounded conductor may be uniformly recognized by its relation to the polarizing scheme employed.

Another object is to provide a detachable outlet receptacle for such a distribution system designed so that it is impossible to detach the receptacle from the duct while there are pronged plug connectors (which would indicate a load) attached to the outlet receptacle. This arrangement is such that arcing, if any occurs, will always be between the connector plug prongs and the associated receptacle contact apertures rather than between the receptacle connections to the duct conductors within the distribution system.

A further object of this invention is to provide a snapon outlet receptacle having positive, direct electrical contact between the receptacle and the duct conductors.

Still other objects and advantages of this invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art after a consideration of the description and drawings wherein:

Fig. 1 is a top plan view of a receptacle, which is an embodiment of the invention, shown attached to a conductor duct;

Fig. 2 is a bottom elevational view of the receptacle of ate-n t ice Fig. 1 with the locking bar and contacts shown in disengaged positions by dotted lines;

Fig. 3 is a sectional elevational view of the receptacle of Fig. 1 on line 33 of Fig. 2 showing the conductor duct in cross section;

Fig. 4 is a top plan view of another embodiment of the receptacle shown attached to a conductor duct;

Fig. 5 is a bottom elevational view of the receptacle of Fig. 4 with the locking bar and contacts shown in disengaged positions by dotted lines;

Fig. 6 is a sectional elevational view of Fig. 4 on line 6-6 of Fig. 5;

Fig. 7 is a top plan view of another embodiment of the receptacle shown attached to a conductor duct;

Fig. 8 is a bottom elevational view of the receptacle of Fig. 7 with the locking bar and contacts shown in disengaged position by dotted lines;

Fig. 9 is a sectional elevational view of Fig. 7 on line 9-9 of Fig. 8.

Referring to Fig. 1 of the drawings a receptacle 86 which is an embodiment of the invention is shown engaged to a conductor duct 3. The conductor duct 3 which is shown in cross section in Fig. 3 supplies electric current to the receptacle. The duct 3 comprises a body portion formed of a relatively thin fiat strip of dielectric material that has the side edges 3a, 3b thereof folded over in the body portion of duct 3 but spaced very slightly above the body portion so as to provide slots that receive the pair of conductors 11, 13. The conductor duct 3 includes a rib 4 which is integrally formed with the body portion and which is slightly offset from the center line thereof. Rib 4 functions to polarize the distribution system to insure proper fusing, and proper connection of the receptacles and the apparatus connected thereto.

As shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 3 receptacle 86 includes a thin-walled case 87 of box-like construction composed of a suitable dielectric material having a closed top and an open bottom. The lower edges of the end walls of the case are notched as at 88 (Fig. 2) to provide openings to receive the polarizing rib 4 of the duct strip 3. The top wall of case 87 has a depression 89 to permit one to readily grasp the raised tab 91 of the reciprocable locking bar 92. The top wall of case 87 is pierced by a pair of spaced apart apertures that are adapted to receive the spaced prongs of a plug-in connector (not shown). Anchored within the case 87 to the underside of the top along one side edge is a combination fuse holder support and contact member 93 (Fig. 2). The fuse holder support portion of member 93 is of the spring clip type and is designated 94 while the associated L- shaped spring leg contact element is designated 95. The member 93 may be connected to the top of case 87 by screw or rivet means 96.

Positioned adjacent to but spaced from the member 93 is another combination element 97 that is composed of a prong receiving socket portion 98 and a fuse holder support portion 99. Screw or rivet means 100 can be used to fasten member 97 to the underside of the top of case 87. A fuse Z61 (Figs. 2, 3) is mounted in the fuse supports 94, 99 to electrically connect together the two elements 93, 97. Connected to the underside of the top of the case 87 at a position opposite the elements 93, 87 is another combination element 103. Element 103 includes an L- shaped spring leg contact portion 04 identical to the contact 95 and aligned therewith, and a prong socket portion 105 that is aligned with the other prong socket portion 93. Socket portions 98 and 105 are disposed beneath the case apertures 90. The last mentioned combination contact and socket member 103 may be anchored to the case 97 by screw or rivet means 107.

The reciprocable locking bar 92 includes the wing-like of the receptacle of the receptacle cam portions 108 at opposite sides thereof that are adapted to engage the spring leg contact members 95, 104 and expand these contacts from their broken line positions to the full line positions shown in Figs. 2 and 3. When legs 95, 104 are expanded their serrated free ends bite into the duct conductors 11, 13 (Fig. 3) and establish a good electrical contact therewith as well as anchoring the receptacle 86 to the duct 3.

The locking bar 92 has winglike extensions 109 extending along its opposite sides at the end opposite the tab portion 91. These extensions 109 are positioned beneath portions of the combination contact elements 93, 103 so as to be guidingly mounted for reciprocation along the underside of the top of case 87. The locking bar 92 can not be moved to its extended position shown in dashed lines in Fig. 2 whenever a pronged plug-in connector is mounted in the receptacle 86, for the prongs of the plug-in connector will block the movement of the locking bar wing portions 109 towards the left in Fig. 2. As a result of this arrangement the plug-in connector that is mounted in this receptacle 86 must be removed from the receptacle before the receptacle can be detached from the duct strip 6. Removal and installation of the receptacle 86 is thus prohibited while an electrical load is connected thereto. 7

Figs. 4, 5, and 6 show another form of outlet receptacle 110 that is quite similar in construction to the form of receptacle shown in Figs. l-3. Case 111 of receptacle 110 includes a pair of prong receiving openings 112 that pierce the top wall of the case. The end walls 113 and 114- of the case 111 are pierced by slots 115, 115a (Fig. respectively that provide guideways for the reciprocable locking bar 116. Screw or rivet means 118 anchor the combination element 119 to the underside of the case top wall. Element 119 includes a fuse holder portion 120 and a prong socket portion 121. Screw or rivet means 122 anchor a combination element 123 to the underside of case 111. Combination element 123 includes the fuse support portion 125 and the L-shaped spring leg contact 124. A fuse 126 is mountable between the fuse holder portions 120, 125 to electrically connect the elements 119, 123.

The combination element 128 is anchored to the case 111 by the attachment means 129. Combination element 128 includes a prong socket portion 130 and an L-shaped spring leg contact 131. Prong sockets 121 and 130 are located beneath the case apertures 112.

The reciprocable locking bar 116 has indentations 133 along its o'pposite sides that provide the pairs of cam portions 135 and 137. When the locking bar 116 is in the position shown in Fig. 5, the cam portions 137 separate the spring leg contacts 124, 131 into biting engagement with the duct conductors 11, 13 (Fig. 6) so as to electrically and mechanically connect the receptacle 110 to the duct 3. When the locking bar 116 is moved to the position shown in broken lines in Fig. 5 then cam portions 135 engage the prong sockets 121, 130 and the contacts 7 124, 131 are disengaged from the cam portions 137 and are positioned opposite the depressed portions 133. Locking bar 116 can not be moved to the last described position when a pronged connector is engaged with the receptacle 110. A pronged connector cannot be inserted into the receptacle 110 until after the receptacle has been attached to the duct 3. Likewise the pronged connector must be detached from the duct 3 before the receptacle can be detached from the duct 3. The end walls 113, 114

of the case 111 are notched at 138 (Fig. 6) to receive the duct strip polarizing rib 4. A web member 139 may be mounted in the case 111 to serve as a support and guide for the slidable locking bar 116.

Figs. 7, 8 and 9 disclose still another form of the invention that is somewhat similar to the two forms shown respectively in Figs. l-3 and Figs. 4-6.

The receptacle 140 includes a hollow box-like case 141 (Fig. 8) that has an open bottom wall and a top wall 142 that is pierced by a pair of prong receiving sockets 143 as well as by a slot 144. Slot 144 is adapted to slidably receive the tab end 145 of the slidably locking bar 146.

Mounted on the underside of the case top wall 142 along one side thereof, by means of screws 147, is a combination element 148 (Fig. 8). Element 148 includes a fuse support portion 149 and a plug-in prong socket por tion 150. Mounted on the underside of case top wall 142 and spaced from the combination element 148 is another combination element 152. Element 152 is anchored to the case wall 142 by the screw means 153 and it includes a fuse support portion 154 and an L-shaped spring leg contact 155. A fuse 156 is adapted to be mounted between supports 149, 154 to electrically connect the two combination elements 148, 152.

Anchored to the underside of the case top wall 142 by the screw means 157 is another combination element 158. Combination element 158 includes the prong receiving socket portion 159 and the L-shaped spring leg contact portion 160. The two prong receiving socket portio'ns 150, 159 are aligned beneath the openings 143 in the case top wall 142. The locking bar 146 has a bullet shaped portion 161, the side edges 162 of which provide cam portions that are adapted to engage and separate the contact legs 155, 160 to force the serrated ends of the contacts 155, 160 into a good electrical contact with the duct conductors 11, 13. Solid lines in Fig. 8 show the position of the locking bar 146 when the contact legs 155, 160 have been cammed to positions to lock the receptacle 140 on the duct 3. The broken lines in Fig. 8 show the position of the locking bar 146 prior to connection of the receptacle 140 to the duct 3. The portion 161 of the locking bar 146 blocks the apertures 143 when the locking bar 146 has been retracted from engagement with the contacts 155, 160. Also, when plug-in prongs are mounted in the sockets 150, 159 the locking bar is blocked from movement towards the left end of the case and thus the receptacle 140 can not be detached from the duct 3 until after the connector prongs (not shown) have been removed from the socket portions 150, 159. The end walls 163, 164 of case 141 (see Fig. 8) have notches 165 in their lower edges that are adapted to receive the polarizing rib 4 of the duct 3 to properly position the receptacle 140 on the duct 3 at all times.

The above specification presents a novel outlet receptacle for use in a continuous duct electrical distribution system. Polarization of the receptacle provides a safe, etficient readily usable source of electricity.

For a determination of the scope of the invention reference should be had to the following claims in which I claim:

1. An outlet receptacle adapted to be mounted to and removed from a continuous outlet electric distribution system at any point of the system; said receptacle being comprised of a case having a pair of spaced apart prong receiving apertures, a pair of prong receiving contact elements mounted within the case in insulating relationship and aligned with the prong receiving apertures in the case, a pair of conductor engaging contacts mounted within the case with each of said conductor engaging cont acts having a free end extending beyond the confines of said case, means conductively connecting each of the contact elements to a conductor engaging contact, and a single slidable member carried by the case and operatively engageable with said conductor engaging contacts; said slidable member being linearly movable between a first and a second position by manual operation thereof; said conductor engaging contacts and said contact elements being rigidly mounted within said case; a first of said contact elements being integrally formed with the contact element to which it is electrically connected; said conductor engaging contacts being self-biased to a third position when said slideable member is in said first position; said conductor engaging contacts being operated in diverging directions from said third position to a fourth position by cam portions of said slideable member when said member is in said second position; said slideable member being with other portions thereof positioned between said prong receiving contacts and said prong receiving apertures when said slideable member is in said first position; said slideable member being further constructed so that plug prongs when inserted in said prong receiving apertures will be positioned to block movement of said slideable member from said second to said first position.

2. The combination of a continuous outlet electric distribution system and an outlet receptacle removably secured thereto; said distribution system comprising an elongated duct and two parallel spaced conductors; said duct having inwardly projecting lips forming slots along the edges of said duct; said conductors being disposed within said slots; said outlet receptacle comprising a case having a pair of spaced apart prong receiving apertures, a pair of prong receiving contact elements mounted within the case in insulating relationship and aligned with the prong receiving apertures in the case, a pair of conductor engaging contacts mounted within the case with each of said conductor engaging contacts having a free end extending beyond the confines of said case, means conductively connecting each of the contact elements to a conductor engaging contact, and a single slidable member carried by the case and operatively engageable with said conductor engaging contacts; said slidable member being linearly movable parallel to said conductors between a first and a second position by manual operation thereof; said conductor engaging contacts being selfbiased to a position external of said slots when said slidable member is in said first position; said conductor engaging contacts being operated in diverging directions by cam portions of said slidable member to a position within said slots and in engagement with said conductors when said slidable member is in said second position; said slidable member being with other portions thereof positioned between said prong receiving contacts and said prong receiving apertures when said slidable member is in said first position; said slidable member being further constructed so that plug prongs when inserted in said prong receiving apertures will be positioned to block movement of said slidable member from said second to said first position; said duct also having a rib extending parallel to said lips and positioned to one side of the midway point between said lips; said case including notches operatively positioned to receive said rib only when the receptacle is secured to the electric distribution system in a predetermined relationship; said rib being operatively positioned to engage said case to prevent mounting of said receptacle when said receptacle and said distribution system are not in said predetermined relationship.

3. The combination of a continuous outlet electric distribution system and an outlet receptacle removably secured thereto; said distribution system comprising an elongated duct and two parallel spaced conductors; said duct having inwardly projecting lips forming slots along the edges of said duct; said conductors being disposed within said slots; said outlet receptacle comprising a case having a pair of spaced apart prong receiving apertures, a pair of prong receiving contact elements mounted within the case in insulating relationship and aligned with the prong receiving apertures in the case, a pair of conductor engaging contacts mounted Within the case with each of said conductor engaging contacts having a free end extending beyond the confines of said case, a first means including a fuse conductively connecting one of the contact elements to one of the conductor engaging contacts, a second means conductively connecting the other of said contact elements to the other of said conductor engaging contacts, and a single slidable member carried by the case and operatively engageable with said conductor engaging contacts; said slidable member being linearly movable parallel to said conductors between a first and a second position by manual operation thereof; said conductor engaging contacts being selfbiased to a position external of said slots when said slidable member is in said first position; said conductor engaging contacts being operated in diverging directions by cam portions of said slidable member to a position within said slots and in engagement with said conductors when said slidable member is in said second position; said slidable member being with other portions thereof positioned between said prong receiving contacts and said prong receiving apertures when said slidable member is in said first position; said slidable member being further constructed so that plug prongs when inserted in said prong receiving apertures will be positioned to block movement of said slidable member from said second to said first position; said duct also having a rib extending parallel to said lips and positioned to one side of the midway point between said lips; said case including notches operatively positioned to receive said rib only when the receptacle is secured to the electric distribution system in a predetermined relationship; said rib being operatively positioned to engage said case to prevent mounting of said receptacle when said receptacle and said distribution system are not in said predetermined relationship.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,914,074 Bruijnes June 13, 1933 2,170,285 Fisher et al. Aug. 22, 1939 2,170,299 Frank Aug. 22, 1939 2,263,630 Johnston Nov. 25, 1941 2,309,972 Messing Feb. 2, 1943 2,332,766 Von Gehr Oct. 26, 1943 2,436,586 Mangold Feb. 24, 1948 2,466,930 Cook Apr. 12, 1949

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1914074 *Jun 18, 1930Jun 13, 1933Philips NvLuminous tube sign
US2170285 *Sep 25, 1937Aug 22, 1939Fisher Lyman CDetachable collector
US2170299 *Aug 4, 1937Aug 22, 1939Frank William HContinuous outlet construction
US2263630 *Jun 25, 1940Nov 25, 1941L D RussellElectrical receptacle and plug
US2309972 *Aug 15, 1941Feb 2, 1943Bulldog Electric Prod CoConnector
US2332766 *Oct 16, 1940Oct 26, 1943Von Gehr George HElectrical outlet
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3170744 *Jun 27, 1960Feb 23, 1965Ite Circuit Breaker LtdRemovable grounding receptacle for panelboards
US3200221 *Dec 22, 1961Aug 10, 1965Traher Albert DFuse device for cover plates of plug-in electrical receptacles
US5582520 *Jun 29, 1995Dec 10, 1996Siemens Electric LimitedElectrostrip receptacle
US7661870 *Jan 8, 2007Feb 16, 2010Tech Lighting LlcField bendable line voltage track lighting system
US8033711Feb 16, 2010Oct 11, 2011Tech Lighting L.L.C.Field bendable line voltage track lighting system
US8469728Dec 2, 2011Jun 25, 2013Tyco Electronics CorporationPolarity protection for electrified grid and mating connector
US8506310Dec 2, 2011Aug 13, 2013Tyco Electronics CorporationConnector for electrified ceiling grid and method of installing the same
US8535070Dec 2, 2011Sep 17, 2013Tyco Electronics CorporationConnector for electrified ceiling grid
EP0074754A2 *Sep 1, 1982Mar 23, 1983Rotaflex p.l.c.Elektrical supply connector for continuous outlet track
WO2013081924A1 *Nov 21, 2012Jun 6, 2013Tyco Electronics CorporationConnector for electrified ceiling grid
Classifications
U.S. Classification337/187, 439/116, 337/201
International ClassificationH01R13/64, F16J1/18, F16J1/10, H01R25/00, H01R25/14, F16J1/16
Cooperative ClassificationF16J1/18, F16J1/16, H01R13/64, H01R25/142
European ClassificationH01R25/14B, F16J1/18, F16J1/16