US 2955275 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 4, 1960 l.. c. coBBETT ETAL 2,955,275
INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Original Filed June 24, 1955 2 SheetsSheet l Fig.1
Oct. 4, 1960 1 c. coBBETT ErAL 2,955,275
INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR, Original Filed June 24,V 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fig. 5
NVENT R5 eem/'d6 @Ja/g77( Edward 0, Milf/er BY 'RMR @www ATTORNEY United States Patent INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Leonard C. 'Cobbett, Foxboro, and Edward D. Winkler, Reading, Mass., assignors to Albert & J. M. Anderson Manufacturing Company, Boston, Mass., a corporation of Massachusetts Original application June 24, 1955, Ser. No. 517,766,
now Patent No. 2,917,722, dated Dec. 15, 1959. D- vided and this application Feb. 26, 1957, Ser. No. 642,411
r Claims. (Cl. 339-59) ment of the contacts and/or attachment to cables as ,n
may be required.
The invention has for a further object to provide a novel and improved electrical connector of the character specied wherein provision is also made lfor mounting the contacts in a molded insulating housing in a manner such as to enable slight lateral movement of the contacts relative to the housing whereby to permit self-alignment of the contacts in a simple and efficient manner when joined with the contacts of a second connector. i i With these general objects in -view and such others as may hereinafter appear, the invention consists in the insulated electrical connector hereinafter described and particularly defined in the claims at the end of this specification.
In the drawings illustrating the of the invention:
Fig. l is a cross sectional view of a female electrical connector embodying the present invention;
Fig. 2 is `a cross sectional View taken on the line 2-2 of Fig. l;
preferred embodiment Fig. 3 is a detail view in cross section illustrating a male form of contact mounted in the present connector; j
Fig. 4 is a detail View in cross section illustrating -another male form of contact mounted in theV present connector;
Fig. 5 is a View similar to Fig. 1 illustrating in cross A y section a female connector having a modified form of .mounting for the contacts;
Fig. V6 is a detail View in cross section showing a m-ale form of contact in the modified mounting; and
Fig. 7 is a detail view in cross section showing another form of male contact in the modified mounting.
In general the present invention contemplates a novel construction of electrical connector of the type having one or more contacts mounted within a resilient insul-ating housing, each contact being connected to ythe end of a power cable extended within the housing. In accordance with the invention provision is made for detachably connecting the power cables 4to the contacts within the molded insulating hou-sing in a novel and simple manner whereby to permit easy removal and replacement of the contacts or cables as may be required.
The invention further contemplates novel structure lfor 4mounting the contacts within the housing and for attachment to the cables to permit self-alignment of the con- 2,955,275 Patented Oct. 4, 1960 Referring now to the drawings, 10 designates one form of the present electrical connector which includes a resilient insulating housing or body portion 12 which may and preferably will comprise a molded rubber housing having longitudinally extended cored openings formed therein. As illustrated in Fig. l, each cored opening has a contact member, herein shown as a female contact mem-ber 16 disposed in one end thereof, the other end of each cored opening having extended therein a cable 18 provided with an end cap 20 for connection to the inner end of its contact 16.
In the embodiment of the invention shown in Fig. l the contact member 16 comprises a cylindrical member of substantially uniform diameter throughout its length, the outer or connecting end of the contact having an elongated bore therein forming a tubular portion 2.2 provided with longitudinal saw cuts 24 to form a receptacle having flexing fingers4 for receiving the male contacts of a second connector. The inner end of the contact member 16 is provided with a tapered bore arranged to receive the tapered end of a projection 26 extended from the end c-ap Ztl to connect the cable to the contact. As herein shown, the projection 26 is vprovided with a tapped hole in the end thereof for receiving a screw 28 extended through a clearance opening at the inner end of the elongated bore formed in the contact member, thus detachably securing the parts in firm electrical engagement.
In` the Fig. 1 embodiment of the invention a portion of the inner end of the contact member 16 is preferably securely bonded into the housing as indicated at 30, a cored out clearance portion 32 being provided at the contact end'to permit flexing of the contact lingers when joined with a second connector.A It will be observed that the contact end of the housing extends beyond the ends of the contacts, and each cored opening is reduced in diameter for a short `distance between theend of thecontact and the end of the housing, as indicated at 34, yso that the end of the housing extends a short distance over the end of the contact, thus enclosing the contacts within the housing. A spring 36 coiled about the fingers of the contact serves to flex the lingers inwardly to effect a firm grip on the cooperating contact member of a second connector.
With this construction it will be seen that inr assembling` the connector the end of the cable i8 is soldered or other- .wisevsecured within the bore-provided inthe endfcap member, and upon tightening of the screw by means of a screw driver extended into the longitudinal bore' of the contact member the tapered projection 26 may be drawn up tightly within the tapered bore to provide a tirm electrical connection. The undersurface of the head of the screw 2S is preferably conical and is seated in a countersunk portion formed at the inner endof the elongated bore in the contact member as illustrated. It will also be observed that the body of the end cap 20 is preferably cylindrical for a major portion of itslength and is provided with arsquare shoulder portion 29 adjacent the tapered end thereof to prevent rotation of the contact in the housing. A
As illustrated in Figs. l and 2, the cable end of the housing 12 may be slightly enlarged and provided with an Venlarged cored opening to'receive the two-cables, the Y enlarged opening communicating with the two cored ycontact and cable end openings as shown. The'cablerendlof 'Y nector's aligned.
the housing may also be longitudinally slit as indicated at 44. After the cables have been inserted and secured to their contacts, a cable packing 46 preferably of a resilient material, may be wrapped about Vthe cables while llexing apart the slit halves of the resilientV housing. In order to -rmly clamp the cables in assembled relation to the housing, the cable end of the housing-may be provided with clamp straps 48, 50, the intermediate portions of'which are preferablymolded into the housing as shown. The freeends ofthe straps are providedwith openings for the reception Vof bolts 572 extended through the slit halves of the housing. Thus, after the packing 46 is inserted,
the slit halves may 'be lbrought together and firmly clamped about the cables and the packing by the bolts 52 and nuts 5j3. VFrom thedescription thus far it will be 4observed thatthe novel construction of the present electrical connector is such as to permit detachmentof the 'cablesv from their contact members withinV the insulating Vhousingin a simple andrcronvenientV manner whereby the contacts and/or cables maybe easilyY removed and replaced when reqniredrwithout damage to the insulating housing. Y Y
As shown in Fig. 3, in a modiiied` form of the invention a male contact member 54 is shown asV being securely bonded tothe housing within the contact end of the cored opening thereof. The inner end ofthe contact 54 may be enlarged in diameter and provided with a'tapered bore Y for the reception of the tapered projection 26 of the cable end cap `2i) in the manner above described.V The outer end of thecontact 54 may be provided withan enlongated bore of adiameter such as to receive the head of a screw 56, a clearance openingrbeing extended beyond the end of the bore through which the threaded shank of the screw is insertedto be received in the tapped opening formedin the projection 26. VThus, by extending a screwdriver through the elongated bore in the male contact the screw may be tightened to draw the tapered end of the cable cap tightly into engagement-with theV end of the Contact -within the housing inV a Vmanner similar to the manner above described in Fig. 1 whereby to provide a detachable connection within thermolderd insulating'housing.
In another modifiedr form of the invention, as shown in y Fig. 4, the malecontact member 5S maycomprise a solid cylindrical member tapered at its inner end and provided ywith a threaded stem 60 extended beyond the tapered portion. In-this embodiment of the invention the resilient' insulating housing may be provided with an adapter 62 securely bonded in the cored opening thereof, the adapter having tapered openings 64, -66 at each end for the reception of the tapered ends of the male contact Vmember 58, and the cap projection 26 respectively, as illustrated, rota- Vtionrof thecontacteffecting tightening of the tapered ends in their respective bores.Y It will beV observed that in thisV embodiment of the invention the contact member S'S is n also detachable to enable the same tobe removed and replaced` when necessary, theicored opening providingV a clearance about the contact 58 as shown. A screw slot 59 may be provided at the outer end of the contact S3 for the reception of a screw driver. j Y
Y In the embodiments ofthe invention illustrated inFigs. l and 3 the contact members are shown as having portions thereof securely bondedto the housing in the cored openings thereof, and the contact member shown in Fig. 4 is rigidly secured to an adapter which is also bonded tothe housing in the cored opening. In practice under normal conditions the resiliency of the housing material permits lslight movement of. the contacts to enable alignment of the contacts with the contacts of a secondconnector when making the electrical connection. However, when such resilient rubber connectors are subjected to subzero temperatures, such asoccur in the arctic regions, the rubber 'loses its resilient characteristics, and difficulty may be encountered in attempting to align the'contacts of two conbeing joined if one of the contacts is slightly mis- Referring now to Fig. S, the electrical connector therein shown provides a oating mounting for the connector in a resilient insulating housing wherein the contacts are capable of slight lateral movement in the housing to permit self-alignment of the contacts when joined with the contacts of asecond connector irrespective of such-severe climatic'conditions, or of the Yresiliency of the housing. Asherein-shownLthe modified form of connector may b similar to that illustrated in Fig. `l in all respects except that instead of bonding the contact members Yrigidly to the housing, a relatively thin walled tabular member 79 having inwardly crimped edges 72 at one end is securely bonded to the housing in each cored opening. The contact member 74,. similar to theemale contact member shown in Fig. l, may then be inserted through the reduced diameter end Sli of the cored opening of the housing by stretching the edges of the opening, the contact coming to rest against the inner wall of the crimped opening-as shown, and the edges of the reduced diameter opening are then permitted to spring back to their original condition to enclose the contact within a chamber defined by the tubular member and the cored opening, which is of a diameter Vsuch Vas to provide lateral clearance for the Contact inserted therein. Thereafter, the cable may be inserted Vinto the other end of the cored opening to tit the tapered portion 26 of its end cap 20 into the tapered bore ofl the inner end of the Contact. The end cap Vis provided with a shouldered portion, as indicated atV Sil', for engagement' with the outer wall ofthe crimped-opening, whereupon the screw 2.8 may be inserted as described to secure the contact member to the cable end. It will be understood that the parts are of such sizeY that when the screw 28 is tightened to bring the tapered portions into tight engagement a grooved space 82 is provided Vbetween the shoulder formed bythe inner end ofthe contact member and the shoulder of the end capV Ziinto which the crimped edges 72 of the tubular member 7? loosely extend. ln other words, the contactV and the end cap are not clamped to the edges 72 but are merely restrained from longitudinal movement within the insulating housing, and the opening defined by the crimped edges being of a size such as to .permit lateral movementof the members within the housing. With this construction it will be seen ,that when the contactsA of a second connector are inserted into the contacts of the illustrated connector, -the iloatingly mounted contacts may move laterally into alignment with their cooperating contacts to form the connection. Upon assembly `of the parts within the-housing the extended ends of the cables may be clamped in the housing in the manner above described. Y
TheV modified form of connector shown in 6 illustrates'a iloating mounting for a-male contact member in an insulating housing wherein a tubular member 84 having an inwardly crimped edge S6 is securely bonded 'to the housing within the cored opening thereof. The male contact member 88 is enlarged Vat Yits inner end and provided with a tapered bore for the reception of the tapered end of the cable end cap member 20. The outer end of the contact member 33 is provided with an elongated bore and an extended clearance opening for the reception of a screw 9.0 for detachably securing the Contact -to the cable end cap. Thus, it will be seen that in the embodiment of the invention shown in Fig. 6, the inlarged end of the male contact may be inserted into the chamber Vdefined by the tubular member 34 by stretching the re- .duced diameter portion 92 of the cored opening at the outer end of the resilient housing and then permitting the Same to returnto its initial position, as shown, thc chamber providing arclearance space topermit lateral movement of Vthe Vcontactin the housing. lt will also be seen that the inwardly crimped edges of the tubular member 84 extend into the groove defined by the inner end of the contact and Vthe shoulder formed on the cable end cap 20 in a mannerV similarto that shownin Fig. 5k where- .by to restrain.' the paris5 from longitudinal displacement while providing clearance to permit lateral self-aligning movement when engaged with the contacts of a second connector.
The embodiment of the invention shown in Fig. 7 provides a iioating mounting for a solid male contact member 94, tapered adjacent its inner end and provided with a threaded extension 96. The tapered portion of the contact cooperates with a tapered bore formed in one end of an adapter 9S inserted into a chamber defined by a tubular member 100 securely bonded to the housing in the cored opening of the housing. The other end of the adapter is provided with a tapered bore for the reception of the tapered end of the cable cap member 26, and the parts are detachably secured together by extending the threaded end of the contact through the adapter and into the tapped hole in the end of the cap member, as illustrated, rotation of the contact member etecting tightening of the tapered ends in their respective tapered bores. The inwardly crimped edges 102 of the tubular member extend into the grooved space defined by one end of the adapter 98 and the shoulder 104 formed on the end cap 20 whereby to restrain the parts from longitudinal displacement and providing clearance to permit self-alignment of the contacts when engaged with the contacts of a second connector.
Thus, in practice it will be seen that in the embodiment of the invention illustrated in Figs. 5, 6 and 7 the contacts are capable of slight lateral movement to .permit selfalignment thereof with the contacts of a second connector when the electrical connection is made and that the contacts and the cables detachably connected within the resilient insulating housing may be removed and replaced without damage to the insulating housing.
While the preferred embodiments of the invention have been herein illustrated and described, it will be under* stood that the invention may be embodied in other forms within the scope of the following claims.
This application is a division of our copending application, Serial No. 517,766, tiled June 24, 1955, now Patent No. 2,917,722.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed is:
l. An insulated electrical connector comprising an insulating housing having at least two cored openings extended longitudinally therethrough, a contact element extended within one end of each cored opening, an electri cal cable having an end cap secured thereto and extended within the other end of each cored opening, means for detachably connecting the ends of the cables to the inner ends of their respective contact elements within the housing, the connected ends of said contact elements and their cable caps providing a grooved portion therebetween, said cored openings providing an annular clearance about said cable caps, and means for oatingly mounting the contact elements within their respective cored openings to permit slight lateral self-aligning movement of the contact elements when engaged by the contact elements of a second connector, said mounting means including a sleeve rigidly secured in the contact end of each cored opening and forming enlarged chambers providing annular clearances about said contact elements, and means formed on said sleeves and cooperating with the grooved portions formed between their respective contact elements and connected cable caps for preventing longitudinal displacement of the contacts in the housing while permitting said lateral movement.
2. An insulated electrical connector as defined in claim 1 wherein the contacts comprise female contact elements and wherein the insulating housing extends beyond the ends of the contact elements, the cored openings being reduced in diameter beyond the ends of the contact elements, providing a protective shouldered portion extending inwardly a short distance over the outer edges of the contact elements.
3. An insulated electrical connector as defined in claim 1 wherein the contacts comprise male contact elements extending beyond the ends of the insulating housing.
4. An insulated electrical connector as defined in claim l wherein the means for detachably connecting the ends of the cables to the inner ends of their contact elements within the housing includes screw fastening elements accessible from the contact end of the connector.
5. An insulated electrical connector comprising an insulating housing having at least two cored openings extended longitudinally therethrough, a contact element extended within one end 0f each cored opening, an electrical cable having an end cap secured thereto and extended within the other end of each cored opening, means for detachably connecting the ends of the cables to the inner ends of their respective contact elements within the housing, the connected ends of said contact elements and their cable caps providing a grooved portion therebetween, said cored openings providing an annular clearance about said cable caps, and means for mounting the contact elements within their respective cored openings to permit slight lateral self-aligning movement of the contact elements when engaged by the contact elements of a second connector, said mounting means including a sleeve rigidly secured in the contact end of each cored opening and forming chambers providing lateral clearances for said contact elements, and means formed on said sleeves and cooperating with their respective contact elements and connected cable caps for preventing longitudinal displacement of the contact elements in the housing while permitting said lateral movement, said last named means including an inwardly turned Wall portion provided at the inner end of each sleeve and loosely engaged in the grooved portion formed between the contact element and its connected cable cap.
References Cited in the iile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,026,238 Andersen a May 14, 1912 2,190,363 Knapp Feb. 13, 1940 2,658,183 Klostermann Nov. 3, 1953 2,697,211 YVoelkner Dec. 14, 1954 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,008,833 France Feb. 27, 1952