Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3040285 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 19, 1962
Filing dateMay 23, 1960
Priority dateMay 23, 1960
Publication numberUS 3040285 A, US 3040285A, US-A-3040285, US3040285 A, US3040285A
InventorsStanley Wallace A
Original AssigneeWatts Electric & Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connector structure
US 3040285 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 19, 1962 w. A. STANLEY 3,040,285

CONNECTOR STRUCTURE Filed May 23, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 IN VEN TOR.

BY W w p v ATTOR/VIYS W. A. STANLEY CONNECTOR STRUCTURE June 19, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 23, 1960 A TTOR/VEYJ nit poration of Michigan Filed May 23, 1960, er. No. 31,015 8 Claims. (Cl. 339-64) The invention relates to connector structures and refers more specifically to structure for providing a sealed connection of predetermined polarity between an electric light bulb and electric conductors with the bulb and conductors in any relative angular position. 7

It is an object of the present invention to provide connector structure for connecting electric conductors to an electric light bulb, which structure is so constructed that the connection is always of the proper polarity.

Another object is to provide connector structure for connecting electric conductors to an electric light bulb with the conductors and bulb in any relative angular position. More specifically, an object is to provide connector structure for connecting electric conductors to an electric light bulb comprising a bulb socket including a socket tube adapted to receive the electric light bulb in one end thereof and also including a floating core having concentric cylindrical contacts mounted therein extending from the other end of the socket tube, and a harness connector including a pair of concentric contact members extending from one end thereof and connected to the electric conductors at the other end thereof, the contact members of said bulb socket interfitting with the contact members of said harness connector to make an electric connection therebetween.

Another object is to provide connector structure as set forth above including sealing means operable between the harness connector and bulb socket to protect the electric connection therebetween from water, dust and corrosion.

Another object is to provide connectorstructure as set forth above wherein said sealing means comprises an axially extending annular flange at one end of the harness connector forming a sealing boot which is adapted to be sleeved upon the said other end of the bulb socket.

Another object is to provide connector structure as set forth above wherein said sealing means comprises a sealing member operable between the core and socket tube of the bulb socket, a groove around the axially outer end of the core and an axially extending annular flange at said one end of the harness connector having a radially inwardly extending annular bead at the axially outer end thereof adapted to fit within the groove in said core with the bulb socket in assembly with the harness connector to complete a seal therebetween. Another object is to provide connector structure as et forth above for use in a three wire electrical system including means for positively grounding the socket tube, comprising an electric ground conductor and a ground contact member connected thereto secured in the harness connector, and a contact member secured to the socket tube operable to make electric contact with said ground contact member with the harness connector and bulb socket in assembly.

Another object is to provide a bulb socket comprising a socket tube adapted to receive an electric light bulb in one end thereof, a core one end of which is positioned within the other end of the socket tube, the other end of the core extending axially outwardly of the other end of the socket tube, a spring acting between the core and socket tube to bias the core toward said one end of the socket tube, and a pair of cylindrical concentric contact ice members carried by the core and extending outwardly through both ends of the core.

Another object is to provide a bulb socket as set forth above wherein the core has a radially outwardly extending annular flange at said one end thereof and the radially outer diameter of the flange of the core is less than the inner diameter of the socket tube whereby the core is allowed to tilt slightly with respect to the socket tube under influence of the spring to provide contact between the contact members carried by the core and the electric terminals of the electric light bulb inserted Within the socket tube which terminals may be of different lengths.

Another object is to provide a bulb socket as set forth above wherein the core is provided with a transverse recess extending across said one end thereof in which the bulb contact ends of the contact members are positioned so that the electric terminals of a light bulb inserted within the socket tube are caused to approach the contact members carried by the core on rotation of the light bulb relative to the socket tube in substantially the axial position thereof relative to the contact members which they will have during contact of the terminals with the contact members in the assembled bulb and bulb socket to pre vent shearing of the terminals on contact with said contact members which would occur if the terminals were required to cam over the contacts into the assembled position thereof.

Another object is to provide a bulb socket as set forth above wherein the radially outer contact member is segmental.

Another object is to provide a harness connector including a body member of insulating material having concentric cylindrical contact members extending from one end thereof which are connected to electric conductors extending into the body member from the other end thereof.

Another object is to provide a harness connector as set forth above wherein the insulating material is expansible and fills the space between the concentric contact members to provide positive contact of the contact members of the harness connector with mating concentric cylindrical contact members of a bulb socket.

Another object is to provide connector structure as set forth above which is simple in construction, economical to manufacture and efficient in use.

Other objects, advantages and novel details of construction of this invention will be made more apparent as this description proceeds, especially when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a partially broken-away side view of the assembled connector structure of the invention.

FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal section view of the bulb socket of the connector structure illustrated in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a view of the left end of the bulb socket illustrated in FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 4 is a view of the right end of the bulb socket illustrated in FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 5 is a longitudinal section view of the harness connector of the connector structure illustrated in FIG- URE 1.

FIGURE 6 is a view of the'left end of the harness connector illustrated in FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 7 is a view of the right end of the harness connector illustrated in FIGURE 5.

FIGURE 8 is a perspective view of the radially inner contact member of the bulb socket illustrated in FIG URE 1.

, FIGURE 9 is a side view of the contact member illustrated in FIGURE 8.

FIGURE 10 is an end view of the contact member illustrated in FIGURE 8.

FIGURE 11 is a perspective view of the radially outer as contact member of the bulb socket illustrated in FIG- URE 1.

FIGURE 12 is a side View of the contact member illustrated in FIGURE 11.

FIGURE 13 is an end view of the contact member illustrated in FIGURE 11.

FIGURE 14 is a partially broken-away side view of connector structure similar to that shown in FIGURE 1 and including modified sealing means.

FIGURE 15 is a perspective view of connector structure similar to that shown in FIGURE 1 including means for positively grounding the socket tube.

FIGURE 16 is a perspective view of a modified radially outer contact member similar to that illustrated in FIGURE 11 wherein the contact member is segmental.

FIGURE 17 is a side view of the contact member illustrated in FIGURE 16.

FIGURE 18 is an end view of the contact member illustrated in FIGURE 16.

With reference to the figures, a particular embodiment of the invention will now be disclosed.

As shown in FIGURE 1, the connector structure of the invention comprises a bulb socket 10 adapted to receive an electric light bulb 12 in one end thereof which bulb socket may be connected to a housing 14 in a convenient manner such as by a snap-in, crimp-in, or twist-in connection or by a pressed fit. The connector structure further includes the harness connector 16 to which electric conductors 18 and 2b are secured.

According to the invention, the bulb socket and the harness connector include mating concentric cylindrical contact members. Sealing means acting between the assembled harness connector and bulb socket are also provided.

Thus in assembly the bulb socket It? may be secured to the housing 14 either before or after positioning of the housing. The harness connector 16 which may be part of the electric harness of an automobile, for example, may then be engaged with the bulb socket It as shown in FIGURE 1 with the bulb socket and harness connector in any relative angular position with assurance of a predetermined polarization of the conductors 18 and 2% with respect to the electric terminals and filaments of bulb 12. Further, the connection between the bulb socket and harness connector of the invention is sealed against moisture, dust and corrosion as will be evident from FIGURE 1.

More specifically, the bulb socket It) comprises socket tube 22, core 24, spring 26, and radially inner and outer contact members 28 and 30 respectively, assembled as shown best in FIGURE 2.

The socket tube 22 includes axially offset bayonet grooves 32 adjacent end 34 thereof for receiving the axially ofliset positioning lugs 35 of electric light bulb 12 inserted within the end 34 of the socket tube. The bayonet grooves 32 and lugs 35 are offset to insure that the bulb 12 and the filaments 37 and 39 thereof which are connected to bulb terminals 60 and 62 respectively have a predetermined angular position relative to the bulb socket 1.0 with the bulb 12 and bulb socket It in assembly. Thus the filaments 37 and 39 of the bulb are assured of being connected to contact members 28 and 30 respectively with the bulb I2 in assembly with bulb socket 10. A predetermined polarity between the filaments 37 and 39 and conductors 18 and When the bulb socket and harness connector are in assembly is therefore established by means of the offset bayonet grooves 32, and the lugs 35 in conjunction with the connector structure shown.

Socket tube 22 further includes the annular groove 36 located centrally thereof which provides an annular internal abutment 38 operable to prevent core 24 from passing through the end 34 of the socket tube 22 due to the influence of spring 26 thereon.

The other end 40 of the socket tube 22 is provided With a radially inwardly extending annular flange 42 against which one end of the spring 26 bears. The flange 42 includes a portion 44 operable in conjunction with a similarly shaped portion 46 of the core 24 to prevent rotation of the core with respect to the socket tube while permitting axial movement therebetween.

Core 24 as shown in FIGURE 2 comprises an outer cylindrical member 48 and concentric inner cylindrical member 50 of insulating material shaped as shown. The outer cylindrical member 48 is provided with a radially outwardly extending annular flange 52 adjacent the end 54 thereof against which the other end of the spring 26 bears to bias the core 24 toward the end 34 of the socket tube 22. The flange 52 contacts the abutment 38 as previously indicated to prevent the core 24 from passing out of the end 34 of the socket tube 22 due to the influence of spring 26.

Core 24 is provided with a transverse recess 55 in the end 54 thereof against which the bulb contact ends 56 and 53 of the contact members 28 and 30 respectively, are positioned. Thus the electric terminals 60 and 62 of an electric light bulb 12 inserted within the socket tube 22 during rotation thereof into the assembled position are not subject to shearing pressure on contact with the ends 56 and 58 of the contact members 28 and 30 since they rotate on the end 54 of the core 24 which is in substantially the same plane as the axially outer surface of the bulb contact ends 56 and 5% of the contact members 28 and 30.

As indicated above the core 24 as shown in FIGURE 2 is formed of outer member 48 and inner member 50. It will be understood that such construction is for manufacturing purposes and the core 24 may be produced as a single member with the contact members 28 and 30 inserted therein as shown in FIGURES 1 and 14.

The radially inner contact member 28 as shown best in FIGURES 8-10 is cylindrical and is provided with a bulb contact end 58 and a beveled end 64 adapted to be inserted in the contact member 68 of the harness connector 16. The contact member 28 is provided with radially outwardly extending portions 66 for securing the contact member 28 within the inner core member 50 as shown.

The radially outer contact member 39, as best shown in FIGURES 11 through 13, is cylindrical and is provided with a bulb contact end 56 and a flared end 72. Contact member 30 is adapted to be sleeved upon the radially outer contact member 74 of the harness connector 16. The contact member 30 is further provided with the radially outwardly extending flange 76 for securing the contact member 30 between the inner and outer core members 48 and 50.

In assembly, as shown in FIGURE 1 an electric light bulb 12 may be inserted in the end 34 of the socket tube 22 whereby the core 24 is moved to the left so that spring 26 biases the core 24 toward the end 34 of the socket tube to maintain the contact members 28 and 30 in contact with the terminals 60 and 62 of the bulb 12.

As previously mentioned, during receiving of the electric light bulb 12 in socket tube 22, the bulb contact ends 58 and 56 of the contact members 28 and 30 are prevented from shearing the terminals 62 and 60 of the bulb 12 due to their location within the transverse recess 55 in the end 54 of the core 24.

Also since the outer diameter of the flange 52 of the core 24 is smaller than the inner diameter of the socket tube 22, the core 24 is permitted to tilt within the socket tube 22 during insertion of the bulb .12 to provide a firm electrical contact between the contact members 28 and 30 and terminals 60 and 62 having different lengths.

The harness connector 16 comprises a body member 78 of resilient insulating material, shaped as shown best in FIGURES 5-7, and radially inner and outer contact members 68 and 74 respectively, connected to the electric conductors 18 and 20 within the body member 78.

As shown best in FIGURE 5, the body member 78 is provided at one end thereof with an axially extending annular flange forming a sealing boot 80 adapted to be sleeved upon the end 40' of the socket tube 22 to seal the connection between the bulb socket and harness connector 16 from water, dust and corrosion.

The contact members '68 and 74 are concentric cylindrical members adapted to be connected to electric conductors 18 and 20 at one end thereof. The resilient insulating material of the body member 78 extends between the other ends of the contact members 68 and 74 as shown best in FIGURE 5. Thus on assembly of the harness connector 16 with the bulb socket 10, as shown in FIGURE 1, both the contact members 68 and 74 are caused to press against the contact members 28 and 30 respectively, with positive radial force due to the relative diameters of the contact members and the resiliency of the material of body member 78 thus assuring a complete electrical connection between the harness connector and the bulb socket.

With the connector structure thus disclosed, it ispossible to individually install the housing 14 and bulb socket 10 and to later connect the conductors 18 and 22 thereto by means of harness connector 16 with absolutely no possibility of connecting contacts having other than the desired polarity. In addition, with the structure disclosed it will be evident from inspection that the assembly of the harness connector 16 with the bulb socket 10 may be accomplished with the harness connector 16 and bulb socket 10" in any relative angular position. Further, the assembled connector structure, as shown in FIGURE 1, is sealed by the boot portion 80 of the harness connector 16 against water, dust and corrosion.

The modification of the connector structure of the invention shown in FIGURE 14, in which similar parts are indicated by the same members used in the description of the modification shown in FIGURE 1 followed by the letter a, is sealed against water, dust and corrosion by providing a sealing member 82 between the flange 42a of the socket tube 22a and the spring 26a and providing a groove 84 around the end of the core 24a extending through the socket tube 22a, into which groove the bead 86 of a boot 88 on harness connector 16a extends to complete the seal of the connection between the bulb socket 10a and harness connector 16a.

In addition, provision may be made in the connector structure of the invention for positively grounding the socket tube so that the connector structure may be used in conjunction with a socket tube which is supported by an insulated member. One such modification is shown in FIGURE 15 wherein parts common to all modifications are numbered the same and the numbers are followed by the letter b.

As shown in FIGURE 15 in this modification of the connector structure of the invention, a third concentric contact member 90' is provided in the harness connector which is secured to the ground conductor 92, and a segmental contact finger 94 is rigidly secured to the socket tube 22. Thus on assembly of the connector structure the contact finger 94 contacts the cylindrical contact member 90 to ground the socket tube 22 through conductor 92.

Further in accordance with the invention, it will be understood that the contact members of either the harness connector or the bulb socket need not be completely cylindrical but may be segmental. One such modified contact member is shown in FIGURES 16, 17 and 18 wherein similar numbers followed by the letter c are used to indicate parts of the structure similar to those previously described. The requirement for the contact members with regard to their arcuate extent is that with the connector structure assembled, contact must be made between the above indicated contact members of the bulb socket and harness connector in all relative angular positions thereof to establish a proper current path therethrough.

What I claim as my invention is:

1. Connector structure comprising a cylindrical electric bulb socket, including a socket tube, means at one end of said socket tube for securing an electric light bulb in said one end of the socket tube in predetermined angular relation thereto, an insulating core mounted in the other end of the socket tube having one end extending therethrough, resilient means acting between the socket tube and core urging the core toward said one end of the socket tube, and electric contact members extending through the insulating core axially of the socket tube, said contact members terminating at the other end of the core in portions adapted to engage the electric terminals of a bulb secured in said one end of the socket tube and terminating in concentric cylindrical portions at said one end of the core, and a harness connector including a cylindrical body member of resilient insulating material and electric contact members secured within and extending through said body member, one end of each of the contact members of the harness connector being adapted to be connected to separate electric conductors, the other ends of the contact members secured within said body member comprising concentric cylindrical portions, the concentric cylindrical portions of the harness connector contact members being concentric with and positioned between the concentric cylindrical portions of the bulb socket contact members in surface-tosurface electric engagement therewith to complete separate electric circuits of predetermined polarity therethrough.

2. Structure as claimed in claim 1 wherein the insulating material of the body member extends between the cylindrical end portions of the contact members of the harness connector, and the cylindrical portion of the inner contact member of the harness connector is of slightly less diameter than the cylindrical portion of the inner contact member of the bulb socket and the cylindrical portion of the outer contact member of the harness connector is of slightly greater diameter than the cylindrical portion of the outer contact member of the bulb socket whereby on interfitting of the contact members of the harness connector and bulb socket the con tact members are resiliently biased in engagement.

3. Structure as claimed in claim 1 wherein the harness connector is provided with one more contact member than the bulb socket and a grounded conductor is connected thereto, and the bulb socket is provided with a ground contact finger electrically connected to and extending axially of the socket tube in contact with the cylindrical portion of the additional contact member of the harness connector.

4. In connector structure including a bulb socket and harness connector the improved bulb socket comprising a cylindrical socket tube, means operably associated with the socket tube for securing an electric light bulb in one end thereof, a cylindrical insulating core mounted in the other end of the socket tube for axial movement with respect thereto, one end of which passes through said other end of the socket tube and has an axially extending recess therein, resilient means operable between said socket tube and insulating core for biasing the insulating core toward said one end of the socket tube, a pair of contact members extending axially through said core, each of said contact members including a cap at the other end of the insulating core extending substantially perpendicularly to the axis of generation of the core for locking the contact members in assembly with the core and for engaging the terminals of a light bulb secured in the one end of the bulb socket, said contact members also including concentric cylindrical portions at the said one end of the core terminating within said recess to provide a radially inner and outer annular contact surface within said recess.

5. Structure as claimed in claim 4 wherein said other end of the socket tube is provided with a radially in- Wardly extending annular flange and said insulating core is provided with a radially outwardly extending annular flange within the socket tube having an outer diameter less than the inner diameter of the socket tube to permit relative transverse movement between the core and socket tube, and wherein said resilient means comprises a spring operable between said flanges to hold the contact members in engagement with the terminals of a light bulb secured in said one end of the socket tube regardless of small variations in the length of the light bulb terminals.

6. Structure as claimed in claim 4 wherein said insulating core comprises a radially inner and a radially outer portion concentric with and respectively disposed inwardly and outwardly of the cylindrical portion of the bulb socket outer contact member which insulating core portions are provided with a transverse recess extending across the end thereof within the socket tube, and Wherein the cap portions of the contact members terminate in said transverse recess to prevent shearing of the light bulb terminals.

7. A contact member for use in a bulb socket or the like comprising a cylindrical body portion constructed of electrically conductive material, a cap portion extending substantially perpendicularly to the axis of generation of the cylindrical body portion also of electrically conductive material and located in axially spaced relation with respect to one end of the body portion, said cap portion being disposed entirely to one side of the axis of generation of the cylindrical body portion, and electrically conductive means rigidly connecting the cap portion to the cylindrical body portion.

8. Structure as claimed in claim 7 wherein said cylindrical body portion is a segment of a complete cylinder having a substantially semi-circular arcuate extent and wherein the cap portion is substantially round and the diameter of the cylindrical body portion is not less than twice the diameter of the cap portion.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,058,032 Campbell Apr. 8, 1913 1,170,959 Campbell Feb. 8, 1916 1,648,518 Werner Nov. 8, 1927 1,924,036 Harrington Aug. 22, 1933 2,075,794 Allabach Apr. 6, 1937 2,076,020 Fraser Apr. 6, 1937 2,127,124 Litner Aug. 16, 1938 2,225,461 Reynolds Dec. 17, 1940 2,238,319 Goldfield Apr. 15, 1941 2,248,399 Watts July 8, 1941 2,348,649 Richards May 9, 1944 2,453,606 Ward et al. Nov. 9, 1948 2,465,022 Laubi Mar. 22, 1949 2,494,845 Wagstaif Jan. 17, 1950 2,548,457 Wilson Apr. 10, 1951 2,716,742 Szafran et a1. Aug. 30, 1955 2,782,391 Kirk Feb. 19, 1957 2,787,770 Arson Apr. 2, 1957 2,890,435 Heath June 9, 1959 2,892,178 Harris June 23, 1959

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1058032 *Jun 14, 1910Apr 8, 1913Alphonso S CampbellBinnacle-lamp and connections.
US1170959 *Jun 14, 1910Feb 8, 1916Alphonso S CampbellMarine lamp and electric connection.
US1648518 *Jul 28, 1924Nov 8, 1927 Blecteical costwectee
US1924036 *Jan 15, 1929Aug 22, 1933Arrow Hart & Hegeman ElectricElectrical connecter
US2075794 *Apr 14, 1934Apr 6, 1937Allabach Earl PElectrical connection
US2076020 *Jul 18, 1936Apr 6, 1937Keeshin Motor Express Co IncTrailer light
US2127124 *Oct 7, 1936Aug 16, 1938Bright Light Refiector Co IncElectric fixture
US2225461 *Nov 22, 1938Dec 17, 1940Robert L ReynoldsElectric light socket
US2238319 *Jul 12, 1940Apr 15, 1941Picker X Ray CorpCable contact
US2248399 *Apr 22, 1940Jul 8, 1941Utility Patent Trust No 17938Electric lamp socket
US2348649 *May 5, 1941May 9, 1944H A Douglas Mfg CoLamp socket unit
US2453606 *Apr 12, 1946Nov 9, 1948B M C Mfg CorpAutomobile trouble light
US2465022 *Jul 11, 1946Mar 22, 1949Arthur LaubiRotary attachment plug
US2494845 *Jun 12, 1946Jan 17, 1950United Carr Fastener CorpElectric lamp socket
US2548457 *Jan 10, 1947Apr 10, 1951Gen Radio CoCoaxial connector for high-frequency transmission lines
US2716742 *Feb 7, 1951Aug 30, 1955Gen ElectricPlastic insulated bayonet base
US2782391 *Oct 2, 1952Feb 19, 1957Gen Motors CorpWaterproof line connector
US2787770 *May 29, 1953Apr 2, 1957Cannon Electric CoElectric connector having pliant body portion
US2890435 *Aug 11, 1955Jun 9, 1959United Carr Fastener CorpElectric lamp sockets
US2892178 *Oct 26, 1956Jun 23, 1959Amp IncButton contact
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3170751 *Jun 11, 1962Feb 23, 1965Watts Electric & Mfg CoLamp bulb stabilizing filament centering tube within a sealable capsule
US3673544 *Sep 2, 1970Jun 27, 1972Dupree IncConnector for lamp socket
US3883734 *Dec 12, 1973May 13, 1975Lucas Electrical Co LtdBulbholders
US3885185 *Mar 29, 1974May 20, 1975Tilley Ralph EIncandescent lamp
US4011000 *Jun 30, 1975Mar 8, 1977Marquis Industries, Inc.Electrical receptacle
US4158474 *Jun 29, 1977Jun 19, 1979Macgraw Ii RichardLight bulb and socket combination
US4294501 *Nov 26, 1979Oct 13, 1981CrouzetPlug member for the electrical connection of an appliance to a base
US4518896 *Jul 6, 1982May 21, 1985Indy Lighting, Inc.Dual voltage lighting fixture
US4544221 *Feb 1, 1983Oct 1, 1985Siemens AktiengesellschaftCable lead-in for encapsulated electrical equipment
US4548449 *Dec 30, 1983Oct 22, 1985Corsetti John ALamp socket attachment
US4572601 *Dec 17, 1984Feb 25, 1986Eaton CorporationPush-push bayonet lamp socket
US5095259 *Sep 14, 1989Mar 10, 1992Black & Decker, Inc.Low voltage, high current capacity connector assembly and mobile power tool and appliance operating system
US5791927 *Dec 10, 1996Aug 11, 1998Iannone; SamMeans for sealing a light bulb in a socket
USRE33123 *Oct 20, 1987Dec 5, 1989Dennis L. JohnsonLamp socket
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/252, 439/271
International ClassificationH01R33/46, H01R33/05
Cooperative ClassificationH01R33/46
European ClassificationH01R33/46