US 3086188 A
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J. l. ROSS April 16, 1963 NON-REVERSING HERMAPHRODITIC CABLE CONNECTORS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Original Filed March 20, 1958 JOSEPH R05; I BY INVENTOR 0/ H H MMWJ MH. mmmlllmlf (.3. l .01.. ll m HUM United States Patent ()fiice 3,086,188 Patented Apr. 16, 1963 3,086,183 NON-REVERSING HERMAPHRODITIC (IAISLE CONNECTORS Joseph I. Ross, 4 Ridge Rock Lane, East Norwich, N.Y. Continuation of application Ser. No. 722,706, Mar. 20, 1958. This application Jan. 18, 1962, Ser. No. 168,020
4 Claims. (Cl. 539-4?) The present invention relates generally to electrical terminal connectors for multiple-conductor cables, and more particularly to connectors of the hermaphroditic type which are adapted to mate without reversal of polarization. This application is a continuation of my application Serial No. 722,706, filed March 20, 1958, now abandoned.
To effect connections between electrical units or components of a system which are separated from each other, it is known to make use of multi-wire cables linked together by means of terminal connectors. conventionally such connectors are .of the male and female type, the cable interconnections being made by mating a male connector with a female connector. Similarly, in connecting one end of a cable to chassis terminals, male and female elements are employed.
In mobile installations, such as field radio transmitters or portable radar systems, it is important that connections between various elements of the system to be made quickly and without stress, this being particularly the case in military applications. The use of standard male and female connectors in conjunction with cables is a decided drawback, for valuable time is consumed in matching male connectors to appropriate female connectors.
It has been recently proposed to replace the standard male and female connectors with socalled hermaphroditic connectors whereby the connectors ateither end of a multiple conductor cable are identical to each other. Such connectors are intended to obviate the matching of male and female elements and thereby simplifythe hookup of complex field equipment. Existing hermaphroditic connectors however have a serious disadvantage, for in joining them a reversal of polarization may be brought about in the lines connected thereto.
In view of the foregoing, it is the primary object of the present invention to provide a connector of the hermaphroditic type in which reversal of polarization of the connecting lines is prevented in the mating of one connector to another.
More particularly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a hermaphroditic connector constituted by a pair of hemicyclic terminal pin areas, the corresponding pins in each area being interconnected whereby the desired polarization is maintained when two connectors are joined together. 7
Also an object of. the invention is to provide a hermaphroditic connector of the above-described type wherein the arrangement of pins is such as to occupy a minimum area and to afford an extremely long resistance path between pin to pin to ground.
A further object of the invention is to provide a hermaphroditic connector constituted by a pair of hemicyclic terminal pin areas, each of which is divided into insulation sectors, the sectors forming the connector being alternately raised and depressed such that when engaged with a mating connector, each raised sector of one connector nests within a depressed sector of the other to form an intermeshed and insulated mating assembly in which 2 eachlcontact pin is completely enveloped by dielectric materia Still another object of the invention is to provide a mu-lti-deck connector incorporating an intermediate waterproofing gasket which is adapted to seal all the pins against the penetration of moisture from the outside to the point at which the cables are attached to the pins.
For a better understanding of the invention as well as other objects and further features thereof, reference is bad to the following detailed description to be read in con unction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like components in the various views are identified by like reference numerals.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a non reversing hermaphroditic cable connector assembly in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 2 is a vertical section taken through the connector block forming a part of the assembly shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 isa horizontal section taken through the connector block in the plane indicated by lines 3-3 in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a horizontal section taken through the connector block in the plane indicated by lines 44 in FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a horizontal section taken through the con nector block in the plane indicated by lines 5-5 in FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the connector block as seen in the plane represented by lines 6-6 in FIG. 2.
FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the connector block as seen in the plane represented by lines 77 in FIG. 2.
FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram illustrative of the operation of the connector.
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the contact pins incorporated in the connector.
Referring now to FIG. 1, a connector assembly according to the invention is comprised of a connector block, generally designated by numeral 10, which is supported within and projects from the front end of a tapered sleeve 11 having a coupling ring 12 adapted to interlock the assembly to an identical device. A multiple conductor cable 13 enters the rear end of sleeve 11 for connection to the terminal pins supported in the connector block. On the cable entry point a tapered rubber compression gland (not shown) may be provided to seal the connector from this end against moisture and provide a strain relief for the cable. The sleeve 11 and other casing elements of the connector assembly form no part of the present invention and are merely disclosed to show one manner of housing the connector block.
The connector block 10 is formed of a molded insulating material, such as a high impact plastic of good dielectric properties, the block being constituted by stacked discs each forming a deck. The top deck 14 is constituted by six sector regions S to S which are alternately raised and depressed, a bank of connector pins 15- being supported within each sector.
For purposes of explanation, it will be assumed that the multi-conductor cable 13- has fifty-two conductors 211-,
though it is to be understood that the invention is ap plicable to cables having any plurality of wires. Conventionally, a connector for a fifty-two conductor cable would present a like number of terminal pins. In the present connector, however, ninety-seven pins are used of which forty-five are blind pins and fifty-two are active pins.
I It is important to understand the nature of the hermaphroditic pin as well as the distinction between an active and a blind pin and to this end reference is made to FIG. 9 wherein 15' is an example of an active pin and 15 an example of a blind pin.
In both cases, one end of the pin has a longitudinal slot cut therein to define a pair of resilient fingers. To join two pins they are brought together in axial alignment with their fingers at mutually perpendicular positions whereby each pair of fingers slides along the edges of the other and encloses the slot therebetween.
The other end of blind pin 15 terminates in an enlarged cylindrical head 15"a, whereas in the active pin which also includes an enlarged head 15'a, the pin is provided with a tubular soldering extension 15']; for connection to one wire of the cable (note wire 16 in FIG. 2). The active pin 15' is used therefore for making contact with the cable, whereas the blind pin 15" is for the purpose of providing its related counterpart so as to prevent reversal of polarity in field use. Each pin is preferably fabricated of spring temper phosphor bronze and may, if desired, be silver or gold-plated to enhance conductivity.
As shown in FIG. 2, the bottom deck 17 of the connector block is provided with recesses to receive the heads 15a and 15"a of the various pins, the soldering extensions 15b projecting without the bottom deck for connection to the cable conductors.
A rubber gasket is interposed between the top deck 14 and the intermediate deck 13 to prevent seepage of moisture from the exterior to the interior of the connector. In mating two connectors, the raised sectors of one intermesh with the depressed sectors of the other so that each pin is fully surrounded by dielectric material.
Viewing the connector block at the top end, as it appears in FIG. 7, it will be seen that there are ninetyseven pins, seven of which lie along the equatorial line EL which divides the top deck into two hemicycles R at the right side and L on the left side. The pins in the right hernicycle R are designated by the letters A to Z and AA to ZZ, the distribution of pins being such that pins A, E, N, X, H, SS and ZZ lie on the equatorial line EL, the remaining forty-five pins being divided equally among the three sectors S S and S in the right hernicycle. The slots of the pins are all at a 45 angle relative to line EL to effect mating of the pin when two connectors are brought together.
The pins in the left hernicycle L are in correspondence with the pins in the right hernicycle and therefore bear corresponding letters prefixed with a minus mark, the negatively prefixed pins in the left hernicycle being divided equally among the sectors S S and S Since the pins on line EL are common to both hemicycles, no corresponding pins are provided therefor.
Thus pin B in sector S finds its complement in pin -B in sector S pin R in sector S finds its complement in pin -13 in sector S and so on. In short, there are forty-five pins in the right hernicycle, forty-five complementary pins in the left hernicycle and seven pins along the equatorial line. As will be seen later in greater detail, each pin in the right hernicycle is connected to its complementary pin in the left, one of which pair is an active pin and the other a blind pin. All of the equatorial pins are active.
Referring now to FIG. 6, which shows the connector block at the bottom end, the extensions of the fifty-two active pins are visible and from the letters in this figure one can determine which of the ninety-seven pins 1n FIG. 7 are the active pins. It will be seen that the spacing between the pins in FIG. 6 is twice that of the pins in FIG. 7, thereby providing the maximum resistance between terminals.
This result is brought about by alternating the positions of the blind and active pins, as shown in FIG. 2, and by connecting each blind pin in one hemicycle to its corresponding active pin in the other hernicycle. The manner in which the connections are made is illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5. Referring first to FIG. 3, it will be seen that pin B in the right hernicycle is connected by a lead to pin 'B in the left hernicycle and, as is evident from FIG. 6, pin B is the active pin. Pin C at the right is connected to pin C at the left, pin C in this instance being the active pin. The connection between pin D and pin D is effected at another deck level in the connector block, as shown in FIG. 4, pin D in this instance being the active pin. Still another deck level is shown in FIG. 5 where, for example, pin M at the right side is connected to pin -'M at the left side, pin M being the active pin.
The connections shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 may be made by printed circuit techniques on the surfaces of the insulating discs which form part of the connector block or any other known means may be provided to effect the desired connections.
The arrangement is such that polarization will be maintained. In FIG. 8, this is demonstrated in simplified form in connection with a cable having three lines 1, 2 and 3. Line 3 is connected to a common contact 3 in a connector 0, which is equivalent to one of the pins on the equatorial line. Lines 1 and 2 are connected to contacts 1 and 2, respectively, which are equivalent to pins located in the right hernicycle, these contacts being jumped to contacts 1 and 2' which are equivalent to pins in the left hernicycle and represent the desired mirror image.
When connector C in FIG. 8 is connected to a connector C it will be seen that line 1 on the input side will lead to line 1 on the output side and the same will apply also to line 2 and line 3.
While there has been shown what is considered to be a preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be manifest that many changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the essential spirit of the invention. Thus it is not necessary that all sectors in each half of the connector be of the same size, nor must the pins be distributed equally therebetween. All that is required is that for each sector in each half there be a like or complementary sector in the other half with a like number of pins. In fact in some cases it may be desirable to have sectors of different size so as to facilitate "keying in of the sectors. It is intended, therefore, in the annexed claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true scope of the invention.
In lieu of the stacked deck arrangement shown in the drawings, the various decks may be formed by a molding operation in a unitary device wherein the individual jumpers for the pins still occupy the same relative orientation in the separate planes as illustrated in FIG. 2. However, the decks will not be separable but will be molded into an integral number.
What is claimed is:
l. A hermaphroditic connector for a multiconductor cable comprising an insulating block constituted by a stack of superposed decks, constituted by a top deck, at least one intermediate deck and a bottom deck, the top deck being divisible into two hemicycles, each of which is divided into sectors of like size, the several sectors being alternately raised and depressed whereby the connector is adapted to intermesh with another connector, a plurality of hermaphrodite pins extending through said block and engageable at said top deck with like pins in said another connector, said pins being distributed symmetrically between said hemicycles and being divided equally among the sectors whereby for each pin in any sector of one hernicycle there is a corresponding pin in the complementary sector in the opposing hemicycle to form a pair, conductive means in said intermediate decks of said block to interconnect the pins in said pair, one of said pins in the pair being an active pin of extended length to project from the bottom deck of said block for connection to one conductor of said cables, the other pins in the pair being a blind pin terminating in said bottom deck, said active pins being spaced apart a distance substantially twice that between adjacent pins in said block.
2. A connector, as set forth in claim 1, further including a plurality of pins of extended length supported along the equatorial line in said block between said hemicycles.
3. A connector, as set forth in claim 1, further including a rubber grommet interposed between said top deck and said intermediate decks to seal off the interior of said block against moisture.
4. A connector, as set 'forth-in claim 1, wherein each blind pin is constituted by a rod of circular cross-section, one end of which has a longitudinal slot therein to form a pair of spring fingers, the other end terminating in an enlarged head, the active pin further including a tubular extension projecting from said head.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS