US 3091748 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 28, 1963 D. E. TAKES ETAL. 3,091,748
ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed Nov. 9, 1959 'lll' lll INVENTORS DONALD E. TAKES MILDRED W. BOYD www T RNEY in a 'connector on a panel.
United States Patent O 3,091,748 ELECTRHCAL CONNECTOR Donald E. Takes and Mildred W. Boyd, Fort Worth, Tex., assignors to General Dynamics Corporation (Convair Division), San Diego, Calif., a corporation of Deiaware Filed Nov. 9, 1959, Ser. No. 851,836 Claims. (Cl. 339-65) This invention relates to coaxial connectors and more particularly to coaxial connectors tor rack and panel applications which will maintain positive and constant contact despite axial misalignments and error in proximity spacing of relatively movable mounting surfaces.
Coaxial cables used in rack and panel applications [are often blind mated. A cable end is terminated in a connector mounted on a rack and another cable is terminated When the panel is inserted into the rack lthe two connectors, if properly positioned, should mate to provide electrical continuity between the cables. However, difficulty is often experienced in properly positioning the connector mountings so that the conlnectors will mate properly. Even when properly aligned, some connections depend upon proximity of the mounting surfaces to maintain contact. There could be no tolerance in the proximity spacing of the panels. Others require a mechanical release before the connectors may be lun-mated. An unfavorable accumulation of manufacturing tolerances would result in axial or circumferential misailignment, causing an incomplete contact. The resulting gap between connector dielectrics causes circuit breaks, noise, and degradation of circuit perform-ance.
l The present invention comprises coaxial connector couplings on a rack and panel which mate even when the couplings are not mounted in complete alignment, which do not need mechanical releases to retain the couplings in mated position and which permit a variation in spacing between the mounting surfaces. One coupling, the receptacle, is xedly mounted on one surface and the other coupling, the plug, is iloat mounted and spring loaded, thus becoming adaptable for circumferential and axial movement to provide mating contact with the contacts in `the receptacle. The plug contacts are resiliently urged into Contact Iwith the receptacle to maintain contact durving varying degrees of proximity of the mounting surfaces.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide for an improved coaxial connector which will maintain positive and constant contact despite axial mis- Valignment and error in proximity spacing of relatively movable mounting surfaces.
Another object is the provision of coaxial cable connectors which will compensate for misalignment in all directions in the mounting plane and also maintain contact throughout a predetermined range of mounting surface pnoxiinity.
Other objects ofthe invention Will be more fully appar- Vent to those skilled in theart upon a considera-tion of the appended drawings and the following description.
11n the drawings:
FIGURE l is a perspective view of the plug and receptacle connector with coaxial cables attached and installed on the mount-ing surfaces,
FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal sectional view oi the plu-g with portions in elevation to yfacilitate better illustration, and
-FIGURE 3 is a similar longitudinal sectional View of the receptacle.
Referring now to FIGURE l, there are shown two panels 11 and 12, the planes of which are relatively movable. ln arack and panel application for example, panel 11 maybe the end panel of a chassis slidable into a rack which, in turn, is longer than the outer insulation.
section and panel 12 may be the rear part of the rack section. Mounted yon panel y1.1 is plug assembly 13 into which the end of coaxial cable 14 is terminated. Nut lr6 removably retains the cable in secure mechanical and electrical contact Within the plug. Coll-ar 17 of the plug assembly Iis float mounted on panel 11 by self-locking screws extending through the vmounting panel and into threaded bushings 18. These bushings 18 are positioned within enlarged-apertures, not shown in FIGURE l, in collar 17 and held by torque bars 19 connecting twoof themtogether on the side of the collar opposite the panel. Bushing retaining rings 21 complete the attachment. As will be more fully explained in `connection with FIGURE 2, this mounting of the plug assembly 13 permits it to float circumferentially within the limits of the enlarged apertures to become self-aligning with the receptacle assembly 22 mounted on panel 12. The plate 17 is also movable along the axis of plug body 23 to permit Varied spacing of panels 11 and 12 while electrical contact of the cables is maintained.
The receptacle assemble 22 is mounted in iixed, pressure tight relationship to panel 12 by means of screws 24 extending through the panel `and into threaded apertures on receptacle mounting plate 25. As will be seen in FIGURE 3, the mounting plate 25 may be an integral part of the receptacle body 26. In a manner similar to nut 16 of the plug assembly 13, nut 27 releasably maintains cable 23 in physical and electrical contact with the receptacle assembly 22. The outer conductors of cables 14 and 28 are grounded through the connector bodies and panels whereas the inner conductor is maintained in insulated relationship therewith. l
As showy-n in FIGURE 2, cable 14 consists of an inner conductor 29, inner insulation 31, outer conductor 32, and outer insulation 33. In the usual manner well known in cable splicing, the inner conductor is longer .than the inner insulation which is longer than the outer conductor A socket contact 34, rear insulator 35, outer washer 37, inner and outer ferrules 38, 39, washer 41, O-ring 42, inner washer 43 and nut 16 all are positioned over the end of cable 13 and are adapted to lbe received by the plug body 23. The plug 'body is preferably cylindrical in shape and has a central bore extending axially. The inner surface 44 tapers inwardly somewhat from the outer end to receive and electrically engage part` of the receptacle as will be hereinafter explained. A shoulder y46 protrudes inwardly -fnom the inner end of surface 44 `to receive and limit outward movement of the front plug insulator 47. This insulator has an axial bore 48 adapted to receive the -front portion 49 of the socket contact 34 and a larger rearward bore S1 with interconnecting shoulder 52 to receive a protruding collar 53 on the socket contact 34. In this manner engagement of shoulder 46 kon the inner surface-44 of 'the plug body 23 with front ping insulator 47 and engagement of shoulder 52 with collar 53 of socket contact 34 prevent outward movement of lthe cable end when nut 16 is tightened into threaded bore 54.
In assembly nut 16 is iirst inserted o'ver the end of the cable and is followed by inner washer 43 and O-ring 42 which t o-ver the end of the outer insulation 33. Washer 41 is of smaller inner diameter, tting Vover the outer conductor 32 `and abutting against the end of the outer insulation v33. At this point the outer conductor 32, which is usually a ilexible metal braid or soft pliable metal, is pried away Ifrom the inner insulation 31 and the inner ferrule 38 inserted therebetween. Outer fer- Vrule 3'9 is then inserted over the outer conductor 32. ln-
ner washer 37 tits over the inner insulation 31 and abuts the inner ends of ferrules 38and 39. Thereafter inner insulator 36 is placed over the end of the inner insulation 311 which is yreceived in the enlarged bore 56 thereof. Finally the socket contact 34 is inserted over the end of inner conduct-or 29* and into the smaller bore 57 of the insulator 36. A suitable recess is made in the outer end ofthe insulator 36 to accommodate collar 53 of the socket contact 34'. When this .assembly has been completed the socket contact 34 may be soldered to the inner conductor 29, aperture 5S in .the socket contact being provided for this purpose. Abutting portions of ferrules 38, 39', outer conductor 32 and washers 37 and 41 may also be soldered to provide better electrical contact if desired. The front plug insulator 47 may optionally be inserted into the plug before inserting the rest of the assembly or it may be positioned over the end of the socket contact and be inserted as a unit.
As previously mentioned, collar 17 and plug body 23 are relatively movable in the axial direction of the plug body. A projection 59 on the outer surface of the body limits its forward movement relative to the collar. `Collar 17 has a rearwardly extending cylindrical barrel 61 telescopically overriding this projection. Seated within the space between the barrel 61 and outer surface l62 is a spring 63 which engages the projection 59 on the plug and ring 64 inwardly extending from the end of the barrel. This spring 63 continually urges the plug body 23 forward relative to collar 17.
As previously mentioned in the -description of FIG- UREV 1, bushings 18 are positioned in enlarged apertures in the collar 17 to permit planar movement of the collar within the limits of the enlarged apertures in aligning the plug with the receptacle. Torque bar 19 connecting ltwo or more bushings 1S prevent the collar from becoming disengaged from the bushings. This is perhaps more apparent upon inspection of this structure in FIG- URE 2 wherein the enlarged aperture is identified as 66.
The receptacle assembly 22 is shown in FIGURE 3. Here many of the parts are identical to those of the plug assembly 13 in FIGURE 2. 'Cable 28 consists of an inner conductor 67, inner insulation 68, outer conductor 69 and outer insulation 71 and has nut 27, outer Washer 72, O-ring 73, washer 74, inner and outer ferrules 76, 77, inner Washer 78 and rear insulator 79 mounted thereon in a manner similar to that of cable 14. A pin contact 8.1, however, is soldered on the end of conductor 67, instead of the socket contact 34. The front portion 82 of pin contact 81 is a pointed male portion adapted to be received by the front portion 49 of socket contact 34 when the plug and receptacle are mated. The front portion 83 of `fro-nt insulator 84 has an inwardly tapered bore 86 adapted to receive and center the front plug insulator 47 to insure alignment and mating of the socket contact 34 and pin contact 81. The receptacle body 26 is divided at its `front into spaced inner and outer plug contacting portions 87 and SS which receive the `front portion of the plug body 23 therebetween. When inserted the end of the plug engages a gasket 89 to eifect a pressure seal.
As can -be seen, the ends of both the plug and receptacle bodies are tapered in a manner to urge alignment upon mating even when they are misaligned upon mounting on their respective panels. In connecting the plug and receptacle together, the loating bushings on the plug mounting allow the plug to float in all directions in the mounting plane to compensate for any misalignment. This is accomplished before Iany contact is made between the center pin and socket. When the plug bottoms in the receptacle the center contacts are fully mated and, since this happens before the minimum travel is reached, further forward movement pushes the plug body back against the spring, allowing the connector to iloat in a direction perpendicular to the mounting plane. The spring is designed to be strong enough to prevent any movement between the plug and its mounting collar before the plug bottoms in the receptacle and serves the dual function of compensating for varied spacing between mounting surfaces and maintaining positive pressure seal and lfull contact.
Where certain preferred embodiments of the invention have ybeen specifically disclosed, it is understood that the invention is not limited thereto as many variations will vbe readily apparent to those skilled in the art and the invention is to be given its broadest possible interpretation within the lterms of the following claims:
What we claim is:
l. An electrical connector for conductors terminating at relatively movable mounting members comprising a plug assembly for mounting on one of said members to normally project forward of the said one member front or inner surface and a receptacle assembly for mounting on the other of said members substantially flush with the front or inner surface of the said other member for alignment and connection wit-h said plug assembly upon relative inward movement of said members and general proximate positioning of said member inner surfaces, said plug assembly including a collar adapted to extend rearwardly of said one member front surface and a plug body movable therethrough, aligning means on said connector for aligning said assemblies for mating contact when said assemblies have been mounted on said members in generally alignable positions, said aligning means being carried upon one of said members and supporting one of said assemblies in fixed angular relationship with said aligning means Icarrying member but enabling said one of said assemblies limited free lateral movement in effecting Said alignment and connector mating, and compensating means including resilient biasing means disposed rearwardly of said one mem'ber for action independently of said receptacle assembly, said biasing means urging said plug assembly forwardly into said normal position of projection for maintaining electrical contact between said assemblies when said members are relatively spaced within a predetermined tolerance.
2. An electrical connector -for conductors terminating at relatively movable mounting members comprising a plug assembly for mounting on one of said members and a receptacle assembly for mounting on the other of said members for alignment and connection with said plug assembly upon relative inward movement of said members and general proximate positioning of said member inner surfaces, said plug assembly including a collar adapted to extend rearwardly of said one member inner surface, a plug body receivable within the collar for movement axially thereof, and resilient means operable independently of said receptacle assembly -biasing said plug body `forwardly into a normal position of projection forward of said one member, and means for fastening said collar to said one member and permitting only limited lateral and lcircumferential movement of said collar responsive to abutting entry of said plug body into Said receptacle 4for aligning said assemblies for mating contact when said assemblies have been positioned proximate to each other in generally alignable positions.
3. The connector of claim 2, wherein the said conductors are coaxial cables each of which has a center conductor and an outer conductor and wherein there is provided an axial bore in the plug body for receiving the end of one of said coaxial cables, a shoulder within said bore, a front plug insulator abutting said shoulder and having an axial bore therein, a socket contact electrically connected to the said center conductor o-f said one coaxial cable, said socket contact ibeing positioned within said axial bore of said insulator, and means providing electrical contact between the outer conductor of said one coaxial cable and a portion of said plug body electrically insulated from said inner conductor and socket contact fby said plug insulator, and wherein said receptacle assembly includes a plate for mounting on the said other mounting member, a receptacle bo-dy carried by said plate to extend rearwardly of said other mounting member inner surface, said receptacle body having an axial bore for re-ceiving the end of the other of said coaxial cables, a shoulder within said last named bore, a front receptacle insulator abutting said shoulder and having an axial bore therein, a pin contact electricaly -connected to the center conductor of said other coaxial cable, said pin contact being positioned Within said axial 'bore of said receptacle insulator, and means providing electrical contact between the outer conductor of said other coaxial cable and a portion of said receptacle body electrically insulated from said inner conductor and pin contact by said yfront receptacle insulator, electrical contact between said outer conductors being through `the said plug and receptacle body portions and electrical contact between said center conductors being through said plug assembly socket contact and through said receptacle assembly pin contact received therein upon connection of the said connector assemblies.
4. An electrical connector for conductor cables terminating at relatively movable mounting members comprising a plug assembly receptive of a `first cable end and adapted for mounting on one of said members and a receptacle assembly receptive of a second cable end and adapted for mounting on the other of said members to the rear of the inner surface of said other member for alignment and connection with said plug assembly upon relative inward movement of said members and general proximate positioning of said member inner surfaces thereby to provide electrical continuity between the said end-received cables, said plug assembly serving to establish initial contact with said receptacle assembly and said cable electrical continuity Ibefore said mounting members have been moved together into the desired position of proximity and including a collar mountable to the rear of said inner surface of said one of said mounting members, fastening means for securing said collar to said one of said mounting members to ix said collar against longitudinal movement while permitting same limited free lateral movement, a plug body movably disposed within said collar carrying a socket contact connected to the said irst cable end, said contact dening the inner wall of an encircling annular recess, resilient means Abiasing said plug body forwardly into a normal position of projection forward of said one of said mounting members to establish said initial contact, said plug body vfurther causing said lateral movement of said collar and -alignment of said plug and receptacle assemblies as said plug enters and abuttingly engages the receptacle assembly said biasing means being operable independently of said receptacle assembly which latter, `for effecting electrical connection between said cables, includes a pin contact receivable within said plug assembly socket contact and an annular projecting collar spaced thereabout and receivable 'within said plug assembly recess.
5. An electrical connector comprising a plug assembly mounted on one member to project forwardly of the member front surface in fixed angular relation to said member, a receptacle assembly mounted on another member for alignment with said plug assembly and receipt thereof, said plug assembly being mounted to maintain said iixed angular relation while at the same time being permitted limited free circumferential planar movement induced by entry into and abutment with said receptacle assembly to rectify initial misalignment between said plug assembly and said receptacle assembly when said mounting members are moved into a lposition of general proximity, said plug assembly being mounted for said movement yby fastening means affixed to and extending through said one member and through oversize openings in said plug assembly, and means on said fastening means to prevent disengagement of said plug assembly therefrom.
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FOREIGN PATENTS 1,233,828 Fnance May 9, 1960 246,805 Switzerland Oct. 16, 1947