US 3158060 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
24, 1964 R. H. SEMENOFF ETAL 3,153,050
WAFER SWITCH HAVING QUICK RELEASE CONNECTOR Filed Nov. 2, 1961 INVENTORS. ROBERT H. SEMENOFF WILLIAM. J DONAHUE United States Patent Navy Filed Nov. 2, 1 261, Ser. No. 149,792 8 Claims. (til. 39--L5 (Granted under This 35, US. Code (1952), see. are
The invention described herein may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.
The subject invention generally relates to electric switches and more particularly, to an electrical switch which serves the dual purposes of functioning both as a switch and as a quick release connector. The subject switch is further characterized in that it includes two spaced apart electrical contact members having a removable non-electrically conductive member positioned therebetween. In addition, one of the above recited contact members is formed as a plug-in type jack and contains within it a spring biased member which is adapted to electrically engage the other contact when the electrically non-conductive member is withdrawn from between the contacts.
In addition to performing the functions of a switch as well as those of a disconnector, the instant switch can be fabricated at extremely low cost due to the few number of parts which can be easily assembled and retained in position by several bolts or rivets or other Well known securing means.
FIG. 1 is a simplified side elevaticnal view of the switch in combination with a Weapon release system wherein the weapon is shown as being in its secured position and the switch is in its inactive state;
FIG. 2 is a simplified side elevational view showing the weapon in its semi-released position and the switch in its active state;
FIG. 3 is a simplified side elevational View showing the weapon in its fully released position and the switch in its disconnected state;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged side elevational View of the switch assembly showing the adaptor plug and a portion of the weapon in cross-section;
FIG. 5 is a greatly enlarged end View of the switch, partly in cross-section, taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4; and
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional side View of the switch taken along line 66 of FIG. 5.
FIGS. 1 through 3 show the switch in one possible application wherein it serves to electrically connect an umbilical cord iii to weapon 11 which is to be launched from an aircraft release rack 12 having conventional release arms 13.
As shown in FIG. 1, the weapon 11, which may be a bomb or torpedo or other piece or ordnance to be drop ed from an aircraft, is structurally secured to the rack 12 by means of releasing arms 33 and is electrically connected to an armin system (not shown) through switch 20, plug 14 and umbilical cord it) which has a minor exposed portion visible in FIG. 1. The major portion of umbilical cord lid is housed within cord housinglo wherein it may be in a folded position or secured to a reel from which it unwinds upon the physical release of the weapon ill by arms 13. For obvious reasons, it is not desirable to have weapon ll in electrical contact with umbilical cord it) when the weapon is in its secured position as shown in FIG. 1. Therefore, switch 2%? is designed such that it forms a positive obstruction in the 3,l58,% Patented Nov. 24., 1964 circuit between cord 10 and the weapon ll until such time as the Weapon is released by arms 13 as shown in FIG. 2. in this position switch 2t functions as an electrical connector between cord lit and weapon it so that the latter becomes armed only after it is physically separated from the aircraft. Thereafter, as shown in FIG. 3, switch 2b further functions as a disconnector whereby the weapon becomes electrically as well. as physically separated from the launching aircraft. It should thus be noted that switch Ztl remains with the aircraft for re use with the next weapon load and that the launched weapon is unobstructed by any switch or contact means which might disrupt its passage through the air or through the water in the case of a torpedo or depth charge. The physical construction of switch it) will now be described in detail by reference to FIG. 5 which is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the switch per se.
FIG. 5 illustrates a preferred embodiment of the subject invention wherein numeral 21 designates a substantially disc-shaped housing member which may be preferably composed of a light weight, electrically nonconductive plastic material such as an acetal resin, as for example, that known as Delrin. As further shown in FIG. 5, a plurality of contacts 22, 22 23 and 23' are secured to housing 21 by means of integral leaf springs 24, 2 3 25', and 25. Each of leaf springs 24, 24' and 25, 25 is rigidly secured to housing member 21 and electrically connected to each of the other springs by means of rivets 26 and 27 respectively. Of course, it is to be understood that other securing means such as bolts, pins, or clamps may be used equally well in lieu of the rivets illustrated. The above recited contacts with their respective lead springs and securing rivets obviously form a plurality of electrical paths or channels which are permanently connected and which therefore remain electrically conductive at all times. Such electrical path or channels may, for example, comprise high voltage and low voltage current paths having a common ground path afforded by centrally disposed contact members 2 8 and 29 winch are secured to disc 21 by means of rivets 15. Contact member 29 is further shown to be comprised of a plug-in type jack 30 having a central bore 31 which opens into an enlarged portion 32 containing an electrically conductive spring 33one end of which bears against annular surface 34 and the other end of which bears against head portion 35 of piston contact member 36. it will therefore be apparent that an electrical path is provided by jack 3t), spring 33 and head 35, the latter of which is urged toward engagement with corresponding contact member 28 but which is prevented from making electrical contact therewith.
by the inter-position of insulator tape 37 which may be of any thickness which is sufficient to prevent electrical breakdown between head 35 and contact 23. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, insulator tape 3'7 may be composed of a high density polyethylene known commercially as Marlon-5003 which is a good insulator material and which is also semi-flexible such that it allows removal of the tape from slot 3% in housing 2!; when a tensional force is applied to end 39 thereof. In practice it has been found that removal of tape 3'7 is greatly facilitated by providing a rounded portion as on the upper surface of slot 38 since a right angle flexure of the tape is thereby avoided. it has also been found desirable to provide means for insuring against accidental removal of the tape, or more importantly, partial removal of the tape to the extent that end portion 41 of tape 37 would remain within slot 355 but be positioned to the left of contacts 35, 23 so that electrical connection would result without the knowledge thereof. For this reason, pins 54, 55 may be inserted into housing 21 on either side of slot 3b and a thin wire or thread as may be passed through of contact member 28.
d a suitable bore in tape 37. In this manner, any partial withdrawal of the tape will be immediately evident and the tape may be properly re-positioned before the insertion of the switch into the weapon system as illustrated in FIG. 1. Furthermore, if desired, a quantity of sealing material suitable for the purpose such, for example as silicone rubber paste may be applied to the tape 37 sufiicient to effect a water tight seal between the tape and the switch 20.
From the foregoing description of FIG. 5, it will be apparent that when weapon 11 is released by arms 13, the slack provided by links 17 and 18 is taken up whereby tape 37 is withdrawn from slot 38 and thereafter remains suspended from and secured to rack 12 by means of a ring 40 secured to link 17. Thus, in the position as illustrated in FIG. 2, tape 37 has been withdrawn from slot 38 allowing spring biased head 35 to engage contact 28 thereby providing a ground path for both the high and low voltage channels previously described. Once the appropriate fuze elements (not illustrated) within weapon 11 have been activated by the signals provided through the aforesaid channels, Weapon 11 has elongated umbilical cord to its full extent and, thereafter, switch is automatically removed from weapon 11 containing a suitable socket 51 for the reception of jack 30. In this manner, weapon 1]. is first released, then armed, and then disconnected from'the arming circuit located within the aircraft. Since switch 20 remains connected to plug 14 and cord 10, the weapon may then proceed without any obstruction on the surface thereof nor with any unnecessary weight as in the case of a switch provided within weapon 11.
One manner of connection between switch 20 and plug 14 is shown in FIG. 4 wherein high voltage lead 42 and low voltage lead 43 are shown to terminate in contact plates 44 and 45 respectively. Similarly, ground lead 46 is shown to terminate in threaded socket 47 which is adapted for engagement by threaded portion 48 In this manner, electrical as well as physical connection is conveniently provided between switch 20 and plug 14.
As further schematically shown in FIG. 4, contacts 22' and 23' are engaged by contact plates 49, St? and 7 jack is received in female member 51 all of which may be conveniently molded within weapon casing 52. In addition, rubber seal ring 53 may be cemented to disc housing 21 to thereby provide a dust and moisture free enclosure for contacts 22', 49 and 23', 50.
p The foregoing disclosure has been directed to an embodiment of the invention wherein it is desired to connect a plurality of electrical channels between umbilical cord 10'and weapon 11, however, it is to be understood that the subject invention relates equally well to an environment wherein a single channel is to be established. In such an environment it is only necessary to replace contacts 22, 23, with a single annular contact and similarly to replace contacts 22', 23' by a second annular contact ring. Ln this form, it would obviously be desirable to reverse the polarity of the contacts, that is, to connect contact 28 and head portion to the high voltage side of the circuit thereby utilizing the annular contact rings as the ground side of the circuit. In this manner the switch is positioned immediately adjacent the weapon and thus there is no possibility of stray inductance effects, as for example those which might be produced by radar or other communication systems in the vicinity of the aircraft, from inducing a current flow through the high voltage line of the connectorthereby accidentally arming weapon 11 prior to release by arms 13. From the foregoing disclosure it will be apparent that an extremely compact and fail safe switch has been provided wherein the switch performs the dual functions of a quick release connector and an electrical safety switch and which is so positioned with respect to the weapon as to prevent premature arming of the weapon by stray inductance effects.
While it is to be understood that the foregoing description has been made with reference to a preferred embodiment of the invention which gives satisfactory results, numerous modifications and/or alterations may obviously be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and it is intended, therefore, in the appended claims to cover all such modifications and alterations.
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A weapon release and arming system comprising; means carried by an aircraft for supporting and releasing said weapon while the aircraft is in flight, electrical means for connecting said weapon to an arming system, said electrical means including an umbilical cord and a switch disposed between said cord and said weapon, said switch including removeable insulator means permanently connected to the aircraft whereby, upon release of said weapon by said releasing means, said insulator means is automatically withdrawn from said switch thereby activating said weapon.
2. A system according to claim 1 including means for detachably securing said switch to the weapon.
3. A system according to claim 2 including means securing said umbilical cord to the switch and to the aircraft in such manner that the switch is detached from the weapon in predetermined time delayed relation after the weapon has been activated.
4. A combination switch and electrical connector comprising; a base member, a first fixed contact means and second fixed contact means mutually spaced and secured to said base member, engagement means movably connected to said first contact means for providing engagement with said second contact means, flexible insulator means removably disposed between said engagement means and said second contact means, and third and fourth spring bias contact means rigidly secured to said base member and permanently disposed in current conducting relationship to each other.
5. A combination switch and electrical connector comprising; a disc-shaped base member having substantially a pair of planar surface portions disposed on opposite sides thereof, a first contact and second contact being mutually spaced and secured to said planar portions respectively of said base member, one of said contact means being formed in the shape of a plug-in type jack, engagement means moveably connected to saidrfirst contact means for providing engagement with said second contact means, removable insulator means disposed between said engagement means and said second contact means, and third and fourth spring bias contact means rigidly secured to said base member and permanently disposed in current conducting relationship to each other.
6. A combination switch and electrical connector comprising; a base member having a pair of substantially planar surface portions disposed on opposite sides thereof, a first contact means and a second contact means mutually spaced and secured to said planar portions respec-' tively, of said base member, removable insulator means disposed between said first and second contact means, engagement means connected to said first contact means including a movable portion which engages said second contact means upon the removal to said insulator means, one of said contact means being formed in the shape of a. plug-in type jack, and third and fourth spring bias contact means rigidly secured to said base member and permanently disposed in current conducting relationship to each other. i
7. A combination switch and electrical connector comprising; a base member having a pair of substantially planar surface portions disposed on opposite sides thereof, a first contact means and a second contact means mutually spaced and secured to said planar portions respectively of said base member, removable insulator means composed of a semi-flexible tape disposed between said first and second contact means, engagement means connected to said first contact means and including a movable portion which engages said second contact means upon the removal of said insulator means, one of said 6 gagement means and said second contact means, and third-and fourth spring biased contact means rigidly secured to base member and permanently disposed in current conducting relationship to each other, said flexible contact means being formed in the shape of a plug-in 5 insulator means being permanently connected to the airtype jack, and third and fourth spring bias contact means craft whereby, upon release of said weapon by said releasrigidly'secured to said base member and permanently dising means, said flexible insulator means is automatically posed in current conducting relationship to each other. withdrawn from said switch thereby activating said 8. A weapon release and arming system comprising; weapon.
means carried by an aircraft for supporting and releas- 10 References Cited by the Examiner ing said Weapon while the aircraft is in flight, electrical UNITED STATES PATENTS means for connecting said weapon to an armlng system,
said electrical means including an umbilical cord and a 783,399 2/05 Blank 200*6L19 switch disposed between said cord and said weapon, said 2,802,074 8/ 57 Pass 2O061-19 switch including a base member, a first fixed contact 15 2,918,845 12/ 59 Fleming means and a second fixed contact means mutually spaced and secured to said base member, engagement means FOREIGN PATENTS movably connected to said first contact means for pro- 522,285 4/31 Germany.
viding engagement with said second contact means, flexible insulator means removably disposed between said en- 20 BERNARD A. GILHEANY, Primary Examiner.