US 3196424 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 20, 1965 T. K. c. HARDESTY ET AL 3,195,424
CABLE CONNECTOR WITH MONITORED LOCKING FEATURE Filed Sept. 50, 1963 48 will VENTORS. THOMAS K. ARDESTY ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,196,424 CABLE CGNNECTOR WKTH MONITQRED LOCKING FEATURE Thomas K. C. Hardesty, Ednor, and Eugene Willis,
Hyattsville, Md, assignors to the United States of America as represented by the ecretary of the Navy Filed Sept. 36, 1963, Ser. No. 312,801 9 Claims. (Cl. 340-280) (Granted under Title 35, US. Code (1952), sec. 266) 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.
This invention relates to electrical cable connectors and more particularly to electrical connectors employing locking devices and remote indicators.
In theuse of connector plugs for electrical cables, the assurance of a proper connection between mating parts is highly desirable. Normally the connection may be checked for a properly secured fastening by Visual inspection or by checking the tightness of the set screws used for locking the plug to the receptacle unit. The problem of checking the connection of the mating parts in a cable connector is increased when the connecting junction is located in a remote place, e.g. outside of an aircraft.
In this invention a unique connector unit is provided which assures the proper connection of a connector to a receptacle or mating connecting member. The apparatus of this invention provides a connector in which both a visual local indication and a remote indication serve to show that a connector is properly connected to a mating unit. The remote indicator, which in a preferred embodiment of this invention is a light in the pilots compartment in an aircraft, provides an indication of a proper connection of a connector plug to a receptacle or mating connector unit.
An object of this invention is to provide a monitored locking device for a cable connector.
Another object of this invention is to provide a remote indicating light to indicate the proper connection of a cable connector.
A further object of this invention is to provide a remote indicator for indicating the electrical continuity between a power source and external electrical circuits.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a visual indication on the connector to indicate a proper connection between mating parts of a cable connection.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a cable connector with a monitored locking feature.
Another object of this invention is to provide a cable connector with a grounding clip.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the figures thereof and wherein:
FIG. 1 of the drawings illustrates a sectional view of a connector assembly of this invention;
FIG. 2 of the drawings illustrates an upper terminal ring of the connector of this invention;
FIG. 3 of the drawings illustrates a lower terminal ring of this invention;
FIG. 4 of the drawings illustrates a sectional view of a portion of the lower terminal ring; and
FIG. 5 of the drawings illustrates a side view of the connector assembly showing the locking indicator.
Referring now to FIG. 1 of the drawings, a connector of this invention is shown having a housing 11, a cap 13 and an outer ring 15. The outer ring 15 is free to 3,195,424 Patented July 20, 1965 rotate about housing 11. A sealing means in the form of O-ring 17 is disposed between housing 11 and outer ring 15. Axial movement is permitted between housing 11 and cap 13 with coil spring 19 biasing cap 13 against outer ring 15. Guide pins 21 are threadedly mounted on housing 11 through holes in terminal ring 25, fastening terminal ring 25 to housing 11. Guide pins 21 slidably engage holes in terminal ring 23 such that axial movement is permitted between terminal rings 23 and 25 but rotational movement is prevented. Terminal ring 23 is fixedly secured to cap 13 such that cap 13.may move axially with respect to housing 11 but rotational movement between caps 13 and housing 11 is prevented by guide pins 21 projecting into the holes of terminal ring 23.
Insert assembly 27 is held fixedly within housing 11 by pin 29. Contact pins 31 mounted within insert assembly 27 are provided with terminal end portions 33 for connections to conductors within the cable. Monitor circuit conductors 39 and 40 are connected to the terminal portions 33 of contact pins 31. Pins 31 connected to conductors 39 and 40 are electrically connected together through an external circuit when. the connector plug is plugged into a receptacle or mating connector. Conductors 39 and 41 are connected to terminals of terminal ring 23. Conductors 40 and 41 connect to battery 46 and monitor light 48 so that when the connector is properly connected to a receptacle or mating connector, conductors 39 and 40 will be connected together through an external circuit and conductors 39 and 41 will be connected together through contacts on terminal rings 23 and 25 causing light 48 to be lighted, indicating that a proper connection of the connector parts have been made. Grounding strips 51 are secured to housing 11 and project downward therefrom to provide for grounding the housing to a receptacle housing before the pins 31 make contact with the conductors within the receptacle or mating connector. Grounding strips 51 may be made of conductive material such as brass.
Referring now to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 of the drawings in which terminal rings 23 and 25 are illustrated, terminal ring 25, FIG. 4 is shown having soldered connection 35. These grounding strips are conductively connected through housing 11 and metal collar 13 to copper woven shielding 61 disposed on the inner surface of the cable covering. This shielding extends the entire length of the cable to provide an RF shield for the cable. The soldered connection 35 provides for connecting monitor conductor 39 to terminal ring 25. A metal strip 42 and a metal pin 43 provide electrical contact between conductor 39 and a contact plug 44. Contact plugs 44 project above the surface of terminal ring 25, FIG. 3, to contact with metallic conductor strips 45 of terminal ring 23, FIG. 2, when the terminal rings are contacting each other as is the case when the connector is properly connected to a receptacle or mating connector. Conductor 41 is connected to terminal ring 25 in the same manner as conductor 39 at a solder connection adjacent to that of conductor 39 such that one of the contact strips 45 will connect conductors 39 and 41 together when terminal rings 23 and 25 are in contact.
Referring now to FIG. 5 of the drawings in which the connector assembly is shown, cap 13 is shown having a locking key on lug 53 which projects downward from the body of cap 13. Outer ring 15 is provided with a slot 55 having a shoulder portion. Outer ring 15 also shows one of the ball detent grooves 57 having a vertical portion and a horizontal portion.
In operation, when the connector is plugged into a receptacle or mating connector, the ball detents in the receptacle or mating connector will be at the top of the vertical portions of grooves 57 and lug 53 will be resting on the shoulder portion or first step of slot 55. At this sondheimer, filed June 22, 1962.
point, the terminal rings 23 and 25, FIG. 1, will be sepa-] rated and there will be no continuity between conductors 39 and 41 and light 48 will be otf. Outer ring inay now be rotated until'lug 53 is alignedwith' the second 1 step of slot 55 at which point lug 53' will drop into the second stepof slot 55 by the force of spring19 acting 1 upon cap 13., The c-onnectoris now'releasablylocked to the mating connector. .Terminal ring 23 will now be in contact with terminal 25,- connecting conductors 39 and41, and conductors 39 and 40" will be connected through an external circuit connected to the matingconductor. The indicator light circuit Willthus be closed and indicator light 48 willbe on; Portions of the slot 55 may be painted or otherwise marked to show that the connector is lockedin place The ball detents in the mating'connector may be yieldabl'y mounted such that the vco'nnectorjmay be released, by pulling cable '59 of outer ring 15. The areas of the cutout portion 55 above a the shoulder or first step may be paintedor otherwise marked to indicate that the connector is locked'in place.
The mating connector or receptacle having ball detents' may be one like that shown in patent application Serial No. 264,648, of Thomas K.- C ;:I -Iardesty and Allenl.
Obviously many modifications and variations of 'the present invention are possible inthe light of the above teachings. It is therefore to'be understood, that within the scope of the-appended claims,-the'invention maybe practiced otherwise than as specifically described. 1
. What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by v Letters Patent of the United States of America is: I v 1. An electrical cable connector having monitored 7 locking features comprising,
a housing-having an-upper portion connected to a cable and a lower skirtportio'n, i a pin "insert assembly mounted within said'housing, a plurality of pins mountedlin said pin insert assembly,
said pins. having a lower portion projecting downwardly through saidpin insert assembly and an upper portion projecting upwardly through said pin insert assembly,.said lower portionsof said pins being adapted to contact conductorswithinla receptacle, said upper portions of saidpins being adapted to connect the conductors withinthe cable,
anouter ringsurrounding said lower portion of said housing, said ring having a lower skirt portion, said ring being rotatable with respect to said housing,
I a cap surrounding said upper portion of said housing whereby said lamp circuit is energized when said connector is plugged into a receptacle and said ring is turned until the lug of said cap engages said second step of cutout portion of said housing.
2. Apparatus as in claim 1 in which the area of the cut-out portion above said first step is marked to indicate that said connector is in a locked position.
. 3, Apparatus as inclaim 1 in which the area of the cutout portion above said first step is colored to indicate that said connectorislocked.
4. Apparatus for releasably' locking a male connector of an electrical cableto a receptacle comprising,
a housing surrounding conductor pin elements of said connector, said housing having a shoulder portion between said'cable and said conductor pin elements, and a skirt portion extending beyond the end of said pin conductor elements,
A a ring'surrounding said skirt portion of said housing r said ring having a recessed portion therein for engagement withisaid cap, said'recessed portion having a first step and a second step, said first step having a depthless than the'lengthof the'lug of said cap and said-second stephaving a depth greater than the length 'ofsaid lug, i said ring having a groove ,for receiving a ball detent of the receptacle, saidgroove having a vertical portion extending to the bottom of said cap and a horizontal groove joining the top of saidvertical "groove, whereby said connector'may be locked to the receptacle by pressing said connector into a receptacle and turning said ring until the ball of the receptacle is'at the end of the horizontal groove in 'said ring and said lug is in said second step of said ring, and I means above said first step for 'indicatingsaid connector is locked to the receptacle.
5.'Apparatus as in claim, 4 in which said last-named means is a surface having a desired color.
ductors is mounted on the topof said housing, an-in- 'dicating circuit including" conductor, means coupled to said conductor rneans'whereby said indicating circuit may said ring having cutout: portion adapted .to receive i the lug portion of said cap, said cutout portionhaving a first step portion and Ya second step portion,
a first terminal ring having conducting strips onthe' underside thereof, said first terminal ring being fixedly attached to the undersideiof the topv portion r of said cap, J i a second terminal .ring'having conductor plugs projecting above the surfacethereof, said'sec ond 'terminal ring being fixedly attached tothe-upperside of the I be energized whensaidfirst terminal means is in contact with said'second terminal means,'said first and second [terminal means being in, contact" when said lug is engaged in said step of said ring.
7. A connector as in claim 1 in which conductive grounding strips projectdownward from the housing of said connector. ,7
8. A connector in claim 4 in which'conductive grounding strips project downward from said housing.
9. In an electrical cable c'ouplingfor connecting a plurality: of electrical conductors, a monitored locking system comprising a first connector having a locking means for locking said first connectorwith a second conlug of said'housing whereby contact strips'will be H separated fromsaid conductor plugs when said lug' engages thesaid first step of said ring and said contact strips will contact said conductor plugs when said lug. engages said second step of said-ring, an indicating circuit comprising 'a lamp, a voltage source, an external circuit serially connected to said conductor plugs of said second terminal ring,
said ring having a groove for receiving a ball detent in 1 a receptacle .for releasably-locking :said connector to a receptacle, said groovebeing continuous and having a vertical portion and a horizontal portion at the upper end ot 'the vertical portion of said groove nector whereby a plurality of electrical circuits may be completed, an indicator light remotely located from said coupling, a source of voltage,'switch means positioned within said first connector operable by said locking means, and circuit means serially interconnecting said source of voltageysaid light, and'said switch means said switch 1 means being'normally open and said switch means being closed when said first connector is engaged with and locked to said second connector thereby completing said V series circuit and lighting said indicatorlighth No references cited. 7 t
A NEIL R AD, P im ry Ex in v