US 3201617 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1965 v. w. PACORONI ETAL 3,201,517
CONNECTOR INCLUDING A RECTIFIER FOR VOLTAGE REDUCTION Filed April 20, 1962 WITNESSES- INVENTORS Valenti W P roni and TTORNEY United States Patent 3,291,617 CONNECTOR INCLUDING A RECTIFIER FOR VOLTAGE REDUCTION Valentine W. Pacoroni, Bridgeport, and Auguste E. Smith, Southport, Conn, assignors, by mesne assignments, to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Apr. 20, 1962, Ser. No. 189,089 2 Claims. (Cl. 307146) The present invention relates to wiring devices and more particularly to connectors used in providing electrical continuity between a power source and a load device.
Normally, the available alternating source voltage for energizing load devices is a fixed parameter. For example, this is usually the casein residential or commercial buildings. In such circumstances, there often arises the need to provide a reduced voltage to a load device, and, if this is to be done, it is desirable that it be done in an economic manner and particularly without the use of energy consuming voltage-drop resistors. Dimmer or voltage-reduction switches can often serve this purpose, but in many instances a switching device is not installed in the circuit branch from which power is to be obtained. Examples of these instances are where energization is to be provided from a wall receptacle for floor or table lamps, Christmas tree sets, etc., and the need for a dimming or voltage reducing connector accordingly arises.
Therefore, it is an object of the invention to provide a novel connector which functions both to transmit current and to drop source voltage.
It is another object of the invention to provide a novel connector as described in the first object, wherein a rectifier is connected electrically in the connector for the purpose of providing the voltage dropping function.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a novel connector which includes a rectifier for voltage reducing purposes and which is so constructed as to provide optionally full or reduced voltage without the use of a bypass switch.
These and other objects of the invention will become more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description along with the attached drawing, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a cross sectioned view of a connector constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross sectioned view of another connector in the form of a plug which is also constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a plan view, having portions removed and having portions shown in section, of an extension cord including another connector constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention;
FIG. 4 is a plan view, partially schematic, of still another connector constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention;
FIG. 5 is a plan view, partially schematic, of an additional connector constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention.
In accordance with the broad principles of the invention, a connector comprises an insulative housing in which a plurality of conductive members are provided for interconnecting an alternating power source with a load device. A rectifier or diode is also supported in the housing in electrical series relation with one of the conductive members used for connection to the power source and with one of the conductive members used for connection to the load device. Application of the alternating power voltage to the load device can thus be reduced or dropped by approximately one half because of the substantial blocking effect of the rectifier to one half of the alternating current ice Waveform. In addition, it is desired'to make the voltage dropping function optional, a switch can be included electrically in parallel with the rectifier to provide for shunting the latter out of the current delivery circuit. Other structural combinations can also be employed to provide the optional feature. Further, in any of the various embodiments of the invention, a fuse or fuse element can, if desired, be included electrically in series with the rectifier to protect the latter against over-rated currents.
More specifically, in FIG. 1 there is shown an embodiment of the invention in the form of a connector 10 com-' prising an insulative housing 12 which can be molded in unitary form or which can be made of plural parts secured together. For example, the unitary housing of the connector shown in a copending application of O. L. Taylor, entitled Wiring Device, filed February 24, 1958, Serial No. 717,190, and assigned to the present assignee, can, if suitably sized, be used to form the housing 12.
Further, the housing 12 includes a cavity 14 in which the electrically conductive parts of the connector 10 are housed. Thus, suitable means are provided for supporting a conductive member 16, a conductive blade 18 and a conductive female contact 20 in the housing cavity 14. The supporting means for the conductive member 16 and the conductive blade 18 include respective tabs 22, and generally various housing portions or projections or surfaces (not shown) can hold the members 16, 18 and 25) against unitary displacement. A rectifier 24 is also located in the housing cavity 14 and it is conductively secured to the conductive blade 18 by means of a lead 26 and the conductive female contact 20 by means of a lead 23.
The conductive member 16 comprises a blade portion 30 and a female contact portion 32 and it differs from the conductive blade 18 and the female contact 20 by reason of the fact that it is an integral unit whereas the latter two members are electrically and physically divided by the rectifier 24. The conductive member blade portion 30 and the conductive blade 18 serve as power blades for connection to a receptacle, while the conductive member contact portion 32 and the contact 2i both of which have a plurality of contact arms 21, serve as female contacts to which one or more pairs of blades of a load device plug can be connected. The rectifier 24, being serially connected between the power blade 18 and the contact 20, causes the load voltage across the contact 2i and the contact portion 32 to be reduced substantially from the power voltage since current flow is substantially blocked in one direction.
There is shown another embodiment of the invention in FIG. 2. In this case a connector is provided in the form of a plug 49 attachable to the end of a cord 42 electrically leading to a load device. The plug 40 comprises an insulative housing 44 having a cavity 46 for receipt of electrically operative elements. The housing 49 can be provided with multiple parts secured together or can simply be provided in unitary form by molding or encapsulation or the like.
A pair of conductive members or blades 48 and 50 project outwardly of one side of the housing 44 for connection to a power source through a conventional receptacle. Suitable means can be provided for supporting the blades 48 and 50 relative to the housing 44, for example through the use of interengagement or abutting portions of the blades 48 and 50 and portions of the housing 44 (not shown).
A rectifier 52 is located in the housing cavity 46 and is electrically connected to the power blade 50 by means of a lead 54 and with a conductor 56 of the cord 42. The cord 42 enters the housing cavity 46 through a channel 58 and includes a second conductor 60 which is electrically connected to the power blade 48. Thus, the rectifier 52 is electrically in serial relation with any load device a I connected to the cord conductors 56 and 60 and voltage reduction is therefore accomplished when the blades 48 and 54 are connected to a power source.
An extension cord 70 is shown in FIG. 3. The cord 70 includes a plug 72, which can be connected to a power source, and a connecting receptacle 74 which is connected tothe plug 72 by a cord 73. The connecting receptacle 74, to which a load device plug can be connected, is similar to the connector of FIG. 1, but in place of the blades 18 and 3t provision is made for connection of conductive members or conductors 78 and 80 of the cord 73 to a female contact 82 and the rectifier 76, respectively. In turn, the rectifier 76 is connected to another female contact 84 by means of a lead 86. It is noted that suitable means can be employed to support the contacts 82 and 84 and the rectifier 76 in a manner similar to that described in connection with the connector 10 of FIG. 1.
Another embodiment of the invention is depicted in FIG. 5. Thus, a connector 81 is provided with a structure similar to that described for the connector 10 of FIG. 1, but an extra female contact is provided in this instance so that voltage reduction can be obtained optionally. Thus, the connector 81 includes an insulative housing 83 in which a pair of power blades 85 and 87 and electrically contiguous female contacts 88 and 90 are supported. In addition, a third female contact 92 is supported inthe housing 82. The female contacts 88 and 92 preferably are substantially equally spaced from the female contact fit). A rectifier 94 is connected electrically between the blade 85 and the contact 2. Thus, engagement of a load plug with the female contacts 88 and 90 results in application of full power voltage to the load, while engagement of the load plug with the contacts 99 and 92 results in application of reduced power voltage to the load as a result of the operation of the rectifier 94.
Another connector 100 similar to the connector 10 of FIG. l is shown in FIG. 4. The connector 160 is pro vided with an insulative housing 102 and power blades 104 and 166 as well as female contacts 108 and 110. In addition, the connector 100 includes a bypass switch 112 in electrically parallel relation with a voltage reducing rectifier 114 which is connected serially between the blade 1% and the female contact 110. The rectifier 114 provides voltage reduction in a manner similar to that described for the connector 10 of FIG. 1 when the switch 112 is open. When the switch 112 is closed, no voltage reduction occurs since the rectifier 114 is then shorted out of the current delivery circuit. Of course, the housing 102 is sufiiciently sized and suitably formed to accommodate and support the switch 112 as well as the other connector components. If desired, the plug 40 of FIG. 2 and the connecting receptacle 74 of FIG. 3 might also be modified to include the bypass switch 112. Further, as previously noted, each of the embodiments of the invention can be so modified as to include a fuse or fuse element in series With the voltage reducing rectifier 24 or '52 or 76 or 94 or 114 in order to protect the latter from overrated currents.
In the foregoing description, several connectors have been described in order to point out the principles of the invention. Accordingly, it is desired that the invention be not limited by the embodiments described but, rather, that it be accorded an interpretation consistent with the scope and spirit of its broad principles.
What is claimed is:
1. A connector comprising an insulative hollow housing having a plurality of spaced slots for entry of a pair of plug prongs, at least three female contacts suitably supported in said housing respectively in alignment with said slots, means for electrically connecting a pair of power conductors with two of said female contacts, a diode suitably located in said housing, and means for electrically connecting said diode between the third contact and one of said conductors associated with one of said two contacts so that said pair of plug prongs can be inserted selectably into said connector for engagement with said two contacts to obtain full wave power or for engagement with said third contact and the second contact to obtain half wave power.
2. A connector comprising an insulative hollow housing, a pair of conductive members located in the cavity of said housing and extending outwardly of said housing for connection to a power source, another pair of conductive members located in said cavity for connection to a load device, an additional conductive member located in said cavity for connection to a load device, and one of said other pair of conductive members and said additional conductive member being substantially equally spaced from the other of said other pair of conductive members to provide for receipt of a plug either in en-. gagement with said other pair of conductive members or in engagement with said other member and said addition- 7 al member, a rectifier located in said cavity and serially connected from one member of the first mentioned pair of conductive members to said additional conductive 1nemher, the conductive members of the first mentioned pair being respectively electrically continuous with the conductive members of the last-mentioned pair, and means for supporting said conductive members relative to said'housmg. 7
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS I 2,896,125 7/59 Morton 307-l46 3,009,071 11/61 Morton 307-l46 3,028,525 4/62 Morton 307-146 References Cited by the Applicant 3,047,773 7/62 Morton.
LLQYD McCQLLUM, Primary Examiner.