US 3281757 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 25, 1966 F. R. BoNHoMME ELECTRIGAL CONNECTORS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 12, 1964 l l l 1 Oct. 25, 1966 F. R. BONHOMME 3,281,757
ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS 2 Sheets-SheewI 2 Filed Nov. l2, 1964 United States Patent Giltice 3,231,757 Patented Oct. 25, 1966 to claims. ici. 339-91) The present invention relates to electrical connectors and particularly to connectors for simultaneously connecting a plurality of wires.
This invention particularly concerns electrical connectors which comprise a iirst tubular element on the interior of which are housed the ends of one or more electric Wires, and a second tubular element on the interior of which are housed, for example, the ends of as many wires as are housed in said first element, means being provided for electrically connecting said wires and for fastening said two elements together in a push-pull manner.
In such connectors, according to the present invention, the first element has a circular groove arranged in its interior Wall in a plane perpendicular to the axis of said element, in which groove is housed, in the form of an open loop, an elastic ring whose elasticity tends to urge it into a rest position where it is retracted into said groove, said groove communicating with the exterior of said first element through the intermediary of at least one opening, while the second element has a groove arranged in its outer Wall, abutment means being provided to ensure that, after the introduction of the second element into the first, this groove will be situated exactly opposite the interior groove of the first element.
It is a principal object of this invention to render such devices such that they are better suited to current needs, particularly insofar as concerns their dependability and simplicity of use, as well as their cost.
It is a specific object herein to produce connectors which are easily lockable and unlockable by means of a simple sliding movement in a longitudinal direction along the axis of said connectors.
The connectors according t `the present invention are characterized by the fact that said elastic ring passes, in certain radial regions, to the exterior of said first element through said opening arranged in said circular groove in said first element, said second element carrying a sliding socket which comprises on its interior surface, a shoulder which, when the connector elements are brought into engagement, acts on that portion of said iirst element in such a way as to deform said ring radially so as to cause it to move partially into the groove formed in the second element, whereby said two elements are locked together.
These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more readily understood from the following detailed description when taken together with the attached drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an exploded longitudinal View of one embodiment of a connector according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along the plane II-II of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the plane III- III of FIG. l;
FIG. 4 is a partly cut-away longitudinal View of the connector of FIG. 1 after assembly;
FIGS. 5 and 6 are partial, cross-sectional, longitudinal views showing the locking arrangement for the embodiment of FIG. l in an unlocked and a locked condition respectively;
FIG. 7 is a partially cut-away, longitudinal view of another embodiment of this invention; and
FIGS. 8 and 9 are partial axial views taken along t-he plane VIII-VIII of FIG. 7 showing the assembly before and after locking, respectively.
A first embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 1 6, and the following description is intended to refer to this group of figures as a whole. These iigures show that the connector is constituted by a rst element 1 which is given a generally tubular or cylindrical shape, as is most clearly shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, and by a second element 2 which also has a .generally tubular or cylindrical shape.
Referring rst specifically to element 1, which could be made fastenable to support 3 through the intermediary of a flange 4 and with the aid of screws 4a, this element may serve as the housing for one or more pins 5 (five of which are shown in the drawings) mounted in a support insulator 6 and provided with means for connecting one wire to each of said pins, by soldering for example. This assembly could be angularly oriented in element 1 by a key 7, for example (FIG. 2) fitted into a suitable passage (not shown) in insulator 6. Also, the insulator 6 could be held in position within clement 1 by abutment against interiorly directed shoulder S (FIG. 2) arranged on the interior wall of element 1, and by the pressure exerted by externally-threaded ring 9 screwed into a mating portion formed in that end of element 1 which is furthest removed from pins 5.
Element 1 'also comprises, near its end 1a through which will pass element 2, a circular groove 1l) (FIG. 2) arranged in its interior wall and lying in a plane perpendicular to the axis of element 1 and there is placed in this groove an elastic ring 11 whose elasticity tends to urge it toward the bottom of the groove. Ring 11, which may be made from a piece of metallic wire, forms an open loop one of the ends,.11a, of which is bent and engaged in a hole 12 (FIG. 2) formed in the wall of element 1. The diameter of ring 11 and the depth of groove 10 are chosen in such a way that, when it is only iniluenced by its own elasticity, the ring is entirely retracted into the groove. The exterior wall of element 1 is formed so as to have two longitudinal passages 10 which are substantially diametrically opposed. (FIGS. 1 and 2), terminate at the end 1a, and extend at least as far as groove 10. The depth of these passages 13 are such that they expose groove 10 to the exterior and permit portions of ring 11 to extend into the passages, the thickness of the walls of element 1 in this region, which thickness is represented by the distance between the inner surface of element land the bottom of passage 13, being less than the diameter of ring 11.
The element 2 is also given a generally cylindrical shape and is made to serve as a housing for an insulator assembly 14 (FIG. 4) containing as many sockets (not shown) as there are pins 5, the sockets forming a mating pattern for the pins. Each socket comprises means (FIG. 4) for the attachment of a wire, by soldering for example.
In order to achieve the connection of pins 5 with the sockets of assembly 14, one must first partially introduce the element 2 into the element 1, the radial dimensions of these elements being suitably chosen for this purpose. Element 2 could be correctly angularly oriented with respect to element 1, with the aid of a guide pin 15 carried on the former element and arranged to engage in a longitudinal guide channel 16 (FIG. 2) arranged in the interior Wall of the latter element in the radial region existing between the ends of loop 11. The depth of insertion of element 2 into element 1 is limited by the abutment of the end 2a of element 2 against a rigid seal- 3 ing member 17, Amade of plastic for example, disposed against a shoulder 18 arranged on the interior of element 1.
The element 2 is formed so as to have, substantially at the center of its outer wall, an annular flange 19, whose purpose will be explained below, which is interrupted at two diametrically opposed locations 2i) which are each aligned with a respective one of the passages 13 when elements 1 and 2 are oriented for connection together.
The outer wall of element 2 is also provided with a circular groove 21 lying in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the connector assembly, and positioned so that when elements 1 and 2 are assembled together it is exactly opposite groove 11i of element 1.
Element 2 also serves to carry a tubular member, or socket, 22 whose internal dimensions are such as to permit it to slide on both elements 1 and 2. In order to orient member 22 with respect to element 2, the interior wall of the former is provided with two diametricallyopposed longitudinal projections 23y (FlGS. l, 3 and 4) each of which is positioned to slide in a respective one of the openings 20 formed in the flange 19 of element 2. Projections 23 are attached to member 22 by means of rivets 23a, are terminated at the end facing element 1 by an inclined plane 23h, and have their other end bearing against an interior annular shoulder 24 forming a part of member 22.
When elements 1 and 2 are connected together, member 22 can also slide over element 1. The relative angular orientations of pieces 1, 2 and 22 are that which have been described above, i.e. the passages 13, the openings 20 and the projections 23 are arranged so that ,each passage 13 is longitudinally aligned with a corresponding one of openings 20 and projections 23.
It thus results that when member 22 is caused to slide towards element 1 until shoulder 24 comes to abut against flange 19, projections 23 are engaged in passages 13 with the inner surface of the projection in contact with, or very close to, the bottom of passage 13.
Because projections 23 touch, or nearly touch, the bottoms of passages 13, they force ring 11 inwardly, causing a portion of it to move into groove 21 (FIGS. 5 and 6), thus preventing any relative longitudinal movement between elements 1 and 2 (as best indicated in FIG. 4). The two phases of the locking operation may be seen most clearly in FIGS. and 6 which show respectively, the two positions for ring 11.
In order to normally maintain element 22 in a position where its shoulder 24 abuts against ange 19, it is subjected to the biassing action of a coiled spring 25 (FIGS. l and 4) placed around that end of element 2 which is furthest away from element 1; the spring 25 bears, at one end, against the end 22a of member 22 and, at the other end, against one face of an interior shoulder 26 of a knurled ring 27. This ring is held on element 2 with the aid of a cap 28 screwed onto the threaded end 29 of element 2, this cap abutting against the other face of shoulder 26.
The connector thus formed operates in a manner which will now be described: The assembly constituted by pieces 2, 22, 25, 27 and 28 being held on element 1 and all of the pieces being oriented in accordance with the conditions described above, it is sufficient to exert a longitudinal force on piece 28 so as to move groove 21 into line with groove 10, the pressure exerted by spring 25 then being adequate to force projections 23 over ring 11 so that the ring is urged partially into groove 21 so as to lock elements 1 and 2 together. In order to unlock these elements, it is only necessary to slide element 22 backward (toward the left in the figures) until projection 23 clears ring 11. The ring then resumes its original shape under the influence of its own elasticity, moving completely clear of groove 21.
Turning now to the variation shown in FIGS. 7-9, in which elements identical with elements shown in FIGS.
l-6 are given the same reference numerals and a detailed description of elements is not here repeated, the groove 10 is caused to communicate with the exterior of element 1' through two openings 40 definingy a pair of diametrically opposed circular arcs, and ring 11 is shaped so as to have two outwardly extending ear-like projections 30 (see FIGS. 8 and 9 particularly) each of which normally extends, due to the inherent elasticity of ring 11 to the outside of element 1 through a respective one of openings 40. Element 1. also carries a peripheral flange whose purpose will be explained below.
The sliding socket 22 is formed so as to have two successive bores having diameters D and D', D being the larger and being substantially equal to the outer diameter of the flange 31 of element 1, while D' is substantially equal to the outer diameter of element 1 on the side near its end 1a, the transition from one of these bores to the other being made by an inclined plane 32 forming a circular shoulder which is so located that, when element 2 is being inserted in element 1', shoulder 32 urges ears 30 inwardly forcing ring 11', at least partially into groove 21 (FIG. 9), producing the resulting locking together of elements 1 and 2. Bore D then holds ring 11 in this position.
The operation of this connector is identical with that of the connector .of FIGS. l to 6. At the time of connection, the relative angular orientation of elements 1 and 2 is assured by the cooperation of guide pin 15, carried by element 2, wit-h guide channel 16, formed in element 1', and the locking together of the two elements is obtained when the pressure exerted on piece 28, and transmitted -to socket 22 by spring 25 acting on ange 35, is sluic-ient to cause shoulder 32 to move lpast ring 11 and to press ears 30 inwardly, socket 22 nally coming to rest in a position where its inwardly directed shoulder 34 abuts against the end 1a of element 1.
In order to subsequently unlock the connector, it is only necessary to exert a retracting force on socket 22 suflicient to move it backwards to a point where bore D is opposite ring 11. The ears 30 may then once again pass through openings 40 under the action of the elasticity of ring 11', free-ing the ring from Iany engagement in groove 21.
It may thus be seen that in both embodiments described herein, both the mat-ing and the locking of the connector, as well as the unlocking and separation thereof, are achieved by a single movement along the axis of the connector, these movements corresponding precisely with the simple mating and unmating movements of prior art connectors.
Although several preferred embodiments of the present invention have been 'herein shown and described, it should be :appreciated that many modifications and variati-ons could be made thereto without departing from the spirit thereof and that the coverage of this invention should be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
What I claim is: p
1. An electrical connector for simultaneously effecting a plurality of electrical series connections comprising:
(a) a rst tubular element for supporting the free end of at least one wire to be connected and 'having a circular groove formed in its inner longitudinal surface in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said element, said element further having at least one opening in its outer longitudinal surface which communicates with said groove;
(b) a flexible, elastic latch element seated in said goove and normally urge-d,'by its own elasticity, -against the bottom of said groove so as lto extend into said at least one opening;
(c) ya second tubular element for supporting the free end of at least one wire to be connected to the wires held in sa-id first element, said second tubular element being shaped to slide longitudinally in said rst element and `having a circular groove formed in its outer longitudinal surface in such a position as to be aligned with sai-d groove in said first element when said two tubular elements are fully engaged; and
(d) sliding lock means dimensioned to slide over said first tubular element and comprising at `least one bolting element for each of said at least one opening for urging said latch element Iparti-ally into said ygroove Vin said second tubular element when said two tubular elements fare fully engaged, the operation of said bolting element being controlled by the sliding of said locking means yover s-aid first tubular element.
2. A connector as recited in claim 1 wherein said opening in said first tubular element is -constituted by a longitudinal passage extending from that `end of said rst element through which said second tubular element is engaged to a point beyond said groove formed in said first tubul-ar element, said passage having .a depth such that the radial distance from its bottom to the inner longitudinal surface of said first tubular element is less than the radial dimensions of said latch element.
3. A connector as recited in claim 2 wherein said at least one bolting element is constituted by yan abutment surface extending radially inwardly from the inner longitudinal surface of the lock means for sliding eng-agement in said longitudinal pass-age.
4. A conne-ctor as recited lin claim 3 wherein the leading edge of said abutment surface, in the direction of insertion of said second tubular element into said first tubular element, is constituted by a radially inclined plane for contacting said latch element and for urging it radially inw-ardly.
5. A connector as recited in claim 2 wherein said latch element is constituted by lan open circular metal ring.
6. A connector as recited in claim 1 wherein said at least one opening in said first element is constituted by a slot in the form of a circular `arc coplanar with said groove in said first element, and said latch element is constituted by an open metal ring having at least one outwardly extending projection passing through said slot and normally extending beyond the outer longitudinal surface of said -rst tubular element.
7. A connector as recited in claim 6 wherein said at least one bolting element is constituted by a cylindrical abutment `surface Iprojecting from the inner longitudinal surface `of said lock means and having semi-diameter which is less than the sum of the semi-diameter of the outer longitudinal surface of said rst tubular element and the distance which said at least one projection of said ring normally extends beyond said outer longitudinai surface.
8. A connector as recited in claim 7 wherein the leading edge of said cylindrical abutment surface, in the direct-ion of insertion of said second tubular element, is constituted by a radially inclined surface for contacting said at least one projection of s-aid ring and for urging it radially inwardly.
9. A connector -as recited in claim 1 wherein said sliding lock means further comprises an inwardly extending shoulder for stopping the sliding movement `of said lock means by abuting against one end of said first tubular element when said bolting means engages sa-id latch element.
1t). A connector as recited in claim 1 further comprising a bi-assing means mounted between said second tubular element an-d said lock means for normally urging latter in such a direction as to cause said at least one bolting element to engage said latch element.
References Cited by the Examiner FOREIGN PATENTS 1,045,762 7/1953 France. 1,354,923 2/1964 France.
813,284 5/1959 Great Britain.
EDWARD C. ALLEN, Primary Examiner.
W. DONALD MILLER, Examiner.