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Publication numberUS3293589 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 20, 1966
Filing dateJun 12, 1964
Priority dateJun 12, 1964
Publication numberUS 3293589 A, US 3293589A, US-A-3293589, US3293589 A, US3293589A
InventorsOakes George W
Original AssigneeOakes George W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electric plug adapter
US 3293589 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 20, 1966 G. w. OAKEs 3,293,589

ELECTRI C PLUG ADAPTER Filed June 12, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. George W. Oakes (m; QW

ATTORNEY Dec. 20, 1966 w, QAKES 3,293,589

ELECTRIC PLUG ADAPTER Filed June 12, 1964 I 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIGS) 30 27 2a 31 FIG. 8

32 3O 27 32 23 34 26 26F 1 26A INVENTOR George W. Oakes (MAW ATTORNEY Unite 3,293,589 ELEQTRIC PLUG ADAPTER George W. (Bakes, Qrystal City, Mo. 63100 Filed June 12, I964, Ser. No. 374,656 2 Claims. (til. 339-74) 7 tached to either the utensil and/ or plug and which forms a positive electrical connection therebetween with a minimum of etfort.

Another object is to provide an improved plug adapter having electrical contacts or electrodes that are readily resilient so as to provide a snug fit for insuring positive electrical contact with a complementary mating electrical component.

Still another object is to provide a plug adapter with split electrodes that are each constructed with a resilient female socket portion formed in one end thereof and a resilient male projection formed on the other end portion thereof.

Still another object is to provide a plug adapter with a housing construction formed of complementary rocking half sections arranged to resiliently bias therebetween the split electrodes whereby rocking of the respective half sections allows for the flexing of the female end portions of the respective electrodes.

A feature of this invention resides in the provision of a U-shaped clip for normally maintaining the respective complementary half sections of the housing biased toward one another.

Another feature of this invention resides in the provision of an expandable plug adapter having an improved electrode construction whereby the latter are rendered variable in size to accommodate the mating with variable sized contacts of different plugs, utensils and the like.

Still another feature resides in the provision that the plug adapter of this invention is relatively simple in construction, economical to manufacture and positive in operation.

Other features and advantages will become more readily apparent when considered in view of the drawings and specification in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of the pulg adapter shown in connection with the plug of an electrical cord.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the plug adapter only illustrated in its normal inoperative position; and having parts thereof shown in section.

FIG. 3 is the front or female end view of the plug adapter of FIG. 2 in the normal position thereof.

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the plug adapter illustrating the same in its expanded position.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the plug adapter of FIG. 4 illustrated in the expanded position thereof.

FIG. 6 is a front view of the plug adapter in the expanded position thereof.

FIG. 7 is a detail perspective view of the spring means.

FIG. 8 is a detail side view of the plug adapter having a half section thereof removed to illustrate the internal construction thereof.

FIG. 9 is a detail side view of the inside portion of a half section of the housing.

FIG. 10 is a detail side view of the adapter electrode.

FIG. 11 is a plan view of the electrode of FIG. 10, and

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the electrode of FIGS. 10 and 11.

atent Referring to the drawings, there is shown in FIGS. 1 to 5 an electrical plug adapter 20 of this invention. As best seen in FIG. 1 the plug adapter 20 is useful to adapt a plug 21 of an electrical cord 22 to an electrical appliance or outlet (not shown) to which the plug :21 is not otherwise adaptable. Because outlets, appliances, and plugs often differ in size and/or are specifically adapted to a particular application, difliculty is often encountered. For example, a plug of standard construction cannot be generally used with an appliance having a plug receiver of special construction and vice versa. With the instant invention the problem has been substantially alleviated by the novel plug adapter construction to be described.

Accordingly, the plug adapter 20 comprises a pair of similar complementary half sections 23, 24 which define the housing 25 for the electrodes 26 thereof. As best seen in FIGS. 8 and 9 each half sections 23, 24 formed of a suitable non-conducting material is provided in a pair of longitudinally extending recesses 27. Thus, in the assembled position, the respective two half sections 23, 24 are joined so that the complementary recesses 27 formed therein cooperate to define a pair of elongated sockets, each adapted to receive an electrode 26 of the plug adapter. Accordingly, each of the sockets so formed open to each end of the adapter 20.

As best seen in FIG. 2 the rear or male end portion of the respective half sections, along the contacting edge thereof, is provided with a beveled portion 28 so that when assembled the respective sections 23, 24 can have imparted thereto a rocking movement, as will be herein described. If desired the same rocking feature can be attained if only one half section is beveled, depending upon the amount of rocking action that is desired between housing sections 23 and 24.

As best seen in FIG. 9, each half section 23, 2d comprises a molded part in which a longitudinally extending central ridge 29 separates the respective recesses 23 and 24-. Each recess 23, 24 is thus defined by the ridge 29 and a marginal edge 30 which circumscribes the respective housing sections 23, 24 and which defines the abutting edges of the respective half sections in the assembled position thereof. Accordingly, edge portions defining the respective ends of the adapter are notched to define the socket openings 31.

As seen in FIG. 9, a transverse recess 32 is formed adjacent the female end 20A of the respective half sections 23, 24. A pair of spaced apart opposed projections 33, 34 extends inwardly in each of the respective recesses 23, 24 adjacent the other end 203 thereof.

The arrangement is such that the recess 32 and projections 33, 34 cooperate with the structure of the specific electrodes 26, as will be herein described, to secure the electrodes from sliding between the sections 23, 24 when assembled.

In accordance with this invention the electrodes 26, adapted to be received in the sockets defined by the complementary recesses 27 of the respective half sections 23, 24-, are constructed and arranged so as to be readily flexed for accommodating variable size contacts of mating electrical components, e.g. the prongs of a plug, or of a utensil and the like so as to ensure a snug fit therebetween. This is attained by forming the respective electrodes 26 from a pair of complementary members 26A, 26B. Preferably the electrodes 26 are formed of a pair of similarly shaped members 26A, 26B which are interconnected by a web portion 26C, the latter defining a hinge about which the respective members 26A, 26B are folded, as best seen in FIGS. 10 and 12. Accordingly, the folded members 26A, 26B thus define a split electrode 26, one end of which defines a female end portion 26D, which is adapted to be housed within the respective half sections 23, 24, and the 3 other end defining a male projection 26E extending beyond the end of the housing 25.

As best seen in FIG. 8, the ends 26F of the respective electrode forming members 26A, 26B adjacent the female end 261) thereof are laterally bent in an outward direction. Thus in the assembled position, the outwardly bent portions 26F are adapted to be received in the transverse recess 32 of the housing sections 23, 24. Intermediate the ends of the respective electrodes 26 there are provided complementary notches 266 and shoulders 26H for accommodating the projections 33 and 34. Thus in the assembled position of the adapter 20, the respective electrodes 26 are securely retained in position therebetween. From the structure described, it is to be noted that in the assembly of the adapter the respective electrodes 26 need be only laid in position within its respective recess 27. No other means is required to secure the electrode to the respective housing sections when assembled. Accordingly, both the female end 26D and the male end 26E of the electrodes 26 are free to flex so as to snugly fit or receive the electrodes of a complementary plug or utensil. Thus, if there is any variation in the size or dimension of the connecting electrodes or contacts of a complementary plug or utensil, the electrodes 26 of the instant invention have some latitude of spread for accepting the same.

With the respective electrodes 26 properly positioned within the recesses 27 of one half section 23, 24 the other mating half section is connected thereto and secured by a U-shaped spring clip 35 and a pin means 36. Accordingly, the spring clip 35 normally biases the female end 20A of the respective half sections 23, 24 together. This is attained by providing each of the half sections 23, 24 with an external recess 37 for accommodating the respective leg portions 35A of the spring 35. As shown, the respective recesses 37 slope or taper inwardly toward the male end 2013 of the housing. The arrangement of the spring 35 is such that it will normally maintain the female end 20A of the respective housing sections 23, 24 biased toward one another as best seen in FIG. 3. Thus, the housing sections 23, 24 acting on the outwardly bent portions 26F of the electrodes 26 at the female end 20A thereof will function to bias the female ends of the electrodes to their smallest socket forming size. (See FIG. 3.) To increase to the size of the female end 20A of the electrodes 26, the other ends 20B of the housing are pinched together to effect expansion of the female end 20A thereof.

In accordance with this invention actuator means are provided to facilitate or effect the rocking action of the respective housing sections 23 and 24. This is attained by a pair of actuators 4t 41 pivoted about pivot pin 36. As shown, the actuators 4G, 41 are similary constructed and each is rendered readily interchangeable. Thus the respective actuators 4t), 41 can be formed from a single metallic stamping. As shown, the actuators 40, 41 are shaped to conform substantially to the outline of the adapter, and the actuators 40, 41 are disposed on either side thereof. Each of the actuators 40, 41 is provided with a pair of spaced ear or lug portions 42 each of which has an aligned opening therein. In the assembled position, the opening in the respective ears 42 of the actuators 4t), 41 are disposed in alignment with the pin hole 44 formed in the respective half sections. As a result the pin means 36 holding the half sections 23, 24 together also define the pivot or fulcrum for the respective actuators 40, 41.

Each of the actuators 40, 41 have an extended portion 40A, 41A, which projects beyond the male end of the adapter. Also, the extended portions are contoured with sloping side Walls 40B, 41B which are arranged so as to be in camming relationship with the side of the adapter housing. The arrangement is such that when the extended portion of the actuators 40, 41 are pressed together, the depre sion occurring will impart a camming action on the rear or male end 20B of the housing 25; thereby tending to close the space defined by the bevel 28. When this occurs the female end 20A of the adapter expands or spreads apart to increase the size of the socket thereat. Thus, when the rear end 20B rocks to contract, the front end 20A spreads or expands to enlarge the sockets therein. Since the female end portions 20A of the respective electrodes 26 are normally biased closed, the expansion of the sockets will permit the respective members 26A, 26B of the electrodes to give or spread. Consequently the adapter can be rendered readily detachable to the size of a mating component part.

When the pressure or force applied to the actuators 40, 41 is released, the spring clip 35 tends to restore the respective half sections 23, 24 to their normal position as best seen in FIG. 3. Consequently the respective half sections 23, 24under the action of spring 35 will cause the respective half sections 23, 24 to flex the contacts against their bias to position the same into gripping relationship and forcibly gripping the electrode of a complementary unit.

While the instance invention has been described with reference to a particular embodiment thereof, it will be understood that variations and modifications thereof may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.

I claim:

1. An electric plug adapter comprising,

(a) a housing composed of complementary half sections,

(b) each of said half sections having abutting bearing edge portions along one end thereof and a beveled bearing portion along the other end portion of at least one half section to effect rocking of said half sections relative to each other,

(c) each of said sections having complementary recesses formed therein to define spaced, longitudinally extending and expandable sockets, said sockets opening to either end of said housing,

(d) a pair of electrical contact members enclosed in said housing,

(e) each of said electrical contacts comprising facing sections and a longitudinal web joining said sections to form a female end portion disposed within said housing adjacent one end thereof and a male end portion projecting beyond the other end portion thereof,

(f) said Web being resilient whereby said facing sections at each of said end portions may be forced out of its normal position to provide a snug fit with a complementary connector,

(g) co-operating means formed on said contacts and said respective recesses to prohibit relative movement therebetween,

(h) means for maintaining said half sections cooperatively associated with each other,

(i) said latter means including a pin means extending transversely of said half sections for maintaining said half sections in cooperable assembled relationship,

(j) a spring means for maintaining said half sections biased toward one another at one end thereof,

(k) and a pair of actuators pivoted about said pin means, each of said actuators being oppositely disposed on either side of said housing,

(1) each of said actuators having portions thereof in camming relationship with each of said half sections whereby movement of the actuators toward each other overcome the force of said spring means and cams said half sections to effect lateral rocking thereof to permit the flexing of the biased female end portions of said contacts.

2. An electric plug adapter comprising,

(a) a housing composed of complementary half sections,

(b) each of said half sections having abutting bearing edge portions, one of the abutting bearing edge portions of one of said half sections having a bevel for effecting rocking of said half sections relative to each other when pressed together, 5

(c) each of said sections having complementary longitudinally extending recesses formed therein to define sockets opening to either end of said housing,

(d) a pair of electrodes enclosed in said housing, (e) each of said electrical contacts including a pair of complementary members formed of resilient electrical 10 conducting material,

(f) longitudinal web means for resiliently interconnect- (g) said female socket and male projection being resilient to snugly mate with a complentary portion of 20 a utensil or plug and said web means interlocking with said half sections adjacent to said bearing edge portions to hold said electrical contacts in place within said housing (h) means for maintaining said half sections coopera- 25 tively associated with each other,

(i) said latter means including a pin means extending transversely of said half sections for maintaining said half sections in cooperable assembled relationship,

(j) a spring means for maintaining said half sections biased toward one another at one end thereof,

(k) and a pair of actuators pivoted about said pin means, each of said actuators being oppositely disposed on either side of said housing,

(1) each of said actuators having portions thereof in camming relationship with each of said half sections whereby movement of the actuators toward each other overcomes the force of said spring means and cams said half sections to effect lateral rocking thereof to permit the flexing of the biased female end portions of said contacts.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,976,779 10/1934 Grant et al 339191 X 2,743,428 4/1956 Martines 339-191 X 2,987,692 6/1961 Oakes 33974 3,107,962 10/1963 Oakes 33974 FOREIGN PATENTS 381,393 10/1932 Great Britain.

EDWARD C. ALLEN, Primary Examiner.

W. DONALD MILLER, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1976779 *Oct 29, 1932Oct 16, 1934New York Merchandisc Co IncElectrical connecting plug
US2743428 *Nov 8, 1954Apr 24, 1956Rene MartinesElectrical contact element for receiving a male pin
US2987692 *Jun 27, 1956Jun 6, 1961Oakes George WElectric plug
US3107962 *Apr 6, 1962Oct 22, 1963Oakes George WReadily detachable electric plug
GB381393A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3594692 *Jun 9, 1969Jul 20, 1971George W OakesExpandable electric plug adapter
US7306483 *May 5, 2006Dec 11, 2007Wahl Clipper CorporationElectrical cord assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/268, 439/857, 439/651
International ClassificationH01R31/06
Cooperative ClassificationH01R31/06
European ClassificationH01R31/06