US 3314039 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 1967 L. l. OPPER VACUUM CLEANER CONNECTOR Filed March 9, 1965 INVENTOR.
LINCOLN l. OPPER ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,314,039 VACUUM CLEANER CONNECTOR Lincoln I. Upper, Dayton, Ohio, assignor to Dayco Corporation, Dayton, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Mar. 9, 1965, Ser. No. 438,330 6 Claims. (Cl. 339) This invention relates to a vacuum cleaner connector, and more specifically to an assembly for interconnecting a flexible hose to a vacuum cleaner at one end and to a wand or a cleaning tool at the other.
One common type of vacuum cleaner which is used for In certain of these vacuum cleaners the rug cleaning unit contains a cleaning brush which is powered by an electric motor that rotates this brush, and in such instances the electric motor is mounted within the rug cleaning tool itself. This is intended to provide a rug cleaning device which is similar in operation and results, to the conventional upright vacuum cleaner.
In order to provide electric current to the motor mounted in the rug cleaning tool itself, it is necessary to bring the current-conducting wire from the canister to the motor in the tool. In the prior art this has been done by running a separate cord along the length of the flexible conduit and attached thereto. In such cases, however, the cord provides a restraining means which prevents complete flexibility of the conduit and thus is inimical to the original purpose for which the conduit is intended. In addition, the cord tends to kink and bind and create other problems. This has been overcome by the development of a flexible conduit in which the reinforcing wires are themselves the current-carrying media, these wires being in the form of reinforcing springs which are helical members extending throughout the length of the flexible conduit. When such conduit is used it is necessary to provide an interconnection from the conduit to the canister and power supply at one end, and to the cleaning tool or wand at the other end. The present invention, therefore, relates to a connector which will permit such in.- terconnection and which is readily releasable and attachable while at the same time avoiding unnecessary strain on the electrical connector and perfect safety from the standpoint of exposure to electric currents. Similar connectors have been proposed as described, for example, in Pauler et al., United States Patent No. 3,034,085, issued May 8, 1962; and Edwards, United States Patent No. -3,-
127,227, issued Mar. 31, 1964. These patents describe devices utilizing interlocking inner and outer sleeves and an electrical connector which is interengaged between these sleeves. While the connectors have proved highly satisfactory they offer one disadvantage in that the parts of the connector when assembled are extremely difficult to disassemble. In addition, the members making up these assemblies are somewhat complex in shape and create certain fabrication problems. The present invention seeks to improve upon these prior art connectors by providing a connector that is made up of a number of smaller and more easily manufactured parts, thereby reducing the cost of the finished product. A further advantage of the present connector lies in the fact that the members are more easily disassembled once they have been locked. Further, the fact that there are a number of smaller units means that damage to any one portion need not result in 3,314,39 Patented Apr. 11, 1967 scrapping the entire connector, but merely replacement of that portion. A further distinct advantage of the present device lies in the fact that the electrical assembly is considerably simpler and requires no steps such as soldering, clips, or the like; at the same time the electrical continuity is created by members which are embedded within the components of the connector and eliminates, the need for locking the electrical members within the assembly. All components of the connector are formed of nonconducting plastic material, thereby creating a good physical union of the members and at the same time creating additional electrical conditions. This in turn eliminates any possibility of creating a strain on the electrical members since they are incorporated within the individual components that have high physical strength.
It is a primary object of this invention therefore to provide a vacuum cleaner hoseassembly including a connector and electrical conductors.
It is afurther object of the invention to provide such an assembly which is easily fabricated and subject to simple replacement.
It is another object of the invention to provide a connector permitting easy coupling of the vacuum and electrical components.
It is still another object of the invention to provide a connector in which there is no strain upon the electrical conductors.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a connector which may be easily assembled and disassembled.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following specification, claims, and drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the entire vacuum apparatus and hose assembly together with the connectors.
FIGURE 2 is an exploded perspective view of the components of one of the connectors. 1
FIGURE 3 is an elevational view in partial section illustrating the assembled connector.
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of a portion of the connector taken along lines 4-4 of FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 1 illustrates a vacuum cleaner and a cleaning tool which are coupled by a hose assembly 11, consisting primarily of a flexible conduit 12. The conduit comprises a pair of helically coiled reinforcing wires 13 and 14- (as shown in FIGURES 2 and 3) which form two independent supporting members. The turns of these members alternate longitudinally of the hose and are surmounted by an outer tube 15 of flexible plastic material such as vinyl, polyethylene, or the like. The wires themselves are metal and made to provide proper conduc tion for electrical current, then coated with a plastic material similar to that forming the outer tube. Attached to the ends of the conduit 12 are the connectors 16 and 17, the construction of which will be more fully discussed below. The connector 16 is designed for interengagement into the canister 18 of the vacuum cleaner, having a vacuum outlet 19 and a female electrical fitting 20. Thus, the connector 16 may be attached to the canister so that the outlet 1 fits within the opening of connector 16 to provide continuity of the vacuum system; electrical continuity is provided at the same time by means of an electrical cord 21 having a male end 22 which plugs into the fitting 20 on the canister; and a female fitting 23 into which is plugged the male end 24 of the connector.
At the opposite end of the hose assembly the connector 17 is similar to connector 16. This connector is designed to complete the vacuum and electrical continuity with a wand 25 and an electric cord 26 to which is attached male end 27. The vacuum connection is provided by inserting the end of the wand 25 into the interior of the connector 17. The electrical continuity is provided by the male end 27 of the electric cord which is plugged into the female fitting 28 on the connector.
It is readily apparent that the hose assembly and its connectors provide both electrical and vacuum continuity from the canister to the wand and cleaning tool. The tool is attached to the end of the wand 25 and will permit cleaning of a rug by the use of a power driven brush mounted therein, this brush operated by electricrcurrent from a motor in the canister. The electrical circuit is completed from the canister 18 to the fitting 20 and the end 22 through electrical cord 21, the fittings 23 and 24, through the wires 13 and 14 of the conduit, through the fitting 28 to the end 27, and then through the electrical cord 26 to the motor of the cleaning tool (not shown). At the same time vacuum is supplied from the canister 18 through outlet 19, the Opening in the connector 16, the conduit 12, the opening in the connector 17, and into the wand which leads to the cleaning tool.
FIGURES 2-4 illustrate in detail the connector 17. This connector consists of an inner sleeve 29, an outer sleeve 30, a collar 31, and a locking member 32. These members are shown in exploded view in FIGURE 2 which illustrates the order in which they are assembled to form the finished connector; and are shown in assembled position in partial section in FIGURE 3. All these members are preferably made of a plastic material such as polyethylene, vinyl, nylon, or the like, all these materials capable of molding into the shapes which are shown, and providing necessary characteristics such as impact resistance, electrical insulation, and sufficient flexibility for assembly. I
The inner sleeve 29 is generally cylindrical and has a circumferentially extending ridge 33 approximately midway of the outer surface. This ridge is approximately rectangular in cross section and has a plurality of apertures or slots 35 extending therethrough. Located on the inner portion of the outer surface of the sleeve are a plurality of guide lugs 36 which are spaced equally about the diameter of the sleeve. These lugs are axially spaced and have a helical pitch so that they provide threading means for the conduit 12 when inserted therein, these lugs adapted to fit between adjacent turns of the Wires 13 and 14. The inner portion of the sleeve 29 has a plurality of slits 37 which enable this end of the member to be more easily compressed during assembly. On the lower mold portion of the outer surface is a boss 38 which extends partially along the surface in an axial direction. The outer end of this sleeve has an outwardly extending shoulder 34.
The outer sleeve 30 is also generally cylindrical and has an inwardly extending shoulder 39 at its outer end. This shoulder defines a pair of apertures or slots 40. Extending along the inner surface is a longitudinal slot 41 adapted to fit the boss 38 of the inner sleeve.
The collar 31 is also generally cylindrical but has a downwardly extending section 42. At the'inner surface of the collar is an inwardly extending shoulder 43. A pair of electrical conductors 44 and are embedded within the collar and extend from the inner end thereof through the collar and terminate at the lower end of the section 42 to form the previously described fitting 28. These wires 44 and 45 are preferably hollow at their ends and adapted to fit over the ends of the wires 13 and 14 to form a tight connection, with the other ends also permitting the insertion of the male end of the electrical connector 27.
The locking member 32 is simply a generally cylindrical ring having an inwardly extending shoulder 46.
Having now described the components of the connector, the method of assembly will be discussed. Before assembly it is necessary to form the terminating ends of the wires 13 and 14 of the conduit 12 so that they extend outwardly in an axial direction as shown. These ends are designated by reference numerals 47 and 48. The
4 inner sleeve 29 is first inserted within the conduit so that the lugs 36 will snap into place between adjacent turns of the wires. It may be necessary to rotate this sleeve to simplify the assembly. In this position, therefore, the inner sleeve will be partially within the conduit and extend partially outwardly thereof, with the apertures 35 aligned with the wire ends 47 and 48 so that these ends may extend therethrough. The next step in the assembly consists of sliding the outer sleeve 30 over the inner sleeve and proper alignment is maintained by causing the boss 38 to slide within the slot 41 until the inner edge of the shoulder 39 is in contact with the ridge 33 of the inner sleeve. At the same time the apertures 40 in the shoulder 39 will be aligned with the apertures 35 of the inner sleeve, thereby permitting the wire ends 47 and 48 to extend through these apertures as well. The next step of the assembly consists of sliding the collar 31 over the protruding portion of the inner sleeve until the shoulder 43 is in contact with the shoulder 39. At the same time the hollow ends of wires 44 and 45 will slide over the wire ends 47 and 48 to make an electrical connection. The final step in the assembly consists of sliding the locking member 32 onto the remaining portion of the inner sleeve, which is capable of being compressed radially inward because of the slits 37. The shoulder 46 is forced over the shoulder 34 of the inner sleeve so that it is locked in place between the shoulder 34 and the shoulder 43 of the collar (as shown in FIGURE 3) to provide laterallocking. The entire assembly is now complete and electrical continuity is maintained through the wire ends, the wires 44 and 45, and the fitting 28.
When it is necessary to disassemble a connector it is only required to reverse the procedure just described; thus the removal of the locking member will free the other members for disassembly.
While the above description has been made with reference to the connector 17, it should be understood that the connector 16 is identical in structure and operation, except that the lower ends of the wires 44 and 45 would extend beyond the section 42 and would not be hollow, thus constituting a male fitting which would be capable of plugging into the female fitting 23.
It may be seen that by means of this invention a simple assembly provides good electrical and vacuum continuity and eliminates the strain from the electrical members. Other variations are possible within the purview of this invention; for example, the electrical wires 44 and 45 may be brought out in the top of the collar or may extend either inwardly or outwardly of the connector in accordance with the design of the vacuum cleaner assembly. The specific looking structures described may also be varied so long as the basic relationship is preserved. Other variations are specifically contemplated as falling within the spirit of the invention.
1. In a vacuum cleaner hose assembly including a vacuum hose having a plurality of electrical conductors incorporated therein, a connector mounted at one end of the hose comprising an inner sleeve located partially within the end of said hose, an outer sleeve surrounding said hose end and engaging said inner sleeve, a collar mounted on said inner sleeve and a separate locking member engaging said inner sleeve and said collar.
2. The connector of claim 1 in which said collar contains wires which contact the electrical conductors in said hose.
3. The connector of claim 1 in which said locking member is locked to the outer surface of said inner sleeve to lock said collar and said outer sleeve in position.
4. The connector of claim 3 in which said locking member is capable of unlocking to permit disassembly of the other members.
5. In a vacuum cleaner hose assembly including a vacuum hose having a plurality of electrical conductors incorporated therein and terminating in outwardly extending ends; a connector mounted at one end of the hose comprising an inner sleeve located partially within the end of said hose, an outer sleeve surrounding said hose end and engaging said inner sleeve, and a collar mounted on said inner sleeve axially outward of said outer sleeve, said collar having electrical conducting members incorporated therein, the outwardly extending ends of said electrical conductors extending through said inner and outer sleeves and contacting said electrical conducting members in said collar to complete electrical continuity within said connector and a separate locking member mounted on the axially outward end of said sleeve and locking all members of said connector in position.
6, In a vacuum cleaner hose assembly including a vacuum hose having a plurality of electrical conductors incorporated therein and terminating in outwardly ex tending ends; a connector mounted at one end of the hose comprising a generally cylindrical inner sleeve located partially within said hose and extending partially outwardly thereof, said sleeve having a circumferential ridge on its outer surface, said ridge having apertures therein through which the outwardly extending ends of said conductor extend, said sleeve having an axially extending boss adjacent said ridge; a generally cylindrical outer sleeve surrounding said hose end and a portion of said inner sleeve, said outer sleeve having a longituidnal extending slot on its inner surface engaging said boss, an inwardly extending shoulder at the outer end of said sleeve contacting said ridge, said shoulder having apertures through which the outwardly extending ends of said conductor extend; a generally cylindrical collar engaging the outer surface of said inner sleeve and having an inwardly extending shoulder contacting the shoulder of said outer sleeve, and a plurality of wires embedded in said collar engaging the outwardly extending ends of said electrical conductors; and a generally cylindrical locking member engaging a portion of the outer surface of said inner sleeve and contacting the shoulder of said collar.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 873,940 12/1907 Hoffman 339l6 2,524,522 10/1950 Gilmore et a1. 15836 3,034,085 5/1962 Pauler et al. 339l6 3,127,227 3/1964 Edwards 339-15 MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner. PATRICK A. CLIFFORD, Examiner.