|Publication number||US3445805 A|
|Publication date||May 20, 1969|
|Filing date||May 18, 1967|
|Priority date||May 18, 1967|
|Publication number||US 3445805 A, US 3445805A, US-A-3445805, US3445805 A, US3445805A|
|Inventors||Kenneth W Mcload|
|Original Assignee||Schlumberger Technology Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Referenced by (24), Classifications (15)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
May 20, 1969 K. w. MCLOAD 3,445,805
` ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed May 18, 1967 United States Patent O 3,445,805 ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Kenneth W. McLoad, Houston, Tex., assignor to Schlumberger Technology Corporation, Houston, Tex., a corporation of Texas Filed May 18, 1967, Ser. No. 639,482 Int. Cl. H01r 13/54, 3/02 U.S. Cl. 339-89 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Background of the invention This invention relates to an electrical connector and more particularly to a waterproof electrical connector for coupling ends of a cable.
In the seismic exploration for oil, it is often necessary to place seismic detector spreads in marshes, swamps, and shallow bays. Under such conditions, the entry of moisture into the cable or electrical parts on the cable becomes a critical problem. Such moisture entry provides stray electrical paths within the cable and may cause a malfunction of the operations being carried out.
The problems of leakage into cables and connectors may be caused by improper sealing of the connector parts, corrosion causing deterioration of connector parts, and inadvertent uncoupling of the parts during handling. The corrosion problem, of course, is predominant in salt water areas where the metals normally used in the construction of connectors are subject to the accelerated corrosive effects of such water. A lmetal connector case also provides an electrical path to ground for any moisture which enters the interior of the connector and makes contact between the electrical conductors and the connector case.
When electrical malfunctions of a cable occurs due to the effects of moisture, it is sometimes a difficult and, therefore, a time-consuming operation to pinpoint the location of moisture entry into the cable. Such a troubleshooting operation inherently involves the use of electrical testing equipment which may be unavailable or impractical for use in the eld.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved waterproof electrical connector which overcomes the .problems set forth above.
Summary of the invention With this and other objects in view, the present invention pertains to a waterproof cable connector constructed entirely of a clear plastic material. The connector includes cable clamp members for attachment to ends of a cable. Male and female connector insert housings are threadedly attached to each of the cable clamp members. A ring nut threadedly connects the connector insert housings to one another. O ring seals are positioned between the longitudinal ends of the members making up the connector to permit some variation in the longitudinal dimensions of the connector assembly. A
3,445,805 Patented May 20, 1969 ice pair of locking rings locks the assembled parts in a longitudinal position wherein the AO ring seals are compressed. The transparent plastic material permits observation of a moisture indicating agent within the connector and at the same time provides a nonconductive, corrosive resistant case.
The novel features of the present invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by Way of illustration and example of an embodiment when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
Brief description of the drawings FIGURE l shows a partially cut-away elevational view of a cable connector embodying the principles of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 shows a partially cut-away elevational view of a cable connector having a cable attached thereto and cable conductors connected with connector inserts;
FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 3 3 of FIGURE l; and
FIGURE 4 shows a locking ring member for use with the connector assembly.
Description of the preferred embodiments Referring first to FIGURE 1 of the drawing, a molded clear plastic connector is shown having cable clamping members 12 and 14 comprising the outer ends of the assembled connector. The clamping members have a tapered exterior surface and a divided interior bore portion. An enlarged tapered bore portion 15 forms a chamber 16 on the inner end of the clamps which is separated from a chamber 17 by a baffle 19. A bore 23 is provided in the bafile between chambers 16 and 17. The inner ends of the cable clamps are provided with threaded portions in the bore 15 while the opposite ends of the cable clamps are threaded on the exterior surface to receive a cable clamp nut 1'8. The cable clamp nuts have ribs 20 molded thereon to facalitate gripping of the nut for threadedly engaging same with the cable clamp. An axial bore 21 through the nut has an enlarged diameter portion which forms a shoulder 22 in the bore adjacent a threaded portion. The threaded portion provides a means for connecting the nut 1S to the end of the cable clamp.
The tapered bore portion 15 of the cable clamp also has a shoulder 24 adjacent its inner threaded end portion. A groove 26 is formed in the face of the shoulder 24 for receiving an O ring seal. The inner end of the cable clamp also has a peripheral groove 27 formed about its exterior surface with a pair of radially disposed openings 29 connecting the groove with the interior of the cable clamp. Each of the clamps is provided with raised ribs to permit gripping of the clamp members for assembly. In addition, a pair of longitudinally spaced cylindrical bosses 32 are molded into the exterior surface of the clamps with dat surfaces in a plane parallel to the axis of the connector. These raised cylindrical surfaces provide means for drilling holes into the interior of the cable clamps on both ends of the connector for inserting a potting compound therein if desirable.
The cable clamp members 12 and 14 are connected at their inner ends to connector insert housings. A male connector insert housing 33 is threadably received in the bore of cable clamp 12 and a female connector insert housing 34 is threadably received in the bore of cable clamp 14.
The male connector insert housing 33 is a cylindrical member having an interior bore and a peripheral ridge 36 formed about the wall of the bore between large and small diametered portions 37, 38 respectively of the bore. The exterior of the male insert housing 33 has a rst threaded portion 41 -for reception Within the threaded end of cable clamp 12. The exterior surface of the male insert adjacent the threaded portion 41 has a plurality of laterally-spaced longitudinal slots 42 about the periphery of the male insert. The male insert also has external threads 43 on an enlarged portion midway along its length. A step in the exterior surface of the male insert forms large shoulder 44 which extends between the threaded portion 43 and a longitudinally extending sleeve portion 46.
The female conector insert housing is a cylindrical member vhaving stepped bore portions including a recessed notch 47 in the inner end of the bore. A large diameter portion 48 of the bore is sized to receive the longitudinally extending sleeve Aportion 46 of the male member. A peripheral ridge 51 separates stepped portions in the bore. The exterior surface of the female insert housing includes an enlarged flange portion S2 at its inner end. An intermediate diameter surface 53 extends between the ange 52 and a threaded outer end 55. Longitudinally extending slots 50 are spaced about the outer edge of the surface 53.
A clear plastic ring nut 54 is positioned about the insert housings and has a stepped internal diameter with a shoulder 56 formed between the stepped surfaces. The small diameter surface is threaded for engagement over the enlarged threaded portion 43 of the male insert housing. The small diameter surface of the ring nut is sized for engagement with the intermediate surface 53 on the female insert housing.
FIGURE 2 shows the connector housing assembled with the connector inserts and a conductor carrying cable. The procedure for assembling the connector housing is as follows:
The end of a cable 59 is prepared by removing the jacketing material to expose conductors 60 in the cable. A cable clamp nut 18 is positioned on the cable. An upset mold 61 is formed about the end of the cable. The upset mold has an enlarged portion 63 for reception within the chamber 17 at the outer end of the cable clamp. The enlarged portion 63 of the upset iS positioned in the chamber with the exposed cable conductors extending through the bore 23 into the chamber 16 within the cable clamp. A nylon washer `64 is placed behind the enlarged portion of the upset before threading the cable clamp nut 18 onto the end of the cable clamp. The washer is sized to fit within the chamber 17. The shoulder 22 in the cable clamp nut engages the washer 64 as the nut is threaded on the end of the cable clamp and presses the washer aginst the enlarged portion of the upset to expand the enlarge portion within the chamber 17 and thereby form a sealing engagement.
Next the ring nut 54 is placed over the female insert housing 34 with the shoulder 56 on the nut abutting the flange 52 on the insert housing. Male and female connector inserts 66 and 67 respectively are then pressed into their respective insert housings. Each insert has an enlarged portion 68 at its terminal end which is compressed to slip over the ridges 36 and 51 in the interior of the male and female insert housings respectively. This prevents the connector inserts from being inadvertently removed from the interior of the insert housings. Heating of the rubber inserts aids in the deformation of the :inserts for assembly into the housings. Longitudinal :splines (not sown) are provided on the insert housings :as well as longitudinal grooves (not shown) on the :inserts for mutual engagement to prevent misorientation :of the male and female connector inserts relative to :one another. Likewise, splines and grooves (not shown) :are provided on the male and female insert housings to :prevent their misorientation relative to One another in assembly.
r After the male and female connector inserts have :been assembled within the respective insert housings, :the exposed ends of the conductors 6G are then soldered for otherwise connected to terminal pins on the outer ends .'of the male and female connector inserts. O ring seals :are placed in the grooves 26 in the inner ends of the 'cable clamps. The insert housings are then threaded into the inner end of the respective cable clamp mem- `bers until the O ring seals have been compressed within the grooves 26 to form a fluid-tight seal. At this point, 'a wire locking ring 71, as shown in FIGURE 4, is placed 'in the groove 27 in the exterior surface of each of the 'cable clamps. A bent end 72 of the locking ring is -inserted through the radial opening 29, intersecting the 'groove 27 in the cable clamp (see FIGURE 3). The `insert member is then unthreaded or backed off a small increment until the tip of the bent end 72 projects into 'one of the longitudinal slots 42 or 50 in the exterior 'surface of the insert housings. The connector is now ready for final connection of the male and female halves. An O ring seal is positioned in the notch 47 in 'the inner end of the female insert housing.
t The ends of the two insert housings are then brought 'together and the ring nut 54, which is slidably positioned about the female insert housing, is threadedly attached to the threaded portion 43 of the male insert housing. The O ring seal between the insert housings is compressed to form a sealing engagement between the conlnector halves.
In order to detcet the presence of moisture within the cable connector housing, a material such as a duid may be placed within the connector which fluid has a rchemical agent therein that is responsive to the presence lof moisture to change its color. Such a moisture indieating fluid may be prepared by mixing a grease or 'similar material, which is not harmful to the rubber and plastic members of the connector assembly, with a product such as Color Cut made by Color Cut Products Co., Houston, Tex. The mixture is then placed in all parts lof the connector before assembly of the connector in- .'serts to encase the lluid within the assembled conrnector. Since the entire outer connector housing is made fof a clear plastic material, such as clear polycarbonate, :a complete view of the interior lportions of the con- 'nector is provided so that the presence of moisture is readily detectable. Therefore, during lield operations, 'malfunctions of the cable system due to moisture entering into one of the connectors, may be easily observed.
In addition, the construction of the housing and its components from a plastic material prevents the grounding of conductive portions of the cable connector to the 'exterior of the cable even if moisture has invaded the interior of the connector housing. The use of a high impact plastic for the connector parts also provides a rugged construction which is not susceptible to the corrosive eiects of salt water, etc. Also, the positioning of the O ring seals between the longitudinal ends of the respective components making up the connector assembly, `permits their compression during the assembly of the housing so that a fluid-tight seal is provided for the connector housing. The locking rings then maintain these parts in their sealed conguration.
While a particular embodiment of the present invention has been shown and described, it is apparent that changes and modifications may be made without departing from this invention in its broader aspects.
What is claimed is:
1. A waterproof cable connector for joining the ends 'of multiple conductor electrical cables, comprising in lcombination:
a pair of clear plastic cable clamp members, each having inner and outer longitudinally spaced cavities and a connecting bore between said cavities, said inner cavities having tapered cylindrical wall plastic threaded ring for securing said connector insert housings to each other; and visible indicator means retained in said inner cavities of said cable claimp members for indicating the presence of moisture in said inner cavities.
References Cited ends to said connector; means for providing a fluid tight seal between said cable clamp members and UNITED STATES PATENTS said cable ends; male and female cable connector ,0 1,416,232 5/1922 OSbOrIt 151-6 inserts; a plurality of male and female electrical l 1,617,914 2/1927 Katter101111 151-6 contacts carried by said connector inserts and adapt- 2,279,230 1f/1942A` FIOS 17`4-1l.3 ed for establishing electrical contact between multiple 2,306,821 12/ 1942 Markey 339-89 conductors of said cable; a pair of clear plastic, male 2,698,926 1/ 1955 Young 339-91 and female connector insert housings, pressed-fit 15 2,964,726 12/1960 Mlchals 339-149 about said connector inserts and adapted so snugly, 3,078,436 2/ 1963 Berry 339-143 but slidably, engage each other in abutting rela- 3,181,105 4/ 1965 Roach etal. 339-94 tionship and to threadedly engage said cable clamp 3,307,138 2/1967 Swartz 339-89 members means for providing a uid tight seal between said connector insert housings; means for 20 `MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner. providing a uid tight seal between said cable I H MCGLYNN Assistant Examiner clamp members and said connector insert housings; means for securing said cable clamp members and U s C1 XR said connector insert housings in locked relationship when threadedly engaged with each other; a clear 25 151-6; l74-11,9l;285-92,93;339-94, 113
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|U.S. Classification||439/277, 439/321, 439/598, 174/91, 411/946, 411/335, 285/92, 439/488, 174/11.00R, 285/93, 439/587|
|Cooperative Classification||H01R13/5221, Y10S411/946|