US 3453578 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 1, 1969 c.'H. FERNALD ETAL ELECTRICAL PLUG CONNECTOR Filed Feb. 10, 1967 July 1, 1969 c. H.FERNALD ETAL 3,453,578
ELECTRICAL PLUG CONNECTOR Filed Feb. 10, 1967 3 of 2 Sheet United States Patent US. Cl. 337-495 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A connector is provided for insertion in the socket of an automobile cigarette lighter and the like. A dielectric body means is formed of two halves. Two electrical leads extend through one open end of the body means, one of the leads being connected to a first contact means and the other of the leads being connected to a second contact means. The first contact means includes a resilient bent intermediate portion and a resilient clamping end portion comprising four spaced arms for receiving one end of a fuse which is supported partly within the body means and extends outwardly of the body means for engaging a contact in an associated socket. The second contact means includes an intermediate portion extending through a slot in the body means and an outer arcuate resilient end portion which engages the inner surface of the ground means. The ground means comprises an annular member having integral struck-out detents for engaging a wall of an associated socket. The ground means includes a radially inwardly extending rib portion which is received within a groove formed in the outer surface of one of the body means portion-s to hold the ground means in relative position, the ground means serving to hold the two body means portions in assembled relationship. The ground means also includes a pair of cars extending at an angle from one end thereof and adapted to engage the outer surafce of the body means for holding the ground means in place.
Background of the invention The present invention relates to an electrical plug connector adapted to be plugged into a socket such as the socket portion of an automobile cigarette lighter for obtaining power for operating a light, an electric razor, for heating baby bottles, and similar applications. Connectors of this type should be capable of insertion in a socket without the necessity of turning it and should be of such a construction so as not to damage the socket whereby the socket can be re-used for its original purpose. Additionally, the connector should preferably be of a construction so as to be readily assembled by a customer.
Electrical connectors of this general type are shown for example in U.S. Patents No. 2,954,544 and No. 3,099,505. These prior art connectors are generally used in conjunction with a separate fuse which is usually spliced into the leads of the connector externally of the connector. This arrangement is time-consuming in initial- 'ly assembling the apparatus, and furthermore does not present a neat finished appearance to the overall arrangement.
Additionally, the body means of such prior art connectors is formed of a plurality of parts which must be interconnected with one another by a separate fastening means such as a screw, a rive-t, or a nut and bolt arrangement as illustrated in the aforementioned prior art patents.
Summary of the invention In the present invention, a novel arrangement is employed wherein a first contact means supported within the body means of the structure includes a resilient clamping end portion adapted to receive one end of a fuse. The fuse extends partially within the body means and within the clamping end portion of said first contact means, and additionally protrudes outwardly of the body means. This first contact means also includes a resilient intermediate portion so that when the connector is inserted in a socket, the fuse connected therewith will be resiliently pressed into engagement with a suitable contact means provided in the socket to thereby ensure an effective electrical connection therewith.
The connector of the present invention also employs a unique ground means which surrounds the body means and includes a pulrality of detents for ensuring that the connector is effectively held in place within an associated socket. Means is also provided for connecting the ground means with respect to the body means so that it will be held in place with respect thereto both circ-umferentially of the body means as well as longitudinally with respect thereto. This ground means further serves the important function of holding the portions of the body means in assembled relationship with respect to one another thereby eliminating the necessity of providing any additional or separate means for holding the body portions together. A novel second contact means is supported within the body means of the connector for providing an electrical interconnection between the surrounding ground means and an electrical lead disposed within the body means.
An object of the present invention is to provide a new and novel electrical plug connector wherein it is not necessary to splice a fuse into the external leads; and wherein no separate means is required to hold the body portions together.
Brief description of the drawing FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of the assembled connector showing a fuse adapted to be inserted therewithin;
FIG. 2 is a top perspective exploded view of various portions of the connector illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a top view on an enlarged scale of the lower portion of the body means illustrating the electrical leads and contact means disposed in operative position there Within;
FIG. 4 is a side view on an enlarged scale of the first contact means of the connector;
FIG. 5 is an end view of the contact means shown in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is an end view of the ground means of the present invention;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 77 of FIG. 6 looking in the direction of the arrows; and
FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 8-8 of FIG.'6 looking in the direction of the arrows.
Description of the preferred embodiment Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, the over-all connector is illustrated in FIG. 1 and includes a body means indicated generally by reference numeral 10, the body means including a first or upper portion 12 as seen in the drawings and a second or lower portion 14, each of these portions comprising substantially half of the body means.
Referring now particularly to FIGS. 2 and 3, the second body portion 14 includes an end portion 20 having a substantially semi-cylindrical recess 22 formed therein and having a groove 24 extending longitudinally of the body portion 114. This recess is in communication with a hollow cavity 28 defined Within the body portion, this cavity including a central longitudinally extending rib 30 at the bottom thereof.
A wall portion 32 extends rearwardly from the body portion 14 and terminates in an end edge 34. A further cavity 38 is defined at one side of the body portion and extends longitudinally thereof.
A laterally extending integral wall portion 40 has a slot 42 formed therein and extending downwardly from the upper edge thereof and terminating short of the rib 30 previously described.
A longitudinally extending wall portion 44 extends rearwardly from the lateral wall portion 40. A first pair of web portions 46 extend between wall portion 44 and one side wall of the body portion 14, while a second pair of spaced web portions 48 extend between wall portion 44 and a longitudinally extending wall portion 49 extending rearwardly from the laterally extending wall portion 40. These web portions 46 and 48 are disposed a substantial distance below the upper edge of wall portion 44 and are adapted to support the electrical leads hereinafter described.
A cavity 50 is defined at the rear portion of the body portion 14 just rearwardly of wall portion 44 and is in communication with a groove 52 opening through the rear end of the body portion.
A slot or opening 56 is formed in one side of the body portion and is in communication with the space defined between wall portion 44 and the far side of the body portion 14 as seen in the drawings.
Four spaced holes 58 are provided in the upper surface of the body portion 14 for a purpose hereinafter described.
Body portion 14 is provided with a recess portion 60 at one side thereof for a purpose hereinafter described, and a peripherally extending shoulder 62 extends about the body portion for engaging one end of the ground means as more fully explained hereinafter.
The body portion 12 is substantially a mirror image of body portion 14. Body portion 12 is provided with serrations 66 on the outer surface thereof, it being understood that body portion 14 is provided with similar serrations on the outer surface thereof. Body portion 12 is also provided with a longitudinally extending groove 68 the purpose of which is hereinafter explained. It should also be noted that a shoulder 62' similar to shoulder 62 previously described extends peripherally about the outer surface of body portion 12. The portions 22' and 24 of body portion 12 correspond to the portions 22 and 24 previously described, and it will be understood that body means 12 is adapted to cooperate with body portion 14 to form the complete over-all body means. Body portion 12 is provided with four spaced pins (not shown) extending from the undersurface thereof, these pins being received within the holes 58 in body portion 14 for properly orienting the two body portions with respect to one another. The two body portions are formed of a suitable dielectric material such as nylon or a similar plastic substance.
As seen in FIGS. 1-3, a pair of electrical leads 72 and 70 are provided and extend through the slots formed at one end of the complementary body portions and into the interior of the body means. These electrical leads are connected with the contact means hereinafter described.
As seen most clearly in FIGS. 2-5 inclusive, a first contact means indicated generally by reference numeral 80 is formed of a suitable electrically conductive substance such as Phosphor bronze of the like. The first contact means is provided with a first wrap-around portion 82 which is wrapped around the insulation on electrical lead 70 to hold the contact means in place with respect to the lead. An adjacent wrap-around portion 84 is crimped into the bared end of lead 70 to provide a good electrical connection therewith.
A fiat portion 86 extends from the crimped portion 84 and joins with a portion 88 extending substantially normally therefrom. Portion 88 in turn joins with an arcuate substantially semi-circular shaped portion 90 which further joins with an intermediate portion 92 extending at an oblique angle to the aforementioned portion 88. Portion 92 joins with a further arcuate portion 94 of generally semi-circular configuration which further joins with a straight flat portion 96.
Portion 96 terminates in an arcuate resilient arm 98. A pair of similar arcuate resilient arms 100 and 102 are disposed in facing relationship to one another and extend from opposite sides of the flat portion 96. A further arcuate resilient arm 104 is struck-out of the material of portions 94 and 96 and is disposed in opposed facing relation to the arm 98.
The intermediate portion of the contact means including portions 90, 92 and 94 is sufiiciently resilient so as to deflect when pressure is applied thereto and when a fuse is associated therewith so as to apply a resilient force to such fuse tending to urge it outwardly of the body means. The four resilient arms 98, 100, 102 and 104 form a resilient calmping end portion of the contact means which is adapted to snugly receive and support one end of a fuse.
When the first contact means is disposed in its operative relationship as seen in FIG. 3, it will be noted that lead 70 extends through slot 52 and is supported by web portions 48. The flat portion 86 of the contact means extends through the slot 42 provided in wall portion 40 of the body portion, and the forward face of the fiat portion 96 is adapted to rest against the edge 34 of the wall portion 32 of body portion 14. It is of course apparent that the contact means 80 is disposed within the cavity 28 of the body portion.
Referring now particularly to FIGS. 2 and 3, a second contact means is indicated generally by reference numeral and includes a first wrap-around portion 112 which wraps around the insulation of lead 72 to secure the second contact means thereto. This second contact means includes a second crimped portion 114 which is crimped into the bared end of lead 72 to provide a good electrical connection therewith.
Contact means 110 includes a fiat portion 116 extending from the wrap-around portion 114. A further flat portion 118 extends substantially normally to the portion 116 and finally terminates in an arcuate resilient outer end portion 120.
As seen in FIG. 3, when the second contact means is disposed in its operative relationship with respect to the body portion 14, the lead 72 extends through slot 52 and is supported by web portions 46. The portion 118 of the second contact means extends through the slot 56 in the side of the body portion, and the arcuate resilient outer end portion 120 of the second contact means is disposed within the recess portion 60 of the body portion.
As seen most clearly in FIGS. 2, 6, 7 and 8, the ground means of the connector is indicated generally by reference numeral and comprises an integral member 132 formed of nickel-plated steel or the like. Member 130 is generally annular in configuration and includes opposite free end edges 134 and 136 bent inwardly at an angle to the adjacent portions of the member and being disposed closely adjacent one another in the free condition of the member as seen in FIG. 6. These free end edges 134 and 136 do not necessarily have to be in abutting relationship in such free condition and a gap of .10 inch is permissible.
Three integral struck-out arcuate resilient detent portions 140 are provided in member 132 at equally spaced points about the circumference thereof. These detents are adapted to engage the wall of an associated socket to retain the connector in operative position and to provide a ground contact therewith.
One end portion of ground means 132 is provided with a pair of integral diametrically oppositely disposed longitudinally extending ears 144 and 146, these ears extending at an angle a with respect to member 132 of approximately as seen in FIG. 8. The ears 144 and 146 accordingly define relatively sharp edge portions 144' and 146' respectively.
As seen in FIG. 1, when the two body portions 12 and 14 have been assembled with respect to one another with the leads 70 and 72 extending thereinto and connected with the first and second contact means previously described, the ground means may be moved into the operative relationship shown wherein the end portions 134 and 136 of the ground means are received within the slot 68 defined in the outer surface of body portion 12. This will of course accurately locate the ground means with respect to the body means and will prevent relative rotation between these components.
Additionally, as the ground means is moved into operative relationship so that the far end of the ground means as seen in FIG. 1 is in engagement with the shoulder defined by shoulder portions 62 and 62 previously described, the ears 144 and 146 will be engaged with the outer surface of the body portions 14 and 12 respectively, whereby the sharp edges 144' and 146 of the ears will prevent the ground means from slipping back off of the body means without applying considerable force thereto. Accordingly, the ears serve to retain the ground means in operative position.
It is of course apparent that when the ground means is in position in surrounding relationship to the body means, the inner periphery of the annular member 132 will be in engagement with the outer resilient end 120 of the second contact means thereby providing an electrical connection between lead 72 and the ground means.
As seen in FIG. 1 a conventional fuse is indicated generally by reference numeral 150. After the connector of the present invention has been assembled as shown in FIG. 1, fuse 150 is inserted through the hole provided at one end of the connector as defined by portions 22 and 22'. The fuse is forced inwardly until the far end of the fuse is clamped within the resilient clamping end portion of the first contact means. When the fuse is in this position, it will project outwardly of the body means and be adapted to connect a contact within a socket within which the connector is disposed.
It is apparent from the foregoing that there is provided according to the present invention a new and novel electrical plug connector wherein it is not necessary to splice a fuse into the external leads of the connector since the fuse actually is carried by and forms a part of the connector in the assembled relationship thereof, and further wherein no separate means is required to hold the portions of the body means together since the ground means of the present invention serves this purpose.
As this invention may be embodied in several forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof, the present embodiment is therefore illustrative and not restrictive, and since the scope of the invention is defined by the appended claims, all changes that fall within the metes and bounds of the claims or that form their functional as well as conjointly cooperative equivalents are therefore intended to be embraced by those claims.
1. An electrical plug connector including a body member comprised of a plurality of segments of dielectric material, a first contact means formed of electrically conductive material and supported within said body means, a clamp means on said first contact means, adapted to receive one end of a fuse, a second contact means formed of electrically conductive material supported within said body means adapted to form part of an electrical grounding circuit, an electrically conductive fastener surrounding the body member to retain the segments of said body member in alignment, a portion of said second contact projecting through the body member to make contact with the fastener and electrical leads secured to each of said contacts.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein an intermediate portion of said first contact means is formed of resilient material and is bent so as to be adapted to flex to thereby permit relative movement of said clamping end portion and a fuse supported thereby With respect to said body means.
3. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said body means comprises first and second portions each of which comprises substantially one-half of the over-all body means, said ground means comprising an annular means disposed in surrounding relationship to said first and second body means portions and holding said first and second body means portions in operative relationship with respect to one another.
4. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said ground means includes outwardly extending detent means for holding the connector in place within an associated socket.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said ground means includes an inwardly extending portion, one portion of said body means having a groove formed therein receiving said inwardly extending portion of the ground means for holding the ground means in operative relationship with respect to said body means.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said ground means has a pair of ears formed integral therewith and extending from one end thereof, said ears extending at an angle with respect :to said ground means and being adapted to engage the outer surface of the associated portion of said body means for holding the ground means in position.
7. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said body means comprises first and second portions, each of said first and second portions comprising substantially onehalf of the over-all body means, one of said portions of the body means having a groove formed in the outer surface thereof, said first contact means including an intermediate resilient bent portion to permit relative movement of said clamping end portion with respect to said body means, said clamping end portion being resilient for resiliently grasping an associated fuse, second contact means supported within said body means, said body means having an opening formed therein, said second contact means extending through said opening and having a resilient outer end portion in engagement with said ground means, said ground means comprising an annular means disposed in surrounding relationship to said body means, said ground means including detent means extending outwardly thereof for holding the connector in a socket, said ground means including an inwardly extending portion fitting within said groove in the body means, said ground means also including ears extending from one end thereof at an angle thereto for engaging the outer surface of the associated portions of the body means for holding the ground means in place.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,272,538 2/1942 Wirth 339-208 2,700,085 1/ 1955 Breitsch et al. 200-133 2,910,562 10/1959 Bussmann 200-129 X 3,320,385 5/1967 Sherwood 200-129 BERNARD A. GILHEANY, Primary Examiner. H. B. GILSON, Assistant Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 337-199, 201