US 3501735 A
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A. R. BALLMAN A Filed June 21, 1968 LATCHABLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR ASSEMBLAGE March 17, 1970 United States Patent 3,501,735 LATCHABLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR ASSEMBLAGE Alan R. Ballman and George K. Green, Baltimore, Md.,
assignors to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed June 21, 1968, Ser. No. 738,914 Int. Cl. H01r 13/54 U.S. Cl. 339-75 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Plug and socket parts of an electrical connector are drawn and locked tight together by a pair of stemmed self-expanding collets on the one part which are made to contract around and pull on shouldered latch pins on the other part by a crank pin screw-connected to stems of the collets and by cylindrical sockets into which the collets are drawn. Actuation of the crank pin is obtained -via an enveloping rotary shaft in which such pin is journaled eccentrically. Slots in the shaft, exposing parts of the pin, accommodate collet stern extension, and detents yieldably lock the shaft in desired rotary positions.
The invention herein described was made in the course of or under a contract or subcontract thereunder, with the Department of the Navy, Naval Air Systems Command, under Contract No. NOW (A)660l38.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention Latchable electrical connector assemblages.
Description of the prior art Previous latchable connector assemblages employ locking mechanisms of the usual slide-lock type which may not readily engage every time and is unable to withstand heavy pulls or side loads from the electrical cables of the connector parts.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION By the provision of self-expanding collets on one electrical connector part, shouldered latch pins on the mating connector part readily may be inserted into such collets. And by simultaneous retraction of the collets into respective cylindrical sockets via a crank pin and stems on such collets, the two connectors parts can be drawn and locked together with assurance against subsequent separation by pulling and side thrust loads. By actuation of the crank pin via a rotary shaft in which the crank pin is journaled on an axis parallel to that of such shaft, actuation of the crank pin is obtained by simple rotary movement of such shaft about its axis. By screw-threaded connection of the collet stems into the crank pin, the extended and retracted positions of the collets may readily be obtained. By arranging the circumferential locations on the crank pin from which the collet stems extend relative to the circumferential location of such pin in the rotary operating shaft, the latched position of the collets can be made to coincide with a dead center position of such crank pin which is free of any unlocking torque reaction on such shaft, and permits use of relatively simple spring-biased detents to assure against accidental disturbance of the operating shaft and crank pin from such collet-locking dead center alignment. A crank arm on the operating shaft facilitates its rotary movement and its pointing direction can serve to readily identify status of the latching mechanisnr BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURE 1 is a view, partly in outline and partly in section, of a latchable electrical conector assemblage em- 3,501,735 Patented Mar. 17, 1970 DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 in the drawing, the latchable electrical connector assemblage of the present invention comprises plug and socket parts 4 and 5 of an electrical connector, which, in a usual well-known form, may, as shown, be of generally rectangular configuration each having or adapted to have a plurality of insulated flexible multi-strand electrical conductors 7 and 8 soldered at their ends into wire-accepting cavities (not shown) in rear portions thereof. The connector parts 4 and 5 also have respective metal mounting tabs 10 and 11 at their narrow ends. The plug part, part 4 as shown, for example, has the usual metal prongs 14 to plug into the usual metallined socket openings 15 in the other part, part 5 in accord with the chosen example; it being understood that these parts may be reversed without prejudice to the invention.
In accord with structural features of the exemplified embodiment, the one connector part, part 5 as shown, is provided with a pair of latch pins 18 secured to the mounting tabs 11 on such part. The pins 18 have respective annular shoulders 19 at their projecting ends. Pins 18 project perpendicularly from the faces of tabs 11 on receptacle side of part 5 and may be secured in place by virtue of extension of threaded portions of such pins through holes in the tabs and held in place by nuts 20.
To grip the shouldered ends of the latch pins 18 and pull same, together with connector part 5, toward connector part 4 and obtain latched interengagement between such connector parts 4 and 5, a pair of self-spreading collets 24 are affiliated with connector part 4. The collets 24, in projecting jaw-expanded positions in which they are shown in the drawing, open up to receive the projecting ends of the latch pins 18 of connector part 5 when in a position of coupling introduction to the connector part 4. The collets 24 have inner shoulders 26 in their jaws to fit behind and engage the annular shoulders 19 of the latch pins 18 when such jaws are contracted around such pins and pulled axially while so contracted.
To effect such circumferential contraction and pulling of the collets 24 relative to the connector part 4, the collets include integrally attached stems 30 that project perpendicularly through openings 30 in the flat rectangular tabs 10. The tabs 10 are removably secured, respectively, to projecting ends of a pair of parallel arms 34 of a rigid frame 35 having a web portion 36 at the rear thereof integrally joining such arms. Such removable securement of tabs 10 is effected by a pair of socket members 38 which clamp the tabs in place and are secured to sides of the arms 34 by machine screws 40. Socket members 38 have respective cylindrical openings 42 therein which align with the openings 32 in the tabs 10 of electrical connector part 4 and through which the stems -30 of collets 24 alsoextend. The array of jaws of the collets 24 is of generally conical configuration at exterior and the diameter of the cylindrical openings 42 of socket members 38 is such that the self-expanding collets become contracted by axially slidable engagement wtih the inner walls of such openings when drawn thereinto by pulling eifort eX- erted on stems 30, to clamp and. pull on latch pins 18 as previously described.
To effect actuation of the collet stems 30 longitudinally in one direction for extension and expansion of the collets 24 and in the opposite direction for retraction and circumferential contraction into openings 42, such stems are attached via screw threaded ends to a crank pin 48 which is journaled in a rotary operating shaft 50 which in turn is journaled at its opposite ends in aligned bores 52 ex- 3 tending transversely through the arms 34 of the frame 35. The collet stems 30 are screwed at their ends into threaded radial openings 54 in the crank pin 48. By more or less turning of the stems 30 into openings 54, the projecting expanded positions of the collets 24 can be adjusted.
Crank pin 48 extends longitudinally within a counterbore 58 in the rotary shaft 50 which is parallel to and offset from the rotary axis of such shaft as defined by the bores 52. One end of counterbore 58 opens through an end of shaft 50 to permit insertion and removal of the crank pin when freed by removal of the collet stems 30 therefrom. Slots 60 opening into side edges of the shaft 50 accommodate extension of the collet stems 30 radially outward from the crank pin journaled in such shaft and which permit such shaft to be turned approximately 180 about its axis before edges of such slots come into abutment with such stems. Turning of the shaft 50 causes displacement of the crank pin 48 radially of such shaft and thereby causes longitudinal movement of the collet stems 30. Preferably the eccentric operation of the crank pin is such that full retraction of the collets 24 inwardly of socket members 38 will occur in a dead center position where the axes of the crank pin and shaft 50 become aligned in a plane which includes the axes of the collet stems 30. In such a dead center position, pulling effort exerted by the crank pin 48 on the collet stems 30 to hold the electrical connector parts 4 and drawn tightly clamped together will not create a torque reaction on the shaft 50, hence the parts of the assemblage will tend to remain in their connector-locking positions. Turning movement of shaft 50 90 in either direction from such dead center position will actuate the crank pin to extend the stems 30 and advance the collets 24 for self-expanding extension beyond the confining influence of socket members 38 and unlocking of the latch pins 18 to free connector part 5 from connector part 4.
Detent means 64 in the form of spring-biased balls 66 retained by screw plugs 68 engage circumferentially-distributed cavities in the periphery of the shaft 50 to further assist in definition and retention of such shaft in its locking and unlocking positions.
An actuating-arm 74 secured to a projecting end of the shaft 50 externally of a respective arm 34 of the frame 35 provides for facile turning of such shaft to effect the latching and unlatching of the electrical connector parts 4 and 5.
1. A latchable electrical connector assemblage compriss,
plug and socket connector parts for mechanical and electrical joining of respective electrical wiring leads depending from such parts,
circumferentially shouldered latch pins attached to and projecting from a mating side of one of said connector parts,
a rigid frame,
means securing the other one of said connector parts to said frame,
self-expanding externally-tapered internally-shouldered collets on said frame for projection at a mating side of the connector part on said frame to receive ends end of the latch pins,
stems on such collets via which same may be actuated longitudinally,
socket members on said frame having respective cylindrical openings therein through which said stems extend and into which such collets are retracted for circumferential contraction and axialwise movement to grip and pull on the shouldered latch pins,
an operating shaft journaled in said frame for rotary movement about its longitudinal axis, and
a crank pin journaled in said operating shaft parallel to its longitudinal axis and from which the collet stems depend radially for their actuation longitudinally.
2. The assemblage of claim 1, wherein the aforesaid elements are so constructed and arranged that one connector part is tightly held in coupled engagement with the other connector part by the latch pins and retracted collets when the axes of the collet stems, operating shaft, and crank pin all lie in a common plane.
3. The assemblage of claim 1, further comprising detent means for yieldable retention of the operating shaft in selected rotary positions.
4. The assemblage of claim 1, further comprising an operators handle for turning said shaft.
5. The assemblage of claim 1, wherein extension of the collet stems radially outward from the crank pin is accommodated by radial slots in the operating shaft.
6. The assemblage of claim 1, wherein the ends of the collet stems are attached to the crank pin by screw threads which permits longitudinal adjustment of such stems.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,345,604 10/1967 Henschen et al. 339l86 RICHARD E. MOORE, Primary Examiner J. H. MCGLYNN, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 339 91