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Publication numberUS3537062 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 27, 1970
Filing dateJul 15, 1968
Priority dateJul 15, 1968
Publication numberUS 3537062 A, US 3537062A, US-A-3537062, US3537062 A, US3537062A
InventorsNiskin Shale J
Original AssigneeNiskin Shale J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Underwater electrical connector
US 3537062 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 27} 1970 Q 7 .5, N N 3,537,062 I UNDERWATER ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed July 15, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 IN l/E N TOR SHALE. J. NISKIN Z/mlz 147% v Oct 27,1970 5, I I 3,537,062

UNDERWATER ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed July 1s,v 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet z nited States US. Cl. 339-60 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An underwater electrical connector consisting of a male and female member that interlock upon sliding one into the other, the female member having a contact member enshrouded by insulation with an opening and a slot communicating with the opening extending through the insulation and contact member; the male member having a contact member of the same size and configuration as the opening in the female member and a support for the contact member with insulation enshrouding a portion of the support whereby upon interlocking the male and female members the contact members become impervious to moisture and the like.

This invention is related to underwater electrical connectors and is more particularly directed to a self purging type connector.

This invention is an improvement on the underwater connectors shown and described in my copending application No. 649,726, filed on June 28, 1967, now Pat. No. 3,489,987, for Underwater Electrical Connector. The connectors of my copending application and of the instant patent application are alike in that they are insulated, interlocking, self-purging and intended primarily for connection underwater, but are dissimilar in that the first named connector is self-mating while the connector of the instant application is not.

Therefore, the principal object of the present invention is to provide an underwater electrical connector consisting of male and female portions which interlock to form an interlocking electrical connector.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an electrical underwater connector having interlocking parts which are insulated and upon connecting the interlocking parts together, the connector becomes impervious to water.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an underwater electrical connector having male and female portions which purge the water from the connector by a wiping action upon connecting the underwater electrical connector together while underwater.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an underwater electrical connector having a plurality of male and female terminals that interlock and serve to purge the connector of water when the terminals are brought into interlocking position when the connection is made underwater.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide an underwater electrical connector having a plurality of male and female terminals that lie in a circle that become interengaged upon sliding the male terminals along the female terminals thereby purging the female terminals of water as the terminals make electrical contact with each other.

With these and other objects in view, the invention atent will be best understood from a consideration of the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing forming a part of this specification, with the understanding, however, that the invention is not confined to any strict conformity with the showing of the drawing but may be changed or modified so long as such changes or modifications mark no material departure from the salient features of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.

In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an underwater electrical connector constructed in accordance with my invention.

FIGS. 2 and 3 are longitudinal cross sectional views taken in planes degrees apart.

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of my connector.

FIGS. 5 and 6 are perspective views of the male and female portions forming the terminals with the insulation removed therefrom.

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view showing an alternate construction of my underwater electrical connector having a plurality of terminals forming a multiple connector.

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 88 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is an exploded view of my multiple underwater electrical connector.

FIG. 10 is a similar view showing a further alternate construction of my multiple underwater electrical connector with the female connector partially broken away.

FIG. 11 is a side elevation of a still further alternate construction of my multiple underwater electrical connector.

FIG. 12 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 1212 of FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the male portion of the connector.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the female portion of the connector.

Referring to the drawings wherein like numerals are used to designate similar parts throughout the several views, the numeral 10 refers to my underwater electrical connector consisting of two parts, namely, a male portion M and a female portion F which interlock to form the connected connector 10.

The male portion M consists of a fiat terminal base or support member 11 upon which a cylindrical shaped terminal post 12 is mounted longitudinally thereon. The base member 11 is connected to an insulated electrical conduit 13 by a collar-like member 14 to efiect a good electrical connection between the electrical conduit 13 and the male connector 12. The base member 11 and collar 14 are enshrouded by a cylindrical shaped covering 15 of insulation such as rubber and the like, while the terminal post 12 and a small part of the base member 11 remain uncovered by the insulation 15 and extend above the top surface 18 of the insulation 15. At the ends of the terminal post 12 and of the base member 11 that extends above the body of insulation 15, insulation members 16, 16 are mounted having the same configuration or cross sectional shape and size as the terminal post 12 and base member 11. For convenience the insulation tapers at 17 in the direction of the insulated wire 13.

The female portion F of my underwater electrical connector 10 consists of a terminal base or support member 20 similar to the base member 11 and having a collar 21 at its lower portion at which position an insulated electrical conduit 12 is connected much in the same manner as in the male connector M. On the top edge of the base member is a cylindrical member 23 lying longitudinally of the base member 20 and having a hollow portion and slotted along its full length as at 247 The slot 24 is coplanar with the base member 20 and is of the same size as the exposed portion of the base member 11 of the male connector M. The diameter of the hollow portion 25 of the cylindrical member 23 is approximately equal to that of the cylinder 12 so that the members 12, 11 will be slidably received by the hollow cylinder 23 and slot 24. The terminal 23, base member 20 and collar 21 are enshrouded by a cylindrical mass of insulation 26 that tapers conically as at 27 to the electric conduit 22. The insulation 26 is provided with bores 28 that are in axial alignment with the bore 25 of the cylindrical terminal 23 and a slot 29 extending through the top surface 30 of the insulation 26. The slot 29 is aligned with the slot 24 of the cylindrical terminal 23.

This construction permits the interlocking of the male and female connectors M and F when electrical contact is desired between them by first placing the two connectors side by side with the insulation 16 of the male connector M adjacent the bore 28 of the female connector F and the base member 11 in alignment with the slot 29 while the top surfaces 18 and 30 will lie in coplanar relationship. By applying a force on the outer side of the male and female connectors in a direction toward each other, the cylindrical terminal post 12 and base member 11 will slide along the opening 28 and slot 29 while the surfaces 18 and 30 will slide along each other in contact relation, each of the surfaces in contact effecting a wiping action on their companion surface to remove any moisture or water thereon. When the male and female connectors M and F respectively are centered on each other, the terminal posts 12 and 23 will be in contact with each other making a firm electrical connection. The insulation 15, 16, 26 will prevent moisture from entering the connector 10, so that the terminals 12 and 23 will be isolated from the water. Since there is effected a Wiping action of the terminals 12, 23 during the connecting together the male and female connectors M and F respectively, the connection can be made under water without affecting the proper electrical connection of the terminals 12 and 23.

It is to be noted that although the terminal post 23 is described as being cylindrical, it may have any appropriate arcuate shape or it may have any geometrical shape such as triangular, rectangular, etc. The only requirement that needs to he met is that the terminal post 12 and the cavity 25 in the terminal post 23 be identical in shape and size, so that the former may fit telescopically within the other by a sliding of one into the other to effect the necessary wiping action which makes my underwater electrical connector self-purging. Also, in order to prevent the male and female connectors from separating when pulling forces are applied on the conduits 13 and 22, each of the connectors must provide shoulders that abut against each other to resist such a separation. The female connector F forms shoulders at the position of the slot 24 and the curved surface 25 which receives the shoulders formed on the male connector M at the position of the base member 11 and the curved surface of the cylindrical terminal 12.

As shown by FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, a sleeve 19 may he slidably mounted over the interlocked male and female connectors F and M. The sleeve 19 prevents the inadvertent uncoupling of the male and female connectors and also acts as a redundant water proofing sleeve.

The alternate construction of my underwater electrical connectors 30, 40, 50 consist of a male and female connector M and F respectively, each of which have a plurality of contact terminals constructed identically to that shown by FIGS. 1-6 inclusive and described hereinabove.

As shown by FIGS. 7-9 inclusive, there is a multiple connector 30 showing three contact terminals 31, 32 of identical construction as that of the male terminal 12 and female terminal 23 of the single connector 10 shown by FIGS. 1-6 inclusive. In this construction, the male terminals 31 and their adjacent insulation 33 of identical configuration lie in spaced parallel planes extending above the flat wiping surface 34 of the body of insulation 35. Three wires 36 extend through an insulated cable 37 and connect to each of the male contact members 31 in the same manner as described hereinabove. Likewise the female contact members 31 lie in spaced parallel planes enshrouded by insulation 38 and forming slots 39, 41 for receiving the male contact terminal 30 and insulation 33. Wires 42 in the insulated cable 43 connect to each of the female terminals 32 so that connector 30 is capable of connecting three lines or circuits together simultaneously. The insulation body members 35, 38 are tapered in such a manner that when the male and female connectors are connected together the combined peripheries form a cylinder of equal diameter along its full length for receiving a sleeve (not shown) identical to the sleeve 19 shown by FIGS. l-3.

A further alternate construction of my multiple underwater connector is shown by FIG. 10. The multiple connector 10 is somewhat the same construction as that shown by FIGS. 79 inclusive except that all of the male contact members or terminals 42 and adjoining insulation 43 lie in a common plane and extending above a fiat wiping surface 44 of the body of insulation 45. The female connector F of FIG. 10 is identical in construction to that of FIG. 9 except that the slots 46, 47 in the insulation body member 48 lie in a common plane extending from the flat wiping surface 49. Adjacent each set of slots 46, 47 in the insulation body member 48 is a cavity 51 that permits the connectors F and M to be connected together. In connecting these connectors together, the connectors F and M are placed together with the male con tact members 42 received by the cavities 51 and the wiping surfaces 44, 49 in contact relation. The male contact members 42 and insulation 43 will find themselves in alignment with the slots 46, 47 so that by sliding one of the members M, F with relation to the other, the male and female terminals will contact each other as the slots 46, 47 become purged of any moisture therein.

In FIGS. 11-14 inclusive there is shown an alternate structure of my underwater 50 wherein each of the male and female connectors M ad F are cylindrical in shape. The male and female contact members 52 and 53 are identical in construction to those previously described; however, in this construction the male contact members 52 form part of the female connector F while the female contact members 53 are found in the male connector M which consists of a cylindrical insulation member 54 with slots 55, 56 about its periphery, the number of the slots 55, 56 being determined by the number of circuits connected together by the connector 50. In each of the pair of slots 55, 56 is a female contact member or terminal 53 identical in construction to the female terminals described hereinbefore.

The female connector F is provided with a cylindrical insulation body member 57 in which there is a coaxial cylindrical cavity 58 about whose periphery extend inwardly male terminals 52. The male terminals 52 have insulation members 59 on each side in the same manner as the male terminals shown and described hereinabove. Wires are connected to the male and female terminals in the same manner as shown described in connection with the other constructions of my underwater connectors. In the female connector body 57 water vent openings 60 that communicate with the cavity 58 are formed so that when the male connector M is inserted into the cavity 58 of the female connector F the male terminals and insulation 52, 59 will be received by the slots 55, 56. As the male connector M slide inwardly of the female connector F the outer surface 61 will contact the inner surface of the cavity 58 with a wiping action forcing water in the cavity 58 to be discharged through the openings 60. When the male connector M is being forcibly slid completely within the female connector F the male terminals 52 will engage and make electrical contact with the female terminals 53. It is obvious that in all of my different constructions of underwater connectors, the female terminal will be connected to the hot side of a circuit so that when the connectors are disconnected from each other, the male terminals which extend beyond the insulation and are not enshrouded by insulation as the female terminals will not be carrying electricity. To prevent the male and female connectors shown by FIGS. 13 and 14 from being pulled apart inadvertently when once connected together, a sleeve 62 is slid over the female connector insulation 57 covering the openings 57 and engaging the exposed portion of the male connector M.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. An underwater electrical connector comprising a male and a female interlocking terminal, said female terminal having an electrical contact member, said member having an axis, and opening extending along said axis and a slot extending along said member communicating with said opening, said slot being substantially smaller in size than said opening forming shoulder portions, insulating means enshrouding said electrical contact member and terminating in a substantially flat surface in parallel relation to said axis, said insulating means having openings in alignment with said axial opening in said contact member and a slot extending to said fiat surface in coplanar relation with said slot in said contact member, said male terminal having a support member, a male contact member mounted on said support member, said male contact member having an axis and a cross sectional configuration substantially equal in size and shape as that of said opening in said female contact member, further insulation means enshrouding a portion of said support member spaced from said male contact member and terminating in a fiat surface substantially parallel to said axis of said male contact member, the distance between said first named fiat surface and said axis of said female contact member being substantially equal to the distance between said second named flat surface and said axis of said male contact member, and still further insulation means having the same configuration and size as said male contact member positioned on each side of said male contact member in axial alignment thereto whereby said male contact member and said support member are telescopically received by said opening and said slot respectively of said female terminal and effecting a wiping action and said fiat surfaces of said insulation means of said male and female interlocking terminals engage each other and said underwater electrical connector becomes impervious to moisture and the like.

2. The structure as recited by claim 1 taken in combination with a support member mounting said female contact member and an insulated electrical conduit connected to each of said male and female support members and a sleeve slidably mounted on said first named and further insulating means.

3. The structure as recited by claim 2 wherein said male contact member and said opening in said female contact member are arcuate.

4. An underwater electrical connector comprising a .plurality of male and female interlocking terminals, each of said female terminals having an electrical female contact member, said contact members each having an axis, all of said axes being in substantially parallel relation, an opening extending along said axis and a slot extending along said member communicating with said opening, said slots being substantially smaller in size than said opening whereby shoulder portions are formed in each of said female contact members, insulating means enshrouding said electrical contact members and terminating in a substantially flat surface in parallel relation so said axes, said insulating means having openings in alignment with said axial opening in said contact members and slots extending to said flat surface in coplanar relation with said slot in said contact members, said male terminals having a plurality of support members, a male contact member mounted on each of the support members, said male contact members having an axis and a cross sectional configuration substantially equal in size and shape as that of said opening in said female contact members, further insulation means enshrouding a portion of said support members spaced from said male contact members and terminating in a fiat surface substantially parallel to said axes of said male contact members, the distance between said first named flat surface and said axes of said female contact members being substantially equal to the distance between said second named flat surface and said axes of said male contact members, and still further insulation means having the same configuration and size of said male contact members positioned on each side of said male contact members in axial alignment thereto whereby said male contact members and said support members are telescopically received by said openings and said slots respectively of said female terminal effecting a wiping action and said flat surfaces of said insulation means of said male and female interlocking terminals engage each other whereby said underwater electrical connectors become impervious to moisture and the like.

5. The structure as recited by claim 4 wherein said female terminals are mounted on said first named insulating means and said male terminals are mounted on said further insulating means.

6. The structure as recited by claim 5 wherein said male and female terminals are mounted in substantially spaced and parallel relation.

7. The structure as recited by claim 5 wherein said male and female terminals are mounted in spaced and coplanar relation and said first named insulating means having a cavity adjacent each of said female interlocking terminals for receiving said male interlocking terminals.

8. An underwater electrical connector comprising a plurality of male and female interlocking terminals, each of said male terminals having an electrical female contact member, said contact members each having an axis, an opening extending along said axis and a slot extending along said member communicating with said opening, said slots being substantially smaller in size than said opening whereby shoulder portions are formed, insulating means forming a cylinder enshrouding said electrical contact members, said insulating means having openings in alignment with said axial opening in said contact member and peripheral slots in coplanar relation with said slot in said contact members, said female terminal having a plurality of support members mounted about in a circle, a male contact member mounted on the inner ends of said support members, said male contact members having a cross sectional configuration substantially equal in size and shape as that of said opening in said female contact members, further cylindrical insulation means enshrouding a portion of said support members spaced from said male contact members whereby said male contact members and said support members are telescopically received by said openings and said slots respectively of said male terminal effecting a wiping action and said insulation means of said male and female interlocking terminals engage each other whereby said underwater electrical connectors become impervious to moisture and the like.

9. The structure as recited by claim 8 wherein said further cylindrical insulation means as provided with openings for venting said female connector as said male connector is slid into said female connector and a sleeve 8 s lidab1y mounted over both said insulation means and FOREIGN PATENTS coveringsaid openings 1,178,912 10/1964 Germany.

66,587 9/1913 Switzerland. References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner 295 559 3/1884 Kitson 339 247 J. H. McGLYNN, Assistant Examiner 2,741,748 4/1956 Ensinger. U C Cl. X.R. 3,214,725 10/1965 De Rose et a1. 33975, 117

Patent Citations
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US295559 *Aug 15, 1883Mar 25, 1884 kitsch
US2741748 *Jul 1, 1952Apr 10, 1956Ensinger Willis BElectrical connector
US3214725 *Dec 26, 1962Oct 26, 1965IttFlexible ribbon cable connector
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DE1178912B *Jul 28, 1955Oct 1, 1964Siemens AgReissverschluss zur loesbaren Verbindung elektrisch leitfaehiger Teile
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4500151 *Nov 19, 1982Feb 19, 1985Shell Oil CompanyMarine electrical plug
US4797117 *Dec 23, 1982Jan 10, 1989Shell Oil CompanyMarine electrical plug
US7828585 *Jan 27, 2009Nov 9, 2010Kyocera Elco CorporationConnector, plug connector and portable terminal equipment
US7988506 *Oct 12, 2007Aug 2, 2011Borgwarner, Inc.Dual female terminal with two contact portions each having an aperture and a male terminal disposed in apertures of both contact portions
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/205, 439/282, 439/367, 439/660
International ClassificationH01R13/523
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/523
European ClassificationH01R13/523