US 3609646 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventors Stephen P. Becker;
' Henry R. Wengen, both of Poughkeepsie,
 References Cited.
I UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,635,132 4/1953 Rogofi' 174/71 X 3,137,764 6/1964 Gunthel et a1. 174/72 3,350,677 10/1967 Daum 174/72 UX Primary Examiner-Ernest R. Purser Attorney-Kane, Dalsimer, Kane, Sullivan & Kurucz ABSTRACT: A rugged and compact connector assembly for a plurality of connections for direct burial applications providing permanent, watertight, insulated junction means, in which a plurality of connectors are provided for attachment to a bus bar in such manner that the user can select the direction in which a conductor will enter the connector and the direction from which the attaching means for conductor to connector is accessible.
CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It has become highly desirable for a number of reasons to bury electrical components underground. Connector assemblies for such underground applications must be specifically designed with this end use in view and with means to provide moistureproofing and sealing. Additionally, the connector must be easy to use and such that the user can make the desired connection quickly and with a minimum of effort and without special tools, and further with a minimum of effort be able to place the connector assembly in the watertight condition.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A rugged and compact cable connector assembly including a bus bar, a plurality of connectors, first attaching means for attaching the connectors to the bus bar, second attaching means for attaching cables to the connectors and encapsulating insulation means for the bus bar, connectors and the attaching means.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view from above a cable connector assembly constructed in accordance with the teachings of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a partially sectional view taken alo ng the line 22 in the direction of the arrows in FIG. 1 disclosing one form of connector used in the assembly;
FIG. 3 is a partially sectional view taken along the line 33 in the direction of the arrows in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is a partially sectional view of a second form of connector used in the assembly.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The connector assembly which is the subject of this invention is shown in the FIGS. to include connectors l0, 12, 14, l6, l8 and 20 which respectively connect cables 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32 to the assembly. Connectors l and 12 are joined by connector bar 34, connectors 14 and 16 are joined by connector bar 36 and connectors 18 and 20 are joined by connector bar 38. The connector bars 34, 36 and 38 are joined together electrically and mechanically by means of bus bar '40 and bolts, which are indicated by the numeral 25 in the FIGS., are utilized to fasten respective connector bars to the bus bar-40.
In the particular embodiment shown in the FIGS., connectors I0, 12, 14 and 16 have identical means for attachment of a cable thereto. In FIG. 2, connector is sectioned and illustrates by way of example the configuration of connectors 10, I2, 14 and 16 and the means for attaching a cable thereto.
In FIG. 2 the cable is indicated by the numeral 22as it was in FIG. 1 and the connector includes a body member 42 provided with a cylindrical bore section 420, and a conical bore section 42b. The conical bore section increases in diameter as the distance from section 42a is increased and receives therein a conical connecting member 43 which is resilient and provided with a longitudinal slot therein indicated by the numeral 43a. The body member 42 and connecting cone 43 are formed of a suitable conducting material and as seen in FIG. 2 strands 22a of cable 22 are received within the connector cone 43. Pressure plate 44, bearing washer 45 andv pressure screws 46 are provided for applying pressure to connector cone 43 to force it downwardly as seen in FIG. 2 so that the outer surface of the cone 43 bearing against the conical surface of bore 42b will result in the cone 43 being squeezed in view of its resiliency and slot 43a thereby embracing strands 22a of cable 22. Thus, screwing down screws 46 against washer 45 results in attaching the cable 22 to the connector. Bayonet-type slots 47 are provided in the body member 42 for receiving and holding pressure plate 44 therein. These slots are the type wherein a vertical passage is provided for insertion of the pressure plate with the radial projections 44 a thereof within the vertical slot and upon turning the projection 44a fits into the foot of the slot. Such L-type bayonet slots are well known in the art. The pressure plate 44, bearing washer and screws 46' are formed of any appropriate material for this purpose. A tap 48 is provided with ridges 49 so that the resilient hose clamp 50 can be placed between the ridges 49 and tightened to fasten tap 48 in position. The body member is coated with a suitable insulating coating 51, such as durable hard vinyl or plastisol coating, by means of a dip coating or other process and the tap 48 is caused to embrace the coating 51 providing a watertight seal. A grommet 52 of resilient plastic material is provided at the ends of body member 42 whereat the cable 22 enters cylindrical bore 42a. The insulating coating 51 extends beyond the body member to form a receptacle for grommet 52 through which the cable passes so that a tightening of clamp 53--which is substantially identical to clamp 50--results in the insulation 51, grommet 52 and insulation of the cable 22 providing a watertight and moistureproof connection at this end. The insulation is provided with ridges 54 which define the position of clamp 53 when it is in position. The connector 12 is substantially identical to' connector 10 and provided with clamps 55 and 56. Connector 12 is attached to connector 10 by connector bar 34 which is actually a portion of body member 42 since the body member 42 is integral with the body member of connector 12. The connector bar 34 is attached to bus bar 40 by means of bolts 25 received within threaded inserts in the connector bar 34. The insulation 51 extends over the connector bar 34 and portions of connector 12 in the manner that the insulation 51 covers the body member and grommet shown and described with respect to connector 10.
A connector of slightly different configuration is shown in section in the assembly in FIG. 3. This connector is the connector indicated by the numeral 20 in FIG. I.
The connector 20 has a body member indicated by the numeral which is an extension of connector bar 38 shown in FIG. I and which is integral therewith. This is formed of a conducting material, such as aluminum. Body member 60 is provided with cylindrical threaded bore section 60a and conical bore section 60b adjacent thereto. Bore section 60b has a cross-sectional diameter which decreases and which has the portion greatest in diameter closest to bore section 60b. An annular bore section 60c of limited axial dimension is provided between bore sections 60 a and 60b. Bore section 600 is substantially equal in diameter to bore section 600 but is not threaded and is greater in diameter than the greatest diameter of conical bore section 60b providing a shoulder at the junction of bore section 600 and bore section 60b.
The remaining parts of connector 20 are cone 61, jamnut 62, washer 63, sealing grommet 64, sealing nut and bearing washer 66.
Connector cone 61 is formed of an electrically conducting material and provided with a full-length longitudinal slot 61a. The connecting cone 61 is provided to encircle and grip the strands 67 of a cable 32 attached to the connector and the cone 61 is sized to the conductor to provide optimum encir clement and strand-to-strand contact. The slot 61a is provided to allow the connecting cone to become reduced in diameter in the fully assembled connector and firmly grip the cable strands. The internal surface of the cone is provided with a corrigated configuration to aid in the formation of a firm contact with the conductor strand.
The jamnut 62 is formed of a nonconducting material and has a hex nut central flange with cylindrical portions 62a and 62b extending from opposite sides thereof and providing a continuous longitudinal bore 62c which is flared outwardly slightly at end 62d. A major part of the outer surface of portion 62b and a minor part of the outer surface of portion 62a are threaded. Jamnut 62 is preferably formed of a plastic material.
Washer 63 is annular and formed of a rubber or other plastic flexible material. The sealing grommet 64 is also formed of a plastic material and in the preferred form the material is sofl plastic as compared to the harder plastic from which the jamnut 62 and sealing nut 65 are formed. Flexible sealing grommet 64 is nonconducting and is provided with a central longitudinal bore of uniform diameter and a section at one end having a uniform outer diameter. The remaining portion of the outer surface of the grommet 64 is tapered having an outer diameter which decreases constantly to provide an outer conical surface.
The sealing nut 65 is also formed of nonconducting material and has a threaded bore section 65a and a lesser diameter bore section forming annular shoulder 65b. The outer surface of nut 65 is in hex configuration.
Bearing washer 66 is between members 62 and 61 and is provided to transmit the longitudinal force of member 62 against cone 61 forcing the cone further into the bore 60b of the body member 60.
As mentioned above, the body portion 60 is integral with connector bar 38 which is fastened to bus bar 40 by bolts 25.
The body portion of connector 18, which connector is identical to connector 20, is also integral with connector bar 38. As seen in FIG. 1, connector has cable 32 attached thereto and connector 18 has cable 30 attached thereto. Cables 30 and 32 are electrically in contact through their body portions and connector bar 38 are also electrically in contact with cables 22 and 24 since these are in electrical contact with the bus bar 40 as explained above. Additionally, the cables 26 and 28 are in contact in the assembly since these too are in contact with bus bar 40.
in connection with the description of the connector shown in FIG. 2, it was pointed out that an insulating coating 51 was provided. The insulating coating 51 is also shown in FIG. 3 since it extends to and covers the body section 60 of connector 20, connector bar 38, screws 42 and bus bar 40 in the vicinity of connector 20. Additionally, the coating 51 covers the like portions of connector 18. The insulating cover 51, therefore, covers and insulates the body portions of connectors 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 as well as the bus bar 40 and connector bars 34, 36 and 38.
With respect to each of connectors 18 and 20, a portion of the insulating material 51 extends within the bore of its respective body member covering a portion of the edge of the mouth of the bore. This is seen in FIG. 3 wherein the portion of the insulating material within the bore is indicated by the numeral 510 and a recess is formed by portion 51b of the material to receive the washer 44.
In assembling or in attaching a cable to either of connectors 18 or 20, the cable is prepared by skinning of the insulation in the usual manner to expose, as in the case of connector 20, the stranded portion 67. The cable end is threaded through the sealing nut 65, grommet 64, jamnut 62 and washer 63 and washer 66 and the exposed end 67 of the cable is inserted within connector cone 61. Connector cone 61 is within the bore of member 60 and its outer conical surface is adjacent to the conical surface of the bore section 60b. Sealing washer 63 abuts on one side of the ends of body member 60 adjacent to the insulating coating which is extended outwardly. It also abuts the jamnut 62. The threaded portion of the jamnut is engaged with the threads of the body member and rotation of the jamnut wedges the conical connector cone into the bore section of the body member providing a captive connection between the connector cone and the conductor. The washer 63, together with the insulating coating 51, seals the body member 34 and prevents entry of moisture within the bore thereof. Tightening of the sealing nut completes the watertight the bore by the annular shoulder of sealing nut 65 forcing the sealing grommet 64 within the flared portion of the bore of the jamnut.
The connectors 18 and 20 are, therefore, tightened through the end at which the respective cable enters the connector whereas the connectors l0, 12, 14 and 16 are provided to have the cable attached and fastened therein by access to the end opposite the end at which the cable is made to enter the connector. The connectors may be interchanged or different connectors utilized in the practice of the invention provided, however, the insulation that is taught in the invention is utilized. An insulating covering such as 51 must be used to cover the conducting body portions which conducting body portions are necessary in view of the necessity of providing a good path for flow of current between connectors. Additionally, the places whereat the cable enters the connector respectively must be provided with sealing means to keep out moisture and wherever access is available at a location other than that whereat the cable enters the connector adequate sealing must be provided at that point.
1. A connector assembly for underground applications including a bus bar, a plurality of connectors, first attaching means for attaching the connectors to the bus bar, attaching conductors to the connectors, second attaching means for attaching conductors to one of said connectors, a first conductor-receiving bore formed in said second attaching means, a first end of said first conductor-receiving bore open at the end opposite to the point of entry of a conductor therein, first fastening means accessible from said first end, third attaching means for attaching conductors to one of said connectors, a second conductor receiving bore formed in said third attaching means, a second end of said first conductor-receiving bore open at the end through which a conductor disposed therein enters, second fastening means accessible from said second end, and encapsulating insulation means for said bus bar, connectors and attaching means.
2. A connector assembly for underground applications including a bus bar first and second connectors, a connector bar formed of electrically conductive material integral with and connecting said connectors, attaching means in each of said connectors for attaching a conductor to said respective connector, a conductor-receiving bore formed in each of said attaching means, an end of each of said conductor-receiving bores open at the end opposite to the point of entry of a conductor therein, fastening means associated with each of said attaching means accessible from said respective end, means for attaching said connector bar to said bus bar at a selected surface of said bus bar and encapsulating insulation means for said bus bar, connectors, connector bar and attaching means.
3. A connector assembly for underground applications including a bus bar first and second connectors, a connector bar formed of electrically conductive material integral with and connecting said connectors, attaching means in each of said connectors for attaching a conductor to said respective connector, a conductor-receiving bore formed in each of said attaching means, an end of each of said conductor-receiving bores open at the end through which a conductor disposed therein enters, fastening means associated with each of said attaching means accessible from said respective end, means for attaching said connector bar to said bus bar at a selected surface of said bus bar and encapsulating insulation means for said bus bar, connectors, connector bar and attaching means.