US 3614711 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
nited totes atent  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1965 Sarnmarkr...............,...
 Inventors Norman R. Anderson Cicero;
David 1F. Rundle, Berwyn, both of III. 3 177 462 Primary ExaminerMarvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Lawrence J. Staab 9 6 9 1 M5 61 c 80 0 N d P m AF UN 22 [.l
Patented Oct. 19, 1971  Assignee The Bunker-Rama Corporation A"0"Y Fredcri 3k Arbuckle Oak Brook, llll.
ABSTRACT: An electrical connector having adjustable keying and comprising a lockingly engageable plug and receptacle  ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR HAVING ADJUSTABLE KEYING 3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.
containing respectively mating pins and sockets. The receptacle includes a plurality of circumferentially spaced pluggable keyways which can be selectively plugged by a connector user to provide a keyway for the receptacle at any of a plurality of different possible locations The plug has a rotatably movable 339/186M  lint. HOlr 13/64,
HOlr 7/32 339/186 R,
 Field of key which a connector user can align with the selected keyway location provided in the receptacle.
186M, 184M,l85, 187,90
IELIEGI'IMEML The provision of keying between an electrical plug and its receptacle is commonly employed in electrical connectors for a variety of purposes such as, for example, to ensure proper terminal orientation and/or mating between engaging parts. In certain applications, electrical connectors may be employed which differ only with regard to their keying location. In such cases it has conventionally been necessary to maintain a stock of a plurality of dififerent connectors, one for each different keying location employed.
In accordance with the present invention, an electrical connector is provided having a keying location which is readily adjustable by the user. Thus, where a plurality of connectors are employed which difler only in their keying locations, the connector user does not have to maintain a stock of different connectors, but need only stock a single type of connector for which adjustable keying is provided in accordance with this invention.
The present invention has the further advantage of providing this adjustable keying for a connector in a remarkably simple and inexpensive manner without detracting from connector performance.
The specific nature of the invention as well as other objects, features, advantages and uses thereof will become apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a connector receptacle having the capability of selectively providing or eliminating a keyway at one or more of a plurality of different keyway locations;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken through a keyway location along the line 2-2 of FIG. l; and
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a plug for mating with the receptacle of FIG. l and having an adjustable key whose location may be selected to correspond to a desired keyway location of the receptacle.
Like numerals designate like elements throughout the figures of the drawings. Also, to facilitate understanding of the embodiment of the invention to be described herein, elements of the connector receptacle illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 will be designated by numbers less than MW, while elements of the connector plug illustrated in FIG. 3 will be designated by numbers greater than Mill; additionally, cooperating elements on the connector and receptacle will be designated with numerals whose difference is exactly 100.
With reference to FIGS. l and 3, an electrical connector is illustrated comprised of a receptacle 111i and a plug 1110 constructed and arranged for mating engagement with one another. The receptacle lid in FIG. 11 includes a tubular shell 12 within which a plurality of electrically insulated pins 14 are suitably provided for engagement with respectively located insulated pin-receiving sockets 114 provided within a tubular shell 1112 of the plug 110 in FIG. 3 when the plug 110 and receptacle lltl are mated. Since the pins 1% and the sockets M4 are conventional and may readily be provided in their respective receptacle W and plug 110 along with appropriate means (not shown) to permit electrical connection to associated electrical circuitry, no further description thereof will be given herein.
The tubular shell 12 of the connector receptacle 1L0 illustrated in FIG. 1 is provided with a mounting flange 16 having mounting holes l3 so as to permit the receptacle to be appropriately mounted on a utilization device, such as an electronic chassis. The inner surface of the shell 12 has a circular groove 20 in which an ring gasket 22 is disposed for cooperation with the forward outer surface of the plug shell 112 so as to provide sealing in a conventional manner. Also, stubs 2d are provided on the forward outer surface of the receptacle shell 12 for cooperation with slots 124 in a bayonet coupling ring 125 on the plug shell 1112 so as to provide a convcntional bayonet type of locking engagement for the plug 110 and receptacle 10.
The forward inner surface of the receptacle shell 12 in FIG. 1 is provided with four circumferentially spaced fixed keyways 23, each of which receives an" aligned pair of respectively located fixed keys 1223 provided on the outer surface of the plug shell 1.12 in FIG. 3 when the plug and receptacle W are mated. Slotted spring members 29 are provided in the annular space between each pair of keys 128 of the plug 10 so as to be biased against the inner surface of the receptacle shell 12 when the plug 111i) and receptacle 10 are mated, thereby providing electrical shielding and conductivity therebetween.
The description so far has been concerned with the conventional and well-known structural portions of the receptacle lit) and the plug we of the connector illustrated in FlGS. l and 3. With this description of conventional structure as background, the novel features of the invention whereby an adjustable keying capability is provided will now be described.
Referring to FIG. 1, it will be seen that the lower half of the forward inner surface of the receptacle shell 12 is provided with five circumferentially spaced keyways 30 which are in addition to the conventional keyways 28.. The number of these keyways 3b which are provided is determined by the number of different keying locations desired, an appropriately located keyway 30 being provided for each desired keying location.
It will be understood from FIG. 1 that a keyway 30 may, in effect, be removed by the insertion of a keyway plug 32 therein, and reinstated by removal of the plug 32. Preferably, each plug 32 has the general form of a channel with a downwardly biased spring clip 33 being provided near one end which, upon insertion of the plug 32, snaps into a retaining groove 34 provided in the receptacle :shell 12 near the rear end of the keyways 30, as shown in FIG. 2. Also, each keyway 30 and plug 32 is preferably of dovetail shape to aid in the insertion and retention of the plug 32 in a keyway 30. While any desired combination of plugged and unplugged keyways 30 could be provided, it is preferred that ail but a selected one of the keyways 30 be plugged.
To remove a plug 32 from a keyway 30 in FIG. 1, a tool such as a screwdriver is inserted into the channel opening 35 of the plug 32 until the spring clip 33 rises out of the retaining groove 34, thereby releasing the plug 32 so as to permit it to be pulled out of the keyway 30, using an appropriate tool for this purpose.
It will next be described how the connector plug ll 10 of FIG. 3 is provided with an adjustable key I31] which may be moved to a position corresponding to any selected one of the keyways 30 in FIG. I. The adjustable key has a generally inverted U" shape and depends from a band 137 disposed in a groove 13b in the plug shell 112. The band 137 is of appropriate diameter and resiliency so as to normally be retained in the groove 138, while being rotatable with respect to the plug 110 when the adjustable key 130 is raised, such as by inserting a screwdriver into the U" opening of the key 1130.
The band 137 containing the adjustable key 1130 also in cludes a locating lug 1139 cooperating with slots 1411 provided in the plug shell 112 adjacent the band 137 so as to permit the lug 139 to be positioned in any desired one of the slots M1. It will be understood that the slots Ml are positioned with respect to the fixed and adjustable keys 123 and 130 so that, for each slot position of the lug 139, the adjustable key 130 is aligned with a respective one of the plugable keyways 30 of the receptacle 10 of FIG. 3. Thus, in the preferred operation of the device mentioned earlier in which a user plugs all but a selected one of the plugable keyways 30, the user also correspondingly sets the locating lug 139 into the particular slot Ml which will cause the adjustable key 130 in the plug 110 in FIG. 3 to be aligned with the selected unplugged keyway 30 in FIG. 1 when the two are mated together.
Although the present invention has been described with respect to a particular preferred embodiment thereof, it is to be understood that the invention is subject to a wide variety of modifications and variations in construction, arrangement, operation and/or use without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. An electrical connector having adjustable keying comprising in combination:
a cooperatively engageable plug and receptacle each including a tubular shell and containing pins and sockets which respectively mate when the plug and receptacle are engaged in proper keyed relationship,
said receptacle including a plurality of keyways provided at spaced circumferential locations in the inner surface of the receptacle shell, and
a plurality of keying plugs insertable in at least a predetermined plurality of the keyways provided in said receptacle so as to provide for selective plugging thereof,
said plug including a rotatable band mounted on the outer surface of the plug shell,
said band having a key provided therein so that rotation of said band permits said key to be circumferentially positionable to a location corresponding to that of any desired one of said predetermined plurality of keyways of said receptacle and so as to be able to key therewith when the plug and receptacle are engaged,
said band also including an inwardly biased resilient locating lug provided thereon at a location circumferentially spaced from said key,
said plug also including circumferentially spaced slots formed in the outer surface of the plug shell adjacent said band so as to be cooperatable with said resilient locating lug provided on said band to permit said lug to be insertable in any selected one of said slots in order to lock said rotatable band and thus said key at a circumferential position corresponding to any desired one of said keyways of said receptacle.
2. The invention in accordance with claim 1 wherein said plug also includes a plurality of fixed keys provided for mating with predetermined ones of said