US 3622938 A
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United States Patent  Inventors Masamichi Ito;
Yoshiyuki lshida, both of Kadoma-shi, Japan [21 Appl. No. 882,083  Filed Dec. 4, I969 45] Patented Nov. 23, 1971  Assignee Matsushita Denko Kabushiki Kaisha Osaka, Japan  Priorities Dec. 10, 1968  Japan  43/108135;
Mar. 6, 1969, Japan, No. 44/20239; Mar. 10, 1969, Japan, No. 44/21501; Mar. 6, 1969, Japan, No. 44/20239.
 ELECTRIC POWER DISTRIBUTION DEVICE 5 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 339/21 R, 339/24  Int. Cl H0lr 13/60  Field of Search 339/14, 20-24  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,175,145 10/1939 Davison 339/23 3,061,810 10/1962 Boyd 339/22 Primary E.raminerMarvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Robert A. Hafer Atl0rneyWolfe, Hubbard, Leydig, Voit & Osann ABSTRACT: The invention provides a connector means adaptable for both mutual interconnection between electric power distribution ducts and power feed-in connection of a feed-in member to one of the ducts. The means comprises an insulative base member having at least one endwise projection and containing at least a pair of contactors extending in the same endwise direction. When the means is engaged to an end of the duct, said projection tits in a longitudinal space between respective opposing conductors in the duct or respective conductors and respective sidewalls of a duct housing so as to have the means mechanically held to the duct end, while said contactors enter into resilient electric contact with the respective conductors of the duct. When the connector means is used for the power feed-in connection, the contactors are connected at the other end to power source lines and, when used for the mutual interconnection of ducts, the means is provided with the projections and contactors respectively symmetrically extending in both endwise directions.
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INVEN ORS MAsAMmHl TO Yogywum ISHIOA ATTORNEYS ELECTRIC POWER DISTRIBUTION DEVICE This invention relates in general to electric power distribution device to desired positions in working area and, more particularly, to connection mechanisms for connecting power feed-in caps to beginning ends of power distribution ducts from which the power can be distributed in branches to certain desired positions in the working area and, also, for connecting respective ones of such ducts to each other.
In connecting respective ones of conventional-type distribution ducts of the kind referred to, there have been used connecting plates separately prepared, each of which would be engaged from left and right sides in each of connecting portions of the ducts respectively butted end to end as aligned with respect to their center line. With these connecting plates thus engaged, connecting metal members for conductors will be moved into midportion of the connecting portions, then fastened by means of plus screwdriver and lastly a window screening plate will be fitted in position on the upper surface. The connecting operation is thus completed and, consequently, the operation has involved such defect that the same has been troublesome. The present invention has been suggested to remove such defect as above.
A main object of the present invention is, therefore, to provide a novel connector means for the distribution duct, which is capable of connecting in an electrically and mechanically tight manner by a simple fitting-in operation of the duct and a feed-in cap member.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become clear upon reading the following disclosures of the present invention detailed with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: I
FIG. I is a perspective view of a feed-in cap and a distribution duct of the present invention, the former of which is shown as disassembled into its respective parts and the latter of which is shown only with its end, both being of a basic arrangement of the connector means according to the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the feed-in cap and distribution duct shown in Fig. l as connected to each other.
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the feed-in cap and distribution duct of Fig. 2, the cap being shown as partly cut off to show the connecting state between them.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the feed-in cap having a grounding plate as disassembled and the distribution duct.
F IG. 5 is a plan view of the feed-in cap and distribution duct of FIG. 4, the cap being shown as partly cut off to show the connecting state between them.
FlG. 6 is a perspective view of a connecting means, shown as disassembled, for connecting respective ones of the distribution ducts to each other and two of the distribution ducts to be connected.
FIG. 7A is a plan view of the connecting means and the distribution ducts as connected to each other by the former, which is shown as partly cut OR to show the connecting state.
FIG. 7B is a side view of the connecting means and ducts shown in Fig. 7B.
lt should be understood here that, while the present invention will be disclosed with reference to certain preferred embodiments as illustrated, the invention should not be limited to the particular embodiments but rather should include all possible modifications, alterations and equivalent arrangements within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
References shall be made first to basic or fundamental structure of the electric power distribution duct labeled as A in Figs. 1 through 3, to which the connector means of the present invention is applied. Throughout the drawings, the ducts as well as the connector means are shown as turned over with their normal lower upside for the purpose of better understanding.
Referring to Figs. 1 through 3, conductor-holding frame member comprising insulators l of a lateral U-shaped in section respectively holding conductors 2a and 2b at their inner wall so as to have the conductors 2a, 2b opposed to each other, is received inside a housing b made of a metal and having an open slit 3 at its normal lower surface for mounting plug members (not shown) to the duct. Tail end, as well as beginning end, of said frame member a is substantially projected out of corresponding end of said housing b.
Further in Figs. 1 through 3, C is a feed cap having the fundamental structure of the connector means according to the present invention. At the forward end of this feed-in cap C to be engaged in the duct A, a pair of side projections 3a and 3b and a center projection 4 are fonned so as to be projected. Said side projections 3a and 3b are formed in a shape capable of being engaged respectively in each of spaces g and 32 remained between respective outer sidewalls of the conductor-holding frame member a and respective inner sidewalls of the housing b, and said center projection 4 is so shaped as to be capable of being engaged in a central hollow section g;, in the frame member a of the duct A. lnside the center projection 4, terminal plates 70 and 7b having integrally formed contact pieces 6a and 6b, respectively, are fixed by means of driving rivets 8a and 8b as isolated from each other by an isolating wall 5. Said terminal plates 70 and 7wilh grooves and 9b, respectively, into which clamp screws 11a and 11b having terminal washers 10a and 10b screwed thereto, respectively, are mounted. An end of each power supply wire (not shown) will be inserted between each of the tenninal plates 7a and 7b and the washers 10a and 10b and then the clamp screws 11a and 1 lb will be fastened so that the supply wires will be connected to the terminal plates 7a and 7b. Further behind the mounting position in the cap C of the above terminal plates 7a and 7b, that is, substantially adjacent the other rear end of the cap C, there are provided holes 12 and 13 for leading the power supply wires into the cap. The contacting pieces 6a and 6b respectively formed integrally with the terminal plates 7a and 7b are provided with externally arcuated portions 14a and 14b at their respective forward end which extending in reverse direction to the other rear end at which the supply wires are led in the cap. At the base portion of the center projection 4, a screw hole 15 is provided in the cap C and a covering 17 is mounted over the cap C by means of a mounting screw 16 screwed into said screw hole 15.
The connection between the above-described distribution duct A- and feed-in cap C will be established as shown in Fig. 3. That is, the side projections 3a and 3b of feed-in cap C are fitted into the spaces g, and g of the duct A, respectively, the center projection 4 is fitted into the hollow section g of the duct A, so that the both members will be connected together and,.in this connected state, the arcuated portions 14a and 14b of contact pieces in the feed-in cap C are resiliently brought into contact with the conductors 2a and 2b of duct A, respectively, so that required electric connection between the terminal plates 7a and 7b receiving power supply from the supply wires and the conductors 2a and 2b will be positively established and, at the same time, mechanical joint relation of the feed-in cap C to the duct A will be also able to be retained in a firm condition.
FIG. 4 shows another embodiment of the present invention, in whichan electric grounding plate member is additionally provided in the embodiment as shown in Figs. 1 through 3. ln this second embodiment, the grounding plate 18 additionally mounted to the feed-in cap C is formed to be provided with an inwardly arcuated forward end 18a, an outwardly raised wedge portion 18b adjacent said forward end 18a and a laterally extending wide portion used as a terminal plate part at the other end. In the middle of body portion 18d, the grounding plate 18 is further provided with mounting holes 18c.
The above grounding plate 18 will be placed in a comple mentary recess 19 provided at outer wall of one of the side projections 3a and 3b (in the illustration, the recess 19 is shown as provided on the projection 3b) with its body portion 18d as engaged in the recess 19, so that outer surface of the plate 18 will be on the same plane with that of the projection IO lllll50 3a or 3b. The plate 18 is then fixed to the cap C by means of rivets driven into the cap C through the holes 18c. In the terminal plate part I80, there is provided a screw hole for engaging therein a clamp screw 20 so that a separate grounding conductor will be able to be connected to the plate 18 by said clamp screw 20 as fastened.
Referring to FIG. 5, in which the connecting state of the feed-in cap C and the duct A in FIG. 4 is shown, it will be seen that the arcuate forward end 18a of the grounding plate 18 is inserted in the space 3, inside the duct A. This insertion of the arcuate end 180 is carried out in such manner that the same will be slidingly brought into contact with the metal housing b along its inner wall of the duct A. At this time, the raised wedge portion 18b will be inserted into the same space 3 of the metal housing b while scratching its inner wall. Therefore, even when the wall gets rusted or is coated with such a bad conductor agent as a paint or the like, the wedge portion 18b will be effective in scratching off such bad conductor member from the wall so as to retain a positive electric connection between the housing b and the grounding plate 18. Thus, the metal housing b of the duct will be effectively connected to the grounding conductor through the grounding member 18, so that any accidents of electric shocks due to electric leakage to the housing will be well prevented from occurring.
Referring now to FIG. 6, a further embodiment in which the connector means of the present invention is utilized for jointing two of the distribution ducts A, and A, for electric connection, will be described. It will be appreciated that in this embodiment the ducts A, and A, are formed exactly in the same structure with that of the duct A as described in the foregoing.
In the drawing, B is a joiner utilizing the connector means according to the present invention, and its structure substantially corresponds to the one in which a pair of the connecting mechanism sections in the above described feed-in cap C is arranged in bilaterally symmetrical relation to each other. That is, the joiner B comprises an insulator base member f provided at an end with a center projection 21 and both side projections 22a and 22a, at the other end with a center projection 21' and both side projections 22b and 22b, and along both sides with grooves 23a and 23b, and contact pieces 24a and 24b to be respectively mounted in each of said grooves 23a and 23b.
Said contact pieces 24a and 24b are so formed as to have at both ends outwardly arcuated portions 25a and 25b and at their middle position bent plate portions 26a and 26b, respectively. Said bent plate portions 260 and 26b of the contact pieces 24a and 24b will be engaged in respective recesses 27a and 27b provided on upper surface (as in the drawing) of the insulator base member f, so that the contact pieces 24a and 24b will be prevented from being removed in longitudinal direction. A cover member h to be mounted over the insulator base f for covering the same will be fixed to the base member f by means of a mounting screw 29 screwed into a screw hole 28 made in the base member f. It will be appreciated that said cover member h is employed for the purposes of preventing any electroconductive part from being exposed and also preventing the contact pieces 24a and 24b from being moved in mounting direction of the cover member h, i.e., in vertical direction to the member Ii.
The insulator base member f is also provided with a longitudinal recess 30 at the lower surface of the member in the drawing (in practical use, this surface will be the upper surface). Mounted in this recess 30 is a grounding bond member D. Coupling of said grounding member D to the base member f will be established by means of mounting screws and 36 screwed and fastened into screw holes (33 and 34) of the bond member D through corresponding holes 31 and 32 made in the base member f. Both ends of the grounding bond member D are brought into contact with each of the housings b and b of the distribution ducts A, and A, to be coupled together, when the joiner B is mounted therebetween. Therefore, electric interconnection between both the housing b and b will be positively carried out and required grounding work at the time of coupling the ducts can be readily done only at one position.
Respective interconnections between the above joiner B and both of the distribution ducts A, and A, are established in such a manner as shown in FIGS. 7A and 78. That is, the insulator base member f of the joiner B is coupled to each of the ducts A, and A in such that each of its center projections 21 and 21' will be engaged in each of hollow sections g, of the ducts A, and A,. In this coupling state, the arcuate portions 25a and 25b of contact pieces 24a and 24b extending in both endwise directions of the joiner will be brought into resilient contact with respective ones of the conductors 2a and 2b in each one of the ducts A, and A, so as to establish a positive electric connection between corresponding ones of the conductors of the ducts A, and A, and, at the same time, a mechanically finn and stable coupling between the joiner B and the respective ducts A, and A The grounding bond member D secured to reverse surface of the base member f will be brought at its both ends into surfacial contact with each of inner surfaces of the metal housings b, b exposed inside the hollow sections g of the ducts, so that these metal housings b, b of separate ducts will be made to be electrically integral with each other upon being coupled together by means of the joiner B.
It should be appreciated here that, while the grounding bond member D is shown to be used in the above embodiment of FIGS. 6 and 7, such a grounding plate member 18 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 may also be alternately employed. In such case, the arcuate end having the wedge 18b should be provided at the other end of the member 18, and the terminal plate section 18c may be omitted.
It should be also noted that the side projections 3a and 312 (FIG. I) may also be omitted if the center projection 4 or projections 21 and 21' (FIG. 6) may be formed to be of a size sufficient to closely engage or fit in the central hollow space of the duct, or of a length sufficient to firmly maintain a stable mechanical coupling between the connector means and the duct.
Thus, according to the present invention, the electric connection and mechanical coupling between each of a plurality of the distribution ducts and between the power feed-in cap and the duct can be firmly and stably performed simply by an engaging or fitting-in operation.
What we claim is:
l. A connector device for electric power distribution ducts having respectively a pair of opposing longitudinal conductors respectively held in a duct housing through a pair of insulative members positioned to insulate said conductors from said duct housing, said conductors being laterally spaced from each other to form a longitudinal space therebetween within said housing, said conductors and said insulating members extending longitudinally beyond one end of the duct housing, said connector device comprising a base member of an insulative material provided with at least one longitudinal projection on one end thereof and a pair of longitudinal grooves substantially along each sidewall, the other end of said base member being adapted to receive leads from an electric source, a pair of resilient contactor members respectively fitted in each of said grooves of said base member and forming contacting parts extending longitudinally along opposite sides of said projection and terminating short of the end of said projection, said contactor members having terminal members at the ends opposite the ends fonning said contacting parts for connecting said contactor members to said leads, and a single unitary covering member removably attached to said base member and covering the entirety of said contactor members, saidprojection of the base member being complementary to said longitudinal space formed between said conductors so that, when the connector is engaged to an end of the duct, saidprojection is closely fitted in said longitudinal space for firm mechanical coupling between the connector device and the duct, said resilient contactor members being positioned to engage only the longitudinal extensions of said opposed surfaces of said conductors when said projection is fitted in said space, said contactor members also being laterally spaced from said projection so as to be deflected inwardly toward said projection upon engagement with said conductors whereby the contactor members are biased away from each other and toward said conductors to maintain firm electrical contact with said conductors.
2. The connector device according to claim 1, in which said base member is provided with another longitudinal projection at its opposite end to said projection so as to be symmetrical therewith, and said contactor members are provided with symmetrical contacting parts at both ends.
3. The connector device according to claim 1, in which said housing of the duct is made of a metal and is provided with at least one longitudinal hollow space between inner sidewalls of the housing and outer sidewalls of said insulative material for the conductors.
4. The connector device according to claim I, in which said housing of the duct is made of a metal, and said base member of the connector device is provided with a grounding means fixed thereto at its outer sidewall and extending in at least one endwise direction of the device, so that when the device is engaged to an end of the duct said grounding means is brought into contact with the metal housing of the duct.
5. The connector device according to claim I, in which said housing of the duct is made of a metal, said base member is provided with a grounding means fixed thereto at its outer sidewall and in at least one endwise direction of the device, and said en'dwise extending end of the grounding means has a roughened surface, so that when the device is engaged to an end of the duct said roughened surface of the grounding means scratches the inner surface of said metal housing so as to closely contact with the housing.