|Publication number||US3643209 A|
|Publication date||Feb 15, 1972|
|Filing date||Aug 22, 1969|
|Priority date||Aug 22, 1969|
|Publication number||US 3643209 A, US 3643209A, US-A-3643209, US3643209 A, US3643209A|
|Inventors||Coston Ostis D|
|Original Assignee||Coston Ostis D|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (23), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
O United States Patent 1151 3,643,209
0ston 1 Feb. 15 1972  METER AND SERVICE CONNECTOR FOR ELECTRIC SERVICE Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion RECONVERSION SYSTEMS Assistant Examiner-Lawrence J. Staab Att0meyCamer0n, Kerkam & Sutton  inventor: Ostis D. Coston, 1716 Exeter Ave., Bessermer, Ala. 35020  ABSTRACT  Filed: Aug. 22, 1969 A connector is provided having two pairs of rearwardly extending stab terminals and two pairs of forwardly facing  Appl' 852240 socket terminals mounted to opposite sides of a pair of insulative bushings. One pair of the stab terminals is electrically iso- 52] us. (:1. ..339/1ss R, 317/108, 339/156 R, lated from the corresponding Socket terminals, while the other 9 92 RL pair of the stab terminals is conductively connected to the cor- 51 1111.01. -1101: 33/76 responding P of forwardly facing Socket terminalfi The  Field of Search ..339/14, 31, 154, 156, 155, P of the Socket terminals has connected thereto the 339/19, 192 317/104 105 106, 107, 08 109 ends of a pair of power or current input lines. The stab ter- HQ 3221/1 d minals are adapted to be received in a conventional meter socket mounted to a building that normally supports a plug-in 56 R C-ed type of watt-hour meter. The unconnected ends of the power 1 e erences I input lines have affixed thereto male plug-in jacks for quick UNITED STATES PATENTS connection to the female connectors connected to the ends of a service line of a portable electric power bypass system. A 2,249,075 7/ 1941 Young et al ..3]7/107 X watt hour meter is plugged into the forwardly facing Socket g? terminals of the connector to record electric consumption. 3,289:150 11/1966 11 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEB 15 ran 3,643,209
sum 1 or 2 FIG. 1
mvzmon OTIS D. COSTON 202 010/2, Jgfiam & 5a Zia/z ATTORNEYS PATENTEmza 15 I972 3. 643.209
SHEET 2 0F 2 ATTORNEYS METER AND SERVICE CONNECTOR FOR ELECTRIC SERVICE RECONVERSION SYSTEMS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a connector for a portable, electric power bypass system for rebuilding existing power lines with a minimum interruption of service. The connector constitutes one of the many prefabricated sections of the power bypass system and facilitates connection of the service lines of the bypass system to the electric consumer.
Many rural electric service systems designed to provide direct electric service to household, commercial and industrial users from high-voltage transmission power lines are rapidly becoming obsolete. With the installation of heavy duty equipment and greater reliance on modern machines and appliances, it is frequently necessary to uprate, repair, rebuild or convert outdated rural electric service systems. Since the power lines leading from a distribution transformer located at the transmission line may provide service to several users simultaneously, it is essential that conversion of the in-service power lines of one user be accomplished with a minimum of uninterrupted service to the one user as well as the other users, and in a manner which would be safe for the workmen and the public. This requirement is even more important where long sections of transmission lines are being replaced.
There is also a great need for providing a rapid reconnection of electric service from high-voltage transmission lines in areas where storms or other causes result in interruption in electric power service. A rapid diversion of electric power from operable service lines, while sections of the damaged lines are disconnected and repaired, would substantially alleviate suffering and inconvenience to the electric consumers.
In my prior U.S. Pat. No. 3,422,28l, issued Jan. 14, 1969, there is disclosed an electric power bypass system for reconversion of rural electric service systems that permits the deenergization of a section of a transmission line in order to repair, rebuild, or uprate the section and existing service drop lines to the consumer while maintaining service to the consumers. In the system described in the aforementioned patent, when connecting the bypass power lines to the residence or load of the consumer, a temporary service cable of the bypass system is connected at the weatherhead to the customer service. The existing overhead service line or service drop is out ahead of the weatherhead to eliminate back feeding of electric power into the system for safety.
Cutting the existing service line has been found to be essential'in the system disclosed in the aforementioned patent to avoid the hazards of back feeding into the system. However, this operation is still undesirable and dangerous, because of possible accidental energization of the existing service line. Also, the splice connection made at the weatherhead is exposed to the elements and subject to deterioration. There is also a danger of shock or electrocution to unauthorized personnel who may tamper with the exposed connection. Further, much labor time is involved in the disconnection and reconnection of the lines which adds to the costs of the installation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, these and other disadvantages are overcome and there is provided means by which a safe and rapid connection may be made between the electric power service lines of an electric power bypass system and a consumer while existing sections of the power lines are being replaced or repaired. Advantageously, connection is made by plugging in" into the existing system. The consumption meter is operatively received in the connector to continue to record the electric or power consumed, and the power bypass system is hooked in without the necessity of cutting any existing service lines or service drops, thus avoiding the aforementioned hazards and disadvantages.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the meter and service connector of the present invention connected to a house socket and having a watt-hour consumption meter mounted in its forward face;
FIG. 2 is a front, elevational view of the connector of the present invention illustrating the forward facing socket terminals and service line connectors with the input service lines cutaway;
FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of the connector of the present invention illustrating the rearward facing stab terminals and service line connectors with the input service lines cutaway;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the connector shown in FIG. 3 taken along lines 44; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the connectors shown in the area enclosed by a circle formed by dash lines in FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. 1, reference numeral 10 designates a meter and service connector as installed in a conventional consumer input line having a low voltage service drop 11 comprising a three wire single phase supply with one wire grounded. Ground wire 12 is connected to a conductive clamp 13 which also has connected thereto the consumer ground line or wire 14. Power input lines 15 and 16 have connected at their respective ends connectors l7 and 18 adapted'to be joined to mating connectors 19 and 20, respectively. Advantageously, connectors 19 and 20 are of the male type to ensure that the input lines are not exposed should the service drop be accidentally energized. Connectors l9 and 20 receive the ends of the meter and service connector input conductors 2I and 22 which carry the electric current or power into the meter and service connector 10.
Connector 10 is mounted to a conventional service meter box or socket 23 secured to the side of the building 24 and generally installed at the service entrance where the service or current supply lines enter the building. The meter box is of the conventional socket or plug-in type. Box 23 is generally constructed with a sheet metal front and back and forwardly extending sidewalls and in the exemplary embodiment is shown as being of rectangular outline. However, as should be apparent, other forms of construction and other materials may be used. A conduit 25 is provided in one wall of the meter box 23 for enclosing the existing supply line conductors 26 leading to the transmission line and the load conductors 27 extending into the box. 7
Formed in the front face of the meter box is a circular socket receptacle which normally receives a socket or plug-in type of electric watt-hour meter. This socket receptacle is usually surrounded by a clamping bead over which the clamping or sealing band of the meter normally engages. Mounted within the socket receptacle is a group of stationary socket terminals. For single phase service, four socket terminals are usually provided, the two upper terminals being connected to the load conductors. In the standard conventional socket receptacle, these terminals are of the spring jaw or female type adapted to receive the plug-in terminals of the stab or male type projecting rearwardly from the rear side of the socket type electric meter.
In accordance with the present invention, the existing service drop 26 and load conductors 27 are retained in their connected position. The existing meter 28 is removed from the meter box and plugged into connector 10 which is in turn plugged into the socket receptacle of meter box 23. Connection to the power lines is made through input conductors 21 and 22 which are internally connected to the upper line terminals A and B of the connector 10. As will be hereinafter described, the connector line terminals A and B are electrically isolated from the upper stab terminals to prevent backfeeding of electric power into the auxiliary power system.
"A standard consumption meter of the socket mounted type is indicated at 28. The meter is usually of the watt-hour type having current and voltage responsive 'electromagnets acting upon a rotating disc which operates through gearing to drive pointers over an indicating scale or dial. It will be understood that other types of meters may be used. ln the exemplary form of the meter disclosed all of the operating mechanism is enclosed within a large cup-shaped cover 29 which has at its rear edge a peripheral rim 30. As hereinbefore described rim 30 is normally adapted to be received ove r'the clamping bead of meter box 23, but in accordance with the present invention, it is received over the forward flange of the meter and service connector 10. Thereafter, the meter may be clamped or sealed in place by a conventional clamping or sealing band 31.
Projecting rearwardly from the meter are four stab or male type terminals (not shown) which are adapted to be received in'scorresponding socket or female type terminals in the connector 10. The four stab terminals are supported by insulating bushings and extend through the meter base so that the meter may be readily mounted at a suitable location by merely pushing the rearwardly facing stab terminals into the forwardly facing socket terminals of the connector, after which the sealing band 31 is applied.
The structural details of the meter and service connector of the present invention are most clearly illustrated in FIGS. 2-4 to which reference should now be made. As illustrated therein, connector 10 includes a circular trough or ring base 32 open at its forward and rearward ends and having a rigid channel or strap 'member 33 extending across the diameter thereof. The terms rearward and forward are relative terms as applied to the ring base and refer to the position of the ring base as it is mounted in meter socket 23. Thus, the rearward face of ring base '32 is mounted adjacent meter socket 23, while the forward face is adjacent meter 28.
Rigidly affixed to channel member 33 is a pair of insulative bushings 34 and 35, each of which is identical in construction. Thus, only bushing 34 will be hereinafter described in detail. Bushing 34 may be fabricated of any suitable material such as ceramic, phenolic or the like and is provided with a central bore extending therethrough through which a supporting bolt 36 passes for. mounting the bushing to the channel member. Theforward face of the bushing includes a pair of slots 37 and 38 disposed to each side of bolt 36 and adapted to receive the upturned sides 39 and 40 of channel member 33. Sides 39 and 40 thus provide a rail construction which facilitates fabrication ofthe unit.
Advantageously, bore 41 adapted to receive bolt 36 may be slotted to'permit relative adjustment of the bushings 34 and 35 along the strap member. For rigidly supporting the bushing to the strap a counterbore 42' is provided in the rearward face within which is received a securing nut adapted to be threaded on bolt 36. Bore 42 is preferably made of the same configuration as the nut, but slightly larger, to avoid the necessity of using a tool gripping means for clamping the nut when securing the bushings to the strap member.
To each side of central section 43 of the bushing at the rearward face thereof, the surface of the bushing is cutaway partially to form a partial terminal enclosure comprising sidewalls 44 and 45 and base 46. Base section 46 is provided with a cross-shape recess 47 within which is received a socket terminal 48. A bore extending through the bushing and terminating at the recess enables each socket terminal to be fastened in place by means of threaded bolt 49.
Each socket terminal includes upwardly spaced arm members 50 and 51, the upper portion of which are biased together by means of a C-spring clip 52. Spring clip 52 and base 53 of the corresponding socket terminal are provided with openings which are coaxially aligned so as to enable insertion of bolt 49. Clip 52 and its corresponding socket terminal are rigidly fastened to the bushing by threading the bolt 49 into a strap member 54 which extends outwardly of the spring clip.
An additional groove or recess 55 is provided adjacent wall 45 and a channel is formed by sloping sidewalls 56 and 57 within which is received nut 58 adapted to be threaded on bolt 59 for fastening of a stab terminal 60 to the bushing. One stab terminal is provided opposite each socket terminal and is insulated therefrom by the intermediate portion of the bushing. Bolt 59 passes through an aperture in each stab terminal, and each of the L-shaped stab terminals are seated in a rectangular groove 61 provided in the rearward surface of the bushing. Groove 61 is counterbored at 62 to receive the head of screw 49 used to fasten the socket terminals.
lt can be readily appreciated that the construction of each of the socket terminals 48 and each of the stab terminals 60 is identical; however, it should be noted that the opposite upper socket and stab terminals, as viewed in the drawing, are electrically isolated from each other, while the lower opposite socket and stab terminals are electrically connected. For convenience, in the following description the lower terminals will be identified by the alphabetic character L following the corresponding numerical character, while the alphabetic character U will be used to designate the upper terminal.
Each of the lower socket terminals 481. have extending therefrom a conductive strap member 54 which has formed integral therewith a right angle extension 63. Extension 63 terminates in an arm section 64 which doubles back over the bushing and overlaps the stab terminal 60L. Arm 64 is maintained in a tight conductive engagement with the stab terminal 60L upon tightening of its fastening bolt.
Referring now to the upper bushing 34, stab terminals 60U are maintained electrically isolated from the corresponding socket terminals 48U mounted to the opposite side of the bushing. To this end, each of the conductive-strap members 54U extend inwardly of the ring base and pass through the slotted sides of a C-shape conductive strap 65 having a threaded aperture between its arms. A threaded bolt 66 is received in the threaded aperture to form a cable clamp corresponding to previously designated upper line terminals A and B.
The ends ofinput conductors 21 and 22 are stripped of insulation and separately inserted within theC-shape straps 65, between flat strap 54U and bolt 66. Bolt 66 is threaded inwardly to clamp the conductor against the strap. Since complete electrical isolation must be maintained between socket terminals 48Uand the corresponding stab terminals 60U mounted on the opposite side of bushing 34, nylon bolts and nuts are preferably utilized so as to avoid the possibility of shorts or are creeping between adjacent parts.
, As hereinbefore described, bushings 34 and 35 are mounted to cross strap 33 of ring base 32. Ring base 32 is open at both the front and back. The front or forwardly facing side includes a flange or clamping bead 67 over which is received the rim 30 of meter 28. Meter 28 is thereafter sealed in place by a conventional sealing band 31. The back or rearwardly facing side of base 32 includes a rim 68 adapted to be received over the sealing bead of meter box 23 and sealed in place by a conventional sealing clamp not shown. An internal corrugated type strap 70 welded to the rim provides additional strength thereto.
Input conductors 21 and 22 are brought into the ring base 32 from the bottom through a slotted aperture 71 and grommet 72 mounted therein. Preferably, conductors 21 and 22 are about 4 feet in length, but the length is not critical. The ends of conductors 21 and 22 are stripped of their insulation and electrically connected to separate male plug-in connectors 19 and 20, an exemplary form of which is illustrated in FIG. 5.
Each male connector includes an insulative housing 73 having a reduced diameter front or head section 74. Housing 73 is provided with a central bore 75 within which is received a hollow cylindrical conductive member 76. Section 74 includes a bore of smaller diameter than bore 75 and supports a metallic plug member 77 electrically connected to cylinder 76 which is in-turn electrically and physically connected to conductor 21.
Plug 77 is adapted to be received in the female connector which includes an insulative housing 78. provided-with a mating recess 79 for front section 74 of the male connector. A central bore has mounted therein a hollow, cylindrical conductive sleeve 80 within which the plug 77 is inserted. A second conductive sleeve 81 is provided in coaxial arrangement therewith. Sleeve 81 is of slightly larger diameter than sleeve 80 to enable the sleeve to be fitted thereover and in close engagement therewith. Conductor is electrically connected to sleeve 81. The male and female connection shown in FlG. 5 is by way of explanation and any suitable form of connector may be utilized.
Connection between the ground wires 12 and 14 is made by a conventional hot line clamp comprising a clamp section 82 which receives wire 12 and a vice grip section 83 which receives wire 14. As is well known, barrell 84 is threaded to receive a helical screw member attached to post 85. Upon turning of post 85, plate 86 is caused to move up or down, depending upon the direction that post 85 is turned, by virtue of mating internal threads on plate 86.
In accordance with the present invention, when it is desired to connect an auxiliary service line to a consumers service installation, meter 28 of the existing installation is removed from meter socket 23 and the meter and service connector 10 plugged into the socket. The service line 11 may be preconnected to the connector 10 through mating male and female connectors 17, 19 and 18, 20 or connection may be made after the connector 10 is in place. The meter is plugged into the socket terminals of the connector 10. Since the upper stab terminals of the connector 10 are electrically isolated from the forward upper socket terminals, there is no danger of backfeeding from the existing power supply line conductors 26 which remain in place. Load line conductors 27 supply power or current to the consumer load circuits and the meter continues to register consumption, all with a minimum of disruption to the consumer. Advantageously the entire hookup may be made between the auxiliary bypass system and consumer-while the system is energized with complete safety. The only disruption which might occur is during switchover from an existing supply to the auxiliary supply when replacing sections of transmission line; however, the time element in such a case is almost unnoticeable and often less than would be experienced on a short term overload when a conventional circuit breaker in the system cycles.
l. A connector comprising a ring base, a plurality of stab terminals mounted within said ring base, a plurality of socket terminals mounted within said ring base, said socket terminals all facing in one direction, said stab terminals all facing in the opposite direction, each stab terminal being mounted diametrically opposite a socket terminal, insulative mounting means for electrically isolating and mounting opposing stab and socket terminals, and at least two of said socket terminals including means for directly connecting thereto an electric input power service line, including male connectors adapted to be detachably connected to the power line, said two of said socket terminals being at all times electrically isolated from the diametrically opposite stab terminals and means for electrically connecting at least two of the other of said socket terminals to the diametrically opposite stab terminals.
2. A connector as set forth in claim 1 wherein said plurality of stab terminals include a first pair and a second pair, said plurality of socket terminals include a first pair and a second pair, and said means for isolating opposing terminals comprising a first and a second insulative bushing, and means for mounting said first pairs to opposite sides of said first bushing and said second pairs to opposite sides of second bushing, and means for supporting said first and second bushing within said ring base.
3. A connector as set for in claim I wherein said means for connecting said two of said socket terminals to a power service line comprises a first line terminal connected to one of said two socket terminals, a second line terminal connected to the other of said two socket terminals, said line terminals including leads connected thereto having male connector means for detachably connecting the power input lines.
4. A meter and service connector as set forth in claim 2 wherein said means for supporting said first and said second bushing includes a channel strap connected across said ring base, said first bushing being disposed above said second bushing on one side of said channel strap, and further including a passage in said ring base adjacent one end of said channel strap adapted to allow passage of a pair of power input lines from without said ring base to a position within said ring base, the ends of said power input lines being connected to said two socket terminals.
5. A meter and service connector comprising a ring base open at its forward and rearward ends, a first insulative bushing, a second insulative bushing, means for supporting said bushings in spaced relationship, one above the other, within said ring base, a first pair of socket terminals disposed on one side of said first bushing, a second pair of socket terminals disposed on one side of said second bushing, a first pair of stab terminals disposed on the other side of said first bushing, a second pair of stab terminals disposed on the other side of said second bushing, said first and said second pair of socket terminals being disposed to face in the same direction, each stab terminal being mounted diametrically opposite a socket terminal, means electrically connecting one socket terminal of said first pair to one stab terminal of said first pair, means electrically connecting the other socket terminal of said first pair to the other stab terminal of said first pair and said socket terminals of said second pair being permanently electrically isolated from said stab terminals of said second pair and means for directly connecting said socket terminals of said second pair to an electric input power service line including male connectors adapted to be plugged into corresponding female connectors of a power service line.
6. A meter and service connector set forth in claim 5 wherein said means for supporting said bushings comprises a channel strap extending across said ring base, said bushings being mounted to one side of said channel strap.
7. A meter and service connector as set forth in claim 6 wherein said ring base includes a passage, said passage being disposed adjacent to one end ofsaid channel strap.
8. A meter and service connector as set forth in claim 7 wherein the connecting means for said socket terminals comprises terminal means connected to said socket terminals of saidsecond pair, said terminal means comprising a first strap member having a slot, a second strap member extending from said socket terminal and disposed to be received within said slot and screw means threaded in said first strap member for securing a conductor against said strap member.
9. A meter and service connection adapted for connecting an alternate input power source service line to a consumer load upon deenergization of a main input power service line comprising a meter box having a first pair of socket terminals and a second pair of socket terminals, means for connecting said first pair of socket terminals to the consumer load and means for connecting said second pair of socket terminals to the main service line, said last named means comprising a meter and a service connector, said service connector including a first pair of stab terminals and a second pair of stab terminals facing in one direction and adapted to be plugged into said first and said second pairs of said socket terminals of the meter box, a first pair of socket terminals and a second pair of socket terminals facing in the opposite direction, each socket terminal of the service connector being mounted diametrically opposite a stab terminal, said socket terminals of the service connector being adapted to receive the stab terminals of a plugged in meter, said meter being mounted to said socket terminals of the service connector to measure the consumption of electricity, a pair of input power leads having male connectors attached thereto and connected to said second pair of socket terminals of said connector and adapted for connection to the alternate power service line, said second pair of socket terminals of the connector being electrically isolated from the diametrically opposite stab terminals and means electrically connecting said first pair of stab terminals of the connector to the diametrically opposite socket terminals to thereby allow recording of the power consumption from the alternate power service line. i
10. A service connection as set forth in claim 9 wherein said meter box includes a clamping bead, said connector having a rim adapted to be disposed over said clamping head, the opposite end of said connector having a clamping head, said meter having a rim adapted to be disposed over said clamping head.
11. A meter and service connection adapted for connecting an alternate input power source service line to a consumer load upon deenergization of a main input power service line comprising a meter box having a first pair of socket terminals and a second pair of socket terminals, means for connecting said first pair of socket terminals to the consumer load and means for connecting saidsecond pair of socket terminals to the main service line, said last named means comprising a meter and a service connector including a first pair of stab terminals and a second pair of stab terminals facing in one direction and adapted to be plugged into said first and said second pairs of said socket terminals of the meter box, a first pair of socket terminals and a second pair of socket terminals facing in the opposite direction, each socket terminal of the service connector being mounted diametrically opposite a stab terminal, said socket terminals of the service connector being adapted to receive the stab terminals of a plugged in meter, said meter being mounted to said socket terminals of the service connector to measure the consumption of electricity, a pair of input power leads connected to said second pair of socket terminals of said connector and adapted for connection to the alternate power service line, said second pair of socket terminals of the connector being electrically isolated from the diametrically opposite stab terminals, means electrically connecting said first pair of stab terminals of the connector to the diametrically opposite socket terminals to thereby allow recording of the power consumption from the alternate power service line, and said input power leads including a male connector connected at the end of each lead, said male connectors adapted to be plugged into corresponding female connectors of a power service line.
I UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE I CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No.3.643.20 Dated February 15, 1972.
Inventor(s Otis D. Coston I It is Certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
'  Inventor: "Ostis D coston', should be --Otis D Coston-- Column 2 line 34, after "energized" --prior to connection-- is omitted; Line 59, after "being" --connected to the supply conductor 'andlthe two terminals beingis omitted.
Signed and sealed this 5th day of December 1972.
EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT G OTTSCHA LK Att'esting Officer Commissioner of Patents "ORM PO-105O (10-69) USCOMM'DC 6O376-P69 & U.5. GOVERNMENT FRINTING OFFICE: I959 0-366-334 I UNITED STATES PATENT oFEicE fiERTlFIQATE OF @URREQ'HUN Patent No. 3,643,209 Dated February 15, 1972 Inventofls) Otis D. Coston It is certified that error appears inthe above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
'  Inventor: "Ostis D. costonj, should be -Otis Do Coston-- Column 2, line 34, after "energized" -'--prior to connectionis omitted; Line 59, after "being" --connected to the supply conductor and the two terminals being- I is omitted.
Signed and sealed this 5th day of December 1972.,
EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JZR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents ORM PC1-1050 (10-69) USCOMM'DC BO376-P69 U.5 GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1959 0-365334
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|U.S. Classification||439/517, 361/668, 361/662, 439/651|