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Publication numberUS3646495 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 29, 1972
Filing dateJan 19, 1970
Priority dateJan 19, 1970
Also published asCA929625A, CA929625A1, DE2101882A1
Publication numberUS 3646495 A, US 3646495A, US-A-3646495, US3646495 A, US3646495A
InventorsCowmeadow Richard R
Original AssigneeBunker Ramo
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connector device having detent lock
US 3646495 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Cowmeadow 1 Feb. 29 1972 [54] CONNECTOR DEVICE HAVING 1,924,108 8/1933 Conway ..192/69 DETENT LOCK 1,988,748 151935 Pearmain. 192/69 2,491,406 12 1949 Zeeb ..151/41 1 Invent Riqhard Cowmefldvw, Bramalea, 3,517,371 6/1970 Buckley ..339/89 0 K101339399 3,519,975 7/1970 Prow eta] ..339/14 P [73] Assignee: The Bunker-Raine Corporation, Oak

Brook, m Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Robert A. Hafer [22] F1led: Jan. 19, 1970 Attorney-Frederick M. Arbuckle [21] Appl. No.: 3,630 ABSTRACT [52] U S CL 339/14 R 339/46 339/69 Connector device including a leaf detent spring disposed 339/89 between facing annular surfaces of a pair of rings and engage- {511 lm Cl on 3/06 able in a key slot in one of the rings to lock the rings against [58 1 i 46 69 70 relative rotation. Preferably, one of the rings is a coupling ring 339/89 90 41 i 1 7 threaded on a shell of an electrical connector to move an inh l sert member into the shell and to lock contact means within an insulating body in the shell, the detent spring being releasable to allow reverse rotation of the coupling ring and release of [56] References cued the lock of the contact means, so that the contact means may UNITED STATES PATENTS be removed for servicing or replacement.

835,345 11/1906 Babcock ..151/41 6 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures CONNECTOR DEVICE HAVING DETENT LOCK This invention relates to a detent lock for connectors and more particularly to a detent lock which is highly effective and reliable, which can be readily released and which is comparatively simple in design, economical to manufacture, and rugged and durable.

Connectors and couplings, especially those using threads, oftentimes become loose and may become disconnected when subjected to stresses such as shocks and vibrations. Where reliability is an important factor, as in electrical connectors, loosening or disengagement is a serious problem. It has been a common practice to wire couplings and connectors together which, however, creates servicing problems.

This invention was evolved with the general object of overcoming the disadvantages of prior art devices and of providing a coupling lock which is highly effective and reliable while being readily releasable for servicing.

A further object is to provide a coupling lock which is economically manufacturable while being rugged and durable.

According to this invention, a leaf detent spring is disposed between spaced facing annular surfaces of first and second relatively rotatable coaxial rings, an inner end portion of the detent spring being secured to one of the rings and an outer end portion of the leaf spring being biased axially to lockingly engage in a key slot in the annular surface of the other ring, to lock the rings against relative rotation. The outer end portion of the leaf spring is manually movable axially out of the key slot to allow relative rotation of the rings. With this combination, the rings are securely locked against relative rotation while being readily releasable, when desired.

Preferably, the outer end portion of the leaf spring projects radially outwardly at least a short distance beyond the outer periphery of the ring to facilitate engagement therewith for release. The outer end portion of the leaf spring is also preferably curled inwardly to increase its strength and rigidity in its locking function while providing a smoother contour and facilitating engagement by a fingernail or tool.

According to a specific feature, both rings have key slots, the leaf spring being movable out of the key slot in one ring and into the key slot in the other, in the release direction. This feature is important in combination with the feature in which the outer end portion is curled, to provide more space while allowing close spacing between the facing annular surfaces of the rings.

According to another specific feature, the leaf detent spring is formed as an integral part ofa flat ring and a second leaf detent spring projects outwardly from the fiat ring to engage in a slot in the other ring.

Another important feature relates to the incorporation of the rings and the detent spring in a connector or coupling including a pair of generally cylindrical members in coaxial relation to each other and to the rings, one of the rings being in the form of a coupling ring threaded on one of the cylindrical members and the other of the rings being in the form ofa lock ring fixedly disposed on the other cylindrical member. Preferably, the coupling ring and the second cylindrical member have interengaging shoulders to move the second member axially in response to rotation to the coupling ring.

In accordance with a further specific feature, rotation of the coupling ring to the position in which the detent lock operates, functions to apply a certain pressure to sealing means within the coupling and to effectively lock contact means within an insulating body in the connector. Upon release of the detent spring, the coupling ring may be rotated in a reverse direction to allow removal and replacement of the contacts.

This invention contemplates other objects, features and advantages which will become more fully apparent from the fol lowing detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate a preferred embodiment and in which FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an electrical connector structure incorporating a detent lock according to the principles of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view on an enlarged scale, taken substantially along line Il-Il of FIG. I;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 2 but showing parts in positions for servicing of contacts of the structure; and

FIG. 4 is a sectional view on a reduced scale, taken substantially along line IVIV of FIG. 1.

Reference numeral generally designates an electrical connector structure incorporating a detent lock constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention. The illustrated structure 10 is a receptacle portion of an electrical connector to which a plug portion may be connected to intercom nect contacts within the plug and receptacle portions.

The structure 10 comprises a rotatable coupling ring 11 and a coaxial nonrotating lock ring 12, respectively having annular surfaces 13 and 14 in planes transverse to the axis of the rings, the coupling ring 11 being formed with a key slot 15 in the annular surface 13. A leaf detent spring 16 is disposed between the surfaces 13 and 14 and has an inner end portion 17 secured to the lock ring 12 and an outer end portion 18 biased axially to lockingly engage in the key slot 15 to a certain relative angular positioning of the rings 11 and 12, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. To allow rotation of the coupling ring 11, the outer end portion 18 may be moved manually, by engaging it with a fingernail or a suitable tool, to move it out of the key slot 15.

Preferably, the outer end portion of the leaf spring has a terminal end 19 which projects radially outwardly beyond the outer periphery of the coupling ring 11, to facilitate the release operation. Although not essential, the terminal end portion 19 may be curled inwardly as shown, to facilitate engagement therewith, to present a smoothly rounded contour, and to increase the strength of the spring with respect to its locking function.

To provide a more compact arrangement and to minimize the required length of the detent spring 16 while providing space for the curled outer end portion 19 in the unlocking position, the lockring 12 is preferably provided with a key slot 20 which is aligned with the key slot 15 in the locked position of the rings, the outer end portion 18 with its curled terminal end 19 being movable into the slot 20 in the unlocking position.

The inner end portion 17 of the detent spring 16 is preferably in the form of a flat ring, as shown in FIG. 4, which is disposed against an inner portion of the surface 14. A second leaf detent spring 21 projects from the flat ring 17 in angularly spaced relation to the spring 16 and is biased to firmly engage in a slot 22 in the ring 12, to provide securing means which locks against rotation relative to the ring 12.

The coupling ring 11 is threaded on an externally threaded portion 24 of a generally cylindrical connector shell generally designated by reference numeral 25. Disposed within the connector shell 25 is an insulating body which includes a pair of members 27 and 28 of a suitable relatively rigid insulating material having a plurality of aligned passages therethrough, one pair of passages 29 and 30 being shown. In the illustrated arrangement, a filter pin contact unit 31 is installed having an intermediate filter section 32 which includes inductance and capacitance means for filtering out high-frequency components, the outer surface ofthe portion 32 being ofa conductive material and defining one plate or electrode of the capacitance means. Such outer surface is engaged by contacts 33 formed at an opening in a ground plate 34 through which the central filter portion 32 of the unit 31 extends. The ground plate 34 is sandwiched between the insulating members 27 and 28 and a peripheral edge portion thereof engages an internally extending annular shoulder 35 of the connector shell 25.

The coupling and lockring assembly, as above described, functions to hold the contact units in tight assembly in the insulating members 27 and 28 with the outer surface of the central portion 32 in firm engagement with the contacts 33 of the ground plate 34. In particular, an insert member 37 of generally cylindrical form is provided having an end face 38 engageable with the ground plate 34, having an inwardly extending annular shoulder 39 engageable with an outer annular edge portion of the member 28 and having an inward annular projection 40. A seal member 41 of a suitable relatively soft elastomeric material, may be disposed between the projecting portion 40 and the ground plate 34. An O-ring seal member 42 is disposed in a groove 43 in the internal surface of the connector shell 25, to engage the outer surface of the insert member 37.

A cylindrical block 44, preferably of a relatively soft compliant elastomeric material, is disposed within the insert member 37 and has passages for the contact units and for connecting wires thereto, a wire 45 being shown connected to a terminal end portion 46 of the unit 31, in the illustrated arrangement.

The lockring 12 is rigidly secured to the insert 37, as by means ofa series of setscrews 48 threaded radially through the lockring 12 and having inner ends engageable in an annular recess 49 of the insert 37.

The insert 37 additionally has a radially outwardly extending annular portion 50 engageable by a radially inwardly projecting annular surface 51 of the coupling ring 11, surface 51 having a sloping face to provide a self-centering action of the insert 37. When the coupling ring 11 is rotated in one direction, the shoulder 51 engages the portion 50 to move the insert 37 to the left, as viewed in FIG. 2, to tightly engage the ground plate 34 between the shoulder 35 and the surface 38, to compress the seal 41 and to clamp the member 28 between the ground plate 34 and the shoulder 39.

The ground plate, insulating members and contact units are then locked in firm assembly. In the event that it is desired to remove one or more of the contact units for inspection, servicing or replacement, it is desirable to release the parts from the firmly assembled condition illustrated in FIG. 2. To do so, the detent spring 16 is flexed to the right, as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 3 and toward the plane of the paper as viewed in FIG. 4, to move it out of the key slot and to allow rotation of the coupling ring 11 in the reverse direction. After such rotation of the ring 1 I, the parts may assume the positions illustrated in FIG. 4 in which the contact units may be readily removed, through the use of a suitable removal tool. To limit such reverse rotation of the ring 11, the ring 11 may be provided with a plurality of resilient retaining tines 55 having in-turned end portions 56 which engage an outwardly projecting annular stop 57 of the shell 25. In the initial assembly of the structure, or should complete disassembly be desired, the tines 55 may be simultaneously moved outwardly to clear the stop 57.

After servicing of contact units, the ring 11 may be again rotated in the forward direction to move the parts to a condition as shown in FIG. 2 at which time the detent spring 16 springs into the key slot 15. It is noted that in the initial assembly of the structure, and prior to installation of the lockring 12 with the detent spring 16 thereon, the ring 11 may be rotated to the desired extent and the ring 12 may then be installed in a position to align the detent spring 16 with the key slot 15, after which the set screws 48 may be tightened to affix the ring 12 to the insert 37. Thereafter, the engagement of the detent spring 16 in the key slot 15 will indicate that the desired condition exists.

The end lockring 12 is thus capable of being set in an infinite number of positions so that grounding may be achieved by factory setting, this being the purpose of the set screws 48. After the factory setting, any opening and closing of the connector always returns the grounding plate to the same pressure position necessary for optimum operation.

The illustrated arrangement is particularly advantageous in electrical connectors and especially those using filter pin contacts which include relatively brittle ferrite or similar magnetic materials and which are quite fragile. It will be understood, however, that the detent lock of this invention may be used in other types of connector of coupling devices.

It will be understood that modifications and variations may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concepts of this invention.

I claim as my invention:

1. In an electrical connector device, first and second generally c lindrical members in coaxial relation to each other, ll'lSLl atmg body means within said first cylindrical member, electrical contact means within said insulating body, a coupling ring threaded on said first cylindrical member, said second cylindrical member and said coupling ring having interengaging surfaces to move said second cylindrical member toward said first cylindrical member with rotation of said coupling ring in one direction, said electrical contact means being locked in said insulating body when said coupling ring is rotated in said one direction to a certain position relative to said first cylindrical member and being removable from said insulating body upon rotation of said coupling ring to a certain extent in the reverse direction, a lock ring fixedly disposed on said second cylindrical member, and detent spring means acting between said coupling and lockrings for releasably locking said coupling ring in said certain position, said coupling and lockrings having annular surfaces in planes transverse to the axis thereof and in facing relation, one of said rings being formed with a key slot in the annular surface thereof, said detent spring means comprising a leaf spring member between said annular surfaces having an outer end portion biased axially to lockingly engage in said key slot in said certain position, and securing means securing an inner end portion of said leaf spring member against rotation relative to the other ring, said outer end portion being manually movable axially out of said key slot to allow relative rotation of said rings.

2. In an electrical connector device as defined in claim 1, said outer end portion of said spring member having a terminal end projecting radially outwardly beyond the outer periphery of said one ofsaid rings.

3. In an electrical connector device as defined in claim 2, said terminal end being curled inwardly.

4. In an electrical connector device as defined in claim 2, said other of said rings having a key slot in said annular surface thereof aligned with said key slot of said one of said rings in said certain position, said outer end portion of said spring member being manually movable out of said key slot of said one of said rings and into said key slot of said other of said rings to allow relative rotation of said rings.

5. In an electrical connector device as defined in claim 1, a flat ring disposed between inner portions of said annular surfaces, said inner portion of said spring member being integral with said flat ring.

6. In an electrical connector device as defined in claim 5, said securing means comprising a second leaf spring member integral with said flat ring and projecting radially outwardly therefrom in angularly spaced relation to the first-mentioned spring member, said other of said rings having a slot therein receiving said second spring member.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3825874 *Jul 5, 1973Jul 23, 1974IttElectrical connector
US3920269 *May 28, 1974Nov 18, 1975Coop Ind IncSelf-locking connector
US3971614 *Nov 3, 1972Jul 27, 1976Akzona IncorporatedElectrical connector with means for maintaining a connected condition
US4063756 *Sep 3, 1975Dec 20, 1977Co-Operative Industries, Inc.Self-locking connector
US4163594 *Jul 28, 1978Aug 7, 1979International Telephone And Telegraph CompanyElectrical connector
US4290662 *Jul 11, 1979Sep 22, 1981Bunker Ramo CorporationConnector assembly with visual, tactile and audible indication
US4362350 *Jun 9, 1980Dec 7, 1982International Telephone And Telegraph CorporationContact retention assembly
US4472012 *Mar 14, 1983Sep 18, 1984Molex IncorporatedModularized universal pin and sleeve electrical connector
US4487470 *May 11, 1983Dec 11, 1984The Bendix CorporationAnti-decoupling mechanism for an electrical connector assembly
US4494810 *May 11, 1983Jan 22, 1985The Bendix CorporationAnti-decoupling device for an electrical connector
US4505157 *Aug 5, 1983Mar 19, 1985Transamerica Delaval Inc.Transducers with quick dome connect systems
US4508408 *May 11, 1983Apr 2, 1985Allied CorporationAnti-decoupling mechanism for an electrical connector assembly
US4525017 *May 11, 1983Jun 25, 1985Allied CorporationAnti-decoupling mechanism for an electrical connector assembly
US4536048 *May 11, 1983Aug 20, 1985Allied CorporationAnti-decoupling mechanism for an electrical connector assembly
US4588246 *Feb 4, 1985May 13, 1986Allied CorporationAnti-decoupling mechanism for an electrical connector assembly
US5752918 *Jun 28, 1995May 19, 1998Medex, Inc.Modular medical pressure transducer
US5848971 *Apr 11, 1997Dec 15, 1998Medex, Inc.Modular medical pressure transducer
US5868678 *Dec 2, 1996Feb 9, 1999Medex, Inc.Two-part medical pressure transducer with diaphragm stand-offs
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/733.1
International ClassificationH01R13/516, H01R13/658
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/516, H01R13/65802
European ClassificationH01R13/658B, H01R13/516
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 12, 1992ASAssignment
Owner name: AMPHENOL CORPORATION A CORP. OF DELAWARE
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK OF COMMERCE;REEL/FRAME:006147/0887
Effective date: 19911114
Oct 1, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: AMPHENOL CORPORATION, LISLE, ILLINOIS A CORP. OF D
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ALLIED CORPORATION, A CORP. OF NY;REEL/FRAME:004844/0850
Effective date: 19870602
Owner name: AMPHENOL CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DE, ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ALLIED CORPORATION, A CORP. OF NY;REEL/FRAME:004844/0850
Jul 2, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK OF COMMERCE, NEW YORK AGENC
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AMPHENOL CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004879/0030
Effective date: 19870515
Jun 15, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: ALLIED CORPORATION COLUMBIA ROAD AND PARK AVENUE,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BUNKER RAMO CORPORATION A CORP. OF DE;REEL/FRAME:004149/0365
Effective date: 19820922