US 3651447 A
An electric device and a terminal connection which includes a connector for electrically connecting the device to conductors of a circuit. The terminals of the device are coaxial and located at the same end of the device. The connector has a handle which facilitates disconnecting it and which folds compactly when the electric device and terminal connection are packaged. The connector is so mounted that it retains its orientation whenever it is disconnected from the electric device.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Branco et al.
[451 Mar. 21, 1972 [541 ELECTRIC DEVICE AND COAXIAL CONNECTION  Inventors: Richard P. Branco, Bridgeport; Edgar 0. Sprude, Philadelphia; Albert W. Diener, Willow Grove, all of Pa.
 Assignee: Burroughs Corporation, Detroit, Mich.
 Filed: June 29, 1970 ] Appl. No: 50,733
 U.S. Cl ..339/l02 R, 339/110 C, 339/177 R, 339/228, 339/260  Int. Cl ..II01r 13/58, I-101r 17/06  Field of Search ..l36/l35 R;339/8, 102, 110, 339/177, 182, 183, 224, 228, 184 R, 260, 261
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 983,760 2/1911 Patterson... ....136/173 1,379,795 5/1921 Allen ..339/8 P 2,288,259 6/1942 Gladulich ..339/8 P 2,030,115 2/1936 Muldoon ..339/1 10 P FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 657,404 11/1963 Italy ..339/l02 R Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Lawrence .I. Staab Attorney-Paul W. Fish, Edward J. Feeney, Jr. and Charles S. Hall [5 7] ABSTRACT An electric device and a terminal connection which includes a connector for electrically connecting the device to conductors of a circuit. The terminals of the device are coaxial and located at the same end of the device. The connector has a handle which facilitates disconnecting it and which folds compactly when the electric device and terminal connection are packaged. The connector is so mounted that it retains its orientation whenever it is disconnected from the electric device.
6 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHARZI 1912 SHEET 1 8F 2 INVENTORS. RICHARD R BRANCO EDGAR 0. SPRUDE ALBERT W DIENER ATTORNEY ELECTRIC DEVICE AND COAXIAL CONNECTION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to electrical connections and particularly to a terminal connection for connecting a multiterminal electric device to an associated circuit. While not limited thereto, the invention finds special application to the terminals and connection for an electric cell, commonly called a battery, and therefore the invention will be described hereinafter in connection with such use.
One form of battery connection consists of a two-terminal snap-type fastener. That type of fastener is deficient in the respect that the terminal contacts spread when subjected to shock. Furthermore, the snap-type contacts have to be oriented both for purposes of making the connection and avoiding shorting. Also, because of the very short effective spring arm of the female segments of the snap-type fastener, the yield point of the material is too easily reached. With the spring-pressure type of connection, such as that sometimes used when batteries are connected in series, additional pressure is required, usually obtained by employing a stronger spring, in order to overcome or break through the oxide coating which, in time, forms on the contacting surfaces.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the invention, therefore, is to provide improvements in multiterminal electric devices and their terminal connections.
Another object of the invention is to provide a coaxial connection for multiterminal electric devices in which the connector element is easily oriented for connection in any radial position.
A further object of the invention is to provide such a connection in which the connector contacts are not significantly affected by the mass of the electric device so that spreading of the contacts due to shock is eliminated, or substantially reduced.
Another object of the invention is to further minimize the possibility of permanently spreading or deforming the connector contacts by substantially embedding them in an elastic material so that, when the connector is disconnected, the contacts will be aided by the elasticity of the material in returning to their original position.
A further object of the invention is to provide a coaxial connection for multiterminal electric devices in which the connector contacts have relatively long effective spring arms so as to increase significantly the factor of safety with respect to the ultimate yield of the contact material.
A further object of the invention is to provide a coaxial connection which facilitates the connection of cells in series by providing a wiping action for the connector contacts.
Still a further object of the invention is to provide such a connection which can more easily break through the oxide coating on the contacting surfaces.
Another object of the invention is to provide an electrical connector which folds compactly when restrained by the cover of a receptacle and which unfolds to facilitate disconnection when the restraining cover is removed.
A further object of the invention is to provide, for an electric device, an electrical connector having a mounting which permits it to retain its orientation relative -to the electric device whenever it is disconnected therefrom.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a multiterminal electric device and connection which are simple to use and inexpensive to manufacture.
In accordance with the above objects and considered first in one of its broader aspects, an electric device in accordance with the invention has at least most of its terminals coaxial and located at the same end.
The invention will be more clearly understood when the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment thereof is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing which is described below.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is an isometric exploded view, partly fragmentary, of apparatus containing an electric device and coaxial connection constructed in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged bottom view of a connector shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the connector shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a front elevation, partly in phantom, of the connector.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of the assembled apparatus of FIG. 1 but with certain parts omitted to more clearly reveal other parts.
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 66 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 5.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Turning now to the details of the drawing, a housing 10 (FIGS. 1 and 5) for containing the invention and other related apparatus, not shown, is provided with a housing cover 12 secured to the housing 10, as by means of screws 14 which pass through openings 15 in the housing cover 12 and are threaded into tapped holes 17 in the housing 10. The cover 12 is provided with an opening 16 (FIG. 1) which is in line with the inside diameter of a receptacle 18 which is integral with the housing 10. The receptacle 18 is formed with an opening or notch 20 in the upper end of its side wall 19.
An electric device, which is illustrated in one form as an electric cell or battery 22, has at least most of its terminals coaxial and located at the same end of the device. In the illustrated battery 22, both of its terminals 24 and 26 are coaxial and located at the same end of the battery 22. The polarities of the terminals 24 and 26 may be as desired, however, in a particular construction the terminal 24 was chosen to be negative and the terminal 26 was chosen to be positive. As shown most clearly in FIGS. 1, 6 and 7, the terminal 26 is annular and the terminal 24, in this example, has a portion disposed within the annular terminal 26. It is preferable that the terminals 24 and 26 have a circular outside periphery, so as to facilitate making the battery connection, as will appear more fully later on. It is also preferable that the contact surfaces of the terminals 24 and 26, which in the present embodiment of the invention are the outside diameters of the terminals 24 and 26, be of uniform diameter along their effective lengths so as to eliminate or minimize spreading, due to shock, of the connector contacts, as will also appear more clearly later on. In the particular apparatus shown, the battery 22 is freely contained in an elastic cup-shaped filler 28 which is freely contained in the interior of the receptacle 18.
A connector 30 comprises a body portion 32, a handle 34 integral with the body 32 and having pleated portions 36 and 38, and a lateral protrusion 40 integral with the body 32, all of which portions 32, 34 and 40 are constructed of an electrical insulating elastic material such as urethane, for example. The body 32 is formed with coaxial openings 42 and 44 for receiving therein the terminals 26 and 24, respectively. Partially embedded in the body 32 are flexible conductive connector contacts 46 and 48, which may be in wire form, each preferably substantially U-shaped, as shown most clearly in FIG. 2. The contact surfaces of the wire contact 46 are contained on exposed portions 46a and 46b which extend into the opening 42 while the contact surfaces of the wire contact 48 are similarly contained on exposed surfaces 48a and 48b which extend into the opening 44. The protrusion 40 is formed with laterally and downwardly extending fingers 50 and 52 which straddle the side wall 19 of the receptacle 18. A terminal portion 40a of the protrusion 40, between the fingers 50 and 52, fits into the notch 20 of the receptacle l8 and together with the fingers 50 and 52 serves to locate the connector 30 so that it is always properly oriented for connection, whenever it is disconnected.
The connector 30 is further provided with two flexible insulated conductors 54 and 56 which are connectable to an associated circuit, not shown, which is to be powered by the battery 22. The conductors 54 and 56 are partially embedded in the protrusion 40 and body 32, and with an uninsulated end 54a of the conductor 54 connected to the contact 48 and an uninsulated end 56a of the conductor 56 connected to the contact 46.
In the particular assembly illustrated, the battery connection is made by first lowering the battery 22 and cup filler 28 into the receptacle l8, and then allowing the connector 30 to flex about the elastic protrusion 40, from the phantom position toward the solid-line position shown in FIG. 7, and then manually pressing downwardly on the handle 34 to the extent necessary to make the connection. This will cause the exposed portions 48a and 48b of the contact 48 to expand and ride over the terminal 24, and similarly cause the exposed portions 46a and 46b of the contact 46 to expand and ride over the terminal 26. Because of the locating function of the fingers 50 and 52 and the locating portion 40a of the protrusion 40 which fits into the notch 20, the connector 30 is properly automatically oriented with respect to the terminals 24 and 26, so that the operator does not have to orient the connector 30 to make the connection, but merely has to press upon it. The feature of automatically orienting the connector 30 permits rapid inspection or replacement of the battery 22 and, together with the confining effect of the cover 12 on the region at the fingers 50 and 52 and locating portion 40a (FIG. 7), assures that the connector 30 will always be in place when disconnected, and not liable to be misplaced.
It will now be perceived more clearly from an inspection of FIG. 6 that if the apparatus is subjected to shock, the contacts 46 and 48 will not spread significantly, if at all, but will merely ride up and down on the terminals 24 and 26.
After the connection is made, the battery 22 and connector 30 may be enclosed by means of a receptacle cover 58, shown in phantom in FIG. 6, which may be secured to the housing cover 12, as by means of screws 60 passing through holes 61 and pads 62 of the receptacle cover 58 and threaded into tapped holes 64 in the housing cover 12. Because of the pleats 36 and 38 of the handle 34, downward movement of the receptacle cover 58, in the act of attaching it to the housing cover 12, will cause the handle 34 to fold compactly in the region of the pleats 36 and 38 and cause the gripping portion 34a of the handle 34 to be pressed substantially flat against the body 32 of the connector 30. Thus, when the receptacle cover 58 is attached, the handle 34 serves as an elastic filler, so that together with the bottom of the filler cup 28 the handle 34 limits up-and-down movement of the battery 22.' Also,
because of the elasticity of the handle 34, whenever the receptacle cover 58 is removed the handle 34 will flex outwardly to assume its normal looped configuration in which it is conveniently shaped for gripping by the fingers of an operator for disconnecting the connector 30 from the battery terminals 24 and 26.
By omitting the cover 12 and the locating elements 50, 52, 40a and 20, the connector 30 can be oriented and connected to the battery terminals 24 and 26 in any radial position.
1 We claim:
1. A connection for a multiterminal electric device comprising coaxial terminals at the same end and constituting at least most of the terminals of said electric device, and a connector comprising a plurality of conductors each for contacting one of said terminals, a body of electrical insulating material having coaxial openings each shaped to receive one of said terminals, and an elastic handle connected to said body normally extending away from said body and elastically moveable to a substantially flat position against said body.
2. A connection for a multiterminal electric device comprising coaxial terminals at the same end and constituting at least most of the terminals of said electric device, and a connector comprising a plurality of conductors each for contacting one of said terminals, and a body of electrical insulating material having coaxial openings each shaped to receive one of said terminals, said body further comprising an elastic protrusion extending radially relative to said coaxial openings, and locatin means connected to said protrusion for engagin the side 0 a receptacle into which said electric device is p aced for locating said openings relative to said terminals.
3. A connection according to claim 1 wherein said body is elastic and said conductors are flexible and partially embedded in said body.
4. A connection according to claim 2 wherein said locating means comprises a portion which is insertable into an opening in the side of said receptacle.
5. A connection according to claim 2 wherein said locating means comprises fingers straddling the side of said receptacle.
6. A connection according to claim 2 wherein each of said conductors is connected to a flexible conductor which is at leastpartially embedded in said protrusion.