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Publication numberUS3654586 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 4, 1972
Filing dateMar 20, 1970
Priority dateMar 20, 1970
Also published asCA923589A1
Publication numberUS 3654586 A, US 3654586A, US-A-3654586, US3654586 A, US3654586A
InventorsWinkler Edward D
Original AssigneeAnderson Power Products
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Indexing means for electrical connectors
US 3654586 A
Abstract
An indexing or keying system for electrical connectors adapted for longitudinal telescopic engagement with each other provides each connector with an indexing member having a predetermined facing configuration disposed at the connecting end thereof on one side of the centerline and a complementary indexing opening on the other side of the centerline having a facing configuration substantially identical to the facing configuration of the indexing member. By selecting unique complementary values for the facing dimensions of the indexing members and openings, the connectors may be indexed in accordance with any desired circuit parameter to prevent inadvertent joinder of dissimilar indexed connectors.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

imited States Patent [451 Apr. 4, 1972 Winkler [54] INDEXING MEANS FOR ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS [72] Inventor: Edward D. Winkler, Reading, Mass. [73] Assignee: Anderson Power Products, Inc., Boston,

Mass.

[22] Filed: Mar. 20, 1970 211 Appl. No.: 21,279

52 US. Cl. ..339/49 R, 339/66 M 339/184M 51 Int. Cl .;.'.n0 13/s4,g( 1g;[04 58 Field 61' Search ..T 339/4749, 64 R,

339/64 M, 65, 66 R, 66 M, 113 B, 176 R, 176 M,

184 R, 184 M, 186 R, 186M FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 56,178 4/1944 Netherlands ..339/49 R Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant ExaminerTerrell P. Lewis AttorneyChittick, Pfund, Birch, Samuels & Gauthier [5 7] ABSTRACT An indexing or keying system for electrical connectors adapted for longitudinal telescopic engagement with each other provides each connector with an indexing member having a predetermined facing configuration disposed at the connecting end thereof on one side of the centerline and a complementary indexing opening on the other side of the centerline having a facing configuration substantially identical to the facing configuration of the indexing member. By selecting unique complementary values for the facing dimensions of the indexing members and openings, the connectors may be indexed in accordance with any desired circuit parameter to prevent inadvertent joinder of dissimilar indexed connectors.

7 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR 4 1372 FIG. I

INVENTOR EDWARD D. WINKLER ATTORNEYS W B, m m m FIG. 3

INDEXING MEANS FOR ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS This invention generally relates to electrical connectors and is more particularly concerned with an indexing or keying system for same.

Electrical connectors of uniform overall size are frequently employed to connect cables in circuits of differing voltage and current ratings. It is, of course, desirable to provide uniform sized connectors for various applications from the standpoint of low cost production employing standard molds. However, a shortcoming of this uniformity of connector size has become apparent in that frequently connectors carrying cables with different voltage and/or currents may inadvertently be engaged, which joinder may result in damage to the appliances interconnected due to the current and/or voltage overloads and the like.

Accordingly, the present invention provides a novel indexing or keying means which may be employed with otherwise uniform sized connectors to positively prevent inadvertent joinder of connectors of differing circuit parameter ratings.

This and further objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the detailed description of the preferred embodiment thereof proceeds with continued reference to the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pair of identical two pole connectors embodying the positive indexing means in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a connecting end elevation of one ofthe connector housings shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded side elevation of two connector housings, partially broken away along line 3-3 of FIG. 2, to show the interrelationship of the preferred indexing means of the two connector housings; and,

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary end view similar to FIG. 2 showing a modified indexing means configuration.

Referring initially to FIG. 1, a pair of identical two pole electrical cable connectors indicated generally at and 12 comprise exact counterparts adapted for longitudinal telescopic engagement of their connecting ends indicated at 14 and 14', respectively, to form an electrical connection between cable terminals 16 secured to cables l8, 18 carried therein. The connectors 10 and 12 are generally of the type disclosed in my US. Pat. Nos. 3,091,736 and 2,838,739, and will be herein described only with the particularity necessary to understand the present invention.

As best seen in FIG. 2, the connecting end 14 of the connector housing 10 is formed to define a lower pocket portion including two close-ended cable terminal receiving pockets 20 and 22 and an upper socket portion including open ended, inverted U-shaped sockets 24 and 26 adapted to snugly receive by insertion the pockets 20 and 22 of the identical inverted connector 12 on the upper half thereof. The socket and pocket portions are disposed on either side of a transverse centerline designated as A central partition wall 28 extends from the periphery of the housing 10 to define and separate the sockets 24 and 26, and a complementary slot 30 is formed between the pockets 20 and 22 so as to slideably receive the central wall 28' of the second connector 12 when the two are longitudinally engaged.

The inner end of the slot 30 is defined by the outer wall 32 of a solid indexing member or bridge 34 disposed between the two pockets 20 and 22 and the inner wall 36 of which is coextensive with centerline of the housing 10. It should thus become apparent from viewing FIG. 3 that the housing 10 will longitudinally engage with the housing 12 only if indexing openings 38, 38' between inner ends 40, 40 of the partition walls and the inner walls 36, 36 of the indexing members 34, 34 have the same dimensions designated at A," A which are substantially identical to the thickness facing dimensions perpendicular to the centerline designated as B, B' of the indexing members 34, 34 so that the openings 38, 38' will slideably receive the sides of the other indexing members 34', 34 parallel to the centerline when the two connectors are longitudinally engaged.

In light of the description of indexing means 34, 38 which allow mating, it should be understood that the dimensions A" and B" can be complementarily varied for connectors having substantially the same overall size but which are adapted for use with cables of different voltage ratings. For example, if at any particular point it is necessary to connect cables carrying 24 volts and it is also necessary to connect cables in a 48 volt circuit, it is highly desirable to provide a positive means for insuring that 24 volt cables are not connected to 48 volt circuits and vice versa. This result will obtain if the connector housings l0 and 12 are indexed or keyed by providing complementary indexing means 34 and 38 having predetermined unique dimensions A" and B of different magnitude for each voltage rating desired. Hence, the dimensions A and B for all connector housings 10 designed for use with 24 volt circuits should have the same predetermined unique value, while housings 10 to be used for different voltage circuits, say 48 volts, should have a different predetermined unique magnitude for their dimensions A and 8" for each voltage or other parameter rating desired to provide a "go, no-go positive indexing arrangement for electrical connectors. It is also preferred to vary the colors of the various housings 10 so that two connectors having the same indexing dimensions A" and B may be easily identified upon visual inspection.

The positive indexing feature of the preferred embodiment may be best appreciated with reference to FIG. 3. If the dimensions A and B of the connector housing 12 did not match dimensions A and B of housing 10, longitudinal engagement of the housings along the construction lines would be prevented because the faces of the partition walls 28, 28 and of the indexing members 34, 34 would be opposed to block engagement.

The rectangular configuration of the indexing bridge 34 is preferred because of its simple form and because it is centrally disposed with a portion of its facing periphery touching the centerline Q. 7 The latter feature aids longitudinal engagement of similarly indexed connectors by providing a centrally disposed guide to promote facile joinder with a minimum of flexing between the connectors.

It should be understood, however, that other physical parameters and complementary facing configurations may be employed to provide an indexing capability. Two examples of other physical parameters which may be complementarily varied to index the connector housings are shown in FIG. 2 and a further centrally disposed indexing configuration is shown in FIG. 4.

With reference to FIG. 2, the height of the partition wall 28 is designated C and the depth of its complementary slot 30 is designated D." It should be apparent that the connectors 10 and 12 could be keyed or indexed by assigning predetermined unique values to the dimensions C" and D for each indexing increment desired so that the inner end 40 of the partition wall 28 is positioned at substantially the same distance from the centerline [[as the inner end 32 of the slot 30 is on the other side of the centerline. Thus the partition wall 28 defines an indexing member housing a predetermined facing configuration and the slot 30 defines a complementary indexing opening on the other side of the centerline. If this indexing system is used, it is of course not necessary to have the inner wall bridge 30 coextensive with the centerline.

Similarly, an indexing system may also be provided by complementarily varying the width 13" of partition wall 28 and the width of F of the slot 30 so that the housing 10 may be engaged only with another inverted housing having substantially identical keyed width dimensions for its wall 28 and slot 30. When this indexing system is employed, the provision of a member 34 closing the inner end of the slot 30 is not necessary.

A modified configuration for the indexing bridge 34 and opening 38 is shown in FIG. 4 wherein the outer wall 32 of the indexing member 34 has an indented semicircular configuration while the inner end 40 of the partition wall 28 has complementary crowned semicircular configuration. Indexing may be accomplished with this configuration by assigning unique complementary values to the dimensions of the facing configurations of the indexing opening 38 (defined by the crowned inner wall 42 and the inner bridge wall 36) and the indexing member 34 for each indexing increment desired.

In light of the various indexing means configurations herein described, it should be apparent that many other configurations may be employed which fall within the scope of my invention. It is, therefore, my intention to cover all modifications and equivalents of my invention which do not depart from the spirit and scope thereof as defined by the appended claims.

What I claim is:

l. A keyed plural-poled connector having a housing of the type provided at the connecting end thereof with a pocket portion disposed on one side of a transverse centerline and including at least two terminal receiving pockets and a socket portion disposed on the other side of the transverse centerline and including at least two sockets open to said transverse centerline and adapted to receive by insertion the terminal receiving pockets of an inverted second connector in longitudinal telescopic engagement with the pocket portions of said connectors being in aligned, opposed relation so that terminals positioned therein will be in electrical contact with each other, said housing further having a positive indexing means comprising a longitudinally disposed indexing member positioned between said pocket portions at said connecting end and having a predetermined unique facing configuration, and means at said connecting end defining a complementary indexing opening of substantially the same facing configuration as said indexing member in said socket portion to slideably receive by longitudinal insertion an indexing member of said predetermined unique configuration, whereby said connector may be longitudinally engaged only with an inverted second connector having a substantially identical indexing member and indexing opening.

2. The connector housing of claim 1 wherein said means defining a complementary indexing opening comprises a longitudinally extending central partition wall positioned between said socket portions and away from said centerline with the perpendicular distance from said centerline to said partition wall constituting the indexing opening.

3 The connector housing of claim 2 wherein said indexing means has a rectangular facing configuration with one side of said indexing member being co-extensive with said centerline, said indexing member further having a predetermined thickness dimension perpendicular to the centerline substantially equal to the perpendicular distance between said centerline and said central partition wall.

4. The connector housing of claim 2 wherein a portion of the facing periphery of said indexing member touches said centerline with the rest of said periphery positioned entirely on one side of said centerline, said indexing opening being complementarily disposed on the other side of said centerline.

5. The connector housing of claim 5 wherein a portion of said indexing member facing periphery remote from said centerline has a semicircular configuration.

6. A keyed plural-poled connector having a housing of the type provided at the connecting end thereof with a pocket portion disposed on one side of a transverse centerline and including at least two terminal receiving pockets and a socket portion disposed on the other side of the transverse centerline and including at least two sockets open to said transverse centerline and adapted to receive by insertion the terminal receiving pockets of an inverted second connector in longitudinal telescopic engagement, with the pocket portions of said connectors being in aligned, opposed relation so that terminals positioned therein will be in electrical contact with each other, said housing further having a positive indexing means comprising a longitudinally disposed indexing member positioned between said socket portions and away from said centerline at said connecting end with said indexing member having a predetermined uni ue facing configuration, and bridgin means between said pocket portions at said connecting end defining a complementary indexing opening of substantially the same facing configuration as the indexing member in said socket portion to slideably receive by longitudinal insertion an indexing member of said predetermined unique configuration, whereby said connector may be longitudinally engaged with only an inverted second connector having a substantially identical indexing member and indexing opening.

7. The connector housing of claim 6 wherein the length of said indexing member measured perpendicularly to said centerline is substantially equal to the length of said complemen tary indexing opening measured perpendicularly to said centerline.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2824290 *Sep 23, 1954Feb 18, 1958Pyle National CoMulti-contact duplicate engaging connector
US3091746 *Jul 28, 1960May 28, 1963Albert & J M Anderson Mfg CompElectrical connector
US3173734 *Jun 18, 1962Mar 16, 1965Amp IncElectrical connector
US3467942 *Mar 10, 1965Sep 16, 1969Amp IncHousing member
NL56178A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4403821 *Mar 4, 1981Sep 13, 1983Amp IncorporatedWiring line tap
US4592611 *Sep 27, 1984Jun 3, 1986Amp IncorporatedElectrical connector intended for use in confined areas
US4981438 *Jun 2, 1989Jan 1, 1991Fauzi BekhietUniversal interconnection system having interchangeable circuit boards
US5106320 *Apr 9, 1991Apr 21, 1992Kinnear Joseph DPower cable connector
US6217191 *May 29, 1998Apr 17, 2001Jeng-Shyong WuMultiple lamp socket device
US6234816Jan 19, 2000May 22, 2001Agilant Technologies, Inc.Medical connector apparatus
US6244882Jan 24, 2000Jun 12, 2001Agilent Technologies, Inc.Medical connector apparatus
US6319031Jan 24, 2000Nov 20, 2001Agilent Technologies, Inc.Medical connector apparatus
US6790067 *Dec 17, 2002Sep 14, 2004Tyco Electronics CorporationFinger proof power connector
US6994595 *Nov 26, 2003Feb 7, 2006Anderson Power ProductsFinger proof, keyed power connector and methods thereof
US7108534 *Feb 4, 2005Sep 19, 2006Tyco Electronics CorporationElectrical connector assembly having at least two keying arrangements
US7121899 *Jun 23, 2004Oct 17, 2006Friwo Geratebau GmbhPlug connection for a mobile terminal
US8454378 *Aug 31, 2011Jun 4, 2013Yazaki North America, Inc.Connector
US8602828 *Feb 8, 2012Dec 10, 2013Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.Connector assembly
US20120329336 *Feb 8, 2012Dec 27, 2012Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.Connector assembly
US20130052850 *Aug 31, 2011Feb 28, 2013Yazaki North America, Inc.Connector
CN1717848BNov 26, 2003Aug 11, 2010安德森电工产品公司Finger proof, keyed power connector and methods thereof
CN100454665CMar 6, 2001Jan 21, 2009索尼株式会社connection parts for electrical cable
CN102130385BJan 20, 2010Mar 13, 2013富士康(昆山)电脑接插件有限公司Cable connector component, manufacturing method and conducting terminals thereof
EP0209691A1 *Jun 5, 1986Jan 28, 1987Fauzi BekhietElectrical interconnection assembly for work stations
EP0703127A2 *Sep 22, 1995Mar 27, 1996Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaVehicle anti-theft system
WO2004051681A2 *Nov 26, 2003Jun 17, 2004Anderson Power ProductsFinger proof, keyed power connector and methods thereof
WO2008016521A2 *Jul 25, 2007Feb 7, 2008Tyco Electronics CorpElectrical connector assembly having at least two keying arrangements
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/295, 439/680
International ClassificationH01R13/64
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/64
European ClassificationH01R13/64
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 24, 1996ASAssignment
Owner name: SANWA BUSINESS CREDIT CORPORATION AS COLLATERAL AG
Free format text: COLLATERAL ASSIGNMENT OF COPYRIGHTS, PATENTS, TRADEMARKS AND LICENSES;ASSIGNORS:HIGH VOLTAGE ENGINEERING CORPORATION;DATCON INSTRUMENT COMPANY;HALMAR ROBICON GROUP, INC.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:008013/0660
Effective date: 19960509
Jun 25, 1991ASAssignment
Owner name: FLEET NATIONAL BANK
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HIGH VOLTAGE ENGINEERING CORPORATION, A MA CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005748/0283
Effective date: 19910607
Jun 28, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF BOSTON
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:COMFAB TECHNOLOGIES, INC.;HIGH VOLTAGE ENGINEERING CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005258/0013;SIGNING DATES FROM
Dec 2, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: MARINE MIDLAND BANK, N.A.
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HIGH VOLTAGE ENGINEERING CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005009/0952
Effective date: 19880801