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Publication numberUS3656087 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 11, 1972
Filing dateMar 21, 1969
Priority dateMar 21, 1969
Publication numberUS 3656087 A, US 3656087A, US-A-3656087, US3656087 A, US3656087A
InventorsNutton James M
Original AssigneeNutton James M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for connecting and protectively enclosing separated lengths of electrical conductor cable
US 3656087 A
Abstract
Outer tubular casing sections are detachably secured together to protectively enclose a cable connector block in which separated ends of electrical conductor cable may be releasably engaged and held in electrically connected relationship. Displaceable contact elements are yieldably mounted in the connector block in a position to engage and lock around bare conductor wire ends. The connector block is formed with an aperture through which a lock actuating accessory may be inserted to move the contact elements out of a wire engaging position.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Nutton [54] DEVICE FOR CONNECTING AND PROTECTIVELY ENCLOSING SEPARATED LENGTHS OF ELECTRICAL CONDUCTOR CABLE [151 3,656,087 [451 Apr. H, 1972 [72] Inventor: James M. Nutton, 269 Barker Street, 'f' Examifler james Pl-" North Andover, Mass, 01345 Assistant Examiner-Joseph H. McGiynn AttorneyMunroe H. Hamilton [22] Filed: Mar. 21, 1969 l 211 App]. No.: 809,092 [571 ABSTRACT Outer tubular casing sections are detachably secured together to protectively enclose a cable connector block in which E 8| ..339/95Ii separated ends of electrical conductor cable y be [58] Field 248/71. releasably engaged and held in electrically connected relation- 85/49 ship. Displaceable contact elements are yieldably mounted in the connector block in a position to engage and lock around bare conductor wire ends. The connector block is formed with [56] References Cited an aperture through which a lock actuating accessory may be n- STATES PATENTS inserted to move the contact elements out of a wire engaging osition. 271,825 2/1883 Fiske ..248/7l p 2,883,641 4/1959 Despard 5 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures 1 -r'- 4 /2 a 20 m /4 it 2 m\\\\\\ w PATENTEDAPR 1 I 1972 SHEET 3 OF 3 DEVICE FOR CONNECTING AND PROTECTIVELY ENCLOSING SEPARATED LENGTHS OF ELECTRICAL CONDUCTOR CABLE This invention relates to electrical wiring devices and more particularly to improved means for connecting and protectively enclosing separated lengths of electrical conductor cable of the class commonly referred to as Romex, .BX and the like.

During installation of electrical wiring such as Romex cable,

BX and the like, it is frequently required to connect separated when required to be repeated frequently or when installation has to be made in relatively inaccessible locations. For example, it may be necessary to secure the junction box to a wall or other surface by means of screws, nails or the like. Openings in the box are formed to receive the wire ends. Screw clamps are secured around the cable and have to be connected to threaded washers within the box. Finally the junction box is closed by a cover with locking screws.

It is a chief object of the invention to deal with the problems encountered in using metal junction boxes for connecting separated lengths of electrical conductor cable, and to devise an improved and simplified cable junction enclosure means which can take the place of a metal junction box of conventional nature.

Another object of the invention is to provide cable junction enclosure means in which separated ends of electrical conductors may be conveniently and quickly received and held in electrically connected relationship without the need of splicmg.

Still another object is to provide a device of the class indicated which may, if desired, be located on a wall or other surface in fully secured relationship after the connections have been made and which may be readily disconnected when so desired.

The nature of the invention and its other objects and novel features will be more fully understood and appreciated from the following description of a preferred embodiment of the invention selected for purposes of illustration and shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG; I is an elevational view illustrating separated lengths of cable supported in electrically connected relationship in cable junction enclosure means of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal cross section taken centrally of the junction enclosure means of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross section taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a cross section taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a cross section taken on the line 5-5 of F IG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating contact elements removed from the structure shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of cable connector means of the invention removed from the cable junction enclosure body shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of the structure shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is an assembly view illustrating in elevation inner surfaces of the upper and lower connector means indicated in FIG. 7, and further shown separated from one another with contact elements removed.

FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 7 but further showing contact elements inserted in respective upper and lower connector components.

FIG. 11 is a detail view of one pair of contact elements shown in locking engagement with an electrical conductor.

FIG. 12 is a detailed perspective view of a lock-actuating member of the device; 7

FIG. 13 is an elevational view of a modified form of the invention;

FIG. 14 is a cross section taken on a line 14I4 of FIG. 13.

- FIG. 15 is a detail elevational view of contact elements employed in the device of FIG. 13.

FIG. 16 is an elevational view of the invention.

In the structure shown in FIGS. 1 to 12, numerals 2 and 4 denote separated lengths of electrical wiring such as Romex, BX and the like. As is customary in conductor cable of this class, an outer tubular casing body of braided material surrounds a plurality of conductor wires each of which is covered with separate layers of insulation. Portions of the layers of insulation are moved to provide bare wire ends when a connection is to be made. In the drawings, a three-wire cable has been shown.

In accordance with the invention, I provide for releasably connecting uncovered ends of conductor wires in a special of still another modified form cable connecting device which generally includes a connector block having wire engaging contact elements therein and an outer casing body made up of two casing sections detachable secured together around the connector block. The outer casing sections are designed to be secured to an anchoring surface when necessary in much the same manner as is done with a metal junction box.

Considering these parts in further detail, FIG. 1 illustrates the connector device of the'invention located on a surface S and, as noted therein, the connector device includes outer casing sections 6 and 8 which are detachably secured together in some convenient manner as by locking detents and studs indicated at 10. These tubular sections 6 and 8 may be of any desired shape, such as for example, the rectangular conformation shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, and the sections are preferably tapered at their outer ends to form sleeve portions 12 and 14 designed to surround and slidably engage with the conductor cable lengths 2 and 4 as indicated in FIG. 2. The sleeve portions 12 and 14 may also be provided with staples or other fastening devices 16 and 18 for securing the sections to surface S when this is required. The casing sections may also be formed with fastening extensions if desired.

The tubular sections 6 and 8 are also constructed with inner recessed portions as shown in FIG. 2 and these recessed portions are designed to enclose and snugly fit around a connector block assembly made up of an upper component 20 and a lower component 22. These two conductor block components are designed 'to fit snugly against one another as shown in FIG.

7. Upper connector block 20 is formed at its inner surface with recesses 24, 26 and 28, best shown in FIG. 9. Likewise,

the lower connector block 22 is formed with recesses 30, 32 and 34, and 30', 32' and 34. Also formed in lower block 22 are actuator bar recesses 36 and 38.

Supported in the recesses 24, 26 and 28, as shown in FIG. 10, are respective contact elements 40, 42 and 44, and similarly in recesses 30, 32 and 34 are supported contact elements 46, 48, 50, 46, 48 and 50'. Also arranged in recesses 36 and 38 are U-shaped lock-actuating bars 52 and 54.

The several contact elements are further shown in FIG. 6 and as indicated therein, may be a spring 'metal and may be slightly arched to provide a resiliency when supported in their respective recesses. It will be observed also that the contact elements are arranged in pairs and one element of each pair maybe displaced so as to resiliently engage and hold a wire as suggested in FIG. 11.

As may be more clearly seen in FIG. 4, the contact elements 40, 42 and 44 are disposed in staggered relationship to one another to conform to the usual arrangement of three-wire Romex as denoted by the wires W1, W2 and W3. An important feature of the invention' is the combination with a staggered contact arrangement, as disclosed, of the lock actuator provide openings into which the wires W1, W2, and W3 may be entered. Any suitable accessory tool such as a screwdriver or other tapered instrument may be used to exert the required lifting force.

It will also be observed that with the arched form of contact elements and the bent ends disposed at substantially right angles, any force directed to withdrawing wires engaged by the upper and lower contacts will produce a jamming effect, with the result that the wires become effectively held against accidental displacement. However, at any time the wires are required to be separated and removed from the contact block, this is instantly accomplished by forcing the lock actuating bars 52 and 54 upwardly to release the wire ends. As a result of the simplified means of connection described, a great deal of time may be saved, and in many cases much inconvenience is avoided with economies being realized in materials utilized.

1 may also desire to provide for connecting additional cable ends, as for example, the three cable connector members shown in FIG. 13. As noted therein, a T-shaped connector block 70 may be fonned with recesses and contacts of the same type described above to release and hold wire ends of the lengths of wire 72, 74 and 76. In this arrangement, I may desire to employ three T-shaped contact elements which are better shown in FIG. and denoted by the numerals C1, C2, C3. Also holes as 78 may be provided to furnish access to a lifting tool for engaging and releasing wires.

In FIG. 16 still another arrangement is shown in which a four-way casing 80 receives and connects in a connector block separated lengths of cable 82, 84, 86 and 88.

While I have shown preferred embodiments of the invention, changes and modifications may be made within the scope of the appended claims.

lclaim:

1. An electrical cable junction enclosure device for use as a junction box in receiving and electrically connecting separated lengths of electrical conductor cable and holding each of the connected lengths in anchored relationship on a supporting surface, said enclosure device including electrical terminal block means constructed of electrical insulating material and formed with inner recessed portions, a plurality of fixed contact elements and contact actuator means supported in the recessed portions at one side of the terminal block means, and yieldable contact elements supported in recessed portions at an opposite side of the terminal block means for movement into and out of engagement with the fixed contact elements in response to movement of the contact actuator means when subjected to forces applied externally of the terminal block means, a pair of tubular casing members located around the terminal block means, said casing members including means for detachably securing two adjacent ends of the tubular casing members in abutting relationship, each of said tubular casing members being formed with recessed portions for slidably engaging over the terminal block means and holding it in a fixed position in the tubular casing members, outer ends of each of the tubular casing members being formed with staple receiving portions for anchoring both of the casing members-as well as each of the connected lengths of conductor cable in fixed relation to the said supporting surface.

2. An electrical cable junction enclosure device for use as a junction box in receiving and electrically connecting separated lengths of electrical conductor cable and holding each of the connected lengths in anchored relationship to a supporting surface, said enclosure device including a pair of elongated electrical terminal block components constructed of electrical insulating material and formed with inner mating surfaces arranged to lie in abutting relationship to one another, a first terminal block component of the said pair being formed with electrical conductor entrance apertures occurring in spaced relationship at each of the opposite ends of the said first terminal block component, fixed electrical contact elements and contact actuating bar means supported in said first terminal block component, the second terminal block of the said pair being recessed to form slotted portions, yieldable contact elements received in the said slotted portions in a position to be moved by the contact actuating bar means for purposes of engaging and disengaging electrical conductor wires engaged through the conductor entrance apertures, a pair of tubular casing members, means for holding adjacent ends of the tubular casing members in detachably secured abutting relationship, each of the said tubular casing members being fonned with recesses which arecomplementary with the outer surfaces of the pair of terminal block components for slidably engaging over the components when the mating surfaces are in abutting relationship, and holding the components fixed to one another, said tubular casing members being formed with openings communicating with the said contact actuating bar means, and outer ends of each of the tubular casing members being formed with staple receiving portions for anchoring both of the casing members and each of the connected lengths of conductor cable in fixed relation to the said supporting surface.

3. An electrical cable junction enclosure device for use as a junction box in receiving and electrically connecting separated lengths of electrical conductor cable and holding each of the connected lengths in anchored relationship to a supporting surface, said enclosure device including a pair of elongated electrical terminal block components constructed of electrical insulating material and formed with inner mating surfaces arranged to lie in abutting relationship to one another, a first terminal block component of the said pair being formed with electrical conductor entrance apertures occurring in spaced relationship at each of the opposite ends of the said component, fixed electrical contact elements supported below respective conductor entrance apertures at either end of the first said terminal block component, a pair of contact element actuators adjustably received in the said first terminal block component in spaced relationship to the fixed contact elements, the second terminal block component of the said pair having its mating surface recessed to form elongated slots extending between the two ends of the component in spaced relationship, a plurality of flexible elongated contact elements mounted in the elongated slots in a position to normally engage with respective fixed contact elements in the said first terminal block component, said elongated flexible contact elements lying in the path of travel of the said actuator bar means for moving ends of the elongated contact elements into and out of contact with ends of the said fixed contact element, a pair of tubular casing members located around the terminal block component, means for detachably securing adjacent ends of the tubular casing members in abutting relationship, each of said tubular casing members being formed with recesses which are complementary with outer surfaces of the terminal block components for slidably engaging over the terminal block components when the mating surfaces are in abutting relationship and holding the terminal block components in fixed relationship to one another, said tubular casing members being formed with access openings communicating with the said actuator bar means, and outer ends of each of the tubular casing members being fonned with staple receiving portions for anchoring both of the casing members and the separated lengths of conductor cable in fixed relation to the said supporting surface.

4. A structure according to claim 3 in which the fixed electrical conductor entrance apertures in the said first terminal block component includes three such apertures for a threewire electrical conductor cable and said fixed electrical contact elements comprising three contact elements arranged in staggered relationship to one another, said yieldable contact elements including three such contact elements arranged in complementary staggered relationship to the fixed contact elements, and said contact actuating bar means comprising a pair of U-shaped members lying between the said fixed and yieldable contact elements.

5. A structure according to claim 4 in which the terminal block components include separate contact elements for connecting with a third conductor cable.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US271825 *Dec 8, 1882Feb 6, 1883 Fastening for electric-ci rcuit wires
US2883641 *Jul 2, 1956Apr 21, 1959Pass & Seymour IncAutomatic wire gripping terminal
US3093433 *Dec 27, 1960Jun 11, 1963Underwriters Safety Device CoWire terminals and lead connector devices
US3324447 *May 28, 1965Jun 6, 1967Gen ElectricElectrical connector
US3393397 *Aug 31, 1964Jul 16, 1968Arthur L. ManichlTerminal block
US3417368 *Jul 6, 1966Dec 17, 1968Alexander R. NordenWire terminals
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3930707 *Jun 10, 1974Jan 6, 1976A P Products IncorporatedInterface connector
US3936126 *Dec 7, 1973Feb 3, 1976Dart Industries Inc.Electrical connector
US3982803 *Mar 17, 1975Sep 28, 1976Bennett Harry ACable and converter security device
US4759725 *Oct 26, 1987Jul 26, 1988Don FinchElectrical wiring fixture
US4772218 *Jun 12, 1987Sep 20, 1988Don RossTerminal block
US6520800 *Nov 19, 1998Feb 18, 2003Bartec Componenten Und Systeme GmbhDevice for linking and connecting a line
US8595922 *Dec 2, 2009Dec 3, 2013Howard LindFlexible silicone cable system integrated with snap washer
US8598461 *Dec 2, 2009Dec 3, 2013Howard LindFlexible self supporting encased silicone cable system and method
US20100072657 *Dec 2, 2009Mar 25, 2010Howard LindFlexible self supporting encased silicone cable system and method
US20100077528 *Dec 2, 2009Apr 1, 2010Howard LindClothing and apparel integrated with flexible silicone encased cable systems
US20100078847 *Dec 2, 2009Apr 1, 2010Howard LindFlexible silicone cable system integrated with snap washer
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/438
International ClassificationH01R11/09, H01R4/48, H01R11/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01R11/09, H01R4/4818
European ClassificationH01R4/48B2