US 3680033 A
An electric connector employs a coupling device comprising a connecting ring having head portions and provided in a receptacle part, and a tubular body, an outer tube surrounding the tubular body and a spring located between the tubular body and the outer tube, said tubular body, outer tube and spring being provided in a plug part. When the receptacle part is fitted to the plug part, the outer tube is longitudinally retracted against the spring by the head portions of the connecting ring. Then, when the head portions of the connecting ring fall into outer recesses provided in the tubular body, the outer tube returns to its original position to keep the head portions of the connecting ring fitted into the outer recesses, thereby the receptacle part is kept coupled to the plug part. The outer tube can be longitudinally retracted to release the coupling of the receptacle part with the plug part.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Kawai 1 July 25, 1972 54 COUPLING DEVICE FOR AN ELECTRIC 3,295,868 l/l967 Bac ..285/86 x CONNECTOR 2,860,893 1 H1958 Clark ....285/3l6 X 832,757 10/1906 Stirzaker ..285/87 lnvemofl Mi'suw KIWI! Matsudo- Japan 2,877,437 3/1959 Flanagan, Jr. ..339/91 P  Assignee. Hirose Electric Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan Primary m ner a i A Ch p n  Filed: April 15, 1971 Assistant Examiner-Terrell P. Lewis pp No 134,264 A!!orne v Flynn & Frishauf 57] ABSTRACT Foreign Application Prim-"Y Data An electric connector employs a coupling device comprising a May 14, 1970 Japan ..45 47170 connecting ring having head Portions and Provided in 8 ptacle part, and a tubular body, an outer tube surrounding the 52 us. 01. ..339/46, 285/316, 339 91 R tubular y and a Spring located between the tubular y 51 lm. c1 .110 13/62 the Outer Said tubular body- Outer tube and spring 58 Field olSearch ..339/46, R, 45 M, 45 T, R, s Provided a P s pm when the e p k P is 339/91 R, 9] B, 91 L, 91 P, 74 R 176 R, 176 M, fitted to the plug part, the outer tube 15 longltudinally 89; 285/1316 7 88, 315416, 317 313, 319 retracted against the spring by the head portions of the con- 320 321 necting ring. Then, when the head portions of the connecting ring fall into outer recesses provided in the tubular body, the [5 6] References cited outer tube returns to its original position to keep the head portions of the connecting ring fitted into the outer recesses, UNITED STATES PATENTS thereby the receptacle part is kept coupled to the plug part. The outer tube can be longitudinally retracted to release the 3,020,5 l 3 2/1962 Quackenbush "339/91 R coupling f the receptacle pan with the plug part 2,461,024 2/1949 Baumgardner.. .....285/3l6 X 3,555,490 Ill 97] Williams ..339/l77 R X 4 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures COUPLING DEVICE FOR AN ELECTRIC CONNECTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a coupling device for an electric connector.
2. Description of the Prior Art Conventional coupling devices are represented by the thread locking type connection and the bayonet locking type connection. The thread locking type connection, however, is difficult in handling and incapable of quick operation, whereas the bayonet locking type connection is so complicated in structure that numerous manufacturing steps are necessitated.
The object of this invention is to provide a coupling device free from the defects mentioned above. More specifically, according to this invention, an improved coupling device is provided which is easy to handle, reliable in function, reducible in size and capable of quick coupling and decoupling.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In a coupling device for an electric connector according to this invention, a connecting ring having head portions and a fixing portion is attached to the receptacle part of the electric connector with the head portions located in the windows provided on the connection end of the tubular body and the fixing portion located in the groove provided on the internal periphery of the tubular body. The tubular body of the plug part of the connector is provided on its outer periphery with recesses adapted to receive the head portions of the connecting ring. A longitudinally movable outer tube is arranged to surround the tubular body of the plug part. The inner wall of the outer tube is shaped so that the inside diameter thereof may gradually increase in a direction toward the connecting end of the plug part. A spring is arranged between the inwardly projecting shoulder of the outer tube of the plug part and the end tube secured to the wire connecting end of the tubular body of the plug part.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a longitudinally and vertically sectional view showing an electric connector employing a coupling device according to this invention, the plug part being completely coupled to the receptacle part;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but showing the connector just before the plug part is completely coupled to the receptacle part;
FIG. 3 is a view of the tubular body of the receptacle part of FIG. 1, showing the front view of the window as seen down from an elevated position;
FIG. 4 is a perspective sectional view as taken along line A-A' of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an embodiment of connecting ring according to this invention; and
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view showing connecting rings having head portions of different shapes.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIG. 1, a male conductor 21 is embedded in an insulating insert 13 to be fixed into a tubular body 17. A female conductor 20 is embedded in insulating inserts 11 and 12 to be fixed into a tubular body 18. Cables 22 and 23 are connected to the wire connecting ends of the male and female conductors 21 and 20 and extend longitudinally and outwardly. The wire connecting end 24 of the tubular body 18 is threaded. An end tube I9 is screwed into the threaded wire connecting end 24. A spring 27 is located between and compressed by one end 25 of the end tube 19 and a shoulder 16 projecting from the inner wall of an outer tube surrounding the tubular body 18. A tubular body I7 is provided on its connecting end with at least two windows 54 as shown in FIG. 3. The lower portions 48 of the windows 54 are in the same plane as a groove 37 provided on the inner wall 37 of the tubular body 17 at its lower end.
The connecting rings 58 of FIG. 1 comprises head portions 53, leg portions 29 and a fixing portion 30, as shown in FIG. 5, and is made of a resilient material. In order to mount the connecting ring 58 on the tubular body 17, the fixing portion 30 is inserted into the tubular body from the connection side (the left side in FIG. I). In this case, since the inside diameter of the inner wall 37 of the tubular body 17 is smaller than the outside diameter of the fixing portion 30, the gap 45 of the fixing portion 30 is made narrower so that the fixing portion 30 falls into the groove 31 and therefore expands due to its resiliency to cause the head portions 53 to come into the windows 54. In such manner, the connecting ring 58 is secured to the tubular body 17 in a position as shown in FIG. 1.
Referring now to FIG. 2, as the plug part is inserted into the receptacle part, the inwardly projecting portions 26 of the head portions 53 of the connecting ring 58 are pushed by the inclined edge 28 of the tubular body 18 and are radially and outwardly displaced because of resiliency of the leg portions 29. Then, the outwardly projecting portions 32 are caused to abut against the inner inclined portion 33 of the outer tube 15, because there is a gap between the inner wall 38 of the outer tube 15 and the outwardly projecting portions 32'of the head portions 53. Therefore, the spring 27 is compressed and the outer tube 15 is moved to the left in FIG. 1. This is shown in FIG. 2. The spring 27 serves to push the outer tube 15 toward the right side in FIG. 2 at any time.
As the plug part is inserted into the receptacle part further from a position as shown in FIG. 2, wherein the outwardly projecting portions 32 abut against the inner inclined portion 33 of the outer tube 15, the outer recesses 43 provided on the outer periphery of the tubular body 18 come to the inwardly projecting portions 26 of the connecting ring 58 and then the portions 26 fall into the recesses 43 because of resiliency of the leg portions 29 to cause the outwardly projecting portions 32 to be disengaged from the inner inclined portion 33 of the outer tube 15 and spaced from the inner wall 40 of the outer tube 15. This allows the outer tube 15 to be moved to a position shown in FIG. I by the spring 27. In this position, even if the cable 22 or 33 is axially and outwardly pulled for some cause, the connector can be kept coupled because the outwardly projecting portions 32 are caused to abut against the inner wall 40 to prevent the inwardly projecting portions 26 from getting out of the outer recesses 43.
On the other hand, only if the outer tube 15 is moved to the left side in FIG. 1 against the spring 27 until the inner inclined portion 33 comes to the position of the outwardly projecting portions 32 to permit the inwardly projecting portions 26 to get the connector can easily be decoupled.
Although the shape of the head portions of the connection ring 58 has been illustrated in FIG. 5, it may be a shape as shown left in FIG. 6. Preferably, a rod 49 may be involved in the head portions to reduce the size of the head portions, as shown right in FIG. 6.
Thus, the coupling device of this invention can be easily and quickly coupled or decoupled only by a pushing force or only by a pulling force. The coupling and decoupling of the present connector need neither torsinal force nor rotational force.
While specific embodiments of the coupling devices of this invention have been described with particularity, it is recognized that various modifications thereof will occur to those skilled in the art. Therefore, the scope of this invention is to be limited solely by the scope of the claims appended hereto.
1. An electric connector comprising a receptacle part having a tubular body and a connecting ring attached thereto, and a plug part having a tubular body, an outer tube and a spring, said tubular body of the receptacle part being provided at its connecting end with at least two windows and at its internal periphery with a groove, said connecting ring having at least two head portions adapted to be located in said windows of the tubular body and a fixing portion adapted to be located in said groove of the tubular body, said head portions having an inwardly projecting portion and an outwardly projecting por- 'tion, said tubular body of the plug part being provided at its outer periphery with at least two recesses adapted to receive said head portions of said connecting ring and having an end tube secured to its wire connecting end, said outer tube being adapted to surround said tubular body of the plug part and to be axially moved, said outer tube having an inner peripheral surface the diameter of which gradually increases in a direction toward the connecting end, said spring being located between a shoulder of said outer tube and one end of said end rolled substantially in a circular form.
4. An electric connector as claimed in claim I wherein said head portions of the connecting ring comprise sheet members shaped into a roll including a rod.
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