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Publication numberUS3713214 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 30, 1973
Filing dateNov 23, 1970
Priority dateNov 23, 1970
Publication numberUS 3713214 A, US 3713214A, US-A-3713214, US3713214 A, US3713214A
InventorsEnright D, Kahabka R, Miller D
Original AssigneeMinnesota Mining & Mfg
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wire splice assembly station
US 3713214 A
Apparatus and method are described for splicing together the corresponding wire-ends of opposing sections of communications cables using solderless U-connector multiple-layer modules in an assembly station including module supporting means, wire-guiding and wire-separating means, and wire-retaining means.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Enright et al. 1 Jan. 30, 1973 [54] WIRE SPLICE ASSEMBLY STATION [56] RelerencesCited {75] Inventors: Dennis J. Enright. St. Paul; Richard L NITED STATFS PATENT D. Kahabka, Burnsvillc; Donald F. J S Miller, St. Paul, all Of Minn. 2,450.974 l0/l948 Mallina ..29/629 3,394,454 7 1968 L ..29 629 [73] Ass'gneei M'nnesm M'mng and Manufacu" 3 593 403 7ll97l 6151'} ..l40/ll3 UX Company Paul 1,738,710 12/1929 Jones ..29/629 ux [22] Filed: Nov. 23, 1970 Primary Examiner-Robert L Spicer, Jr. [21] 91779 At!0rneyl(inney, Alexander, Sell, Steldt & Delahunt Related US. Application Data T [62] Division of Ser. No. 823,598, May 12, I969, aban- [57] ABSTRAC doned. Apparatus and method are described for splicing together the corresponding wire-ends of opposing sec- U-S. Cl. {ions of communications cables using older-less U- 140/113 connector multiple-layer modules in an assembly sta- [51] Int. Cl. ..H0lr 43/00 on including module Supporting means wire guiding [58] F'eld of Search "29/628, 203 203 and wire-separating means, and wire-retaining means.

7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures WIRE SPLICE ASSEMBLY STATION RELATED U.S. APPLICATION avoided. Identity of wires and wire-pairs is easily deteris mined and maintained. A minimum of space is required. All loose wire-ends and connectors are eliminated.

More particularly, the present invention relates to assembly station means for supporting the splicing modules during preparation and completion of the splice. In one important aspect the invention relates to assembly station means comprising module supporting and retaining frame means together with wire guide means and wire-pair separator means. In another aspect there is included frame means for holding the assembly station and cable-ends in position for convenient handling of the several components during the splicing operation.

In the drawing,

FIG. 1 is a plan view, and FIG. 2 a view in front elevation, showing somewhat schematically a presently preferred form of cable-splicing assembly with cableends in position for splicing, and including two sorting and splicing stations,

FIG. 3 is an end elevation of one of the sorting and splicing stations of FIGS. 1 and 2 and supporting a splicing module shown in dotted outline;

FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional elevation of the station and module of FIG. 3 taken approximately at line 44 of FIG. 1, and FIG. 5 is a partial longitudinal sectional elevation taken at line 5-5 of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 6 is a partial plan view of a sorting and splicing station with the base member of the splicing module in position for entry of wire-ends and with a first pair of wire-ends in position.

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the general positioning of the several parts just prior to splicing together the corresponding conductors of two opposing cable-endsQA tubular frame member 10 is attached between opposing cable ends 11 by clamps 12 and in turn supports clamps l3, braces 14, clamps l5 and pins 16, the latter supporting the sorting and splicing stations 17 which will thus be seen to be capable of rotary, horizontal, and vertical adjustment. Additional support for the frame 10 may be supplied if necessary, for example in the form of extended leg orsupport members similarly clamped to the frame; but the relatively rigid cable ends themselves ordinarily provide adequate support.

Each cable end contains a number of wire-bundles 18. A typical bundle may contain 25 pairs of twisted color-coded plastic insulated copper wires. Other cables may contain or 100 pairs, of twisted paperor pulp-insulated wires; and the stations 17 and the connector modules are designed to accept the full number of pairs or some convenient sub-multiple. The position of the stations 17 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is particularly convenient for use by two splicers working together in making fold-back splices, but other positions may be preferred in particular instances. Thus, the two stations may be supported in fixed axial alignment for more convenient operation by an individual splicer; e.g. in making a no-slack splice.

The sorting and splicing station 17 is illustrated in more detail in FIGS. 3,4 and 5. A main frame 19 supported on pin 16 terminates in opposing generally triangularly shaped end pieces 20 inwardly vertically channeled to receive a folded fiat spring member 21 having an elongate protruding ridge 22 extending towards the opposite end member 20 and serving as a retaining guide for the connector module as will subsequently be described in more detail. The frame 19 is further provided with a series of hook-shaped wireguides 23 and knife-edged separators 24 aligned in staggered arrangement as more particularly shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. Along the opposite side of the frame 19 there is supplied a narrow shelf 25 between end plates 26 which additionally carry a reversible spring assembly 27 consisting of two elongate coil spring members 28, 29 supported on a resilient frame 30 removably retained within slots in the end plates 26.

A splicing module 31 is supported on the sorting and splicing station 17 in the general position shown at 32 in FIG. 1 and comprises a base member 33, at least 1 body member 34, and a cover member 35 as seen in FIG. 4. Each of these members is extended at both ends to provide a slotted terminal portion wherein an L-.

shaped slot 40 provides means for aligning and securing the member between the spring members 21 in the ends 20 of the main frame 19.

With the apparatus in readiness as generally shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, and with a module base member 33 in the position 32, an opposing pair of wire-bundles 18 is first anchored in position for making a fold-back splice and with the wire-pair ends positioned for easy access to the appropriate sorting and splicing station 17, the remaining bundles being temporarily retained out of the way. The several wire-pairs of the first of the two bundles are then separately withdrawn and placed between appropriate guides 23, and the individual wires are separated on the separators 24 as shown in FIG. 6 for wires 70, 71 of a first wire-pair. The wireends are then laid across the base 33 in the appropriate channels 41, and the end portions are held taut by being inserted between convolutions of the spring 28. In this procedure it is convenient to make the tip connection at the left and the ring connection at the right of the separator 24 in each instance, the ridges 67 indicating the positions of successive wire-pairs. sufficient guides, separators and channels are provided to accommodate all or a sub-group of the wire-pairs of a bundle.

After the wires of the first bundle are thus located, a body member 34 is placed in alignment over the assembly and forced into contact. Each wire is thereby forced into permanent connection with its contact element and the surplus end is severed by a corresponding blade and is discarded. Alternatively, the application of the closing force may be withheld pending completion of the assembly.

The appropriate wire-pairs of the second of the two wire-bundles are then similarly located and separated,

with the wires again being laid in the appropriate channels in the upper surface of the body 34 and the extended ends of the Wires being again temporarily retained in the coil spring 28. The cover 35 is then positioned and pressed into place. Each wire is thus forced into spring compression reserve contact with its contact element and the surplus end removed. The corresponding wires of the two opposing bundles are thus effectively spliced together. The free wire-end segments are removed from the retainer and discarded. The completed module is then easily removed from the station 17 by simply retracting the spring retainers 21 and lifting the module from the station.

Although other means of imparting the necessary closing force to the module may be used, it is convenient to employ a hydraulic press, which may consist of a rigid frame having retaining end members fitting around the end pieces of the station 17 and one or more self-retracting hydraulic cylinders for applying pressure through a face plate against the upper surface of the module or sub-component thereof, hydraulic pressure being supplied through suitable pump means.

It is sometimes desirable to connect wires of different diameters within a single module, or in different modules. The reversible spring assembly 27 provides for fully adequate retention of wires of any diameter which may effectively be connected, by providing both a tightly wound and a loosely wound coiled spring and means for reversing the position of the two.

Selection of the various wire-pairs of a wire-bundle in accordance with a predetermined color code is conveniently accomplished by reference to color code markings supplied on the exposed upper face of the wire guides 23, for example at the colored areas 78, 79 as indicated in FIG. 6. The upper flat surface of the cover 35 of the connector module affords a means for marking the position of specific wires or wire-pairs for convenience in subsequent testing or interconnecting operations. Similarly, the shelf may be provided with an indicia-receiving surface so that the position of particular wire-pairs may be indicated thereon. In an example, a strip of pressure-sensitive adhesive tape placed upon the shelf 25 and marked in accordance with the position of the wires prior to or during the assembly operation may subsequently be removed and applied directly to the completed module, thereby preserving a record of the wire positions.

What is claimed is as follows: 7

1. An assembly station adapted for use in a modular splicing of communications cables including modules having an interfitting elongate base, body and cover members, said station comprising elongate frame means for supporting said module base, body and cover members in stacked alignment, guide means extending from said frame means for guiding a plurality of wirepairs toward an appropriate pair of wire-receiving grooves in said module, and separator means extending from said frame means for separating tip and ring wires of each of said wire-pairs for positioning in the appropriate grooves of each said pair of grooves.

2. The assembly station of claim 1 wherein each said guide means includes separator means for designating a specific one of a bundle of separately coded wire-pairs.

3. The assembly station of claim 1 including holding means for temporarily retaining free wire-ends of said wireairs laid across a said module member.

4. he station of claim 3 wherein said holding means comprises a reversible assembly of two coil spring wireretaining members of different coil spacings.

5. The station of claim I wherein said frame means includes upright end members each supporting a spring-mounted clamp member for aligning and removably retaining the base, body and cover members of a said module.

6. The assembly station of claim 1 further including support means for supporting said frame means, and adjustable clamp means and main frame means for adjustably locating said assembly station in relation to said cables.

7. The assembly station of claim 1 wherein said elongate frame means includes face plate means in a position parallel and adjacent to the position of said module, for receiving indicia to indicate the position of specific wires in said module during assembly thereof.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1738710 *Feb 21, 1925Dec 10, 1929Jones Howard BMethod for identifying cabled wires
US2450974 *Jun 19, 1942Oct 12, 1948Bell Telephone Labor IncMethod of making multiple cables for terminal banks
US3394454 *Jul 6, 1965Jul 30, 1968Western Electric CoMethods of making insulationpenetrating clip-type electrical connectors
US3593403 *Mar 14, 1969Jul 20, 1971Amp IncApparatus for splicing cables containing pairs of conductors
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3890689 *Jan 3, 1974Jun 24, 1975Copas Donald DHolding frame for cable splicing tools and method for splicing cables
US4446617 *Feb 16, 1982May 8, 1984Lydell Donald JSplicing head for adding conductors to an electrical connector
US4836803 *Sep 2, 1988Jun 6, 1989Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyWire holding device in an electrical connector
US5103554 *Jun 6, 1990Apr 14, 1992Homefeld David RApparatus for mounting a cable working tool
US5370558 *Dec 3, 1993Dec 6, 1994Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyWire retainer
US5554053 *Aug 24, 1994Sep 10, 1996Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyModular connector with separable wire retention
US5832593 *Apr 22, 1997Nov 10, 1998Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanySplice head for insulated telecommunication wires
US7452245Aug 2, 2005Nov 18, 2008Panduit Corp.Wire containment cap
US7731542Nov 17, 2008Jun 8, 2010Panduit Corp.Wire containment cap
US8216002Oct 24, 2011Jul 10, 2012Panduit Corp.Wire containment cap
US20060030200 *Aug 2, 2005Feb 9, 2006Doorhy Michael VWire containment cap
US20090068878 *Nov 17, 2008Mar 12, 2009Panduit Corp.Wire containment cap
DE3430904A1 *Aug 22, 1984Mar 6, 1986Krone GmbhDevice for the electrically conductive connection of cable cores
EP0251736A2 *Jun 26, 1987Jan 7, 1988Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyWiring holding device in an electrical connector
EP0251736A3 *Jun 26, 1987Aug 16, 1989Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyWiring holding device in an electrical connector
WO1994024732A2 *Mar 14, 1994Oct 27, 1994Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanySplice head for insulated telecommunication wires
WO1994024732A3 *Mar 14, 1994Jan 26, 1995Minnesota Mining & MfgSplice head for insulated telecommunication wires
U.S. Classification29/749, 29/759, 29/755, 140/113
International ClassificationH01R43/01
Cooperative ClassificationH01R43/01
European ClassificationH01R43/01