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Publication numberUS3718893 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 27, 1973
Filing dateJul 30, 1971
Priority dateJul 30, 1971
Publication numberUS 3718893 A, US 3718893A, US-A-3718893, US3718893 A, US3718893A
InventorsA Holler
Original AssigneeWestern Electric Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multiple connector assembly system for interconnecting strands of cables without creating a substantially enlarged section therein
US 3718893 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 27, 1973 A. HOLLER 3,718,893

MULTIPLE CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY SYSTEM FOR INTERCONNECTING STRANDS OF CABLES WITHOUT CREATING A SUBSTANTIALLY ENLARGED SECTION THEREIN Filed July 50, 1971 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR A. HOLLER BY ATTORNEY A. HOLLER 3,718,893

NG STRANDS OI" CABLES WITHOUT CREATING A SUBSTANTIALLY MULTIPLE CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY SYSTEM FOR INTERCONNECTI ENLARGED SECTION THEBEIN Filed July 30', 1971 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent Oflice 3,718,893 Patented Feb. 27, 1973 U.S. Cl. 339-176 M 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A system for interconnecting respective electrical conductors of two cables of substantially equal radius, without creating a substantially enlarged section in the cables, includes a plurality of longitudinally spaced connector assemblies. Each connector assembly includes first and second plug members connected to respective groups of conductors and connectable to one another to interconnect the conductors. A first portion of each plug member is defined by an outwardly facing curved surface generated by a radius substantially equal to the radius of the cables. A second portion of each plug member is disposed radially inward with respect to the circumference of the cables to define an area in which remaining electrical conductors of the cables can bypass the connector .assembly to the other connector assemblies, without projecting substantially radially outward beyond limits defined by the circumference of the cables. Thus, each connector assembly and its associated bypassing conductors have a combined peripheral configuration substantially corresponding in size and shape to that of the cables. The resulting cable connection is enclosed in a protective covering, such as a heat-shrinkable sleeve.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION (1) Field of the invention This invention relates to a multiple connector assembly system for interconnecting strands of cables, and more particularly to a multiple connector assembly system for interconnecting insulated electrical conductors of two communication cables without creating a substantially enlarged section in the cables.

(2) Description of the prior art In connecting insulated electrical conductors of one communication cable to another communication cable, such as in telephone exchange central otfices, it is standard practice to provide a connector plug for each cable, with each plug having terminals connected to respective conductors of its associated cable. The cables then are interconnected by inserting the terminals of one plug into the terminals of the other plug. This arrangement is undesirable, however, because the interconnected plugs produce a section in the joined cables which is enlarged with respect to the remainder of the cables, thereby producing distorted pile-ups when cables are run in side-byside relationship on cable support racks. The connection also presents a problem when the joined cables must be threaded through an opening, since the opening must be larger than the cables to accommodate the passage of the connector plugs.

Another method of connecting the electrical conductors of the cables is by splicing the conductors, using individual mating connectors for each pair of conductors. Normally, the connections are staggered along the length of the cables in the vicinity of the splice to preclude the formation of a bulge or enlargement of any significant size inthe cables. This, however, requires that the connections extend a substantial distance along the length of the joined cables, and when the space in which the splice must be accomplished is limited it frequently is not possible to form the connections without creating an enlarged section in the cables. Further, the forming of the splice is time consuming and may be difficult to accomplish because of the inaccessibility of the urea in which the splice is to be located.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION "An object of this invention is to provide a new and improved system for interconnecting strands of two cables.

A further object of this invention is to provide a new and improved system for interconnecting strands of two cables without producing a substantially enlarged section in the cables.

Another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved connector assembly for interconnecting strands of two cables without creating a subsatntially enlarged section in the cables.

In accordance with the invention, each of a plurality of cable connector assemblies, for connecting a respective group of strands in one cable to a corresponding group of strands in another cable, includes first and second connector members connected to respective strands of the cables and connectable to ane another to interconnect the strands. A first portion of each connector member is defined by an outwardly facing curved surface generated by a radius substantially equal to the radius of the cables. A second portion of each connector member is disposed radially inward with respect to the circurnference of the cables to define an area or open pocket in which remaining strands of the cables are received to bypass the connector assembly to another connector assembly, without projecting substantially radially outward beyond limits defined by the circumference of the cables. Thus, each connector assembly and its associated bypassing strands have a combined peripheral configuration substantially corresponding in size and shape to that of the cables.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS 'of connector assemblies in accordance with the invention;

FIGS. 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d are cross-sectional views taken along the lines 2a2a, 2b.2b, 2c-2c and 2d-2d, respectively, in FIG. I, and illustrating relative positions of the connector assemblies and the electrical conductors in the cables;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1, showing the connected portions of the cables enclosed in a protective covering;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of one of the connector assemblies, taken along the line 44 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 55 in FIG. 4 and showing the connector assembly of FIG. 4 in its assembled condition; and

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5, but showing the connector assembly of FIG. 4 in its disassembled con dition.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. 1, the disclosed embodiment of the invention relates to a system in which a series of n-longitudinally spaced and axially aligned cable connector assemblies 11 are utilized to interconnect insulated electrical conductors C1-C100 of a first cable 12 to corresponding insulated electrical conductors O1-C100' of a second cable 13, the cables being of substantially equal radius and the designation n representing the number of connector assemblies required. In the disclosed embodiment of the invention, four of the cable connector assemblies 11a, b, c and d are shown for this purpose, the connector assemblies being of special construction so as to accomplish the interconnection of the cables 12 and 13 without creating any substantial enlargement therein, and having relative positions circumferentially of the cables as illustrated in FIGS. 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d, respectively.

Since all of the connector assemblies 11a, b, c and d are of identical construction, only one will be described in detail. As is best shown in FIG. 6, the connector.assembly 11a includes a set of mating connector plugs 14 and 16. The connector plug 14 includes a plurality of socket-type terminals 17 connected to respective ones of the electrical conductors C1-C25 of the first cable 12 and the connector plug 16 includes a plurality of plug-in type terminals 18 connected to respective ones of the electrical conductors C1-C25' of the second cable 13. When the connector plugs 14 and 16 are assembled to each other as shown in FIG. 5, the plug-in terminals 1 8 are received in the socket type terminals (17 to interconnect the conductors C1-C25 and C1-C25' electrically in a well known manner. The remainder of the conductors C26-C100, which are not connected to the connector assembly 11a, bypass the connector assembly to the other connector assemblies 11b, and a.

Referring to FIG. 4, the construction of the connector assembly 11a is such that the connector assembly and its associated bypassing conductors C26-C100 do not create any substantial enlargement in the cables 12 and 13. In this regard, the connector plug 14 includes an outwardly facing curved surface 14a having a radius substantially equal to the radius of the cables 12 and 13, and also includes peripheral surface portions 14b which are disposed radially inward with respect to the periphery of the cables to provide an area or open pocket for receiving the conductors C26-C100. Similarly, the connector plug 16 of the connector assembly 11a includes an outwardly facing curved surface 16a in alignment with the surface 14a of the connector plug 14 and having a radius substantially equal to the radius of the cables 12 and 13. The connector plug 16 also includes peripheral surface portions 16b in alignment with the surfaces 14b of the connector plug 14 and disposed radially inward with respect to the periphery of the cables 12 and 13. When the connector plugs 14 and 16 are assembled as shown in FIG. 5, the curved surfaces 14a, \16a: are substantially in alignment with the peripheries of the two cables 12 and 13, and the inwardly disposed surface portions 14b, 16b provide an area or open pocket in which the electrical conductors C26-C100 (FIG. 4) are received to bypass the connector assembly 11a externally thereof without projecting substantially radially outward beyond the peripheral limits of the cables (represented by the broken line in FIG. 4). Thus,the connector assembly 11a and the bypassing electrical conductors C26-C100 have a combined peripheral configuration substantially corresponding to the size and shape of the cables 12 and 13, and the portion of the connected cables in the vicinity of the connector assembly is not substantially enlarged relative to the remainder of the cables.

Each of the connector plugs 14 and 16 of the connector assembly 11a, with their associated terminals 17 and 18 mounted therein, may be formed in any suitable manner. For example, prestripped end portions of the insulated electrical conductors Cl-C25 associated with the connector plug 14 may be inserted in the terminals 17 and secured therein by crimping and/or soldering. The body of the connector plug 14 then can be molded about the terminals to form the connector plug construction shown in FIG. 6. In the alternative, the body of the connector plug '14 may be premolded and provided with suitable apertures for receiving the terminals 17. Then, after the prestripped electrical conductors C1-C25 have been inserted and secured in the terminals 17, the terminals can be press-fitted or otherwise suitably secured in the apertures.

At the second connector assembly 11b (FIG. 2b), electrical conductors C26-C50 of the first cable 12 are connected to its connector plug 14 and the conductors C26'C50 of the second cable 13 are connected to its connector plug 16. The conductors C51-C100 of the first cable I12, however, again bypass the second cable connector assembly 11b to the third and fourth cable connector assemblies 110 and 11d. In addition, the conductors C1'-C25' bypass the second cable connector assembly 11b in the reverse direction to the first cable connector assembly 11a.

Similarly, referring to FIG. 20, conductors Gil-C75 of the first cable 12 and conductors USP-C75 of the second cable 13 are interconnected by the plugs '14 and 16 of the third cable connector assembly 110, with conductors 076- bypassing the thind connector assembly to the fourth connector assembly 11d, and with conductors C1C50' bypassing the third connector assembly in the reverse direction to the first and second connector assemblies 11a and 11b. The arrangement at the fourth connector assembly 11d (FIG. 2d) is the same as at the first connector assembly 11a, with the conductors C76- C100 and C76-C100' being interconnected by the plugs 14 and '16 of the fourth connector assembly, and with conductors C1'-C75 of the second cable 13 bypassing this connector assembly to the first, second and third connector assemblies 11a, b and c.

After the connector plugs 14 and 16 of the connector assemblies 11a, b, c and d have been interconnected as shown in FIG. 1, a suitable protective covering 19, such as a heat shrinkable sleeve member, may be applied to the resultant cable connection, as illustrated in FIG. 3. In this regard, the sleeve member 19 may be prepositioned over one of the cables 12 or 13 prior to their being connected, and after they have been connected the sleeve member may be slid longitudinally along the cable over the connected area. Then, by the application of suitable heat to the sleeve 19 it may be caused to shrink about the electrical conductors G l-C100 and C1'-C100' and the cable connector assemblies Illa, b, c and d in tightfitting relationship.

Summarizing, a system has been disclosed whereby respective ones of the electrical conductors C1-C100 and C1'-C100 of the cables 12 and 13 can be interconnected without creating a substantially enlarged section in the cables. The system includes four longitudinally spaced cable connector assemblies 11a, 11b, 11c and 11d, each including first and second plug members 14 and 16 for interconnecting respective groups of the conductors C1- C100 and C1-C100'. First portions of the plug members :14 and 16 are defined by outwardly facing curved surfaces 14a and 16a, respectively, generated by a radius substantially equal to the radius of the cables 12 and 13. Second portions 14b and 16b of the plug members 14 and 16, respectively, of each connector assembly 11, are disposed radially inward with respect to the circumference of the cables 12 and 13 to define an area in which respective ones of the conductors C1 C100 and C1'-C 100 can bypass the plug members to the other connector assemblies, without projecting substantially radially outward beyond limits defined by the circumference of the cables 12 and 13. The resulting cable connection is enclosed in the protective sleeve 19.

What is claimed is:

1. A system for connecting strands in a first cable to respective strands in a second cable, wherein the cables are of substantially equal radius, which comprises:

at least two longitudinally spaced connector assemblies of non-circular configuration displaced circumferentially with respect to one another and each having first and second connector members, the connector members of each connector assembly being connected to respective groups of the strands in the cables and connectable to one another to interconnect the strands;

first portions of the connector members of each connector assembly being defined by outwardly facing curved surfaces generated by a radius substantially equal to the radius of the cables so that the curved surfaces substantially correspond to the peripheral configuration of adjacent portions of the cables when the connector members are interconnected and substantially form a longitudinally extending continuation of the peripheral configuration of the adjacent portions of the cables; and

second portions of the connector members of each connector assembly being defined by peripheral surface portions disposed radially inward with respect to the circumference of the cables to define a space in which remaining strands of the cables can bypass said connector assembly externally thereof to another of said connector assemblies without projecting substantially radially outward beyond limits defined by the circumference of the cables, whereby each connector assembly and its associated remaining strands have a combined peripheral configuration substantially corresponding in size and shape to that of the cables.

2. A connector assembly for connecting one of a plurality of groups of strands in a first cable to one of a plurality of groups of respective strands in a second cable, wherein the cables are of substantially equal radius, which comprises:

first and second connector members of non-circular configuration connected to respective strands of the cables and connectable to one another to interconnect the strands;

a first portion of each of said connector members being defined by an outwardly facing curved surface generated by a radius substantially equal to the radius of the cables so that the curved surfaces of said connector members substantially correspond to the peripheral configuration of adjacent portions of the cables when the connector members are interconnected and substantially form a longitudinally extending continuation of the peripheral configuration of the adjacent portions of the cables; and

a second portion of each of said connector members being defined by a peripheral surface portion disposed radially inward with respect to the circumference of the cables to define a space in which remaining strands of the cables can bypass the connector assembly externally thereof without projecting substantially radially outward beyond limits defined by the circumference of the cables, whereby the connector assembly and the remaining strands have a combined peripheral configuration substantially corresponding in size and shape to that of the cables.

3. An electrical connector assembly for connecting one of a plurality of groups of insulated conductors in a first cable to one of a plurality of groups of respective insulated conductors in a second cable, wherein the cables are of substantially equal radius, which comprises:

first and second connector members of non-circular configuration and each having a plurality of terminals connected to respective insulated conductors of the cables and connectable to one another to interconnect the insulated conductors;

a first portion of each of said connector members being defined by an outwardly facing curved surface generated by a radius substantially equal to the radius of the cables so that the curved surfaces of said connector members substantially correspond to the peripheral configuration of adjacent portions of the cables when the terminals of the connector members are interconnected and substantially form a longitudinally extending continuation of the peripheral configuration of the adjacent portions of the cables; and

a second portion of each of said connector members being defined by a peripheral surface portion disposed radially inward with respect to the circumference of the cables to define a space in which remaining insulated conductors of the cables can bypass the connector assembly externally thereof without projecting substantially radially outward beyond limits defined by the circumference of the cables, whereby the connector assembly and the remaining insulated conductors have a combined peripheral configuration substantially corresponding in size and shape to that of the cables.

4. In an arrangement for connecting together two multi-strand cables wherein the strands of the cables are arranged in a circular bundle;

a series of n-longitudinally spaced and axially aligned connector'assernblies, each succeeding assembly :being displaced equidistantly about the center of the cables, where n is the number of said connector assemblies;

each connector assembly having means for receiving and connecting substantially l/n of the strands and each assembly having arcuate peripheral surface portions which in conjunction with the other longitudinally spaced arcuate peripheral surface portions of said other assemblies define a complete circle having a diameter which is substantially equal to the diameter of the circular bundle of strands;

each of said connector assemblies being shaped to also have a second peripheral surface portion recessed with respect to the circular bundle of strands to provide an open pocket for receiving substantially UNITED STATES PATENTS 472,933 4/1892 OConnor 17488 R 2,809,361 10/1957 Woofter et al. 339-186 M 2,437,358 3/1948 Mowery 339176 M 3,531,759 9/1970 Hansen 3.39176 M FOREIGN PATENTS 1,054,527 4/1959 Germany 174DIG. 8 1,098,566 2/1961 Germany 17488 R JOSEPH H. McGLYNN, Primary Examiner L. I. STAAB, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 17488 R

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5050945 *Jul 15, 1988Sep 24, 1991Nkt A/SApparatus and method for splicing light conductors in a composite cable
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/682, 439/660, 439/932, 174/88.00R
International ClassificationH01R13/50, H01R24/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01R23/02, Y10S439/932, H01R2107/00
European ClassificationH01R23/02
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 19, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: AT & T TECHNOLOGIES, INC.,
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:WESTERN ELECTRIC COMPANY, INCORPORATED;REEL/FRAME:004251/0868
Effective date: 19831229