US 3748462 A
A combination vehicle lamp and junction box is disclosed which, upon mounting to the vehicle, simultaneously joins at least two insulated wires and operationally connects the bulb socket in the vehicle lamp.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent n91 Newman 1 July 24, 1973 COMBINATION VEHICLE LAMP AND JUNCTION BOX  Inventor: Charles Newman, Hanover, Ind.
 Assignee: The Grote Manufacturing Company,
. Madison, Ind.
221 Filed: Mar. 2, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 231,282
 US. Cl 240/57, 240/8.2, 240/52.l  Int. Cl. B60q 1/00, F2lv 21/08  Field of Search 240/57, 52.1, 73,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,400,262 9/1968 Newman et al 240/73 R X 3,605,072 9/1971 Driscoll 339/98 3,341,802 9/1967 Baldwin et a1. 339/97 L X 3,609,644 9/1971 Seim 339/98 Primary Examiner-Richard L. Moses Attorney-John C. McNett  ABSTRACT A combination vehicle lamp and junction box is disclosed which, upon mounting to the vehicle, simultaneously joins at least two insulated wires and operationally connects the bulb socket in the vehicle lamp.
7 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures COMBINATION VEHICLE LAMP AND JUNCTION BOX BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to vehicle lamps. Vehicle lamps are known which connect to a wire when mounted. US. Pat. No. 3,400,262 to Newman et al. discloses a lamp which, upon installation, causes the bulb socket to be operationally connected. This patent discloses a backplate associated with the lamp and having a channel in which an insulated wire is placed and also discloses one or more contact prongs attached to the lamp which serve as a means of piercing the insulated wire in the channel and making an electrical connection to This type of lamp is designed to be mounted to a continuous wire or at the end of a wire. In certain instances it is inconvenient or more expensive to run a continuous wire, and thus junction boxes or splices or the like are used. For example, a four wire cable may be needed for one vehicle lamp and only three wires needed for connecting on to another nearby lamp. Further, the junction boxes or splices can be inconveniently located and subject to the effects of weather.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to a vehicle light which also serves the function of a junction box, and which automatically causes the proper connections to be made when mounted on the vehicle. With the invention, the mounting of the vehicle light simultaneously can connect two insulated wires and operationally connect the bulb socket of the vehicle light.
The invention results in making it a simple matter to connect a light bulb to a four wire cable and additionally to connect a three wire cable to the four wire cable. All connections can be made by simply sticking a grooved backplate to the vehicle, inserting the cables in the grooves and mounting the lamp over the backplate.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a cross section of a combination taillight lamp and junction box embodying the invention.
FIG. 2 is another view of the combination of FIG. 1 with a portion of the back plate of the junction box removed to disclose the connections therein.
FIG. 3 is an isometric view of the backplate of FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 4 is a wiring diagram illustrating a manner of connecting the taillight lamp of FIGS. 1 and 2 to cables.
FIG. 5 illustrates one of the connector plates used in the taillight lamp of FIGS. 1 and 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a lamp housing which has a rear portion 11 and a lens 12. Within the lamp housing is a bulb socket 13 in which is inserted a bulb 14. The bulb socket 13 is of conventional design having a first terminal for ground connection and a second terminal for a voltage connection. The second terminal is the end of wire 17 in bulb socket 13 and is connected to a source of voltage through wire 17. And the first terminal is the cyclinderical portion of bulb socket 13 is connected to a threaded stud 22 through a mounting bracket 26.
Also within the lamp housing is a second socket 15 which has within it a bulb 16. This bulb and socket are of conventional design and the bulb 16 has two filaments and the socket has two voltage connections such as are conventionally used in the taillights of automobiles. The voltage connections receive voltage through wires 18 and 19, and the ground connection is connected to the threaded stud 22 through mounting bracket 27. Additionally studs 23 and 24 are used for mounting the lamp housing to a vehicle.
A back plate 20 is also illustrated in FIG. 1 as well as in FIGS. 2 and 3. This back plate 20 telescopically engages complementary surfaces on the rear portion of the lamp housing to facilitate its positioning thereon. A portion of the surface of the back plate 20 has an adhesive surface 21 which can be used to temporarily attach the back plate to a vehicle.
Referring in particular to FIG. 2 there is illustrated a view of the lamp housing with the back plate attached, although a portion of the back plate is shown cut away to reveal the wiring connections. As is illustrated, the three wires 17, 18 and 19 from the sockets l3 and 15 are shown at the point where they connect to other wires. For example, wire 19 is fit into a slotted connector plate 74. Connector plate 74 is illustrated in more detail in FIG. 5. It is shown with three deep slots 51, 52 and 53. Wire 19 is inserted into slot 51, this insertion causing the insulation to be stripped from the wire 19 and thereby making a solderless electrical connection to the wire. The connector plate is, of course, made of an electrically conductive material. In addition to wire 19, wires 44 and 63 are each inserted into a slot (53 and 52 respectively) of the connector plate 74, thereby also making electrical contact with the connector plate. Since all three of the wires make electrical connection to the connector plate they are all three electrically connected to each other. This results in the splicing of wire 44 to wire 63 and additionally in the connection of the lamp socket 15 to these two wires through connection to wire 19.
In a similar fashion, wire 18 connects to wire 43 and wire 17 connects to wires 42 and 62. In addition wire 41 connects to wire 61 without making an electrical connection to any lamp socket at all.
In FIG. 4 there is illustrated a simplified wiring diagram which describes the manner in which two such lamp housings as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 could be wired to provide two taillights for a motor vehicle. A four wire cable comprising wires 41 through 44 provide power to the left taillight 10L. Conventionally, three filaments are within the two light bulbs of the taillight lamp. In the left taillight 10L, wire 19 to the taillight filaments, as well as wires 44 and 63 connect through connector plate 74; wire 18 to the left turn signal filament, as well as wire 43, connect through connector plate 73; wire 17 to the back-up filament, as well as wires 42 and 62 connect through connector plate 72; and connector plate 71 serves to join wire 41 to wire 61 (which is in turn connected to the right turn signal). A three wire cable comprising the wires 61 through 63 connect the left taillight 10L to the filaments within the right taillight 10R as shown and in a similar manner as the four wire cable connected to the filaments within the left taillight lamp.
In FIG. 3 there is illustrated in isometric view the backplate 20 of the combination vehicle lamp and junction box of FIGS. 1 and 2. There are illustrated two holes 30 and 31 through which the threaded studs 23 and 24 may pass for mounting the combination to a vehicle. The two holes 30 and 31 also locate the backplate 20 relative to the lamp housing when studs 23 and 24 are inserted. The backplate 20 has a large number of grooves for receiving insulated wires. These grooves are of such a width and shape that when a wire is pushed into the groove and seated, it does not fall out. Grooves 32, 33 and 34 are provided to receive insulated wires 44, 63 and 19 respectively. In addition, a groove 35 is provided to eliminate interference between connector plate 74 and the backplate when the backplate is inserted in position against the lamp housing 10.
To use the combination described herein, the backplate is attached to the motor vehicle through the use of the adhesive backing 21. The wires 41 through 44 and 61 through 63 are then laid in position in the grooves in the backplate. They may be directed to the grooves from either the left side (viewed as in FIG. 2), the right side, or both. Plain hard grease can then, if desired, be placed on the wires in the grooves in the backplate to provide a seal for the wiring system which will keep moisture from the contacts. The lamp housing is then or at a later time, installed over the backplate and attached to the vehicles by means of the studs 22, 23 and 24. When the lamp housing is tightened against the vehicle, the connector plates will make electrical contact with the wires and thereby not only connect the sockets l3 and to the wires but will also connect some of the wires of one cable to other wires in another cable. As can be seen, this invention results in making it a simple matter to connect a light bulb to a four wire cable and additionally to connect a three wire cable to the four wire cable. Further, this invention makes it possible for a manufacturer to completely wire his vehicle without installing any lamps. He can later ship or paint, etc. his vehicles before installing the lamps.
While there have been described above the principles of this invention embodied in a specific apparatus, it is to be clearly understood that this description is made only by way of example and not as a limitation to the scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A combination for rapidly mounting a lamp to a vehicle and connecting insulated wires together which comprises:
a. a back plate provided with a plurality of channels,
said channels constituting means for receiving insu- 4 lated wires;
b. a lamp housing constituting a closure for said channels;
c. a bulb socket attached to said lamp housing and having a first terminal for ground connection and a second terminal for a voltage connection;
d. mounting means for mounting said backplate and said lamp housing to a vehicle;
e. grounding means connected to said first terminal for electrically connecting said first terminal to the ground'of a vehicle to which the combination is mounted; and
f. a plurality of connecting means for solderless electrical connection to an insulated wire, at least two of said connecting means being electrically connected to each other and electrically connected to said second terminal, said at least two of said connecting means being attached to said lamp housing and extending therefrom and being so oriented as to extend into a plurality of said channels of said plate when said plate is closed against said lamp housing, whereby the mounting of the combination can simultaneously connect two insulated wires and operationally connect the bulb socket.
2. The combination of claim 1 in which said lamp housing and back plate have complementary telescopically engageable means for positioning of the back plate with the lamp housing.
3. The combination of claim 1 in which said mounting means includes an electrically conductive fastener which also is a part of said grounding means.
4. The combination of claim 1 in which said plurality of connecting means includes an electrically conductive connector plate which has a plurality of deep slots, each of said slots constituting a means for stripping insulation from an insulated wire and making a solderless electrical connection to said wire.
5. The combination of claim 4 in which said plurality of means for solderless electrical connection includes a plurality of electrically conductive connector plates.
6. The combination of claim 5 in which said plurality of connecting means includes four electrically conductive connector plates and a total of ten of said slots in said connector plates.
7. The combination of claim 1 in which said back plate has an adhesive surface on the side opposite said channels.