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Publication numberUS3757102 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 4, 1973
Filing dateOct 24, 1972
Priority dateOct 24, 1972
Also published asCA973522A, CA973522A1
Publication numberUS 3757102 A, US 3757102A, US-A-3757102, US3757102 A, US3757102A
InventorsE Roberts
Original AssigneeWoodhead D Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lamp capsule
US 3757102 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Ute States Patent 11 1 Roberts 1 51 Sept. 4, 1973 [54] LAMP CAPSULE FORElGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS 1 Invent Earl 1101mm Lake Bluff, 672,195 10/1963 Canada 240 2 SP [73] Assignee: Daniel Woodhead Inc., Northbrook,

111. Primary Examiner-Fred L. Braun h l. Filed: Oct. 24, 1972 Attorney Johnston, MatthewC T ompson eta Appl. No.: 299,804

US. Cl. 240/2 R, 339/176 L, 339/213 R,

340/381 Int. Cl. F2lv 33/00 Field of Search 240/2 R, 2 SP, 8.16,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,428,167 9 1947 Linton 240 2 SP 2,434,065 1/1948 Courtney. 240 2 SP 2,575,821 11 1951 1.1111611 240 2 sP x 3,286,255 11 1966 Sanchez 240/8.16 x

[5 7 ABSTRACT A lamp capsule and uses thereof in electrical receptacles, connectors and plugs for indicating circuitenergization and location in dark areas. The capsule consists of a light-transmitting, tubular, dielectric, synthetic polymer capsule having an open end and a closed end encapsulating a small neon lamp having a pair of bare wires projecting from its base. One wire extends through an opening in the closed end of the capsule and the other wire is curvately bent at its end adjacent the base of the lamp and extends along the lamp and out the open end of the capsule.

7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDSEP ams FIG.I

LAMP CAPSULE This invention concerns improvements in encapsulation of small lamps, such as low wattage neon lamps. The lamp and its capsule are advantageously used in electrical receptacles, connectors and/or plugs by connecting the lamp wires across tenninal posts of such receptacles, connectors and/or plugs. This combination provides a continuous emission of light from the lamp whenever the connector, receptacle and/or plug is energized. By making a portion of the connector, receptacle and/or plug from a light-transmitting material, e.g., a transparent or translucent synthetic polymer, the light from the small lamp is visible from within the housing forming the connector, receptacle or plug.

This light emission has several practical uses, one of which is the function of an indicator that the circuit of a connector or a receptacle is actually energized. Personnel using such connectors or receptacles therefore will not be misled in believing them to be energized at the time they are connected with an electrical plug. In case of lighted plugs, personnel can ascertain at the time of insertion of such plugs by the presence or absence of the emitted light whether or not the plug is connected to an energized receptacle or connector. Another practical feature of the lighted connectors, receptacles and/or plugs is their visability in dark areas. This is a safety feature which allows ready location of extension cords having lighted connectors, or plugs which are inserted in unlighted or lighted connectors or receptacles.

THE INVENTION The invention herein pertains to improvements in lamp capsules which encapsulate small lamps used for the purposes aforesaid. The lamp capsules preferably are made of light transmitting, dielectric, synthetic polymer in a tubular form of circular or oval cross section. The capsules have an open end and a closed end portion. An opening is provided in the closed end portion, preferably in the end wall. A small lamp such as a small neon lamp having bare wires projecting from the base of the lamp is inserted in the open end of the capsule.

One of the bare wires extends through the opening in the closed end portion. The other bare wire is bent curvately at its base and runs along the side of the lamp and out of the open end of the capsule. This wire contains a small ballast resistor used in the lamp circuit.

The capsule has as its closed end an end wall having a diagonal corner wall portion. The base of the lamp lies contiguous to the intersection of the diagonal corner portion and the side wall of the capsule. The opposite comer of the end wall is spaced from the base of the lamp, whereby the curvately bent wire is accommondated in a space provided at the opposite comer prior to its running along the side of the lamp. The ballast resistor preferably is substantially completely positioned within the capsule at its open end.

After the lamp is inserted in the capsule, connectors such as metal U-blades are attached to the projecting portions of the wires contiguous to the respective ends of the capsule. The bare wires are thus substantially completely located within the confines of the capsule and are positioned therein in a manner avoiding possible accidental touching of the bare wires within the capsule.

This assembly of the lamp capsule may be mounted across terminal posts of electrical connectors, receptacles, or plugs. When the latter are energized, a light will be emitted from the small lamp and transmitted through transparent or translucent portions of these electircal devices for the purposes aforesaid.

THE DRAWINGS Preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated in the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation of the capsule and lamp in a state of initial assembly;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the lamp and capsule in the assembled state with U-blade connectors attached to the lamp wires;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the assembly of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an electrical connector having a light-transparent, terminal post-bearing member forming the plug-receiving face of the connector;

FIG. 5 is a side elevation of the transparent, terminal post-bearing member of FIG. 4 with the light capsule connected across its terminal posts; and

FIG. 6 is an exploded view in side elevation of a rightangle electrical plug with the lamp capsule mounted across its terminal posts.

THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings, a small lamp 10 having a low wattage rating, e.g., a neon lamp having a long continuous life, comprises a pair of electrodes 11 and 12 connected by bare wires 13 and 14 extending through the base 15 of the lamp envelope 16. The wire 14 contains a ballast resistor 17 connected in the wire 14 so that it lies adjacent the small tip 18 at the tapered end of the lamp 10 when the wire 14 is configured as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.

The lamp 10 is encapsulated in a dielectric, light- I transmitting, synthetic polymer capsule 20, preferably having a circular or oval cross section. The capsule 20 is a tubular capsule having an open end 21 and a closed end 22. The latter is provided with a diagonal corner wall portion 23 provided with a small opening 24 through which the wire' 13 projects. In the assembled combination, the base 15 of thelamp 10 is drawn by the wire 13 into a position contiguous to the juncture 25 between the diagonal corner wall portion 23 and the circular or oval side wall 29 of the capsule.

This positioning of the lamp 10 in the capsule 20 keeps the base 15 spaced from the opposite comer portion 27 of the closed end 22 of the capsule providing therein a space 26 to accommodate thecurvately bent (180) portion 28 of the bare wire 14. A U-blade, terminal post connector 30 and 31 is clamped or soldered onto the projecting end of the respective wires 13 and 14 after the lamp has been inserted in the capsule 20. The connectors preferably have their bases 32 contiguous to the respective ends 21 and 22 of the capsule 20 leaving a minimum amount of the bare wires 13 and 14 outside the capsule 20.

FIGS. 4-6 illustrate uses of the encapsulated lamp of FIGS. 1-3 in electrical connectors, receptacles and plugs. The extension cord connector 35 of FIGS. 4 and 5 has an opaque, dielectric, cylindrical housing 36, e.g.,

one made of a synthetic elastomeric polymer. The extension cord or cable 37 enters one end of the housing 36 having a cord or cable clamp 38 attached thereto.

The cylindrical end 39 of the housing has a disc end wall 40 with a rounded cornered, triangular opening in which the corresponding shaped section 42 of a transparent molded plastic polymer body d! is seated. The body 411 includes a rearward segment 43 of cylindrical shape with three rectilinear relief recesses 44 spaced equi-distant around its periphery.

The body 41 is a back-wired connector having a Y- divider wall 45 of the type shown in US. Pat. No. 3,617,981, issued to David E. Kramer on Nov. 2, 1971. The respective ends of the three wall segments of wall 45 are coplanar with and above the relief recesses 454.

The three spaces between the three wall segments have therein three terminal posts, one for a ground pinground wire connection (not shown). The other two terminal posts 46 and 47 for the live wire connections have the U-blade connectors 30 and 31 mounted thereon by the screws 48 and 49, which also are used to connect the live wire connections for the wires of the cord or cable 31. As can be seen in FIG. 5, the lamp capsule 20 lies across the rearward edges of the Y- divider wall 45.

The electrical plug th of FIG. 6 is a right angle plug, i.e., one with its contact blades at right angles to the entrant direction of its electrical cable or cord. Its cap or housing 51 is made as a hollow molding of lighttransmitting (transparent or translucent) synthetic polymer. Its male, contact blade-and-ground pin mounting base 52 is also a molding of synthetic polymer which is mounted across the open side 53 of the housing 51 by two or more screws 54 threaded into cylindrical screw-receiving columns 55'at the four inner corners of the housing 51.

The housing 51 has a hollow, upper, lateral extension 56 through which extends the electrical cord or cable 57. A hollow cord or cable-clamping segment 58 is attached to the extension 56 by screws 59 to form therewith a lateral extension from the housing 51.

The blades 60 and ground pin 61 of plug 50 and the blade-receiving openings 62 and ground-pin-receiving opening 63 of connector 35 may have any industrystandardized, industry-accepted, or special crosssection, length, spacing and relative geometric positioning. The illustrated embodiments show a commonly used configuration for non-locking plugs and connectors approved by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association for grounded 125 volt circuits of low ampere rating.

It is thought that the invention and its numerous attendant advantages will be fully understood from the foregoing description, and it is obvious that numerous changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the several parts without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention, or sacrificing any of its attendant advantages, the forms herein disclosed being preferred embodiments for the purpose of illustrating the invention.

The invention is hereby claimed as follows:

1. A lamp capsule comprising a synthetic polymer light-transmitting, dielectric capsule having an open end and a closed end portion, an opening in the closed end portion of the capsule, said capsule having therein a small lamp having bare wires projecting from the base thereof, one of said wires extending through said opening, and the other of said wires running along the lamp and out the open end of the capsule.

2. A lamp capsule as claimed in claim 1, a small resistor connected in the other of said wires, and said resistor being substantially completely positioned within the capsule at the open end thereof.

3. A lamp capsule as claimed in claim 1, said closed end being an end wall having a diagonal corner wall portion with said opening therein, said base of said lamp being spaced from the opposite corner of said end wall, and said other of said wires extending curvately from said base through the space in said opposite corner and then along said lamp.-

4. A lamp capsule as claimed in claim I mounted inside an electrical connector having a translucent or transparent body portion, terminal posts for connection of current wires within said body portion, and the wires of the lamp being connected to said terminal posts whereby light from the lamp is visible through said translucent or transparent body portions.

5. A lamp capsule as claimed in claim 4, said connector having a dielectric, opaque housing and a lighttransmitting face with the plug-receiving openings therein.

6. A lamp capsule as claimed in claim I mounted in a light-transmitting housing, terminal posts for connection of current wires within said housing, and the wires of the lamp being connected to said terminal posts whereby light from the lamp is visible through said housing.

7. A lamp capsule as claimed in claim 6 wherein said housing is the housing of an electrical plug having its contact blades electrically connected with said termi-

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3968355 *Mar 31, 1975Jul 6, 1976Novo Products, Inc.Automatic night light structure
US5207594 *Sep 18, 1991May 4, 1993Olson Thomas RElectrical power extension cord
US5320560 *Jan 13, 1993Jun 14, 1994Woods Wire Products, Inc.Light-permeable extension cord connector
US5470252 *Jun 13, 1994Nov 28, 1995Woods Industries, Inc.Light-permeable extension cord connector
US5644462 *Feb 20, 1996Jul 1, 1997International Marketing CorporationElectrical power/ground continuity indicator protection circuit
US6509876Sep 8, 2000Jan 21, 20033Com CorporationAntenna for wireless communication system
US6561824 *Jul 19, 1999May 13, 20033Com CorporationMedia connector interface for electrical apparatus
US7121707Sep 24, 2004Oct 17, 2006Plastic Inventions And Patents, Inc.Illuminated electrical cords and outlets
US20050124209 *Sep 24, 2004Jun 9, 2005Currie Robert M.Illuminated electrical cords and outlets
U.S. Classification362/652, 340/815.49, 439/490
International ClassificationF21V33/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21V33/00
European ClassificationF21V33/00
Legal Events
Jun 5, 1985AS01Change of name
Effective date: 19850214
Jun 5, 1985ASAssignment
Effective date: 19850214
Jul 17, 1981ASAssignment
Effective date: 19810408
Jul 17, 1981AS03Merger
Effective date: 19810408