US 3808581 A
An indicator light assembly having a socket and an integral cover. The socket includes two distinct compartments, one housing a bulb and resistor, and the second housing a pair of spring, sheet metal contacts. The contacts are electrically insulated from one another and each embodies a first portion for engaging a wire lead from the bulb and/or resistor, and a second portion having a free end for bightingly gripping the stripped end of a conductor from an electrical energy source inserted into an appropriate opening in the end of the second compartment remote from the first compartment.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [5 1 Murray [111 3,808,581 Apr. 30, 1974 1 SOCKET ASSEMBLY  Inventor: Robert T. Murray, Needham, Mass.  Assignee: TRW Inc., Cleveland, Ohio  Filed: July 24,1972
 Appl. No.: 274,376
 US. Cl. 339/95 D, 340/381,-339/l47 R, 339/210 T  Int. Cl. HOlr 13/66  Field of Search 339/59 L, 95 D, 119, 147, 339/176 L, 208 210; 340/381  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTSv 3,348,221 10/1967 Duffield 339/207 R X 3,289,200 1 H1966 Rueger Rueger 339/208 wunm 2,946,977 7/1960 Sheldon 339/95D Primary Examiner-Richard E. Moore Attorney, Agent, or Firm-James R. OConnor  ABSTRACT An indicator light assembly having a socket and an integral cover. The socket includes two distinct compartme'nts, one housing a bulb and resistor, and the second housing a pair of spring, sheet metal contacts. The contacts are electrically insulated from one another and each embodies a first portion for engaging a wire lead from the bulb and/or resistor, and a second portion having a free end for bightingly gripping the stripped end of a conductor from an electrical energy source inserted'into an appropriate opening in the end of the second compartment remote from the first compartment.
4 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures 1 SOCKET ASSEMBLY DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART In the past, several methods have been used to connect the leads from the bulb of an indicator to power supply leads disposed outside of an indicator assembly per se. An early method of attaching the leads to a connector was to crimp or solder a connector, having an aperture formed therethrough onto the leads. The lamp housing typically included a base portion having a hole in the bottom wall thereof and a fastener such as a rivet disclosed in US. Pat; No. 3,233,033, utilized blade terminals which were pressed and locked into an indicator housing having the bulb leads extending into an interference area where they were jammed between the terminal and the housing to effect the requisite electrical connection.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A socket assembly-for an electrical bulb comprises a socket member and a cover member integrally connected thereto. The socket member includes a first compartment for housing a bulb and at least two wire leads for supplying electric current to the bulb and a second compartment housing a pair of spring, sheet metal contacts. The contacts are electrically insulated from one another andeach contact has a first portion for engaging one of the said lead wires and a second portion having a free end which is adapted to bightingly grip a stripped end of a conductor from a source of electrical energy. The second portion of each of said contacts includes a pair of arms connected by a sub-' stantially U-shaped bite. One of the arms terminates in the free end and is deflectable toward the other arm to permit insertion of the stripped end of a conductor from a source between the free end of the arm and the confronting surface of the second compartment of the socket. The cover has means thereon for urging the lead wires against the first portions of the contacts and for urging the second portions of the contacts intoa clamping engagement with the ends of conductors from the energy source inserted into the socket.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an indicator housing according to the invention with the cover open;
FIG. 2 is a central longitudinal cross section;
FIG. 3 is an end elevational view of the housing looking from the lower end of the housing as depicted in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an end elevational view of the housing looking from theupper end of the housing as depicted in FIG. I;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the indicator assembly shown in FIG. 2 with the cover member open; and
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the indicator houss ing with the cover closed.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the drawings there is shown a socket assembly for an indicator light comprising a body having a socket member 10, a cover member 12 connected to the socket member 10 by a comparatively thin, integral web 14 forming a hinge, a harness, a pair of connectors 16 and a shunt resistor 18.
The socket member, cover and web are formed of a plastic material and the socket member 10 includes a generally rectangular mounting portion 20 and a rectangular contact portion 22 integrally associated with and extending substantially perpendicularly from the mounting portion 20. The mounting portion 20 comprises a base portion 24 having a pair of walls 26 extending in right angle relation thereto and in spaced parallel relation to each other.
The forward wall 28 of the mounting portion 20 is integral with and extends from the base portion 24 and between the walls 26, thereby providing the box like configuration of the mounting portion 20. A keyway 30 is formed through the base portion 24 and a flexible wing 32 extends from the external surface of each of the walls 26 inacute angular relationship to the planes of the walls 26 and each wing has a free terminal end extending below the plane of the lower surface of the base portion 24 as is best seen in FIGS. 1 and 5. The terminal ends of the wings 32 are bent so as to lie in planes which are in parallel relationship to each other and to the plane of the walls 26.
The contact housing portion 22 of the socket member 10 comprises a pair of side walls 34 which extend integrally from a base 36 in right angle relation thereto forming a box like shape. The contact housing portion 22 is divided longitudinally by a partition wall 38 which extends upwardly from the base 36. The upper surface of the partition wall 38 lies coplanar with the upper surfaces of the side walls 34. A transverse notch 40 is formed in the partition wall 38 said notch extends downwardly a substantial distance so that the bottom thereof is disposed proximate the base 36. A dividing wall 42 disposed in transverse, right angle relationship 20, and extends a substantial distance below the base 36 of the contact housing portion 22, as is best seen in FIG. 2. A sloping wedge shaped separator portion 44 extends from adjacent the upper surface of the dividing wall 42 a relatively short distance toward the base portion 24 of the mounting portion 20. A cavity 46 having a chamfered lead open end is formed in dividing wall 42 adjacent the separator portion 44.
The cover member 12 is generally rectangular in configuration and includes a floor portion 48 and spaced, parallel side walls 50 extending upwardly from the longitudinal edges of the floor portion, as best seen in FIG. 1. A rectangular platform portion 52 which is spaced from one transverse end of the floor portion 48 extends between the sidewalls 50. A pair of rectangular stud portions 54 extend from the upper surface (as seen in FIG. 1) of the platform portion 52 adjacentone of its terminal ends. The stud portions 54 are spaced from each other and from an imaginary plane passing through the longitudinal center line of the cover member 12. A pin 56 extends upwardly from the platform portion 52 of the cover member 12 forwardly of the stud portions 54. The end wall of the cover member 12 most remote from the pin 56 defined by a rear wall which has a pair of projections 58 extending upwardly thereform. Each of the projections 58 has a trapezoidal configuration as viewed in elevation. The end wall of the cover member 12 forms one of the walls, a pair of rectangular pockets 60 which are spaced from each other and disposed on opposite sides of the longitudinal center line of the cover member 12.
The harness includes a bulb or lamp 62 having a pair of bulb conductor leads 64 extending therefrom. One of the bulb conductor leads 64 is connected to a resistor 66 from which a lead 67 extends.
Each of the connectors 16 is formed from flat, springy, electrically conductive sheet metal and each includes a transversely arced contact arm 68 having a free terminal end 70. The contact section 68 is integrally connected to an intermediate portion by a substantially U-shaped bight and thus is disposed in spaced, angular relationship to the intermediate portion, as best seen in FIG. 2. The end of the intermediate portion of each connector 16 is formed into a step like free end 72.
The indicator light is assembled by placing a connector 16 into each compartment formed by the base 36, the partition wall 38 and the side wall 34 with the free end 72 of the connector 16 overlying the upper edge of the diving wall 42 and the terminal end 70 directed toward the base 36. The harness is inserted into the cavity defined by the walls of the mounting portion and the terminal end of the bulb conductor lead 14 that is not attached to the resistor 66 and the lead 67 are bent and placed in position to overlie the free ends 72 of the connector 16 as shown partially in FIG. 2. The shunt resistor 18 is dropped into the notch 40 so that it lies transversely of the longitudinal axis of the contact portion 22. The left lead of the shunt resistor 18 is in superposed abutting relation to the stepped end 72 of one of the connectors 16 and the right lead overlies in abutting relation the end 72 of the other connector 16. The cover member 12 is then closed on the socket member 10 by rotating the cover about the hinging web 14. One of the stud portions 54 presses down on the lead 67 of the resistor 66 while the other stud portion presses down on the bulb conductor lead 64 forcing the leads into abutting electrical and mechanical engagement with the free ends 72 of the connectors 16. Each of the bights of the connectors 16 extends into a pocket 60 in the cover and the projections 58 partially close off portions of the openings to the contact housing compartments thereby providing small cable receiving openings and flexing the contact sections 68 toward the intermediate portions of the contacts to permit stripped wire leads from power fource to be inserted between the terminal ends 70 of the connectors and the inner surface of the base 36. Thus as is best depicted in FIG.
2, the strip ends of the wire leads 74 when inserted beneath the free ends of the contacts are bightingly gripped thereby to provide an efiicient electrical and mechanical connection. Obviously, withdrawal of the wire leads is firmly resisted by what is, in effect, a bighting, ratchetlike engagement of the free ends of the contacts with said leads.
It is to be understood that the foregoing description of a preferred embodiment of the invention is to be construed as illustrative rather than a restrictive sense and that the scope of the invention is best defined by the following claims.
1. A socket assembly for an electrical bulb comprising a socket member and a cover member integrally connected to said socket member, said socket member including a first compartment for housing a bulb and at least two lead wires for supplying electric current to said bulb and a second compartment housing a pair of spring, sheet metal contacts, said contacts being electrically insulated from one another by means formed integrally with said second compartment, each of said contacts having a first portion for contacting one of said lead wires and a second portion having a free end adapted to bightingly grip a conductor from a source of electrical energy, said second portion of each of said contacts including a pair of arms connected by a substantially U-shaped bite, one of said arms terminating in said free end and being deflectable toward the other arm to permit insertion of a conductor from an energy source between the free end of said arm and a confronting surface of said second compartment of said socket member, said cover member having means thereon for urging said lead wires against said first portions of said contacts and for urging said second portions of said contacts into clamping engagement with conductors from an energy source inserted into said socket member.
2. A socket assembly according to claim 1 wherein said socket member includes a notch for receiving a resistor carrying wire leads and said means on said cover are adapted to retain the resistor in said notch and to urge one of the resistor leads into an electrical contact with one of said other arms of each of said contacts.
3. A socket assembly according to claim 1 including cooperating means on said socket member and said cover member defining a pair of spaced openings at one end of said socket member, said openings being adapted to receive conductors from an energy source and being disposed substantially proximate the free ends of said one arm of each of said contacts.
4. A socket assembly according to claim 1 including cooperating pin and socket means adapted to be releasably engaged to retain said cover in a closed condition on said socket member.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE I CERTIFICATE ()F CORRECTION Patent No. 3,808 ,581 Dated April 30, 1974 Inventor) Robert T.i'-Murray It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
" Column'l, line 20, delete in effect a parallel splice"; line'5'7 after "section" insert of an indicator assembly according to the invention Colnmn 2, line 40, after"'wa1l 38"- insert and line 53, after "chamfered" delete "lead". Column 3 line 7 after "walls" delete the comma and insert of line 55, delete "fource" and insert source dColumn 4, line 7, after "leads." insert An attempts to withdraw the wire lead 74 will meet the opposition of the terminal end 70.
"Signed andsealed this 1st day of October 1974.
(SEAL) Attest: v
MeCOY M. GIBSON JR. 0. MARSHALL DANN Attest-ing Officer Commissioner of Paten' F ORM PO1050 (10-69) USCOMM-DC 60376-P69 us GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 930