US 3824681 A
A coupling ring is made rotatable around but axially fixed relative to the plug shell of a connector, and provided with bayonet grooves for receiving pins on the receptacle, the bayonet grooves being given inner portions that fall within a radial plane without forwardly inclined recesses at their inner ends. Selective installation of spacer washers of various thicknesses for the coupling ring, and bayonet pins of different diameters, enable the coupling to properly position the plug relative to the receptacle irrespective of manufacturing tolerances.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Clark 1451 July 23, 1974  METHOD OF PROVIDING A COUPLING 2,984,811 5/1961 Hennessey et al. 339/90 R O L RIC L CONNECTORS O THE 3,221,292 11/1965 Swanson et al. 339/90 R LIKE 3,611,260 10/1971 Colardeau et al 339/90 R 3,750,087 7/1973 Vetter 339/90 R  Inventor; Kenneth M. Clark, Beaumont, Califi 3,754,206 8/1973 Obeissart 339/90 R  Assignee: The Deutsch Company Electronic Components Division, Banning, Primary Examiner-Charles W. Lanham Calif. Assistant Examiner-Joseph A. Walkowski  Filed Apr 4 1973 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Richard F. Carr  Appl. No.: 347,848 Related s. Application Data  ABSTRACT Division of 561'; 9 9 29, 1971, A coupling ring is made rotatable around but axially 3 g g g 83,782 fixed relative to the plug shell of a connector, and pro- 2 l a one vided with bayonet grooves for receiving pins on the receptacle, the bayonet grooves being given inner por-  3 6 tions that fall within a radial plane without forwardly I t Cl 1 i 23/60 inclined recesses at their inner ends. Selective installa- 58 d 6 443 tion of spacer washers of various thicknesses for the- 1 0 Bare 45 339789 coupling ring, and bayonet pins of difierent diameters, 1 enable the coupling to properly position the plug relative to the receptacle irrespective of manufacturing  References Cited t 01 Eran ces UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,961,630 11/1960 Duncan.... 339/90 R 5 Claims, 24 Drawing Figures 1 METHOD OF PROVIDING A COUPLING FOR ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS OR LIKE REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This is a division of my copending patent application Ser. No. 167,317, filed July 29, 1971, for Electrical u Connector, now US. Pat. No. 3,727,172, which is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 83,782, filed Oct. 26, 1970, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to electrical connectors.
2. DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR Electrical connectors conventionally include a plug and receptacle. In order to secure the plug and receptacle of the connector together, a bayonet coupling mechanism frequently is used. This may include pins projecting radially outwardly from the shell of one of the sections of the connector, which are adapted to enter grooves in a coupling ring provided on the other section of the connector. The grooves have entrance portions at the forward end of the coupling ring, from which the grooves extend inwardly, terminating in recesses that extend back toward the forward end of the coupling ring. The pins enter the bayonet grooves as the connector is moved toward the mated position, moving to the inner ends of the grooves as the coupling ring is rotated. The coupling ring is engaged by a spring biasing it axially so that the bayonet pins are moved into the recesss at the ends of the bayonet grooves upon 1 the termination of the rotation of the coupling ring. .The spring force holding the pins in the recesses acts as 'a detent that retains the coupling ring against inadvertent rotation.
This arrangement means that the plug and receptacle are moved toward each other a distance beyond their normal mated position before the pins are allowed to enter the recesses at the ends of the bayonet grooves. As the pins are moved into the recesses, there is a slight separational movement of the connector plug and receptacle. Also, it is possible for the coupling ring detent spring to be overcome by an outward pull on the two sections of the connector. This can allow some separa- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION:
The present invention provides an improved electrical connector which overcomes the difficulties outlined above. In this connector, the coupling mechanism provides a secure bayonet connection, but does not depend upon the bayonet pins and grooves to provide the detent that holds the coupling ring against inadvertent rotation. Instead, there is a separate detent for this purpose. Consequently, the grooves in the coupling ring 2 are made circumferential in their inner portions, falling entirely in a radial plane and with no recesses at their inner ends for receiving the bayonet pins. Thus, when the coupling is moved to its mated position, the maximum relative axial movement of the plug and receptacle takes place as the bayonet pins enter the inner groove portions. Also, the coupling ring is axially fixed relative to the plug shell, unlike prior designs in which the coupling ring could be moved by overcoming a spring force. Once the connector has been coupled, the plug and receptacle are permitted no relative movement, so that outward forces on the connector sections cannot cause separation of the pins and sockets. Hence, the pins and sockets may be made quite short because there is no overtravel as the connector is mated, nor will the contacts be moved apart once the coupling has been engaged. This allows the connector to be made smaller and lighter than prior designs.
With no spring in the coupling mechanism, tolerances must be controlled so that the insert faces engage with a proper amount of compression. For the plug, a spacer washer is used to position the coupling ring axially so that the forward edge of the bayonet groove is a predetermined distance from the forward face of the plug insert. Measurements are taken so that a washer of proper thickness may be selected to accomplish the correct spacing between the groove and the insert. For the receptacle, the distance between the opening for the bayonet pin and the forward face of the receptacle insert is measured. Then, a bayonet pin is selected of a diameter such that its rearward surface is a predetermined distance from the forward surface of the insert.
The detent for the coupling ring is provided by a leaf spring which is held by the plug shell and has a central portion which is adapted to enter a recess in the inner circumferential surface of the coupling ring. This occurs when the coupling ring has been rotated to where the bayonet pins are properly positioned at the inner ends of the grooves. The spring is cammed out of the recess for reverse movement in the unmating of the connector.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an electrical connector made in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of certain portions of the connector, including in particular the parts used for coupling the plug and receptacle;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional view of the connector in the mated position;
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view, partially broken away, of the plug insert and shell;
FIG. 5 is a transverse sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a transverse sectional view taken along line 66 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 77 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary enlarged perspective view of one portion of the plug insert assembly, illustrating the contact retention fingers;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary transverse sectional view taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 10 is an enlarged fragmentary view illustrating the details of the finger shape and its engagement with the contact;
' tional view of the forward portions of the inserts of the plug and receptacle, shown slightly separated and illustrating the sealing arrangement for the openings;
FIG. 14 is a fragmentary flat pattern of the inside of the coupling ring, showing one of the bayonet grooves;
, FIG. 15 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along line 1515 of FIG. 3, illustrating the engagement of the spring tab on the snap ring and the forward end of the receptacle shell;
FIG. 16 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view of the connector incorporating one size of bayonet pin and spacer washer used in adjusting tolerances to assure proper engagement at the forward surfaces of the connector inserts;
FIG. 17 is a view similar to FIG. 16, but with different sizes of bayonet pin and spacer washer;
FIG. 18 isa fragmentary longitudinal sectional view of the plug showing the critical dimension between the edge of the bayonet groove and the forward face of the insert;
FIG. 19 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view showing how the spacer washer controls the dimension between the edge of the bayonet groove and the insert face in different tolerance conditions;
FIG. 20 is a fragmentary transverse sectionalview of a group of three different sized spacer washers, one of which is to be selected in properly spacing the forward edge of the bayonet ,groove;
FIG. 21 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view of the receptacle illustrating the manner of measuring to obtain the dimension from the opening for the bayonet pin to the forward face of the insert;
FIG. 22 is a side elevational view of two bayonet pins having outer ends of different sizes;
FIG. 23 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view of the receptacle shell and bayonet pin showing how different sizes of bayonet pins may be used in different situations to in both cases position the rearward edge of the pin at the same location; and
FIG. 24 is a fragmentary elevational view of the receptacle shell and bayonet pin of FIG. 23.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT:
Illustrated in the drawing is a multiple pin and socket connector that includes a plug 9 and a receptacle 10. The general arrangement for retaining the contacts is the same in the plug and receptacle. In the embodiment illustrated, the pin contacts are in the plug and the socket contacts in the receptacle although this may be reversed if desired. The plug 9 includes a plug shell 11, which is a generally tubular metal member of circular cross section. Within the shell 11 is an insert assembly 12 that serves to retain and hold a plurality of pin contacts 13. The insert assembly 12 includes disks 14 and 15 of a substantially rigid plastic. A suitable material for these members, because of its strength and temperature resistance, is a polyarylsulfone marketed under the trademark Astrel 360 plastic by Chemical Division, 3M Company, 3M Center; St. Paul, Minnesota. The disks l4 and 5 are suitably bonded together at their mating radial faces. At the forward end of the insert assembly 12 is bonded a gasket disk 16 of a resilient elastomeric material, such as silicone rubber.
The insert assembly 12 is retained in the plugshell 11 by means of interengaging castellations on the insert assembly and the plug shell. For this purpose, there are circumferentially extending plugs 18 that project out wardly from the periphery of the rearward disk 15, as
seen in FIG. 4. In the embodiment illustrated, there are rearward radial edges 25 of the lugs 18 are brought into engagement with an annular shoulder 26 at the rearward portion of the plug shell.
Circumferential slots 27 are formed at the rearward portion of the inner surface 21 of the plug shell 11, and are of widths substantially equal to the widths of the lugs 18. This provides circumferentially extending shoulders 28 spaced opposite from the annular shoulder 26 of the plug shell. The shoulders 26 and 28 are spaced apart a distance corresponding to the dimensions of the lugs 18 longitudinally of the insert assembly 12. This allows the insert assembly 12 to be rotated after the rearward edges 25 of the lugs 18 have been brought into engagement with the annular shoulder 26. The rotation of the insert assembly brings the lugs 18 in back of the circumferential shoulders 28 and into the circumferential slots 27. This positions the forward edges 29 of the lugs adjacent the circumferential shoulders 28 so that the radial shoulders 26 and 28 of the plug shell 11 hold the insert assembly 12 against longitudinal movement relative to the plug shell.
One of the lugs 18 may include a longitudinally forwardly projecting portion 31 having a side edge 32 which is brought into engagement with the side edge 33 of one of the longitudinal slots 22 in the plug shell for thereby limiting the rotational movement of the insert assembly 12 (see FIGS. 4 and 7). When the forward projection is provided, it assures that the insert assembly 12 assumes the proper rotational alignment relative to the plug shell. After being properly positioned in the plug shell 11, the insert assembly is locked in place so as to prevent it from, being given reverse rotation. This may be accomplished by bonding the insert assembly to the plug shell.
With the insert assembly positioned in this manner, a rearward sealing element 35 made of a resilient elastomer, such as silicone rubber, is bonded to the rearward radial face of the insert assembly and to the rearward portions of the inner circumferential wall 21 of the plug shell.
The pin contacts 13 are received in spaced parallel openings 38 formed in the insert assembly 12. The openings 38 are continuous from the front to the rear of the insert assembly 12, and are separated from each other so that there is no communication from one opening 38 to the other. The connector is designed so that a large number of pin contacts 13 may be retained in close adjacency, but, for clarity of illustration, only a relatively few such contacts are shown in the drawing.
Each opening 38 includes a relatively wide-diameter portion 39 at the rearward end of the plastic disck which, through a frustoconical portion 40, tapers forwardly to a portion 41 of smaller diameter. A plurality of fingers 42 extends radially inwardly and axially forwardly from the portion 41 of the opening 38 into the continuation 43 of the opening 38 in the member 15. This positions the fingers 42 inwardly and radially opposite the circumferential wall of the portion 43 of the opening 38. The fingers 42 are shorter than the section 43 of the opening, so that their forward ends are inward of the forward radial face 44 of the member 15. There are four of the fingers 42 in the example shown, as illustrated in FIG. 8. The fingers 42 are rounded transversely so that collectively they define a generally frustoconical shape with narrow spaces between adjacent fingers. While the plastic member 15 is relatively hard and rigid, the fingers 42 are thin and, therefore, resilient. A radial shoulder is formed by the rearward face 45 of the member 14 where the diameter of the opening decreases at portion 46. In the gasket member 16, the opening has a relatively wide-diameter portion 47 at the rearward end and a smaller-diameter portion 48 at the forward end.
- An opening 49 in the rearward sealing member 35 communicates with each of the openings 38.
The pin contacts 13 may be of conventional construction, including hollow, longitudinally elongated barrel portions 50 at their rearward ends, which receive the ends of wires 51 from which the insulation has been stripped. The contact barrels 50 are crimped to the wires 51 to form a mechanical and electrical connection. The wires 51 enter the openings 38 through the openings 49 in the rearward member 35, being engaged by annular sealing beads 52 formed on the circumference of the opening 49.
Forwardly of the barrel portion 50, each contact 13 includes a part 53 of enlarged diameter which defines forward and rearward shoulders 54 and 55, respectively. Beyond the forward shoulder 54, the contact narrows to a projecting pin portion 56 that is adapted to enter the socket contact. When installed in the opening 38, the forward shoulder 54 of the contact is adjacent the rearwardly facing shoulder defined by the rearward face 45 of the insert 14,'which thereby prevents forward movement of the contact 13.
In this manner, the contact is positioned within the insert assembly and securely retained. With the use of the integral fingers42, it is unnecessary to provide any auxiliary metal clip for retaining the contact, as in conventional connector construction. This simplifies the manufacture of the connector and lowers its cost. The danger of an improperly installed retainer clip is obviated. With the fingers 42 being entirely received in the section 43 of the opening 38, which locates them rearwardly of the forward face 44 of the disk 15, the bonding together of the inserts l4 and 15 will not adversely affect the fingers. In other words, the fingers are remote from the bond line so that any excess bonding material squeezed out at the joint will not interfere with the movement of the fingers.
As best seen in the enlarged illustration of FIG. 10, the fingers 42 are thicker in cross section at their forward ends than they are at their points of attachment to the insert 15, being tapered gradually in thickness to the rear. Also, each finger has a substantially radial forward end surface 57 which connects at a right angle to an inner end surface 58, which is a cylindrical segment generally complementary to the barrel 50 of the contact 13. When the finger 42 engages the contact 13, the radial end surface 57 fits behind the rearward shoulder 55 of the contact, while the inner end surface 58 of the finger rests upon the barrel 50 adjacent the shoulder 55.
The rearward transverse shoulder 55 of the contact 13 does not fall within a radial plane. Instead, it is inclined toward the forward end of the contact. Consequently, the shoulder 55 is undercut, being defined by a frustum of a cone. Desirable results are achieved when the shoulder 55 is inclined at around. 12 relative to a raidal plane. When the contact 13 is subjected to a force pushing it toward the rear, the undercut shoulder configuration and the inner finger surfaces 58 contribute greatly to the amount of force which can be absorbed before the retention fingers 42 will fail.
With the arrangement of this invention, the fingers 42, loaded as columns, receive the forces on them near the neutral centers of the columns, minimizing the tendency to buckle. The plastic of the fingers 42, being softer than the metal of the contact 13, becomes distorted where it engages the radially outer portion of the shoulder-55, as illustrated in particular in the enlarged view of FIG. 12. This has the effect of embedding the shoulder in the outer ends of the plastic fingers 42, stabilizing the finger ends. This increases the column strength of the fingers 42 because a column can withstand more loading if its ends are stabilized.
An additional. stabilizing effect is realized because of the arcuate inner surfaces 58 of the fingers 42 substantially complementarily engaging the periphery of the barrel of the contact adjacent the base of the shoulder 55. This helps to anchor the free ends of the fingers. The inclined configuration of the shoulder results in a force component on the fingers 42 helping to hold the surfaces 58 tightly against the circumference of the barrel 50 to enhance the column stabilizing effect.
The greater wall thickness of the fingers at their outer ends adds to their strength in shear and in bending. The bending strength resists the buckling of the fingers under load.
Another advantage comes from the fact that the inner corner 59 of the finger 42, between the end surface 57 and the inner surface 58, becomes spaced rearwardly from the fillet 60, which necessarily is formed between the shoulder 55 and the barrel 50 when the contact 13 is machined. When there is a straight radial shoulder, the inner corners of the retention fingers will engage the fillet at the. base of the shoulder. This deflects the fingers outwardly, therebytending to cam the fingers out of engagement with the shoulder. The undercut shoulder 55 permits the finger to clear the fillet 60 without requiring a recess in the finger and without sacrifice in the strength of the fingers.
The insert assembly 61 for the receptacle 10 includes a plastic disk 62 that is similar to the member 15. To it is bonded or otherwise suitably secured a forward cover disk 63. The members 62 and 63 also may be made of Astrel 360 plastic. Outwardly projecting lugs 64 on the disk 62 correspond to the lugs 18 on the member 15. The lugs 64 secure the insert assembly 61 to the receptacle shell 65 in the same way that the lugs 18 attach the insert assembly 12 in the plug shell 11.
The insert assembly 61 is introduced into the receptacle shell 65 by passing the lugs 64 through axial grooves in the inner surface of the receptacle shell 65, whereupon subsequent rotation of the insert assembly 61 places the lugs 64 between opposed forward and rearward shoulders 66 and 67, respectively, in the receptacle shell. This holds the disk 62 and thecover element 63 within the receptacle.
The socket contacts 68 are retained in continuous separate openings 69 in the insert assembly of the receptacle, positioned against axial rearward movement by integral fingers 70 that project forwardly and inwardly from the insert disk 62. A shoulder 71 on the insert member 63, where the opening 69 reduces in width, is adjacent the forward end of the contact 68 and precludes forward movement of the contact. The fingers 70 are engageable with the rearward edge of the annular enlargement 72 on the socket contact. A wire 73 extends inwardly through an opening 74 in the rearward sealing member 75 of the receptacle for each of the socket contacts 68. The end portions of the wires 73 are stripped of insulation and connected by crimping to the rearward barrel ends 76 of the socket contacts 68. When the forward ends 77 of the socket contacts receive the projecting pin portions 56 of the pin contacts 13 upon the mating of the connector, circuits are completed between the wires 51 and 73.
A rounded annular bead 78 projects outwardly from the forward radial face 79 of the cover disk 63 of the receptacle insert around each of the openings 69. The bead 78 is engaged by the flat forward face 80 of the gasket 16 of the plug 9 when the connector is in the assembled position. Consequently, the bead 78 displaces the resilient material of the gasket 16 and an efficient moisture seal is produced. This type of seal does not rely upon the entry of a projecting part of the resilient elastomer into a recess in the hard plastic of the mating part as in some prior-art designs. Unlike the previous designs, swelling of the gasket 16 from attack of fluids will not appreciably interfere with the mating of the connector so that the axial force required will not vary significantly under those conditions.
The mechanism for securing the plug and receptacle together in the mated position includes a coupling ring 81 that circumscribes the plug shell 11. The rearward end of the coupling ring includes a radially inwardly extending flange 82 in back of a rearwardly facing shoulder 83 on the plug shell. A snap ring 84 fits in an annular recess 85 in the intermediate portion of the inner circumferential wall of the. coupling ring 81. The snap ring 84 is positioned in front of a forwardly facing radial shoulder 86 on the plug shell 11, cooperating with the flange 82 in retaining the coupling ring 81 in the plug shell 11. This allows the coupling ring 81 to rotate relative to the plug shell 11, but relative axial movement is prevented.
Intermediate the snap ring 84 and the flange 82, the coupling ring 81 is provided with three short, arcuate, longitudinally extending recesses 87 in its inner surface 88 (see FIGS. 2 and 5). These recesses are adapted to receive the outer rounded portion 89 of a leaf spring 90. The latter member has normally straight legs 91 terminating in an inwardly bent end 92 which is received within a radial opening 93 in the periphery of the plug shell. This holds the spring 90 to the plug shell 11. Ad-
jacent the legs 91 of the spring 90 are flat chordal sur- 8 faces 94 which provide a clearance for permitting flexure of the spring 90.
By this construction, the coupling ring 81 can be rotated relative to the plug shell 11, but there is a detent action tending to prevent relative rotation when the portion 89 of the spring enters a recess 87. This retaining force may be overcome byapplying adequate torque to the coupling ring to cam the rounded spring portion 89 out of the recess 87, compressing the spring inwardly and allowing the spring portion 89 to slide along the circumferential surface 88 of the coupling ring intermediate the recesses 87.
Forwardly'of the snap ring 84, three bayonet grooves 95 are formed in the inner circumferential surface 88 of the coupling ring. Each groove 95 includes a wide entrance opening 96 at the forward end 97 of the coupling ring, from which there extends an inclined portion 98 of the groove, leading to a circumferential inner part 99 of the groove. The axis of the latter portion of the bayonet groove 95, as best seen in FIGS. 2 and 14, falls entirely within a radial plane as there is no recess for the bayonet pin at the inner end 100 of the groove.
. The receptacle shell 65 includes a forward portion 101 of enlarged diameter which provides a clearance around the insert assembly 61. At the end of the forward portion 101 of the receptacle shell arethree radially outwardly projecting bayonet pins 102.
When the electrical connector is to be mated, the forward end portion 103 of the plug shell 11 enters the forward portion 101 of the receptacle shell 65, fitting in the clearance space around the insert assembly 61 of the receptacle. Keys 104 on the plug shell fit in keyways 105 in the receptacle shell, assuring the proper rotational alignment of the plug and receptacle. With the keys in the keyways, the detent spring, when in a recess 87 in the coupling ring, positions the coupling ring so that the entrances 96 of the bayonet grooves 95 are aligned with the bayonet pins 012. Therefore, the bayonet pins 102 are brought to the entrances 96 of the bayonet grooves 95in the coupling ring 81 as the plug and receptacle are advanced axially toward each other. Subsequent rotation of the coupling ring 81 moves the bayonet pins 102 through the inclined portions 98 of the grooves 95 and into the circumferential portions 99, drawing the plug and receptacle into the fully mated position. The coupling ring 81 is turned until the pins 102 are adjacent the inner ends 100 of the grooves 95, which occurs as the outer portion 89 of the spring 90 enters a detent recess 87 in the coupling ring. I
A positive stop is provided in one of the bayonet grooves to prevent rotation of the coupling ring 81 past the detent position when the connector is mated. This is accomplished by bending inwardly a small section 106 of the circumferential wall of the coupling ring, presenting an abutment surface 107 in the bayonet groove where it can be contacted by the bayonet pin at the terminationof the rotation of the coupling ring 81 (see FIG. 6). This location corresponds to the position ing of the outer portion 89 of the detent spring 90 in a detent receptacle 87. An opening 108 is formed in the wall of the coupling ring adjacent the stop 107, while two additional openings 109 inthe coupling ring are spaced from the opening 108. This permits visual exterior inspection of the connector when in the mated position to ascertain whether or not the bayonet pins 102 have moved a sufficient distance into the bayonet grooves 95. When the ends of thepins 102 (which may be painted) can be seen through the openings 108 and 109, it is known that the bayonet pins are in the inner portions of the bayonet slots and that the plug and receptacle are coupled properly.
By this arrangement, the plug and receptacle are advanced axially toward each other the maximum distance when the bayonet pins are adjacent the ends 100 of the grooves 95 that receive them. No outward movement occurs as the connection is made, and, when the bayonet pins 102 reach the circumferential portions 99 of the grooves 95, the parts are held in their position of full maximum engagement. Even though subjected to a separating force, no relative movement of the ;ug and receptacle can take place, so that electrical continuity through the contacts is assured. The bayonet pins 102 are held against the forward sides of the bayonet grooves 95 when separating forces are imposed, while the coupling ring 81 is prevented from movement axially by the engagement of the flange 82 with the rearwardly facing shoulder 83 of the plug shell 11. This provides a solid connection of the parts.
When the connector is in the fully mated position, the forward outer periphery of the forward end of the plug shell 11 engages an annular seal 110. The latter member is held in an annular groove 111 in the receptacle shell 65 by bonding.
In some instances, the snap ring 84 may be provided with forwardly projecting tabs 113 that are brought into engagement with the end of the forward portion 101 of the receptacle shell 65 when the connector is mated (see FIG. 15). This puts a desirable tension on the coupled plug and receptacle, eliminating any clearance in the coupling mechanism. This also makes an electrical connection between the plug shell 11 and the receptacle shell 65.
The plug and receptacle are disconnected by reverse rotation of the coupling ring 81 to free the bayonet pins 102 from the bayonet grooves 95. As this is accomplished, the detent spring 90 is forced out of one detent recess 87, and its central part 89 slides along the surface 88 of the coupling ring 81 to the next detent recess 87. In the latter detent position, the bayonet pins 102 have reached the entrances 96 to the grooves 95 and the plug and receptacle may be pulled apart axially.
When the connector ismated, the plug 9 and the receptacle 11 are held together by the reaction of the rearward surfaces of the bayonet pins 102 against the forward edges of the bayonet grooves 95'. This causes the forward faces of the inserts in the plug and receptacle to be brought into interengagement and held under compression. When assembled properly, the sealing head 78 engages and becomes embedded in the forward face 80 of the resilient insert 16'around the mating pin and socket contacts. It is important that the bead 78 of the forward cover disk 63 and the forward face 80 of the insert 16 assume the proper relative position when the connector is mated. If they are advanced toward each other an inadequate distance, the bead 78 will not bear against the gasket disk with sufficient force to form a seal. Too much movement of one insert toward the other will cause overcompression at the mating connector surfaces, making it difficult to mate the plug and receptacle. While some variation is not harmful, manufacturing tolerances can build up so that either objectionable condition can exist.
In conventional connector design, where there is a spring in the coupling mechanism, dimensional variations of this sort are not important because the movement permitted by the spring will allow for tolerances and keep the mating faces under proper compression. With the present invention, however, there is no spring in the coupling mechanism, and tolerance buildup requires a different solution. This is accomplished by controlling the positions of the working surfaces of the bayonet grooves and the bayonet pins relative to the forward surfaces of their respective insert assemblies. Each is controlled separately to a predetermined dimensional range.
For the coupling ring 81, tolerance control is effected by means of a spacer washer 115 which fits between the abutments defined by the rearward flange 82 of the coupling ring 81 and the shoulder 83-on the shell 11 (see FIGS. 16-20). By selecting a spacer washer l 15 of proper axial dimension, the distance A (indicated in FIG. 18) between the forward edge 116 of the bayonet groove 95 and the forward face of the gasket insert 16 can be held within acceptable limits. Normally, in a carefully manufactured connector, the distance A can be controlled adequately by having available only a limited number of sizes of the spacer washers 115. Three such washers, such as the washers 115a, 115k and 115C shown in FIG. 20, will suffice.
In the assembly procedure, the coupling ring 81 is positioned on the shell 11 with one thickness of washer, selected by estimation or arbitrarily, positioned between the flange 8'2 and the shoulder 63. The distance A then is measured. ()bviously, if the selected washer causes the distance A to fall within the proper range, nothing more need be done. However, if the distance A is over or under the specified range, the originally chosen washer is replaced by one of a thickness such that the distance A will be brought to within proper limits. Simple addition or subtraction will establish the choice of spacer washer. A thicker washer will move the forward edge 116 of the groove closer to the surface 80, and a thinner washer will increase the distance between the forward edge 116 and the surface 80.
In the receptacle 10, it is necessary to maintain the correct distance B between the rearward working surfaces of the bayonet pins 102 and the forward edge of the bead 78 (see FIG. 21). This is accomplished by providing bayonet pins 102 with different diameters at their exposed portions, permitting selection of a bayonet pin of proper size. This may be a choice from among two pins, such as the pins 102a and 102k illustrated in FIG. 22. In each instance, the shank portion 117 is the same and can fit complementarily in the opening 118 in the shell 65. However, the enlarged outer parts 119a and 11% which are adapted to fit in the bayonet groove 95, are of different diameters.
In selecting the proper bayonet pin, the distance C is measured from the rearward edge of the opening 118 in the receptacle shell 65 to the forward edge of the bead 78. With this distance being known, it is possible then to select the bayonet pin having its outer part 119a or 11% dimensioned so as to result in a distance B l l nector, the distance C may be found by first inserting a rod 120 through the opening. The rod is extended inwardly parallel to the forward face 79 of the insert 63. A measurement can be made without difficulty between the rearward edge of the rod 120 and the forward edge of the sealing bead 78. This is the same dimension as that between the rearward edge of the opening 118 and the bead 78, which is the distance C.
The foregoing detailed description is to be clearly understood as given by way of illustration and example only, the spirit and scope of this invention being limited solely by the appended claims.
I claim: 1. In an electrical connector having a first section and a second section, said first section having a first shell, a first insert in said first shell, said first insert having a first forward surface, and a coupling ring rotatable around said first shell, said coupling ring having a bayonet groove having a forward edge, said coupling ring and said shell having opposed abutments, said second section having a second shell, and a second insert in said second shell, said second insert having a second forward surface, said second shell having an opening through the circumferential wall thereof for receiving a bayonet pin, the method of providing for mating of said first section and said second section forward surface in interengagement under predetermined compression comprising the steps of positioning between said abutments a washer having a predetermined axial dimension so that said washer spaces said abutments apart by said dimension, then measuring the distance between said first forward surface and said forward edge of said bayonet groove, then if said distance is not within a predetermined range replacing said washer with a second washer of a second predetermined axial dimension such that said abutments are spaced by said second predetermined dimension and said forward edge of said bayonet groove is thereby repositioned to fall within said predetermined range,
measuring the distance between the rearward surface of said opening and said second forward surface,
and then fitting a pin into said opening such that said pin has a portion projecting outwardly from said second shell for being received in said bayonet groove and the portion of said pin so projecting beyond said second shell is of predetermined lateral dimension such that the distance from the rearward surface thereof to said second forward surface is within a predetermined range.
2. The method as recited in claim 1 including the steps of preparing a plurality of washers of different predetermined axial dimensions,
and selecting said second washer from among said plurality of washers.
3. The method as recited in claim 1 including the steps of preparing a plurality of pins having portions of different predetermined lateral dimensions adapted to project outwardly from said second shell for being received in said bayonet groove,
and selecting said pin which is so fitted into said opening from among said plurality of pins.
4. The method as recited in claim 3 in which said plurality of pins are prepared to provide each with portions of two diameters,
one of said portions of each of said plurality of pins being made substantially complementary to said opening,
and the other portions of said plurality of pins being given diameters different from one another.
5. The method as recited in claim 1 in which for measuring said distance from said rearward surface of said opening and said second forward surface of member substantially complementary to said opening is extended therethrough and positioned adjacent said second forward surface and the distance between said second forward surface and the rearward edge of said member is measured.
mg UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,324,631 Dated July 23, 1974 Inventor) Kenneth M. Clark It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
In Column 11, line 27 (Claim 1, line 13): After the word "section" insert the words --'-with said first---.
In Column 11, line 28 (Claim 1, line 14): Before the word 'in" insert the words --and said second forward surface---.
-In Column 12 1ine'37 (Claim 5; line 3): After the word "surface" change the word of",to read ---a-- Signed and sealed this 19th day of November 1974.
McCOY M. GIBSON JR. 7 c. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents