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Publication numberUS3828301 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 6, 1974
Filing dateFeb 26, 1973
Priority dateFeb 26, 1973
Publication numberUS 3828301 A, US 3828301A, US-A-3828301, US3828301 A, US3828301A
InventorsR Neidecker
Original AssigneeMulti Contact Ag
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Plug connector for electrically interconnecting orthogonal conductors
US 3828301 A
Abstract
A plug for selectively connecting mutually orthogonal conductors forming a crossbar array has a square cross-section and is split axially into two sections which can be spread apart by a rotatable rod passing axially between the sections and formed at one or more locations along its length with non-circular formations such that rotation of the rod cams the two sections diagonally apart and into tight engagement with the inner walls of a passage formed by at least two orthogonal conductors of the cross bar array. The handle can only be rotated to spread the sections when the plug is pushed all the way into the hole.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Neidecker PLUG CONNECTOR FOR ELECTRICALLY INTERCONNECTING ORTHOGONAL CONDUCTORS [75] Inventor: Rudolf Neidecker, Basel,

Switzerland [73] Assignee: Multi-Contact AG, Basel,

Switzerland 22 Filedz Feb. 26, 1973 211 App]. No.: 336,033

[52] US. Cl. 339/75 M, 339/274 [51] Int. Cl. A01! 13/54 [58] Field of Search 339/75, 273, 274

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Alfiero 339/75 M Valtonen 339/75 M [451 Aug. 6, 1974 Primary Examiner.loseph H. McGlynn Attorney, Agent, or Firml(arl F. Ross; Herbert Dubno [57] ABSTRACT A plug for selectively connecting mutually orthogonal conductors forming a crossbar array has a square cross-section and is split axially into two sections which can be spread apart by a rotatable rod passing axially between the sections and formed at one or more locations along its length with nomcircular formations such that rotation of the rod cams the two sections diagonally apart and into tight engagement with the inner walls of a passage formed by at least two orthogonal conductors of the cross bar array. The handle can only be rotated to spread the sections when the plug is pushed all the way into the hole.

13 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEU AUG 51974 SHEEI 1 0F 2 FIG. 3

PLUG CONNECTOR FOR ELECTRICALLY INTERCONNECTINQ RTHOGONAL CONDUCT RS FIELD OF THE INVENTION gether at least two mutually perpendicular conductors of a crossbar arrangement.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In electrical power-switching arrangements, telephone and telegraph systems and elsewhere when the conductors of one array are to be selectively connected to the conductors of a second array, a grid or lattice of the conductors or busbars is provided with the conductors being connectable together in any of a multiplicity of ways by plugs which are inserted between crossing mutually orthogonal conductors to interconnect them. In one common arrangement at least two arrays of parallel bus bars cross each other perpendicularly, the array lying in respective parallel and transversely spaced planes. The plug is of square cross-section and is forced into the square opening defined between two conductors of the upper array and two conductors of the underlying array to connect them together, usually connecting two conductors of each pair to two respective conductors of the other array. Since a plurality of incoming parallel pairs of bars lie in one plane while a plurality of parallel pairs of outgoing bars lie in a parallel plane, a great many different connections can be made at the crossing locations, hereinafter referred to as intersections, in spite of the fact that the conductors of the two arrays lie in different planes. The plugs can incorporate circuit elements such as diodes, as for matrix arrangements, or even resistors, frequency dividers, circuit breakers or other circuit elements.

The principal disadvantage of the above-described type of plug is that it must have a tight fit in order to ensure sufficient contact pressure to carry the necessary current load and prevent contact arcs from forming. This tight fit makes it difficult to insert the plug and simultaneously tends to deform the bus bars. In addition, the amount of wear the plug is objected to is substantial, so that the plug has an unsatisfactorily short service life.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is therefore an object of the invention to provide an improved electrical-connection arrangement of the abovedescribed general type.

Another object is the provision of an improved plug connector for electrical cross bar connection arrangements.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION I attain these objects in an electrical switching arrangement wherein mutually perpendicular pairs of parallel conductors are connected together by a plug insertable axially (i.e., perpendicular to the planes of the respective arrays into the passage of polygonal cross-section (preferably an equilateral polygon having an even number of sides, such as a square) defined by the two pairs. This plug, according to the present invention, is axially split into at least two plug elements and has a handle at one end of the plug which on actuation effects displacement of these elements away from each other and from the axis. Thus the split plug is inserted into the hole and the handle is actuated to spread its halves so that they bear firmly on the conductors. In this manner, the plug has reduced cross-sectional size when inserted so that it does not rub the sides of the passage into which it is fitted. Only after insertion is the handle actuated to force the sides against the contact bars so that the amount of wear is reduced to a minimum.

According to another feature of the invention, the plug is provided with indexing means co-operating with means on the conductors for ensuring proper positioning of the plug, in this case full insertion, before it is possible to actuate the handle and spread the plug. These means can be embodied as a pin on one of the conductors receivable in a hole on the plug only in the fully inserted position thereof to disable a locking device preventing handle actuation (i.e., rotation).

The split plug can have two or more sections, can be of pentagonal, octagonal, or other polygonal crosssectional shape depending on how many different arrays of bars are provided and the angle between the bars of the arrays. In the simplest embodiment the device is of square section and is split diagonally into two elements having a right-isosceles-triangular cross section. The handle is rotatable and carries an axially extending rod of oval cross section at at least one location along its length such that on rotation it forces the two elements apart.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The above and other objects, features, and advantages will become more readily apparent from the following description reference being made to the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an arrangement according to the present invention;

FIGS. 2 and 4 are sections along lines II II and IV IV of FIG. 1, respectively;

FIGS. 3 and 5 are sections similar to FIGS. 2 and 4 illustrating the device in the actuated or spread position;

FIG. 6 is a view of the back end of the plug according to the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a section taken through one of the elements of the plug; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an alternative form of plug according to this invention.

SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION As seen in FIGS. 1, 2, and 4, four electrically conductive bars (busbars) l 4 of rectangular cross-section are arranged in two pairs 1,2 and 3,4 parallel to each other and forming a square passage as shown in FIG. 2. Another pair of bars 3',4' parallel to bars 3,4 can be provided, indeed often several hundred such bars in two planar arrays are used. The bars of each pair have broad faces confronting one another and adapted to receive a plug between them.

A plug 5 is used to electrically connect bar 2 to bar 3 and bar 4 to bar 1 either directly or through diodes 14 or the like as shown in FIG. 7, the latter representing any desired circuit element, including circuit breakers and fuses, adapted to be placed in circuit by the bars.

The plug 5 is of square section and formed of an insulating synthetic resin such as a Nylon-type polyamide. Two sections 5a and 5b each having the cross section of a right isosceles triangle form the body of the plug, with their bases running along an axial and diagonal plane extending through this plug. These elements 5a and 5b are formed unitarily with a circular base plate 8, and each element bears contact strips 7 of copper formed as described in my U.S. Pat. No. 3,453,587 issued July l, l969.

A handle 6 carried on the plug 5 is unitarily formed with a metallic rod 9 which is of oval section at several locations along its length and is received between the elements 5a and 5b in an oval passage formed by semicylindrical cutouts in these members 5a and 5b. Rotation of the handle 6 from the upright position, shown in solid lines in FIGS. 1 and 4, to the horizontal position shown in solid lines in FIG. 5 and in dot-dash lines in FIG. 1 cams the two sections 50 and 5b diagonally apart to force their contact strips 7 into contact with the bars As mentioned above, the sections 5a and 5b can be formed unitarily with the plate 8 so that they are merely spread apart by deformation of this element. They can be connected together at the back in the same manner or by a square retaining plate 8' as shown in FIG. 6. In this arrangement each section is formed with a respective axial pin 5a, 5b which extends through slots in the plate 8'. A spring 14 interconnects these pins 5a and 5b to pull them together and thereby urge the sections 5a and 5b into the unspread position of FIGS. 2 and 4.

The plate 8 can be formed similarly, if desired, with the spring stretched over the rod 9.

In order to ensure that the handle 6 is only rotated when the plug 5 is fully inserted between the bars 1 4, the bar 2 is provided with a short axially extending pin 10 having a length equal to the thickness of the plate 8. A pair of bores in the plate 8 and the handle 6 receive a short rod 11 slightly longer than the width of plate 8 and urged axially toward and through the plate 8 by a compression spring 12. Means is provided to prevent the pin 11 from emerging from the plate 8, so that normally it lies with its end just flush with the face of plate 8 and its other end extending back into the handle 6. Obviously in this position the handle 6 cannot be rotated relative to the disk 8. When, however, the

plug 5 is inserted between the bars 1 4 and the pin 10 fits into the hole in the plate 8, this pin 10 forces the rod 11 back until its outer end lies just between the plate 8 and the handle 6. In this position the handle 6 can be rotated relative to the plate 8. Thus, the arrangement of pin 10, rod 11 and spring 12 ensures that the plug will be placed with the proper orientation in the hole, and that the plug will be spreadable only when it is fully inserted into the hole.

FIG. 8 shows a plug 5' of octagonal section which can be used for a crossbar system having four different arrays of conductors. ln this case the plug 5 is divided up into eight sectoral sections which are urged apart by a cone 16 threaded on the end of a rod 17 such that rotation of the rod draws the cone 16 in and spreads the sections. This embodiment should make it clear that the number of sides and the number of sections of the plug is entirely dependent on requirements. In addition, a plug according to the present invention can be used simply to interconnect two spaced conductors formed with in-line holes of polygonal, circular or other section.

While the invention has been described with reference to two arrays of conductors engageable with respective axially separated portions of the plug, whereby the contact members on each segment of the plug are electrically connected, it will be understood that various modifications of this basic system are also possible. For example, the device can electrically connect two conductors of the same array, can connect all four conductors of two arrays forming the aforementioned passage at an intersection location or one or more of the busbars to an external conductor tied to one of the contact strips. Moreover, any arrangement forming the passage, e.g. only two facing conductors, may be used. Thus, one of the conductors may be formed with a hole receiving the plug which also extends into the gap between two spaced-apart busbars of the next array.

I claim:

1. A plug for electrically interconnecting at least two electrical conductors forming an axial passage transverse to said conductors, said plug comprising:

a plug body engageable in said passage and axially subdivided into two transversely spreadable sections;

electrically connected portions on said sections respectively engageable with said conductors;

a handle at one end of said body; and

means in said body operable by said handle for transversely spreading said sections and thereby bringing same to bear on the inside of said passage and upon said conductors; said electrically connected portions being axially spaced apart and said body being of square section and being subdivided along a diagonal into said sections.

2. The plug defined in claim 1 wherein said means is a rod at least partially of oval section, and said sections are formed with inwardly open axially extending grooves receiving said rod, whereby rotation of said rod by said handle pushes said sections transversely apart.

3. The plug defined in claim 1, further comprising spring means for urging said section transversely toward each other.

4. A plug for electrically interconnecting at least two electrical conductors forming an axial passage transverse to said conductors, said plug comprising:

a plug body engageable in said passage and axially subdivided into two transversely spreadable sections;

electrically connected portions on said sections respectively engageable with said conductors;

a handle at one end of said body;

means in said body operable by said handle for trans versely spreading said sections and thereby bringing same to bear on the inside of said passage and upon said conductors; and

means on said conductors and on said handle for blocking operation of said handle with said body out of axial engagement with one of said conductors.

5. The plug defined in claim 4, further comprising spring means for urging said sections transversely toward each other.

6. The plug defined in claim 4 wherein said means on said conductors includes a pin on said one conductor and projecting axially therefrom, and an axially displaceable rod in said handle, said body comprising a mounting plate adjacent said handle formed with a hole, said handle being rotatable relative to said plate and said body and being formed with a hole receiving said rod and alignable with said hole in said plate in the unspread condition of said sections.

7. The plug defined in claim 6 wherein said means on said handle includes a spring urging said rod axially toward said sections, whereby said pin engages in said hole in said plate on engagement of said plate against said one conductor and said pin depresses said rod to rotationally unlock said handle from said plate.

8. The plug defined in claim 1 further comprising means on said conductors and on said handle for blocking operation of said handle with said body out of axial engagement with one of said conductors.

9. The plug defined in claim 8 wherein said means on said conductors includes a pin on said one conductor and projecting axially therefrom, and an axially displaceable rod in said handle, said body comprising a mounting plate adjacent said handle formed with a hole, said handle rotatable relative to said plate and said body and being formed with a hole receiving said rod and alignable with said hole in said plate in the unspread condition of said sections.

10. The plug defined in claim 9 wherein said means on said handle includes a spring urging said rod axially toward said sections whereby said pin engages in said hole in said plate on engagement of said plate against said one conductor and said pin depresses said rod to rotationally unlock said handle from said plate.

11. An-electrical system comprising:

two orthagonal arrays of mutually parallel electrically conductive bars with pairs of bars of each array defining with pairs of bars of the other array a passage of rectangular section at intersection locations of the arrays; and

a plug received in said passage and including a pair of plug segments together defining a plug body of rectangular section subdivided along a diagonal and extending longitudinally perpendicular to said arrays into juxtaposition with one pair of bars of each array,

respective conductive strips, each having a multiplicity of contact elements extending longitudinally of said body, longitudinally spaced apart on said body and engageable with said bars upon spreading of said segments,

a circuit element interconnecting at least two of said strips,

a handle rotatably mounted on an end of said body,

and

a noncircular member received between said segments and connected to said handle for rotation thereby to spread said segments into tight fitting engagement with said bars.

12. The system defined in claim 11, further comprising resilient means biasing said segments toward one another and away from engagement with said bars.

13. The system defined in claim 11, further comprising indexing means for enabling rotation of said handle only upon complete insertion of said body into said passage.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3588786 *Nov 10, 1969Jun 28, 1971Alfiero Joseph AConnector for terminal strips
US3646501 *Oct 24, 1969Feb 29, 1972Nokia Oy AbConnecting plug for a current supply rail arrangement intended particularly for lighting purposes and small-sized electrical motors
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6650537 *Oct 31, 2001Nov 18, 2003Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.Low profile DC distribution module for a power supply unit
US7291031 *Jul 8, 2005Nov 6, 2007Ohio Associated Enterprises, LlcZero insertion force cable interface
US7316579Sep 18, 2006Jan 8, 2008Ohio Associated Enterprises, LlcZero insertion force cable interface
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/265, 439/46
International ClassificationH01R24/58, H02B1/20
Cooperative ClassificationH01R2103/00, H01R24/58, H02B1/207
European ClassificationH01R24/58, H02B1/20D