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Publication numberUS3845451 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 29, 1974
Filing dateFeb 26, 1973
Priority dateFeb 26, 1973
Publication numberUS 3845451 A, US 3845451A, US-A-3845451, US3845451 A, US3845451A
InventorsR Neidecker
Original AssigneeMulti Contact Ag
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical coupling arrangement
US 3845451 A
Abstract
Two like coupling elements are each formed of a pair of rectangular metallic plates fastened together at their centers and cleft to one side of the center. These plates are spread at one side of the cleft to form a jack (female coupling member) and a plug (male coupling member) where the plates are not spread, the jack and plug of one element being simultaneously matable with the jack and plug of another like element. In addition, at the other side of the central region the plates are spread to form a second jack (female coupling member) adapted to receive a plug on the end of a conductor. The two elements are mated as intermediate connector elements together and then the conductors are plugged into their backs to make the connection.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 1 Oct. 29, 1974 ELECTRICAL COUPLING ARRANGEMENT [75] Inventor: Rudolf Neidecker, Basel,

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

Switzerland 22 Filed: Feb. 26, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 335,715

France 339/47 R Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Assistant Examiner-Terrell P. Lewis Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Karl F. Ross; Herbert Dubno [57] ABSTRACT Two like coupling elements are each formed of a pair of rectangular metallic plates fastened together at their centers and cleft to one side of the center. These plates are spread at one side of the cleft to form a jack (female coupling member) and a plug (male coupling member) where the plates are not spread, the jack and plug of one element being simultaneously matable with the jack and plug of another like element. In addition, at the other side of the central region the plates are spread to form a second jack (female coupling member) adapted to receive a plug on the end of a conductor. The two elements are mated as intermedi ate connector elements together and then the conductors are plugged into their backs to make the connection.

8 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEBIIBI 29 mm 3; 845451 sum 2 or s ELECTRICAL COUPLING ARRANGEMENT FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an arrangement for electrically coupling together two conductors {c.g. conductors of an electrical power system, automotive electrical harness or telephone or telegraph systems). More particularly this invention concerns a solderless connecting arrangement for electrical wires.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION There is known a type of coupling wherein two simi lar coupling elements each are formed with a plug and a jack at their confronting sides such that the two can fit together with the plug of one received in the jack of the other and vice versa. Such an arrangement is advantageous in that it gives the greatest possible amount of contact surface and allows a single connector configuration to be used. However the system has the disadvantage that. while unconnected, at least one of the coupling elements remains hot or electrically active, so that this easily accessible elements presents a considerable shock hazard and may come into contact with some other conductive member to produce a short circult.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved electrical coupling arrangement of the above-described general type.

Another object is the provision of an electrical connector which is safer than the above-described type of connector.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION These objects are attained according to the present invention in a connector formed on one side with both a plug (male coupling element) and ajack (female coupling element) complementary to the male coupling element and on the other side with another jack. In this manner two such connectors can be joined together with their first-mentioned sides plugged into each other (upon rotation of one connector through I80 relative to another). While a jack mounted on a conductor can be plugged into the rear of each such connector. Such an arrangement is extremely versatile. as it allows conductors to be connected together in many ways.

According to another feature of this invention. first the two connectors are plugged into each other to form an intermediate coupling. and then the conductors are plugged into their rear ends, so that no shock hazard is present while the connectors are accessible.

In accordance with yet another feature of the invention. the connector is made of a pair of small rectangular metal plates riveted together along a center line intermediate the two sides mentioned above. The conductor-receiving socket at the rear of the connector is the full width of this connector and is simply a rearwardly open channel whose flanks are formed by the plates which are cantilevered at and spread apart from the central junction zone so as to constitute leaf-spring elements hugging the conductor plug received between them. At the front plate is cleft and formed to one side of the cleft with the front socket and to the other side ofthe cleft with the front plug. the latter being complementary to the front socket; the front socket and plug being disposed on opposite sides of a median plane through the connector perpendicular to the plates and to the aforementioned center line. This plug is simply formed by the two plates in flat contacting relation so that it is of rectangular section; the front socket is cassette-shaped like the back socket. except that it is only about half as wide as the back socket or jacket. The front socket is also formed by cantilever flaps which can be resiliently spread apart when a plug portion of the front of a similar connector is inserted.

According to yet another feature of the invention the inner flat surfaces of the jacks are formed with transverse dove-tail grooves in which are received resilient metal plates which are formed with a plurality of longitudinal cuts (parallel to the median plane and perpendicular to the centerline) defining a plurality of longitudinally extending tongues which are twisted relative to the plane of the plate in which they are formed. The edges of these twisted tongues project up into the socket so that they bear firmly and resiliently on the jacks inserted therein for best electrical conductivity.

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

FIG. 1 is a top sectional view illustrating an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a connector according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a view in enlarged scale of the FIG. 2 connector;

FIG. 4 is a perspective exploded view illustrating the connector of FIG. 2 in use;

FIGS. SA-SC are diagrams which illustrate how the connector arrangement of FIG. 4 is assembled; and

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIGS. SA-SC illustrating another arrangement.

SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION FIG. I shows a pair of connectors I and 2' which are formed as identical connector elements 3'. Each is formed with a forwardly projecting pin 4' and, electrically attached thereto, a forwardly directed cylindrical socket or jack 5'. Obviously the two connectors l' and 2' can be plugged into each other, with the pin 4' of one element 3' engaging in the jack 5' of the other and vice versa. The inside of the sleeve 5' is formed as de scribed in my U.S. Pat. No. 3,453,587 issued on July I, 1969 wherein the sleeve is provided internally with a groove receiving a conductor strip 7' integrally provided constituted with a multiplicity of resiliently deformable and substantially parallel tongues constituting a tubular array and projecting beyond the side of the strip remote from an annular surface for engagement with the complementary prong 4'. These tongues are separated from one another by slite perpendicular to the principal dimension of the conductor strip and are connected to both ends of the strip while projecting obliquely beyond the faces of the strip. Since the plugs 4' project only partly into each sleeve 5; further plugs 4" can be inserted into the rear ends of the sleeves 5 and can be connected to respective conductors.

FIGS. 2 and 3 show a connector 3 which has on its front side a forwardly directed plug 4 and a forwardly open jack 5, and on its rear end with a backwardly directed or open jack 6. This connector is formed by a pair of metal plates 13 which are riveted together at their centers at I4 and cleft at its front end at I5 subdividing the front end into the plug 4 and jack 5. To one side of the cleft IS the plates 13 are bent apart to form the jacks 5, and these plates are similarly bent apart in back of region 14 to form the jack 6. In this manner each jack 5 and 6 is formed by a spaced pair of parallel tongues which are veveled at I7 at their outer ends so as to permit entry ofa plug. The plug 4 is of rectangular section and beveled at I8 to a point for easiest insertion between the sides of the receiving jack 5.

Each of the jacks 5 and 6 is formed relative to the insertion direction of the respective plug with a transverse groove I6 as a dovetail cross section shown in FIG. 3. Received in this groove is a conductive resilient metal strip 7 formed with a plurality of longitudinal slots 9 that define a plurality of longitudinally extending tongues 8 as described in my above-dited patent. These strips 7 are slightly arcuate since they are bent and thus fit into the grooves I for a spring fit.

FIGS. 4 and SA-SC show how the connectors 3 according to the present invention are used. First (FIG. B) the two conductors are. pushed longitudinally together so that the plug 4 of each one engages in the others jack 5. Advantageously each connector is provided with a synthetic-resin insulating cover 19 so that the two connectors, when mated (FIG. 5C) present no surface which would create a shock hazard. After the two are joined male coupling elements II on conductors I2 are plugged into their jacks 6. In this manner the ar rangement is not hot until it is fully hooked up, at which time the connectors 3 are inaccessible. Of course an apparatus may be provided for such a hookup sequence in the order shown by FIGS. SA-SC, as in a circuit breaker or the like.

In FIG. 6, there is shown a system, according to the invention. using an intermediate pair of plug-and-jack connectors I03, I03 structurally similar to the connectors 3 described earlier.

In FIG. 6. the rear socket, jack or female coupling member I06 is formed with an upstanding abutment 106a which prevents total withdrawal of a rigid insulating sleeve 120 to the left when the system is to be decoupled, by engagement with an inwardly projecting ledge I2I. The insulating sleeve 120. adapted to be gripped by the user. is fixed at 122 to a plug III attached to the end ofa conductor (not shown) ofthe flat or band type as described for the plugs II previously.

Each plug 1]], III is formed with an insulating sleeve I20. I20 and has a conductive portion Ila, Illa terminating in a beveled insulating tip lb, 1 I lb adapted to be thrust into and withdrawn from the rear socket I06, 106' of an associated intermediate connector I03. I03. The male coupling elements 104 are. as described with respect to FIGS. 2-4, receivable in socket portions I05 at the front side of the connectors I03. I03. To this end, the beveled plug 104 of each connector may have a thickness r, twice the thickness 1/2 of the plates, which is slightly greater than the width T of the gap between the plate portions forming the socket 105' so that the latter are spread slightly upon insertion of the plug into the socket. The plug I04 has a length L equal at least to the depth of the socket I05. The inner faces of the socket 105' and/or the outer faces of the plug 104 may be provided with transverse grooves of dovetail cross section receiving a contact strip 7 as described in connection with FIG. 3.

The rear sockets I06, I06 are formed with dovetail grooves receiving the contact strips 107 identical to those illustrated in FIG. 3 and described with reference thereto.

In the disengaged condition of the connector, represented at the left in FIG. 6, only the tip to I I Ib remains in engagement with the socket 106 andcannot be withdrawn farther therefrom by reason of the engagement of the projection 106a and IZI with one another. The electrical connection between conductive portion Illa and socket I06 is broken.

When the electrical connection is made, socket is held stationary while plug III is advanced to the right by gripping the sleeve I20 and thrusting the same in this direction. Since there is a friction fit between the tip Illb, the coupling member I03 is shifted to the right to insert its plug I04 in the socket portion I05 (the plug and sockets of the members 103 and I03, nt seen in FIG. 6, are likewise interengaged). When plug 104 is fully received in socket 105', the member 103 is immobilized and further movement to the right of the plug III brings the conductive member lIIa into electrical contact and interfitting relation with the socket 106. The electrical connection between member III and member 103 is thus completed. Similarly, the electrical connection between plug III and socket I03 is completed by insertion of the conductive portion 1110' into socket 106' after the member 103' has been interfitted with member 103.4.

When either plug III or III is withdrawn, the conductive portion Illa or IIIa' is initially pulled out of the respective socket 106 or I06 to break electrical contact. When the respective projections 106a, IZI engage, however, the members 103 and 103' are withdrawn and decoupling is effected.

I claim:

1. An electrical coupling arrangement comprising, in combination with a pair of conductors,

a pair of like coupling elements each having a front side formed with a plug and next to said plug with a first jack, and a back side formed with a second jack, whereby said front sides of said elements are mutually matable with each of said plugs engaged in the first jack of the other element; and

a respective second plug on each of said conductors,

each of said second plugs being engageable in a respective one of said second jacks, said elements being each formed of a pair of metallic plates having a central region between said sides connect the plates together, said plates being formed at said front side with a cleft and being spread apart to one side of said cleft to form said first jack, said plates being spread apart at said back side to form said second jack.

2. The arrangement defined in claim I wherein at least one of said plates is formed in each of said jacks with a transverse notch, each of said elements being provided with a metallic strip received in said notch and formed with a plurality of longitudinally extending cuts subdividing said strip centrally into a plurality of tongues, each of said tongues being twisted relative to said strip and projecting into the respective jack,

6 whereby a plug introduced into the jack engages resilsive with said surfaces of said second jacks. iently against said tongues. 4. The arrangement defined in claim 3 wherein each 3. An electrical coupling arrangement comprising, in of said first plugs has a thickness equal to substantially combination with a pair of conductors. twice the thickness of said plates and a pair of outa pair of like coupling elements each having a front 5 wardly facing surfaces confronting inwardly facing surside formed with a plug and next to said plug with faces of the first jack receiving same, said first plugs a first jack, and a back side formed with a second having beveled forward edges insertable ito the respecjack. whereby said front sides of said elements are tive first jack.

mutually matable with each of said plugs engaged 5. The arrangement defined in claim 4 wherein at in the first jack of the other element; and 10 least one of said surfaces is formed with a transverse a respective second plug on each of said conductors, groove of dovetail cross section extending perpendicueach of said second plugs being engageable in a relar to the direction of insertion of said plugs into said spective one of said second jacks, said elements jacks, and a respective bowed contact strip received in being each formed of a pair of metallic plates havsaid groove.

ing a central region between said sides connect the 6. The arrangement defined in claim 5 wherein said plates together, said plates being formed at said contact strip is formed with a plurality of slits parallel front side with a cleft and being spread apart to one to said direction and a subdividing the strip into a mulside of said cleft to form said first jack, said plates tiplicity of parallel contacts. being spread apart at said back to form said second 7. The arrangement defined in claim 6 wherein each jack, each of said conductors having a generally of said parallel contacts is twisted relative to the plane flat band and the respective second plug being a of the surface in which the contact strip is received to flat bar having a width substantially equal to the present an edge to the confronting surface. width of the respective second jack, 8. The arrangement defined in claim 7, further comsaid bar having a beveled forward edge insertable prising means ensuring interconnection of said eleinto the respective second jack, and second jacks ments prior to electrical connection of at least one of having respective inwardly facing parallel surfaces said second plugs with the respective coupling element confronting outwardly facing parallel surfaces of upon assembly of said elements and said second plug. the respective second plug substantially coexten-

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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/295, 439/278, 439/787, 439/293, 439/845
International ClassificationH01R13/28, H01R13/02
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/28
European ClassificationH01R13/28