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Publication numberUS3848715 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 19, 1974
Filing dateMar 26, 1973
Priority dateApr 1, 1972
Also published asCA975446A1, DE2216145A1, DE2216145B2, DE2216145C3
Publication numberUS 3848715 A, US 3848715A, US-A-3848715, US3848715 A, US3848715A
InventorsHesse K
Original AssigneeHesse K
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adaptor for an electrical power distributor track
US 3848715 A
Abstract
An adaptor, for an electrical power distributor track, is arranged so that it can be fitted into the open channel of the track in a first position, and can then be rotated to a second position in which spring-loaded contact means make contact with electrical power lines. Holding elements are provided on the adaptor which locate in recesses provided in the track to lock the adaptor into place.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Hesse Nov. 19, 1974 ADAPTOR FOR AN ELECTRICAL POWER DISTRIBUTOR TRACK Kurt Hesse, Waterfohr 38, 492 Lemgo, Germany Filed: Mar. 26, 1973 Appl. No.: 344,664

Inventor:

Foreign Application Priority Data Apr. 1, 1972 Germany 2216145 US. Cl. 191/45 R, 339/21 R, 191/12 R, 200/50 R Int. Cl. B601 5/00, HOlr 9/00 Field of Search 200/50 R, 50 B, 51.05, ZOO/51.06; 339/21 R, 22 B; 191/45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 22, 23, 25, 29, 30

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1970 Neumann 339/21 Rr 3,737,834 6/1973 Contratto 339/21 R Primary ExaminerM. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant ExaminerD. W. Keen Attorney, Agent, or FirmElliott l. Pollock [57] ABSTRACT An adaptor, for an electrical power distributor track, is arranged so that it can be fitted into the open channel of the track in a first position, and can then be rotated to a second position in which spring-loaded contact means make contact with electrical power lines. Holding elements are provided on the adaptor which locate in recesses provided in the track to lock the adaptor into place.

17 Claims, 21 Drawing Figures PATENR, TIZV I 93374 SHEET 02 0F 12 PATENIL 13V 1 91974 snm 12 or 12 ADAPTOR FOR AN ELECTRICAL POWER DISTRIBUTOR TRACK BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Known adaptors, for use in conjunction with electrical power distribution tracks of known type, conventionally employ two blade contacts which make contact respectively with two power lines and with a grounding line. Such arrangements are not suitable for a multicircuit system. Adaptors are also known, however, for multi-circuit systems, which include switching means wherein different switch positions provide connection with different power lines. The switching means normally provides for selective contact, e.g., it may comprise a series of cams on a rotatable shaft. This type of adaptor permits rapid and easy selection, but is necessarily complicated and expensive. Furthermore, the known types of switchable adaptors are so large that the greater part thereof must be arranged outside of the power distributor track.

The purpose of the invention is to provide an adaptor, of the general type mentioned above, which is of simple construction, inexpensive, and much smaller in size.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The improved adaptor of the present invention includes a selector contact which can be positioned for selectively making contact with different power lines, the selector contact being connected to a conducting member for conducting current to the consuming element. The selector contact is arranged in a rotatable part of the adaptor so as to provide selectively for contact with an upper and/or lower power line on either side of the distributor track channel.

The foregoing solution to the problems of the prior art takes into consideration the fact that switching takes place very seldom, in many cases only during initial fitting of the adaptor. This fact has previously been overlooked. Known adaptors provide for a simple selection of a large number of switch positions, but the expense involved in providing an adaptor of such type bears no sensible relationship to practical demands. In contrast, the present invention makes use of a much simpler principle, but still provides a completely satisfactory solution to the problems involved. The simple construction made possible by the present invention permits, furthermore, a great saving in space compared to all known adaptors despite the universal function.

The adaptor of the present invention preferably includes means for securing the rotatable part of the adaptor in a desired position. Before the adaptor is fitted into the track, the rotatable part is arranged in a po sition corresponding to the power line to be used. The adaptor is then inserted into the channel, rotated into the contact position, and then screwed firm in a manner similar to that of the known single circuit adaptors.

To ensure a good electrical connection to the power line the adaptor employs blade-like contact, which surrounds a conducting member. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the blade-like selector contact surrounds a rod with parallel flat sides. To further ensure a good electrical connection between the power lines of the distributor track and the selector contact, the contact is spring loaded for pressure on the line. The rotatable part is secured against rotation relative to the neighboring parts and, accordingly, when the adaptor is fitted and rotated into position, the rotatable part maintains the selected position. The adaptor may be provided with a cap for securing the rotatable part. Such a cap could, for example, be screwed to the conducting member which carries the contact blade.

One way of securing the rotatable part against rotation is to provide the rotatable and the neighboring parts with corresponding fitted surfaces. Such surfaces may, for example, consist of lugs or pins which fit into corresponding recesses. The adaptor may also include a clamping part, secured to the adaptor base and arranged for sliding movement, which can be screwed for clamping against the underside of the track in a known manner.

The adaptor is also provided with a contact lug which is spring-loaded outwardly, for making contact with a grounding line. The ground contact need not be positionally adjustable since it remains unchanged in contact with the ground line even when different circuits are selected.

The adaptor may be provided with holding elements in the form of lugs, and the opposite sides of the adaptor can be provided with a different number of such lugs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Preferred embodiments will be described hereinafter, with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 comprises a longitudinal section through one embodiment of the adaptor;

FIG. 2 is a section through the plane II-II of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a section through the plane IIIIII of FIG.

FIG. 4 is a section through the plane IVIV of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a section through the plane Vl-VI of FIG.

FIG. 7 depicts another embodiment of the rotatable part;

FIG. 8 is a section through the plane VII-VII in FIG. 7, showing only the contact blade and the conducting element;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the adaptor;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a triple circuit distributor track for the adaptor;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the adaptor shown in FIG. 9, in the direction of the arrow X1 in FIG. 9;

FIG. 12 is a plan view of the adpator with cap 14 and rotatable part 13' removed;

FIG. 13 is a section through the second embodiment analogous to FIG. 1;

FIG. 14 is a section along the plane XIV-XIV of FIG. 13, wherein the rotatable part 13' with the contact blade 12' has been rotated through compared to FIG. 13, and pushed into the lower position so that the contact blade 12' and 9' are on the same level;

FIG. 15 is a side view of the adaptor shown in FIG. 13,

FIG. 16 is a section through the rotatable part 13 and tubular extension 29;

FIG. 5 is a section through the plane VV of FIG.

FIG. 17 is a plan view from the direction of the arrow XVII in FIG. 16, of the rotatable part 13';

FIG. 18 depicts the upper part of the conductor element 10 with the cap 14' removed;

FIG. 19 is a plan view of the cap 14;

FIG. 20 is a plan view of the stepped contact blade 12, and

FIG. 21 is a view of the bow-spring 30 for the contact blade 12.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Similar or analogous parts of the different embodiments shown in the drawings are indicated by the same numerals, but the numerals for the second embodiment are followed by an apostrophe. All embodiments are intended for use with the triple circuit distributor track shown in FIG. 10. The following discussion is directed,

. firstly, to the first embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 to 8:

A ribbed ring 2 is screwed to a cylindrical metal body 1 and carries a clamp member 4 which is moved in a direction parallel to the center line 3 when the ring is screwed. The body 1 has holding lugs 5, 6 and 7 arranged on opposite sides. The adaptor is fitted by inserting it into the track of FIG. 10, first with lugs 5, 6 and 7 lengthwise in the channel of the track, and then rotating it through 90 so that the lugs fasten behind corresponding ribs in the track. The clamp member 4 is then pressed against the underside of the track by screwing the ring 2, thus securing the adaptor in the desired position. Since opposite sides of the adaptor are not provided with the same number of lugs, it cannot be fitted the wrong way round.

A curved grounding lug 19 is screwed or riveted to the metal body 1. Since both the body 1 and the tube 21, which carries the consumer element, are fabricated of metal, a cable connectionfor the lug 19 is not necessary.

A plastic insert 8 is provided in the body 1, having channels for a fixed contact 9, and for a conducting member 10. In the example of FIGS. 1 to 6 the conducting member 10 has an additional part 11 which is surrounded by the arms of a selector contact 12. The selector contact 12 is carried in a rotatable part 13 made of plastic. The selector contact is stepped and, by means of a spring 20, is urged against the opposing power line. The upper part 11 of the conducting member 10 carries a cap 14 secured by a spring in the bore 16. Wires l7 and 18 are soldered respectively to the conducting member 10 and to the fixed contact 9.

In addition to the position in which the selector contact 12 is depicted in FIG. 1, two further positions can be selected. To effect such selection, the blade of the contact 12 is moved into either of the positions 12a or 12b shown in dotted lines.

FIGS. 3 to do not show the clamping part 4 (which is depicted in FIG. 6). The clamping part 4 has projec tions 22 which fit into the channel of the distributor track. Lugs 23, projecting towards the center, fit into recesses 24 in the metal body 1. On the underside of the clamping member 4, lugs are provided which fasten under the shoulder'26 of the ring 2.

In the embodiment of the rotatable part shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the cap 14 is fixed to the conducting member which is situated between the prongs of the selector contact 12. The conducting member 10' has a narrow zone 27 which is so dimensioned that the contact can be rotated through when placed at the height of the narrow zone.

When in use, the rotatable part 13 is situated either with its underside on top of the insert 8 or with its topside against the cap 14. Apart from the position shown in FIG. 7, the contact blade can be set in any of the positions 12a, 1212 or 12c. A protective cylinder 28 (See FIG. 7) is disposed above the contact blade 12 to eliminate the possibility of unwanted contact with the conducting part 10 with the rotatable part is in the lower position. A cylindrical extension 29 serves the same purpose when the rotatable part is in its upper position. An advantage of the embodiment of FIGS. 7 and 8 is that the rotatable part is permanently attached to the adaptor and thus cannot be mislaid. Projections and recesses may be provided on the rotatable part 13, on the insert 8, and on the cap 14 for securing the rotatable part in the selected position.

The following discussion is directed to a second embodiment of the invention, shown in FIGS. 9 and 11 to 21:

The basic construction of this second embodiment, as shown in FIG. 13, is similar to that of the first embodiment. In the second embodiment the cap 14' is rigidly fixed to the conducting member 10'; it may be directly molded for example. The rotatable part 13 also has a stepped contact blade 12, which is shown in detail in Flg. 20, fitted thereto. With the aid of the bowspring 30 (see FIG. 21) the contact blade 12 is urged in the direction of the arrow A (see FIG. 9) towards the opposing power line. The base points 32 and 33 of the bow-spring 30 are supported on a shoulder 34 of the plastic rotatable part 13'. The bow 35 of the bowspring presses against the step, forcing the contact blade 12 radially in the direction of the arrow A. The base zone 36 of the spring is in constant contact with the conductor member 10'. The bow-spring, therefore, because of its shape serves two purposes. Firstly, it provides the necessary contact pressure for the contact blade 12 in the direction of the arrow A, and secondly, serves to clamp the rotatable part 13 to the conductor member 10'. The conducting member 10 has upper and lower notches 39 and 40, and a narrow zone 38 in the middle. The notches 39 and 40 mark the upper and lower positions of the rotatable part 13, corresponding to the upper and lower power lines of the distributor track. The narrow zone 38 permits free rotation of the part 13' in the mid-way position between the upper and lower notch positions. When the spring 30 is in the narrow zone 38, the rotatable part 13 can be turned in the direction desired and then pushed either up or down until the base zone of the spring 30 snaps into either the upper or the lower notch 39 or 40.

To secure the rotatable part against rotation when in a lower position, a recess 41 is provided (e.g., see FIG. 14) into which a projection 42, formed on the insert 8', can be located. Rotation when in the upper position is prevented by the cap 14, the form of which corresponds to the recess in the top of the rotatable part 13'. The cap (see FIG. 19) has a symmetrical form with flattened sides. The recess 45 in the top of the rotatable part is correspondingly round with two parallel flats 44.

The outwardly bent lug of the grounding contact 19 (see FIG. 15) is riveted to the body 1 of the adaptor which is also of metal for example, pressure molded aluminum. This ground connection is intended to make contact with the ground line 43 of the track 31 (FIG. In general, the construction of the adaptor according to FIGS. 9 to 21 is otherwise much the same as that of the first embodiment. The clamping part 4 is circular and not square.

The power track 31 has internally on both sides plastic inserts 31a and 31b, each having two power lines. The power lines are flat copper wires embedded in the plastic inserts. Inwardly, the power lines are open so that the contact blades 9 (or 9') and 12 (or 12) can make contact therewith. The power lines are labeled R, S, T and N in FIG. 10. Lines are R, S and T are selectable, and line N is the common line. The contact blade 9 (or 9') is in constant contact with the power line N. In FIG. 9 the rotatable part is so arranged that the selector contact will make contact with power line R. If the rotatable part is turned through 180, contact would be made with the power line 8, and if it were then adjusted to its lower position, it would make contact with power line T. When the adaptor is fitted into place, the contact lug 19 (or 19) is in constant contact with the safety or ground line 43, which is also of copper.

What I claim is:

1. An adaptor for an electrical power distribution track adapted to be fitted into the open channel of the said track in a first position and adapted to be rotated to a second position for making electrical contact therewith, said adaptor comprising spring loaded contact means for making contact with electrical power lines in said track, holding elements on said adaptor adapted to be located in recesses provided in the track, and means for locking the adaptor into position, said adaptor having an electrical selector contact which can be variably positioned for selectively making contact with different power lines in said track, said selector contact being assembled in a rotatable part arranged to selectively provide contact with an upper and/or lower power line on either side of the distribution track channel, and said selector contact being connected in the adaptor to current conducting parts operative to conduct current to the consuming element.

2. The adaptor of claim 1 including means for locking the rotatable part in the selector position.

3. The adaptor of claim 1 wherein said selector contact is a blade-like contact which surrounds said current conducting parts.

4. The adaptor of claim 3 wherein said blade-like contact surrounds a rod having parallel flat sides.

5. The adaptor of claim 1 including spring means for holding the selector contact against the power line of the distribution track by spring pressure.

6. The adaptor of claim 1 including means for locking the rotatable part in position so as to prevent rotation of said part relative to neighboring parts of the adaptor.

7. The adaptor of claim 5 in which said rotatable part and said neighboring parts are provided with complementarily shaped surfaces to achieve the locking function.

8. The adaptor of claim 1 including a cap for securing the rotatable part in a desired position.

9. The adaptor of claim 1 in which an outwardly spring-loaded contact lug is provided for making contact with a ground line in said track.

10. The adaptor of claim 1 in which said holding elements comprise a plurality of lugs, the opposite sides of the adaptor being provided with different numbers of such lugs.

11. The adaptor of claim 1 including a clamping part mounted for slidable motion along said adaptor, said clamping part being held against rotation on the base of the adaptor, said clamping part being arranged to be clamped to the underside of the power distribution track.

12. An adaptor for an electrical power distribution track adapted to be fitted into the open channel of the said track in a first position and adapted to be rotated to a second position for making electrical contact therewith, said adaptor comprising spring loaded contact means for making contact with electrical power lines in said track, holding elements on said adaptor adapted to be located in recesses provided in the track, a clamping part mounted for slidable motion along said adaptor, said clamping part being held against rotation on the base of the adaptor and said clamping part being arranged to he clamped to the underside of the power distribution track to lock the adaptor into position, said adaptor having an electrical selector contact which can be variably positioned for selectively making contact with different power lines in said track, said selector contact being connected in the adaptor to current conducting parts operative to conduct current to the consuming element.

13. The adaptor of claim 1 including spring means for holding the selector contact against the power line of the distribution track by spring pressure.

14. The adaptor of claim 12 in which an outwardly spring-loaded contact lug is provided for making contact with a ground line in said track.

15. The adaptor of claim 12 in which said holding elements comprise a plurality of lugs, thie opposite sides of the adaptor being provided with different numbers of such lugs.

16. The adaptor of claim 12 wherein said selector contact is a blade-like contact which surrounds said current conducting parts.

17. The adaptor of claim 16 wherein said blade-like contact surrounds a rod having parallel flat sides.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3496518 *Mar 15, 1968Feb 17, 1970Lightolier IncElectrical power distribution systems
US3737834 *Sep 20, 1971Jun 5, 1973Us Industries IncAdapter for three conductor electrical power distribution track
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3933403 *Apr 15, 1974Jan 20, 1976Erich RubesamenAdaptor for feeding current to electrical contact rails
US3980368 *Apr 23, 1975Sep 14, 1976Mcgraw-Edison CompanyAdapter for power distribution system
US4074092 *Jan 12, 1976Feb 14, 1978Szarvasi Vas-Femipari SzovetkezetSafety power track system
US4533190 *Dec 9, 1983Aug 6, 1985Booty Donald JElectrical power track system
US4557547 *Jan 10, 1983Dec 10, 1985Rotaflex PlcConnector for electrical supply system
US4671585 *Jun 16, 1986Jun 9, 1987National Service IndustriesLuminaire adaptor assembly
US4676567 *Jan 14, 1986Jun 30, 1987Mouchi Daniel ETrack lighting apparatus
US4790766 *Apr 1, 1987Dec 13, 1988Booty Sr Donald JElectrical power track system
US5855485 *Jan 16, 1997Jan 5, 1999Patti; Anthony G.Multiple track adapter for track lighting systems
US5869786 *Feb 18, 1997Feb 9, 1999Nordic Aluminium OyArrangement in connection with a conductor track
US6854988 *Jun 28, 2002Feb 15, 2005Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.Mechanism for electrically connecting an electronic device to a garment
US7397384Feb 11, 2005Jul 8, 2008Genlyte Thomas Group, LlcTrack lighting system current limiting device
US7507005Jan 30, 2007Mar 24, 2009Genlyte Thomas Group LlcSliding flexible track lighting
US7520763Jun 29, 2007Apr 21, 2009Genlyte Thomas Group LlcTrack lighting system with dependent lamp cord
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US7911351Jun 26, 2008Mar 22, 2011Genlyte Thomas Group LlcTrack lighting system current limiting device
US8144025Feb 11, 2011Mar 27, 2012Genlyte Thomas Group LlcTrack lighting system current limiting device
US8899999 *Sep 24, 2012Dec 2, 2014Abl Ip Holding LlcTrack adapter and lighting fixture
US20100177512 *May 21, 2008Jul 15, 2010Osram Gesellschaft Mit Beschraenkter HaftungLighting device and adapter for fixing a lamp
US20140085889 *Sep 24, 2012Mar 27, 2014Abl Ip Holding LlcTrack adapter and lighting fixture
EP0015356A1 *Sep 25, 1979Sep 17, 1980F.LLI ZUCCHINI S.p.A.Bipolar shunting device for multipolar electric lines of the armor-plated type
EP0085478A2 *Jan 7, 1983Aug 10, 1983GTE Rotaflex LimitedConnector for electrical supply system
EP0465098A1 *Jun 25, 1991Jan 8, 1992Nokia Alumiini OyA current supply device for a cable duct
EP0512603A2 *Apr 24, 1992Nov 11, 1992Lumiance B.V.A contact armature, intended for being inserted into a conductor rail for use
EP2087561A2 *Oct 17, 2007Aug 12, 2009Armstrong World Industries, Inc.Electrified ceiling framework underside connectors
EP2113971A1Apr 29, 2008Nov 4, 2009BTICINO S.p.A.A connector for a suspended power distribution track
WO2008048676A2Oct 17, 2007Apr 24, 2008Armstrong World Ind IncElectrified ceiling framework underside connectors
Classifications
U.S. Classification191/45.00R, 200/50.31, 439/119, 191/12.00R
International ClassificationH01R25/14, H01R41/00, H01R25/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01R25/142
European ClassificationH01R25/14B