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Publication numberUS3853375 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 10, 1974
Filing dateDec 15, 1972
Priority dateDec 15, 1972
Publication numberUS 3853375 A, US 3853375A, US-A-3853375, US3853375 A, US3853375A
InventorsMcclain J
Original AssigneeEsco Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical connector apparatus disconnectable link assembly
US 3853375 A
Abstract
Disclosed is electrical connector apparatus having an insulated hairpin link disconnectably coupling a high voltage electrical cable to electrical apparatus. The coupling is effected by way of conductive studs having a plurality of resilient extending fingers thereof mateably received by socket means, the studs and socket means respectively associated with elongated conductors of the cable connecting and bushing assembly portions of the apparatus. A threadable conductive stud provides a conductive test point as well as the means for attaching the cable connecting portion to the housing of the apparatus.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

atent I 1 mite 11] 3,853,375 McClain Dec.- 10, 1974 [54] ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR APPARATUS 3,711,818 l/l973 Swehla 339/60 C DISCONNECTABLE LINK ASSEWLY FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS [75] inventor: James E McClain, Greenvi11e,TeX- 645,242 10/1950 Great Britain I 174/18 [73] Assignee: Esco Manufacturing Company,

Greenville, Tex. Primary Examiner--Paul R. Gilliam I Assistant Examiner-Robert A. Hafer [22] Filed 1972 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Kenneth R. Glaser 21 Appl. No.: 315,636

. [57] ABSTRACT F 339/19 5535334 Disclosed is electrical connector pp ratus having an a u 1 i t 1 1 I I n h l d l h h 58 Field of Search 339/19, 60 R, 60L, 60 M, msulated mk Swnnectaby a 339/61 R, 61 C, 61 L, 61 M, 59 R, 59 L, 59 M,111,108,109,110,112,114, 46, 222,

voltage electrical cable to electrical apparatus. The coupling is effected by way of conductive studs having a plurality of resilient extending fingers thereof matea- 94; 174/18 bly received by socket means, the studs and socket means respectively associated with elongated conduc- [56] References Cted tors of the cable connecting and bushing assembly UNITED STATES PATENTS portions of the apparatus. A threadable conductive 3,307,137. 2/1967 Tordoff et al 339/6112 stud provides a conductive test point as well as the 3,384,861 5/1968 Phillips 339/111 means for attaching the cable connecting portion to 3,585,568 6/1971 Hervig et a1. 339/60 R the housing of the apparatus 3,594,685 7/1971 Cunningham... 339/19 3,595,984 7/ 1971 Tachick 339/60 R X 1 12 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures j 8| 7 e1 16, i 36 23 i 60 20c 23 2m 20 H 41 I i f I3 t 3 22 zobi' i: 2 o n E i 7| I A 1 .4 3s I 35 i I. 23

I 22 2| 1' I 2; 2 23 T I2 33 j 33 2s ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR APPARATUS DISCONNECTABLE LINK ASSEMBLY The present invention relates generally to electrical connectors, more particularly to electrical connectors in high voltage electrical systems, and even more particularly to disconnectable electrical connectors for coupling high voltage electrical cables with electrical apparatus.

The need for coupling electrical power to and from high voltage electrical apparatus has resulted in the development of many types of electrical connection apparatus ranging from complex automatic switching equipment to simple plug-in type connectors. One class of commonly employed plug-in type electrical connectors utilizes an elbow assembly comprising a cable connecting portion conductively coupled to the electrical apparatus by way of a bushing assembly extending through an opening in the housing of the apparatus. While this type of connector has generally served its intended purpose, difficulties are often encountered when it is necessary to disconnect the cable from the apparatus Specifically, this disconnection requires that the cable be physically uncoupled from the connector assembly and, since thesecables are normally very large and bulky, such disconnection is extremely inconvenient. Furthermore, in underground distribution networks, the relative inaccessibility to these cables further complicates the situation.

It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide a new and improved electrical connector assembly.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide new and improved apparatus for disconnectably coupling a high voltage power cable from electrical apparatus without physically uncoupling the cable itself.

It is a still further object of the invention to provide an electrical connector assembly particularly useful in underground electrical distribution networks.

It is an even further object of the invention to provide an electrical connector assembly having relatively simple construction capable of economical fabrication.

In accordance with these and other objects, the present invention is directed to an electrical connector assembly having a cable connecting portion disconnectably coupled to the electrical apparatus bushing assembly by way of a generally U-shaped hairpin link mateably engaging with the conductive rods of the connecting portion and the bushing assembly.

According to specific features of the invention, uniquely designed male and female coupling portions are respectively provided at the end portions of the respective conductors at the situs of the connection, means being provided on the hairpin link for the hot stick" disconnection of the link with the cable connecting portion and the bushing assembly. A voltage test point assembly also provides for mounting the cable connecting assembly to the electrical apparatus housing. 7

Additional features, as well as further objects and advantages, of the invention will become more readily understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view, substantially in crosssection, of the electrical connector assembly constructed in accordance with the teachings of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a pictorial view illustrating the construction of, and cooperating relationship between, the connector elements at the situs of interconnection of the disconnectable link with the cable connector subassembly; and

FIG. 3 is a pictorial view illustrating the construction of, and cooperating relationship between, the connector elements at the situs of interconnection of the disconnectable link with the bushing subassembly.

Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1, there is depicted the electrical connector assembly l0, constructed according to the teachings of the invention, for electrically connecting a high voltage cable 11 with electrical apparatus disposed within the housing 12. The type of electrical apparatus within the housing 12, and the details thereof, are not material to the present invention, and could be, for example, a distribution transformer, an electrical switch, etc., all as conventionally known in the art.

The connector assembly 10 broadly includes a cable connector subassembly 16 to which the cable 11 is coupled; a bushing subassembly 17 extending through the apparatus housing 12 and electrically connected to the electrical apparatus disposed therein; and a disconnectable link subassembly l8 electrically, connecting the conductor of the assembly 16 with the conductor of the assembly 17 (thus electrically coupling the cable 11 with the electrical apparatus).

The cable connector subassembly 16 includes an elongated conductive rod 20 having a plurality of axially related stepped portions 20a, 20b, and 20c. A generally cylindrical T-shaped jacket 21 has an extending portion 21a disposed around the major portion of the length of the conductor 20, the jacket 21 comprising a main body portion 22 of insulating material, preferably insulating elastomeric material, and an outer surface portion 23, preferably of conductive elastomeric material, providing a semiconductive shielding therefor. As depicted in FIG. 1, the surface portions 23 engage the outer surface of the stepped portion 20a of the cable connector.

The high voltage cable 1 1 includes a central conductor 13 disposed within an insulating jacket 14 around which is disposed a conductive shield 15, all as is conventionally known in the art. The end of the cable 11 is coaxially terminated within an axially extending opening in the end of the conductive rod 20, and is thereby electrically connected thereto.

Threadably coupled to the axially extending end por-' tion 20c is a conductive body 24 having an internally defined socket 25 therein. The body 24 is snugly received within a seat defined by the circumferentially extending walls at the upper'end of an insulating support body 26, as illustrated in FIG. 1. As subsequently described in greater detail, the body 24 is aligned with one end of the conductive rod of the link assembly 18 so as to allow the socket 25 to receive the conductive stud 70.

The entire subassembly 16 is rigidly connected to the electrical apparatus housing 12 by way of an L-shaped bracket 27 affixed, by welding for example, to the housing 12, and a stud 28 threadably coupling an insert 29 in the base of the support body 26 to the bracket 27. The stud 28 thereby rigidly'attaches the subassembly 16 to the bracket 27 and apparatus housing 12. An insulating disc 31, preferably of insulating elastomer material, and an insulating washer 32 are provided, as illustrated, at the situs of this attachment.

In accordance with a specific feature of the present invention, the stud 28 and insert 29 are of electrically conductive material, and provide a voltage test point for the entire connector assembly. Accordingly, and for this purpose, an insulating cap 29, preferably of elastomeric material, can be removed from the end portion of the stud 28 by way of the pull ring 30, when it is desired to determine if the assembly is hot.

Extending through the apparatus housing 12, and affixed thereto by extensions 33, is a base housing 34 of the bushing subassembly 17. Disposed around and snugly receiving the upper end of the housing 34 is an extension jacket 35. Both the base housing 34 and extension 35 are of insulating material, preferably an insulating elastomer, and have surface portions 36 of a material similar to that of the surface portions 23 for providing a semiconductive shielding for the bushing subassembly. Axially extending through the housing 34 is a cylindrical conductor 38 electrically coupled at its lower end (not shown) to the electrical apparatus within the housing 12. At its opposite end, and threadably affixed thereto, is a conductive stud 40 having a plurality of resilient fingers or extensions 41 adapted to be received within a socket provided at one end of the link assembly 18, as subsequently described. it is to be.

noted that an electrically conductive path is defined between the electrical apparatus within the housing and the projections or fingers 41.

In accordance with a unique feature of the present invention, electrical coupling is effected between the conductive rod of the bushing subassembly l7 and the conductive rod of the cable connector subassembly 16 by way of a generally U-shaped hairpin link assembly 18 comprising a central conductive-rod 50 axially extending through an insulating jacket 51, around which a surface semiconductive shield or coating 52 is provided. At the bushing assembly end of the conductive member 50 a socket 60 is provided for receiving the fingers 41 of the conductive stud 40. At the other end of the rod 50 (the cable connector subassembly end) a stud 70 having a plurality of resilient extensions or fingers 71 is threadably secured.

The link assembly 18 (and particularly the conductor 50) is thus provided with means for disconnectably coupling the conductive members of the bushing assembly and the cable connector assembly. Referring specifically to FIGS. 2 and 3, it can be observed that the construction of the conductive studs 40 and 70 are essentially identical, each having resilient fingers or extensions (41 or 71) to be mateably received by sockets 60 and 25, respectively. While any number of these fingers can be utilized consistent with the purpose of the invention, it has been found that the use of four such fingers (each occupying approximately 90) provides an optimum number of conductive surfaces for effective current transferrence at the situs of coupling.

With specific reference to FIG. 2, it is observed that there is essentially a three-way contact to be effected between the rod 50, body 24, and cable connecting rod portion 200. Accordingly, an opening 100 is provided within the portion 200 to receive the body 24, and to enable the fingers 71 to pass therethrough into the socket 25.

Referring again to FIG. 1, the fingers of the studs 40 and are firmly seated within the sockets 60 and 25, and the opposite ends of the insulating jacket 51 are snugly received by the end portions of the bushing extension 35 and jacket 21. Thus, a tight electrical connection is provided between the cable connector and the bushing assembly.

To provide for disconnection, the link 18 is pulled upward, thus uncoupling the conductive studs 40 and 70 from their respective sockets. To assist in this uncoupling, a ring is provided through which a hot stick can be inserted. It is thus observed that when the connector assembly 10 is disposed underground, the disconnect can be conveniently accomplished b lifting the link 18 from the connector.

Various modifications can be effected to the disclosed embodiment. For example, while the link assembly has been described as having a generally U-shape, other shapes and construction can also be utilized. Furthermore, other combinations of stud and socket arrangements can be employed, as well as other structures besides studs and sockets, to allow for mateably coupling the end portions of the conductor 50 with the conductors of the subassembly l6 and the bushing assembly 17.

Various modifications to the disclosed embodiment, as well as alternate embodiments of the present invention may become apparent to one skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. Electrical connecting apparatus for disconnectably electrically coupling and uncoupling a stationary high voltage electrical cable with electrical apparatus disposed in a housing while maintaining said cable in a stationary position, comprising:

a. cable connecting means rigidly secured to the electrical apparatus housing, said cable connecting means including a first insulating jacket portion extending from said housing, an elongated central conductor axially extending through a second insulating jacket portion transverse to said first insulating jacket and having one end adapted for coaxial termination with said cable,

b. bushing assembly means rigidly secured to the electrical apparatus housing and including an elongated central conductor axially extending through an insulating jacket portion extending from said housing parallel to said first insulating jacket portion for electrical connection with said electrical apparatus,

c. conductive link means including a central conductor axially extending through an integrally joined insulating jacket, the central conductor and the insulating jacket of said conductive link means having end portions adapted for respective disconnectable coupling with the elongated central conductor and the extending jacket portion of the cable connecting means and the bushing assembly means,

d. means provided on both ends of the central conductor of the said conductive link for respectively mateably engaging with means provided at one end of the elongated central conductors of the cable connecting means and the bushing assembly means, and

e. means coupled to the insulating jacket of said conductive link means for enabling the simultaneous coupling or uncoupling of the cable connecting means with the bushing assembly means by way of the conductive link means. i

2. The apparatus as defined by claim 1 wherein said mating engagement is effected by way of a conductive stud having a plurality of resilient extending fingers mateably received by socket means.

3. The apparatus as defined by claim 2 wherein a pair of said conductive studs are respectively provided at one end of the central conductor of the said conductive link and at the end of the elongated central conductor of the bushing assembly means, and a pair of said sockets are respectively provided on the other end of the central conductor of the said conductive link and at the end of the elongated central conductor of the cable connecting means.

4. The apparatus as defined by claim 2 wherein said means coupled to said conductive link means is attached to said insulating jacket of said conductive link means at a location which enables the lifting of said conductive link means out of coupling engagement with said cable connecting means and said bushing assembly means.

5. The apparatus as defined by claim 4 wherein said cable connecting means includes attachment means for securing said cable connecting means with the housing of said electrical apparatus, said attachment means providing a conductive test point for said electrical connecting apparatus.

6. Electrical connecting apparatus for disconnectably electrically coupling a high voltage electrical cable with electrical apparatus, comprising:

a. cable connecting means rigidly secured to the housing for said electrical apparatus including a first insulating jacket portion extending from said housing, a first elongated central conductor axially extending through a second insulating jacket portion transverse to said first insulating jacket portion and having one end adapted for coaxial termination with said cable,

b. bushing assembly means rigidly secured to'said housing and including a second elongated central conductor axially extending through an insulating jacket portion parallel to said first insulating jacket portion for electrical connection withsaid electrical apparatus,

c. a generally U-shaped disconnectable conductive link means including a third central conductor axially extending through an integrally joined insulating jacket, end portions of said third central conductor and said integrally joined insulating jacket being disconnectably coupled with the cable connecting means and the bushing assembly means, said link means having lift means secured at the apex of, and to said insulating jacket of, said link means for simultaneously lifting said conductive link means out of coupling engagement with said cable connecting means and said bushing assembly means, a pair of disengageable mateably engaging portions respectively disposed at the situs of coupling of said conductive link means with said cable connecting means and said bushing assembly means, each of said mateably engaging portions comprising a socket and socket insertion means, and e. attachment means securing said cable connecting means to the housing of said electrical apparatus,

said attachment means also providing a conductive test point for said electrical connecting apparatus.

7. The apparatus as defined by claim 6 wherein said socket insertion means is a conductive stud having a plurality of resilient finger extensions. 7

8. Electrical connecting apparatus for disconnectably electrically coupling a high voltage electrical cable with electrical apparatus, comprising:

a. cable connecting means including an elongated first central conductor axially extending through an insulating jacket and adapted for coaxial termination with said cable, said first central conductor having an extending portion thereof with an opening defined in said end portion, conductive body means rigidly affixed to said end portion and having a socket therein aligned with said opening, said conductive body disposed within an insulating support body, a conductive plug disposed within the base of said insulating support body and having an end portion spaced from said conductive body provided for attaching said cable connecting means to the housing of said electrical apparatus, said conductive plug also providing a conductive test point for said electrical connecting apparatus,

b. bushing assembly means including an elongated second central conductor axially extending through an insulating jacket for electrical connection with said electrical apparatus,

0. a u-shaped disconnectable conductive link including a third central conductor axially extending through an insulating jacket for disconnectably coupling the first and second central conductors, said third central conductor having socket engaging means provided at one end thereof, said socket engaging means comprising a plurality of resilient extensions which extend through said opening into said socket, said third central conductor having means provided at its other end for mateably engaging with means provided at the end of said second central conductor, and

d. means provided at the apex of said link means for lifting said link means out of coupling engagement withsaid cable connecting means and said bushing assembly means. i

9. The apparatus as defined by claim 8 further including another socket at said other end of said third central conductor, and another socket engaging means comprising a plurality of resilientextensions extending into said another socket.

10. The apparatus as defined by claim 9 wherein each of said resilient extensions extend along a substantially ninety degree arc.

11. The apparatus as defined by claim 10 wherein said conductive plug threadably secures said insulating support body to said electrical apparatus housing.

12. Electrical cable connecting apparatus, comprisductive body means disposed within the confines of said insulating jacket,

c. an elongated conductor axially extending through an insulating jacket in a direction transverse to said parallel direction, said elongated conductor having one end adapted for coaxial termination with a high voltage electrical cable and the other end electrically connected with one of said conductive bodies,

(1. generally U-shaped connector link means including a central conductor axially extending through, and entirely surrounded by, an integrally joined insulating jacket, the end portions of the central conductor being adapted for respective removable mateable engagement with said conductive bodies disposed within said insulator housings, the end means coupled to the insulating jacket of said link means for lifting the insulating jacket of said link means out of said mateable engagement with the elongated insulating jackets of said insulator housings while simultaneously disconnecting the central conductor of said link means from electrical connection with said conductive bodies.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE cE TiFIcATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 8-53, 375 Dat d December 10, 1974 Inventor(s) JAMES E. MCCLAIN It is certified that error appears in the above-id ehtified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 6, Line 14, after extending insert --end'-.

Signed and sealed this 11th day of February 1975.

(SEAL?) Attest: 'C. MARSHALL DANN RUTH C MASON f Commlssloner of Patents Attestlng Offlcer and Trademarks USCOMM-DC 60376-P69 w u.s. GOVERNMENT raumuo orrlcz: ms O-JCi-SM.

FORM PO-105O (10-69)

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3918786 *Jun 17, 1974Nov 11, 1975Esco Mfg CoElectrical connector apparatus
US4371856 *Sep 22, 1980Feb 1, 1983Sentrol, Inc.Switch assembly including circuit test points
US4799895 *Jun 22, 1987Jan 24, 1989Amerace Corporation600-Amp hot stick operable screw-assembled connector system
US4946394 *Oct 22, 1987Aug 7, 1990Cooper Power Systems, Inc.Connection mechanism for connecting a cable connector to a bushing
US6332785Jun 30, 1997Dec 25, 2001Cooper Industries, Inc.High voltage electrical connector with access cavity and inserts for use therewith
US6338637May 2, 2000Jan 15, 2002Cooper IndustriesDead front system and process for injecting fluid into an electrical cable
US6808403Apr 12, 2001Oct 26, 2004NexansFlexible medium voltage interconnection and method to obtain same
US8454376Jan 31, 2012Jun 4, 2013Thomas & Betts International, Inc.Electrical connector with sacrificial component
EP1146600A1 *Apr 13, 2000Oct 17, 2001NexansFlexible medium voltage interconnection and method to obtain same
EP1146601A2 *Mar 26, 2001Oct 17, 2001NexansFlexible medium voltage interconnection and method to obtain same
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/511, 439/89, 439/480
International ClassificationH01R13/53
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/53
European ClassificationH01R13/53