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Publication numberUS3876277 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 8, 1975
Filing dateJun 25, 1973
Priority dateJun 25, 1973
Also published asCA1036236A, CA1036236A1, DE2424942A1
Publication numberUS 3876277 A, US 3876277A, US-A-3876277, US3876277 A, US3876277A
InventorsColwell William L
Original AssigneeBunker Ramo
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connector assembly having flush mount adapter
US 3876277 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Colwell Apr. 8, 1975 [75] Inventor: William L. Colwell, Norwalk, Conn.

[73] Assignee: Bunker Ramo Corporation, Oak

Brook, Ill.

[22] Filed: June 25, 1973 [211 App]. No.: 373,159

[52] US. Cl. 339/130 C; 339/177 E [51] Int. Cl ..1101r 13/60 [58] Field of Search 339/89, 94, 177, 130

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,514,457 11/1924 Gross 339/130 R X 2,253,593 8/1941 Warren 339/130 C X 2,450,528 10/1948 Sprigg 339/130 C X 2,552,686 5/1951 Melcher 339/130 C X Primary Examiner-Richard E. Moore Attorney, Agent, or Firm-William Lohuff; F. M. Arbuckle [5 7 ABSTRACT This invention relates to a connector assembly which may be mounted substantially flush with the front wall of a panel and more particularly to an adapter into which a standard connector may be fitted and flush mounted in the panel. The connector has a body, a forward mating face, and a rear portion. The adapter has a front surface formed at least in part by a thin flange, the flange being adapted to engage the front wall of a panel in which the assembly is mounted. The adapter also has an element on its outer surface behind the flange which is adapted for permitting engagement with the rear wall of the panel when the assembly is mounted therein to secure the assembly in the panel, and an axial bore sized and shaped to have the connector fit and be secured therein with the mating face of the connector flush with or behind the front surface of the adapter.

13 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY HAVING FLUSH MOUNT ADAPTER CONNECTOR/ASSEMBLY HAVING FLUSH MOUNT ADAPTER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In most applications where panel-mounted electrical connectors are utilized, there are space limitations behind the panel (for example inside the black box to which the electrical connector provides connection). For this reason, panel mounted connectors are normally designed so that roughly half the connector is mounted behind the panel and half in front of the panel. Another reason for designing connectors in this way is that it provides full visibility and easy access to the mating face of the connector, features which are desirable when the connector is of the bayonet coupled or screw coupled variety.

However, in a limited number of applications in which panelmounted connectors are utilized, it is necessary or desirable that the connector be mounted flush or substantially flush with the front wall of the panel. These applications, which constitute perhaps of the applications in which panel-mounted connectors are utilized, normally arise when two or more black boxes are to be stacked closely together, with spacing between the black boxes being undesirable, or in applications where there is a danger that a projecting connector may be struck and broken by passing or adjacent elements. Heretofore, when a flushmounted panel connector has been required, a connector of the type required has been specially designed and a limited production run of these specially designed connectors fabricated. However, the special design and limited production run of these flushmounted connectors has made them relatively expensive and severely mitigated against their use. It would obviously be preferable if standard panel-mounted or other connectors could be fitted for flush mounting in a panel, the adapter being independent of the mating face characteristics of the connector so as to be adapted for use with connectors of different types.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the above this invention provides a connector assembly which may be mounted substantially flush with the front wall of a panel. The assembly includes a connector having a body, the connector also having a forward mating face and a rear portion adapted to have one or more electrical conductors connected thereto. The other element of the assembly is a flush mount adapter in which the connector is mounted. The adapter has a front surface formed at least in part by a thin flange, the flange being adapted to engage the front wall of a panel in which the assembly is mounted, and a means formed on the outer surface of the adapter behind the flange and adapted for permitting engagement with the rear wall of the panel when the assembly is mounted therein to secure the assembly to the panel. Fora preferred embodiment, this means is a screw thread, a nut being screwed on the thread into a position in engagement with the rear wall of the panel. The final element of the adapter is an axial bore sized and shaped to have the connector fit and be secured therein with the mating face of the connector flush with or behind the front surface of the adapter. For a preferred embodiment, the connector body has a screw threaded outer surface and the adapter bore has a screw threaded inner surface into which the threaded outer surface of the body is screwed to secure the connector in the adapter.

The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent fromthe following more particular description of a preferred embodiment of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side sectional view of a connector assembly of apreferred embodiment of the invention showing the assembly mounted in a panel and connected to a mating connector in a second panel.

FIG. 2 is a partially cut-away perspectiveview of the adapter utilized in the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to the figures, the connector assembly of this invention includes an electrical connector 10 and a flush-mount adapter 12. The connector 10 may, for example, be a coaxial connector of the type disclosed in copending application Ser. No. 292,856 entitled Coaxial Connector, filed Sept. 28, 1972 on behalf of Norbert J. Sladek, et al., and assigned to the 'assignee of the present application. As shown'in FIG. 1, the connector 10 is the plug of a plug-jack pair, and consists of a body 14 having a rear ferrule portion 16 adapted to fit between the outer conductor and dielectric of a coaxial cable (not shown), a slotted-contact forward portion 18 which serves as the outer contact of the plug, an axial flange 20 positioned roughly midway along the length of the body, and a screw thread 22 formed in the outer surface of body 14 behind flange 20. Normally, body 14 would be fitted in an opening formed in a panel with flange 20 butting against the front wall of the panel and a nut screwed on screw thread 22 butting against the rear wall of the panel to hold the connector therein. The portion of the connector body from flange 20 forward would project from the front wall of the panel, this portion of the connector body being from one-third to one-half inch long for a typical connector. Body 14 has an axial bore 24 with a center counterbore in which is mounted a dielectric 26. A slottedbullet male center inner contact 28 is secured in dielectric 26 and laterally separated from outer contact 18. Since the details of construction of connector 10 do not form part of the present invention, the elements of this connector will not be described further.

Adapter 12 has a thin axial flange 30 forming at least a portion of the forward end thereof, and a screw thread 32 formed on its outer surface starting a short distancebehind the flange. Adapter 12 also has an axial borewith (l) a screw threaded rear portion 34 which mates with screw thread 22 to secure connector 10 in adapter 12; and (2) an enlarged forward counterbore 36 terminating at the forward end in a tapered portion 38. Counterbore 36 has a diameter slightly larger than that of flange 20. In order to lock connector in adapter 12, screw thread 22 is permitted to pass beyond the end of the adapter, and a nut 40 is screwed on this extending portion of the thread and tightened against the rear wall of adapter 12.

Connector 10 is mounted in adapter 12 by inserting rear portion 16 of the connector through the front counterbore of the adapter until threads 22 and 34 engage, and then screwing the connector into the adapter until flange 20 butts against the rear wall of counterbore 36. Normally, the friction of the screw thread and of flange 20 butting against the rear wall of the counterbore will be sufficient to lock the connector and adapter together. However, if desired, lock nut 40 may be mounted on the projection portion of screw thread 22 and tightened against the rear wall of adapter 12 after the connector and adapter have been assembled to further lock these two elements together.

Once the connector adapter have been assembled as indicated above to form a connector assembly, the assembly is inserted from the front into an opening 42 in a panel 44 until flange 30 butts against the front wall 46 of the panel. A lock washer 47 and nut 48 are then mounted over the rear of the adapter and screwed onto thread 32 until the washer butts tightly against rear wall of the panel 44, securing the connector assembly in the panel. Electrical connection may then be made to the connector 10 in a standard manner.

Adapter 12 would normally be fabricated of a metal and would thus provide a ground path from connector body 14 to panel 44. However, in applications where it is desired to isolate connector 10 from the panel, adapter 12 could be fabricated of polytetrafluoroethylene or some other suitable insulating material.

From FIG. 1, it is seen that the mating jack 50 for plug 10 has a flange 52 which butts against the front wall of a panel 54 in which the jack is mounted. When the plug and jack are connected, the flange 52 fits into counterbore 36 and tapered portion 38 of adapter 12. Thus, panels" 44 and 54 are separated only by the thickness of adapter flange 30. This flange may be made quite thin, for example of one thirty-second of an inch, so that, for all intent and purposes, the panels may be mounted flushed against each other. However, in applications, where the panels 44 and 54 are required to butt against each other so that even the minimal thickness of flange 30 causes too great a separation of the panels, a slight counterbore may be provided in face 46 of panel 44 adjacent to flange 30 to permit absolute flush mounting of the connector assembly.

It should also be noted that, while in the discussion above, connector 10 has been assumed to be a coaxial connector, and has further been assumed to be a panelmountable connector, it is apparent that the flushmount adapter of this invention may be utilized with any electrical connector which is adapted to be fitted therein. It is also apparent that, while for the preferred embodiment. screw threads have been provided for securing the connector in the adapter, for a standard connector having a different body outer surface configuration, other means for securing the elements together might be utilized. For example, in the absence ofscrew threads on the portion of the connector body outer surface behind the flange, the bore of adapter 12 could be dimensioned to permit the connector body to be pressed fitted therein. In this situation, the adapter might be formed of an elastomer material or an elastomer insert might be utilized in the bore of the adapter. Similarly, while screw thread 32 and nut 48 have been utilized in the preferred embodiment of the invention for securing the connector assembly in panel 44, a ring having spring fingers, or other suitable means might be provided on adapter 12 for securing the adapter, and thus the assembly, in the panel. Axial flange 30, while extending 360 for the preferred embodiment of the invention to provide maximum strength, might in some applications extend for less than 360, or be segmented.

Thus, while the invention has been particularly shown and described above with reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, the foregoing and other changes in the form and detail may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A connector assembly which may be mounted substantially flush with the front wall of a panel comprismg:

a panel mountable connector having a body with an outer surface, a forward mating face, a rear portion adapted to have one or more electrical conductors connected thereto, a mounting flange spaced behind the mating face by a predetermined distance, and means formed on the outer surface of the body behind the flange and normally adapted forpermitting engagement with a rear wall of a panel; and

a flush mount adapter in which said connector is mounted, said adapter having a front surface formed at least in part by a thin flange and inner and outer surfaces, said flanges being adapted to engage the front wall of a panel in which said assembly is to be mounted, means formed on the outer surface of said adapter behind said flange and adapted for permitting engagement with the rear wall of a panel when the assembly is mounted therein to secure the assembly in the panel, and an axial bore sized and shaped to have said connector fit and be secured therein with the mating face of the connector flush with or behind said front surface, said bore having a forward counterbore with a rear wall against which said flange butts when said connector is full mounted in said adapter, and means formed as part of the inner surface forming a wall of the bore behind the counterbore and adapted to coact with the means on the outer sur--:

face of the body adapted for permitting engagement with the rear wall of the panel for securing the connector in the adapter.

2. An assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein the mating face of the connector is behind said front surface with said connector being adapted for mating with a mating connector having a body with a predetermined maximum external diameter portion; and

wherein said bore adjacent said front surface is of large enough diameter to permit said maximum external diameter portion to fit therein and in front of said mating face.

3. An assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein the means formed on the outer surface of the body behind the flange and the means formed as part of the bore behind the cou nterbore "'jare b'oth' screw threads, the thread on the: body bei'n'g'adapted to be screwed into the thread the .boreto secu're the connector in the adapter.

4. An assembly as claimed in claim 3 wherein the screw thread on said body extends slightly beyond the rear end of said adapter; and including a nut screwed on the extending portion of the body screw thread to a position in engagement with the rear end of said adapter to lock the connector in the adapter.

5. An assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein the connector is a coaxial connector; and

wherein the mating face portion of said body is the outer contact of the connector.

6. An assembly as claimed in claim 5 wherein said adapter is of a conductive material, the adapter being operative to electrically connect the body of the connector to the panel in which the assembly is mounted.

7. An assembly as claimed in claim 5 wherein said adapter is of an insulating material, the adapter being operative to electrically insulate the connector from the panel.

8. An assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said means formed on the outer surface of said adapter behind the flange is a screw thread, a nut being screwed on said thread into a position to engage or cause engagement with the rear wall of the panel.

9. An assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said adapter flange is an annular flange.

10. An assembly as claimed in claim 9 wherein the mating face of the connector is behind said front surface with said connector being adapted for mating with a mating connector having a body with a predetermined maximum external diameter portion; and

wherein said bore adjacent said front surface is of large enough diameter to permit said maximum external diameter portion to fit therein and in front of said mating face.

11. A connector assembly which may be mounted substantially flush with the front wall of a panel comprising:

a panel mountable connector having a body with an outer surface, separated inner and outer contacts with the outer contact including a forward mating face, a mounting flange spaced behind the mating face by a predetermined distance, means formed on the outer surface of the body behind the flange and normally adapted for permitting engagement with a rear wall of a panel, and a rear portion adapted to have one or more electrical conductors connected thereto; and

a flush mount adapter in which said connector is mounted, said adapter having a front surface formed at least in part by a thin flange and inner and outer surfaces, said flange being adapted to engage the front wall of a panel in which said assembly is to be mounted, means formed on the outer surface of said adapter behind said flange and adapted for permitting engagement with the rear wall of a panel when the assembly is mounted therein to secure the assembly in the panel, an axial bore sized and shaped to receive said flange in butting engagement to position the mating face of the connector flush with or behind said front surface, and means formed as part of the inner surface forming a wall of the bore and coacting with the means on the outer surface of the body for securing the connector in the adapter.

12. An assembly as claimed in claim 11 wherein the connector body has a screw threaded outer surface; and

wherein said adapter bore has a screw threaded inner surface into which the threaded outer surface of said body is screwed to secure the connector in the adapter.

13. An assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said connector body includes separated inner and outer contacts, the outer contact including said forward mating face.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1514457 *Sep 26, 1921Nov 4, 1924Gross Angus RParking light
US2253593 *Oct 17, 1939Aug 26, 1941Standard Electric Time CompanySeparable electric connector
US2450528 *Dec 18, 1944Oct 5, 1948H H Buggie & CompanyElectrical connector
US2552686 *Jul 31, 1948May 15, 1951H H Buggie & CompanyCoaxial connector with pressure sealing
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4708665 *Jun 3, 1985Nov 24, 1987Esge-Marby Gmbh & Co. KgEnvironmentally protected electrical contact terminal arrangement for a plastic-metal-plastic laminated cycle fender
US4760401 *Jan 28, 1986Jul 26, 1988General Research Of Electronics, Inc.Removable rod antenna
US4815986 *Apr 12, 1988Mar 28, 1989Lucas Weinschel, Inc.Self-aligning blind mate connector
US4836801 *Jan 29, 1987Jun 6, 1989Lucas Weinschel, Inc.Multiple use electrical connector having planar exposed surface
US5021001 *Sep 6, 1989Jun 4, 1991Lucas Weinschel Inc.Multiple use electrical connector having planar exposed surface
US5718608 *Jul 1, 1996Feb 17, 1998Guiol; EricMetallic connector housing
US5997353 *Sep 17, 1997Dec 7, 1999Guiol; EricMetallic connector housing
US6685346 *Feb 13, 2002Feb 3, 2004Wen-Chang WuDo-it-yourself lamp rod
US7190314Apr 18, 2005Mar 13, 2007Research In Motion LimitedLow profile antenna insert nut
US7403163Feb 5, 2007Jul 22, 2008Research In Motion LimitedLow profile antenna insert nut
US7525495Jun 19, 2008Apr 28, 2009Research In Motion LimitedLow profile antenna insert nut
US8018388Apr 8, 2009Sep 13, 2011Research In Motion LimitedLow profile antenna insert nut
US20050237263 *Apr 18, 2005Oct 27, 2005Kyowski Timothy HLow profile antenna insert nut
US20070126646 *Feb 5, 2007Jun 7, 2007Research In Motion LimitedLow profile antenna insert nut
US20080246687 *Jun 19, 2008Oct 9, 2008Research In Motion LimitedLow profile antenna insert nut
US20090195476 *Apr 8, 2009Aug 6, 2009Research In Motion LimitedLow profile antenna insert nut
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/551, 439/578
International ClassificationH01R13/74, H01R31/06
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/746
European ClassificationH01R13/74D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 6, 1995ASAssignment
Owner name: AMPHENOL CORPORATION, CONNECTICUT
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:BANKERS TRUST COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:007317/0148
Effective date: 19950104
Jun 12, 1992ASAssignment
Owner name: AMPHENOL CORPORATION A CORP. OF DELAWARE
Free format text: RELEASED BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK OF COMMERCE;REEL/FRAME:006147/0887
Effective date: 19911114
Mar 3, 1992ASAssignment
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, AS AGENT
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AMPHENOL CORPORATION, A CORPORATION OF DE;REEL/FRAME:006035/0283
Effective date: 19911118
Oct 1, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: AMPHENOL CORPORATION, LISLE, ILLINOIS A CORP. OF D
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ALLIED CORPORATION, A CORP. OF NY;REEL/FRAME:004844/0850
Effective date: 19870602
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ALLIED CORPORATION, A CORP. OF NY;REEL/FRAME:004844/0850
Owner name: AMPHENOL CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DE, ILLINOIS
Jul 2, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: CANADIAN IMPERIAL BANK OF COMMERCE, NEW YORK AGENC
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AMPHENOL CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004879/0030
Effective date: 19870515
Jun 15, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: ALLIED CORPORATION COLUMBIA ROAD AND PARK AVENUE,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BUNKER RAMO CORPORATION A CORP. OF DE;REEL/FRAME:004149/0365
Effective date: 19820922