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Publication numberUS3892455 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 1, 1975
Filing dateMar 26, 1974
Priority dateMar 26, 1974
Publication numberUS 3892455 A, US 3892455A, US-A-3892455, US3892455 A, US3892455A
InventorsSotolongo Thomas J
Original AssigneeThomas & Betts Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ground clamp connector
US 3892455 A
Abstract
The invention is directed to improvements to standard ground clamp connectors wherein there are provided additional nests in the body and cap portions in order to accept additional conductors in the additional wire receiving cavities formed. Such additional wire receiving cavities permit the connection of a single ground conductor to a grounding point, such as a ground rod or cold water pipe or the coupling of two grounding conductors. A further conductor receiving cavity is provided in the cap portion by providing an additional conductor receiving nest and clamping member associated therewith whereby three grounding conductors may be coupled together or in the more usual arrangement a grounding conductor may be coupled to a ground point and an appliance grounded by means of the same connector without the usual requirement for further connecting means for such appliances.
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United States Patent 1 Sotolongo GROUND CLAMP CONNECTOR Thomas J. Sotolongo, Red Bank, NJ.

[73] Assignee: Thomas & Betts Corporation,

Elizabeth, NY.

[22] Filed: Mar. 26, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 454,977

[75] Inventor:

[451 July 1, 1975 Primary Examiner-Roy Lake Assistant Examiner-Mark S. Bicks Attorney, Agent, or Firm-David Teschner', Jesse Woldman ABSTRACT The invention is directed to improvements to standard ground clamp connectors wherein there are provided additional nests in the body and cap portions in order to accept additional conductors in the additional wire receiving cavities formed. Such additional wire receiving cavities permit the connection of a single ground conductor to a grounding point, such as a ground rod or cold water pipe or the coupling of two grounding conductors. A further conductor receiving cavity is provided in the cap portion by providing an additional conductor receiving nest and clamping member associated therewith whereby three grounding conductors may be coupled together or in the more usual arrangement a grounding conductor may be coupled to a ground point and an appliance grounded by means of the same connector without the usual requirement for further connecting means for such appliances.

5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures GROUND CLAMP CONNECTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention is directed to the field of grounding generally and more particularly to the grounding of ground conductors and appliances to a common ground point.

2. Description of the Prior Art Prior art grounding clamp connectors are exemplified by U.S. Pat. No. 2,679,032, issued May 18, 1954, to G. C. Thomas, Jr. et al and owned by the assignee of the instant invention. In such patent there is shown a ground clamp consisting of a body portion and a cap portion assembled to one another by means of a bolt and nut arrangemend to provide a major wire receiving cavity defined by V-shaped tooth recesses and arranged to accept a wide range of large size conductors such as ground rods or water pipes therein. Also provided is a small nest for receipt therein of a smaller diameter conductor which is generally the conductor to be grounded. Thus for a single clamp, one wire may be connected to a source of ground and if a number of devices must be connected to the ground point then a plurality of such clamps will be employed. Because of the construction shown, a conductor of large size can only be joined to one of smaller size or diameter. It is not possible to merely join two conductors of similar diameter with such a connector.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention overcomes the difficulties noted above with respect to prior art clamps of the type shown in the G. C. Thomas, Jr. et al patent by providing a ground clamp connector capable of assembling two ground conductors to a grounding point to permit the tying together of two or three ground conductors to a single point as where branching is necessary or desirable. This is accomplished by providing an additional nest in both the body and cap portions of a ground clamp connector of the type shown in the prior art, which nests cooperate to provide a conductor receiving cavity therebetween. Additionally, a further nest is provided in the cap member and a second wire receiving cavity is provided by positioning a clamping member adjacent such further nest wherein a further conductor may be coupled to the cap portion of the connector. By the inclusion of these additional nests it is now possible to use the ground clamp connector to clamp two grounding conductors to a grounding point or to connect together two or three conductors at a single point. It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved ground clamp connector.

It is another object of this invention to provide an improved ground clamp connector having additional nests to permit the connecting of two electrical conductors to a ground point.

It is another object of this invention to provide an improved ground clamp connector having a plurality of conductor receiving cavities wherein at least two conductors may be connected together.

Other objects and features of the invention will be pointed out in the following description and claims and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, which disclose, by way of example, the principles of the invention, and the best mode which has been contemplated for carrying it out.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings in which similar elements are given similar reference characters.

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a ground clamp constructed in accordance with the concepts of the prior art and which appears as FIG. 6 of US. Pat. No. 2,679,032, issued May [8, 1954.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a connector constructed in accordance with the concepts of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the connector of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the connector of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the connector of FIG. 2 installed to a single conductor and a grounding point.

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the connector of FIG. 2 showing the same installed upon a grounding point and coupled to two additional electrical conductors.

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the connector of FIG. 2 showing the same coupled to two electrical conductors.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In FIG. 1 there is shown a grounding clamp connector 10 constructed in accordance with the prior art which appears as FIG. 6 in U.S. Pat. No. 2,679,032, issued May 18, 1954. Ground clamp connector 10 is constructed of a body portion 12 and a cap portion 14 assembled by means of a fastening device made up of a bolt 16 and a nut 18. Body portion 12 has a V-toothed recess 20 which cooperates with a similar V-toothed recess 22 in the cap portion 14 to hold therebetween various diameter ground devices such as ground rods or a water pipe 24 as shown in the figure. A further wire receiving cavity is formed between the nest 26 of the body portion 12 and the corresponding nest 28 in the cap portion 14, in order to secure therein a conductor 30. With this arrangement it is possible to take a single grounding conductor 30 and couple same to a grounding device such as the cold water pipe 24. If it is required to connect additional devices to the grounding device 24, additional clamps of the type shown in the figure are required.

Turning now to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 it is possible to couple a further conductor to a grounding point by means of the connector 40, shown in FIG. 2. The connector 40 is constructed of a body portion 42 having a recess 44 defined by a series of V-shaped teeth 46. Adjacent the first end of the body portion 42 is a nest 48 which will form a portion of a conductor receiving cavity, as will be described below. Adjacent the second end of the body portion 42 is a further nest 50. The tail end of the body portion 42 is bifurcated as at 52 (see FIG. 4) to provide a guide slot for the tail of the cap member, as will be described below. Ribs 54 are formed along the bottom surface of the body portion 42 to add strength and also to provide an antirotational trap for the nut 56 of the fastening device to be described below.

A cap portion 60 is provided with a V-toothed recess 62 defined by a series of V-shaped teeth 64. With the cap portion 60 properly placed with respect to the body portion 42, recesses 44 and 62 will be properly aligned to provide a conductor receiving cavity capable of accepting grounding devices of varying diameters, such as ground rods or water pipes. Adjacent a first end of the cap portion 60 is a nest 66 which cooperates with the nest 48 of the body portion 42 to form a conductor receiving cavity therebetween. Similarly, at the opposite end of the cap portion 60 is a nest 68 which will cooperate with the nest 50 of body portion 42 to form another conductor receiving cavity therebetween. The conductor receiving cavities created between the nests 48 and 66, 50 and 68, respectively are arranged to handle conductors of far smaller diameter than the conductor handled by the conductor receiving cavity created by the recesses 44 and 62. Cap portion 60 terminates in a tail portion 70 (see FIG. 3) arranged to fit be' tween the bifurcated tail end 52 of the base portion 42. In this manner, the relative alignment of the base por tion 42 with the cap portion 60 is established and maintained during installationv The assembly and coupling together of the base portion 42 and cap portion 60 is provided by means of a fastening device which may be in the form ofa bolt 72 fitting within a slot 74 (see FIG. 3) in the cap portion 60, extending through a slot 58 (see FIG. 4) into the nut 56 positioned between the ribs 54 of the base portion 42. Strengthening ribs 76 are provided on the cap portion 60. A nest 78 extends through the ribs 76 and may, if desired, be formed partially in the material of the cap portion 60. The nest 78 cooperating with a clamping member 80 fastened to the cap portion 60 by means of a fastening screw 82 provides an additional conductor receiving cavity for the receipt of a grounding conductor of a diameter similar to that which will be placed within the conductor receiving cavities created by the nests 66 and 48, 68 and 50, respectively. The end of the clamping means 80 remote from the nest 78 is provided with a series of serrations, as at 84, (see FIG. 3) which permits the engagement of the clamping means 82 with the cap member 60 as the fastening means 82 is tightened and prevents the rotation of the clamping member 80.

Turning now to FIG. there is shown the connector 40 of FIG. 2 employed to couple a ground conductor to a water pipe 24 of a diameter much greater than conductor 30. Conductor 30 is placed in the conductor receiving cavity formed by the nest 50 of the body portion 42 and nest 68 of the cap portion 60. The ground conductor 24 is introduced within the conductor receiving cavity created by the recesses 62 of cap portion 60 and 44 of the body portion 42.

In FIG. 6 the water pipe 24 used for grounding is replaced by a ground rod 86 of smaller diameter and a conductor 30 is placed within the conductor receiving cavity created by the nest 68 of the cap portion 60 and nest 50 of the body portion 42. In addition, a further conductor 88, which may be from an appliance to be grounded, is introduced within the nest 78 and held in position by means of the clamping member 80 with a fastening device 82 tightened appropriately.

In FIG. 7, the connector 40 is employed to couple together the conductor 30 and a further conductor 90 placed within the conductor receiving cavity created by the nest 46 of the body portion 42 and the nest 66 of the cap portion 60. In this arrangement, it is possible to couple together two conductors of relatively the same diameter as that shown by the conductors 30 and 90. Additionally, if it is desired, a further conductor may be inserted within the nest 78 to permit the connector 40 to couple together three conductors of similar diameter for branching or other similar grounding functions.

While there have been shown and described and pointed out the fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to the further embodiment, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes of the form and details of the device illustrated and in its operation may be made by those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A clamp for electrically and mechanically connecting together at least two electrical conductors comprising: a first generally arcuate jaw member having a first end, a second end and a first recess defined by a plurality of V-shaped teeth therebetween; said first jaw member having a first nest adjacent said first end and a second nest adjacent said second end; a second generally arcuate jaw member having a first end, a second end and a second recess defined by a plurality of V-shaped teeth therebetween; said second jaw member having a third nest adjacent said first end of said second jaw member and a fourth nest adjacent said second end of said second jaw member; said first and second nests lying serially within the curvature of said first jaw member, and said third and fourth nests lying serially within the curvature of said second jaw member; said second jaw member first end terminating in a bifurcated turned up portion having an inner surface and extending selectively forwardly of said first jaw member first end, said third nest being defined by said second jaw member turned up portion inner surface and lying serially within the curvature of said second jaw member; and selectively operable fastening means pivotally coupling said first and second jaw members together whereby at least two electrical conductors placed in the conductor receiving cavities formed by said first and second recesses, said first and third nests and said second and fourth nests are coupled together when said selectively ope rable fastening means is tightened appropriately.

2. A clamp as defined in claim 1, further comprising: a fifth nest on said first jaw member adjacent said first end thereof, said fifth nest being in a surface of said first jaw member opposite to the surface containing said first nest; clamping means positioned adjacent said fifth nest; and additional selectively operable fastening means coupling said clamping means to said first jaw member to electrically and mechanically join an electrical conductor to said clamp whereby at least two electrical conductors placed in the conductor receiving cavities formed by said first and second recesses, said first and third nests, said second and fourth nests and said fifth nest and clamping means are coupled together when said selectively operable fastening means and said additional selectively operable fastening means are selectively operated as required.

3. A clamp as defined in claim 2, wherein said clamping means has anti-rotational means thereon to prevent rotation of said clamping means as said additional selectively operable fastening means is operated.

4. A clamp as defined in claim 3, wherein said antirotational means comprises a plurality of teeth arranged to engage and bite into the surface of said first jaw means as said additional selectively operable fastening means is operated to hold an electrical conductor in said fifth nest with said clamping means.

5. A clamp as defined in clamp 2, wherein the conductor receiving cavity provided between said first and second recesses are dimensioned to accept a range of 5 smaller than said predetermined dimension.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2236279 *Apr 19, 1939Mar 25, 1941Gen ElectricElectric terminal device
US2305503 *Apr 22, 1942Dec 15, 1942Tenney William GBattery terminal
US2533897 *May 10, 1946Dec 12, 1950Reddock Morris DGround clamp
US2613243 *Nov 5, 1948Oct 7, 1952Frear Oscar W SSafety ground clamp
US2679032 *Jun 7, 1951May 18, 1954Thomas & Betts CorpGround clamp
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3985411 *Jun 30, 1975Oct 12, 1976I-T-E Imperial CorporationHinged ground clamp
US4863390 *Nov 14, 1988Sep 5, 1989Burndy CorporationGround connector
US5286211 *Jan 29, 1993Feb 15, 1994The Whitaker CorporationGround connector
US5364281 *Jun 1, 1993Nov 15, 1994Philly D. HarrisonElectrical connector system for grounding member and ground wire
US5460532 *Nov 14, 1994Oct 24, 1995Philly D. HarrisonElectrical connector system for grounding member and ground wire
US5704816 *Nov 20, 1995Jan 6, 1998Thomas P. PolidoriHinged electrical connector
US5752860 *Nov 5, 1996May 19, 1998Greaves; Christopher G.Rebar clamp
US5765962 *Feb 15, 1996Jun 16, 1998Pan Electric CorporationGround rod connector
US5919065 *Dec 5, 1997Jul 6, 1999Pan Electric CorporationElectrical connector
US6241563Nov 25, 1998Jun 5, 2001Pan Electric CorporationElectrical connector
US6297447 *Mar 23, 2000Oct 2, 2001Yazaki North America, Inc.Grounding device for coaxial cable
US6325678 *Aug 22, 2000Dec 4, 2001Electric Motion Company, Inc.Electrical clamp connector
US6772868Sep 11, 2002Aug 10, 2004Pan Electric CorporationRailroad rail-connector assembly
US6976857 *Jul 14, 2005Dec 20, 2005Sigma Electric Manufacturing Corp.Compact ground clamp
US7862390 *May 16, 2007Jan 4, 2011Tyco Electronics CorporationPower utility connector with a plurality of conductor receiving channels
US8021169 *Oct 7, 2010Sep 20, 2011Bridgeport Fittings, Inc.Electric ground clamp with pivoted jaws and single attached adjusting bolt
US8272904 *Aug 4, 2010Sep 25, 2012Tyco Electronics CorporationPower utility connector with a plurality of conductor receiving channels
US8449308Sep 8, 2011May 28, 2013Bridgeport Fittings, Inc.Electric ground clamp with pivoted jaws and single attached adjusting bolt and terminal block
US8496145Jun 16, 2010Jul 30, 2013Yakima Innovation Development CorporationVehicle rack for carrying a wheel
US8556146Jun 7, 2010Oct 15, 2013Yakima Innovation Development CorporationBoat rack
US20110139841 *Jun 15, 2010Jun 16, 2011Yakima Products, Inc.Crossbar clamp devices
US20130240685 *Mar 15, 2013Sep 19, 2013Hubbell IncorporatedSide-Loading Quadrant Deadend Clamp Assembly
CN101682129BMay 15, 2008Oct 16, 2013泰科电子公司Power utility connector with a plurality of conductor receiving channels
EP2034559A1 *Jul 24, 2008Mar 11, 2009Legrand FranceElectrical connection device, application and method of use
WO1997030490A1 *Feb 7, 1997Aug 21, 1997Pan Electric CorpGround rod connector
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/100, 439/803, 439/781
International ClassificationH01R4/38, H01R4/64, H01R4/44
Cooperative ClassificationH01R4/643, H01R4/44
European ClassificationH01R4/64B, H01R4/44