US3391262A - Multipurpose electrical connector for use with ac and/or dc receptacles - Google Patents

Multipurpose electrical connector for use with ac and/or dc receptacles Download PDF

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US3391262A
US3391262A US54497266A US3391262A US 3391262 A US3391262 A US 3391262A US 54497266 A US54497266 A US 54497266A US 3391262 A US3391262 A US 3391262A
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contacts
contact
member
socket
plug
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Jr Henry D Twitchell
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RCA Corp
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RCA Corp
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RELECTRICALLY-CONDUCTIVE CONNECTIONS; STRUCTURAL ASSOCIATIONS OF A PLURALITY OF MUTUALLY-INSULATED ELECTRICAL CONNECTING ELEMENTS; COUPLING DEVICES; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R27/00Coupling parts adapted for co-operation with two or more dissimilar counterparts

Description

2 Sheets-Sheet 1 e a f a Kw f R g 5 R N N \2 QQL f \Q\& a a NW7 WM.N\- MW Q QMV'WMJ u m m I m g II 4. lwl1NU-Wy z! 1 /7 x R kr. w M J. Q HUM. w m 15 M15 w a 2,11 A/ N x w N Q a N E 9% g Q Q H. D. 'TWITCHELL, JR MULTIPURPOSE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR FOR USE July 2, 1968 WITH AC AND/OR DC RECEPTACLES Filed April 25. 1966 y 1968 H. D. TWITCHELL, JR 3,391,262

MULTIPURPOSE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR FOR USE WITH AC AND/OR DC RECEPTACLES Filed April 25, 1966 2 Sheets$heet 2 [if 49 /4a #8 22a, 98b 16% I a 400.. 68b b g7 52 INVENTOR United States Patent ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE There is disclosed a multipurpose electrical connector which includes at least two connector units that may be releasably joined together. One of the units includes means for switching between the contacts carried thereby. The second unit includes contacts aligned with the contacts of the first unit and further includes means for operating the switching means of the first unit. Upon joining the connector units the switching means is operated according to the needs of the given application causing at least two contacts to be electrically joined through the composite connector structure.

This invention relates to multipurpose connectors, and more particularly to an improved type of adaptable connector including diiferent forms of connector contacts in a construction which facilitates the choice of the particular form of contacts used according to the needs of a given application.

Several typcs of adaptable connectors have been proposed. For the most part these connectors make use of a modifiable plug. For example, in one approach, a plug having a pair of extended electrical contact prongs, such as are used for connection with alternating current (AC) outlet fittings, is modified by the insertion of the plug into a separate cylindrically shaped unit. This separate unit has at one end AC outlet fittings (i.e., prong receptacle contacts) into which the prongs of the plug are inserted. At the other end of the unit is a centrally affixed contact which is internally connected to one of the outlet fittings. The cylindrical surface of the unit is made of metal and serves as a second contact which is connected to the other outlet fitting. Thus, by inserting the prongs of the plug into the separate unit, the connector converts from a type having one form of electrical contacts (prong contacts) to a type having a different form of electrical contacts (cylindrical and center contacts).

A second previously proposed type of adaptable connector is one in which the AC prongs are, in first position, recessed within a cylindrical shaped member. The cylindrical member has atone end a centrally affixed contact. The surface of the cylindrical member closest to this center contact is made of metal and forms a second electrical contact. Surrounding the cylindrical member is a second outer, hollow, cylindrically shaped member made of an insulating material. This outer cylindrical member is atlixed to the prongs by means of a rod which passes through a slot in the first cylindrical member. The prongs are brought to a second (exposed) position by sliding the outer cylindrical member axially forward. The prongs move out through slots to extend beyond the centrally affixed contact at the one end of the connector. In this second position the outer insulating member covers the contact portion of the first cylindrical member. Internal connections are provided so that electrical contact is made between the prongs and the center and cylindrical contacts and external wires.

Connectors which can be adapted in the above ways have several common disadvantages. A separate step must be taken before the connector is altered from one form of electrical contacts to another form. The presence of live electrical contacts places the user in danger of receiving a severe electrical shock. Exposed live tacts are subject to short circuiting with a possible detrimental effect on the device to which the connector is attached. The contacts, although applicable to various sockets, are suitable to only one type of voltage source. For example, a connector which may be used with an AC source of voltage may not otherwise be employed for use with a direct current (DC) source of voltage unless circuit alterations are made within the device to which the connector is attached.

g It is an object of this invention to provide an improved connector of a construction which permits a single connector to be adapted to various types of electrical contact fittings.

It is another object to provide an improved multipurpose connector which is more readily manufactured and more versatile in use than connectors heretofore proposed.

It is a further object to provide an improved connector of the type which can be adapted for use with various sources of voltage.

Still another object is to provide ,an improved connector structure for switching electrical contacts by the act of. releasably joining connector units.

A multipurpose connector is provided which includes at least two connector units that can be releasably joined together. One of the connector units includes means for switching between contacts carried thereby. The second connector unit includes contacts aligned with the contacts in the first connector unit and also includes means for operating the switching means in the first connector unit. Upon joining the connector units, the switching means is operated according to the needs of the given application causing at least two contacts to be electrically joined through the composite connector structure.

The present invention will be understood from the following detailed description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of one embodiment of a multipurpose connector constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view showing the elements of the connector shown in FIG. 1 not necessarily to scale looking in the direction of the arrow A.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the socket member of the connector assembly shown in FIG. 1 and taken along the line 3-3 of the end view of the socket shown in FIG. 4 and looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 4 is an end view of the socket shown in FIG. 1;

and

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of another embodiment of the connector shown in FIG. 1 and constructed in accordance with the invention.

Referring now to the drawing, an embodiment of the invention can be seen in FIGS. 1 through 4. The multipurpose connector indicated generally by the reference numeral 10 comprises a plug 12 and a socket 14. In FIGS.1 and 2 the socket 14 is illustrate-d twice in order to show its functional arrangement with respect to the plug 12.

The plug 12 comprises two members 16 and 18, connected by a cable 20 therebetween. Members 16 and 18 have the same over-all physical shape. Since the construction of the members 16 and 18 is similar in many respects, the following discussion where applicable is directed to both members 16 and 18. Each is constructed of three cylindrically shaped parts 22, 24 and 26 axially affixed to one another. The three cyindrical parts 22, 24 and 26 can be made of. an insulating material such as COH- v 3 plastic or Bakelite. The first cylindrical part 22 has aplanar end surface 28 and a smaller diameter than the second cylindrical part 24. The second cylindrical part 24 has a larger diameter than 'the third part 26 and an exposed planar end surface 30 where it abuts the first part 22.

Enclosed within the second cylindrical part 24 is a rectangular shaped slot 32. In length, the slot 32 extends from just before the end surface 30 parallel along the axis of the second member 24 to a point somewhat removed from the end of the second part 24 which abuts the third part- 26. The slot 32 extends laterally to just beneath the cylindrical surface 34 of the second member 24. The dimensions of length and width form two parallel walls 36 and 38. The dimensions of depth and width of the slot 32 for-m two opposed lateral walls 40 and 42. A rect-angularly shaped channel 46 is formed Within the second cylindrical part 24 and forms an aperture, through the second cylindrical part 24, which opens into the slot 32. The channel 46 extends axially from the end surface 30 a short distance along part of the length of the slot 32. While only one channel 46 in the respective members 16 and 18 is visible in the view of FIG. 1, a second similar channel, not shown, is positioned in each member 16 and 18 diametrically opposite the respective channels 46 shown. A rectangularly shaped wiper arm 48 is positioned within the slot 32. The wiper arm 48 lies parallel to the walls 36 and 38 and is thin enough so that it can extend easily into the channel 46. A helical spring 52 is aflixed to a lateral wall 42 and an edge of the wiper arm 48 by soldering or similar means. The spring 52 is alfixed to the lateral wall 42 nearest the third part 26 and holds an edge surface of the wiper arm 48 against the lateral wall 40 closest to the first part 22 of the plug 12.

Looking for the moment only at the member 16, columnar paths or channels 54 extend from apertures 44 in the walls 36 and 38 to apertures 56 in the end surface 28 of the cylindrical part 22 and to an aperture 57 in the end surface 58 of the cylindrical part 26. Similar channels are provided in the member 18. Afiixed over the apertures 44 in the walls 36 and 38 of the slot 32 in both members 16 and 18 are frusto-conical shaped electrical cont-acts which can be of an electrically conductive material such as copper. There can be, for example, four such equally spaced contact-s 62, 64, 66 and 68 in each wall 36 and 38; that is to say, for each contact 62, 64, 66 and 68 on the wall 36 there is a matching contact on the opposite wall 38. Each contact 62, 64, 66 and 68 is afiixed by suitable means over an aperture 44. A pair of holes 50 are provided in each wiper arm 48. Two pairs of frusto-conical shaped electrical contacts 70 are positioned on the wiper arm 48. The contacts of each pair of contacts 70 are positioned on opposite sides of the wiper .arm 48 and are electrically connected together, for example, by a wire 72 of copper or similar material which passes through a hole 50 in the wiper arm 48. One pair of contacts 70 on the wiper arm 48 are positioned to bring into electrical contact the first contacts 62 affixed to the walls 36 and 38 and the second pair of contacts 70 are positioned to bring into electrical contact the third cont-acts 66, when the spring 52 is extended and the wiper arm 48 is in a first position. When the spring 52 is compressed and the wiper arm is in a second position, one pair of contacts 70 on the wiper arm 48 are positioned to bring into electrical contact the sec-' ond contacts 64 and the second pair of contacts 70 are positioned to bring into electrical contact the fourth con-- tacts 68. The cable 20 connects the two members 16 and 18 of the plug 12. This cable 20 comprises four wires 74, 76, 78 and 80, which are placed within columnar paths 54 of the plug 12. The four wires 74, 76, 78 and 80 are connected at one end thereof (in numerical order) to the four electrical contacts 62, 64, 66 and 68 on the Wall 38 in the member 16. The other ends of the wires 74, 76,

. 4 78 and 80 are connected in reverse numerical order to the four electrical contacts 62, 64, 66 and 68 of the wall 38 of the member 18.

Spaced electrical contact prongs 82 and 84, which can be made of a rigid electrically conductive material such as steel or brass, are inserted through the appropriately spaced aperture 56 in the end surface 28 of the cylindrical part 22 of the member 16. The prongs 82 and 84 are of such size and shape as to conform to use with AC receptacles. The first prong 82 is in contact by a suitable conductor through a channel 54 with the first and second electrical contacts 62 and 64 on the wall 36 of the member 16. The second prong 84 is electrically joined by a suitable conductor through a channel 54 to the third and fourth electrical contacts 66 and 68 on the wall 36 of the member 16. Electrical contact can be made, for example, by copper wires 86 which are soldered to the prongs and electrical contacts.

Turning now to the member 18 of the plug 12, a disk shaped electrical contact 88 has a peripheral flange 90 extending outwardly in one direction. About an aperture 92 in the center of the disk 88 is .a flange 94 which extends on the side of the disk 88 in a direction opposite from that of the peripheral flange 90. The disk contact 88 is in this manner mounted against the flat end surface 28 of the first cylindrical part 22 of the member 18. The center flange 94 extends through a centrally placed aperture 95 in the end surface 28 of the first part 22 of the member 18.

A semiconductor diode 98 rests within an appropriately shaped cavity 100 in the first part 22 of the member 18. The anode lead 102 extends along a columnar path 54 through the aperture 95 in the first part 22 and the aperture 92 in the disk contact 88. The cathode lead 104 of the diode 98 is atlixed to the first electrical contact 62 on the wall 36 of member 18. Electrical connection is made between the disk contact 88 and the electrical contact 64 on the wall 36 by means of a conductor 86. Both the conductor 86 and the anode lead 102 may be affixed to the disk contact 88 by soldering or other means.

A collar 106 having a laterally extending lip 108 is placed about the first cylindrical part 22 of the member 18. Tabs 10 extend from the collar 106. The lateral lip 108 covers a substantial part of the end surface 30. Electrical contact is made between the lip 108 of the collar contact 106 and the third and fourth electrical contacts 66 and 68 on the wall 36 of the slot 32 in member 18 by means of a conductor 107.

The plug 12 can be constructed, for example, by first forming or molding members 16 and 18 into two halves and inserting the various wires and contacts. This method of construction is commonly employed in the manufacture of standard AC plugs. The two halves of each member 16 and 18 can be held together by a collar 114 of a rigid material such as metal placed about the cylindrical periphery of the third part 26. In addition, a screw 116 with mating nut or rivet (not shown) can further retain the two halves of the first member 16. In the same way the collar contact 106 can retain together the halves of the second member 18.

The socket 14 of the connector assembly as shown in FIG. 1 is cup-shaped with a cylindrical outer surface 118 and a cavity 120. In order to avoid confusion in the showing of FIG. 2, the socket will be described in connection with FIGS. 3 and 4. The cavity 120 of the socket 14 has two cylindrically shaped parts or sections 122 and 124 axially arranged. The first section 122 extends to a lateral planar base 126 of the cavity 120. The second section 124 of the cavity 120 abuts the first section 122 and extends therefrom to form the opening .of the socket 14. The second section 124 has a larger diameter than the first section 122. A laterally extending planar surface 128 is formed Where the first section 122 abuts the second section 124. Extending upwardly along the cylindrical wall of the second section 124 are two diametrically 0pposed finger-like projections 130. The fingers 130 can be, for example, rectangular in shape and extend a part of the way up the second section 124 toward the opening in the cavity 120. The fingers 130 can be of ditterent sizes to key the connecting plug '12. The two fingers 130 as well as the remainder of the socket 14 can be formed of an insulative material such as molded plastic or Bakelite. Columnar shaped channels or paths 132 extend from apertures 134 in the base 126 to apertures 136 in the exterior bottom or base 138 of the cup shaped socket 14. In addition, a columnar channel 132 extends from the bottom 138 to an aperture 140 in the surface 128.

A disk shaped contact 142, made of an electrically conductive material such as copper, has a peripheral flange 144 extending outwardly, and a pair of apertures 146 so shaped and positioned as to be suitable to admit from without contact spaced AC prongs. The disk c0ntact 142 is afiixed by suitable means to the base 126 with its flange 144 extending toward the cavity opening. The apertures 146 in the disk contact 142 are registered with the two apertures 134 in the base 126.

A collar 148 of an electrically conductive material such as copper has a laterally extending lip 150. The

collar 148 has a circumference of suitable diameter to a form a force fit against the wallof the first section 122. The lip 150 covers the surface 128 between the two sections 122 and 124 of the cavity 120. Tabs 152 extend outwardly from the collar 148 into the cavity 120.

Two U-shaped prong receiving contacts 154 are placed within two spaced columnar paths 132. Each of the two columnar paths 132 has an aperture 134 in the base 126. The apertures 146 in the disk contact 142 are registered with these apertures 134. The U-shaped contacts 154, which can be made of copper or other electrically conductive material, are spaced below the apertures 134 so as to avoid electrical contact with the disk 142. Electrical connection can be made from the socket 14 to exterior equipment (not shown) by extending wires 156 through the apertures 136 in the bottom 138 of the socket 14 through the respective columnar paths 132 and a'flixing them by soldering or other means to the prong contacts 154 and to the contacts 148 and 142.

The plug '12 and socket 14 are made to'releasably connect. The first cylindrical part 22 of the plug 12 fits into the first section 122 of the socket 14. The tabs 152 of the socket contact collar 148 serve as a resilient means for holding the plug 12 in place and contact the collar 106. The second part 124 of the socket 14 is so dimensoined as'to easily admit the second part 24 of the plug 12. The fingers 130 are so dimensioned and positioned as to fit into the channels 46 moving the armature 48 and, at the same time, keying the plug 12 into the proper position. The outwardly extending flange 144 of the disk contact 142 of the socket 14is so dimensioned as to releasably secure the peripheral flange 90 of the disk contact 88 of the plug 12.

The operation of the connector assembly 10 can be best understood by reference to FIG. 2. When the plug 12 is not connected, the wiper arms 48 are so positioned that the electrical prongs 82 and 84 of the first member 16 are not in electrical contact with the collar contact 106 and disk contact 88 of the second member 18. The contacts 70 on the respective wiper arms 48 engage contacts 62 and 66. Upon the insertion of the second member 18 into the socket 14, as shown in FIG. 2, the finger 130, shown in FIG. 3, passes into the channel 46 and the armature 48 is moved backward toward the lateral wall 42 nearest the third part 26. When the armature 48 is pushed to this position, contacts 68 on the walls 36 and 38 are electrically joined via contacts 70. In the same way the second contacts 64 are placed in electrical contact via contacts 70. The disk shaped contact 88 and the collar contact 106 of the second member 18 are respectfully in electrical contact with the disk contact 1.42 and collar contact 148 of the socket 14. An electrically conductive 6 path begins with the wire 156 affixed to the collar contact 148 within the socket 14 to the fourth contact 68 on the wall 36 of the slot 32 of the second member 18. The

conductive path continues through the contacts 70 on the wiper arm 48 to the fourth contact 68 on the wall 38, then via the first wire 74 of the cable 20 to the first contact 62 of the first member 16. From the first contact 62 on the wall 38 in the member 16, the path continues through the contacts 70 on the wiper arm 48 to the first contact 62 on the wall 36 of the member 16 to the first prong 82. A second electrically conductive path is established from a wire 156 aflixed to the disk contact 142 in the socket 14 to the disk contact 88 on the second member 18. The path continues from the disk contact 88 to the second contact 64 on the wall 36 of member 18 through the contacts 70 on the wiper arm 48 to the sec ond contact 64 on the Wall 38 of member 18 and from there over the third wire 78 in the cable 20 to the first member 16 and its third contact 66 on the wall 38 of the member 16. Electrical contact is made from the third contact 66 on the wall 38 via contacts 70 to the second electrical prong 84. The member 16 of the plug 12 can now be connected in a socket suitably arranged to receive the prongs 82 and 84 (i.e., an outlet).

If the first member 16 is inserted in the connector socket 14 (as indicated in phantom in FIG. 2), contact is established between the disk contact 142 and collar contact 148 of the second member 18 and U-shaped prong contacts 154 of the socket 14. The second member 18 is suitably constructed for inserting into a DC outlet as may be found, for example, in an automobile (i.e. cigarette lighters). If desired, the collar contact 106 may be threaded for inserting in a socket of the type used for insertion of light bulbs. The diode 98, which can be employed so that the connector may be either AC or DC voltages, is so positioned as to prevent the flow of current through the plug 12 in the direction which might injure the equipment for which the connector, assembly 10 is to be used. This might occur if, for example, the second member 18 was accidentally plugged into either a DC socket having the wrong polarity or an AC outlet.

A further embodiment is shown in FIG. 5 in which the cable 20 between the members 16 and 18 is eliminated. The plug 12 shown in FIG. 5 is similar to the plug 12 shown in FIG. 1. The similarities are indicated in the drawing by the use of similar reference characters to indicate similar parts. Parts corresponding to similar parts included in member 16 of FIG. 2 are given the subscript a, while parts corresponding to parts in member 18 of FIG. 2 are given the subscript b.

v The plug 12 in FIG. 5 resembles the plug 12 in FIG. 1 in the following way. The plug 12 has a first cylindrical part 22a axially aflixed to a second cylindrical part 24. In combination, these two parts 22a and 24 structurally resemble the first member 16 shown in FIG. 1.

Extending out of a lateral planar and 28a of the first part 22a are two prongs 82a and 84a. Axially afiixed to the other end of the second part 24 is a third cylindrical part 22b. The combination of the second and third part 24 and 22b structurally resembles the second member 18. The third part 22b has affixed to it a collar 106b and disk contact 88b. A rectangular slot 32 is located within the second part 24. Four electrical contacts 62a, 64a, 66a and 68a are arranged along a wall 36a (numbered in ascending order from a lateral wall 40a adjacent to the first part 22a). In the same way, four electrical contacts 62b, 64b,

66b and 68b are arranged on the wall 36b and aligned with the first-mentioned set of contacts (numbered in ascending order from the opposite lateral wall 40b adjacent to the third part 22b). A wiper arm 48 is placed in the slot 32 and contacts 70 are placed thereon. The contacts 70 are so arranged as to register with the aligned contacts (62a, b; 64a, b; 66a, b; 68a, b) so that in one position 62a and 68b as well as 66a and 64b are electrically connected.

- In a second position electrical contact is formed from 64a to 66b and from 68a to 62b. The contact (62a, b; 640, b; 66a, b; 68a, b) diode 98b (internal to the third part 22b) and external contacts (82a, 84a, 88b and 196b) are connected in the same manner as shown in the plug 12 of FIG. 1. The wiper arm 48a has edge portions accessible through the rectangular channels 46a. Helical springs 52a, b are atfixed between the lateral wall 46a, b and opposite edges of the wiper arm 48a.

When the plug 12 is not inserted in a socket 14, the springs 52a, b hold armature contacts 70 away from the slot contacts (62a, 68b; 64a, 66b; 66a, 64b; 68a, 62b). In this position the prongs (82, 84), collar 106 and disk contacts 83 are open. Inserting either end of the plug 12 into the socket 14 causes the wiper arm 48a to be moved. The resulting joining of aligned contacts (62a, 68b; 64a, 66b; 66a, 64b; 68a, 6211) via the contacts 70 causes each exterior contact (820, 84a, 88b, 106b) to be joined in the manner as set forth in the description of the operation of the connector assembly 10 of FIG. 1.

What is claimed is:

1. A multipurpose electrical connector assembly for use with AC and/r DC receptacles, comprising (a) a first sub-assembly having first and second forms of electrical contacts which form an integral part thereof,

said first form of contacts comprising at least two protruding prongs, and

said second form of contacts comprising a disktype contact assembly;

(b) a second sub-assembly formed with an orifice adapted to releasably receive said first and second forms of electrical contacts;

(c) first and second switching means included Within said first sub-assembly, said switching means including means for normally providing an electrical discontinuity between said first and second forms of electrical contacts, and means for providing electrical continuity between said first and second forms of contacts;

(d) first and second switch operating means included within said first sub-assembly for operating said first and second switching means respectively, one of said switch operating means becoming operable when said first form of electrical contacts is inserted into the orifice of said second sub-assembly to provide an electrical continuity to said second form, and the other of said switch operating means becoming operable when said second form of electrical contacts is inserted into said orifice to provide electrical continuity to said first form,

whereby an electrical discontinuity is maintained be tween said first and second forms of contacts until one of said forms is connected to said second sub-assembly.

2. A connector assembly as described in claim 1 further comprising,

a unidirectional current conducting device included within said first sub-assembly, said device disposed between said first and second forms of electrical contacts.

3. A connector assembly, comprising,

.a socket having a cylindrically shaped cavity and a pair of rectangularly shaped fingers diametrically opposed and extending axially along a portion of the inner walls of the cavity,

a cylindrically shaped plug having an enclosed rectangular slot shaped chamber and a pair of rectangular shaped channel-like apertures opening into said chamber, said channels being diametrically opposed, said plug being insertable into said socket with said fingers fitting easily into said channels,

a switch within said plug, comprising a rectangularly shaped wiper arm within said chamber, a portion of said wiper arm extending into said channels, said wiper arm positioned to move axially within said plug and parallel to opposite Walls of said chamber,

a plurality of electrical contacts affixed at regular intervals to said opposite walls of said chamber, each of said chamber contacts on one of said walls being aligned with one of said chamber contacts on said opposite wall,

a plurality of electrical contacts affixed at regular intervals to opposite sides of said wipcr arm, each of said wiper arm contacts on one side of said wiper arm being aligned with one of said wiper arm contacts on said opposite side of said wiper arm,

a pair of helical springs each having one end afiixed to an edge of said armature and the other end affixed to a wall of said chamber holding said wiper arm resiliently in a first position and permitting said wiper arm to move axially, said wiper arm contacts being located so that when said wiper arm is held in said first position by said springs said wiper arm contacts and said chamber contacts are spaced apart,

means for electrically connecting each pair of said aligned wiper arm contacts,

a pair of prong contacts afiixed to and extending axially out from one end of said plug,

a center disk contact afiixed to and extending from the other end of said plug,

a cylindrical collar contact placed about and affixed to a cylindrical surface of said plug close to said end having said disk contact,

means for electrically connecting one of said prongs to a first and :a second successive chamber contact on one of said walls, said other prong to a third and a fourth successsive chamber contact on said one wall, said collar contact to a first and a second successive chamber contact on said opposite wall, and said disk contact to a third successive chamber contact on said opposite wall,

a diode having one terminal connected to a fourth successive chamber contact on said opposite wall and a second terminal connected to said disk contact,

a disk contact affixed to the base of said cavity of said socket and a cylindrical collar contact affixed to said wall of said socket with said socket disk contact and said socket collar contact being adapted to engage said plug disk contact and said plug collar contact respectively upon the insertion of said other end of said plug into said socket, the insertion of said other end of said plug into said socket causing said fingers to move into said channels and move said wiper arm against said springs to a second position at which said wiper arm contacts electrically connect said first chamber contacts to one another and said third chamber contacts to one another, and

a pair of prong receptacle contacts in said base of said socket insulated from said socket disk contact adapted to receive said prongs of said plug, the insertion of said one end of said plug into said socket causing said fingers to' move into said channels and move said wiper arm against said springs to a third position at which said wiper arm contacts electrically connect said second chamber contacts to one another and said fourth chamber contacts to one another.

4. A connector assembly, comprising,

a socket having a cylindrically shaped cavity and a pair of rectangularly shaped fingers diametrically opposed and extending axially along a portion of the inner walls of said cavity,

a plug including a first and a second cylindrically shaped member, each of said cylindrically shaped members having an enclosed rectangular slot-shaped chamber and a pair of rectangularly shaped channel-like openings into said chamber, said channels being diametrically opposed, said members each being insertable into said socket with said fingers of said socket fitting into said channels,

a cable comprised of four wires,

a switching means within each of said first and second members of said plug including a rectangularly shaped wiper arm within said chamber, a portion of said wiper arm extending into said channels, said wiper arm being positioned to move axially within said plug,

a plurality of electrical contacts afiixed successively at regular intervals to opposite first and second walls of said chamber, each of said chamber contacts on said first wall being aligned with but spaced from one of said chamber contacts on said second wall,

a plurality of electrical contacts affixed successively at regular intervals on opposite sides of said wiper arm, each of said wiper arm contacts on one side of said wiper arm being aligned with one of said wiper arm contacts on said opposite side of said wiper arm,

a helical spring having one end affixed to an edge of said wiper arm and the other end aflixed to a wall of said chamber, said spring holding said wiper arm resiliently in a first position and permitting said wiper arm to move axially,

means for electrically connecting each pair of aligned wiper arm contacts,

a pair of prong contacts extending from and afiixed to one end of said first member,

means within said first member for electrically connecting one of said prongs to first and second successive ones of said chamber contacts and said other prong to the third and fourth successive chamber contacts afiixed to said first wall,

a center disk contact afiixed to one end of said second member,

a cylindrical collar contact afiixed about the cylindrical surface of said second member close to said end having said disk contact aflixed thereto,

a diode within said second member having one terminal affixed to said first successive chamber contact on said second wall in said second member and a second terminal affixed to said disk contact,

means within said second member for electrically connecting said disk contact to the second successive chamber contact and said collar contact to the third and fourth successive chamber contacts on said second wall in said second member,

means connecting first, second, third and fourth wires of said cable respectively to first, second, third and fourth chamber contacts on said second wall of said first member,

means connecting said first, second, third and fourth wires of said cable respectively to said fourth, third, second and first successive chamber contacts on said first wall of said second member,

said wiper arm contacts being arranged to contact said chamber contacts so that when said wiper arms in said first and second members are held in said first position said first chamber contacts in said first member are electrically connected together, said third chamber contacts in said first member are electrically connected together, said first chamber contacts in said second member are connected together, and said third chamber contacts in said second member are electrically connected together,

a disk contact atfixed to the base of said cavity of said socket and a cylindrical collar contact affixed to said wall of said socket with said socket disk contact and said socket collar contact being adapted to engage said plug disk contact and said plug collar contact, respectively, upon the insertion of said one end of said second member into said socket, the insertion of said one end of said second member into said socket causing said fingers to move into said channels in said second member and move said wiper arm in said second member to a second position at which said wiper arm contacts electrically connect said second chamber contacts in said second member to one another and said fourth chamber contacts in said second member to one another, and

a pair of prong receptacle contacts in said base of said socket insulated from said socket disk contact adapted to receive said prong contacts on said one end of said first member, the insertion of said one end of said first member into said socket causing said fingers to move into said channels in said first member and move said wiper arm in said first member to a second position at which said wiper arm contacts electrically connect said second chamber contacts in said first member to one another and said fourth chamber contacts in said first member to one another.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 8/1908 Klein 200-51 4/1940 Amet 339-28 10/ 1961 Emmons 320-2 5/1925 Pellegren 339-168 8/1931 Osgian 200-16 1/ 1940 10/ 1953 12/ 1957 Satinolf 200-51 Berticcvich 200-51 2/ 1963 Hartwig.

8/1965 Pecoroni et a1 339-154 FOREIGN PATENTS 720,594 12/ 1931 France.

Riggs 200-51 55 ROBERT K. SCHAEFER, Primary Examiner.

D. SMITH, Assistant Examiner,

US54497266 1966-04-25 1966-04-25 Multipurpose electrical connector for use with ac and/or dc receptacles Expired - Lifetime US3391262A (en)

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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3467796A (en) * 1967-02-20 1969-09-16 Victor Electric Wire & Cable C Electrical connector
US4013849A (en) * 1975-02-18 1977-03-22 Methode Electronics, Inc. Power pack plug switch
US4460811A (en) * 1982-11-30 1984-07-17 Murr Paul G Combination switching connector
US4579407A (en) * 1983-09-09 1986-04-01 Technopark Mine Co., Ltd. Interface cable
US4652067A (en) * 1985-12-06 1987-03-24 Switchcraft, Inc. Electrical connector with an internal switch
US5276415A (en) * 1992-06-18 1994-01-04 Lewandowski Robert J Selectable AC or DC coupling for coaxial transmission lines
US20050187440A1 (en) * 2004-02-20 2005-08-25 Yassir Abdul-Hafiz Connector switch
US7249976B1 (en) * 2006-03-30 2007-07-31 Watson H Scott Electrical plug, receptacle and switch

Citations (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US896838A (en) * 1906-11-27 1908-08-25 Ralph Abraham Schoenberg Electrical apparatus.
US1536522A (en) * 1922-10-17 1925-05-05 Louis P Pellegren Extension plug for electric sockets
US1819196A (en) * 1926-10-11 1931-08-18 James M Osgian Signal switch
FR720594A (en) * 1931-06-26 1932-02-22 Courbon Automatic electrical contact for voltage transformers or other electrical applications
US2188725A (en) * 1939-01-10 1940-01-30 Thurman M Perry Switch
US2197910A (en) * 1939-05-29 1940-04-23 Harry A Ament Electric razor apparatus
US2656425A (en) * 1951-05-14 1953-10-20 Satinoff David Safety interlock switch
US2816185A (en) * 1956-12-21 1957-12-10 George C Berticevich Electrical connector
US3005141A (en) * 1959-11-30 1961-10-17 Rca Corp Battery charger
US3079510A (en) * 1957-11-01 1963-02-26 Licentia Gmbh Dry shaving apparatus combining varying sources of power
US3201617A (en) * 1962-04-20 1965-08-17 Westinghouse Electric Corp Connector including a rectifier for voltage reduction

Patent Citations (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US896838A (en) * 1906-11-27 1908-08-25 Ralph Abraham Schoenberg Electrical apparatus.
US1536522A (en) * 1922-10-17 1925-05-05 Louis P Pellegren Extension plug for electric sockets
US1819196A (en) * 1926-10-11 1931-08-18 James M Osgian Signal switch
FR720594A (en) * 1931-06-26 1932-02-22 Courbon Automatic electrical contact for voltage transformers or other electrical applications
US2188725A (en) * 1939-01-10 1940-01-30 Thurman M Perry Switch
US2197910A (en) * 1939-05-29 1940-04-23 Harry A Ament Electric razor apparatus
US2656425A (en) * 1951-05-14 1953-10-20 Satinoff David Safety interlock switch
US2816185A (en) * 1956-12-21 1957-12-10 George C Berticevich Electrical connector
US3079510A (en) * 1957-11-01 1963-02-26 Licentia Gmbh Dry shaving apparatus combining varying sources of power
US3005141A (en) * 1959-11-30 1961-10-17 Rca Corp Battery charger
US3201617A (en) * 1962-04-20 1965-08-17 Westinghouse Electric Corp Connector including a rectifier for voltage reduction

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3467796A (en) * 1967-02-20 1969-09-16 Victor Electric Wire & Cable C Electrical connector
US4013849A (en) * 1975-02-18 1977-03-22 Methode Electronics, Inc. Power pack plug switch
US4460811A (en) * 1982-11-30 1984-07-17 Murr Paul G Combination switching connector
US4579407A (en) * 1983-09-09 1986-04-01 Technopark Mine Co., Ltd. Interface cable
US4652067A (en) * 1985-12-06 1987-03-24 Switchcraft, Inc. Electrical connector with an internal switch
US5276415A (en) * 1992-06-18 1994-01-04 Lewandowski Robert J Selectable AC or DC coupling for coaxial transmission lines
US20050187440A1 (en) * 2004-02-20 2005-08-25 Yassir Abdul-Hafiz Connector switch
US7371981B2 (en) * 2004-02-20 2008-05-13 Masimo Corporation Connector switch
US7249976B1 (en) * 2006-03-30 2007-07-31 Watson H Scott Electrical plug, receptacle and switch

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