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US3504332A - Electrical connector - Google Patents

Electrical connector Download PDF

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Publication number
US3504332A
US3504332A US3504332DA US3504332A US 3504332 A US3504332 A US 3504332A US 3504332D A US3504332D A US 3504332DA US 3504332 A US3504332 A US 3504332A
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Prior art keywords
portion
body
surfaces
member
wedge
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
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James Lenhart Mixon Jr
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AMP Inc
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AMP Inc
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RLINE CONNECTORS; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R4/00Electrically-conductive connections between two or more conductive members in direct contact and means for effecting or maintaining such contact
    • H01R4/28Clamped connections, spring connections
    • H01R4/50Clamped connections, spring connections utilising a cam, wedge, cone or ball also combined with a screw
    • H01R4/5083Clamped connections, spring connections utilising a cam, wedge, cone or ball also combined with a screw using a wedge

Description

March 31, 1970 J. L. NIIXON, JR 3, 32

ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed Jan. 31. 196' United States Patent Office 3,504,332 Patented Mar. 31, 1970 US. Cl. 339-273 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An electrically-conductive body means includes a plurality of portions which define a plurality of pairs of spaced, opposed facing surfaces. Each pair of facing surfaces defines a tapered space therebetween. All of these surfaces are of arcuate cross-sectional configuration. Each tapered space is adapted to receive a correspondingly tapered wedge member. This wedge member has opposite arcuate edge portions. One of the edge portions of the wedge member is adapted to fit against a complementary surface on the body means, while the opposite edge portion of the wedge member is adapted to clamp a bared wire between such opposite edge portion of the wedge member and the other of the respective pair of opposed facing surfaces defined by the body means. The wedge members are fired into operative clamping relationship by an explosive tool, and the wedge members may be removed with the use of the same tool.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a multi-tap connector which is especially adapted for use in underground rural development applications where it is desired to tap a plurality of wires or surface cables from secondary electrical cables to individual homes or establishments.

Prior art multi-tap connectors are of such a construction that effective electrical connections cannot be made with sufficient speed and facility. Such prior art connectors also are of unnecessarily complicated construction and expense. Additionally, it is often necessary to disturb other connections when it is desired to make 01' break any particular connection with respect to the connector.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In the present invention, the wires are held in place by tapered wedge members which fit within tapered spaces defined by spaced surfaces on the integral body means. The electrical connections may be made in a most simple and effective manner simply by inserting the wedge members into position with the utilization of a suitable tool. Similarly, the connection can be readily broken by removing the tapered wedge members.

The connector of the present invention may be manufactured in a most economical manner by extruding the body means, whereupon the body means can be cut to desired length and machined to its final shape. This construction enables the manufacturing cost to be reduced to a minimum.

The various electrical connections between wires and the connector of the present invention are each separate and independent from one another, and any particular connection can be readily made or broken without, in any way, atfecting the other electrical connections.

An object of the present invention is to provide a new and novel electrical connector which is simple and inexpensive in manufacture, and wherein one of a plurality of electrical connections may be easily made or broken at any time without disturbing any of the other connections.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURE 1 is a top perspective view illustrating the electrical connector of the present invention, with a plulrlality of electrical cables operatively connected therew1t FIGURE 2 is a sectional view, taken substantially along line 22 of FIGURE 1, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view, taken substantially along line 33 of FIGURE 2, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view, taken subtsantially along line 4--4 of FIGURE 2, looking in the direction of the arrows; and

FIGURE 5 is a top perspective view of a tapered wedge member employed in the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, a body means is indicated generally by reference numeral 10, this body means being formed of a suitable, electrically-conductive substance, such as aluminum or the like, and preferably being manufactured by being extruded in long sections and then cut to the desired length. The sloping surfaces referred to hereinafter are subsequently machined or suitably formed so as to provide the tapered spaces hereinafter described.

The body means includes a main elongated body portion 12 having a plurality of grooves 14 formed in the rear surface thereof, and having a longitudinally extending channel 16 formed in the bottom thereof as seen in FIGURE 1. The body means includes upper and lower opposite surfaces 18 and 20.

As seen most clearly in FIGURE 2, the integral main body portion has an outwardly-extending portion 30 formed at one end thereof which extends substantially normally to the main body portion 12. The outwardlyextending portion 30 terminates in a curved portion 32 defining an inner surface 34 of generally arcuate crosssectional configuration. A line extending downwardly along surface 34 is disposed substantially parallel with the rear surface of main body portion 12. This generally arcuate surface 34, as well as the other arcuate surfaces defined hereinafter, defines a portion of a substantially cylindrical surface.

Another integral portion 36 extends outwardly from the main body portion 12 in substantially parallel relationship to the aforementioned portion 30 and terminates in a curved portion 38 extending toward the curved portion 32. A generally arcuate inner surface 40 is defined within curved portion 38, this arcuate surface 40 also being positioned so that a line extending downwardly therealong is disposed substantailly parallel with the rear surface of the main body portion 12.

A further body portion 44 extends outwardly from the main body portion in substantially parallel relationship to body portion 36 and terminates in a curved portion 46. A generally arcuate inner surface 48 is formed in curved portion 46, arcuate surface 48 being related to the main body portion in the same manner as the previously described arcuate surfaces.

A further body portion 50 extends substantially normally from the main body portion 12 and terminates in a curved portion 52 extending toward the curved portion 46 and having a generally arcuate inner surface 54 formed thereon similar to the arcuate surface 48.

A further body portion 58 extends substantially perpendicularly from main body portion 12 and substantially parallel to body portion 50. Body portion 58 terminates in a curved portion 60 having a generally arcuate inner surface 62 similar to those previously described. A further body portion 64 is formed at the opposite end of the main body portion 12 and extends substantially parallel with body portion 58. Body portion 64 terminates in a curved portion 66 having an inner, generally arcuate surface 68 similar to those previously described.

A plurality of generally arcuate surfaces 70, 72, 74, 76, 78 and 80 are formed on the main body portion 12 in opposed facing relationship to the surfaces 34, 40, 48, 54, 62 and 68, respectively. It will accordingly be apparent that, in the structure shown, six pairs of opposed facing surfaces are provided. Each pair of opposed facing surfaces, in conjunction with respective outwardly-extending portions 30, 36, 44, 50, 58, and 64, form a C-shaped member. Each C-shaped member has a base comprised of the respective arcuate surface: 70, 72, 74, 76, 78, and 80. Each of surfaces 70, 72, 74, 76, 78 and 80 forms a portion of a substantially cylindrical surface, and each of these surfaces is tapered in a downward direction; that is to say, each of these surfaces slopes downwardly and inwardly toward the opposite, opposed surface so as to define a downwardly tapering space therebetween as will be apparent from an inspection of FIGURES 3 and 4. Sloping surfaces 70 and 72 are joined by a similarly sloping flat surface 84, while sloping surfaces 74 and 76 are joined by a similarly sloping flat surface 86, and sloping surfaces 78 and 80 are joined by a similarly sloping flat surface 88.

While six pairs of opposed facing surfaces have been shown, it is apparent that any number of pairs of opposed surfaces may be provided, and these surfaces may be of different size. It is apparent that the two pairs of surfaces shown at the left-hand portion of FIGURE 2 are of greater curvature and size than are the remaining pairs of opposed surfaces. Obviously, the size of these surfaces and the curvature thereof are dependent upon the size of the electrical cables which it is desired to clamp within the connector.

Referring now to FIGURE 5, a typical wedge member is indicated generally by reference numeral 100. This wedge member includes opposite edge portions 102 and 104, each of which is of generally arcuate cross-sectional configuration. The edge portion 102 tapers from the near end of the wedge member, as seen in FIGURE 5, toward the opposite end thereof so as to slope toward the edge portion 104. The slope of this edge portion 102 and the taper of the wedge member is complementary to the slope of surfaces 70-80, whereby the wedge member is, in its overall construction, complementary to the tapered spaces defined by the opposed facing surfaces formed on the body means as aforedescribed.

Edge portion 102 of the wedge member 100 is adapted to fit snugly within one of sloping surfaces 70-80, respectively, while the opposite edge portion 104 is adapted to clamp the bared end of a cable against one of the surfaces 34, 40, 48, 54, 62 or 68.

As seen most clearly in FIGURE 1, a pair of secondary cables 110 and 112 are illustrated, and four service cables 114, 116, 118 and 120 are illustrated. Cables 110-120, inclusive, include bared end portions 110', 112', 114', 116, 118 and 120', respectively, which are received with- 4 in the end portions 66, 60, 52, 46, 38 and 32, respectively, formed on the body means.

Six wedge members 130, 132, 134, 136, 138 and 140 are illustrated in operative position for clamping the bared ends of the cables to the connector. Each of these wedge members is identical in construction with that shown in FIGURE 5, it being understood that the dimensions thereof are merely altered so as to fit into the various tapered spaces provided in the body means for receiving the same.

It is apparent that as the wedge members are driven downwardly into the connector as seen in FIGURE 1, and in the directions as indicated by the arrows in FIG- URES 3 and 4 from the phantom line to the solid line position, the cooperation of the sloping surfaces formed on the wedge members and those formed on the body means will cause the wedge members to compress the bared ends of the cables tightly against the associated body portions to thereby firmly and lockingly engage the bared ends of the cables to the body means to provide a good mechanical and electrical interconnection therewith.

In order to readily drive the wedge members into the operative clamping position as shown in FIGURE 1, a suitable explosive tool is employed wherein the tool is adapted to receive a shell which is fired to cause a ram member to strike the wedge and move it into operative position. A tool for this purpose is similar to the type illustrated and described in US. Patent No. 3,212,534, with the head of the tool modified to accommodate the shape of the body portion 12. Any suitable tool may be employed for removing the wedge members to release the cables.

It is apparent from the foregoing that there is provided, according to the present invention, a new and novel electrical connector which may be manufactured at a low cost, and wherein the electrical connections may be simply made by merely inserting a bared end of a cable into place within the connector and then driving a wedge member into compressing position. Each of the electrical connections is separate and independent from each of the others so that any particular connection may be made or broken without disturbing any of the other connections.

As this invention may be embodied in several forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof, the present embodiment is therefore illustrative and not restrictive.

What is claimed is:

1. An electrical connector for joining conductors comprising a main body member, a plurality of C-shaped members, adapted to receive a conductor therein, each of said C-shaped members having a base comprised of the arcuate portion adjacent the open face of the C-shaped member, each said base being integral with and comprising a portion of said main body member, and an outwardly-extending portion joining said arcuate portion, conductor-retaining members adapted to be inserted into said C-shaped members, and said C-shaped members being oriented at their respective bases with said outwardly-extending portions mutually extending from a common side of said main body member in substantially parallel relationship.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the C-shaped members are tapered from one end to the other and the conductor-retaining members are correspondingly tapered,

3. An electrical connection joining conductors, comprising: a main body member, a first C-shaped member, said C-shaped member having a base comprised of the arcuate portion adjacent the open face of the C-shaped member, and an outwardly-extending portion joining said arcuate portion, a conductor positioned therein, a second C-shaped member, having a similar base portion and outwardly-extending portion, a second conductorpositioned. therein, each said base being integral with and comprising a portion of said main body member; conductor-retaining means inserted, into each of saidi CQ-shaped members to;

retain the conductors therein, and said C-shaped members being oriented at their respective bases with said outwardly-extending portions mutually extending from a common side of said main body member in substantially parallel relationship.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein the C-shaped members are tapered from one end to the other and the conductor-retaining means are correspondingly tapered.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1939 Miller et a1.

FOREIGN PATENTS 5/1935 France. 9/1953 France.

MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner I. H. McGLYNN, Assistant Examiner

US3504332A 1967-01-23 1967-01-23 Electrical connector Expired - Lifetime US3504332A (en)

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Cited By (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4842558A (en) * 1988-10-14 1989-06-27 Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Company Electrical connector
US5340336A (en) * 1993-07-29 1994-08-23 The Whitaker Corporation Electrical connector
US5507671A (en) * 1994-09-15 1996-04-16 Burndy Corporation Wedge connector for electrical conductors
US5538447A (en) * 1994-12-09 1996-07-23 Burndy Corporation Electrical wedge connector
US5558546A (en) * 1994-12-09 1996-09-24 Burndy Corporation Electrical wedge connector with preinstallment interconnector
US5613883A (en) * 1994-09-15 1997-03-25 Framatome Connectors Usa Inc. Wedge connector for electrical conductors
US5679031A (en) * 1995-08-23 1997-10-21 Framatome Connectors Usa Inc. Electrical wedge connector with retention barbs
US5830019A (en) * 1994-12-09 1998-11-03 Burndy Corporation Tubular wedge for an electrical wedge connector
US5916001A (en) * 1997-12-15 1999-06-29 Framatome Connectors Usa, Inc. Insulation piercing wedge connector with piercing support wedge
US6004165A (en) * 1998-11-06 1999-12-21 Thomas & Betts International Multiple cable connector and method therefor
US6116969A (en) * 1997-08-26 2000-09-12 Thomas & Betts International, Inc. Cable connector
US6517391B1 (en) 1997-12-15 2003-02-11 Framatome Connectors Usa Inc. Insulation piercing wedge connector

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR784791A (en) * 1934-04-20 1935-07-24 A fastening cables, rods or the like may constitute a connection for electric cables or son
US2166847A (en) * 1937-09-27 1939-07-18 Joseph E Miller Wire clamp
FR1053087A (en) * 1952-03-26 1954-01-29 Connection device for electrical conductors
US3275974A (en) * 1964-04-06 1966-09-27 Amp Inc Electrical stirrup connector
US3280856A (en) * 1962-02-09 1966-10-25 Amp Inc Electrical connectors and means for applying them
US3290746A (en) * 1965-05-14 1966-12-13 Amp Inc Electrical connector for securing wires at right angles

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR784791A (en) * 1934-04-20 1935-07-24 A fastening cables, rods or the like may constitute a connection for electric cables or son
US2166847A (en) * 1937-09-27 1939-07-18 Joseph E Miller Wire clamp
FR1053087A (en) * 1952-03-26 1954-01-29 Connection device for electrical conductors
US3280856A (en) * 1962-02-09 1966-10-25 Amp Inc Electrical connectors and means for applying them
US3275974A (en) * 1964-04-06 1966-09-27 Amp Inc Electrical stirrup connector
US3290746A (en) * 1965-05-14 1966-12-13 Amp Inc Electrical connector for securing wires at right angles

Cited By (18)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE3920677A1 (en) * 1988-10-14 1990-04-19 Minnesota Mining & Mfg electrical connector
DE3920677C2 (en) * 1988-10-14 1999-03-11 Minnesota Mining & Mfg An electrical connector
US4842558A (en) * 1988-10-14 1989-06-27 Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Company Electrical connector
ES2103230A1 (en) * 1993-07-29 1997-09-01 Whitaker Corp electrical connector.
US5340336A (en) * 1993-07-29 1994-08-23 The Whitaker Corporation Electrical connector
US5613883A (en) * 1994-09-15 1997-03-25 Framatome Connectors Usa Inc. Wedge connector for electrical conductors
US5507671A (en) * 1994-09-15 1996-04-16 Burndy Corporation Wedge connector for electrical conductors
US5538447A (en) * 1994-12-09 1996-07-23 Burndy Corporation Electrical wedge connector
US5558546A (en) * 1994-12-09 1996-09-24 Burndy Corporation Electrical wedge connector with preinstallment interconnector
US5830019A (en) * 1994-12-09 1998-11-03 Burndy Corporation Tubular wedge for an electrical wedge connector
US5862589A (en) * 1994-12-09 1999-01-26 Framatome Connectors Usa, Inc. Tubular wedge for an electrical wedge connector
US5774987A (en) * 1994-12-09 1998-07-07 Burndy Corporation Electrical wedge connector
US5794334A (en) * 1995-08-23 1998-08-18 Framatome Connectors Usa, Inc. Method of forming electrical wedge connector with retention barbs
US5679031A (en) * 1995-08-23 1997-10-21 Framatome Connectors Usa Inc. Electrical wedge connector with retention barbs
US6116969A (en) * 1997-08-26 2000-09-12 Thomas & Betts International, Inc. Cable connector
US5916001A (en) * 1997-12-15 1999-06-29 Framatome Connectors Usa, Inc. Insulation piercing wedge connector with piercing support wedge
US6517391B1 (en) 1997-12-15 2003-02-11 Framatome Connectors Usa Inc. Insulation piercing wedge connector
US6004165A (en) * 1998-11-06 1999-12-21 Thomas & Betts International Multiple cable connector and method therefor

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