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Патент USA US3027547

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March 27, 1962
L. J. HEss ETAL
3,027,537
SOCKET
Filed Sept. ll, 1958
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March 27, 1962
l.. J. Hr-:ss ETAL
3,027,537
SOCKET
Filed Sept. ll, 1958
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March 27, 1962
L.. J. HEss ETAL
3,027,537
SOCKET
Filed Sept. ll, 1958
3 Sheets-Sheet 3
te@
ÈßZ'LäSTÍ
Patented Mar. 27, i962
2
FIG. 13 is a side View partially broken away of the
Lester
insulator body of the socket illustrated in FIG. ll.
Referring to FIG. l, a miniature baseless light bulb 14
Hess, Maurice E. Kennedy, and Jasper Long,
eturgrs, Mieli., assignors to Wade Electric Products Co.,
is illustrated as assembled within a socket I6 embodying
features of the present invention. As explained pre
viously, the bulb is rnade entirely of glass and has lila
ment contact wire means I3 and Ztl projecting from the
Sturgis, Mich., a corporation of ltdichigan
Filed Sept. Il, i958, Ser. No. 766,466
14 Claims. (El. 339-191)
end 22 thereof to enable electrical connection to be made
This invention relates to sockets for light bulbs and
therewith. The special configuration of the end 22 and
more particularly to a socket for a miniature light bulb
10 the manner in which electrical connection is made with
that does not have a conventional metal base.
the exposed conductors I8 and 2d will be described in
One of the leading electrical companies has recently
greater detail hereinafter.
eve'loped a miniature light bulb that does not have a con
Referring to FIGS. 2-5, as well as FIG. l, the socket
ventional threaded metal base for screwing the bulb into
I6 is comprised of an insulator socket body 24 having a
a conventional socket in a manner to make electrical
contact with the socket. Therefore, this light bulb may 15 bore 26 extending therethrough and a center wall 28 adja
cent the left end thereof, as viewed in FIG. 3, that divides
be aptly designated as a miniature baseless bulb. It is all
the bore 26 into two sections. The insulator body may be
glass and the conductors within the bulb project through
_molded of any suitable insulating material, such as a
one end of the bulb to enable electrical connection to be
made therewith, the end of the bulb being elongated and
of special configuration to facilitate the retention of the 20
phenolic resin, for example.
Each section of the bore 26 is designed to retain con
tact element means Z9, and has pairs of inwardly present~
ing stepped shoulders 3€? and 32 with a groove 34 be
It is one object of the present invention to provide a
socket for a miniature baseless bulb.
tween the shoulders 32. A groove 35 is also formed in
the right end of each of the grooves 34 and terminates in
It is another object of the invention to provide a rela
tively small socket for removably retaining a miniature 25 a transverse shoulder 36 facing toward the right end of
the insulator body, and a semicylindrical groove 37 is
baseless bulb with a detent action so that the bulb may
formed in the left end of each of the grooves 34 and ter
be snapped into and iirmly retained within the socket,
minates in a transverse shoulder 38 facing toward the
but may be removed by simply pulling on the bulb when
desired.
left end of the insulator body. Transverse shoulders 46
It is a further object 0f the invention to provide a rela 30 and 42 are also formed on opposite sides of the center
wall 213 and are centrally located on the center wall 23
tively small insulator having a pair of spaced metal con
facing toward the left end of the insulator body, as viewed
tacts ñrmly retained therein in a manner to resilíently
in FIG. 3. Wing receiving groove means 41, 43 are
receive and make electrical connection with a miniature
baseless bulb.
provided between the center wall 28 and the shoulders Sii.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide a 35 It will be noted that this insulator (as is the one of FIG.
ll) is of such design that it can be easily molded in a
socket for a miniature baseless bulb that can have the end
bulb within a socket.
thereof with the light bulb projecting therefrom press-fit
simple mold having axially extending core pins.
into a hole in a panel, such as an instrument panel of an
As most clearly illustrated in FIGS. 6-10, each of the
metal contact elements 29 is comprised of a generally
automobile.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide a
socket for a miniature baseless bulb that is compact, rela
tively small and inexpensive, easy to manufacture and
assemble, and effective in use.
channel shaped elongated body 44 having a substantially
U-shaped cross section. Each contact element is pro
vided with resilient contact arms formed by a first pair
of transverse wings 46 projecting outwardly from each
of the legs 43 (side walls) of the body ¿i4 at the right end
Other objects, features and advantages of the present
invention will become apparent from the following de
thereof as viewed in FIGS. 6 and 7.
tailed description taken in conjunction with the accom
curved outer surfaces extending longitudinally of the
bore 26 and forming a projection which extends inwardly
panying drawings, in which:
FIGURE l is a longitudinal sectional view of a socket
The wings have
toward the center of the bore. Notches 5i) are formed in
the portions of the legs 43 adjacent to the transverse wings
FIG. 2 is an end View of the insulator body of the 50 46, and a second pair of transverse wings 52 extend out
socket illustrated in FIG. l;
wardly from a raised portion 54 of each of the legs 4S
intermediate the ends thereof.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of
FIG. 2;
A tab 56 is punched out of the web portion of the body
FIG. 4 is an end view of the left end of the insulator
44 between the legs 48 adjacent the right end thereof,
55 and the left end 60 of the body 44 is formed into a nar
body of FIG. 3 partially broken away;
FIG. 5 is a side view of the insulator body of FIG. 3
rower deeper U-shaped section with the legs thereof pro
partially broken away;
jecting above the transverse wings 52 and the portion of
FIG. 6 is a side view partially broken away of a metal
the body therebetween projecting beneath the remainder
contact adapted to be inserted in the insulator body illus
of the body. This particular configuration of the left end
60 60 enables the ends of conductors 62 and 63, as illustrated
trated in FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a plan View of the metal Contact of FIG. 6;
in FIG. l, to be firmly and electrically fixed thereto as by
embodying features of the present invention;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along the line 8_8 of
FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a sectional View taken along the line 9_9 of
FIG. 7;
FIG. 10 is an end View of the left end of the metal
contact illustrated in FIG. 7;
FIG. ll is a longitudinal sectional view of a socket
embodying other features of the present invention;
crimping of arms 6i) on the conductor and spot welding
of the bared end of the conductor to the flat surface
between wings 52. Each of the metal contacts 29 may be
65 readily formed by suitable dies from a flat die-cut sheet,
each side of which has the configuration illustrated in
dotted-dash lines on the upper side of FIG. 7.
With this construction each of the metal contacts 29
may be inserted into the insulator body 24 from the left
FIG. 12 is an end view of the right end of the insulator 70 end thereof, as viewed in FIG. l, with the transverse
body of the socket illustrated in FIG. ll; and
wings 46 and 4S of each Contact facing toward each other.
3,027,537
3
Each metal contact 29 can be pushed through the insu
lator body 26 to the right until the upwardly projecting
. legs on the left end 6i? thereof engage the transverse
nection with the bulb, each of the electrical conductors
16 and 26 which project from the end 22 thereof are
folded back over the flanges 66 so as to overlie one of the
recesses 7i?. As illustrated in FlG. l, the conductor 18
extends back over the lower side of the visible flange 63
and is firmly wedged between the outer curved surface of
of the transverse shoulders 36 to prevent the withdrawal
one of the transverse wings 46 and the notch 76 on the
of the metal contacts from the insulator body.
lower side of the shoulder. The other conductor 29
To insure that each of the metal contacts is firmly
extends back over the upper side of the nonvisible trans
wedged in the insulator body against movement relative
thereto, contact element retaining means are provided 10 verse frange 66 and is similarly wedged between the
notch 76 on the upper side thereof and the outer curved
which are operable upon insertion of the wings 5'2 within
surface of the transverse wing that cooperates therewith.
the groove means defined by the shoulders 3@ and the
ln this manner the conductors i3 and 2t) are wedged bc
adjacent side surfaces of the center wall 2S. The contact
tween nonadjacent transverse wings to better balance
element retaining means are in the form of wedging
means operable within the groove means as the wings 52 15 the flexing of the metal contacts when the end 22 of the
shoulders 4t) and 42 on the center wall 2S. At this point
the resilient tab 56 of each metal contact snaps over one
are inserted therein.
The wedging means comprises a
pair of transversely spaced longitudinally extending ridges
64 provided within the groove means on each side of the
center wall 28, as most clearly illustrated in FIGS. 2 and
3. Each of the ridges begins at a point intermediate the
ends of the center wall 2S, in a tapered portion, as viewed
in FlG. 3, and extends toward the right end of the center
wall.
As most clearly illustrated in FIG. l, each pair of the
ridges 64 are engaged by the transverse wings 52 on the
metal contacts as the contacts are pushed through the in
sulator body toward the right end thereof. lt will be
apparent that the outer edges of the transverse wings 52
lirst engage the tapered end portions of the ridges 66 and
ride up onto the ridges as the metal contacts are pushed
completely into the insulator body 24. Consequently, in
their final position the wings 52 are flexed by the ridges
64 so as to resiliently urge each of the contacts 29 radially
outwardly to press the left ends thereof tightly against
bulb is disposed therebetween, the other pair of nonadja
cent transverse wings directly engaging the notches 70
adjacent thereto. The curved portions of the wing 46
nearest the bulb inlet are outwardly curved relative to
the center of the socket to provide a curved approach sur
face for receiving and guiding the bulb into the socket.
it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art
that this construction provides a very small, compact
socket for miniature baseless bulbs having only three
separate pieces, each of which can be rapidly and inex
pensively manufactured, and quickly and easily assem
bled.
Referring to FIGS. 1l-l3, a modification of the socket
previously described is illustrated which comprises an
insulator body 72 which is the same as the insulator
body 2.4 with regard to the manner in which it receives
the metal contacts 29, but differs in that it has a ñange
74 projecting radially outwardly from the right end there
of and a cylindrical flange 76 projecting outwardly from
the semicylindrical grooves 37 and the resilient tabs 56 35 a line spaced inwardly of the periphery of the radial
flange. lt also differs from the previous socket in that it
against the grooves 35. This eliminates any transverse
should be made of a resilient molded compound such as
or longitudinal play of the contacts within the insulator
“n3/lon.” The portion of the radial flange 74 projecting
body 24. In a contact element design wherein the con
beyond the cylindrical flange 76 is undercut on a taper
ductor connecting portions 60 of the contact from the
wings S2 rearward are eliminated, the wedging action 40 as indicated at 78, and the cylindrical flange 76 has a
may be relied on completely to secure contact within the
plurality of spaced longitudinally extending slots Si) in
socket body against axially directed forces thereon during
the wall thereof.
the end 22 of the bulb 14 can be inserted between the
as at 82 to facilitate the initial insertion of the ñange with
With this construction, the ñanges 74 and 76 cooperate
insertion and removal of the bulb 14.
to enable the insulator body 72 with the bulb 14 secured
With the metal contacts firmly retained within the in
sulator body in the manner described a bulb receiving 45 therein to be mounted on a panel having a hole therein
with the bulb i4 projecting through the hole. In this
socket having a normal opening smaller than the support
regard, the right end of the flange 76 is tapered inwardly
portion of the bulb is deiined thereby. It is apparent that
in the hole, and the slots tät) permit the flange to give or
retained therebetween, the resiliency being provided by 50 yield so that it can be pushed into the hole in the panel
until the flange 74 engages the surface of the panel ad
the flexing of the tab 56, wings 66, and the portions of
jacent the hole. An additional force can then be exerted
the legs 43 of the metal contacts from which the wings
on the insulator body 72 to push it further into the hole
project. With regard to the flexing of the aforemen
to liatten out the tapered undercut 7S, so that the flange
tioned portions of the legs 48, it will be observed that the
notches 5t) in each of the legs 48 tend to separate the por 55 74 tightly seals against the surface of the panel. In this
manner the socket illustrated in FIG. ll readily lends ittions of the legs from which the transverse wings 46 pro
self for use with bulbs which have to be inserted through
ject, from the remainder of the legs to increase their flex
holes in panels `on the back of the instrument panels of
ibility.
automobiles, for example. The insulator body is pro
It will be observed that the end 22 of the bulb 14 is
cross-shaped with two vertically extending iianges 66, each 60 vided with a series of inwardly stepped surfaces 84, 86,
88, 90 which extend progressively inwardly, and are con
of which fits between the transverse wings 46 of each metal
nected by curved surfaces 92, 94. The innermost of the
contact 29, and two horizontally extending flanges 63
stepped surfaces terminates adjacent the forward portion
which lit between corresponding transverse wings of the
metal contacts 29. As viewed in FIG. l, one of the hori
of the curved outer surface of the wings 46. Thus, the
zontally extending flanges 63 is directly behind the other 65 insulator body cooperates with the curved wing 46 to
yso that it is not shown.
provide a substantially continuous approach surface for
It will also be observed that each of the horizontal
guiding the bulb to the curved wings ¿i6 and into the bulb
flanges 68 have detent means in the form of aligned
socket.
notches 7€) on both sides thereof which are positioned
While it will be »apparent that the embodiment of the
axially so as to cooperate with detent means provided on
invention herein disclosed is well calculated to fulfill the
the transverse wings 46 by the longitudinally curved por
objects of the invention, it will be appreciated that the
tions thereof so as to provide a detent action for firmly
invention is susceptible to modification, variations and
fixing the end 22 of the bulb 14 between the metal con
change without departing from the proper scope or fair
tacts 29 in a manner to permit the removal of the bulb
spaced pairs of transverse wings 46 so as to be resiliently
by merely pulling `on it.Y To insure a good’electrical ccn- -
meaning of the subjoined claims.
5
3,027,537
What is claimed is:
1. A metal contact for a socket for a baseless light bulb
comprising: an elongated generally U-shaped metal body
having side wall portions interconnected by a central web
portion, a pair of transversely extending bulb contacting
wings projecting outwardly from the side wall portions
of said body adjacent one end thereof, a pair of trans
versely extending contact securing wings for retaining said
body in the socket projecting outwardly from the side
wall portions of said -body intermediate the ends thereof,
a portion of said body adjacent said one end thereof and
between the side wall portions thereof being punched out
wardly to provide a lresilient tab having a shoulder on the
end thereof facing toward the other end of said body for
6
contact element means and extending longitudinally of
said bore, said resilient contact arms being spaced from
one another' to define a bulb receiving socket having a
normal opening smaller than the support portion of said
bulb and being resiliently movable outwardly to accom
modate said support portion of said bulb therebetween,
second detent means formed on said resilient contact
arms and being receivable by and co-operable with said
first detent means to electrically contact said iiiament con
tact wire means and secure said bulb Within said bore.
8. The socket assembly as defined in claim 7 and where
in said contact element retaining means comprises wedg
ing means operable within said groove means to provide
a wedging action on said wing means to secure said con
engagement with a side surface of the socket member. 15 tact element means within said bore.
2. The invention set forth in claim l wherein the side
9. The socket assembly as defined in claim 8 and
Wall portions adjacent said other end of the body are more
wherein said wedging means comprises an outwardly ex
closely spaced together and elongated to project above
tending ridge formed along said groove means and ex
said transversely extending wings, the web portion be
‘pe
tending longitudinally of said bore, said ridge being lo
tween side walls at said other end of the body projecting 20 cated to engage and flex said wing means within said
downwardly a greater distance than the remainder of the
groove means, and said ridge having a sloping approach
web portion whereby said other end ofthe body is adapted
surface to guide said wing means onto said ridge.
to have an electrical conductor afiixed therein.
l0. The socket assembly as deiined in claim 7 and
3. A socket for a baseless light bulb comprising: an
wherein said second detent means comprises an inwardly
insulator body having a bore extending therethrough with 25 extending projection integrally formed on each of said
a center wall dividing said bore into two sections adjacent
contact arms, the outer surface of said projection closest
one end thereof, a pair of metal contacts, each contact
the central axis of said bore being curved outwardly away
being disposed within one of the sections of said bore
from the center axis of said bore toward the entrance to
on each side of said center wall, each of said contacts
said socket to provide a curved approach surface to
having a pair of transverse contact securing wings for re 30 facilitate insertion of said bulb into said socket.
taining said contacts within said insulator body resiliently
l1. The socket assembly as defined in claim 7 and
bearing against a portion of said center wall to trans
having resilient tab means struck out from said contact
versely wedge and secure the contact firmly within each
element means between said Wing means and said re
section of the bore, each of said contacts having a pair
silient contact arms, and said contact element retaining
of transverse bulb contacting wings adjacent the other 35 means being operable within said groove means to dis
end of said bore adapted to resiliently receive and retain
place said resilient tab means into frictional engagement
the baseless light bulb and make electrical contact with
with a side wall surface of said insulator socket body.
the end thereof when it is inserted between said pair of
12. The socket assembly as defined in claim 7 and
transverse bulb contacting wings,
wherein each contact element means is formed from an
4. The subject matter as defined in claim 3 wherein 40 integral plate having a channel shaped cross section and
each of said transverse bulb contacting wings is curved
comprising: a central web portion extending transversely
longitudinally of said bore to provide detent means for
to and connecting parallelly extending side walls, said
co-operation with suitable recesses in the end of the light
resilient contact arms being formed by additional wing
bulb when it is inserted therebetween to provide a detent
means transversely outwardly bent relative to said par
action.
allel side walls, said additional wing means having curve:
5. A metal contact for a socket for receiving and sup 45 outer surfaces extending longitudinally of said bore and
porting a baseless light bulb having a support portion
inwardly toward the central axis thereof to provide said
provided with detent means to which filament contact
second detent means, said first mentioned wing means
wire means extend from said bulb, and comprising: an
being spaced longitudinally from said additional wing
elongated channel shaped metal body, a pair of trans 50 means and being formed by the outer end of said side
versely extending bulb contacting wings projecting out~
walls being transversely bent, resilient tab means struck
wardly from the side of the channel shaped body adjacent
one end thereof, and a second pair of transversely extend
ing contact securing wings for retaining said metal contact
within said socket projecting outwardly from the side
of said body and being axially spaced from said pair or”
transversely extending bulb contacting wings.
out from the central web portion between said first men
tioned wing means and said additional wing means, por
tions of said parallel side walls between said first men
tioned wing means and said additional wing means being
reduced in cross sectional area to provide added re
siliency to said additional wing means relative to said
first mentioned wing means, and said contact element
pair of transversely extending bulb engaging wings are
retaining means being operable within said groove means
provided with longitudinally curved outer surfaces for re 60 to displace said resilient tab means into frictional engage
ceiving and contacting said baseless light bulb.
ment with a side Wall surface of said insulator socket
6. The subject matter as claimed in claim 5 wherein said
7. A socket assembly for supporting and electrically
connecting a light bulb having a support portion provided
body.
13. A socket assembly for supporting and electrically
with first detent means to which filament contact wire
contacting a light bulb having an integral support por
means extend from said bulb, and comprising: an insula 65 tion formed within inwardly extending grooves to which
tor socket body having a bore extending therein, contact
iilament contact wire means extend from within the sup
element means for connecting said filament contact wire
port portion, and comprising: an insulator socket body
means to an electrical source, groove means to retain
and support said contact element means within said bore,
having a bore extending therein, a pair of identically
shaped contact elements for connecting said lilament con
Wing means provided on said contact element means and 70 tact wire means to an electrical source, groove means
adapted to be received within said groove means, con
integrally formed in said socket body to retain and snp
tact element retaining means operable upon insertion of
said wing means within said groove means to secure said
port said pair of contact elements Within said bore in
spaced electrically insulated relationship, wing means
contact element means within said bore against forces
formed on each of said contact elements and adapted to
exerted thereon, resilient contact arms connected to said 75 be received Within said groove means, Wedging means
8,021', 537
7
operable Within said groove means to ílex said Wing means
transversely of said groove means to secure said contact
eiernents within said base, resilient Contact arms integrally
forni-ed on each of said Contact elements and extending
arms, the inner surface of said projection being curved to
project within said inwardly extending grooves and pro
vide a curved approach surface to facilitate insertion of
said‘bulb into said socket.
Írorn said Wing means longitudinaily of said bore, said
resilient Contact arms being spaced from one another
and deñning a bulb receiving socket having a normal
opening srnai er than the integral support portion of said
ReferencesCited inthe rile of thispatent
UNlTED STATES PATENTS
bulb and being resiliently movable outwardly to accom
271,171
modate said integral support portion of said bulb there 10
273,554
between, and. detent means formed on said resiiient con
tact arms and being receivable by and eooperable with`
said inwardly extending grooves to electrically contact
said filament Contact means and secure said bulb within
15
said bore.
14. The connector assembly as deñned in claim 13 and
wherein said detent means comprises an inwardly extend
ing projection integrally formed on each of said contact
2,505,979
2,533,483
2,612,539
Weston ______________ __ 1an. 23, 1883
Lea _______ __.' _______ __ Miart 6,l
S83
Manin ______________ __ MayV 2, i950v
Losquadrov ____________ __ DeCS 12, 1950A
Dyer ______________ __ S‘Spt. 20, 1952
¿(82,633>
Johnson _-___________ __ June 22, 1954
2,741,747'
Woofter _____________ __-Apn 10, 1956
2,789,278
soreng ____________ „_ Apr. 16, i957
2,882,511
Mason ______________ __ Apr.
14, 1959
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