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Патент USA US3097912

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July 16, 1963
w. F. HENNESSEY, JR
3,097,902
QUICKLY DISCONNECTABLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR
Filed Dec. 17, 1959
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
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INVENTOR.
WALTER F- HENNESSEY, Jr.
BY
ATTORYS
July 16, 1963
w. F. HENNESSEY, JR
3,097,902
QUICKLY DISCONNECTABLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR
Filed Dec. 17, 1959
52
55 54
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
;fq'1i
56
62
F;- _4 vINVENTOR.
By WALTER F. HENNESSEY,-Jr.
$2M» Md
ATTO y-(svs
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rates
snares-2
tnt
Patented July 16, 1963
1
3,097,9(l2
QIHCKLY DISCONNECTABLE ELEQTRKCAL
CONNECTOR
Walter F. Hennessey, In, Sidney, N.Y., assignor to The
Bendix Corporation, a corporation of Delaware
Filed Dec. 17, 1959, Ser. No. 860,216
15 Claims. (Cl. 339-45)
2
circuit which extends from one body to the other which
is broken when the two bodies are separated from each
other. Small target or drone airplanes, which are carried
aloft by a “mother” airplane and are there separated
therefrom, present a need for such separable connector,
since the drone airplane has one or more mechanisms,
which is supplied with power and/ or signals while it re
mains {attached to the mother airplane. Another ‘appli
This invention relates to a separable electrical con
cation in which such separable electrical connector may
nector. The connector of the illustrative embodiment is 10 be used to advantage is with missiles having separable
particularly adapted for use in, although not restricted to,
nose cones, the main part of the connector being asso
applications wherein the respective parts are mounted
upon bodies which ‘are selectively retained together ‘and
separated from each other. One use for which the con
ciated with the body of the missile and the other part
thereof being connected to the separable nose cone. Such
construction allows the nose cone to be separated from
nector is particularly well adapted is the rapid separation 15 the body of the missile while the two are in ?ight.
of the connector parts while the bodies to which they are
connected are in ?ight.
The invention has among its objects the provision of
a novel separable electrical connector.
It is desirable that separable electrical connectors for
the above application, as well ‘as for various other uses,
shall incorporate a mechanism which strongly and surely
thrusts the two connector parts away from each other,
A further object of the invention lies in the provision 20 thereby to insure their clean separation. In addition, the
of a separable electrical connector having the two main
two connector parts should be strongly and securely
parts thereof adapted to be connected to bodies which are
connected together, when operatively engaged, and such
selectively held together and released from each other.
connection should be such that it may be quickly and
Still a further object of the invention lies in the pro
simply effective. The illustrative electrical connector ful~
vision of an improved separable electrical connector 25 ?lls all such requirements satisfactorily, and ful?lls the
having power means for disconnecting the two connector
above-stated objects of the invention by novel combina
parts, whereby to allow their separation.
tions of elements to be described.
Yet another object of the invention lies in the pro
In FIG. 1 there is shown an illustrative embodiment of
vision of an improved separable electrical connector of
separable electrical connector in accordance with the in
the type indicated having an improved simple mechanism
for locking the two connector parts together, such mech
anism being easily operated both to lock the connector
parts together and to unlock them to permit their sep
aration.
Still a further object of the invention lies in the pro
vision, in a separable electrical connector of the type
indicated immediately above, of an improved mechanism
for positively thrusting the two connector parts away
from each other during the unlocking operation.
The above and further objects and novel features of
the invention will more fully appear from the ‘following
description when the same is read in connection with the
accompanying drawings. It is to be expressly under
stood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of
illustration only and are not intended as a de?nition of
the limits of the invention.
In the drawings, wherein like reference characters refer
to like par-ts throughout the several views,
FIG. 1 is an exploded view, partially in vertical axial
section taken on line 1——1 of FIG. 2 and partially in side
elevation, of a separable electrical connector made in
accordance with the invention, the two main parts of the
connector being shown aligned but separated ‘from opera—
tive engagement;
vention, the contact pin-carrying portion 10 being shown
aligned with but substantially separated from the other,
socket contact-carrying connector part 11.
Connector
part 10 has an outer metal shell 12 in which there is
supported a rubber-like insert generally designated ‘14 in
35 which there are mounted a plurality of parallel contact
pins 15 (one shown). Shell ‘12 has a cable clamp 17
a?ixed to the rear end thereof, a cable (not shown) ex
tending through the clamp and having its wires connected
to the respective pin contacts.
In FIG. 1, one wire ‘16
is shown extending through the cable clamp and con
nected to the single con-tact pin shown.
Connector part 10 may, for example, be connected to
the skin of a drone airplane through the medium of the
annular ?ange 13 extending about the shell. In such
installation, the forward end of the shell is exposed so
as to permit ready connection thereto and ‘disconnection
therefrom of the other connector part 11. The forward
end of shell 12 beyond ?ange 18 is in the form of a hood
19 which surrounds the outer exposed ends of the contact
pins 15. The hood 19 not only protects the pins 15,
however, but also provides a part of the means for
aligning the two connector parts 10 and 11 and for detach
ably securing them together. Thus hood 19 is provided
with a plurality of angularly spaced grooves 20, 20'
FIG. 2 is a view in vertical axial section taken on line 55 parallel to the axis of the connector, as shown more
2-2 of FIG. 1 through the contact socket-carrying por
tion of the connectors shown in FIG. 1, such portion
being shown with the parts thereof in the positions which
they have when the connector parts are operatively
engaged;
FIG. 3 is a view in end elevation of the contact pin
carrying portion of the connector shown in FIG. 1, the
clearly in FIG. 3, and a plurality (three shown) of
radially directed pins 29 projecting from its outer surface
cooperating with means on connector part 11 to pull the
connector parts 10 and 11 into operative engagement and
60 to maintain them in such condition until they are delib
erately released.
Connector part 11 has a metal shell 21 in which’ there
is mounted a rubber-like insert 22 carrying a plurality of
parallel socket contacts, of which one is shown at 24. In
carrying portion of the separable electrical connector 65 normal installations a multi-conductor cable is connected
shown in FIG. 1, the view being taken from the line
to the rear end of connector part ‘11 as by “potting”
4-4 of FIG. 1.
material imbedding the end of the cable end held within
The embodiment of separable electrical connector
‘a potting sleeve 26 attached to a hollow nut 47 threaded
shown is particularly adapted for use in applications
onto the rear end of shell 21. In FIG. 1 a single wire 25
wherein two bodies are selectively held together or dis 70 is shown attached to the contact socket 24 shown at the
connected from each other, and there is an electrical
solder well 23.
view being taken from the line 3—3 in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 4 is a view in end elevation of the contact socket
\
3,097,902
3
The outer, forward end of shell 21 is provided on its '
A.
mounted a movable abutment made up of a first driving
relative rotation. A sleeve 30 is rotatably mounted co
axial of shell 21, the sleeve 30 surrounding the forward
member 59, attached to sleeve 43, the above-mentioned
lug member 60, a curved rod '61 connecting the two
members 59 and 60, and a coil compression spring 62
interposed between members 59 and 60. When cartridge
49 is exploded and the ‘forward portion 51 thereof ex
pands, the composite abutment member is thrust clock
end of the shell and having an inner ‘diameter such as
to ?t accurately over the hood 19 on connector part 10.
wise from the position shown in FIG. l2 so that disc 31
is turned to disconnect the connector parts. The rod 61,
outer surface with a plurality of longitudinally extending
ribs 27, 27' which have such size and spacing as accu
rately and snugly to inter?t with grooves 2t), 2t)’, thereby
keying the connector parts 10 land 11 together against
The inner surface of sleeve 30 is provided with three 10 which is slidably mounted relative to member 60, and
spring 62, cushion the driving of disc 31, thereby avoid
angularly spaced helical grooves 37 which receive the
ing any breaking of the parts.
pins 29 on hood 19 to draw the connector parts to
The described driving of the member 60 causes disc
gether when the sleeve 30 is rotated relative to shell ‘21.
31 and sleeve 30 to turn in the connector-releasing direc
Sleeve 30 is rotated by a hand gripped disc 31 which is
integral with sleeve 30 and is connected to the rear end
thereof. The sleeve 30 and the disc 31 are prevented
tion. This causes the pins 29 to escape from their termi
nal seats at the ends of grooves 37, continued turning
from escape forwardly of shell ‘21, while being allowed
some degree of resilient motion axially thereof, in the
of disc 31 by the hammer member 60 causing sleeve 30‘
forcibly to thrust connector part 10 away from part 11,
following manner.
thereby insuring the clean and practically instantaneous
Shell 21 has a narrow outwardly
projecting annular ?ange 32, and disc 31 has a narrow 20 separation of the two connector parts.
Although only one embodiment of the invention has
inwardly projecting ?ange 34 positioned outwardly of
been illustrated in the drawings ‘and described in the
and aligned with ?ange 32. A second, rearwardly dis
posed inwardly extending wider ?ange 35 is provided on
foregoing speci?cation, it is to be expressly understood
thatv various changes, such as in the relative dimensions
the rear edge of disc 31. Flanges 32, 34, and 35 form
between them an annular space in which there is located 25 of the parts, the materials used and the like, may be
made therein without departing from the spirit and scope
a helical ?at wire spring 36. The con?guration of the
of the invention as Will now be apparent to those skilled
spring 36 and the axial ‘length of the thus-formed an
in the art.
'
nular space are such that sleeve 30 is permitted to yield
What is claimed is:
to some extent axially of shell 21, and to compress spring
1. A releasable connector between aligned ?rst and
36 in so doing, when the sleeve 30 engages pins 29 and 30
second bodies, comprising confronting attaching forma
is turned in such direction as to pull the connector parts
tions on the ?rst and second ‘bodies, the attaching for
10 and 11 into fully engaged, operative relationship.
mation on the ?rst body comprising radially projecting
The inner ends of helical grooves 37 are provided with
seats (not shown) which stably receive pins 29 and
pins thereon, the tattaching formation on the second body
retain the sleeve 30 from rotation when the connector 35 comprising a rotatable sleeve with a plurality of helical
grooves therein, the grooves being adapted to receive
parts are fully engaged. The structure of the means for
retaining the connector parts together thus far described
is substantially the same as that shown in Patent No.
the radial pins and, upon rotation of the sleeve relative
to the ?rst body to draw the bodies together in operative
connected relationship and to maintain them in such con
The means for disconnecting parts 10 and 11 of the 40 dition, and power means mounted on one of the bodies
rapidly to rotate the sleeve in the connector part-releas
connector is mounted on connector part 11. As shown
ing direction, said power means comprising a linearly
most clearly in FIG. 2, a generally annular casing 39 is
expansible, explosively powered cartridge, means ?xedly
secured to shell '21 immediately to the rear of disc 31.
mounted on said one body for restraining expansion of
Casing 39 has a radially inner wall 40, a radially outer
wall 44, and a rear wall 45. Outer wall 44 extends for 45 said cartridge in one direction, and a thrust member
operatively connected with said sleeve and adapted to
wardly substantially in contact with the rear surface of
be propelled by the cartridge in the other direction so
disc 31. The radially inner wall 40 extends forwardly
as to rotate the sleeve relative to said bodies to release
a distance somewhat less than does wall 44, the forward
the same when the cartridge is energized.
edge of wall 40 rotatably abutting a rearwardly directed
2. A releasable connector as de?ned in claim 1 where
sleeve 43 rotatable with respect to disc 31. The de 50
in the thrust member is bodily movable in an arcuate
scribed construction prevents sleeve 30 and disc 31 from
path concentric with the axis of the connector ‘and has
moving rearwardly along shell 21, so that when sleeve
a lost motion connection with the sleeve permitting a
30 is turned in the connector-releasing direction it posi
limited movement of the thrust member :before it enters
tively thrusts connector part 10 away vfrom connector
part 11. The casing 39 is prevented from rotation with 55 into thrusting relation with the sleeve to rotate the latter.
3. A releasable connector as de?ned in claim 2 where
respect to shell 21 by means of a longitudinally extend
in resilient means are interposed ‘between the sleeve and
ing key 41 on the casing which ?ts within a slot 42 in
[2,984,811.
shell 21 and is held in ‘axial position by nut 47 threaded
onto the end of said shell.
Turning of sleeve 30 and disc 31 in the connector
the thrust member to function as a shock absorber.
4. A releasable connector as de?ned in claim 3 where
60 in the lost motion connection comprises an arcuate rod
releasing direction is effected by rotatably driving a lug
slidably received by the sleeve and the thrust member,
member 60 secured to disc 31 and located within hous
and said resilient means comprise a compressible coil
ing 44. Abutment 60 is selectively moved clockwise from
the position thereof shown in FIG. 2 by the actuation
of an expansible explosive cartridge 49 mounted in a
bore 50 in an enlargement extension 54 of casing 39.
Cartridge 49, which has a forward expansible bellows
end 51, is retained in place by a removable breach block
52 which is threaded into portion 54 as shown at 55.
The outer end of breach block 52 is provided with a
portion of ‘an electrical Connector designated 56, such
connector mounting two pin-contacts which, when ener
spring disposed about the rod.
gized from a suitable current source, cause the cartridge
5. A separable electrical connector having a ?rst, main
contact-carrying part and a second, main contact-carrying
part, one of said contacts being a socket and the other
of the contacts being a pin, each such part having a
body, the body of one of the parts having radially pro
jecting pins thereon and the body of the other of the
parts having a rotatable sleeve with a plurality of helical
grooves therein, the grooves being ‘adapted to receive the
radial pins and, upon rotation of the sleeve relative to
the ?rst body to draw the bodies together in operative
connected relationship and to maintain them in such con
to explode and a portion 51 thereof to expand axially.
Within the curved passage 57 in casing 39 there is 75 dition, and power means mounted on one of said bodies
3,097,902
6
rapidly to rotate the sleeve in the connector part-releas
ing direction, said power means comprising a linearly
expansible, ignitable cartridge, means ?xedly mounted on
prising a driving member actuated by said power means,
and means for guiding said driving member in an arcuate
path adjacent the periphery of said one part.
said one body for directing the expansion of said car
tridge, and a thrust block in the path of said cartridge
12. An electrical connector as de?ned in claim 11 com
prising resilient means interposed :between said driving
and operably connected to the sleeve so as to rotate the
sleeve to release the connector parts when the cartridge
is ignited.
6. A separable electrical connector as de?ned in claim
5, wherein the thrust block is rotatable about the axis 10
member and said coupling means.
113. An electrical connector as de?ned in claim 11
wherein said driving member is mounted on a ring cap
tively mounted for rotary movement on said one part.
14. An electrical connector as de?ned in claim 9 com
of the connector and has a lost motion connection with
prising guide means on said one part for constraining
the sleeve permitting a limited movement of the thrust
the expansion of said bellows to an arcuate path along
block before it enters into thrusting engagement with
the periphery of said one part.
the sleeve.
15. An electrical connector as de?ned in claim 9 where
7. A separable electrical connector as de?ned in claim 15 in said coupling means comprises a sleeve captively
6, wherein resilient means are interposed between the
mounted on said one part and having cam mean-s thereon
sleeve and the thrust block to function as a shock ab
for imparting relative axial movement to said parts when
sorber.
said sleeve is moved angularly relative thereto.
'8. A separable electrical connector as de?ned in claim
7, wherein the thrust block and the sleeve are connected 20
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
by an arcuate rod on which they are \slidably mounted,
UNITED STATES PATENTS
and the resilient means is a coil compression spring dis
2,030,803
Temple _____________ __ Feb. 11, 1936
posed about rthe rod.
2,482,464
Chapman ____________ __ Sept. 20, 1949
9. An electrical connector comprising two separable
main parts, coupling means mounted on one of said parts 25
for angular movement relative thereto and for coopera
tive engagement with the other of said parts for detach
ably coupling ‘said parts together, and power means com
prising a combustible charge and an expansible bellows
mounted on said one part for imparting angular move
30
2,642,474
Bowar ______________ __ June 16, 1953
2,753,202
2,788,243
2,847,652
2,984,811
Smith et all. ___________ __ July 3,
Goodliife et a1. ________ __ Apr. 9,
Kokalas _____________ __ Aug. 12,
Hennessey et al. ______ __ May 16,
3,025,487
1956
1957
1958
1961
Hennessey __________ __ Mar. 13, 1962
820,017
Great Britain ________ __ Sept. 16, 1959
ment to said coupling means to move the same to un
FOREIGN PATENTS
coupling position to release said parts from connection
to each other.
10. An electrical connector as de?ned in claim 9 com
OTHER REFERENCES
prising means for transmitting the energy of said power 35
Western Aviation Publication, vol. 39, No. 6, June
means from said bellows to said coupling means.
1959, p. 28.
11. An electrical connector as de?ned in claim 9 com
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