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Patent 3007546 Summary

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Claims and Abstract availability

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  • At the time the application is open to public inspection;
  • At the time of issue of the patent (grant).
(12) Patent: (11) CA 3007546
(54) English Title: ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR
(54) French Title: CONNECTEUR ELECTRIQUE
Status: Granted
Bibliographic Data
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • H01R 4/38 (2006.01)
  • H01R 4/26 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • RABY, ROLAND-DOMINIQUE (Canada)
(73) Owners :
  • RABYCONNECTINC. (Canada)
(71) Applicants :
  • RABYCONNECTINC. (Canada)
(74) Agent: TESSIER, LOUIS
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued: 2020-04-21
(22) Filed Date: 2018-06-07
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2019-12-07
Examination requested: 2019-11-26
Availability of licence: N/A
(25) Language of filing: English

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT): No

(30) Application Priority Data: None

Abstracts

English Abstract

A connector for electrically connecting to a conductor, the connector including a terminal provided with an electrical contact made of an electrically conducting material, a clamping element for clamping the conductor against the electrical contact and an actuator. A conducting element extends from the electrical contact. The clamping element is movable by the actuator between clamping element open and closed configurations. The actuator is configurable between first and second configurations. In the first configuration, the actuator is only operable to move the clamping element towards the closed configuration. In the second configuration, the actuator is operable to move the clamping element towards the open configuration.


French Abstract

Un connecteur pour la connexion électrique à un conducteur est décrit, le connecteur comprenant une borne pourvue dun contact électrique constitué dun matériau électriquement conducteur, un élément de serrage pour serrer le conducteur contre le contact électrique et un actionneur. Un élément conducteur sétend à partir du contact électrique. Lélément de serrage est mobile par lactionneur entre des configurations ouverte et fermée délément de serrage. Lactionneur peut être configuré entre les première et seconde configurations. Dans la première configuration, lactionneur nest utilisable que pour déplacer lélément de serrage vers la configuration fermée. Dans la seconde configuration, lactionneur peut être actionné pour déplacer lélément de serrage vers la configuration ouverte.

Claims

Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


22
CLAIMS:
1. A connector for electrically connecting to a first conductor, the connector

comprising:
- a first terminal for receiving the first conductor, the first terminal
being
provided with a first electrical contact made of an electrically conducting
material, a first clamping element for clamping the first conductor against
the
first electrical contact by clamping the first conductor between the first
electrical contact and the first clamping element, and a first actuator, the
first
clamping element being movable between a first clamping element open
configuration and a first clamping element closed configuration, wherein, in
the first clamping element closed configuration, the first clamping element is

closer to the first electrical contact than in the first clamping element open

configuration, the first actuator being operatively coupled to the first
clamping
element for selectively moving the first clamping element between the first
clamping element closed and open configurations; and
- an electrically conducting element extending from and electrically
coupled to
the first electrical contact;
- the first actuator being configurable between a first actuator first
configuration
and a first actuator second configuration, wherein, in the first actuator
first
configuration, the first actuator is only operable to move the first clamping
element towards the first clamping element closed configuration, and in the
first actuator second configuration , the first actuator is operable to move
the
first clamping element towards the first clamping element open configuration.,

the first actuator first configuration being achievable at any position of the
first
clamping element between the first clamping element open and closed
positions.

23
2. The connector as defined in claim 1, wherein the connector is usable for
electrically connecting the first conductor and a second conductor to each
other,
the connector further comprising:
- a second terminal for receiving the second conductor, the second terminal

being provided with a second electrical contact made of an electrically
conducting material, a second clamping element for clamping the second
conductor against the second electrical contact by clamping the second
conductor between the second electrical contact and the second clamping
element, and a second actuator, the second clamping element being movable
between a second clamping element open configuration and a second
clamping element closed configuration, wherein, in the second clamping
element closed configuration, the second clamping element is closer to the
second electrical contact than in the second clamping element open
configuration, the second actuator being operatively coupled to the second
clamping element for selectively moving the second clamping element
between the second clamping element closed and open configurations;
- wherein the electrically conducting element extends between the first and

second electrical contacts and electrically couples the first and second
electrical contacts to each other.
3. The connector as defined in claim 1 or 2, wherein, in the first actuator
second
configuration, the first actuator is operable to selectively move the first
clamping
element towards each of the first clamping element closed and open
configurations.
4. The connector as defined in any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein
- the first actuator includes a shaft terminated by a head, the shaft being

threaded along a threaded portion thereof;

24
- the first clamping element defines a threaded aperture threadedly
receiving at
least part of the threaded portion thereinto, the first clamping element
defining
a clamping surface opposed to the head and facing the first electrical
contact;
and
- rotating the shaft relative to the threaded aperture moves the clamping
surface relative to the first electrical contact to move the first clamping
element between the first clamping element open and closed configurations.
5. The connector as defined in any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein
- the first actuator includes a toothed pinion;
- the first clamping element includes a substantially elongated toothed
rack
engaging the toothed pinion and defines a clamping surface extending
generally perpendicular to the toothed rack; and
- rotating the toothed pinion moves the toothed rack relative to the
toothed
pinion to move the clamping surface relative to the first electrical contact
to
move the first clamping element between the first clamping element open and
closed configurations.
6. The connector as defined in claim 5, wherein the toothed pinion is coaxial
with
the head.
7. The connector as defined in any one of claims 1 to 3, further comprising a
connector body, the first actuator being mounted to the connector body, the
first
actuator including a head and a toothed wheel movable axially relative to the
head, the toothed wheel being also rotatable relative to the connector body
jointly
with the head, the first actuator also including a pawl mounted to the
connector
body, the pawl and toothed wheel being configured and sized so that with the
pawl engaging the toothed wheel, the toothed wheel is only rotatable in a
first
direction and is prevented by the pawl from rotating in a second direction

25
opposed to the first direction, the toothed wheel being movable relative to
the
head between an engaged position wherein the toothed wheel engages the pawl,
and a disengaged position wherein the toothed wheel is disengaged from the
pawl, the head being operatively coupled to the first clamping element such
that
rotating the head moves the first clamping element between the first clamping
element open and closed configurations, the first actuator being in the first
actuator first configuration when the toothed wheel is in the engaged position
and
the first actuator being in the first actuator second configuration when the
toothed
wheel is in the disengaged position.
8. The connector as defined in claim 7, wherein the toothed wheel includes a
plurality of teeth, each of the teeth defining a radial surface extending
substantially radially and a slanted surface angled relative to the radial
surface
and merging with the radial surface, the pawl being configured and sized so
that
when the toothed wheel is rotated in the first direction, the pawl can climb
the
slanted surface to allow rotation of the toothed wheel in the first direction
and
when the toothed wheel is rotated in the second direction, the pawl stops
rotation
of the toothed wheel when abutting against the radial surface.
9. The connector as defined in claim 7 or 8, wherein the first actuator
includes an
actuator biasing element biasing the toothed wheel towards the engaged
position.
10. The connector as defined in claim 9, wherein the head defines a head
aperture
extending therethrough leading to the toothed wheel, the head aperture
including
a head aperture moving portion and the toothed wheel defining a toothed wheel
abutment portion in register with the head aperture moving portion, whereby
inserting a tool through the head aperture moving portion and pushing against
the toothed wheel abutment portion with the tool moves the toothed wheel to
the
toothed wheel disengaged position.

26
11.The connector as defined in claim 10, wherein the head aperture also
includes a
head aperture pass-through portion and the toothed wheel defines a wheel pass-
through aperture in register with the head pass-through portion.
12.The connector as defined in claim 11, wherein the head aperture moving
portion
extends outwardly from the head aperture pass-through portion.
13.The connector as defined in claim 12, wherein the head aperture pass-
through
portion is substantially square and the head aperture moving portion includes
a
slit.
14.The connector as defined in any one of claims 1 to 13, wherein the first
clamping
element defines a concave clamping surface facing the first electrical
contact.
15.The connector as defined in any one of claims 1 to 14, further comprising a

connector body, the first terminal being provided in the connector body and
including a substantially elongated bore leading into the connector body, the
first
electrical contact and the first clamping element facing each laterally other
across
the bore.
16.The connector as defined in any one of claims 1 to 15, further comprising a

connector body, the first terminal being provided in the connector body and
including a substantially elongated groove leading into the connector body,
the
first electrical contact and the first clamping element facing each other
across the
groove.
17. The connector as defined in claim 16, wherein the groove is open at at
least one
longitudinal end thereof, the first terminal being provided with a door for

27
selectively covering the groove while leaving the groove open at the at least
one
longitudinal end.
18. The connector as defined in any one of claims 1 to 17, wherein the first
electrical
contact defines a first contact surface for contacting the first conductor,
the first
contact surface being concave.
19.The connector as defined in any one of claims 1 to 18, wherein the first
electrical
contact defines a first contact surface for contacting the first conductor,
the first
contact surface being provided with asperities.
20. A connector for electrically connecting to a conductor, the connector
comprising:
- a terminal for receiving the conductor, the terminal being provided with an
electrical contact made of an electrically conducting material, a clamping
element for clamping the conductor against the electrical contact by clamping
the conductor between the electrical contact and the clamping element, and a
actuator, the clamping element being movable between a clamping element
open configuration and a clamping element closed configuration, wherein, in
the clamping element closed configuration, the clamping element is closer to
the electrical contact than in the clamping element open configuration, the
actuator being operatively coupled to the clamping element for selectively
moving the clamping element between the clamping element closed and open
configurations; and
- an electrically conducting element extending from and electrically
coupled to
the first electrical contact;
- the actuator being configurable between an actuator first configuration
and an
actuator second configuration, wherein, in the actuator first configuration,
the
actuator is only operable to move the clamping element towards the clamping
element closed configuration, and in the actuator second configuration, the
actuator is operable to move the clamping element towards the clamping

28
element open configuration, the actuator being configurable between the
actuator first and second configurations with the clamping element between
the clamping element open and closed positions;
- the connector further comprising a connector body, the terminal being
provided in the connector body and including a substantially elongated bore
leading into the connector body, the electrical contact and the clamping
element facing each laterally other across the bore;
- the connector also further comprising an obstructing element provided
adjacent the clamping element and movable jointly therewith, the obstructing
element being configured to extend across the bore to prevent access to the
first electrical contact when fully extended across the bore.

Description

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


1
TITLE OF THE INVENTION
Electrical connector
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
[001] The present invention relates to the filed of electricity. More
specifically, the
present invention is concerned with an electrical connector.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
[002] Electrical connectors are used to attach electrical wires, cables and
similar
conductors to each other or to devices. Such connectors often include a static

element and a movable clamp or fastener. To secure the conductor to the
electrical connector, the clamp or fastener is used to press the conductor
against
the static element. Typically, the static element is electrically conductive
and
conducts electrical currents from and to the conductor.
[003] One problem that may occur in such connectors is that in use, or through

an unintentional action of a user, the clamp or fastener may loosen, which
reduces
the clamping force with which the conductor is retained. Therefore, there is a

chance that the conductor becomes unintentionally disconnected from the
connector. Also, even if the conductor remains attached to the connector when
the
clamping force is reduced, it is possible that the contact between the
conductor
and the static element becomes intermittent or that this contact occurs over a

smaller surface of the conductor than intended. This can greatly increase
electrical
resistance in the electrical connector, and could lead to unintended heat
production, which can even lead to a fire.
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

2
[004] There is also a risk when connecting two wires with a conventional twist-
on
wire connector that the connector falls. This would expose the conducting
parts of
the wire and cause an electrocution risk.
[005] Against this background, there exists a need in the industry to provide
improved electrical connectors. An object of the present invention is to
provide
such electrical connectors.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
[006] In a broad aspect, there is provided a connector for electrically
connecting
to a first conductor, the connector comprising: a first terminal for receiving
the first
conductor, the first terminal being provided with a first electrical contact
made of
an electrically conducting material, a first clamping element for clamping the
first
conductor against the first electrical contact by clamping the first conductor

between the first electrical contact and the first clamping element, and a
first
actuator, the first clamping element being movable between a first clamping
element open configuration and a first clamping element closed configuration,
wherein, in the first clamping element closed configuration, the first
clamping
element is closer to the first electrical contact than in the first clamping
element
open configuration, the first actuator being operatively coupled to the first
clamping
element for selectively moving the first clamping element between the first
clamping element closed and open configurations; and an electrically
conducting
element extending from and electrically coupled to the first electrical
contact; the
first actuator being configurable between a first actuator first configuration
and a
first actuator second configuration, wherein, in the first actuator first
configuration,
the first actuator is only operable to move the first clamping element towards
the
first clamping element closed configuration, and in the first actuator second
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

3
configuration , the first actuator is operable to move the first clamping
element
towards the first clamping element open configuration.
[007] There may also be provided a connector wherein the connector is usable
for electrically connecting the first conductor and a second conductor to each

other, the connector further comprising: a second terminal for receiving the
second
conductor, the second terminal being provided with a second electrical contact

made of an electrically conducting material, a second clamping element for
clamping the second conductor against the second electrical contact by
clamping
the second conductor between the second electrical contact and the second
clamping element, and a second actuator, the second clamping element being
movable between a second clamping element open configuration and a second
clamping element closed configuration, wherein, in the second clamping element

closed configuration, the second clamping element is closer to the second
electrical contact than in the second clamping element open configuration, the

second actuator being operatively coupled to the second clamping element for
selectively moving the second clamping element between the second clamping
element closed and open configurations; wherein the electrically conducting
element extends between the first and second electrical contacts and
electrically
couples the first and second electrical contacts to each other.
[008] There may also be provided a connector wherein, in the first actuator
second configuration, the first actuator is operable to selectively move the
first
clamping element towards each of the first clamping element closed and open
configurations.
[009] There may also be provided a connector wherein the first actuator
includes
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

4
a shaft terminated by a head, the shaft being threaded along a threaded
portion
thereof; the first clamping element defines a threaded aperture threadedly
receiving at least part of the threaded portion thereinto, the first clamping
element
defining a clamping surface opposed to the head and facing the first
electrical
contact; and rotating the shaft relative to the threaded aperture moves the
clamping surface relative to the first electrical contact to move the first
clamping
element between the first clamping element open and closed configurations.
[0010] There may also be provided a connector wherein the first actuator
includes
a toothed pinion; the first clamping element includes a substantially
elongated
toothed rack engaging the toothed pinion and defines a clamping surface
extending generally perpendicular to the toothed rack; and rotating the
toothed
pinion moves the toothed rack relative to the toothed pinion to move the
clamping
surface relative to the first electrical contact to move the first clamping
element
between the first clamping element open and closed configurations.
[0011] There may also be provided a connector wherein the toothed pinion is
coaxial with the head.
[0012] There may also be provided a connector further comprising a connector
body, the first actuator being mounted to the connector body, the first
actuator
including a head and a toothed wheel movable axially relative to the head, the

toothed wheel being also rotatable relative to the connector body jointly with
the
head, the first actuator also including a pawl mounted to the connector body,
the
pawl and toothed wheel being configured and sized so that with the pawl
engaging
the toothed wheel, the toothed wheel is only rotatable in a first direction
and is
prevented by the pawl from rotating in a second direction opposed to the first
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

5
direction, the toothed wheel being movable relative to the head between an
engaged position wherein the toothed wheel engages the pawl, and a disengaged
position wherein the toothed wheel is disengaged from the pawl, the head being

operatively coupled to the first clamping element such that rotating the head
moves the first clamping element between the first clamping element open and
closed configurations, the first actuator being in the first actuator first
configuration
when the toothed wheel is in the engaged position and the first actuator being
in
the first actuator second configuration when the toothed wheel is in the
disengaged position.
[0013] There may also be provided a connector wherein the toothed wheel
includes a plurality of teeth, each of the teeth defining a radial surface
extending
substantially radially and a slanted surface angled relative to the radial
surface and
merging with the radial surface, the pawl being configured and sized so that
when
the toothed wheel is rotated in the first direction, the pawl can climb the
slanted
surface to allow rotation of the toothed wheel in the first direction and when
the
toothed wheel is rotated in the second direction, the pawl stops rotation of
the
toothed wheel when abutting against the radial surface.
[0014] There may also be provided a connector wherein the first actuator
includes
an actuator biasing element biasing the toothed wheel towards the engaged
position.
[0015] There may also be provided a connector wherein the head defines a head
aperture extending therethrough leading to the toothed wheel, the head
aperture
including a head aperture moving portion and the toothed wheel defining a
toothed
wheel abutment portion in register with the head aperture moving portion,
whereby
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6
inserting a tool through the head aperture moving portion and pushing against
the
toothed wheel abutment portion with the tool moves the toothed wheel to the
toothed wheel disengaged position.
[0016] There may also be provided a connector wherein the head aperture also
includes a head aperture pass-through portion and the toothed wheel defines a
wheel pass-through aperture in register with the head pass-through portion.
[0017] There may also be provided a connector wherein the head aperture moving

portion extends outwardly from the head aperture pass-through portion.
[0018] There may also be provided a connector wherein the head aperture pass-
through portion is substantially square and the head aperture moving portion
includes a slit.
[0019] There may also be provided a connector wherein the first clamping
element
defines a concave clamping surface facing the first electrical contact.
[0020] There may also be provided a connector further comprising a connector
body, the first terminal being provided in the connector body and including a
substantially elongated bore leading into the connector body, the first
electrical
contact and the first clamping element facing each laterally other across the
bore.
[0021] There may also be provided a connector further comprising an
obstructing
element provided adjacent the first clamping element and movable jointly
therewith, the obstructing element being configured to extend across the bore
to
prevent access to the first electrical contact when fully extended across the
bore.
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7
[0022] There may also be provided a connector further comprising a connector
body, the first terminal being provided in the connector body and including a
substantially elongated groove leading into the connector body, the first
electrical
contact and the first clamping element facing each other across the groove.
[0023] There may also be provided a connector wherein the groove is open at at

least one longitudinal end thereof, the second terminal being provided with a
door
for selectively covering the groove while leaving the groove open at the at
least
one longitudinal end.
[0024] There may also be provided a connector wherein the groove is open at
both
longitudinal ends thereof.
[0025] There may also be provided a connector wherein the first electrical
contact
defines a first contact surface for contacting the first conductor, the first
contact
surface being concave.
[0026] There may also be provided a connector wherein the first electrical
contact
defines a first contact surface for contacting the first conductor, the first
contact
surface being provided with asperities.
[0027] Advantageously, the proposed electrical connector provides a connection

that is more robust as it reduces the risk that the electrical connections in
the
connector will loosen unintentionally.
[0028] Other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will
become more apparent upon reading of the following non-restrictive description
of
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8
preferred embodiments thereof, given by way of example only with reference to
the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0029] In the appended drawings:
[0030] Figure 1, in a top view with some hidden lines shown, illustrates a
connector in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the
connector being shown in a first configuration;
[0031] Figure 2, in a top view with some hidden lines shown, illustrates the
connector of FIG. 1 in a second configuration;
[0032] Figure 3, in a front view with some hidden lines shown, illustrates the

connector of FIGS. 1 and 2;
[0033] Figure 4, in a rear view with some hidden lines shown, illustrates the
connector of FIGS. 1 to 3;
[0034] Figure 5, in a perspective partially exploded view with some hidden
lines
shown, illustrates the connector of FIGS. 1 to 4;
[0035] Figure 6, in a perspective exploded view with some hidden lines shown,
illustrates an actuator part of the connector of FIGS. 1 to 5;
[0036] Figure 7, in a perspective exploded view with some hidden lines shown,
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

9
illustrates an alternative actuator part of the connector of FIGS. 1 to 5;
[0037] Figure 8A, in a perspective cut away view, illustrates mounting of the
actuators of FIGS. 6 and 7 in the connector of FIGS. 1 to 5 with a toothed
wheel of
the actuator in an engaged position;
[0038] Figure 8B, in a perspective cut away view, illustrates mounting of the
actuators of FIGS. 6 and 7 in the connector of FIGS. 1 to 5 with the toothed
wheel
in a disengaged position;
[0039] Figure 9, in a top view with some hidden lines shown, illustrates a
connector in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present
invention;
[0040] Figure 10, in a top view with some hidden lines shown, illustrates a
connector in accordance with yet another alternative embodiment of the present

invention; and
[0041] Figure 11, in a perspective view with some hidden lines shown,
illustrates a
connector body part of the connector of FIGS. 1 to 5.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
[0042] Terms such as "substantially", "about" and "essentially" are used
throughout
this document to indicate variations in the thus qualified terms. These
variations
are variations that do not materially affect the manner in which the invention
works
and can be due, for example, to uncertainty in manufacturing processes or to
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

10
small deviations from a nominal value or ideal shape that do not cause
significant
changes to the invention. These variations are to be interpreted from the
point of
view of the person skilled in the art.
[0043] Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a connector 10 for electrically
connecting a first conductor 12 and a second conductor 14 to each other. The
first
and second conductors 12 and 14 can be electrically conducting wires, cables,
or
any other suitable conductors that may be covered or not with an electrically
insulating sheath along a portion thereof, but which show an exposed
conducting
portion to be inserted in the connector 10.
[0044] The connector 10 includes a connector body 16 in which are provided
first
and second terminals 18 and 20 for receiving respectively the first and second

conductors 12 and 14. The first and second terminals 18 and 20 are
respectively
of first and second types and will be described in further details below. It
should be
noted that in alternative embodiments, terminals of the first and second
second
types are mixed in any suitable number and manner. An alternative connector
may
include one or more terminal of the first type and/or one or more terminal of
the
second type, with either only one of the first and second type provided in the

connector, or terminals of the first and second types mixed together in the
connector, as illustrated for example in FIG. 1. As an example, FIG. 9
illustrate a
connector 10' including four terminals 20 of the second type. FIG. 10
illustrates a
connector 10" including only one terminal 20, which is here of the second
type, but
a terminal of the first type could also be used. The connector 10" is used to
connect a conductor to a device in which electrical currents and/or signals
are
provided to a conductor 34" that is integral with the device. Therefore, only
one
terminal is required as the other conductor is already present in the device
and
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

11
therefore does not need to be connected thereto.
[0045] Also, in FIGS. 1 to 5, 9 and 10, the components that are received in
the
connector body 16 are shown in transparency without the structures that
receive
these components shown for clarity reasons. Suitable cavities and recesses are

formed in the connector body 16 to receive these components, as shown in FIG.
11 and further described hereinbelow.
[0046] The first terminal 18 includes a first electrical contact 22 made of an

electrically conducting material, a first clamping element 24 for clamping the
first
conductor 12 against the first electrical contact by clamping the first
conductor 12
between the first electrical contact 22 and the first clamping element 24, and
a first
actuator 26. The first clamping element 24 is movable between a first clamping

element open configuration (as seen in FIG. 1) and a first clamping element
closed
configuration (as seen in FIG. 4). In the first clamping element closed
configuration, the first clamping element 24 is closer to the first electrical
contact
22 than in the first clamping element open configuration. The first actuator
26 is
operatively coupled to the first clamping element 24 for selectively moving
the first
clamping element 24 between the first clamping element closed and open
configurations.
[0047] Similarly, the second terminal 20 is provided with a second electrical
contact 28 made of an electrically conducting material, a second clamping
element
30 for clamping the second conductor 14 against the second electrical contact
28
by clamping the second conductor 14 between the second electrical contact 28
and the second clamping element 30, and a second actuator 32. The second
clamping element 30 is movable between a second clamping element open
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

12
configuration (as seen in FIG. 1) and a second clamping element closed
configuration (as seen in FIG. 2). In the second clamping element closed
configuration, the second clamping element 30 is closer to the second
electrical
contact 28 than in the second clamping element open configuration. The second
actuator 32 is operatively coupled to the second clamping element 30 for
selectively moving the second clamping element 30 between the second clamping
element closed and open configurations.
[0048] An electrically conducting element 34 extends between the first and
second
electrical contacts 22 and 28 and electrically couples the first and second
electrical
contacts 22 and 28 to each other. In some embodiments, the electrically
conducting element 34, first electrical contact 22 and second electrical
contact 28
extend integrally from each other. However, this is not necessarily the case
in
alternative embodiments of the invention. As seen for example in FIG. 9, the
electrically conducting element 34 may also connect to each other more than
one
two electrical contacts 28' (four in FIG. 9). Also, in some embodiments, the
electrically conducting element 34' may only connect to one electrical contact
28",
as seen in FIG. 10, and the electrically conducting element 34" may be
electrically
coupled instead to other components (not shown in the drawings) of an
electrical
or electronic device.
[0049] At least one of the first and second actuators 26 and 32 is
configurable
between two configurations, one of which only allows closing of a gap 23
between
the first electrical contact 22 and the first clamping element 24 and/or
closing of a
gap 29 between the second electrical contact 28 and the second clamping
element 30. In this configuration, gaps 23 and/or 29 cannot be opened. In the
other configuration, the gaps 23 and/or 29 can be opened, and in some
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embodiments, can be selectively opened or closed. In some embodiments, all the

actuators present in the connector 10, 10' or 10" are configurable between
these
two configurations.
[0050] More specifically, the second actuator 32 is configurable between a
second
actuator first configuration (as seen in FIG. 8A) and a second actuator second

configuration (as seen in FIG. 8B). In the second actuator first
configuration, the
second actuator 32 is only operable to move the second clamping element 30
towards the second clamping element closed configuration, and in the second
actuator second configuration, the second actuator 32 is operable to move the
second clamping element 30 (not seen in FIGS. 8A and 8B) towards the second
clamping element open configuration. In some embodiments, as shown in FIGS.
8A and 8B, in the second actuator second configuration, the second actuator 32
is
operable to selectively move the second clamping element 30 towards each of
the
second clamping element closed and open configurations. The first and second
configurations of the first actuator 26 are similar to the second actuator
first and
second configurations and are as such not shown in the drawings.
[0051] The first actuator 26 uses a rack and pinion type mechanism to move the

first clamping element 24. More specifically, referring to FIGS. 5 and 6 for
example, the first actuator 26 includes a toothed pinion 36 and the first
clamping
element 24 includes a substantially elongated toothed rack 38 engaging the
toothed pinion 36 and defines a clamping surface 40 extending generally
perpendicular to the toothed rack 38 and facing the first electrical contact
22.
Rotating the toothed pinion 36 moves the toothed rack 38 relative to the
toothed
pinion 36 to move the clamping surface 40 relative to the first electrical
contact 22,
thereby moving the first clamping element 24 between the first clamping
element
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

14
open and closed configurations. The first actuator 26 and the first clamping
element 24 are mounted in the connector body 16 in any suitable manner, for
example in suitably shaped cavities formed in the connector body 16 defining
flanges that maintain the first actuator 26 and the first clamping element 24
in
these cavities.
[0052] The first actuator 26 also includes a head 42, the toothed pinion 36
being
coaxial with the head and spaced apart therefrom. A toothed wheel 44 is
movable
axially relative to the head 42 between the head 42 and the toothed pinion 36.
The
toothed wheel 44 is also rotatable relative to the body jointly with the head
42 and
the toothed pinion 36. A pawl 46 (seen for example in FIG. 1) is mounted to
the
connector body 16. The pawl 46 and toothed wheel 44 are configured and sized
so that with the pawl 46 engaging the toothed wheel 44, the toothed wheel 44
is
only rotatable in a first direction and is prevented by the pawl 46 from
rotating in a
second direction opposed to the first direction. The toothed wheel 44 is
movable
relative to the head 42 between an engaged position (seen in FIG. 8A) wherein
the
toothed wheel 44 engages the pawl 46, and a disengaged position (seen in FIG.
8B) wherein the toothed wheel 44 is disengaged from the pawl 46. The first
actuator 26 is in a first actuator first configuration when the toothed wheel
44 is in
the engaged position and the first actuator 26 is in a first actuator second
configuration when the toothed wheel 44 is in the disengaged position.
[0053] Returning to FIG. 5, the head 42 is operatively coupled to the first
clamping
element 24 such that rotating the head 42 moves the first clamping element 24
between the first clamping element open and closed configurations, through a
rack
and pinion system, as described above. For example, the toothed wheel 44 is
mounted to be slidable along pegs 47 extending between the pinion 36 and the
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

15
head 42. Although only two pegs 47 are shown in the drawings, any suitable
number of pegs 47 is usable in alternative embodiments of the invention.
[0054] Specific embodiments of the head 42 and toothed wheel 44 are now
described in further details. The head 42 is substantially disc-shaped and
defines
a head aperture 48 extending therethrough leading to the toothed wheel 44. The

head aperture 48 includes a head aperture moving portion 52 and a head
aperture
pass-through portion 50. As detailed hereinbelow, when a tool is inserted in
the
head aperture moving portion 52, the toothed wheel 44 can be moved between the

toothed wheel engaged and disengaged positions. When a tool is engaged only
through the head aperture pass-through portion 50, the toothed wheel 44
remains
in the toothed wheel engaged position.
[0055] In some embodiments, the head aperture moving portion 52 extends
outwardly from the head aperture pass-through portion 50. In a specific
embodiment of the invention, the head aperture pass-through portion 50 is
substantially square and the head aperture moving portion 52 takes the form of
a
pair of slits extending radially outwardly opposed to each other from the head

aperture pass-through portion 50. In such embodiments, a conventional
Robertson
screwdriver may be used, inserted in the head aperture pass-through portion
50,
to operate the first actuator 26 with the toothed wheel 44 in the toothed
wheel
engaged position, which only allows rotation of the head 42 in a single
direction.
Also, a conventional flat head screwdriver may be used, inserted in the head
aperture moving portion 52 (and in part of the head aperture pass-through
portion
50) to move the toothed wheel 44 to the toothed wheel disengaged position and
rotate the head 42 in both directions. It should be noted that in other
embodiments,
the head aperture 48 may have any other suitable configurations, such that
other
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

16
tools are usable to operate the first actuator 26.
[0056] Referring to FIG. 6, the toothed wheel 44 is also substantially disc-
shaped
and defines a toothed wheel abutment portion 54 in register with the head
aperture
moving portion 52, and a wheel pass-through aperture 56 in register with the
head
pass-through portion. Therefore, inserting a tool through the head aperture
moving
portion 52 and pushing against the toothed wheel abutment portion 54 with the
tool moves the toothed wheel 44 to the toothed wheel disengaged position,
while
inserting a tool through the head aperture pass-through portion 50 and through
the
wheel pass-through aperture 56 leaves the toothed wheel unaffected in the
toothed wheel engaged position.
[0057] Returning to FIG. 5, the toothed wheel 44 defines a plurality of teeth
58
along its circumference. Each of the teeth 58 defines a radial surface 60
extending
substantially radially and a slanted surface 62 angled relative to the radial
surface
60 and merging with the radial surface 60. The pawl 46 is configured and sized
so
that when the toothed wheel 44 is rotated in the first direction, the pawl 46
can
climb the slanted surface 62 to allow rotation of the toothed wheel 44 in the
first
direction, and when the toothed wheel 44 is rotated in the second direction,
the
pawl 46 stops rotation of the toothed wheel 44 when abutting against the
radial
surface 60. This is achieved by having a pawl 46 that can deform or move
relative
to the toothed wheel 44, while being biased generally towards the center of
the
toothed wheel 44, and which is suitably angled relative to the radial and
slanted
surfaces 60 and 62, as in the conventional pawl and ratchet mechanism.
[0058] One or more actuator biasing element 59, 64 and 66 biases the toothed
wheel 44 towards the engaged position. In the embodiment shown in the
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

17
drawings, the actuator biasing element 59, 64 and 66 is omitted from most
figures
for clarity reasons and is only shown in FIGS. 6, 7, 8A and 8B. For example,
the
actuator biasing element 59, 64 and 66 includes one or more coil spring 64
mounted coaxial with the pegs 47 between the toothed wheel 44 and the pinion
36, or shaft 68, as seen in FIGS. 8A and 8B. In another example, the actuator
biasing element 59, 64 and 66 includes a resiliently collapsible polymer
element
66 provided between the toothed wheel 44 and the pinion 36, or shaft 68, as
seen
in FIGS. 8A and 8B. In some embodiments, the actuator biasing element 59, 64
and 66 takes the form of magnets 59 provided between the toothed wheel 44 and
either the pinion 36 or a shaft 68 (described hereinbelow) with polarities
aligned so
that the toothed wheel 44 is repulsed towards the head 42. Although FIGS. 8A
and
8B illustrate three types of actuator biasing element 59, 64 and 66, only one
type
or two types may be provided in some embodiments of the invention. The
actuator
biasing element 59, 64 and 66 may also take any other suitable form.
[0059] The second actuator 32 is similar in many respects to the first
actuator 26,
and only the differences therewith are described in details. More
specifically,
instead of using a rack and pinion mechanism, the second actuator 32 uses a
screw mechanism. The first actuator 26 drives the clamping surface 40 in a
direction perpendicular to the rotation axis of the head 42, but the second
actuator
32 drives the clamping surface 40 in a direction coaxial with the rotation
axis of the
head 42.
[0060] More specifically, referring to FIGS. 5 and 7, the second actuator 32
includes a shaft 68 terminated by the head 42, with the pegs 47 therebetween.
The shaft 68 is threaded along a threaded portion thereof, which may be the
whole
shaft 68 in some embodiments. The second clamping element 30 defines a
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

18
threaded aperture 70 threadedly receiving at least part of the threaded
portion of
the shaft 68 thereinto and the second clamping 30 element defines a clamping
surface 40 opposed to the head 42 and facing the second electrical contact 28.

The shaft 68 is mounted to the connector body 16 in an aperture so that the
shaft
68 is longitudinally fixed relative to the connector body 16. Rotating the
shaft 68
relative to the threaded aperture 70, using the head 42, moves the clamping
surface 40 relative to the second clamping element 30 to move the second
clamping element 30 between the second clamping element open and closed
configurations. Otherwise, the second actuator 32 is structured and operates
similarly to the first actuator 26.
[0061] The first and second terminals 18 and 20 receive the first and second
conductors 12 and 14 differently. The first terminal includes a substantially
elongated groove 76 leading into the connector body 16. The first electrical
contact
22 and the first clamping element 24 face each other across the groove 76. The

groove 76 is typically open at one or both longitudinal ends 78 and 80
thereof.
[0062] In some embodiments, the first terminal 18 is provided with a door 82
for
selectively covering the groove 76 while leaving the groove 76 open at one of
both
longitudinal ends 78 and 80. The door 82 is movable between door open and
closed configurations, shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 respectively. To the effect, the
door
slides in and out of a suitable shaped door receiving recess 84 provided in
the
connector body 16 across the groove 76. In some embodiments (not shown in the
drawings), the door 82 is movable jointly between the door open and closed
configurations with the first clamping element 24. In other embodiments, the
door
82 is movable independently from the first clamping element 24.
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

19
[0063] Although the first terminal 18, first clamping element 24 and first
actuator 26
are usable to receive a free end of the first conductor 12 and connect
thereto, the
first terminal 18, first clamping element 24 and first actuator 26 are also
suitable
for use in a spliceless connection in which the first conductor 12 is received
in the
connector 10 sideways, away from its free end.
[0064] The clamping surface 40 and the first and second electrical contacts 22
and
26 may have a substantially flat configuration, a substantially arcuate
configuration
for matching the shape of the first and second conductors 12 and 14, or any
other
suitable configuration. The clamping surface 40 and the first and second
electrical
contacts 22 and 26 may have, for example a substantially smooth surface at the

contact with the first and second conductors 12 and 14, or define a contact
surface
for contacting the first and second conductors 12 and 14 that are provided
with
asperities 25, or is otherwise textured to improve grip with the first and
second
conductors 12 and 14.
[0065] The second terminal 20 includes a substantially elongated bore 72
leading
into the connector body 16 and the second electrical contact 28 and the second

clamping element 30 face each laterally other across the bore 72. Therefore
the
second conductor 14 is inserted longitudinally in the bore 72 when a
connection is
made. In some embodiments, a groove 74, or any other guide, is formed on the
connector body 16 with a length similarly similar to the depth of the bore 72,
which
helps in stripping the end of the second conductor 14 along a suitable length.
[0066] In some embodiments, an obstructing element 31 is provided adjacent the

second clamping element 30 and movable jointly therewith. The obstructing
element 31 is configured to extend across the bore 72 to prevent access to the
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

20
second electrical contact 28 when fully extended across the bore 72. In some
embodiments, the obstructing element 31 is resiliently deformable, made for
example of rubber, so that when the second conductor 14 is inserted in the
bore
72, the obstructing element 31 can deform to accommodate the presence of the
second conductor 14 in the bore 72 when the second clamping element 28 is
pushed against the second conductor 14. In addition, in such cases, using a
suitable configuration and suitable material properties for the obstructing
element
also enhances the gripping force exerted on the second conductor 14.
[0067] FIG. 11 illustrates an example of the actuator body 16 with all the
required
cavities shown. Other cavities may be provided, for example to reduce the
quantity
of material required to manufacture the actuator body 16 or to facilitate
assembly
of the connector 10.
[0068] The actuator body 16 defines a body outer surface 86. The groove 76 and

bore 72 extend from the body outer surface 86 into the actuator body 16, and
the
door receiving recess 84 extend from the groove 76 into the actuator body 16.
[0069] A pair of actuator receiving recesses 88 extend from the body outer
surface
86 to receive the first and second actuators 26 and 32 thereinto and are
configured to allow access to the head 42 from outside the connector 10 and
allow
the latter head to rotate relative to the actuator body while maintaining the
first and
second actuators 26 and 32 at a fixed position in the actuator body 16.
Clamping
element receiving recesses 90 and 92 extend between a respective one of the
actuator receiving recesses 88 and respectively the groove 76 and bore 72 to
receive thereinto the first and second clamping elements 24 and 30 so that the
first
and second clamping elements 24 and 30 are movable along the clamping
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

21
element receiving recesses 90 and 92.
[0070] Although not shown in the drawings, in some embodiments, an indicator,
such as a light emitting diode (LED), is provided to indicate that current is
flowing
through the conducting element 34. Typically, all elements of the connector
10,
except for the first and second electrical contacts 22 and 28 and the
conducting
element 34 are made of an insulator, such as a polymer. However, in other
embodiments, additional parts of the connector 10 are conducting.
[0071] Although the present invention has been described hereinabove by way of

exemplary embodiments thereof, it will be readily appreciated that many
modifications are possible in the exemplary embodiments without materially
departing from the novel teachings and advantages of this invention.
Accordingly,
the scope of the claims should not be limited by the exemplary embodiments,
but
should be given the broadest interpretation consistent with the description as
a
whole.
CA 3007546 2018-06-07

Representative Drawing
A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.
Administrative Status

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Administrative Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2020-04-21
(22) Filed 2018-06-07
Examination Requested 2019-11-26
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2019-12-07
(45) Issued 2020-04-21

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Maintenance Fee

Last Payment of $50.00 was received on 2018-06-07


 Upcoming maintenance fee amounts

Description Date Amount
Next Payment if small entity fee 2023-06-07 $100.00
Next Payment if standard fee 2023-06-07 $203.59

Note : If the full payment has not been received on or before the date indicated, a further fee may be required which may be one of the following

  • the reinstatement fee;
  • the late payment fee; or
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Please refer to the CIPO Patent Fees web page to see all current fee amounts.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Application Fee $200.00 2018-06-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2020-06-08 $50.00 2018-06-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2021-06-07 $50.00 2018-06-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2022-06-07 $50.00 2018-06-07
Request for Examination 2023-06-07 $400.00 2019-11-26
Registration of a document - section 124 $100.00 2020-03-09
Final Fee 2020-04-14 $150.00 2020-03-09
Owners on Record

Note: Records showing the ownership history in alphabetical order.

Current Owners on Record
RABYCONNECTINC.
Past Owners on Record
None
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.
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Document
Description 
Date
(yyyy-mm-dd) 
Number of pages   Size of Image (KB) 
Request for Examination / Amendment 2019-11-26 11 324
Claims 2019-11-26 7 255
PPH Request 2019-12-02 3 136
Early Lay-Open Request 2019-12-02 3 134
Final Fee 2020-03-09 4 70
Cover Page 2020-04-01 1 39
Representative Drawing 2019-10-28 1 16
Representative Drawing 2020-04-01 1 12
Abstract 2018-06-07 1 19
Description 2018-06-07 21 839
Claims 2018-06-07 6 221
Drawings 2018-06-07 5 190
Modification to the Applicant/Inventor 2018-08-06 2 43
Office Letter 2018-08-14 1 45
Representative Drawing 2019-10-28 1 16
Cover Page 2019-10-28 2 47