Make and Break Connector
Publication Date: 2005-Oct-31
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Make and Break Connector
Detailed description of the invention
Background of the invention
The lighting industry has determined there is a need for an inter-connection device that allows the safe removal of live current to lighting ballast during servicing of the ballasts. Separable make- first/break-last connectors are commonly used in electrical service to provide a safe means to interrupt live current to electrical devices. The make-first/break-last connectors are typically embodied in two-piece assemblies that require special termination of electrical conductors to the separable connector mating assemblies. Alternatively switches are commonly used to provide the same safe interrupt of current to electrical devices. This invention combines the utility & safety features of make-first/break-last connectors and switches.
Problems or disadvantages overcome by the invention
The invention is in response to an emerging regulatory requirement for a separable connection in lighting fixture/ballast assemblies that must safely break an electrical circuit in live voltage applications common to lighting fixture/ballast assemblies. The invention would make it possible to safely service a ballast in a lighting fixture while electricity is applied up to the power input side separable interconnect. The invention would eliminate the need for special termination requirements and provide the ease of use of a mating connector assembly while providing a level of safety typical to an enclosed switch.
The essential feature(s) of the invention
The connector would terminate wire to wire or PCB to wire applications
The connector would introduce an air gap between the contact and wires by either moving the connector contact or the wire conductor while the circuit wires are constrained to the connector housing.
The design would use multiple spring contact designs that allows for selecting a contact order for interrupting current.
All conducting metals would be enclosed in the connector housing.
Strain relief would be applied to all wires entering and leaving the connector
The power input side of the connector would have a semi-permanent termination
Detailed description of how to build and use the invention
The attached drawing demonstrates the concept of the relative movement between the wires & contacts in the housing
DRAWING 1 (wire-to-wire application)
DRAWING 2 (wire-to-wire application continued)