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Title:
COAXIAL CONNECTOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/104010
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A coaxial connector comprises a center conductor having first and second opposing ends, the center conductor having an outer surface and a dielectric substantially surrounding the outer surface of said center conductor. The connector also comprises a generally tubular outer conductor substantially surrounding the outer surface of said dielectric and having a first end proximate the first end of said dielectric, and having a second opposing end proximate the second end of said dielectric, wherein the first end of said center conductor and the first end of said outer conductor collectively forming a first end of the coaxial connector for receiving a first mating coaxial member, and wherein the second end of said center conductor and the second end of said outer conductor collectively forming a second end of the coaxial connector for receiving a second mating coaxial member. The connector also comprises a first connector-securing feature restricting disengagement of the first end of the coaxial connector from a second end of the coaxial connector upon engagement therebetween, and a second connector-securing feature operatively coupled to the first connector-securing feature to restrict operability of the first connector-securing feature.

Inventors:
BURRIS, Donald Andrew (6826 West Sierra Street, Peoria, Arizona, 85345, US)
FLAHERTY, IV, Thomas Edmond (13190 West Tara Lane, Surprise, Arizona, 85375, US)
GRABOWSKI, Daniel Michael (3 N 151 Avenue, Goodyear, Arizona, 85338, US)
KISLING, Brian Lyle (11444 W. Illinois Ave, Youngtown, Arizona, 85363, US)
STEIN, Casey Roy (15385 W Windrose Drive, Surprise, Arizona, 85379, US)
VOSKRESENSKIY, Mikhail (22329 N 76th Drive, Peoria, Arizona, 85383, US)
Application Number:
US2018/061964
Publication Date:
May 31, 2019
Filing Date:
November 20, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CORNING OPTICAL COMMUNICATIONS RF LLC (5310 W. Camelback Road, Glendale, Arizona, 85301, US)
International Classes:
H01R9/05; H01R13/627; H01R13/639; H01R24/40
Foreign References:
US20050277331A12005-12-15
US20130052855A12013-02-28
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CRAWL-BEY, Tamika A. (Corning Optical Communications LLC, Intellectual Property Department SP-TI-03-1Corning, New York, 14831, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

What is claimed is:

1. A coaxial connector comprising:

a center conductor having first and second opposing ends, the center conductor having an outer surface;

a dielectric substantially surrounding the outer surface of said center conductor, said dielectric having a first end proximate the first end of said center conductor, and having a second opposing end proximate the second end of the center conductor, said dielectric extending substantially from approximately said first end of said center conductor to said second end of said center conductor, said dielectric having an outer surface;

a generally tubular outer conductor substantially surrounding the outer surface of said dielectric and having a first end proximate the first end of said dielectric, and having a second opposing end proximate the second end of said dielectric, wherein said outer conductor comprises cooling fins to transfer heat away from said outer conductor;

wherein the first end of said center conductor and the first end of said outer conductor collectively form a first end of the coaxial connector for receiving a first mating coaxial member; wherein the second end of said center conductor and the second end of said outer conductor collectively form a second end of the coaxial connector for receiving a second mating coaxial member;

a first connector-securing feature restricting disengagement of the first end of the coaxial connector from a second end of the coaxial connector upon engagement therebetween; and

a second connector-securing feature operatively coupled to the first connector-securing feature to restrict operability of the first connector-securing feature.

2. The coaxial connector of claim 1, wherein the first connector-securing feature comprises a complementary mechanism, a portion of which is contained in the first end of the coaxial connector and a portion of which is contained in the second end of the coaxial connector.

3. The coaxial connector of claim 2, wherein the first connector-securing feature includes a complementary ball-and-socket feature, wherein the ball portion of the ball-and-socket feature is substantially included as part of one of the first end or the second end and the socket portion of the ball-and-socket feature is substantially included as part of the other of the first end or the second end.

4. The coaxial connector of either claim 2 or claim 3, wherein the second connector- securing feature includes a slide-lock feature that, when selectively engaged, substantially limits actuation of the first connector-securing feature.

5. The coaxial connector of any of one of claims 1-3, wherein the second connector- securing feature is spring-loaded to urge the second connector-securing feature in a state of nominal engagement.

6. The coaxial connector of any of one of claims 1-3, wherein said first and second ends of said center conductor include female sockets for receiving male pins of first and second mating coaxial members, respectively.

7. A coaxial connector comprising:

a center conductor having first and second opposing ends, the center conductor having an outer surface;

a dielectric substantially surrounding the outer surface of said center conductor;

a generally tubular outer conductor substantially surrounding the outer surface of said dielectric and having a first end proximate the first end of said dielectric, and having a second opposing end proximate the second end of said dielectric, wherein said outer conductor comprises cooling fins to transfer heat away from said outer conductor; wherein the first end of said center conductor and the first end of said outer conductor collectively form a first end of the coaxial connector for receiving a first mating coaxial member; wherein the second end of said center conductor and the second end of said outer conductor collectively form a second end of the coaxial connector for receiving a second mating coaxial member;

a first connector-securing feature restricting disengagement of the first end of the coaxial connector from a second end of the coaxial connector upon engagement therebetween, the first connector-securing feature comprising a complementary mechanism, a portion of which is contained in the first end of the coaxial connector and a portion of which is contained in the second end of the coaxial connector; and

a second connector-securing feature operatively coupled to the first connector-securing feature to restrict operability of the first connector-securing feature, the second connector-securing feature including a slide-lock feature that, when selectively engaged, substantially limits actuation of the first connector-securing feature.

8. The coaxial connector of claim 7, wherein the first connector-securing feature includes a complementary ball-and-socket feature, wherein the ball portion of the ball-and-socket feature is substantially included as part of one of the first end or the second end and the socket portion of the ball-and-socket feature is substantially included as part of the other of the first end or the second end.

9. The coaxial connector of either claim 7 or claim 8, wherein the second connector- securing feature is spring-loaded to urge the second connector-securing feature in a state of nominal engagement.

10. The coaxial connector of either claim 7 or claim 8, wherein the first and second ends of said center conductor include female sockets for receiving male pins of first and second mating coaxial members, respectively.

11. The coaxial connector of either claim 7 or claim 8, wherein the dielectric has a first end proximate the first end of the center conductor, and having a second opposing end proximate the second end of the center conductor, the dielectric extending substantially from approximately said first end of said center conductor to said second end of said center conductor, said dielectric having an outer surface;

12. The coaxial connector of either claim 7 or claim 8, wherein the outer conductor is comprised of at least two mating sections.

13. The coaxial connector of claim 7, wherein the center conductor, the dielectric, and the outer conductor share a common longitudinal axis.

14. The coaxial connector of either claim 7 or claim 8, wherein the outer surface of the center conductor contacts the dielectric member, and wherein the outer surface of the dielectric member contacts the outer conductor, thereby providing a thermally conductive path from the center conductor to the heat transfer fin.

Description:
Description

COAXIAL CONNECTOR

Related Application

[0001] This application claims priority to US Patent Application Serial No. 62/589656 filed November 22, 2017, the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference.

Technical Field

[0002] The present disclosure relates generally to radio frequency (RF) electrical connectors, and, more particularly, to blind mate high frequency RF electrical connectors utilized in high stress, high vibration environments such as flight systems.

Background

[0003] RF electrical connectors (connectors) are used to attach cables and other devices which carry and process RF signals. Among the many different types of RF connectors are a type known in the industry as“blind mate” connectors. Commercial examples include GPO and GPPO connectors produced by Corning Optical Communications. Such examples employ the use of a male shroud comprising a pin contact and female interface comprising a slotted outer conductor and a socket contact. Variations of the female devices include cable connectors that attach a coaxial cable to a male shroud. This type of blind mate cable connector system relics on a snap-fit between the male and female connector. This snap- fit is created by the interlocking action of the spring fingers on the female connector and a corresponding undercut known as a detent in the male connector.

[0004] Continuous and reliable signal transmission is dependent upon uninterrupted contact along both the inner and outer conductor paths of the connector system. In most applications this is reliably achieved utilizing blind mate interconnect systems. However, in some instances of extreme stress and vibrations it has been found that blind mate connectors may de-mate from each other. [0005] Accordingly, there is a need to improve upon existing blind mate RF connectors. There is further a need to improve upon a blind mate connector's ability to resist unintentional de-mating forces, and to maintain signal integrity under adverse operational conditions. There is also an expressed need to have said connectors provide a means to ensure that mated pairs of connectors fit only the intended corresponding junction. This is known as“keying.”

[0006] The presently disclosed blind mate high frequency RF electrical connectors are directed toward overcoming one or more of the problems set forth above.

Summary

[0007] ln accordance with one aspect, the present disclosure is directed toward a coaxial connector comprises a center conductor having first and second opposing ends, the center conductor having an outer surface and a dielectric substantially surrounding the outer surface of said center conductor. The connector also comprises a generally tubular outer conductor substantially surrounding the outer surface of said dielectric and having a first end proximate the first end of said dielectric, and having a second opposing end proximate the second end of said dielectric, wherein the first end of said center conductor and the first end of said outer conductor collectively forming a first end of the coaxial connector for receiving a first mating coaxial member, and wherein the second end of said center conductor and the second end of said outer conductor collectively forming a second end of the coaxial connector for receiving a second mating coaxial member. The connector also comprises a first connector-securing feature restricting disengagement of the first end of the coaxial connector from a second end of the coaxial connector upon engagement therebetween, and a second connector-securing feature operatively coupled to the first connector-securing feature to restrict operability of the first connector- securing feature.

[0008] According to another aspect, the present disclosure is directed toward a coaxial connector comprising a center conductor having first and second opposing ends, the center conductor having an outer surface, a dielectric substantially surrounding the outer surface of said center conductor.

The connector also comprises a generally tubular outer conductor substantially surrounding the outer surface of said dielectric and having a first end proximate the first end of said dielectric and having a second opposing end proximate the second end of said dielectric, wherein said outer conductor comprises cooling fins to transfer heat away from said outer conductor, wherein the first end of said center conductor and the first end of said outer conductor collectively forming a first end of the coaxial connector for receiving a first mating coaxial member, and wherein the second end of said center conductor and the second end of said outer conductor collectively forming a second end of the coaxial connector for receiving a second mating coaxial member. The connector also comprises a first connector- securing feature restricting disengagement of the first end of the coaxial connector from a second end of the coaxial connector upon engagement therebetween. The first connector- securing feature comprising a complementary mechanism, a portion of which is contained in the first end of the coaxial connector and a portion of which is contained in the second end of the coaxial connector. The connector also comprises a second connector-securing feature operatively coupled to the first connector-securing feature to restrict operability of the first connector-securing feature. The second connector-securing feature includes a slide-lock feature that, when selectively engaged, substantially limits actuation of the first connector-securing feature.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0009] FIG. 1 schematically depicts a partial cross section of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in an unmated condition according to an embodiment of the prior art;

[0010] FIG. 2 schematically depicts a partial cross section of the blind mate coaxial cable connector pair of FIG. 1 in a mated condition according to an embodiment of the prior art;

[0011] FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in an unmated condition;

[0012] FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in a partially mated condition;

[0013] FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in a fully mated condition; [0014] FIG. 6 is a schematic view of keying configurations for the connectors of FIGS 3-5;

[0015] FIG. 7 is an external isometric rendering of the preferred embodiment of the connectors of FIG 2;

[0016] FIG. 8 is a partial cross-sectional view of another preferred embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in an unmated condition;

[0017] FIG. 9 is a partial cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of the blind mate coaxial cable connector pair of FIG. 8 in a fully mated condition;

[0018] FIG. 9A is a schematic end view of the connectors of FIG. 9;

[0019] FIG. 10 is a rendering of a cross section of the preferred embodiment of the connectors of

FIGS 8-9A;

[0020] FIG. 10A is a rendering of an end view of the connectors of FIG. 10;

[0021] FIG. 11 is a partial cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in an unmated condition;

[0022] FIG. 12 is a partial cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in a fully mated condition;

[0023] FIG. 13 is a partial cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in an unmated condition;

[0024] FIG. 14 is a partial cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in a fully mated condition;

[0025] FIG. 15 is a partial cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in an unmated condition; and

[0026] FIG. 16 is a partial cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in a fully mated condition. Detailed Description

[0027] FIG. 1 schematically depicts a partial cross section of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in an unmated condition according to an embodiment of the prior art. According to one embodiment, male connector (or shroud) 10 at least partially comprises pin 12 and undercut 1 1. Female connector 50 is at least partially comprised of fingers 51 and contact 52. Fingers 51 are biased radially outwardly and are resilient or spring like. Coaxial cable 70 is illustrated as prepared and soldered in place. The connectors shown are standard product offerings of COCRF LLC, such as GPO or GPPO connectors.

[0028] FIG. 2 schematically depicts a partial cross section of the blind mate coaxial cable connector pair of FIG. 1 in a mated condition according to an embodiment of the prior art. Male connector (or shroud) 10 is mounted in a housing. Female connector 50 is mated with male connector 10 and is retained by the interlocking of fingers 51 in undercut 1 1.

[0029] FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in an unmated condition. Male connector 100 at least partially comprises external surface 120 and an annular groove 1 15. Female connector 500 is at least partially comprised of fingers 501, body, 505, bore 510, housing 550, collar 600, body 605, spring 650, and ball member 700. Optional identification rings 800 and 801 may be employed to identify mating pairs of connectors. Collar 600 may be made from metal and colorized or plated, or optionally, made from colorized plastic or the like.

[0030] FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment, such as is shown in Fig. 3, of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in a partially mated condition. In this embodiment, collar 600 is retracted to allow ball members 700 to be guided radially outwardly by external surface 120 of male connector 100 while connector 100 is inserted into bore (or socket) 510 of connector 500, thereby allowing ball members 700 sufficient movement in the radial direction to navigate across external surface 120 of male connector 120.

[0031] FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in a fully mated condition. Fingers 501 engage undercut (110 of Fig. 3) providing a first means of engagement. After male connector 100 is fully advanced, ball members 700 are urged radially inwardly by the inner surface of collar 600 as it is driven forward by spring 650. Ball members 700 drop into annular groove 1 15 and are prevented from outward movement by collar 600 thus locking male connector into place, providing a second means of engagement.

[0032] FIG. 6 is a schematic view of keying configurations for the connectors of FIGS 3-5. The exterior of male connector 100 and bore 510 of female connector 500 may have none, one or a plurality of interfacing flats useful to control a combination of alignment conditions and/or directions.

[0033] Non-limiting examples of combinations of keying configurations are illustrated in FIG 6. It is contemplated that additional and/or different complementary keys for mating of the connector may be implemented without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. FIG. 7 is an external isometric rendering of a connector embodiment having complementary key features for male and female connector portions consistent with at least one of the disclosed embodiments of Fig. 6.

[0034] FIG. 8 is a partial cross-sectional view of another embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in an unmated condition. The male connector has a flange with keyways therein. The female connector has a coupler with keys corresponding to the keyways (such as those shown in Fig. 9A) in the male connector. The coupler is held in a forward position by spring members and is free to rotate when driven by finger pressure.

[0035] FIG. 9 is a partial cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of the blind mate coaxial cable connector pair of FIG 8 in a fully mated condition. Fingers on the female connector engage an undercut on the male connector as in the prior art providing a first means of engagement. Keys in the collar of the female connector align with slots in the male connector in a pre-selected pattern and pass through the collar upon alignment. After this engagement, the mating the collar is rotated providing a secondary locking means A blind slot in the back of the flange allows the key to drop in to prevent backing out of the key. Force provided by the spring members maintains pressure on the engaged keys and slots to secure the junction. As in the case of previously described embodiments, colorized identifiers may be employed to ensure mating of selected mated pairs of connectors.

[0036] FIGs. 10 and 10A illustrate respective cross section and end views of the keyed connector of an embodiment of the connectors of FIGS 8-9A useful for visualization of the embodiment disclosed. As shown in Figs. 8, 9A, 9, 10A, and 10, the keyed connector provides alignment and securing features for the blindmate connector, ensuring that the connector is properly and securely mated and is held in a mated state consistent with the key-locking features described here.

[0037] FIG. 11 is a partial cross-sectional view of another alternative embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in an unmated condition. The male connector is partially comprised of a raise band and the female connector is partially comprised of slotted fingers and an outer collar.

[0038] FIG. 12 is a partial cross-sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in a fully mated condition wherein the slotted fingers of the female connector engage the raised band of the male connector providing a first means of engagement. The sliding collar is pushed forward from a retracted position radially capturing the outer diameter of the slotted fingers of the female connector. The sliding collar may be locked in a retracted or forward position by means of detents (bumps and grooves) illustrated.

[0039] FIG. 13 is a partial cross-sectional view of an alternate embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in an unmated condition like that of FIG 11 except that the sliding collar is mounted on the male connector.

[0040] FIG. 14 is a partial cross-sectional view of an alternate embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in a fully mated condition like that of FIG 11 except that the sliding collar is mounted on the male connector.

[0041] FIGs. 15 and 16 each shows a partial cross-sectional view of an alternate embodiment of a blind mate coaxial cable connector pair in an unmated condition similar to that of FIGs. 13 and 14 except a secondary spring finger mechanism is employed. [0042] It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made to the disclosed blind mate high frequency RF electrical connectors utilized in high stress, high vibration environments such as flight systems without departing from the scope of the disclosure. Other embodiments of the present disclosure will be apparent to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification and practice of the present disclosure. It is intended that the specification and examples be considered as exemplary only, with a true scope of the present disclosure being indicated by the following claims and their equivalents.