(19)
(11)EP 3 067 724 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.11.2020 Bulletin 2020/45

(21)Application number: 14861000.9

(22)Date of filing:  09.09.2014
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G02B 6/38(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2014/073731
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/068461 (14.05.2015 Gazette  2015/19)

(54)

OPTICAL CONNECTOR PLUG

OPTISCHER STECKVERBINDER

FICHE DE CONNECTEUR OPTIQUE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 08.11.2013 JP 2013232049

(43)Date of publication of application:
14.09.2016 Bulletin 2016/37

(73)Proprietor: Honda Tsushin Kogyo Co., Ltd
Shinagawa-ku Tokyo 141-0001 (JP)

(72)Inventor:
  • SEKI Shinji
    Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141-0001 (JP)

(74)Representative: Vossius & Partner Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte mbB 
Siebertstrasse 3
81675 München
81675 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
JP-A- 2006 134 858
JP-A- 2012 173 344
US-A1- 2004 047 565
US-A1- 2011 286 702
US-A1- 2013 216 188
JP-A- 2009 229 545
JP-A- 2013 029 580
US-A1- 2011 058 773
US-A1- 2012 213 478
US-B1- 6 585 423
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Technical Field



    [0001] The present invention relates to an optical connector plug, especially, for an LC type optical connector, which is commonly worldwide used for optical communication equipments.

    Background Art



    [0002] Conventional LC type optical connector plug has an attaching and detaching structure for coupling and releasing an adaptor or a receptacle, which are coupling counterpart members to be fitted and coupled with the plug. As shown in Figs. 14A and 14B, an optical connector plug 15 is provided with a latching portion 17 curved and warped up from a front housing 16. A rear housing 18 is provide with a releasing bar 19 having a distal end 19a which extends opposite the latching portion 17 and which covers over and engages with a distal end 17b of the latching portion 17.

    [0003] An engaging projection 17a protrudes on each of two side wall faces of the latching portion 17, configured to engage with a recess of a coupling counterpart member 21 such as an adaptor, and to prevent extraction. The releasing bar 19 extends upward from an upper face of the rear housing 18, and is forced to return to an upper original position by elastic force of the latching portion 17.

    [0004] In order to releasing the optical connector plug 15 in a coupling state with a coupling counterpart member 21 as shown in Fig. 15A, it is required to press down the releasing bar 19 with fingers to release engagement of the engaging projection 17a of the latching portion 17, and then to pull the optical connector plug 15 toward a direction apart from the coupling counterpart member 21 while keeping a state where the latching portion 17 is pressed down, as shown in Fig. 15B. A duplex connector plug described in PTL 1 is known as an example of the attaching and detaching structure of the optical connector plug 15 in this manner.

    Prior Art Document


    Patent Document



    [0005] PTL1: JP 2004-354693 A

    [0006] JP 2012-173344 A relates to an optical connector including an inner housing with a lock arm, which is inserted/fitted to a hood part; a ferrule; a spring; an outer housing; and a latch arm arranged in the outer housing.

    Summary of Invention


    Technical Problem



    [0007] As described above, the conventional optical connector plug requires two operations, i.e., a pressing-down operation and a pulling operation, for release from the coupling counterpart member. It has bad operability since the pulling operation should be performed while the pressing-down state is kept. The LC type connector plugs are mounted with high density in an optical communication equipment. Work in the equipment requires an operator to push aside crowded optical cords, to pick the LC type connector plug smaller than his finger, and to unlock and release the LC type connector plug by performing the two operations. An optical connector plug of the present invention is proposed to solve these problems.

    Solution to Problem



    [0008] An optical connector plug according to the present invention includes: a front housing, configured to hold a ferrule and to be fitted with a fitting portion of a coupling counterpart member; and a rear housing, mounted to the front housing so as to be allowed to slide toward front and rear directions at a rear side of the front housing. The front housing includes: a front housing body; and a latching piece with elasticity, formed on an upper side outer wall face thereof. The latching piece includes: a locking portion, configured to engage with an engaging portion for fitting of the coupling counterpart member; and a releasing portion, configured to release the locking portion from an engaging state with the engaging portion for fitting. The rear housing includes: a tubular body; and a releasing lever, formed at an upper side thereof. The releasing lever includes: a hook portion, formed at a front part of the releasing lever and configured to engage with the releasing portion of the latching piece at a time of retreat of the rear housing, so as to activate a release function; and a knob portion for retreat, formed at a rear part of the releasing lever. The hook portion formed at the releasing lever loosely fits with a slit formed before the releasing portion, by the hook portion sliding with and entering under the releasing portion of the latching piece, a taper portion at a distal end side of the hook portion pushing up the releasing portion and the hook portion entering into the slit when the front housing and the rear housing of the optical connector plug are assembled.

    [0009] Preferably, the locking portion formed to the latching piece is a pair of left and right locking portions protruding from left and right side wall faces of the latching piece having elasticity, and the releasing portion is formed between the pair of the left and right locking portions.

    [0010] Preferably, a groove portion is formed at a rear side of the front housing, enabling to mount the blocking member at a position adjoining the front housing behind, the blocking member configured to block backward slide of the rear housing in a state where the rear housing is mounted to the rear side and is advanced.

    [0011] Preferably, the optical connector plug further includes a plug frame, put into a rear part of the front housing, and the groove portion is formed at a rear part of the plug frame.

    [0012] Preferably, the blocking member has an annular tube shape with a C-shape section partially having a slit, so as to enable putting into the groove portion from a direction perpendicular to an axis line of a longitudinal direction of the front housing.

    [0013] Preferably, the releasing lever of the rear housing is provided with a projection portion which protrudes between the hook portion formed at a front part and the knob portion formed at a rear part of the releasing lever, and which functions as a reaction force portion for advancing the rear housing.

    Advantageous Effects of Invention



    [0014] The optical connector plug according to the present invention enables to release the optical connector plug from the coupling counterpart member with a single operation. Only to do for release from the coupling counterpart member is to pull the releasing lever, provided to the rear housing, backward, i.e., toward a direction opposite a fitting direction. This achieves reduction of the number of operation for release, and improvement and enhancement of working operability.

    [0015] The releasing portion provided between the pair of the locking portions makes a length of the latching piece shorter than that of the conventional latching piece, which is long along front and rear directions. This achieves reduction of material cost. The slit provided before the releasing portion reduces a material cost, and contributes to weight saving.

    [0016] The blocking member for blocking slide of the rear housing provided for preventing mistaken release by the rear housing prevents the rear housing in a fitting state from unintentionally backward release. This enhances safety.

    [0017] The blocking member having the annular tube shape with C-shape section facilitates a work to mount it on the groove portion of the plug frame. This enhances working efficiency. This is an excellent effect.

    [0018] The releasing lever of the rear housing provided with the projection portion functioning as the reaction force portion for advance facilitates advance of the optical connector plug at a fitting time.

    Brief Description of Drawings



    [0019] 

    Fig. 1 is a perspective view illustrating an optical connector plug according to the present invention;

    Fig. 2 is a side view illustrating the optical connector plug;

    Fig. 3A is a front perspective view illustrating a front housing of the optical connector plug;

    Fig. 3B is a rear perspective view illustrating the front housing shown in Fig. 3A;

    Fig. 4A is a front view illustrating the front housing;

    Fig. 4B is a side view illustrating the front housing;

    Fig. 4C is a plan view illustrating the front housing;

    Fig. 5 is a section view along A-A line in Fig. 4C, illustrating the front housing;

    Fig. 6A is a front perspective view illustrating a rear housing of the optical connector plug;

    Fig. 6B is a rear perspective view illustrating the rear housing;

    Fig. 7A is a front view illustrating the rear housing;

    Fig. 7B is a side view illustrating the rear housing;

    Fig. 7C is a plan view illustrating the rear housing;

    Fig. 8 is a section view along B-B line in Fig. 7C;

    Fig. 9A is a partial vertical section of the front housing and the rear housing in a state before a releasing lever of the rear housing and a latching piece of the front housing are engaged in a process of fitting and assembling of the optical connector plug;

    Fig. 9B is a partial vertical section of the front housing and the rear housing in a state where the rear housing advances from the state shown in Fig. 9A, the releasing lever and the latching piece are engaged, and a taper portion pushes up a releasing portion;

    Fig. 9C is a partial vertical section of the front housing and the rear housing in a state where the rear housing advances further than in the state shown in Fig. 9B, a hook portion enters and loosely fits with a slit provided before the releasing portion, and the releasing portion returns downward to an original position by elasticity of the latching piece;

    Fig. 9D is a partial vertical section illustrating the front housing and the rear housing in a state where assembling is completed;

    Fig. 10A is a side view illustrating the optical connector plug in the state before the releasing lever of the rear housing and the latching piece of the front housing are engaged.

    Fig. 10B is a plan view illustrating the optical connector plug;

    Fig. 10C is a side view illustrating the optical connector plug in the state where the rear housing advances from the state shown in Fig. 10A, the releasing lever and the latching piece are engaged, and the taper portion pushes up a releasing portion;

    Fig. 10D is a plan view illustrating the optical connector plug;

    Fig. 10E is a side view illustrating the optical connector plug in the state where the rear housing advances further than in the state shown in Fig. 10C, the hook portion enters and loosely fits with the slit provided before the releasing portion, and the releasing portion returns downward to an original position by elasticity of the latching piece;

    Fig. 10F is a plan view illustrating the optical connector plug;

    Fig. 11A is a partial vertical section illustrating the front housing and the rear housing in a state where the optical connector plug is coupled with a coupling counterpart member;

    Fig. 11B is a partial vertical section illustrating the front housing and the rear housing in a state where the rear housing is pulled backward from the state shown in Fig. 11A, a rear end of the hook portion engages with the releasing portion, and the hook portion is pressing down the releasing portion;

    Fig. 11C is a partial vertical section illustrating the front housing and the rear housing in a state where the rear housing is pulled backward further than in the state shown in Fig. 11B, the hook portion presses down the releasing portion, and the optical connector plug is enabled to be released from the coupling counterpart member;

    Fig. 11D is a partial vertical section illustrating the front housing and the rear housing in the same state as one before coupling, by taking a finger off from the releasing lever from the state shown in Fig. 11C where the optical connector plug is released from the coupling counterpart member;

    Fig. 12A is a front perspective view illustrating a blocking member configured to block releasing action of the rear housing;

    Fig. 12B is a rear perspective view illustrating the blocking member shown in Fig. 12A;

    Fig. 13A is a rear perspective view illustrating the blocking member shown in Fig. 12A in a state before it is mounted to the optical connector plug from a left direction;

    Fig. 13B is a rear perspective view illustrating the blocking member in a state where it is mounted to the optical connector plug from the left direction;

    Fig. 13C is a rear perspective view illustrating the blocking member in a state before it is mounted to the optical connector plug from a right direction;

    Fig. 13D is a rear perspective view illustrating the blocking member in a state where it is mounted to the optical connector plug from a bottom direction;

    Fig. 14A is a perspective view illustrating a conventional optical connector plug;

    Fig. 14B is a side view illustrating the optical connector plug;

    Fig. 15A is a partial section view illustrating a fitting state of the optical connector plug; and

    Fig. 15B is a schematic view illustrating a releasing operation when the optical connector plug is released from a coupling state with a coupling counterpart member.


    Embodiments



    [0020] As shown in Figs. 1 and 2, an optical connector plug 1 according to the present invention has a rear housing 3 provided with a releasing lever 3a for facilitating to release the rear housing 3 from coupling with a coupling counterpart member with one operation.

    Embodiment 1



    [0021] As shown in Figs. 1 and 2, an optical connector plug 1 according to the present invention includes a front housing 2 having a front housing body 2m made of plastics with a roughly rectangular tube shape and configured to hold a ferrule 2b for optical communication connection and to be fitted with a fitting portion of a coupling counterpart member such as an adaptor or a receptacle, and a rear housing 3 having a tubular body 3e made of plastics with a rectangular shape and configured to be mounted so as to be allowed to slide front and rear directions at a rear side of the front housing 2.

    [0022] A structure of the front housing 2 will be explained below. As shown in Figs. 3A to 5, it has a latching piece 2a with elasticity formed on an outer wall face at an upper side of the front housing body 2m. The latching piece 2a is provided with a pair of locking portions 2c, configured to engage with engaging portions for fitting, not shown, of the coupling counterpart member, and a releasing portion 2d, for releasing the locking portions 2c from engagement with the engaging portions for fitting, not shown. The pair of the locking portions 2c formed to the latching piece 2a is configured to be located at a position to engage with the engaging portion, not shown, of the coupling counterpart member and to be locked, in an unloaded state. And it is configured to be located at a position to release engagement with the engaging portion, not shown, of the coupling counterpart member, in a pressing-down state. In other words, engagement between the pair of the locking portion 2c and the engaging portion for fitting of the coupling counterpart member achieves coupling and locking of the optical connector plug 1 with the coupling counterpart member such as an adaptor or a receptacle.

    [0023] In the latching piece 2a, the pair of the locking portion 2c protrudes from left and right side wall faces at a rear end of the latching piece 2a toward left and right outsides. The releasing portion 2d of the latching piece 2a is formed between the pair of left and right locking portions 2c and 2c.

    [0024] As shown in Figs. 3A, 4C and 5, a sloping face 2n, where a front end is the lower, is formed at a front side of the releasing portion 2d. And a slit 2e is formed in front of it. In other words, the sloping face 2n, where a rear end is the higher, exists behind the slit 2e. As shown in Fig. 4B, a sign 2f indicates a rear restriction portion functioning as a stopper when the rear housing 3 moves backward as described below. A sign 2g indicates a guiding slit, as shown in Fig. 5, where a front restriction end face 2k at a distal end face functions as a position restriction portion of forward movement of the rear housing 3.

    [0025] As shown in Fig. 4B, a sign 2h indicates a rear housing engaging recess formed so as to function as a retainer of the rear housing 3. A rear face of the rear housing engaging recess 2h is the rear restriction portion 2f for restricting backward movement of the rear housing 3. A sign 2i, shown in Fig. 4B and 5, indicates a locking window portion for fitting and locking a plug frame 4, described below, with the front housing 2.

    [0026] Next, a structure of the rear housing 3 will be explained below. As shown in Figs. 6A to 8, the rear housing 3 has the tubular body 3e, and a releasing lever 3a formed on an upper part of the tubular body 3e. The releasing lever 3a has a hook portion 3b, which is formed at a front part of the releasing lever 3a, for engaging with the releasing portion 2d of the latching piece 2a so as to perform releasing when the rear housing 3 retreats, and a knob portion 3c for retreat, formed at a rear part of the releasing lever 3a.

    [0027] The releasing lever 3a of the rear housing 3 is provided with a projection portion 3d, which protrudes between the hook portion 3b at a front part and the knob portion 3c at a rear part, and which functions as a reaction force portion for advancing the rear housing 3.

    [0028] As shown in Fig. 7B, a bottom face of the releasing lever 3a is provided with a guiding rail 3f with a long and narrow rectangular shape protruding along the front and rear directions. The guiding rail 3f is inserted from a back side to the guiding slit 2g formed on the front housing body 2m, and is guided along the front and rear directions. As shown in Figs. 7A and 7B, a front end of the guiding rail 3f is a position restriction end portion 3i, which contacts with the front restriction end face 2k, shown in Fig. 5, of the guiding slit 2g, and restricts forward movement of the rear housing 3.

    [0029] And, the tubular body 3e and the releasing lever 3a composing the rear housing 3 are integrally formed. The tubular body 3e is bigger than the front housing body 2m, so that the tubular body 3e is fitted with the front housing body 2m, surrounding its rear part having a tubular shape.

    [0030] The tubular body 3e is provided with restriction projections 3g, shown in Figs. 7A and 8, protruding on its left and right inner faces and having a taper face 3k, a top face 3m and a position restriction end face 3j. When the optical connector plug is assembled, the restriction projection 3g falls into and engages with the engaging recess 2h formed on the front housing body 2m. The position restriction end face 3j, shown in Fig. 8, contacts with the rear restriction portion 2f, which is a rear wall face of the engaging recess 2h. This blocks backward extraction of the rear housing 3 from the front housing 2, and achieves positioning.

    [0031] In order to assemble the front housing 2 and the rear housing 3 as shown in Fig. 1, the ferrule 2b, the plug frame 4, described below, and the like are fitted into the front housing 2, as shown in Figs. 9A, 10A and 10B. Then, the rear housing 3 is fitted with the front housing 2 from a rear side, so that the front housing body 2m is put into the tubular body 3e. And then, the rear housing 3 is advanced so as to be fitted and mounted as shown in Figs. 9A, 10A or 10B.

    [0032] Next, the rear housing 3 is advanced. As shown in Figs. 9B, 10C or 10D, the hook portion 3b formed on the releasing lever 3a of the rear housing 3 slides on and enters under the releasing portion 2d of the latching piece 2a. The taper portion 3h at a distal end side of the hook portion 3b pushes up the releasing portion 2d, with overcoming elastic force of the latching piece 2a. As shown in Fig. 9C, the hook portion 3b enters into and loosely fits with the slit 2e, formed at a front side of the releasing portion 2d, from below. The elastic force of the latching piece 2a makes the latching piece 2a to return to an original position from an upper position where it is pushed up.

    [0033] Simultaneously, the restriction projection 3g, shown in Fig. 7A, formed inside the tubular body 3e of the rear housing 3 falls down into and engages with the rear housing engaging recess 2h, shown in Fig. 3A, of the front housing 2. As shown in Fig. 9C, this causes the position restriction end portion 3i of the rear housing 3 to contact with the front restriction end face 2k of the guiding slit 2g of the front housing 2 so as to restrict forward movement of the rear housing 3. And, the position restriction end face 3j, shown in Fig. 8, of the restriction projection 3g contacts with the rear restriction portion 2f of the rear housing engaging recess 2h, so as to prevent extraction and to restrict backward movement. In this manner, assembly has completed, as shown in Figs. 9D, 10E or 10F.

    [0034] In use of the optical connector plug 1 constructed in the described manner, the optical connector plug 1 is coupled and optically connected to the coupling counterpart member such as an adaptor or a receptacle. The method will be explained below. First, the optical connector plug 1 in a state shown in Fig. 1, i.e., in a state where the assembly shown in Figs. 9D, 10E or 10F has completed, is put into a fitting opening of the coupling counterpart member, not shown, from a distal end of the front housing 2. A part of the releasing lever 3a is picked and pushed with a finger, and the optical connector plug 1 is inserted into the fitting portion of the coupling counterpart member, not shown.

    [0035] Accompanying the insertion, the latching piece 2a of the front housing 2 engages with the fitting portion of the coupling counterpart member, and is temporarily pressed down against elastic force of the latching piece 2a. This makes positions of the pair of the locking portions 2c of the latching piece 2a lower than those of the engaging portions, not shown, of the coupling counterpart member. When the optical connector plug 1 is further inserted, the pair of the locking portions 2c pass under the engaging portions, not shown, of the coupling counterpart member. Elastic force of the latching piece 2a pushes up the pair of the locking portions 2c of the latching piece 2a, which engage with the engaging portions, not shown, of the coupling counterpart member. This results in coupling and optical connection of the optical connector plug 1 with the coupling counterpart member, and an unextractable state of the optical connector plug 1 from the coupling counterpart member.

    [0036] In use of the optical connector plug 1, the optical connector plug 1 is released from the coupling counterpart member, after coupled and optically connected with the coupling counterpart member. The method is below. First, the optical connector plug 1 is in a state where it is coupled and optically connected with the coupling counterpart member, as shown in Fig. 11A. The knob portion 3c of the releasing lever 3a of the optical connector plug 1 is picked with a finger and the rear housing 3 is pulled backward.

    [0037] When the rear housing 3 is pulled backward, the rear housing 3 slides backward relatively to the front housing 2. As shown in Fig. 11B, a rear end of the hook portion 3b loosely fitted in the slit 2e engages with the sloping face 2n formed at a front side of the releasing portion 2d, and slides backward on the sloping face 2n. The releasing portion 2d is pressed down against the elastic force of the latching piece 2a. This releases engagement of the pair of the left and right locking portions 2c formed at the rear end of the latching piece 2a with the engaging portion for fitting, not shown, of the coupling counterpart member.

    [0038] In this manner, the backward movement of the hook portion 3b of the releasing lever 3a causes pressing down of the locking portion 2c along with the releasing portion 2d of the latching piece 2a, and releasing of engagement of the locking portion 2c with the engaging portion for fitting, not shown, of the coupling counterpart member. When the rear housing 3 is pulled further backward, the optical connector plug 1 is released from the coupling counterpart member. In that time, the restriction projection 3g, shown in Fig. 8, formed inside the tubular body 3e contacts with the rear restriction portion 2f of the rear housing engaging recess 2h, so that backward movement of the rear housing 3 is stopped and restricted. Thereby, the front housing 2 is pulled backward along with the rear housing 3 without separation of the rear housing 3 from the front housing 2. This realizes the releasing of the optical connector plug 1 from the coupling counterpart member.

    [0039] Then, the finger is took off from the releasing lever 3a. As shown in Figs. 11C to 11D, elastic force of the latching piece 2a raises the releasing portion 2d. The sloping face 2n pushes forward the hook portion 3b, engaging with the sloping face 2n at a front side of the releasing portion 2d, in the slit 2e.

    [0040] In this manner, the optical connector plug 1 comes back to the original state before coupling, as shown in Fig. 11D. As described above, in order to release the optical connector plug 1 from the coupling counterpart member, no operation is required other than pulling the rear housing 3 backward. The single operation of backward pulling enables releasing. This achieves reduction of labor of the releasing work, and enhancement of the operability.

    [0041] The work for releasing the optical connector plug 1 is completed by the single operation, which is quite easy. Unintentional and mistaken releasing from the coupling counterpart member may produces big damage. Thus, a countermeasure is required to keep a coupling state of the optical connector plug and the coupling counterpart member, and to prevent the optical connector plug 1 from easily releasing from the coupling counterpart member, when the releasing is not intended.

    [0042] As shown in Figs. 12A and 12B, the countermeasure is a blocking member 7 mounted for blocking backward movement of the rear housing 3. As shown in the figures, the blocking member 7 is formed as an annular tube shape with a C-shape section partially having a slit 7a, so as to enable to be put into a groove portion 5 shown in Figs. 1 and 2 from a direction perpendicular to an axis line of a longitudinal direction of the front housing 2.

    [0043] As shown in Figs. 1 and 2, a rear end of the front housing 2 is provided with the groove portion 5 for mounting the blocking member 7, which blocks backward slide of the rear housing 3, at a position adjoining the front housing 2 behind when the rear housing 3 is mounted at the rear end and advanced.

    [0044] As shown in Figs. 1 and 2, in order to form the groove portion 5, the plug frame 4 formed independently from the front housing 2 and having a tubular shape and a flange at a rear part is inserted and mounted into a rear opening of the front housing, and fixed by partially engaging with the locking window portion 2i, shown in Fig. 5. In other words, the groove portion 5 is formed at a rear part of the plug frame 4. The plug frame 4 is a member for supporting a boot 6 to protect an optical fiber cable, not shown.

    [0045] As shown in Figs. 13A and 13B, using the groove portion 5 of the optical connector plug 1 and the blocking member 7, the blocking member 7 is put into the groove portion 5, and is mounted to the optical connector plug 1. Intervention of a width portion of the blocking member 7 prevents the rear housing 3 from moving backward beyond it. Moreover, a special jig or the like is used for removing the blocking member 7 from the optical connector plug 1.

    [0046] The blocking member 7 may be mounted to the optical connector plug 1 in advance, and then the optical connector plug 1 may be fitted with the coupling counterpart member. Or, the blocking member 7 may be mounted to the groove portion 5 of the optical connector plug 1 after the optical connector plug 1 is fitted and coupled with the coupling counterpart member. Both sequences are accepted.

    [0047] As shown not only in Figs. 13A and 13B but also in Figs. 13C and 13D, the blocking member 7 may be mounted to the optical connector plug 1 from any directions, such as a left, a right or a bottom direction, perpendicular to the axis line of the longitudinal direction, or front and rear directions, of the front housing.

    [0048] In a situation where a large number of the optical connector plugs 1 are mounted to an optical communication equipment with high density, the blocking member 7 may be attached or detached from a direction enabling easy operations according to the situation. In a case that a large number of the optical connector plugs 1 are mounted, a large number of the blocking member 7 may have outer surfaces made of materials, or colored, with different colors. This enables the blocking members 7 to be clearly distinguished from each other, and thereby mistaken releasing can be prevented. This is preferable.

    Industrial Applicability



    [0049] The optical connector plug 1 according to the present invention can be used with conventional LC type connectors such as adaptors or receptacles, and easily enhances operability.

    Reference Signs List



    [0050] 1: optical connector plug; 2: front housing; 2a: latching piece; 2b: ferrule; 2c: locking portion; 2d: releasing portion; 2e: slit; 2f: rear restriction portion; 2g: guiding slit; 2h: rear housing engaging recess; 2i: locking window portion; 2j: ferrule biasing member; 2k: front restriction end face; 2m: front housing body; 2n: sloping face; 3: rear housing; 3a: releasing lever; 3b: hook portion; 3c: knob portion; 3d: projection portion; 3e: tubular body; 3f: guiding rail; 3g: restriction projection; 3h: taper portion; 3i: position restriction end portion; 3j: position restriction end face; 3k: taper face; 3m: top face; 4: plug frame; 5: groove portion; 6: boot; 7: blocking member; 7a: slit; 15: conventional optical connector plug; 16: front housing; 17: latching portion; 17a: engaging projection; 17b: distal end; 18: rear housing; 19: releasing bar; 19a: distal end; 20: ferrule; and 21: coupling counterpart member.


    Claims

    1. An optical connector plug (1), comprising:

    a front housing (2), configured to hold a ferrule (2b) and to be fitted with a fitting portion of a coupling counterpart member; and

    a rear housing (3), mounted to the front housing (2) so as to be allowed to slide toward front and rear directions at a rear side of the front housing (2),

    wherein the front housing (2) comprises:

    a front housing body (2m); and

    a latching piece (2a) with elasticity, formed on an upper side outer wall face of the front housing body (2m),

    the latching piece (2a) comprises:

    a locking portion (2c), configured to engage with an engaging portion for fitting of the coupling counterpart member;

    a releasing portion (2d), configured to release the locking portion (2c) from an engaging state with the engaging portion for fitting,

    wherein the releasing portion (2d) has a sloping face (2n) formed at a front side of the releasing portion (2d) so that the sloping face (2n) has a lower front end and a higher rear end, and

    a slit (2e) formed in front of the sloping face (2n)

    the rear housing (3) comprises:

    a tubular body (3e); and

    a releasing lever (3a), formed at an upper side of the tubular body (3e),

    the releasing lever (3a) comprises:

    a hook portion (3b), formed at a front part of the releasing lever (3a) and configured to engage with the releasing portion (2d) of the latching piece (2a) at a time of retreat of the rear housing (3), so as to activate a release function, and having a taper portion (3h) formed at a distal end side of the hook portion (3b); and

    a knob portion (3c) for retreat, formed at a rear part of the releasing lever (3a), and
    the hook portion (3b) formed at the releasing lever (3a) loosely fits with the slit (2e) formed before the releasing portion (2d), by the hook portion (3b) sliding with and entering under the releasing portion (2d) of the latching piece (2a), the taper portion (3h) at a distal end side of the hook portion (3b) pushing up the releasing portion (2d) and the hook portion (3b) entering into the slit (2e) when the front housing (2) and the rear housing (3) are assembled,

    wherein the knob portion (3c) is adapted to be pulled backward to move the rear housing (3) backward after the optical connector plug (1) is coupled with the coupling counterpart member, the rear housing (3) slides backward relatively to the front housing (2), so that a rear end of the hook portion (3b) loosely fitted in the slit (2e) engages with the sloping face (2n) of the releasing portion (2d), and slides backward on the sloping face (2n), which allows the releasing portion (2d) to be pressed down against the elastic force of the latching piece (2a), resulting in that engagement of the locking portions (2c) with the engaging portion of the coupling counterpart member is released.


     
    2. The optical connector plug (1) as claimed in Claim 1, wherein
    the locking portion (2c) is a pair of left and right locking portions (2c) protruding from left and right side wall faces of the latching piece (2a), and
    the releasing portion (2d) is formed between the pair of the left and right locking portions (2c).
     
    3. The optical connector plug (1) as claimed in Claim 1 or 2, further comprising:

    a blocking member (7) for preventing unintentional release by unintentionally pulling backward the rear housing (3) in the engaging state, and

    a groove portion (5) formed at a rear side of the front housing (2), enabling to mount the blocking member (7) at a position adjoining the front housing (2) behind, the blocking member (7) configured to block backward slide of the rear housing (3) in a state where the rear housing (3) is mounted to the rear side and is advanced.


     
    4. The optical connector plug (1) as claimed in Claim 3,
    wherein the blocking member (7) has an annular tube shape with a C-shape section partially having a slit (7a), so as to enable putting into the groove portion (5) from a direction perpendicular to an axis line of a longitudinal direction of the front housing (2).
     
    5. The optical connector plug (1) as claimed in Claim 1,
    wherein the releasing lever (3a) is provided with a projection portion (3d) protruding between the hook portion (3b) formed at a front part and the knob portion (3c) formed at a rear part of the releasing lever (3a), the projection portion (3d) functioning as a reaction force portion for advancing the rear housing (3).
     
    6. The optical connector plug (1) as claimed in Claim 3, further comprising
    a plug frame (4), put into a rear part of the front housing (2),
    wherein the groove portion (5) is formed at a rear part of the plug frame (4).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Optischer Anschlussstecker (1), der aufweist:

    ein vorderes Gehäuse (2), das konfiguriert ist, eine Ferrule (2b) zu halten und an einem passenden Abschnitt eines Kopplungsgegenelements angebracht zu werden; und

    ein hinteres Gehäuse (3), das am vorderen Gehäuse (2) so angebracht ist, dass es sich auf einer Rückseite des vorderen Gehäuses (2) nach vorn und hinten verschieben kann,

    wobei das vordere Gehäuse (2) aufweist:

    einen vorderen Gehäusekörper (2m); und

    ein elastisches Verriegelungsstück (2a), das an einer oberen Außenwandfläche des vorderen Gehäusekörpers (2m) ausgebildet ist,

    wobei das Verriegelungsstück (2a) aufweist:

    einen Verriegelungsabschnitt (2c), der konfiguriert ist, mit einem Eingriffsabschnitt zur Anbringung des Kopplungsgegenelements in Eingriff zu treten;

    einen Entriegelungsabschnitt (2d), der konfiguriert ist, den Verriegelungsabschnitt (2c) aus einem Eingriffszustand mit dem Eingriffsabschnitt zur Anbringung zu lösen,

    wobei der Entriegelungsabschnitt (2d) eine Abschrägungsfläche (2n) aufweist, die auf einer Vorderseite des Entriegelungsabschnitts (2d) ausgebildet ist, so dass die Abschrägungsfläche (2n) ein niedrigeres vorderes Ende und ein höheres hinteres Ende aufweist, und

    einen Schlitz (2e), der vor der Abschrägungsfläche (2n) ausgebildet ist,

    wobei das hintere Gehäuse (3) aufweist:

    einen röhrenförmigen Körper (3e); und

    einen Entriegelungshebel (3a), der auf einer Oberseite des röhrenförmigen Körpers (3e) ausgebildet ist,

    wobei der Entriegelungshebel (3a) aufweist:

    einen Hakenabschnitt (3b), der an einem vorderen Teil des Entriegelungshebels (3a) ausgebildet und konfiguriert ist, beim Zurückziehen des hinteren Gehäuses (3) mit dem Entriegelungsabschnitt (2d) des Verriegelungsstücks (2a) in Eingriff zu treten, um eine Entriegelungsfunktion zu aktivieren, und der einen verjüngten Abschnitt (3h) aufweist, der an einer distalen Endseite des Hakenabschnitts (3b) ausgebildet ist; und

    einen Knopfabschnitt (3c) zum Zurückziehen, der an einem hinteren Teil des Entriegelungshebels (3a) ausgebildet ist, und

    der am Entriegelungshebel (3a) ausgebildete Hakenabschnitt (3b) lose vor dem Entriegelungsabschnitt (2d) ausgebildeten Schlitz (2e) eingebracht wird, indem der Hakenabschnitt (3b) sich mit dem Entriegelungsabschnitt (2d) des Verriegelungsstücks (2a) verschiebt und unter ihm eintritt, der verjüngte Abschnitt (3h) an einer distalen Endseite des Hakenabschnitts (3b) den Entriegelungsabschnitt (2d) nach oben drückt und der Hakenabschnitt (3b) in den Schlitz (2e) eintritt, wenn das vordere Gehäuse (2) und das hinteres Gehäuse (3) zusammengebaut werden,

    wobei der Knopfabschnitt (3c) eingerichtet ist, nach hinten gezogen zu werden, um das hintere Gehäuse (3) nach hinten zu bewegen, nachdem der optische Anschlussstecker (1) mit dem Kopplungsgegenelement gekoppelt worden ist, sich das hintere Gehäuse (3) relativ zum vordere Gehäuse (2) nach hinten verschiebt, so das ein hinteres Ende des Hakenabschnitts (3b), das lose im Schlitz (2e) eingebracht ist, mit der Abschrägungsfläche (2n) des Entriegelungsabschnitts (2d) in Eingriff tritt, und sich auf der Abschrägungsfläche (2n) nach hinten verschiebt, was es ermöglicht, dass der Entriegelungsabschnitt (2d) gegen die Federkraft des Verriegelungsstücks (2a) nach unten gedrückt wird, was dazu führt, dass der Eingriff der Verriegelungsabschnitte (2c) mit dem Eingriffsabschnitt des Kopplungsgegenelements gelöst wird.


     
    2. Optischer Anschlussstecker (1) nach Anspruch 1, wobei
    der Verriegelungsabschnitt (2c) aus einem Paar linker und rechter Verriegelungsabschnitte (2c) besteht, die aus der linken und rechten Seitenwandfläche des Verriegelungsstücks (2a) vorstehen, und
    der Entriegelungsabschnitt (2d) zwischen dem Paar linker und rechter Verriegelungsabschnitte (2c) ausgebildet ist.
     
    3. Optischer Anschlussstecker (1) nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, der ferner aufweist:

    ein Blockierungselement (7), um eine unbeabsichtigte Entriegelung durch unbeabsichtigtes Zurückziehen des hinteren Gehäuses (3) im Eingriffszustand zu verhindern, und

    einen Nutabschnitt (5), der an einer Hinterseite des vorderen Gehäuses (2) ausgebildet ist, der es ermöglicht, das Blockierungselement (7) an einer Position zu montieren, die zum vorderen Gehäuse (2) dahinterliegend benachbart ist, wobei das Blockierungselement (7) konfiguriert ist, die Rückseite des hinteren Gehäuse (3) in einem Zustand zu blockieren, in dem das hintere Gehäuse (3) an der Hinterseite montiert ist und vorgeschoben wird.


     
    4. Optischer Anschlussstecker (1) nach Anspruch 3,
    wobei das Blockierungselement (7) eine ringförmige Röhrenform mit einem C-förmigen Querschnitt aufweist, die teilweise einen Schlitz (7a) aufweist, um es zu ermöglichen, es in den Nutabschnitt (5) aus einer Richtung einzusetzen, die senkrecht zu einer Achsenlinie einer Längsrichtung des vorderen Gehäuses (2) ist.
     
    5. Optischer Anschlussstecker (1) nach Anspruch 1,
    wobei der Entriegelungshebel (3a) mit einem Vorsprungsabschnitt (3d) versehen ist, der zwischen dem an einem vorderen Teil ausgebildeten Hakenabschnitt (3b) und dem an einem hinteren Teil des Entriegelungshebels (3a) ausgebildeten Knopfabschnitt (3c) vorsteht, wobei der Vorsprungsabschnitt (3d) als Reaktionskraftabschnitt zum Vorschieben des hinteren Gehäuses (3) dient.
     
    6. Optischer Anschlussstecker (1) nach Anspruch 3, der ferner aufweist:

    einen Steckerrahmen (4), der in einem hinteren Teil des vorderen Gehäuses (2) eingesetzt ist,

    wobei der Nutabschnitt (5) an einem hinteren Teil des Steckerrahmens (4) ausgebildet ist.


     


    Revendications

    1. Fiche de connecteur optique (1), comprenant :

    un boîtier avant (2), prévu pour maintenir une douille (2b) et pour être ajusté avec une partie d'ajustement d'un élément partenaire d'accouplement ; et

    un boîtier arrière (3), monté sur le boîtier avant (2) de manière à pouvoir coulisser vers l'avant et vers l'arrière sur un côté arrière du boîtier avant (2),

    où le boîtier avant (2) comprend :

    un corps (2m) de boîtier avant ; et

    une pièce de verrouillage (2a) dotée d'élasticité, formée sur une surface de paroi extérieure supérieure du corps (2m) de boîtier avant,

    où la pièce de verrouillage (2a) comprend :

    une partie de verrouillage (2c), prévue pour venir en prise avec une partie d'enclenchement pour l'ajustement de l'élément partenaire d'accouplement ;

    une partie de déverrouillage (2d), prévue pour libérer la partie de verrouillage (2c) d'un état de prise avec la partie d'enclenchement pour ajustement,

    où la partie de déverrouillage (2d) a une face inclinée (2n) formée sur un côté avant de la partie de déverrouillage (2d), de sorte que la face inclinée (2n) présente une extrémité avant plus basse et une extrémité arrière plus haute, et

    une fente (2e) formée devant la face inclinée (2n),

    où le boîtier arrière (3) comprend :

    un corps tubulaire (3e) ; et

    un levier de déverrouillage (3a), formé sur un côté supérieur du corps tubulaire (3e),

    où le levier de déverrouillage (3a) comprend :

    une partie en crochet (3b), formée sur une partie avant du levier de déverrouillage (3a) et

    prévue pour venir en prise avec la partie de déverrouillage (2d) de la pièce de verrouillage (2a) au moment du retrait du boîtier arrière (3), de manière à activer une fonction de libération, et présentant une partie chanfreinée (3h) formée sur un côté d'extrémité distale de la partie en crochet (3b); et

    une partie en bouton (3c) pour le retrait, formée sur une partie arrière du levier de déverrouillage (3a), et

    la partie en crochet (3b) formée sur le levier de déverrouillage (3a) s'ajuste de manière lâche avec la fente (2e) formée devant la partie de déverrouillage (2d), par le coulissement de la partie en crochet (3b) avec la partie de déverrouillage (2d) de la pièce de verrouillage (2a) et son introduction sous celle-ci, la partie chanfreinée (3h) sur un côté d'extrémité distale de la partie en crochet (3b) repoussant la partie de déverrouillage (2d) et la partie en crochet (3b) étant introduite dans la fente (2e) quand le boîtier avant (2) et le boîtier arrière (3) sont assemblés,

    où la partie en bouton (3c) est adaptée pour être tirée vers l'arrière pour déplacer le boîtier arrière (3) vers l'arrière après raccordement de la fiche de connecteur optique (1) avec l'élément partenaire d'accouplement, le boîtier arrière (3) coulissant vers l'arrière relativement au boîtier avant (2), de sorte qu'une extrémité arrière de la partie en crochet (3b) ajustée de manière lâche dans la fente (2e) vient en contact avec la face inclinée (2n) de la partie de déverrouillage (2d), et coulisse vers l'arrière sur la face inclinée (2n), permettant à la partie de déverrouillage (2d) d'être rabattue contre la force élastique de la pièce de verrouillage (2a), ce qui entraîne le déclenchement de la partie de verrouillage (2c) de la partie d'enclenchement de l'élément partenaire d'accouplement.


     
    2. Fiche de connecteur optique (1) selon la revendication 1, où
    la partie de verrouillage (2c) est une paire constituée d'une partie de verrouillage gauche et d'une partie de verrouillage droite (2c) en saillie sur des surfaces de paroi gauche et droite de la pièce de verrouillage (2a), et
    la partie de déverrouillage (2d) est formée entre la partie de verrouillage gauche et la partie de verrouillage droite (2c).
     
    3. Fiche de connecteur optique (1) selon la revendication 1 ou la revendication 2, comprenant en outre :

    un élément de blocage (7) destiné à empêcher un déclenchement accidentel par traction accidentelle du boîtier arrière (3) vers l'arrière lorsque celui-ci est en état de prise, et

    une partie en rainure (5) formée sur un côté arrière du boîtier avant (2), permettant le montage de l'élément de blocage (7) à un emplacement attenant à l'arrière du boîtier avant (2), l'élément de blocage (7) étant prévu pour empêcher un coulissement vers l'arrière du boîtier arrière (3) dans un état où le boîtier arrière (3) est monté sur le côté arrière et est avancé.


     
    4. Fiche de connecteur optique (1) selon la revendication 3,
    où l'élément de blocage (7) a une forme de tube annulaire avec une section en C présentant partiellement une fente (7a), de manière à permettre la mise en place dans la partie en rainure (5) dans une direction perpendiculaire à une ligne axiale de la direction longitudinale du boîtier avant (2).
     
    5. Fiche de connecteur optique (1) selon la revendication 1,
    où le levier de déverrouillage (3a) est prévu avec une partie en saillie (3d) entre la partie en crochet (3b) formée sur une partie avant et la partie en bouton (3c) formée sur une partie arrière du levier de déverrouillage (3a), la partie en saillie (3d) servant de partie exerçant une force contraire pour l'avance du boîtier arrière (3).
     
    6. Fiche de connecteur optique (1) selon la revendication 3, comprenant en outre un cadre de fiche (4) mis en place dans une partie arrière du boîtier avant (2),
    la partie en rainure (5) étant formée sur une partie arrière du cadre de fiche (4).
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description