(19)
(11)EP 3 195 029 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
21.10.2020 Bulletin 2020/43

(21)Application number: 15836351.5

(22)Date of filing:  25.08.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G02B 6/38  (2006.01)
G02B 6/44  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2015/046698
(87)International publication number:
WO 2016/033048 (03.03.2016 Gazette  2016/09)

(54)

SEALING UNIT FOR FIBER OPTIC INTERCONNECTIONS

DICHTUNGSEINHEIT FÜR FASEROPTISCHE VERBINDUNGEN

UNITÉ D'ÉTANCHÉITÉ POUR INTERCONNEXIONS DE FIBRE 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: 26.08.2014 US 201462041934 P
14.08.2015 US 201514826623

(43)Date of publication of application:
26.07.2017 Bulletin 2017/30

(73)Proprietor: CommScope Technologies LLC
Hickory, NC 28602 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • HARWATH, Frank A.
    Naperville, Illinois 60564 (US)
  • VACCARO, Ronald A.
    Shorewood, Illinois 60404 (US)
  • VILLEGAS, Henry
    Orlando Park, Illinois 60467 (US)
  • JUST, Gregory
    La Grange Park, Illinois 60526 (US)

(74)Representative: Parker, Andrew James 
Meissner Bolte Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB Postfach 86 06 24
81633 München
81633 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2014/063154
US-A- 5 064 268
US-A1- 2009 022 457
US-B1- 6 856 748
WO-A2-2013/117589
US-A1- 2008 310 798
US-A1- 2013 273 762
US-B1- 6 856 748
  
      
    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

    Related Application



    [0001] The present invention claims priority from and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/041,934, filed August 26, 2014.

    Field of the Invention



    [0002] The invention relates generally to a device for environmentally sealing and securing the interconnection between communications cables and/or communications cables and electronic equipment.

    Background



    [0003] Interconnection junctions, such as the interconnection between two cables or a cable and a piece of electronic equipment, may be subject to mechanical degradation from environmental factors such as moisture, vibration and repeated expansion and contraction from daily temperature changes. As an example, a fiber optic cable assembly might be terminated with a dual LC connector (DLC) where the end customer might desire SC terminations. A cable assembly configured to provide a DLC interface on one end and SC on the other would provide the interface desired. Unfortunately, LC connectors are not weatherproof, and if exposed to harsh conditions will not perform at an optimal level for any significant time period. Therefore, it is desirable that the connection be isolated from moisture, ice, dust, oil, and other contaminants which could cause premature failure.

    [0004] Outer sealing enclosures that surround or enclose a cable interconnection have been used to protect such interconnections. Enclosures often apply rigid clamshell configurations that, once closed, may be difficult to open, especially when installed in exposed or remote locations, such as atop radio towers; gaskets or gel seals may be applied at the enclosure ends and/or along a sealing perimeter of the shell.

    [0005] Elastic interconnection seals are also known. Elastic seals can be advantageous by virtue of being more easily installed over the typically uneven contours of a cable or cable/equipment interconnection. Exemplary configurations are described in U.S. Patent No. 6,429,373 and in U.S. Patent Application Nos. 13/646,952, filed October 8, 2012; 13/938,475, filed July 10, 2013; and 14/245,443, filed April 4, 2014.

    [0006] The continued development of additional configurations and varieties of connectors can necessitate additional sealing configurations and techniques.

    [0007] Patent Document US-B1-6856748 relates generally to an enclosure for interconnecting preterminated optical fibers, and more specifically, to an enclosure having at least one connector port and at least one preterminated fiber optic connector that provides access to the preterminated connectors from the exterior of the enclosure.

    [0008] Patent Document US-A1-2009/0022457 relates to fiber optic connectors and related tools. More specifically, to fiber optic connectors having an optical fiber stub suitable for fusion-splicing for optical connection and related tools for the fiber optic connectors.

    [0009] Patent Document WO-A2-2013/117589 relates to fiber optic equipment. More particularly, to a termination assembly and method for fixing a fiber optic cable to a fiber optic connector.

    Summary



    [0010] According to the invention, the problem is solved by the subject-matter outlined in independent claim 1. Advantageous further developments of the invention are set forth in the dependent claims. As a first aspect, embodiments of the invention are directed to a weatherproofed interconnection junction. The interconnection junction comprises: a first cable having a first connector at one end; a second connector; a sealing cylinder with an internal cavity, wherein the first connector and second connector are joined and reside within the cavity; and an elastomeric sealing boot having a cable section and a connector section. The first cable is conformably received in the cable section and the sealing cylinder is conformably received in the connector section.

    [0011] As a second aspect, embodiments of the invention are directed to a weatherproofed interconnection junction, comprising: a first cable having a first connector at one end; a second connector having a second connector at one end; a sealing cylinder with an internal cavity, wherein the first connector and second connector are joined and reside within the cavity; a first elastomeric sealing boot having a cable section and a connector section, wherein the first cable is conformably received in the cable section and the sealing cylinder is conformably received in the connector section; and a second elastomeric sealing boot having a cable section and a connector section, wherein the second cable is conformably received in the cable section.

    [0012] As a third aspect, embodiments of the invention are directed to a weatherproofed interconnection junction, comprising: a first cable having a first connector at one end; a second connector mounted on a mounting structure, the mounting structure including a receptacle; a sealing cylinder with an internal cavity, wherein the first connector and second connector are joined and reside within the cavity, the sealing cylinder sealingly engaging the receptacle; and an elastomeric sealing boot having a cable section and a connector section. The first cable is conformably received in the cable section and the sealing cylinder is conformably received in the connector section.

    [0013] As a fourth aspect, embodiments of the invention are directed to a sealing boot for an interconnection junction, comprising: an annular cable section having a first diameter; an annular connector section having a second diameter that is greater than the first diameter; and a transition section that extends between the cable section and the connector section. The transition section is configured to enable the transition section to fold upon itself to move the connector section to a retracted position in which the connector section is adjacent the cable section. The sealing boot comprises an elastomeric material.

    Brief Description of the Figures



    [0014] 

    Figure 1 is a perspective view of a cable-connector assembly according to embodiments of the invention, the assembly being shown in a mated condition.

    Figure 2 is a perspective view of the sealing cylinder of the assembly of Figure 1.

    Figure 3 is a perspective view of the one of the sealing boots of the assembly of Figure 1.

    Figure 4 is a cross-sectional view of the cable-connector assembly of Figure 1.

    Figure 5 is a perspective view of a cable-connector assembly according to additional embodiments of the invention, with the bistable sealing boots being retracted.

    Figure 6 is a perspective view of one of the sealing cylinders of the assembly of Figure 5.

    Figure 7 is a perspective view of the other of the sealing cylinders of the assembly of Figure 5.

    Figure 8 is a cross-sectional view of the assembly of Figure 5, with the sealing boots in their unfolded positions.

    Figure 9 is a perspective view of a cable-connector assembly according to further embodiments of the invention, with the sealing boot shown in its retracted position.

    Figure 10 is a perspective view of the assembly of Figure 9, with the sealing boot shown in its unfolded position.

    Figure 11 is an exploded perspective view of a protective sleeve adapted to attach to a shroud of a bulkhead of a RRU according to alternative embodiments of the invention.

    Figure 12 is an assembled perspective view of the sleeve and shroud of Figure 11.


    Detailed Description



    [0015] The present invention is described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which certain embodiments of the invention are shown. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments that are pictured and described herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. It will also be appreciated that the embodiments disclosed herein can be combined in any way and/or combination to provide many additional embodiments.

    [0016] Unless otherwise defined, all technical and scientific terms that are used in this disclosure have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the invention. As used in this disclosure, the singular forms "a", "an" and "the" are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will also be understood that when an element (e.g., a device, circuit, etc.) is referred to as being "connected" or "coupled" to another element, it can be directly connected or coupled to the other element or intervening elements may be present. In contrast, when an element is referred to as being "directly connected" or "directly coupled" to another element, there are no intervening elements present.

    [0017] Referring now to the drawings, an assembly 20 is shown in Figures 1 and 4. The assembly 20 includes two fiber optic cables 25, 30, each of which is terminated with a respective connector 26, 31 that mate with each other (see Figure 4). The assembly also includes a weatherproofing unit 40 comprising two sealing boots 45, 50 and a sealing cylinder 55. These components are described in detail below.

    [0018] Referring to Figures 1, 3 and 4, the sealing boot 45 is generally conical and includes a cable section 46 with a bore 47 that is sized to fit over the cable 25. At the opposite end, the sealing boot 45 includes an open-ended connector section 48 that is larger in diameter than the cable section. The connector section 48 has a radially-inwardly extending ridge 49. The cable section 46 and the connector section 48 each merge with a transition section 51. Referring to Figures 1 and 4, the sealing boot 50 is similar to the sealing boot 45, with the exception that it lacks a ridge in its connector section 52.

    [0019] Typically, the sealing boots 45, 50 are formed of a polymeric material. As used herein, a "polymeric" material includes elastomeric materials, such as rubbers, as well as harder polymeric materials. An exemplary rubber material may be selected from the group consisting of silicone, fluorosilicone, EPDM, and nitrile rubbers.

    [0020] Referring now to Figures 1, 2 and 4, the sealing cylinder 55 is generally cylindrical and includes an internal cavity C. The sealing cylinder 55 also includes an external groove 56 that is sized to receive the ridge 49 of the sealing boot 45. The sealing cylinder 55 is typically formed of a hard plastic, such as polypropylene or acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS).

    [0021] In the illustrated embodiment, the end of the sealing cylinder 55 nearest the groove 56 is slipped into the connector section 48 of the sealing boot 45 until the ridge 49 fits within the groove 56, with the sealing cylinder 55 conformably received by the connector section 48. The sealing cylinder 55 is adhered to the connector section 48 of the sealing boot 45 via an adhesive; in other embodiments, the sealing cylinder 55 may be attached to the sealing boot 45 by other means, or may be formed as a separate piece that slips inside the sealing boot 45.

    [0022] Referring now to Figures 1 and 4, the assembly 20 is formed by slipping the sealing boots 45, 50 onto respective cables 25, 30, with the cable section of each snugly fitting over its cable 45, 50 to form a seal. The sealing cylinder 55, conformably attached to the sealing boot 45, is positioned over the connector 26. The connectors 26, 31 are mated in conventional fashion. The end of the sealing cylinder 55 opposite the sealing boot 45 is then conformably received by the connector section 52 of the sealing boot 50. In this configuration, the weatherproofing unit 40 can provide a watertight enclosure to the mating connectors 26, 31, which reside in the cavity C of the sealing cylinder 55.

    [0023] An alternative embodiment of an assembly is shown in Figures 5-8 and designated broadly at 120. The assembly 120 includes two fiber optic cables 125, 130, each of which is terminated with a respective connector 126, 131 that mate with each other as described above. A weatherproofing unit 140 includes two sealing boots 145, 150 of the configuration described above. However, the weatherproofing unit 140 also includes two sealing cylinders 155, 160 that are configured to sealingly engage each other. These are described in greater detail below.

    [0024] Referring now to Figures 5, 6 and 8, the sealing cylinder 155 is similar to the sealing cylinder 55 described above, with a groove 156 located near one end. However, the sealing cylinder 155 also includes a pair of latches 157 on opposite sides of the cylinder 155, and further includes diametrically opposed alignment ridges 158 positioned between the latches 157. An O-ring groove 159 is present at the end of the sealing cylinder 155 opposite the groove 156.

    [0025] Referring now to Figures 5, 7 and 8, the sealing cylinder 160 is slightly larger in diameter than the sealing cylinder 155. The sealing cylinder 160 has a groove 161 at one end. At the opposite end, the sealing cylinder 160 includes two diametrically opposed lugs 162 that extend radially outwardly. Two alignment recesses 163 are located on the inner surface of the sealing cylinder 160.

    [0026] Referring to Figures 5 and 8, interconnection of the assembly 120 begins with the placement of the sealing boots 145, 150 on the cables 125, 130. The sealing cylinders 155, 160 are then positioned in the sealing boots 145, 150, with the ridges 149, 154 of the sealing boots 145, 150 being inserted into respective grooves 156, 161. The sealing cylinders 155, 160 are then assembled, with the sealing cylinder 160 fitting over the sealing cylinder 155. The alignment ridges 158 of the sealing cylinder 155 nest within the recesses 163 of the sealing cylinder 160 to aid with alignment of the sealing cylinders 155, 160, so that the latches 157 of the sealing cylinder 155 engage the lugs 162 of the sealing cylinder 160 to hold them together. An O-ring 167 is included in the groove 159 of the sealing cylinder 155 to provide a moisture seal between the two sealing cylinders 155, 160. Thus, the sealing boots 145, 150 and the sealing cylinders 155, 160 create the weatherproofing unit 140 that provides the connectors 126, 131 with a watertight enclosure.

    [0027] It can also be seen from Figure 5 that the sealing boots 145, 150 are "bistable," meaning that they can take a second, retracted configuration for ease of assembly. As shown in Figure 8, the transition section 151 of the sealing boot 145 includes an annular recessed area 151a on its inner surface (this can also be seen in Figure 4 in the sealing boot 45). The recess 151a enables the transition section 151 to fold on itself so that the connector section 148 can retract to a rearward position near the cable section 146. The sealing boot 145 is stable in this position, which can facilitate assembly of the connectors 126, 131. The sealing cylinder 155 can then be moved to and into engagement with the sealing cylinder 160 by returning the sealing boot 155 to its original, unfolded configuration. Figure 8 also shows that the sealing boot 150 has a similar recess 154a in its transition section 154 that allows the sealing boot 150 to fold onto itself to facilitate assembly.

    [0028] Figures 9 and 10 illustrate another assembly, designated at 220, according to embodiments of the invention. The assembly 220 includes a cable 225, a sealing boot 245, and a sealing cylinder 255 as described above. However, the cable 225 is mated to a connector (not shown) mounted to a structure 230, such as a flange, bulkhead or panel. The structure 230 includes a mounting receptacle 260 with lugs 262 for engaging the latches 257 of the sealing cylinder 255, and further includes recesses 263 that receive the alignment ridges 258 of the sealing cylinder 255.

    [0029] As can be seen in Figure 9, the sealing boot 245 is inserted onto the cable 225, the sealing cylinder 255 is inserted into the sealing boot 245, and the sealing boot 245 is retracted to its folded position. The connector 226 is connected with the connector (not shown) of the structure 230, and the sealing boot 245 is extended to its unfolded position (Figure 10) to enable the latches 257 of the sealing cylinder 255 to engage the lugs 262 of the mounting receptacle 260 as the sealing cylinder 255 slips within the receptacle 260. The o-ring 267 provides a seal between the sealing cylinder 255 and the receptacle 260.

    [0030] The weatherproofing units can protect fiber optic connectors that typically do not have cylindrical sealing surfaces as part of the connectors like those typically found on RF connectors. Nonetheless, it should be noted that this sealing system may be suitable for use with other connectors, such as coaxial and/or power connectors, often employed alongside fiber optic connectors in wireless installations.

    [0031] A further embodiment of a sealing cylinder for protecting an interface between optical fibers of a fiber optic cable and a RRU is illustrated in Figure 11 and designated broadly at 310. The sealing cylinder 310 has a generally cylindrical body 312. A groove 314 is present near one end of the body 312. Another groove 316 is located adjacent the opposite end of the body 312. A pair of diametrically opposed ridges 318 are positioned near the groove 314; the ridges 318 each extend approximately 120 degrees about the circumference of the body 312, such that gaps 322 are formed.

    [0032] Two latches 320 are mounted in diametrically opposed locations on the body 322. Each latch 320 includes a stem 324 that extends radially outwardly from the body 312, an arm 326 that extends from the stem 324 toward the groove 314 and that has a hook 328 at its free end, and a tab 330 that extends from the stem 324 toward the groove 316. Like the sealing cylinders 55, 155, 160, the sealing cylinder 310 can be formed of a variety of materials.

    [0033] Figure 11 also illustrates a mounting receptacle 340 for mounting on a RRU or other structure (not shown) that is similar to the mounting receptacle 260 described above. The mounting receptacle 340 includes a circular rim 342 from which two fingers 344 extend. Each of the fingers 344 has a lug 346 on its outer surface. The rim 342 and fingers 344 are mounted on a base 348 that is in turn mounted on a RRU.

    [0034] To assemble the sealing cylinder 310 with the fitting 340, an O-ring (not shown) is positioned in the groove 314. A technician grasps the tabs 330 of both latches 320 (typically with one hand) and presses the tabs 330 toward each other (i.e., radially inwardly). This action causes the arms 326 of each latch to pivot away from the base 312 (i.e., radially outwardly). The sealing cylinder 310 is then advanced toward the mounting receptacle 340 with the latches 320 in this deflected condition. The sealing cylinder 310 is rotated about its longitudinal axis until the gaps 322 between the ridges 318 align with the fingers 344 of the mounting receptacle 340. The end of the body 312 and the groove 314 (with the O-ring in place) then slide between the fingers 344 and within the rim 342 until the ridges 318 of the sleeve 310 engage the edge of the rim 342. In this position, the hooks 328 of the latches 320 are positioned just beyond the lugs 346 of the fingers 344. The latches 320 can then be released by the technician, which enables the hooks 328 to engage the lugs 346, thereby securing the sealing cylinder 310 to the mounting receptable 340 (see Figure 12).

    [0035] At the opposite end of the sealing cylinder 310, a protective cover like the sealing boots 145, 155 described above can be attached. As described above, such a cover is typically resilient and has a lip that fits within the groove 316, thereby forming a seal. At the opposite end, the cover seals with a furcation tube of one or more optical fibers. Other exemplary covers are shown in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 62/017,802, filed June 26, 2014, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein in its entirety.

    [0036] As can be discerned by examination of Figures 11 and 12, the sealing cylinder 310 can be secured relatively easily with the mounting receptacle 340, and can be so secured using only one hand. The resulting connection provides a weather-sealed environment for the interface between the optical fibers that form an interface with the RRU or other structure.

    [0037] The foregoing is illustrative of the present invention and is not to be construed as limiting thereof. Although exemplary embodiments of this invention have been described, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible in the exemplary embodiments without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of this invention. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of this invention as defined in the claims. The invention is defined by the following claims.


    Claims

    1. A sealing boot (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) for an interconnection junction, comprising:

    an annular cable section (46, 146) having a first diameter;

    an annular connector section (48, 52, 148) having a second diameter that is greater than the first diameter; and

    a transition section (51, 151, 154) that extends between the cable section (46, 146) and the connector section (48, 52, 148);

    wherein the transition section (51, 151, 154) is configured to enable the transition section (51, 151, 154) to fold upon itself to move the connector section (48, 52, 148) to a retracted position in which the connector section (48, 52, 148) is adjacent the cable section (46, 146);

    wherein the sealing boot (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) comprises an elastomeric material; and

    characterised in that:
    the transition section (51, 151, 154) has an annular recess (151a, 154a) on an inner surface thereof.


     
    2. The sealing boot (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) defined in Claim 1, in combination with a sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) attached to the connector section (48, 52, 148).
     
    3. The sealing boot (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) defined in Claim 1 or 2, in combination with a cable (25) inserted into the cable section (46, 146).
     
    4. A weatherproofed interconnection junction, comprising:

    a first cable (25) having a first connector at one end;

    a second connector mounted on a mounting structure, the mounting structure including a receptacle (260, 340);

    a sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) with an internal cavity (C), wherein the first connector and second connector are joined and reside within the cavity (C), the sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) sealingly engaging the receptacle (260, 340); and

    a sealing boot (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) defined in Claim 1, wherein the first cable (25) is conformably received in the cable section (46, 146) and the sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) is conformably received in the connector section (48, 52, 148).


     
    5. The interconnection junction defined in Claim 4, wherein two latches (157, 257, 320) are mounted on opposite sides of the sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) to enable a technician to grasp both latches (157, 257, 320) simultaneously to facilitate engagement of the latches (157, 257, 320) with the receptacle (260, 340).
     
    6. The interconnection junction defined in Claim 4 or Claim 5, wherein the sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) comprises alignment features (158, 258) to orient the sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) relative to the receptacle (260, 340).
     
    7. The interconnection junction defined in Claim 6, wherein the alignment features (158, 258) comprise discontinuous circumferential ridges.
     
    8. The interconnection junction defined in any of Claims 4-7, wherein the first and second connectors are fiber optic connectors.
     
    9. A weatherproofed interconnection junction, comprising:

    a first cable (25) having a first connector at one end;

    a second cable (30) having a second connector at one end;

    a first sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) with an internal cavity (C), wherein the first connector and second connector are joined and reside within the cavity (C);

    a first elastomeric sealing boot (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) as defined in Claim 1, wherein the first cable (25) is conformably received in the cable section (46, 146) and the sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) is conformably received in the connector section (48, 52, 148);

    a second elastomeric sealing boot (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) having a cable section (46, 146) and a connector section (48, 52, 148), wherein the second cable (30) is conformably received in the cable section (46, 146); and

    a second sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310), wherein the first sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) sealingly engages the second sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310), and wherein the second sealing boot (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) conformably receives the second sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310);

    wherein the first sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) comprises attachment features to attach the first sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) to the second sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310), and the first sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) comprises alignment features (158, 258) to orient the first sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) relative to the second sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310).


     
    10. The interconnection junction defined in Claim 9, wherein the second sealing boot (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) conformably receives the sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310).
     
    11. The interconnection junction defined in Claim 9 or Claim 10, wherein the second sealing boot (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) is adhered to the second sealing cylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310).
     
    12. The interconnection junction defined in any of Claims 9-11, wherein the first and second connectors are fiber optic connectors.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Dichtungsmanschette (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) für eine Verbindungsstelle, umfassend:

    einen ringförmigen Kabelabschnitt (46, 146) mit einem ersten Durchmesser;

    einen ringförmigen Verbinderabschnitt (48, 52, 148) mit einem zweiten Durchmesser, welcher größer als der erste Durchmesser ist; und

    einen Übergangsabschnitt (51, 151, 154), welcher sich zwischen dem Kabelabschnitt (46, 146) und dem Verbinderabschnitt (48, 52, 148) erstreckt;

    wobei der Übergangsabschnitt (51, 151, 154) konfiguriert ist, dem Übergangsabschnitt (51, 151, 154) zu ermöglichen, sich auf sich selbst zu falten, um den Verbinderabschnitt (48, 52, 148) in eine zurückgezogene Position zu bewegen, in welcher der Verbinderabschnitt (48, 52, 148) an den Kabelabschnitt (46, 146) angrenzt;

    wobei die Dichtungsmanschette (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) ein elastomeres Material aufweist; und

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass:
    der Übergangsabschnitt (51, 151, 154) eine ringförmige Aussparung (151a, 154a) auf einer Innenfläche davon aufweist.


     
    2. Dichtungsmanschette (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) nach Anspruch 1 in Kombination mit einem Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310), welcher am Verbinderabschnitt (48, 52, 148) befestigt ist.
     
    3. Dichtungsmanschette (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) nach Anspruch 1 oder 2 in Kombination mit einem in den Kabelabschnitt (46, 146) eingeführten Kabel (25).
     
    4. Wettergeschützte Verbindungsstelle, umfassend:

    ein erstes Kabel (25) mit einem ersten Verbinder an einem Ende;

    einen zweiten Verbinder, welcher auf einer Montagestruktur montiert ist, wobei die Montagestruktur eine Aufnahme (260, 340) aufweist;

    einen Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) mit einem inneren Hohlraum (C), wobei der erste Verbinder und der zweite Verbinder miteinander verbunden sind und sich in dem Hohlraum (C) befinden, wobei der Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) abdichtend in die Aufnahme (260, 340) eingreift; und

    eine Dichtungsmanschette (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das erste Kabel (25) konform in dem Kabelabschnitt (46, 146) aufgenommen ist und der Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) konform in dem Verbinderabschnitt (48, 52, 148) aufgenommen ist.


     
    5. Verbindungsstelle nach Anspruch 4, bei welcher zwei Verriegelungen (157, 257, 320) an gegenüberliegenden Seiten des Dichtungszylinders (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) angebracht sind, um es einem Techniker zu ermöglichen, beide Verriegelungen (157, 257, 320) gleichzeitig zu ergreifen, um ein Eingreifen der Verriegelungen (157, 257, 320) in die Aufnahme (260, 340) zu erleichtern.
     
    6. Verbindungsstelle nach Anspruch 4 oder 5, wobei der Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) Ausrichtungsmerkmale (158, 258) aufweist, um den Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) relativ zur Aufnahme (260, 340) auszurichten.
     
    7. Verbindungsstelle nach Anspruch 6, wobei die Ausrichtungsmerkmale (158, 258) unterbrochen umlaufende Graten umfassen.
     
    8. Verbindungsstelle nach einem der Ansprüche 4 bis 7, wobei der erste und zweite Verbinder faseroptische Verbinder sind.
     
    9. Wettergeschützte Verbindungsstelle, umfassend:

    ein erstes Kabel (25) mit einem ersten Verbinder an einem Ende;

    ein zweites Kabel (30) mit einem zweiten Verbinder an einem Ende;

    einen ersten Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) mit einem inneren Hohlraum (C), wobei der erste Verbinder und zweite Verbinder verbunden sind und sich in dem Hohlraum (C) befinden;

    eine erste elastomere Dichtungsmanschette (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das erste Kabel (25) konform in dem Kabelabschnitt (46, 146) aufgenommen ist und der Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) konform in dem Verbinderabschnitt (48, 52, 148) aufgenommen ist;

    eine zweite elastomere Dichtungsmanschette (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) mit einem Kabelabschnitt (46, 146) und einem Verbinderabschnitt (48, 52, 148), wobei das zweite Kabel (30) konform in dem Kabelabschnitt (46, 146) aufgenommen ist; und

    einen zweiten Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310), wobei der erste Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) abdichtend mit dem zweiten Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) in Eingriff steht, und wobei die zweite Dichtungsmanschette (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) den zweiten Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) konform aufnimmt;

    wobei der erste Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) Befestigungsmerkmale aufweist, um den ersten Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) an dem zweiten Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) zu befestigen, und der erste Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) Ausrichtungsmerkmale (158, 258) aufweist, um den ersten Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) relativ zum zweiten Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) auszurichten.


     
    10. Verbindungsstelle nach Anspruch 9, wobei die zweite Dichtungsmanschette (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) den Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) konform aufnimmt.
     
    11. Verbindungsstelle nach Anspruch 9 oder Anspruch 10, wobei die zweite Dichtungsmanschette (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) am zweiten Dichtungszylinder (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) anhaftet.
     
    12. Verbindungsstelle nach einem der Ansprüche 9 bis 11, wobei der erste und zweite Verbinder faseroptische Verbinder sind.
     


    Revendications

    1. Manchon d'étanchéité (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) pour une jonction d'interconnexion, comprenant :

    une section câble annulaire (46, 146) ayant un premier diamètre ;

    une section connecteur annulaire (48, 52, 148) ayant un second diamètre qui est supérieur au premier diamètre ; et

    une section de transition (51, 151, 154) qui s'étend entre la section câble (46, 146) et la section connecteur (48, 52, 148) ;

    dans lequel la section de transition (51, 151, 154) est configurée pour permettre à la section de transition (51, 151, 154) de se replier sur elle-même pour déplacer la section connecteur (48, 52, 148) vers une position rétractée dans laquelle la section connecteur (48, 52, 148) est adjacente à la section câble (46, 146) ;

    dans lequel le manchon d'étanchéité (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) comprend un matériau élastomère ; et

    caractérisé en ce que :
    la section de transition (51, 151, 154) présente un évidement annulaire (151a, 154a) sur une surface intérieure de celle-ci.


     
    2. Manchon d'étanchéité (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) selon la revendication 1, en combinaison avec un cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) fixé à la section connecteur (48, 52, 148).
     
    3. Manchon d'étanchéité (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) selon la revendication 1 ou 2, en combinaison avec un câble (25) inséré dans la section câble (46, 146).
     
    4. Jonction d'interconnexion étanche, comprenant :

    un premier câble (25) ayant un premier connecteur à une extrémité ;

    un second connecteur monté sur une structure de montage, la structure de montage incluant un réceptacle (260, 340) ;

    un cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) avec une cavité interne (C), dans laquelle le premier connecteur et le second connecteur sont joints et résident à l'intérieur de la cavité (C), le cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) s'appliquant de manière étanche sur le réceptacle (260, 340) ; et

    un manchon d'étanchéité (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle le premier câble (25) est reçu de manière conforme dans la section câble (46, 146) et le cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) est reçu de manière conforme dans la section connecteur (48, 52, 148).


     
    5. Jonction d'interconnexion selon la revendication 4, dans laquelle deux loquets (157, 257, 320) sont montés sur des côtés opposés du cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) de façon à permettre à un technicien de saisir les deux loquets (157, 257, 320) simultanément pour faciliter l'engagement des loquets (157, 257, 320) dans le réceptacle (260, 340).
     
    6. Jonction d'interconnexion selon la revendication 4 ou la revendication 5, dans laquelle le cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) comprend des éléments d'alignement (158, 258) pour orienter le cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) par rapport au réceptacle (260, 340).
     
    7. Jonction d'interconnexion selon la revendication 6, dans laquelle les éléments d'alignement (158, 258) comprennent des saillies circonférentielles discontinues.
     
    8. Jonction d'interconnexion selon l'une quelconque des revendications 4 à 7, dans laquelle les premier et second connecteurs sont des connecteurs de fibres optiques.
     
    9. Jonction d'interconnexion étanche, comprenant :

    un premier câble (25) ayant un premier connecteur à une extrémité ;

    un second câble (30) ayant un second connecteur à une extrémité ;

    un premier cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) avec une cavité interne (C), dans laquelle le premier connecteur et le second connecteur sont joints et résident à l'intérieur de la cavité (C) ;

    un premier manchon d'étanchéité en élastomère (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle le premier câble (25) est reçu de manière conforme dans la section câble (46, 146) et le cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) est reçu de manière conforme dans la section connecteur (48, 52, 148) ;

    un second manchon d'étanchéité en élastomère (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) ayant une section câble (46, 146) et une section connecteur (48, 52, 148), dans laquelle le second câble (30) est reçu de manière conforme dans la section câble (46, 146) ; et

    un second cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310), dans laquelle le premier cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) s'engage de manière étanche dans le second cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) et dans laquelle le second manchon d'étanchéité (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) reçoit de manière conforme le second cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) ;

    dans laquelle le premier cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) comprend des éléments de fixation pour fixer le premier cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) au second cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) et le premier cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) comprend des éléments d'alignement (158, 258) pour orienter le premier cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310) par rapport au second cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310).


     
    10. Jonction d'interconnexion selon la revendication 9, dans laquelle le second manchon d'étanchéité (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) reçoit de manière conforme le cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310).
     
    11. Jonction d'interconnexion selon la revendication 9 ou la revendication 10, dans laquelle le second manchon d'étanchéité (45, 50, 145, 150, 245, 155) est collé au second cylindre d'étanchéité (55, 155, 160, 255, 310).
     
    12. Jonction d'interconnexion selon l'une quelconque des revendications 9 à 11, dans laquelle les premier et second connecteurs sont des connecteurs de fibres optiques.
     




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    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