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Old 24th Sep 2018, 1:26 am   #1
David Dunlop
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Default Rectangular 8-Pin Plug and Socket Connectors

Does anyone recognize this type of connector from wartime wireless equipment?

I believe it was used by STC when they built the Wireless Set No. 9 in England. It was certainly used by the Canadian Marconi Company when they built the Wireless Set No. 9 and later Wireless Set No. 52. CMC also used it for several other wireless sets, including some designed for use by the Navy.

What I would like to determine is if this was a connector originally designed by STC in England and subsequently copied by other companies as needed, or if it was a standard electronics item made by a third party company somewhere and purchased by STC and CMC for their production needs.

David
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Old 25th Sep 2018, 6:36 pm   #2
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Rectangular 8-Pin Plug and Socket Connectors

I've seen similar connectors used to provide +24VDC and the +/-80V connections to the selector-magnet/keyboard contacts on a Creed 7B teleprinter that was used in a late-1940s civil-defence radio truck here in the UK.

Not sure of their heritage but they seemed to get around!
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Old 25th Sep 2018, 7:47 pm   #3
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Default Re: Rectangular 8-Pin Plug and Socket Connectors

David,

you are asking a very interesting question - but I think it will be one very hard to answer. Essentially you want to know if STC - before WWII - were the originators of that connector.

I think it unlikely you will find original STC documents that prove they originated the connector - though no harm in trying to prove that. The company that took over STC (Nortel, whom I used to work for) went bankrupt in the early 2000s, and I very much doubt whether pre-war records of its activities still exist.

Even so, its still worth pondering how we might answer such a question. TThere remains a possibility that STC just bought in the connectors from some unknown supplier. That's unlikely because as far as I know such suppliers pre-war did not exist - at least not in the UK. Companies who needed connectors designed and made them. Examples of that approach would be the multi-way connectors on the WS19 made by Pye, and the coax plug and socket, which came to be known as "Pye coax connectors".

The only standardised multi-way connectors I know of, commercially available as a component you could design in, which existed prior to WWII, were the Breeze type. The history is pretty obscure though, and my knowledge of that type is near zero.

If you want to pursue the question further you will probably have to investigate what historical documents exist on the British WS9. They might detail whether the connector was a commercial part - or a special produced for that set.

Richard
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 3:53 pm   #4
David Dunlop
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Default Re: Rectangular 8-Pin Plug and Socket Connectors

This will no doubt be an interesting research journey, Richard. So far, two major parameters have surfaced that ‘outline’ the needs which promoted the development of this type of connector. One is that very high voltages and amperage are involved with the wireless equipment being designed. The second is that it is expected frequent removal of the wireless components from their cases, for routine maintenance, is expected so a quick reliable means of connect/disconnect is useful. The 52-Set and Navy equipment built by Canadian Marconi certainly fit that bill. The connectors in the photo I posted from a friend are from a piece of navy equipment CMC built.

I am going to have to disassemble one of these sockets on the back of my 52-Set Remote Receiver soon (just waiting for a spare socket to arrive) as one of the leaf contacts has been broken away and I have a nagging hunch the resulting loose hardware has bounced around inside the connector resulting in a short between the HT and LT feeds. Want to study the item before attempting the repair.

From what I have been told, the back of these connectors used on the Canadian 52-Sets has nothing more than ‘CMC’ cast into the Bakelite. I am assuming from that information the connectors used on Canadian Marconi Wireless Sets No. 9 will be similarly marked. If British connectors have STC on them my suspicion would be the item was not a third party design as some form of patent acknowledgement would be expected. STC may have developed the design and simply made it available to CMC during the war.

But there must be paperwork somewhere. I think I now need to find a copy of the British Master Parts List for the No. 9 Set and see if these connectors show up in it, and what, if any, additional clues might be present.

David
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 8:03 pm   #5
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Default Re: Rectangular 8-Pin Plug and Socket Connectors

David,

I have never seen these connectors on any other equipment - but that only shows that my experience is limited of course! They may well have been used in many places.

The WS9 is not well known in the UK. I have only ever seen one WS9 full Tx/Rx here in the UK, and only once seen the separate WS9 remote receiver. And I have been around in vintage military wireless since 1993. Obviously someone, somewhere will have a British WS9, and would be able to answer your question about what the markings are on the back of the connectors (if you can persuade them to take the thing apart!).

They might be marked "STC", but more likely they will not be marked at all. This is total guesswork, but my knowledge of pre-WWII sets suggests that they might well have not been moulded items, where its easy to mould in little "features" like the name of the manufacturer. Its quite possible that the connectors were hand made, possibly machined out of solid plastic for the early British WS9 set. Its possible that CMC then productionised the British set, and would have tooled up to make these connectors. But as I say this is guesswork, based on the idea that pre-WWII nearly all Army radios in the UK were made by some sort of "cottage industry". Until WWII got going, no-one in the British Army took wireless seriously - it literally seemed to be a "set of toys for the boys". So they designed tanks which it was impossible to fit a radio into to (see the WS7 for that disaster!).

I think they only realised how stupid they were, when the Germans demonstrated their "Blitzkreig" tactics and swept through Belgium and France, and that depended heavily on every tank being in radio contact with the command (and possibly too the infantry on the ground). This mode of warfare was unknown I think until the Germans demonstrated it. The result was a desperate rush in the UK to get troops equipped with radio - hence the WS19, which was reportedly a 6 week rush job at Pye in Cambridge, UK.

Your mention of high voltage/current on these connectors made me smile. When I was 15, I designed a mains power supply to fit into a scrap WS52 power supply chassis. The initial version produced some 2000V, way over the original 1200V design. The result was total break down of the connector, flash over in other words. So 1200V is probably its limit.

Richard
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Old 30th Sep 2018, 1:26 am   #6
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Default Re: Rectangular 8-Pin Plug and Socket Connectors

I think those could be made by Cinch Jones here in the States.
The "Cinch Connectors" were used on massive amounts of commercial, and to a lesser extent, military gear.
Down side is they came in at least 3 different physical pin casing sizes, plus, of course, the "knockoffs'.
Pin config was widely varied (Vert & Horiz) so you couldn't, in theory, plug in the wrong connector to the wrong. (Never underestimate the stupidity of a poor tech).

You could get them with or without the outside shell for chassis mounting, or with outside shells for cable ends. The biggest I ever saw would have easily handled 100A.
IIRC, I still may have some 50A capacity in the storage. Typically they were 20-30A though.

They came in many, many different pin numbers , from 2 up to 14 that I have seen.
(Used to get literally kilos of them when I scrapped out early commercial radios. Motorola was the main user of them in the radios,.)
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Old 30th Sep 2018, 11:46 am   #7
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Default Re: Rectangular 8-Pin Plug and Socket Connectors

I always understood that this connector and it pin variants were commonly called "Jones" connectors.. as per FrankB's comments.
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Old 30th Sep 2018, 1:07 pm   #8
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Rectangular 8-Pin Plug and Socket Connectors

I don't think those connectors have much in common with Jones connectors - they are much bigger, the bakelite moulding is a flat 'tray' in form, and the pins are a completely different shape...……

Andy
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Old 1st Oct 2018, 3:22 am   #9
David Dunlop
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Default Re: Rectangular 8-Pin Plug and Socket Connectors

I was doing some comparison testing with my backup 52-Set receiver this weekend and noticed with the paper terminal identification label missing across the middle of the connector socket, I could finally see a Canadian Marconi Company identification mark.

It was a small oval cast into the bakelite with "CMC' in the middle of it. Photo attached.


David
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Old 1st Oct 2018, 7:36 am   #10
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Default Re: Rectangular 8-Pin Plug and Socket Connectors

David,

surely that's exactly what would we expect on a WS52? After all, no-one else other than CMC made any WS52s. And it doesn't tell us whether STC would have designed and made the original plug for the British WS9, which started this series off.

It would be nice to have someone with a British WS9 let us know what's on their connectors - but I am struggling to think of anyone (or even a museum) who actually has a British WS9.

Richard
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Old 1st Oct 2018, 9:00 am   #11
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Default Re: Rectangular 8-Pin Plug and Socket Connectors

Bovington Tank Museum had a WS9 on display when I last visited.
Mike.
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Old 1st Oct 2018, 3:28 pm   #12
David Dunlop
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Default Re: Rectangular 8-Pin Plug and Socket Connectors

You are right, Richard, but my surprise was more that I finally found one of these particular marks and that was compounded by the fact it is yet again different from other marks found for this company.

To date, on various pieces of kit, I have found Canadian Marconi Company have identified themselves with any of the following markings:

CMC
C.M.C.
CANADIAN MARCONI COMPANY
A small round circle with C.M.C. In the middle, stamped into metal parts.
A small round painted circle with C.M.C. In the middle stamped onto the surface of parts in black, yellow or white paint.
C.M.C. In yellow paint stamped onto the surface of parts.

This oval with a more script style of lettering CMC in the middle is now a new addition to that list.

Yet another puzzle. If these connectors were a prewar design by a third party company, I would expect that company would likely have patented the design. In that case, if CMC were making them, I would expect to see some form of “Manufactured under licence by CMC” acknowledgement somewhere on the item. Nothing like that found so far.

Also odd, if the design of these connectors was a CMC thing, would they not have applied for patent rights? If so, the connector should show “Patent Pending”, or, “Patent applied for” on it somewhere.

Of course there might be another factor at play here. During World War Two were patent rights adhered to or suspended, for the sake of getting production of items running as quickly as possible? If that were the case, one might only find patent references on products made by the original inventor as those dies etc would already be made and in use. A new manufacturer may not bother with those details simply to save design time and just put their own iD on the product.

Damn! Too early in the day for so much thinking. I need to rake some leaves in the back garden now and brew up some tea!

David
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