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Publication numberUS2881404 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 7, 1959
Filing dateJun 28, 1952
Priority dateJun 28, 1952
Publication numberUS 2881404 A, US 2881404A, US-A-2881404, US2881404 A, US2881404A
InventorsKamm Lawrence J
Original AssigneeKamm Lawrence J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multiple electrical connector with yieldable contacts
US 2881404 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



, INVENTOR LA W/PEA/CE 4/. KAMM AT ORNEY April 7, 1959 L. J. KAMM 2,881,404


"7 HHHF'"" 62 83 3 FIG. IO.

INVENTOR 'mwms/vcg z KAMM FIG. 18. g;

AT ORNEY April 7, 1959 L. J. KAMM 2,831,404 MULTIPLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR WITH YIELDABLE CONTACTS Filed June 28, 1952 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR M W/PEA/CE 4A AAM TTORNEY United States Patent MULTIPLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR WITH YIELDABLE CONTACTS Lawrence J. Kamm, New York, NY. Application June 28, 1952, Serial N0. 296,178 17 Claims. (Cl. 339-17) This invention relates to electrical connectors, electrical connector assemblies, and correlated inventions and discoveries appertaining thereto.

In my co-pending application Serial No. 252,333, filed October 20, 1951 (now Patent 2,748,364), dated May 29, 1956, there are disclosed and claimed forms of electrical connectors and electrical connector assemblies which effectively satisfy many of the requirements for such articles. I have found, however, that there are many instances wherein a wiping contact is desirable to insure clean connector surfaces, wherein it is desirable to assemble connector arrangements in a simple, releasable, and interchangeable manner, and wherein it is desirable to employ simple and positively-operating I structures.

With the foregoing and other considerations in view, the present invention provides simple and sturdily-constructed electrical connectors and electrical-connector assemblies, simple and effective means for providing a yielding support for at least one of a pair of mating contact sets, improved means for bringing electrical contact members together, and improved electrical connector panying drawings, in which:

Figure l is a side view of a male connector unit;

Fig. 2 is a partly sectional side view of a mating female connector unit;

Fig. 3 is a top view of the male unit;

Fig. 4 is a top view of the female unit;

Fig. 5 is a front view of an assembly of female units in a stack;

Fig. 6 is a top view of the assembly illustrating the means for bringing the contacts into positive engagement;

Fig. 7 is a fragmentary, partly sectional, end view showing the latter means in inoperative position;

Fig. 8 is a similar view showing it in operative position;

Fig. 9 is a front view of another form of female member;

Fig. 10 is a sectional view along the line 10-10 of Fig. 9;

Fig. 11 is a diagrammatic view illustrating in use electrical connector arrangements such as exemplified;

Fig. 12 is a fragmentary top view with portions broken away to illustrate a part of this arrangement;

Fig. 13 is a transverse sectional view of a form of male unit adapted for use in the arrangement of Fig. 11;

Fig. 14 is a similar view showing a further modified form of male unit assembled with a similarly modified form of female unit;

Fig. 15 is a similar view of an electrical connector assembly showing a plurality of the units of Fig. 13 assembled in a stack;

Fig. 16 exemplifies a modified form of arrangement in which contacts are mounted on a yielding bed in a position for particularly effective wiping engagement with other contacts;

2,881,404 Patented Apr. 7, 1959 ICC Fig. 17 is a fragmentary sectional view along the line 17-17 of Fig. 16;

Fig. 18 is a transverse sectional view of another form of yieldably-mounted wiping-engagement contact arrangement;

Fig. 19 is a diagrammatic view exemplifying an effective pressure area between three contact areas; and

Fig. 20 is a diagrammatic view exemplifying an effective pressure area between the two contact areas.

In the form of construction shown in Figs. l-8 there are provided male units 5 comprising a central insulating core 6 formed preferably of hard insulating material and carrying on either side a sheet 7 of insulating material which may be formed of glass cloth, for instance, laminated with copper foil from which a pattern of contact elements 8 is etched or otherwise provided. Each male unit is adapted to mate with a female unit 10 comprising outer layers 11 of yieldable insulating material such as rubber carrying therewithin sheets 12 of glass cloth on which contact elements 13 are etched or otherwise suitably provided.

At the ends of the male-unit-receiving opening 14 are end members 15 which are also formed of yieldable insulating material such as rubber. The members 7 and 8, and 12 and 13 each extend out to the rear of their respective units and are formed with holes 16 thru which the ends 17 of conductors 18 extend being secured thereto as by solder 19 if desired. The female units may be, and as exemplified in Fig. 5 are, assembled in a stack within a housing 20 wherein they are adapted to be compacted after male units have been inserted therein. The yielding character of the layers 11 and 15 assure an even compacting and efiective contacting operation.

Pursuant to the invention particular effective and efficient compacting means are provided in the form of a cam element movable in a direction parallel to the direction in which the male units are inserted into the female units. In the present instance, a cam 25 operates a wedging element 26 which, as exemplified, moves between two slidable wedge-shaped elements which are arranged beneath the stack of the female elements.

The cam 25 is pivotly mounted at 29 on the housing 20 and is operated by a handle 30 which extends out conveniently at the front of the housing. The cam 25 acts on the wedge member 26 by means of rollers 31.

The housing carries flanges 32 by which it may be secured to a wall plate 33 as by means of a screw and nut arrangement 34. As exemplified, portions 11 and 15 are separate pieces assembled with adhesive, and contact assembly 12 assembled, as with adhesive, with the other separate pieces, inserted thru a slit in the molded unit.

Regardless of the manufacturing method used this type of construction has several advantages: The female connector has no thru openings and is therefore dust-tight. The number of pieces assembled into a female connector is reduced to a minimum since there are no separate spacers. There are no idle rows of contacts at the top and bottom of the connector.

In certain instances the assembly-parts may be molded in one piece. Figs. 9 and 10 show a female connector of the same final form as that in Figs. 5 and 6 except that all levels are molded in one piece, the contact assemblies are molded in, a flange 35 is molded in, and a flexible web 36 is molded in. This design is water-tight and hermetically sealed. The flexible web serves to seal the space behind the pressure mechanism, and joins the body of the connector to the flange despite the deformation of the body during compression.

In the form of construction exemplified in Figs. 9 and 10, there is shown a stack of female units 10a disposed within a housing 20a adapted to mate with male units 5a and to be thrust into positive engagement therewith --by wedging means similar to that examplified in Figs. 7

and 8 and comprising a cam member a and wedge elements 26a, 27a, and 28a.

Figs. 11-15 illustrate an improved system for interconnecting pieces of electrical equipment. In it the cables-which are made up of flexible elements-and are made integral with the plugs as shown in Figs. 13 and 14. Contacts and conductors are also integral, being provided, for example, by bonding on a copper foil lamination to provide a conductive coating and etching out unwanted portions of the laminations as above indicated, so no soldered assembly is required. For interconnecting a plurality of pieces. of equipment a corresponding number of plugs is made as part of the same as sembly. Fig. 11, for example, shows three plugs on one cable, with conductors joining all combinations of plugs.

- Male units 5, comprising, as set forth above, a sheet of flexible insulating material, such as glass cloth, supporting a conductive coating made by etched foil or other printed-circuit technique, may, as exemplified in Fig. 11 be 'UilllZGd to interconnect circuit arrangements running to three different female units.

As exemplified, a male unit 5a has an integral conductor 40 connected to a contact element 812 thereon, an integral conductor ll connected to a contact element 8c thereon, and an integral conductor 42 connected to a contact element 8d thereon.

The conductor 40 runs to an integral male unit Sf-having contact element 8e thereon; the conductor 41 runs to a contact element 8g on a similarly-integral male unit 512; and the conductor 42 runs to a contact element 81' on a similarly-integral male unit 5h. A conductor 43 runs from a contact element 8j on the male unit 5h to a contact element 8k on the male units 5); and a conductor. 44 runs from a contact element 8m on the male unit 5h to a contact element 811 on the male unit 5]; and all other conductors such, for instance, as shown at 45 and 46 may run to other contact elements on other male units and/or certain of the contact elements may be left unconnected; all the conductors being integral with the plugs.

, a sheet 53 of shielding material such as copper overlies the layer 54 which carries the contacts 13: and sheets 54 like the sheets 54 sheath the interior of the rear of the contacts 138. ing material such as copper.

Inside these layers are sheets 53 of shield- Fig. 14 also illustrates that the female contacts also may be made integral with a cable. Not only may the contact strips be made integral with cable but they may be made integral with structures supporting and connecting other electrical components. In other respects the female portion of Fig.

14 is the same as in Figs. 2 and 4.

For complex sets of equipment where a single plug cannot have enough contacts for a unit or where other reasons make it desirable for a plurality of plugs to engage with one piece of equipment, the plugs of different cables are ganged asshown in Figs. 12 and 15 for simultaneous insertion and withdrawal from a single female connector, such as those shown in Figs. 5 and 9.

* Male units such as shown at 5, 5p or Sq, Figures 1, 13

'- and 14, may -be-and preferably are themselves assembled into stacks. One such arrangement is shown in Fig.

-'15 wherein there is provided a:housing; comprising plates 61 and 62 united by rods;63 .securedby nuts .64. Within. thehousingthere are providedcasing portions 65 of yieldable insulating material such as rubber in which the sheathed rear portions of the male unit are mounted. A stack of female unitss ltiq may be assembled within a housing similar to that of Fig. 5 for reception of the stack of male units of Fig. 15; and a stack of male units 5 .may beassembled similarly tothestack of Fig. 15 for insertion in the stack of female units shown in Fig. 5. Compression means such as shown in Fig. 7 and 8 may be provided.

In certain instances it is desirable that a particularly strong wiping action be eifectuated when the contacts are moved together so that regardless of the conditions to which the contacts have been exposed .prior to their. mating engagement and release, and regardless of .theamount of corrosion thereof, the wiping contact itself. will clean them sufficiently foreffective electrical conduction there between. A construction of this type is exemplified in Figs. 16 and 17. In Fig. 16 there are exemplified-female units consisting, in the present instance, of yieldable insulating material, such for example as rubber which .has embedded in one face thereof elongated tubular contact elements 71 and 72. In the present instance, the contact elements 71 and 72 are arranged in pairs about transverse ribs 73. On the other face thereof in-the present instance similar contact elements 71 and 72 are arranged in pairs about staggered ridges 74. Intermediate of the female units are shown male units 75 composed of yieldable insulating material such as rubber and carrying on the faces thereof contact elements 76 .and 77 at each side of ridges 78 on one face and 79 on the'other face. The ridges 78 are alined with the ridges 74 and staggered with the ridges 73 and 79, the latter being alined with the ridges 73. As will be seen, contacts 76 movement to continue long enough to be effective, the

yielding composition of the unit 75 permits the contacts 76 and 77 of each pair to move toward each other horizontally. In order to impart vertical movement to the units 70 and 75 there is provided a camming element 80 pivoted at 81 to a housing 82; and bearing against a vertically movable overlying bar'83. A handle 84 is .provided for operating the camming element. I The general construction may be similar to that exemplified. in my application above mentioned.

An arrangement having a similar effect is exemplified in Fig. 18 herein.

In the form of construction exemplified in Fig. 18, there is shown a stack of female members 85 comprising insulating blocks 86 and insulating plates 87 both of which may be composed of phenolic resin. On the outersur- 1 faces of the plates there are mounted sets of electrical contact elements $8, and outside of these are mounted resilient corrugated contacts 89 the ends of which extend thru holes 90 in the plates and are bent over as shown Mating with the female members 85 are-' male members composed of stifii' insulating material 96 'suchas phenolic resin carrying on its surface a series of ized positive contact, even without the use of yieldable material.

The location of such areas will best be .understoodg-by a reference to Fig. 19 wherein contact elements 100 mate with contact elements 101 at three areas 102, 103, and 104. As will be seen, tangents 105, 106, and 107 have been drawn to the contact areas 102 and 103, 102 and 104, and 103 and 104 respectively. Within this area is a shaded triangle 108. As will be apparent, pressure just to the left of the line 106 will result in good contact at 102 and 104, but not at 103; pressure just above the triangle will result in good contact in areas 102 and 103, but not at 104; and pressure just below the triangle will result in good contact in areas 103 and 104, but not at 102. In order to get effective substantially-equalized contact on all three contact areas, pressure must be applied within the shaded pressure area 108.

In Fig. 20 there are shown contact elements 110 and contact elements 111 contacting in areas 112 and 113. Between these contact areas have been drawn exterior tangents 114 and 115 respectively. In effectuating contact on two areas, the actual result is a pressure in the nature of that exerted by the legs of a tripod, or an ordinary four-legged chair in which the effective supporting action is actually on only three of the four legs at any particular time. Between the lines 114 and 115 there is a quadrilateral area 116, pressure in any part of which will give effective contact in both of the contact areas 112 and 113. Pressure in one part of the pressure area 116 may result in positive contact of two points on the area 112, and at one point on the area 113; whereas pressure in another part of this pressure area 116 may result in a single point contact in the area 112 and a two point contact in the area 113. But in any event each contact element 110 effectively contacts a contact element 111.

Since certain changes may be made in the above article and different embodiments of the invention could be made Without departing from the scope thereof, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Reference is made to my copending applications Serial Nos. 557.086. now abandoned and 557,087, which were filed January 3, 1956, as divisions of the present case.

Reference is also made to my copending application Ser. No. 639.754, filed February 12, 1957, as a continuation-in-part of said application 557,086.

I claim:

1. A female contact unit which is U-shaped in crosssection and the sides of which comprise layers of yieldable material each carrying on the interior thereof a sheet of thin flexible insulating material, and a plurality of flat contact elements lying against the inner surface of each sheet and adapted to mate with contact elements on a male member inserted between said sheets.

2. A female contact member comprising a housing containing a stack of contact units as set forth in claim 1.

3. An electrical connector assembly comprising a stack of female contact units as set forth in claim 2 and a. mating stack of male contact units comprising insulating supports having opposite faces with fiat contacts adherent thereon and adapted to mate with the contacts on the female units.

4. A female contact member as set forth in claim 2 wherein there is provided means to compress said contact units in a direction perpendicular to said sides.

5. A female contact element as set forth in claim 4 wherein said means comprises an element movable in a direction parallel to said sides and means to convert said parallel movement to compressive movement in a direction perpendicular to said sides.

6. A female contact unit as set forth in claim 1 wherein the sides have end portions which are joined by yieldable insulating material.

7. An electrical contact assembly comprising a female contact unit as set forth in claim 1 and a male contact unit comprising an insulating support having opposite 6 faces with fiat contacts adherent thereon and adapted to mate with the contacts of the female unit.

8. A detachable female electrical connector member having a body of resilient material and having at least one cavity therein, said cavity having at least one side carrying a sheet of thin flexible insulating material having a surface facing said cavity, and a plurality of fiat contact elements lying against said surface and adapted to mate with contact elements on a male member inserted into said cavity.

9. A detachable electrical connector as set forth in claim 8 wherein there is provided means for applying pressure in a direction transverse to said sheet to a portion of said resilient material which backs said contacts.

10. A connector member as set forth in claim 8 wherein there are provided at least three layers of resilient material which provide side portions of a plurality of cavities therebetween and at least one of which layers carries a sheet of insulating material with contacts thereon facing one cavity and a sheet of insulating material with contacts thereon facing another cavity.

11. A connector as in claim 8 wherein said female member is provided with a waterproof housing extending about the periphery of said female member to seal it upon the entry of the male member.

12. A connector as in claim 8 including means for mounting said connector about a hole in a surface.

13. A connector as in claim 12 wherein said resilient material continuously overlaps said hole and is bonded to said insulating sheet whereby said connector is rendered waterproof.

14. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 8 in which an edge portion of said sheet extends into said resilient material.

15. An electrical connector having spaced layers of resilient material, a closed rear end portion, closed longitudinal end portions, and a front opening to an interior recess, said layers each carrying a flexible sheet of insulating material facing said recess and carrying on its face a plurality of fiat contact elements lying against its inner surface, and said end portions each embodying a layer of resilient material.

16. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 15 in which there is provided means to apply pressure to said layers.

17. An electrical connector as in claim 16 wherein said pressure-applying means comprises a lever and a wedge.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 279,557 Flint June 19, 1883 468,654 Gibbs Feb. 9, 1892 492,588 Rudolph Feb. 28, 1893 1,277,071 Hastings et al. Aug. 27, 1918 1,574,297 Lillcberg Feb. 23, 1926 1,584,914 Yaffee May 18, 1926 1,637,046 Montsinger July 26, 1927 1,830,247 Scott Nov. 3, 1931 1,865,600 Welch July 5, 1932 1,917,009 Betts et al July 4, 1933 2,190,363 Knapp Feb. 13, 1940 2,289,172 Beal July 7, 1942 2,306,206 Dalgleish Dec. 22, 1942 2,367,939 Gregory Jan. 23, 1945 2,428,214 Gorey Sept. 30, 1947 2,435,889 Kerridge Feb. 10, 1948 2,446,232 Koenig Aug. 3, 1948 2,480,142 Lager Aug. 30, 1949 2,502,307 Bascom Mar. 28, 1950 2,510,944 Auerbach June 13, 1950 2,640,183 Arthur May 26, 1953 2,703,854 Eisler Mar. 8, 1955 2,748,321 Kamm May 29, 1956

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U.S. Classification439/61, 361/826, 439/77, 439/676, 439/262, 439/843, 361/789
International ClassificationH01R13/193, H01R13/02
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/193
European ClassificationH01R13/193