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Publication numberUS2908775 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 13, 1959
Filing dateAug 2, 1956
Priority dateAug 2, 1956
Publication numberUS 2908775 A, US 2908775A, US-A-2908775, US2908775 A, US2908775A
InventorsGilbert Leon
Original AssigneeContinental Connector Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combined connector and relay
US 2908775 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 13, 1959 I... GILBERT COMBINED CONNECTOR AND RELAY 2 Sheets-$haet 1 I Filed Aug 2, 1956 F/GI/ FIG? I J wy #1 m m m u w /fifi fl wf Pvt INVENTOR. LEON GILBERT ATTORNEY Oct. 13, 1959 L. GILBERT 2,908,775

COMBINED CONNECTOR AND RELAY Filed Aug. 2, 1956 2 Sheets Sheet 2 FIG. 7 F/G6 uwuvrox LEON GILBERT I n/M ATTORNEY the same function United States Patent Ofiice COMBINED CGNNECTOR AND RELAY Leon Gilbert, Stamford, Conn., assignor to Continental Connector Corporation, Long Island City, N.Y., a corporation of New York Application August 2, 1956, Serial No. 601,791

7 Claims. (Cl. 200-2) The present invention relates to a connector construction which is also adapted to function as a substitute for a relay, providing for automatic connection, disconnection or modification of certain circuits in response to the disconnection or connection of other circuits from the connector.

The present invention is here specifically embodied in that type of connector which is adapted to be used in conjunction with a panel or the like which carries appropriate circuitry, usually applied thereto by printed circuit techniques. Such a panel is provided with terminal portions electrically connected to appropriate points in the circuitry carried thereby, the insertion of the panel into a connector housing causing engagement between the panel-carried terminal portions and selected contacts mounted in the connector housing.

In accordance with the present invention the connector housing carries two sets of contacts one of which is effective when the panel is inserted into the housing to engage the aforementioned panel-carried terminal portions. The other set of contacts are normally engaged, thus closing an electrical circuit therebetween. These contacts are so located in the connector housing that when the panel is inserted thereinto it will interpose itself between said terminals, thus breaking the circuit previously established between them, or at any rate breaking the direct electrical connection therebetween. Thus, when the various contacts of the connector housing are appropriately electrically connected to external elements or circuitry, one set of circuits (external) will be rendered operative when the panel is removed from the housing and another set of circuits, or altered circuits, (panel-carried) will be rendered etfective when the panel is inserted into the housing.

The mere act of insertion or removal of the panel from the housing,

therefore, will perform substantially as has heretofore been performed by a relay or other switching instrumentality. By the use of the present invention the necessity for employing such a separate relay or switching instrumentality is entirely eliminated, resulting in an appreciable saving in cost, space and weight. Moreover, the switching carried out by the present invention is performed in a positive and foolproof manner, thus making for considerably greater reliability of operation and greatly minimizing maintenance problems. I

. While the two sets of contacts are here separately illustrated and described, it is entirely within the scope of the present invention to have all or some of the contacts function in both senses. This is accomplished when the panel is provided with terminal portions which register with and engage the normally electrically engaging contacts of the second set, the panel also carrying circuitry electrically connected between those terminal portions. In such a case when the panel is removed from the housing a direct electrical connection will be effected between each pair of contacts under discussion, and when the 2,908,775 Patented Oct. 13, 1959 panel is inserted into the housing that direct electrical connection will be broken and said circuitry carried by the panel will be electrically interposed between the contacts in question.

Where separate sets of contacts are provided, the housing carries insulating elements which extend between those portions of opposed contacts of said first set which are adapted to make electrical connection only with appropriate panel-carried terminal portions. In this way direct electrical connection between these contacts is positively prevented, and they will be electrically effective only when the panel is inserted into the housing.

These housing-carried insulated elements may also function as keying devices to ensure that the panel can be inserted into the housing only when properly oriented relative thereto. To this end the panel is provided with apertures adapted to register with the insulating elements and into which those elements are adapted to be received.

When the panel is inserted into the housing the appropriate contacts will firmly engage the panel-carried terminal portions over an appreciable area, thus greatly reducing contact resistance and increasing the reliability of function of the device. To this end the contacts are at least in part resilient and are provided with reverse bends so as to function in a bellows-like manner and so as to have an appreciable range of movement, thus permitting an appreciable degree of latitude in the dimensions of the housing and of the panel.

To the accomplishment of the above, and to such other objects as may hereinafter appear, the present invention relates to the connector construction as defined in the appended claims and as described in this specification, taken. together with the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. l is a bottom the present invention;

Fig. 2 is a side elevational view thereof;

Fig. 3 is a top plan view thereof;

Fig. 4 is a cross sectional view on an enlarged scale taken along the line 44 of Fig. 3;

Fig. 5 is a cross sectional view on an enlarged scale taken along the line 5-5 of Fig. 3; and

Figs. 6 and 7 are views corresponding to Figs. 4 and 5 respectively but with the panel inserted.

The connector comprises a housing generally designated 2 and formed of any suitable insulating material, usually a synthetic plastic material molded to shape and having appropriate electrical characteristics. The housing has opposed side walls 4 and 6 connected by a bottom wall 8 so as to define an open topped channel 10. Contact elements generally designated 12 and 12' are provided in the channel 10 and are resiliently active from one side Wall toward the other. These contact elements 12 and 12' are formed of conductive material and are so spaced along the length of the channel 10 as to register with various terminal portions 14 and 14' respectively on a panel 16 adapted to he slid into the recess 10 via the open top of that recess, the contacts 12 and 12' having parts 18 and 18 respectively which are adapted to engage with side surfaces of the panel 16 when the latter is inserted into the channel 10 in a manner hereinafter to be described. The housing 2 is provided with cars 20 having apertures 22 adapted to receive screws or the like, by means of which the housing 2 may be secured to any appropriate mounting structure.

The contact elements 12 and 12' are arranged along the length of the channel 10 in opposed pairs, the contacts being positioned adjacent the side walls 4 or 6 of the housing and their parts 18 or 18 extending inwardly from the side walls 4 and 6 across the width of the channel 10. Each of the contacts 12 or 12' are defined by a unitary strip of conductive resilient metal. Each comprises a first plan view of one embodiment of end portion 24 or 24' positioned adjacent a side wall 4 or 6, preferably received within a vertically extending slot 26 on the inner side surface of the channel 11) and extend" ing downwardly and outwardly through apertures 28 in the bottom wall 8 of the housing to terminate in a downwardly projecting portion 30 or 30' having an aperture 32 to which a lead is adapted to be connected.

Referring now specifically to the contact elements 12, the upper end of the end portion 24 terminates in a reverse bend 34, an arm 36 extends down therefrom and is urged by the inherent resiliency of the material of which the contact element 12 is formed across the width of the channel 10, it terminates at its lower end in a reverse bend 38, and another leg 40 extends up from the reverse bend 38 and terminates in a hook 42 the tip of which is received in a second recess 44 opening toward the top of the housing 2 and positioned to one side of the recess 10.

Turning now specifically to the contact elements 12'. the upper ends of the end portions 34 are provided with hooks 42 which enter the housing recesses 44 andwhich terminate, in those recesses 44, in reverse bends 34' communicating with hooked portions 42a which lead to arms 40, those arms 4-0 extending down into the recess 10 and, by virtue of the inherent resiliency of the material of which the'contact elements 12 are formed, being biased to extend across the width of the channel 10. The arms 40 terminate in bent tips 46 adapted, when the arms 40 move in the direction to which they are biased as aforementioned, to engage one another with a surface to surface contact (see Fig. thus making for reliable electrical connection between arms 40 of each pair of opposed contact elements 12 and limiting the degree to which each of the arms 40' extend across the width of the channel 10.

The arms 40 of the terminals 12 and the arms 40 of the terminals 12' constitute the contact parts 18 adapted to engage the side surfaces of the panel 16, as may best be seen from Figs. 6 and 7.

In the form here specifically disclosed only the contact elements 12' are adapted to engage one another in opposed contact pairs and define a direct electrical connection therebetween when the panel 16 is removed from the housing 2. The contacts 12, in the embodiment here disclosed, are adapted in this disclosure only to engage the terminal portions 14 of the panel 16 when the latter is inserted into the channel 10, and no direct electrical connection between opposed pairs of contact elements 12 is desired when the panel 16 is removed from the housing 2. In order to ensure against this undesired electrical connection between opposed pairs of contact elements 12 when the panel 16 is removed, the bottom wall 8 of the housing 2 is provided with integral insulating elements 48 extending up therefrom at appropriate points along the length of the recess corresponding to the location of the contact pairs 12 and interposed between the lower ends of the parts 18 of those contact elements 12, as may best be seen in Fig. 4. Hence, despite the resilient tendency of the contact elements 12 to expand across the width of the recess 1th, engagement between opposed contact elements 12 is positively prevented. The lower portions of the parts 18 of the contact elements 12 may normally engage the outer surfaces of the insulating elements 48, but will be prevented by the elements 4-8 from moving any closer toward one another, and the insulating characteristic of the elements 48 will effectively prevent the establishment of any direct electrical connection between the opposed contact elements 12.

Thus when the panel 16 is removed from the housing 2, as shown in Figs. 4 and 5, opposed pairs of contact elements 12 will be in engagement with one another and a circuit will be completed between them, whereas opposed pairs of contact elements 12 will be electrically separated and no circuit will be completed between them.

When the panel 16 is slid into the housing through the open top of the recess 10, it will interpose itself between the opposed pairs of contact elements 12 and 12. In so doing the resilient material of the contact elements 12 will be deformed at least at the bends 34 and 38, those contact elements 12 thus collapsing laterally in a bellow-like manner. The body of the panel 16 will also be interposed between the arms 40' and the tips 46 of the contact elements 12, thus spreading the parts 18' of the contact elements 12 and separating the previously engaged tips 56 thereof. Since the body of the panel 16 is formed of inesulating material, this will result in a breaking of the circuit previously established between the opposed pairs of contact elements 12, and at the same time a firm and reliable electrical connection will be established between the contact parts 18 and the panel-carried terminal portions 14 which register therewith, that contact existing over a substantial area by reason of the linearity of the contact parts 18 and the bellows-like action of the contact elements 12. Hence a circuit will be completed between appropriate contact elements 12, that circuit including the circuitry carried by the panel 16 and electrically connected between the terminal portions 14 engaged by the contact elements 12 under discussion.

As may best be seen from Fig. 6, the lower edge of panel 16 may be provided with apertures 50 located so as to register with the upwardly extending insulating elements 48 of the housing 2. Through proper arrangement of the various pairs of contact elements 12 and 12', the location of these insulating elements 48 may be made unsymmetrical relative to the length of the recess 10, and hence the panel 16 will be able to be inserted fully into the housing 2 only when properly oriented relative thereto, since it is only when that proper orientation is achieved that the apertures 50 in the lower edge of the panel 16 will register with the upwardly extending insulating elements 48 It will be noted from Fig. 7 that the parts 18 of the contact elements 12', like the parts 18 of the contact elements 12, resiliently press against the side surfaces of the panels 16 over a substantial area. This is desirable even when electrical connection is not made thereby in order to retain the panel 16 in the housing 2 more firmly and reliably. It is also desirable where, as may often be the case, and as is here specifically illustrated for purposes of exemplification, the panel 16 is provided with'terminal portions 14 adapted to register with the contact elements 12. This may be done where it is desired, upon insertion of the panel 16 and the housing 2, to modify the circuit between opposed pairs of contact elements 12 by connecting panel-carried circuitry therebetween, instead of producing a complete disconnection of the external circuit to which the opposed contact'elements 12 are connected. In this situation, illustrated in Fig. 7, it will be noted that the same type of surface electrical connection between contact element parts 18 and panel carried terminal portions 14' is efiectuated as was the case in connection with the terminals 12.

It will be understood from the above that the terminal portions 14' could be omitted from the panel 16, in which case the insertion of the panel 16 into the housing 2 will merely result in a complete disconnection between opposed contact elements 12'.

It will further be understood that while two diiferent terminal constructions have been here disclosed for the contacts 12 and 12', either of the specifically disclosed constructions could be used for either or both of the contact elements 12 and 12, and that specifically difierent contact element constructions could also be employed without departing from the broader aspects of the present invention.

While but a single embodiment of this invention has been here disclosed, many variations may be made in the design and structural details thereof, all within the spirit of the invention as defined in the following claims.

I claim: I

-1. A connector adapted to receive a body having conductive terminal portions thereon and to make electrical connection therewith comprising a housing having a recess into which said body is adapted to be inserted, and a plurality of opposed contact pairs spaced along said recess between which said body is adapted to be inserted, the contacts of each pair comprising opposed parts at least one of which is resiliently urged across said recess so as to be normally engageable with the corresponding parts of their vopposing contacts, and insulating elements onsaid housing, extending between said resiliently urged parts of selected contact pairs and their opposed corresponding parts, thereby preventing electrical connection therebetweeen, said parts of others of said contact pairs engaging across said recess to define a direct electrical connection therebetween, the insertion of said body between said contact pairs thereby separating said opposed parts of the others of said contact pairs and breaking the direct electrical connection therebetween and, in combination therewith, an insulating body having apertures registering with said insulating elements and into which said elements are adapted to be received when said body is inserted into said recess, said insulating body having conductive terminal portions thereon engaged by at least some of the contacts of said selected contact pairs when said body is inserted into said recess.

2. A connector adapted to receive a body having conductive terminal portions thereon and to make electrical connection therewith comprising a housing having a recess into which said body is adapted to be inserted, and a plurality of opposed contact pairs spaced along said recess between which said body is adapted to be inserted, the contacts of each pair comprising parts resiliently urged across said recess so as to be normally engageable with the corresponding parts of their opposing contacts, and insulating elements on said housing and extending between and engaged by said parts of selected contact pairs, thereby preventing electrical connection therebetween, said parts of others of said contact pairs engaging across said recess to define a direct electrical connection therebetween, the insertion of said body between said contact pairs thereby separating said parts of the others of said contact pairs and breaking the direct electrical connection therebetween, at least some of the contacts of said contact pairs comprising a portion extending along a wall of said recess and connected to said contact part by at least one reverse bend, at least said reverse bend being formed of resilient material, and in which said housing has a second recess adjacent said first mentioned recess, both of said recesses opening in the same general direction, a portion of said contacts of said contact pairs being received within said second recess.

3. A connector adapted to receive a body having conductive terminal portions thereon and to make electricalconnection therewith comprising a housing having a recess into which said body is adapted to be inserted, and a plurality of opposed contact pairs spaced along said recess between which said body is adapted to be inserted, the contacts of each pair comprising opposed parts at least one of which is resiliently urged across said recess so as to be normally engageable with the corresponding parts of their opposing contacts, and insulating elements on said housing, extending between said resiliently urged parts of selected contact pairs and their opposed corresponding parts, and engaged by said one parts of said selected contact pairs, thereby preventing electrical connection therebetween, said parts of others of said contact pairs engaging across said recess to define a direct electrical connection therebetween, the insertion of said body between said contact pairs thereby separating said opposed parts of the others of said contact pairs and breaking the direct electrical connection therebetween, at least some of said contacts comprising a portion extending along a wall of said recess and connected to said contact part by at least one reverse bend, at least said reverse 6 bend being formed of resilient material, and in which said housing has a second recess adjacent said first mentioned recess, both of said recesses opening in the same general direction, said contacts further comprising a portion received within said second recess.

4. A connector adapted to receive a body having conductive terminal portions thereon and to make electrical connection therewith comprising a housing having a recess into which said body is adapted to be inserted, and a plurality of opposed contact pairs spaced along said recess between which said body is adapted to be inserted, the contacts of each pair comprising opposed parts at least one of which is resiliently urged across said recess so as to be normally engageable with the corresponding parts of their opposing contacts, and insulating elements on said housing, extending between said resiliently urged parts of selected contact pairs and their opposed corresponding parts, and engaged by said one parts of said selected contact pairs, thereby preventing electrical connection therebetween, said parts of others of said contact pairs engaging across said recess to define a direct electrical connection therebetween, the insertion of said body between said contact pairs thereby separating said opposed parts of the others of said contact pairs and breaking the direct electrical connection therebetween, the contacts of said others of said contact pairs comprising a portion extending along a wall of said recess and connected to said contact part by at least one reverse bend, at least said reverse bend being formed of resilient material, and in which said housing has a second recess adjacent said first mentioned recess, both of said recesses opening in the same general direction, a portion of said contacts of said others of said contact pairs being received within said second recess.

5. A connector adapted to receive a body having conductive terminal portions thereon and to make electrical connection therewith comprising a housing having a recess into which said body is adapted to be inserted, and a plurality of opposed contact pairs spaced along said recess between which said body is adapted to be inserted, the contacts of each pair comprising opposed parts at least one of which is resiliently urged across said recess so as to be normally engageable with the corresponding parts of their opposing contacts, and insulating elements on said housing, extending between said resiliently urged parts of selected contact pairs and their opposed corresponding parts, and engaged by said one parts of said selected contact pairs, thereby preventing electrical connection therebetween, said parts of others of said contact pairs engaging across said recess to define a direct electrical connection therebetween, the insertion of said body between said contact pairs thereby separating said opposed parts of the others of said contact pairs and breaking the direct electrical connection therebetween, at least some of said contacts comprising a portion extending along a wall of said recess and connected to said contact part by at least one reverse bend, at least said reverse bend being formed of resilient material, and in which. said housing has a second recess adjacent said first mentioned recess, said reverse bend being received within said second recess.

6. A connector adapted to receive a body having conductive terminal portions thereon and to make electrical connection therewith comprising a housing having a recess into which said body is adapted to be inserted, and a plurality of opposed contact pairs spaced along said recess between which said body is adapted to be inserted, the contacts of each pair comprising opposed parts at least one of which is resiliently urged across said recess so as to be normally engageable with the corresponding parts of their opposing contacts, and insulating elements on said housing, extending between said resiliently urged parts of selected contact pairs and their opposed corre sponding parts, and engaged by said one parts of said 7 selectedco'ntact pairs, thereby preventing electrical connection therebetween, said parts ofothers of said contact pairs engaging across said recess to define a direct e1ect'rical connection therebetween, the insertion of said body between said contact pairs thereby separating said opposed parts of the others of said contact pairs and breakingthe-direct electrical connection therebetween, the contacts of said others of said contact pairs comprising a portion extending along a wall of said recess and connected to said contact part by at least one reverse bend, at

least said reverse bend being formed of resilient material, and in which said housing has a second recess adjacent said first mentioned recess, said reverse bend being received within said second recess. 7

- 7. A connector adapted to receive a body having conductive terminal portions thereon and to make electrical connection therewith comprising a housing having a recess into which said body is adapted to be inserted, and a plurality of opposed contact pairs spaced along said recess between which said body is adapted to be inserted, the contacts of each pair comprising parts resiliently urged across said recess so as to be engageable with the corresponding parts of their opposing contacts, and insulating elements on said housing and extending between I 8 and; engaged by said parts of selected contact palrs, thereby preventing electrical connection therebetween; said parts of others of said contactpairs engaging-across said recess to define a direct electrical connection therebetween, the insertion of said body between saicl contact pairs thereby separating-said parts of the others of said contact pairs and breaking'th'e direct"electrical connec tion therebetween, at least some of the contacts of saidcontact pairs comprising a portion extending along a wall ofsaid recess and connected to'said contact part by at least one reversebend, at least said-reverse bend being formed of resilient material, and in which said housing has a second recess adjacent said first mentioned recess, said reverse bend being received within said second recess.

References Cited, in the file of this patent 1 UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,028,254 Murray June 4, 1912 1,718,529 Coldwell lime 25, 1929 2,688,123 Benham Aug. 31, 1954 2,699,534 Klostermann Jan. 11, 195.5

FOREIGN PATENTS 684,579 Great Britain Dec. 17, 1952

Patent Citations
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US1028254 *Jun 29, 1911Jun 4, 1912Thomas E MurrayMeter-testing cut-out.
US1718529 *May 1, 1928Jun 25, 1929Gen ElectricTesting apparatus
US2688123 *Apr 9, 1952Aug 31, 1954Cedric M BenhamElectrical connector
US2699534 *Jun 8, 1951Jan 11, 1955Donald B AlexanderTwo-piece separable electrical connector
GB684579A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3016508 *Oct 24, 1960Jan 9, 1962Prec Connectors IncPrinted circuit electrical connectors
US3083271 *Jun 9, 1961Mar 26, 1963Allis Chalmers Mfg CoKnife blade type switch
US3120988 *May 25, 1962Feb 11, 1964Continental Connector CorpBellows-type contact construction
US3131017 *Apr 20, 1961Apr 28, 1964Ind Electronic Hardware CorpEdge board connector
US3199066 *May 27, 1963Aug 3, 1965Bunker RamoElectrical connector
US3219766 *Mar 19, 1962Nov 23, 1965Ark Les Switch CorpPush button switch
US3239798 *Mar 14, 1963Mar 8, 1966Sperry Rand CorpElectrical connector for interconnecting printed circuit panels
US3289146 *Apr 29, 1964Nov 29, 1966Tuchel UlrichContact arrangement
US3536869 *Nov 29, 1968Oct 27, 1970Amp IncSafety switch device
US4070557 *Jul 26, 1976Jan 24, 1978Northern Telecom LimitedApparatus for providing closed loop conditions in vacant module positions
US4226496 *Apr 21, 1978Oct 7, 1980Elfab CorporationCircuit board edge connector
US4418971 *Aug 3, 1981Dec 6, 1983Bell Telephone Laboratories, IncorporatedElectrical keying arrangement
US4682836 *Oct 7, 1985Jul 28, 1987Thomas & Betts CorporationElectrical connector and cable termination apparatus therefor
US4834661 *Dec 22, 1987May 30, 1989Universal Data Systems, Inc.Busy-out line connector
US4835737 *Jul 21, 1986May 30, 1989American Telephone And Telegraph Company, At&T Bell LaboratoriesMethod and apparatus for controlled removal and insertion of circuit modules
EP0088062A2 *Feb 22, 1983Sep 7, 1983Telefonaktiebolaget L M EricssonIn a module for printed assemblies in a telecommunication system an apparatus for automatically putting the means on printed board assemblies newly inserted into the module into operation
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/2, 200/51.12, 439/80, 200/275
International ClassificationH01H50/14, H01R13/703, H01R13/26
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/26, H01R12/721
European ClassificationH01R23/70B, H01R13/26