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Publication numberUS2961629 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 22, 1960
Filing dateFeb 12, 1957
Priority dateFeb 12, 1957
Publication numberUS 2961629 A, US 2961629A, US-A-2961629, US2961629 A, US2961629A
InventorsLawrence J Kamm
Original AssigneeLawrence J Kamm
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical connector for flexible cable
US 2961629 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 22, 1960 J. KAMM 2,961,629


@fiff'fij FIG. 2.

//v 1 M70 LAWRENCE d KAMM 5y 7 24/0, A/XLM Nov. 22, 1960 L. J. KAMM 2,961,629

ELECTRICAL (IONNECTOR FOR FLEXIBLE CABLE Filed Feb. 12, 1957 FIG 5 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 4. i 3:

Ii in? '7 I Env I 6 //VVEI TIR LAWRENCE (Z K MM ByfiM/W AM ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR FOR FLEXIBLE CABLE Filed Feb. 12, 1957 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 FIG. IO.

7x 40X \\w 1 J aMW/ax 92 Q93 9 INVENTOR L/IWEENCE J KAMM ORNEY Nov. 22, 1960 L. J. KAMM 2,961,629

ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR FOR FLEXIBLE CABLE Filed Feb. 12, 1957 I 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR LAW/FENCE J KAN/M ATTORNEY United States Patent ice ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR FOR FLEXIBLE CABLE Lawrence J. Kamm, 1515 Chatsworth Blvd, San Diego 7, Calif.

Filed Feb. 12, 1957, Ser. No. 639,754

7 Claims. (Cl. 339-17) This invention relates to electrical connectors, electrical connector assemblies, and correlated inventions and discoveries appertaining thereto.

This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Serial No. 296,178 filed June 28, 1952, now Patent 2,881,404, and of the division thereof Serial No. 557,086, filed January 3, 1956, now abandoned.

In my Patent 2,748,364 there are disclosed and claimed forms of electrical connectors and electrical connector assemblies which effectively satisfy many of the requirements for such articles. Certain of these forms use the printed circuit art to fabricate electrical contact units. *It is the purpose of this invention to make such contact units integral with flexible cables, to combine. a plurality of such contact units and their associated cables into integral cable-connector units, and to group pluralities of contact units from different cable-connector units into plug assemblies.

The invention further contemplates the provision of improved shielded electrical elements.

The invention accordingly comprises articles of manufacture possessing the features, properties, and relation of elements, and processes for the formation of certain thereof, which will be exemplified in the articles and processes hereinafter described, and the scope of the application of which will be indicated in the claims.

For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a somewhat diagrammatic plan view of an integral cable-connector incorporating a plurality of male contact units and an interconnecting cable; 7

Fig. 2 is a fragmentary top view of a plug member embodying a stack of unitscombined into a single plug;

Fig. 3 is a cross section thru a cooperating female contact unit;

Fig. 4 is a partial cross section of an electrical connector assembly showing the operating mechanism in open position;

Fig. 5 is similar to Fig. 4 showing the operating mechanism in closed position;

Fig. 6 is a cross section thru a type of plug usable in Fig. 1;. r

Fig. 7 is a cross section of a r riodified male contact unit engaged with a female contact unit, both being of shielded construction, and both being integral with cables; 7

Fig. 8 is a partly sectional view of a male member of the character shown in Fig. 2 and comprising a plurality of units as shown in Fig. 6;

Fig. 9 is a similar view of a modification of the cable construction of Fig. 8, the right-hand portions thereof being cut away;

Fig. 10 is a similar view of a further modified male connector-cable construction;

Fig. 11 is a diagrammatic view of a further modification;

2,961,629 Patented Nov. 22,1960

Fig. 12 is a partly sectional side view of the connector member thereof;

Fig. 13 is a similar view of a modified connector assembly; and

Fig. 14 is a view similar to Fig. 2 showing a particular cable construction.

The drawings illustrate an improved system for interconnecting pieces of electrical equipment. In it the cables which are made up of flexible elements are made integral with the plugs as shown in Figs. 6, 7, and 8. 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, so no soldered assembly is required.

other printed circuit technique, may, as exemplified ink Fig. 1, be utilized to interconnect circuit arrangements running to three different female units, the male units: being themselves interconnected by a branched cable 39.. As exemplified, a male unit 5a has an integral conductor 40 connected to a contact element 8b thereon, an integral conductor 41 connected to a contact element 8c thereon,. and an integral conductor 42 connected to a contact ele-- ment 8d thereon. The conductor 40 runs along the'glassn cloth 7 to an integral male unit 5 having contact element 8e thereon; the conductor 41 runs along the glass. clotli 7 to a contact element 8g on a similarly-integral; male unit 5h; and the conductor 42runs' to a contact ele-'- ment 8i on a similarly-integral male unit 5h. A conduc-- tor 43 {runs along the glass'cloth 7 from a contact ele ment 8 on the maleunit 5h to acontact element 8k om the male unit 5 and a conductor 44 runs along the glass cloth 7 from a contact element 8m on the male unit 5hr to a contact element 8n on the male unit 5 and all other conductors such, for instance, as shown at 45 and .46 may: run along the glass cloth 7 to other contact elements om other male units and/or certain of the contact elements; may be left unconnected; all the conductors being integraE withthe plugs, in the present instance.

As shown more particularly in the form of construe tion shown-in Fig. 6, the male contact unit 5p, which may represent any of the male units 5a, 5h or 5f, comprises, in the present instance, a centralinsulating. core 6 formed preferably of hard insulating material and carrying on either side a sheet of insulating material which may be formed of flexible glass cloth, for instance, laminated with copper foil from which a pattern of Contact element 8 and conductors 40;) is etched or-otherwise provided. The rearward portion of the unit 5p" is sheathed by sheets of flexible insulating material 50 such as glass cloth impregnated with phenolic resin. The elements 7 and 50, with the conductors 40p between them, extend rearwardly of the element 6, as shown, to form a cable portion 39p. Each male' unit is adapted to mate with a'female unit 10 (Figs. 3-5) 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 endsof the male-unit-receiving opening 14 are end members 15 which are also formed of yieldable insulating material such as rubber. The female unit-s may be, and as exemplified 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 assures an even compacting and effective contacting operation. Compacting means (shown in Figs. 4 and 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 27, 28 which are arranged beneath the stack of the female elements. The cam 25 is pivotally mounted at 29 on the housing 20 and is operated by a handle 39 which extends out conveniently at the front of the housing. The cam 25 acts on the wedge member 26 by means of rollers 31.

In Fig. 7 there is exemplified a male unit Sq the rear portion of which is sheathed by underlying insulating sheets 51 like the sheets 7 and 50, and overlying layers 52 of shielding material such as copper, and a female unit 1051 wherein layers 53 of shielding material such as copper overlie the insulating layer 12 which carries the contacts 136] and sheets 54 like the sheets 50 sheathe the interior of the rear of the contacts 13: These layers 51 are laminated in a cable portion 58. Fig. 7 also illustrates that the female contacts also may be made integral with cables 59. Not only may the contact and conductor strips 8q-40q and 13q-48q be made integral with cables but they may be made integral with structures supporting and connecting other electrical components. The outer ones of the sheets 51 and of the sheets 52, and the sheets 54 and the inner ones of the sheets 53 termihate just short of the cotnact areas. The layers 52 and 53 thus form a substantially continuous shielding on both sides of a mating set of contacts and conductor portions extending therefrom. In the present instance, outer layers 57 of impregnated glass cloth are provided outside the outer ones of the layers 52.

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 may be ganged as shown in Figs. 2 and 8 for simultaneous insertion and withdrawal from a single female connector, such as that shown in Fig. 3. One such arrangement is shown in Fig. 8, wherein there is provided a housing 60 comprising plates 61 and 62 united by rods 63 secured by nuts 64. Within the housing there are provided spacing 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 units 10, Fig. 3, or 104, Fig. 7, may be assembled within a housing similar to that of Figs. 3, 4, and 5 for reception of the stack of male units of Fig. 8 and a stack of male units 5p may be assembled similarly to the stack of Fig. 8 for insertion in the stack of female units shown in Fig. 3. Compression means such as shown in Figs. 4 and 5 may be provided.

In certain instances, as when flexibility of the cable portion may be limited and where a unitary cable construction is desirable, a plurality of cables such as the cables 39p of Fig. 8 may be assembled as by adhesive into a unitary cable construction such as shown at 69 in Fig. 9.

Cables from such a unitary cable construction may, moreover, be utilized as leads to contact units which, instead of being assembled into a multiple-unit contact member, as in Figs. 8 and 9, are in the form of individual units for individual use. In Fig. there are shown a plurality of flexible-cable portions 70 each composed of a strip-like sheet of flexible insulating material 7s, as of impregnated glass cloth, carrying printed circuitry which provides a multiplicity of contacts 89 and of conductors 40s forming a continuation thereof rearwardly thereof, the conductors 40s being covered by a sheathing of flexible insulating material 50s, as of impregnated glass cloth. The forward end of each strip 7s extends along a transverse stiffening element 71 to provide, in the present instance,

4 a plug portion 72. The element 71 may be formed of rigid or resilient insulating or other material. The cable portions are united into a unitary cable portion 695' as by being joined together by adhesive.

Conversely, as shown in Figs. 11 and 12, a plurality of individual cable portions 73 and 74 similar to the cable portions 39p may run from electrical components 75 and 76 and 77 and 78 respectively to a single connector member which, in the present instance, is in the form of a plug 80 adapted to be inserted into a female member 81. Each of the cables 73 and 74 is shown in fiexed condition and comprises a sheet 7w of flexible insulating material which may be similar to that of the sheets 7, printed circuitry providing contacts SW and conductors 40w and, over the latter, a sheathing layer of flexible insulating material 50w similar to the sheets 50. One or more conductors 40w on the cable 73 are connected with the electrical component 75 and another or others with the electrical component 76, and one or more conductors 49w on cable 74 are connected at 77 and another or others at 78. The female member 81 comprises backing and spacing elements 83 and 84 and 85 of resilient material such as rubber, the elements 83 and 84 each carrying on its inner surface a sheet 12w of glass cloth carrying on the inner surface thereof printed circuitry providing contact elements 13w adapted to mate with the contact elements 8w. I

Fig. 13 shows a form of construction in which a plug member wherein the contacts are backed by material which, like the member 6, provides a thick stiff support for the contacts but which is resilient and compressible; and wherein the plug member is at the end of a flexible cable portion and mates with a socket provided by two rigid panels carrying electrical components. A cable 89 similar in all respects to the cable 39p comprises sheets of flexible insulating material 7x which carry printed circuitry providing conductors 40x and contacts 8x and which extend over and are secured on either side of a resilient rubber supporting element 90. A panel 91 of rigid insulating material carrying on its under side printed circuitry 92 and on its upper side electrical components 93, and a similar panel 95 carrying on its upper side printed circuitry 92 and on its under side electrical components 93, overlie the plug portions, the printed circuitry providing contact portions 13x which mate with the contacts 8x. Screws 96 and nuts 97 serve to draw the panels toward each other to compress the rubber support 90 and to bring the contacts into firm electrical engagement.

In each of the forms of construction shown in Figs. 9, 10, and 13, connector portions with contact areas are shown only at one end of a cable portion; but it will be understood that similar connector portions may be provided at the other end, and that similar connector portions may be provided at a plurality of other points as exemplified in Fig. 1.

In providing on a sheet such as 51 or 54 a conductive coating and a shielding coating, any desirable method may be employed. The invention contemplates particularly forming a complete metallic coating on both faces of the sheet and etching out the coating which is to provide the conductors and contact areas in the manner that printed circuitry is etched, or protecting the portions on one face by a material which will resist deposit in those areas where the conductor portions and contact areas are not to appear, and then depositing metal coatings on both faces of the sheet.

Fig. 14 shows a plurality of cables running in different directions from a plug assembly as exemplified in Figs. 2 and 8. As shown, the plug assembly is a duplicate of that shown in Figs. 2 and 8. One of the cables 39p running therefrom extends in one direction as shown at 171, another extends in another direction as shown at 172, and a third extends in a third direction as shown at 173.

Since certain changes may be made in the above articles and processes 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 drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

I claim:

1. An electrical-connector assembly comprising a flexible cable having a plurality of plug portions, said cable and said plug portions embodying a flexible insulating sheet bearing a thin flexible conductive adherent coating subdivided into a plurality of conductors, and each of said plug portions having a plurality of contact areas extending in a parallel direction and forming parts of said conductors and adapted to be alined with similar contact areas in a socket means by a sliding movement in said direction for engagement therewith, and means forming a plurality of sockets each having interior parallel walls adapted to detachably receive between them one of said plug portions when they are slid in said direction and having insulating surface portions carrying similar pluralities of contact areas in the form of thin flexible conductive adherent coatings adapted to be in overlying relationship with the aforesaid contact areas when a plug portion is moved into a socket means.

2. An electrical connector assembly as in claim 1 in which at least one of said sockets comprises an inner insulating sheet and wherein the last-mentioned contact means comprises contact areas forming part of a thin conductive adherent coating on said sheet and subdivided into a second plurality of conductors.

3. An electrical connector assembly as in claim 2 in in which said inner insulating sheet and said second plurality of conductors comprise a second flexible cable.

4. An electrical connector-cable construction comprising a pair of sheets of flexible insulating material assembled in overlying relationship and each having an edge portion which is substantially alined with an edge portion of the other, a thin flexible conductive adherent coating subdivided into a plurality of conductors on the outer face of each sheet and providing contact areas adjacent to said edge portions, and a stiffening element between said contact areas and terminating rearwardly thereof, said sheets 6 being assembled into a cable portion rearwardly of said stilfening element.

5. A construction as in claim 4 wherein said stiffening element is formed of hard material.

6. A construction as in claim 4 wherein said stiffening element is formed of resilient material.

7. An electrical connector assembly comprising a pair of sheets of flexible insulating material assembled in overlying relationship and each having a surface portion which is adjacent to an edge thereof which is substantially alined with a surface portion of the other adjacent to an edge thereof, a thin flexible conductive coating subdivided into a plurality of conductors on the outer face of each sheet and providing contact areas at said surface portions, and a stiffening element between said surface portions and terminating rearwardly thereof, said sheets being assembled into a cable portion rearwardly of said strip, said stiffening element being formed of resilient material, and a pair of panels having faces of insulating material carrying a thin coating subdivided into a plurality of conductors providing contact areas adapted to mate with the aforesaid contact areas, each panel overlapping one of said sheets on the outside of the sheet, and means to draw said panels together to compress said resilient material.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,791,666 Finn Feb. 10, 1931 2,070,400 Greibach Feb. 9, 1937 2,299,140 Hanson Oct. 20, 1942 2,377,187 Schey May 29, 1945 2,441,960 Eisler May 25, 1948 2,634,310 Eisler Apr. 7, 1953 2,711,523 Willis June 21, 1955 2,721,153 Hopf et 'al Oct. 18, 1955 2,728,693 Cado Dec. 27, 1955 2,748,321 Kamm May 29, 1956 2,748,364 Kamm May 29, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS 504,950 Belgium Jan. 30, 1952 700,490 Great Britain Dec. 2, 1953 836,504 Germany Apr. 15, 1952 976,702 France Nov. 1, 1950

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3084302 *Dec 1, 1960Apr 2, 1963Hughes Aircraft CoElectrical ribbon cable connector
US3176261 *Dec 28, 1961Mar 30, 1965Burndy CorpPrinted circuit board connector
US3221095 *Jul 9, 1962Nov 30, 1965Reliable Electric CoFlexible connecting terminal assembly
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WO2009027445A2 *Aug 27, 2008Mar 5, 2009Evonik Degussa GmbhPlug-type connection between a flexible component part and a contact plug
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U.S. Classification439/61, 439/262, 439/498, 439/67
International ClassificationH05K1/11, H05K3/40, H05K3/36, H05K3/46, H01R12/16, H05K1/14, H05K3/00
Cooperative ClassificationH05K2201/09109, H05K3/365, H05K1/118, H05K1/0281, H05K2201/053, H05K2201/0919, H05K3/4611, H05K3/403, H05K3/0058, H05K2201/2009, H05K1/144, H01R12/82
European ClassificationH05K1/02J4B, H05K3/36B4, H05K1/11F, H01R23/68B