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Publication numberUS2980881 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 18, 1961
Filing dateApr 14, 1958
Priority dateApr 14, 1958
Publication numberUS 2980881 A, US 2980881A, US-A-2980881, US2980881 A, US2980881A
InventorsMckee William H
Original AssigneeUnited Carr Fastener Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connector and snap-in contact therefor
US 2980881 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

. April 18, 1961 w. H. MCKEE 2,980,881

CONNECTOR AND SNAP-IN CONTACT THEREFOR Filed April 14, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 m E E W nun INVENTOR. WILLIAM H. M KEE ATTORNEY April 18, 1961 w. H. MCKEE CONNECTOR AND SNAP-IN CONTACT THEREFOR Filed April 14, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 WILLIAM H. MEKEE BY 1 I ATTORNEY dividual contacts to the respective. leads therefor.

ited States CONNECTOR AND SNAP-IN CONTACT THERE-FOR Filed Apr. 14, 1958 Ser. Nmnsass lliClaim's. (Cl. 339--192) This invention relates to connectors, especially of the multiple contact type, and more particularly to a connector and snap-in contact therefor.

In connectors of the class herein considered, a casting formed of insulating material is provided with an opening extending therethrough, and mounted within the opening is a contact having a tail for connection to an electric conductor and having a mouth for inserting thereinto the prong of a male plug to establish eletcrical connection therewith. Connectors of this typeare widely used, and ordinarily comprise multiple rows of prongreceiving contacts. They are frequently referred to in the art as Jones plugs or Jones connectors.

Two problems in particular exist in such multiplecontact connectors: The first is concerned with assembly thereof, and the second with distortion or misalignment of the contacts in the openings or passages therefor which sometimes arises as the result of soldering the. inh- Sue distortion or misalignment may make it difiicult, if not impossible, to insert the prongs of a plug thereinto. Traditionally, the socket casting has had the openings therein equipped with stops along the face thereof to prevent the passage of the contacts therethrough, while the opposite ends of the passages are free of obstructions to permit insertion of the contacts. Thereafter, a backing plate has been placed across the rear surface of the casting and secured thereto for confining the contacts within their respective openings. It will be apparent that such assembly process is time-consuming and costly. 8

Usually, the contacts are connected to lead wires in a hand soldering operation; and since the contacts which define the multiple rows are necessarily close together, it has been found that the personnel performing the soldering step will often bend the projecting tails of the con tacts laterally to increase the spacing therebetween, with the result that the mouths of the contacts become closed, distorted or generally off-centered. To some extent, this is due to the nature of the contacts which must have spring legs to tightly grip a prong inserted therebetween so as to assure a good electrical connection therewith.

With a view towards these disadvantages, an object of the present invention is to provide a connector structure which will overcome the same. Another object of the invention is that of providing a connector. socket casting and snap-in contact combination, wherein the contacts are pressed into the openings therefor in the same manner practiced in the past, but in which the contacts are automatically locked or constrained within the passages as a part of their insertion.

Still another object is in the provision of a connector socket casting and contact assembly in which the contacts are constrained within the openings therefor in a manner such that the mouths of the contacts are not distorted, misaligned, etc. even though the contact tails are bent in the solder connection thereof to lead Wires. Still another object is to provide a multiple-contact connector atent comprising a casting having contactreceiving openings the contacts in the insertion thereof into the passages to permit them to ride over the cams, and in which the contacts are provided with locking recesses adapted to seat the cams therein whereby the interlock between the cams and recesses confines the terminals inthe socket casting.

A further object is that of providing a socket casting and snap-in contact arrangement of the type described, in which the contacts can be removed from the passages by rev'ersely twisting the contacts to displace the recesses thereof from the cams. Still a further object is in the provision of a multiple-contact socket casting, wherein each contact-receiving passage is provided with locking ribs that extend through notches in the contacts and are thereby interposed between adjacent contact surfaces whereby they are eifective to prevent tilting or tipping of the contacts at the'mouths thereof even though the contact tails may be bent.

Yet a further object is in the provision of a connector socket assembly of the character described, wherein the cams are disposed adjacent diagonally oriented corners of the contact-receiving openings, while the locking ribs are disposed adjacent the opposite diagonal corners; and in which each contact has outwardly biased spring legs united at 'one end to define a contact tail, and at the other end being equipped with reversely turned friction elements disposed in adjacency with each other to define a contact mouth-the locking ribs being disposed between the respective spring legs and friction elements thereof whenthe cams are seated within the interlocking recesses therefor in the respective spring legs. Additional ob jects and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the specification develops.

An embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which Figure 1 is a top plan view of the face of a connector socket embodying the invention; Figure 2 is a bottom plan view of the connector socket shown in Figure 1; Figure 3 is an end view in elevation of the connector socket; Figure 4 is a side view in elevation of one of the connectors; Figure 5 is an end view in elevation of a connector; Figure 6 is a perspective view of the connector; Figure 7 is an enlarged, broken top plan view of one of the contact-receiving passages, in the connector socket; Figure 8 is an enlarged, broken vertical sectional view taken along the line 88 of Figure 7; Figure 9 is an enlarged, broken vertical sectional view taken along the line 9-9 of Figure 7; Figure 10 is an enlarged, broken transverse sectional view taken generally along the line 10-10 of Figure 9, and showing in broken lines the position of a contact partially inserted into the passage therefor; Figure 11 is an enlarged, broken transverse sectional view also taken generally along the same plane as that of Figure 10, and showing in broken lines the position of a contact after complete insertion thereof into the passage; and Figure 12 is an enlarged, broken vertical sectional view generally similar to that of Figure 9, but showing a contact in position within the passage, portions of the contact being broken away for purposes of better illustration.

While the invention is clearly usable with a connector having a single contact or socket, it is illustrated in Figures 1 through 3 in conjunction with a multiple-row connector socket designated in general with the numeral 15. The connector socket 15 comprises the female element of a connector assembly, and is adapted for use with'a male plug (not shown) having multiple rows of terminals respectively insertable into the contact openings of the socket 15 o The connector socket comprises a block or casting 16 formed of insulating material, and is referred to as a casting since customarily it is a molded product The Patented Apr. 18, 1961 passages or openings 20, and in the specific illustration there are 32 such passages. Surrounding the casting 16, and secured thereto by any suitable means such as pins or rivets, is a frame 21 that may be used in mounting the connector socket. The structure thus far described is'well known in the art, and further details concerning the same are therefore unnecessary.

It will be noted in Figures 1 through 3 that the passages 20 comprising the rows 17 and 18 are oriented in the same direction, while those defining the rowj19 are at right angles thereto. The purpose of this arrangement is that of polarizing-the'connector sothat a plug can be connected thereto only when properly oriented--th'at is, in one predetermined relationship'therewith. Also, the casting may have a central opening or passage 22 extending therethrough equipped with apin or contact 23 of diiferent construction than the remaining contacts which will be'described in detail hereinafter; and it'may serve as the ground connection or ground shield for the connector, and also as a guide for receipt of a mating pin provided by a connector plug to align said plug'in both the longitudinal and transverse directions with respect to the connector socket15. For this reason, the pin 23 is a relatively sturdy element, and as shown in Figure 2 is equipped with a tail 24 for connection to an electric lead wire. I

Each of the passages 20 has a snap-in contact 25 posipassage and intermediate the ends thereof, are cams 53 tioned therein, and each contact comprises a pair of spring legs 26 and 27 which are integrally connected at the lower ends thereof to define a tail 28 having an opening 29 extending transverselytherethrough to facilitate connection of a lead wire thereto. The spring legs throughout the tail portion thereof are in substantial adjacency and may be equipped, respectively, with ribs 30 and 31 to stifien the same. At the upper end of the tail 28, the legs are bent laterally to define shoulders 32 and 33, and then extend upwardly and outwardly therefrom. The legs 26 and 27 at the upper ends thereof are reversely turned to form inwardly and downwardly converging portions or friction legs 34 and 35 that define a mouth 36 therebe tween, into which is inserted the prong of a male plug which is then frictionally engaged by the leg portions 34 and 35 to efiect electrical connection therewith.

The legs 26 and 27 intermediate the upper ends thereof and the respective shoulders 32 and 33 are provided with locking recesses 37 and 38 along diagonally opposite edges thereof, as is most evident from Figure 5. This figure also makes it apparent that the'recesses are aligned with each other along the vertical axis of the contact. At the upper ends of the legs are notches or channels 39 and 40 which are also oriented along diagonally opposite edges of the spring legs. 'Referring again to Figure 5, it will be seen that the recess 37 and notch 39 of spring leg 26 are disposed along opposite edges thereof; and similarly, the recess 38 and notch 40 of the leg 27 are so oriented. Preferably, the legs adjacent the upper ends thereof are provided, respectively, with inwardly projecting dimples or protuberances 41 and 42; and the friction legs thereof have outwardly projecting dimples 43 and 44, respectively aligned with the dimples. 41 and 42, which then serve to limit the compression of the outwardly biased friction legs when a compressive force is applied thereacross.

The passages 20 will be described in connection with Figures 7 through 9 in particular; and it will be noted in Figure 7 that the passage is generally rectangular, and in transverse section has a restricted upper end portion 45 defined between the arcuate edges 46 and 47 at the entrance thereof whichis disposed along the upper surface or face 48 of the casting 16. The edges along the ends of the restricted passage portion 45 are also slightly rounded, as is shown at 49 and 50 in Figure 9. For identification, the lower enlarged end portion of the passage is denoted with the numeral 51, and the entrance thereof is oriented along the rear or bottom surface 52 ofthecasting' 1 a a and 54 which project outwardly and into the enlarged portion of the passage from the side walls 55 and 56. Each of the cams has an upwardly and inwardly inclined edge 57, as is most apparent in Figure 8. Similarly disposed adjacent diagonally opposite corners of the passage are locking or stabilizing ribs 58 and 59 (Figures 9 and 8, respectively). Each of the locking ribs has an upwardly and inwardly inclined cam edge or surface 60.

v The stabilizing ribs are spaced slightly from the side walls 55 and 56 of the passage, and extend downwardly therealong, and at the same time project outwardly from the end walls'61 and 62. Thus, the'cam 53 and rib 58 are disposed along the side wall 55, while the cam 54 and rib 59 are located along the side wall 56.

In assembling the casting and contacts, each contact is first oriented so that the spring legs 26 and 27 thereof are disposed along the side walls 55 and 56 of the passage, and the spring legs must be compressed so as to permit insertion thereof into the passage entrance at the rear surface 52 of the casting. Bach contact is then pressed upwardly into the passage toward the face 48 of the casting. As the contact moves upwardly, the spring legs ride onto the cams 53 and 54 whereupon the contact in its entirety is twisted or turned slightly within the passage, as shown in Figure 10. As a result of the orientation of the cams, locking recesses 37 and 38 and notches 39 and 40, this twisting action always occurs no matter which of the spring legs is adjacent the respective side walls of the passage, for the uninterruptedupper edges of the spring legs (that is, the edges opposite the notches 39 and 40) engage the cams. It will also be noted in FigurelO that as the twisted contact approaches the locking ribs 58 and 59, such ribs move through the notches 39 and 40 of the spring legs so as to be disposed, respectively, between the spring leg 26 and frictionportion 34 and spring leg 27 and its friction portion 35. 3 1

Continued upwardmovement of the contact further inserts the locking ribs between the respective spring legs and friction portions thereof, and ultimately brings the locking recesses 37 and 38 into alignment with the earns 53 and 54. At this time, the inherent outwardly directed biasing force of the. spring legs, which is constantly endeavoring to align the contact within the passage, causes the cams to seat within the recesses with the result that the contact straightens itself and assumes the position shown in Figures 11 and 12. Consequently, the contact is anchored or locked within the passage for further upward movement is prevented by the abutment of the upper ends of the spring. legs with the stop shoulders 69 defined by the narrowed portion 45 of the passage, and downward movement of the contact is constrained by'the cams which engage the upper edges of the recesses 37 and 38. V V

Such insertion of each contact is accomplished by imparting an upwardly directed force thereto for the twisting action occurs automatically. As a result, automatic equipment now in use for inserting all of the contacts simultaneously into the passages therefor in connector assemblies now known, may still be employed. However, in the event that it should be necessary to remove a contact from the passage therefor, such removal is ac 'complished by twisting thesame into the position shown in Figure 10, whereby the cams are unseated from their interlocking relation with the recesses 37 and 38, and by sufiicient to bend the same.

ribs if a force is applied to the contact which tends to shift it laterally within the passag e-that is, from up to down, or vice versa, as viewed in Figure 11. If the tail of the contact is bent, the resultant force active on r the contact is of such naturethat is, one that tends to displace the upper end of the contact laterally.

While in the foregoing specification an embodiment of the invention has been set out in considerable detail for purposes of making an adequate disclosure thereof,

opening, and a contact for each of said openings and equipped with a pair of outwardly biased spring legs each having a recess along diagonally opposed edges thereof, said recesses being respectively alignable with said cams for seating the same therein, said cams being effective to rotate said contact to a generally diagonal orientation within said opening during insertion of the contact thereinto, the biasing force of said spring legs being effective to return the contact to its prerotated position when said recesses are aligned with said cams to snappingly seat the cams therein.

2. The assembly of claim 1 in which said cams have upwardly and inwardly inclined cam surfaces to effect the aforesaid rotation of the contacts, and in which said cams are oriented along the side walls of said opening.

3. In an assembly of the character described, a con nector socket casting provided with an opening extending therethrough, and a contact seated within said opening, said contact having a pair of inwardly compressible, outwardly biased spring legs, each of said legs having a reversely turned, inwardly converging friction leg portion integrally joined thereto at an upper end thereof, each of said spring legs at the upper end thereof being provided with a notch therein, said opening being provided with a pair of stabilizing ribs respectively aligned with said notches and extending therethrough so as to be disposed between the respective spring legs and friction leg portions thereof, said spring legs each being provided with a recess along a longitudinal edge thereof, said opening being equipped intermediate the ends thereof with a pair of cams respectively aligned with said recesses and being seated therein, said cams being effective to constrain said contact within said opening.

4. The assembly of claim, 3 in which said notches are disposed along diagonally opposite edges of said spring le s.

5; The assembly of claim 3 in which said recesses are oriented along diagonally opposite longitudinal edges of said spring legs.

6. In a connector socket assembly, a casting of insulating material provided with a plurality of generally rectangular openings extending therethrough, each opening being provided intermediate its ends with a pair of stabilizing ribs extending longitudinally thereof adjacent diagonally opposite corners of the opening, a contact seated in each of said openings, each contact having a pair of outwardly biased spring legs, each of said legs having a reversely turned, inwardly extending friction leg integrally joined to said respective spring leg at the upper end thereof, each of said contacts being provided with a notch for each spring leg at the upper end thereof respectively aligned with said stabilizing ribs for passing the same therethrough and into position between the appropriate spring leg and friction leg portion thereof, and means for constraining each of said contacts within the opening therefor, said means comprising a pair of cams disposed adjacent diagonally opposite corners of said opening, said spring legs each havinga recess along an edge thereof, said recesses-being respectively alignable with said cams for seating the same therein, said cams being effective to rotate said. contact to a generally diagonal orientation within said opening during insertion of the contact thereinto, the biasing force of said spring legs being efiective to return the contact to its prerotated position when said recesses are aligned with said cams to snappingly seat the same therein.

. 7. The apparatus of claim 6 in which saidstabilizing ribs and'camsare disposed along opposite, diagonally oriented corners of the respective openings.

8. In a connector socket assembly of the character described, a socket casting of insulating material having a generally rectangular opening extending therethrough,

a pair of cams respectively oriented within said opening intermediate the ends of the side walls thereof and adjacent diagonally disposed corners, a pair of stabilizing ribs also disposed within said opening along the respective end walls thereof adjacent the oppositely oriented diagonal corners, and a contact seated in said opening,

said contact comprising a pair of facing, outwardly biased spring legs integrally connected at their lower ends and each having at the upper end thereof an integral reversely turned friction leg portion adjacent the friction leg portion of the other spring leg, said spring legs being compressible for insertion thereof into said opening and being engageable with said cam ribs during such insertion and carnmed thereby into a generally diagonal disposition within said opening, said contact having a notch therein at the juncture of the respective spring legs and friction leg portions thereof, said notches being in alignment with the respective stabilizing ribs for passing the same therethrough and into position between the respective spring legs and friction portions thereof, said spring legs each having a recess therein along the edge thereof aligned with one of said cams and being dimensioned to seat the same therein when the contact is inserted into the opening to an extent effecting alignment of the cams and recesses.

9. In an assembly of the character described, a connector socket casting provided with an opening extending therethrough, and a contact seated within said opening, said contact having a pair of inwardly compressible, out wardly biased spring legs equipped at the upper ends thereof with reversely turned, inwardly converging friction leg portions, each of said spring legs at the upper outside edge thereof immediately adjacent the reversely turned portion being provided with an upwardly facing notch therein, said notches being diametrically opposed with respect to one another, said opening being equipped with a pair of stabilizing, diametrically opposed, longitudinally extending ribs respectively aligned with said notches and extending therethrough so as to be disposed between the respective spring legs and friction leg portions thereof.

10. An assembly in accordance with claim 9 in which said contact is provided with a tail extending outwardly from said opening for connection with an electrical lead wire, said stabilizing ribs being elfective to constrain movement of the upper end portion of said spring legs in the event said tail is bent laterally from the normal position thereof.

11. In a connector socket assembly, a casting of insulating material provided with a plurality of generally rectangular openings extending therethrough, each opening being provided intermediate its ends with a pair of stabilizing ribs extending longitudinally thereof and ad jacent diagonally opposite corners of the opening, a contact for each of said openings, each contact having a pair of outwardly biased spring legs equipped at the upper ends thereof with reversely turned, inwardly converging friction leg portions, each of said contacts at the upper outside edge thereof immediately adjacent the reversely turned portion being provided with an upwardly facing notch therein, said notches of each pair of spring legs being diametrically opposed with respect to one another and being respectively aligned with said stabilizing ribs respectively passing the same therethrough and into position between the respective spring leg and friction leg 'portions thereof, and means constraining each of said contacts within the opening therefor.

1 References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,730,689 Lamb et al. Ian. 10, 1956 8;: Gilbert Feb. 7, 1956 Eannarino Feb. 26, 1957 Aquillon et a1. May 13, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 3 France (Jet; 25, 1943

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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/682, 439/748
International ClassificationH01R13/428
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/428
European ClassificationH01R13/428