US 3054979 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 18, 1962 F. P. BUITXNG MULTIPLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed Deb. 3, 1958 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR Francis F. Buii'mj BY Sept. 18, 1962 F. P. BUITING MULTIPLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 5, 1958 Franus P bmun BY M, W L v-dk Sept. 18, 1962 F. P. BUITING MULTIPLE ELECTRICAL. CONNECTOR 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed D60. 3, 1958 INVENTOR. ranc|s P. Bumn M,WXW
Sept. 18, 1962 F. P. BUlTlNG MULTIPLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed D80. 3, 1958 INVENTOR. Franus P. bulun BY Unite It is frequently necessary to make electrical connections between a plurality of conductors, each of which mates with a similar conductor. It is necessary that these connections be designed so that they may be connected and disconnected with a minimum effort and yet provide maximum locking strength.
Therefore it is an object of this invention to provide a set of multiple connectors of the type described which may be made quite easily and inexpensively whereby a few basic units will provide the basic components for a versatile range of connectors. This of course will mean that the stock of inventory may be limited to a relatively few parts.
It is also an object of this invention to provide a set of connectors of the type described which is adapted to be enclosed in a sealed unit. This protects the connection against humidity and other environmental factors.
It is also an object of the invention to provide a set of connectors of the type described wherein the male and female terminals are identical. These connectors may be mounted in panels and/ or may be locked together.
Other objects and attainments of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the drawings in which there is shown and described an illustrative embodiment of the invention.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a cross sectional view of two connectors in mating position;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of a block which cornprises part of the housing which contains the connectors shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of the bottom of a block shown in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary view of one of the openings as shown in the housing of FIGURES l and 3;
FIGURE 4A is a view similar to FIGURE 4 illustrating a connector in the opening;
FIGURE 5 is an exploded view of a connector block incorporating principles of this invention, adapted to contain six electrical circuits;
FIGURE 6 is a perspective view, partially broken away, illustrating a second embodiment of a means of clamping the cables into the housing block;
FIGURE 7 is a view similar to FIGURE 6 showing the cable clamping means in released position;
FIGURE 8 is an assembly view including the cable clamp of FIGURE 6 showing the connector block and cables in locked or connected position;
FIGURE 9 is a view of the parts shown in FIGURE 1 showing individual cable connecting means prior to their being joined together;
FIGURE 10 is a View of the parts shown in FIGURE 9 showing these components in their locked together position;
FIGURE 11 is a perspective view of the parts shown in FIGURE 5 showing the electrical connector housing mounted in a panel. Also this view illustrates the cables sealed in a shell and crimped together as well as suitable dies for crimping said cables;
FIGURE 12 is a perspective view of the clamping sleeve; and
FIGURE 13 is a view similar to FIGURES 6 and 7 showing the cable retaining means in released position.
States Patent 0 ice Basically the structure forming the invention may be divided into two categories. One category includes the means for linking the electrical conductors together as shown in FIGURES 1, 9 and 10. The other category comprises the block or housing which retain the connector means in assembled position as shown in FIGURES 2, 3 and 5.
Considering first the terminals or connecting means, as shown in FIGURES l and 9, they are identical units so that only one of them need be described. As shown in FIGURE 1, these connectors may be stamped out of flat stock and folded over to form a pair of blades 10 and 12. In their folded-over position, these blades are spaced apart a distance slightly less than the thickness of the stock. This forms a connecting means which is hermaphroditic and permits the insertion of the corresponding blade of the opposite connector, whereby the resiliency of the blade will hold the members in tight contact. Since the opposite member is formed in a similar manner, the first connector is also held the same way. The forward end 14 of the outer blade 12 is curved outwardly at its tip to permit easy insertion.
The opposite end of the connector 18 is wrapped around the bare end of a conductor and crimped thereon.
The intermediate section 16 of the connector has an outside diameter which is slightly less than the inside diameter of the housing or block into which it fits. A slight key 20 projects from the intermediate surface and runs longitudinally of the surface. This abutment forms a key with the housing as will presently be described. The outer surface of the connector tapers down to the blade to form a conical surface 16'.
Directing attention now to the housing, the basic unit of this assembly comprises a rectangular block 22 (FIG- URES 2 and 3) formed of an insulating material, preferably a molded plastic. A plurality of cylindrical openings 30 are disposed in the block in parallel relationship and at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the block. As previously suggested the inside diameter of these openings is slightly larger than the outside diameter of the intermediate portion 16 of the connectors. Thus it is seen that the connectors form a loose lit with the inside of the block thus keeping the connectors in parallel alignment but permitting some flexibility. A detent 32 (FIGURE 4) is formed on the inside of the opening to accommodate the key 20 on the connector. While six openings are shown in the preferred embodiment, it is obvious that any combination would be suitable, depending on the function of the unit. The part 20 constitutes an outwardly extending resilient spring member (FIGURE 9) which is urged inwardly as the connector is inserted into the housing from the bottom (FIGURE 4). When the connector is fully inserted, the spring 20 snaps outwardly again into the slot 32 and is thus locked against removal. To extract the connector, a fiat blade, such as a small screw driver, may be inserted into the top of the slot 32 to force the spring inwardly and facilitate removal of the connector.
Dovetail grooves 34 run the length of the outside surface of the block on each of its long sides. These grooves permit insertion of a member for locking the housing to a panel or in stacking the units and will be described later.
It is observed (see FIGURE 2) that one end of the block 22 has a pair of notches 36 cut into the corner of the block. Aligned with these notches are dependent projections 38. It is obvious that when these blocks are stacked together the dependent projections 38 of any given block will mate with the corresponding notches 36 on the adjacent block. This will lock the two members against lateral movement.
Also depending from the end of the block and disposed between the projections 38 is a tab 4% This tab 40 has a barb at its lower end. The tab is aligned with a slot 42 in the upper edge of the block. The slot 42 is disposed between the notches 36 and is tapered inwardly on its inner surface with a second slot 44 at its inner end. Again considering two blocks in stacked relationship, it is apparent that the tab 44 will enter the slot 42 so that the barbed end of the tab will be forced inwardly until it passes the lower edge of the slot at which time it will again spring outwardly into a slot 44 to form a locking detent.
As shown in FIGURE 2, the block is symmetrical so that the slot and tab arrangement on one end is in inverted relationship to the slot and tab arrangement on the opposite end. This permits the blocks to be reversed when they are stacked. This slot 44 also permits access to the barb so that if it is desired to disengage the blocks, the tab 40 may be sprung inwardly and the blocks withdrawn from each other. A ridge &6 surrounds the faces of the block which are in sealing engagement. This ridge is adapted to accommodate a sealing ring should it be desired to make a moistureproof seal at the face-to-face engagement of the blocks.
The apertures 30 in the blocks (FIGURE 4) taper from a circular cross-section at one end to an oval cross section at the opposite end and are adapted to locate the terminals in position. As shown in FIGURE 4 a conical surface 31' in the aperture coacts with the tapered portion 16' on the terminal barrel. These mating surfaces locate the terminal in the apertures in the block.
As illustrated in FIGURE 4A, and previously described, the cylindrical portion of the opening receives the cylindrical portion 16 of the terminal. The detent 20 on the outside of the terminal barrel locks into the detent 32 on the inside of the opening to orient the blade portions against longitudinal and rotation move ment. The slot 32 extends outwardly to the face of the block to permit access to the detent 20 whereby the detent may be depressed and the terminal removed from the block.
It is obvious from the above that the terminals are connected by securing them to wires as shown in FIG- URE 1, snapping the male members into one of these blocks, and the female members into a pair of stacked blocks (so that the blades do not protrude). The blocks are then joined by snapping them together in face-to-face relationship. Should it be desired to add one or more units of blocks, the second block may be joined to the male member in side-by-side relationship. As shown in FIGURE 5, a rod 33 having V-shaped grooves on each side constitutes a double-dovetail connecting rod and may be slipped into each of the corresponding dovetail grooves 34- on the sides of the block. It is obvious now that the member comprises a unit of twelve conductors rather than six. A similar female circuit can be arranged whereby the resulting connector is designed to secure twelve circuits together. This number may be increased in combinations of the numbers of circuits designed into the basic unit.
To connect or clip the housing block into a panel, a panel engaging member generally indicated at 47 (FIGURE having a dovetail 50 may be inserted into the dovetail groove 34 in the side of the block. This member has a clip 48 on one side and a wing-like memher .9 on its opposite end. The clip portion 48 is resilient and has an under-cut section 48. The panel engaging member may be inserted into a panel, whereby the resiliency of the clip 48 will permit it to pass the edge of the panel. After it has passed the edge of the panel it will snap back into place so that the under cut portion 48' will cooperate with the Wings 49 to hold this member in the panel. The wings being U-shaped will accommodate panels of difiFerent thickness. The
L side of the block 22 prevents lateral movement of the clip 48 to lock the panel engaging member in position. This member may be released by removing the block 22 and releasing the clip 48. This release mechanism permits the locator to be retracted from the edge of the panel.
A shell 60, as shown in FIGURE 5, comprises a means for sealing the lead wire end of the terminals. A pair of tabs on the shell fit into the notches 36 and a pair of recesses on the opposite end accommodate projections 38 on the end block. The rim of the shell is of reduced cross sectional area and thus retains the barrels 16 of the terminals within the block. The shell also includes the same construction as the barbed tab 49, tapered slot 42, etc. Thus the shell is secured to the block and includes parts corresponding to those by which each of the blocks is secured to each other.
A cable-clamping sleeve 62 surrounding a resilient sleeve 63 may he slipped over the bundle of insulated wires and crimped in place by any suitable deforming dies (FIGURE 11). This not only seals the lead end of the connectors but additionally provides a strain relief so that it will resist pulling the wires out of the terminals when tensile stress is placed on the wires.
If a separable connection is desired a second embodiment as shown in FIGURES 6-8, l2 and 13 may be used to enclose the bundle of wires. This embodiment includes a wedge-shaped holding means 70 inserted in a slot '72 in the shell. The outer face of this holding means has serrated teeth which match serrations of teeth on a complementary member '74 on the inside of the shell. This complementary member 74 as shown in FIGURE 13 may be slidable in the inside surface of the shell by means of a tongue and groove connection. Thus with the shell in place and the locking means 74 inserted in the groove, the wires are fed through the Shell and the wedge is forced into place. When it is desired to disconnect the wires, the locking means '74 can be moved downwardly (as shown in the drawings) with respect to the wedge to disconnect it. This may be accomplished by working the locking means downwardly with a sharp instrument through aperture 76 in the shell (FIGURE 12).
Thus the basic unit consists of a block 22 and a connector 12. A plurality of identical blocks and identical connectors may be combined to form a multiple connector having infinite variations. Additionally the conductors may be secured to the cables by either a permanent sealed connection or by a separable connection and the entire unit mounted in a panel.
The arrangement shown herein provides a modular assembly which may be stacked indefinitely. Thus the same blocks may be used regardless of the length of the connectors. Longer connectors can be employed by merely adding more blocks. Shorter connectors would require fewer blocks. This is particularly useful where the connectors are fed through a panel and the blocks plugged into the exposed blocks in the rear of the panel. Furthermore, the blocks may be snapped together and locked in place for ease in assembly. Disassembly can be accomplished with the proper tool.
Changes in construction will occur to those skilled in the art and various apparently difierent modifications and embodiments may be made without departing from the scope of the invention. The matter set forth in the foregoing description and accompanying drawings 15 oifered by way of illustration only.
1. A unit for forming a connection between a plurality of conductors, capable of being disconnected, including a block, a plurality of parallel apertures in said block, connecting means in each aperture, means at each end of the block integral therewith for looking it to a similar block in either identical relationship or longitudinally 5 invented relationship, said locking means comprising a dovetail slot on one edge of one end of the block and a depending locking tab on a parallel edge of the same end, said locking tabe including a barb thereon and a mating undercut portion in the slot, and a similar slot the tab in inverted relationship at the opposite end.
2. A unit for forming a connection between a plurality of conductors, capable of being disconnected, including a block, a plurality of parallel apertures in said block, connecting means in each aperture, means at each end of the block integral therewith for locking it to a similar block in either identical relationship or longitudinally inverted relationship, said locking means comprising a dovetail slot on one edge of one end of the block and a depending locking tab on a parallel edge of the same end, and a similar lock and tab in inverted relationship at the opposite end, said connecting means 6 being hermaphroditic whereby two sets of similar units may be secured to each other.
3. The device of claim 2 including a releasable means for locking the connectors in oriented position in the apertures.
References Gated in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 848,505 Steinberger Mar. 26, 1907 2,397,102 Graham Mar. 26, 1946 2 ,397,283 Martin Mar. 26, 1946 2,632,780 Whitehouse Mar. 24, 1953 2,741,750 Barre Apr. 10, 1956 2,750,572 FOX June 12, 1956 2,780,791 Morschel Feb. 5, 1957 2,814,787 Jessup Nov. 26, 1957 2,888,660 Fox May 26, 1959