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Publication numberUS3112974 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 3, 1963
Filing dateMar 29, 1962
Priority dateMar 29, 1962
Publication numberUS 3112974 A, US 3112974A, US-A-3112974, US3112974 A, US3112974A
InventorsCharles R Curtis, Lincoln E Roberts
Original AssigneeAmp Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multi-contact electrical connector
US 3112974 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1963 c. R. CURTIS ETAL 3,112,974

MULTI-CONTACT ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed March 29, 1962 United States Patent 3,112374 MULI'I-CGNTACT ELECTRICAL CQNNECTOR Charles II. (Curtis, Camp Hill, and Lincoln E. Roberts,

Harrisburg, Pa, assignors to AMP Incorporated, Harrishurg, Pa.

Filed Mar. 29, 1962, Ser- No. 183,554 Claims. (Cl. 339-) This invention relates to multi-contact electrical connector assemblies and particularly to an improved insulating block for such assemblies.

An object of the invention is to provide an improved hermaphroditic connector block. A further object is to provide a connector block which is self-polarizing and which permits keying of the two blocks of a connector assembly in order to prevent mismatching among two or more connector assemblies. A still further object is to provide a hermaphroditic connector block adapted to receive contacts which project from the mating face of the block and which has a hood in surrounding relationship to the projecting contacts.

These and other objects of the invention are achieved in a preferred embodiment comprising a dielectric block formed as a unitary molding and having a mating face onto which the contact receiving cavities open. A plurality of spaced-apart flanges are provided on the sides of the block and in surrounding relationship to the mating face to form a shield or enclosure in protective relationship to the projecting ends of the contacts. Recesses complementary to the flanges are formed on the sides of the block and between adjacent flanges and the flanges and recesses are so spaced that the block is matable with an identical block and is self-polarizing with respect thereto. In addition to polarization, the preferred embodiment of the invention permits keying of each individual block to its mating counterpart upon removal of one of the flanges on one of the blocks and insertion of a blocking wedge into the corresponding recess of the other of the blocks. With this arrangement, only the blocks so keyed can be assembled to each other since a third block which did not have the appropriate flange removed could not be assembled to the block having a wedge in the appropriate recess.

In the drawing:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing a connector assembly in accordance with the invention.

FIGURE 2 is a top plan view showing a pair of connector blocks spaced apart and in alignment with each other preparatory to theirbeing brought into engagement.

FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 but showing the blocks in engagement with each other.

FIGURE 4 is a view taken along the lines 4-4 of FIGURE 2; and

FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of a blocking wedge used for keying connector blocks to each other.

A connector assembly in accordance with the invention comprises a pair of blocks 2, 2 which are identical to each other so that a description on one will suffice for both. Accordingly, only the block 2 will be described in detail and the same reference numerals differentiated by prime marks, will be employed to denote corresponding parts of the block 2'.

The block 2 comprises a generally rectangular unitary molding having shoulders 4 on its opposite ends. Jack screws 6 are rotatably mounted in the shoulders for engagement with complementary sockets 6 which are nonrotatably mounted in the block 2' to provide a mechanical advantage if required when the blocks are assembled to each other and to hold them in assembled relationship. A plurality of contact receiving cavities 3 extend through the block 2 from the rearward surface to the 3,112,974 Patented Dec. 3, 1963 mating face 12 which is disposed against the face 12' of the block 2' when the blocks are assembled to each other. Contacts secured to the ends of wires are disposed in the cavities and have projecting end portions which extend beyond the surface of the mating face 12. The contacts are not shown in the drawing in the interest of clarity since the blocks themselves, rather than the contacts, are the subject matter of the instant invention. The generally rectangular cavities of the disclosed blocks are adapted to receive a hermaphroditic type contact as described in the copending application of Lincoln Roberts (Serial No. 183,542), filed March 29, 1962, although any suitable electrical contact can be used in a connector assembly in accordance with the invention.

A plurality of flanges I8, 19, and 26 integral with the block 2 extend from the sides of the block and surround the face 12 to form a protective hood or enclosure around the projecting ends of the contacts in the block. Recesses .16, 23 are provided between adjacent flanges and are complementary to the flanges so that the blocks are hermaphroditic, that is, the blocks are identical with each other and will mate with each other. The flanges and recesses are provided with complementary tapers as shown to facilitate the use of a keying wedge described below.

The hermaphroditic effect is achieved by virtue of the fact that the flanges are symmetrically arranged about the major axis B-B in the plane of the mating face 12 but are non-symmetrical with respect to the minor axis AA. Particularly, the flanges and recesses are disposed with respect to this minor axis AA such that it passes between a flange and recess on both of the sides 22, 23. Thus, the end 14 of the block 2 has a centrally located flange 18 which is diametrically opposed to a recess 16 on the opposite end 15 of the block. The side 22 of the block on the other hand, has flanges 26 which are diametrically opposed to flanges 27 on the opposite side 23, and the side 22 has recesses 28 which are diametrically opposed to recesses on the opposite side 23.

The cavities 8 in the blocks are also arranged symmetrically with respect to the axis 3-13. In the disclosed embodiment, these cavities are arranged asymmetrically with respect to the axis AA in order to achieve the hermaphroditic effect. Thus, in the disclosed embodiment, the axis BB bisects the central column of cavities and two columns are symmetrically arranged on each of its sides. The rows of cavities extending parallel to the axis AA are asymmetrically arranged, four rows being provided on each side of the axis. These rows may not be disposed randomly but must be arranged such that a cavity on one side of the axis of one block will be brought into registry with a cavity on the opposite side of the axis of a mating block when the two blocks are engaged with each other. As an alternative, the cavities may be arranged symmetrically with respect to both axes if registry is achieved when two identical blocks are brought together.

The face of the block must be symmetrical about one axis but need not be symmetrical about the other. For example, the face of the block might be in the form of a trapezoid.

Connector blocks in accordance with the invention are self-polarizing since they can not be brought into engagement with each other unless the recess 1-6 of the block 2 is aligned with the flange I8 of the block 2'. The practice of the invention thus achieves both a polarizing effect and a protective hood or enclosure in surrounding relationship to the projecting contacts without the use of specialized polarizing devices as have been common in the prior art. In addition to polarization, however, it is sometimes necessary to key each half of a connector assembly to its mating hal in order to prevent mismatching where two or more connector assemblies are mounted in close proximity to each other. Where two connector assemblies are so mounted, simple polarization will not prevent careless assembly of a part of one connector assembly with the corresponding part of the other connector assembly. In accordance with the instant invention, keying to prevent such mismatching is achieved by removing any one of the flanges of one of the blocks and inserting a wedge as shown at 37 into the complementary recess of the other one of the blocks. In FIGURE 2, the central one of the flanges 26 has been removed from the side 23' of the block 2 and a wedge 32 has been placed in the opposite recess 28 of the side 22 of the block 2. With this recess blocked by the wedge 32, it is impossible to assemble a block other than the block 2' to the block 2 in FIGURE 2 since the flange which would normally occupy the recess closed by the block 32 can not enter this recess. As mentioned above, theflanges and recesses are tapered in the directions of their lengths to facilitate the use of the wedge. Additionally, the recesses are reentrant at the bottoms of their sides as shown in FIGURE 4. This configuration prevents the -wedges from being accidentally removed after insertion.

In order to achieve complete keying of each of a group of connector assemblies, each individual connector assembly should be keyed in the manner shown in FIG- URES 2 and 3, that is, one flange should be removed from one connector block of each assembly and a wedge 32 inserted into the complementary recess of the other block of the assembly. Each individual assembly should, of course, be keyed by removal of a flange and blocking of a recess which does not correspond with a removed flange of an adjacent connector assembly. The disclosed embodiment of the invention provides seven removable flanges on each block so that seven different keying arrangements can be achieved with the one form of the block.

Changes in construction will occur to those skilled in the art and various apparently different 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 is offered by way of illustration only. The actual scope of the invention is intended to be defined in the following claims when viewed in their proper perspective against the prior art.

We claim:

1. A rnulti-contact connector block comprisin a generally prismatic unitary molding of insulating material adapted to be engaged with an identical block, said block having a planar mating face movable against the mating face of said identical block, a plurality of cavities extending through said block and opening onto said mating face, spaced-apart flanges on said block in surrounding relationship to said mating face and recesses between said flanges, said recesses being complementary to said flanges and adapted to receive said flanges, a first pair of opposite sides of said block having a flange on one side diametrically opposed to a recess on the opposite side, and a second pair of opposite sides having flanges diametrically opposed to flanges and recesses diametrically opposed to recesses whereby, said block is matable with and polarized with respect to said identical block, said flanges forming a protective enclosure in surrounding relationship to projecting portions of contacts disposed in said cavities.

2. A multi-contact connector block comprising a generally prismatic unitary molding of insulating material adapted to be engaged with an identical block, said block raving a planar mating face movable against the mating face of said identical block, said mating face being symmetrical about at least one axis of its plane, a plurality of contact receiving cavities extending through said block and opening onto said mating face, said cavities being symmetrically arranged with respect to said one axis, spaced-apart flanges on said block in surrounding relationship to said mating face and recesses between flanges, said recesses being complementary to said flanges and adapted to receive said flanges, a first pair of opposite sides of said block having a flange on one side diametrically opposed to a recess on the opposite side, and a second pair of opposite sides having flanges diametrically opposed to flanges and recesses diametrically opposed to recesses whereby, said block is matable with and polarized with respect to said identical block, said flanges forming a protective enclosure in surrounding relationship to projecting portions of contacts disposed in said cavities.

3. A device as set forth in claim 2 wherein one of said flanges has been removed from said block and the corresponding recess of said identical block has been filled whereby said blocks are keyed with respect to each other.

4. A multi-contact connector block comprising a prismatic unitary molding of insulating material adapted to be engaged with an identical block, said block having a planar mating face movable against the mating face of said identical block, said mating face being symmetrical about at least one axis of its plane; a plurality of rows of contact receiving cavities extending through said block and opening onto said mating face, spaced-apart flanges on said block in surrounding relationship to said mating face and recesses between said flanges, said recesses being complementary to and adapted to receive, said flanges, said rows of cavities and said recesses and flanges being symmetrically arranged with respect to said one axis, said flanges forming a protective enclosure in surrounding relationship to projecting portions of contacts disposed in said cavities.

5. A device as set forth in claim 4 wherein one of said flanges has been removed from said block and the corresponding recess of said identical block has been filled whereby said blocks are keyed with respect to each other.

No references cited.

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3364458 *Jun 1, 1966Jan 16, 1968Kernforschungsanlage JuelichUnviersal extension connector for use with indexed printed circuit boards and connector plugs
US3605068 *Apr 21, 1969Sep 14, 1971Western Electric CoElectric coupler
US3963294 *Feb 25, 1975Jun 15, 1976Rotaflex (Great Britain) LimitedElectrical current supply installations
US4376565 *Feb 17, 1981Mar 15, 1983Amp IncorporatedElectrical connector keying means
US4448467 *Sep 2, 1982May 15, 1984Amp IncorporatedConnector assembly having compact keying and latching system
US4449767 *Aug 30, 1982May 22, 1984Amp IncorporatedConnector assembly having improved keying and latching system
US4598962 *Mar 14, 1984Jul 8, 1986Motorola, Inc.Memory device retaining apparatus for portable data processor
US4618204 *Jun 20, 1984Oct 21, 1986Carpano & PonsConnection device
US4795375 *Jul 16, 1987Jan 3, 1989Williams Robert ACompression and torque load bearing connector
US4850904 *May 6, 1988Jul 25, 1989Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyConnector for telephone cables
US4900261 *Feb 23, 1989Feb 13, 1990Positronic Industries, Inc.Electrical connector system
US4929184 *Aug 30, 1989May 29, 1990Amp IncorporatedKeyed electrical connectors with jackscrews
US4934950 *Aug 30, 1989Jun 19, 1990Amp IncorporatedKeyed electrical connectors with jackscrews
US5000701 *Dec 22, 1989Mar 19, 1991Connectron, Inc.Plug-in electrical non-interchangeable connectors
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US5306161 *Dec 22, 1992Apr 26, 1994The Whitaker CorporationInterface system for angularly-converging printed circuit boards
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US5443398 *Jan 31, 1994Aug 22, 1995Robinson Nugent, Inc.Inverse backplane connector system
US5466171 *Sep 19, 1994Nov 14, 1995Molex IncorporatedPolarizing system for a blind mating electrical connector assembly
US5624279 *Dec 30, 1994Apr 29, 1997Berg Technology, Inc.Electrical header assembly having bridged coding bar
US5637019 *Nov 14, 1994Jun 10, 1997The Panda ProjectElectrical interconnect system having insulative shrouds for preventing mismating
US6595786 *Mar 22, 2001Jul 22, 2003International Business Machines CorporationElectrical connecting structure of mounted part, computer apparatus, and electronic equipment
US7077702 *Aug 4, 2004Jul 18, 2006Tyco Electronics CorporationTerminal position assurance with forward interlocking face keying
US7364472 *May 31, 2007Apr 29, 2008Yazaki CorporationConnector
EP1104048A2 *Oct 27, 2000May 30, 2001Tyco Electronics CorporationBlind mate electrical connector with mechanical assist means
WO1996021259A1 *Dec 28, 1995Jul 11, 1996Berg Tech IncElectrical header assembly having bridged coding bar
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/292, 439/681, D13/147, 439/680
International ClassificationH01R13/645, H01R13/28, H01R9/24, H01R13/64
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/28, H01R13/64, H01R2107/00, H01R23/02
European ClassificationH01R13/64, H01R13/28, H01R23/02