US 3167373 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 26, 1965 J. P. KostlcH 3,167,373
MULTI-PIN CONNECTOR WITH PROTECTIVE SHIELD Filed May 14. 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 i f mi i fllflul/ lll 15 E E i, zy
Jan. 26, 1965 J. P. KosTlcH MULTI-PIN CONNECTOR WITH PROTECTIVE SHIELD Filed May 14. 1962 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Jan. 26, 1965 J. P. KosTlcH 3,157,373
MULTI-PIN CONNECTOR WITH PROTECTIVE SHIELD Filed May 14, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 z mhlln 3,167,373 MULTI-HN coNNncron wrrn rrrornerrvn smsen John l. Kristien, deceased, late of Ontario, Calif., by Helen S. Kostich, administratrix, ntario, Calif., assignor to Northrop Corporation, Eeverly Hills, Calif., a corporation of California Filed May 14, 1962, Ser. No. 194,734 1 Claim. (Cl. Saw- 42) The present invention relates to electrical connectors and more particularly to a multi-pin connector having a depressible protective contact pin enclosure or shield.
Heretofore, multiple-pin male electrical connectors, having numerous small, relatively fragile, electrical contact pins, were subject to physical damage by accidental or rough treatment. In addition, exposure of these contact pins, such as during maintenance and repair under operating conditions, created an electrical shock hazard to personnel and liability of accidental short circuit of two or more of the pins together, particularly in large systems interconnected by cabling in which all relatively high voltages cannot be conned to terminating at female receptacles only, wherever a cable connection is disconnected or unplugged. Previous means for preventing pin damage and shock hazards have been cumbersome and inetfective.
It is an object of this invention to provide a multipin electrical connector with means preventing damage to the pins, accidental short circuiting thereof, and shock to handling personnel when the connector is separated from its mating receptacle.
A further object of the present invention is to provide means automatically covering and protecting the pins of a multi-pin male connector whenever itis unplugged.
It is another object of this invention to provide a multi-pin male connector structure having a simple, economical and reliable shield movable between two positions where the pins are exposed and enclosed, respectively.
A still further object of this invention is to provide simple means for removing individual contact pins of the plug.
Briey, the invention comprises a male connector having a recess in the pin end, and an elastically-urged shield having apertures therethrough for the connector pins, the shield being depressible into the recess when inserted into a corresponding mating receptacle. Additionally, the connector comprises selflocking contact pins adapted to be secured to external wire leads, and access means in the sides of the connector for unlocking, removal and replacement of individual pins without the use of special tools. Captive screw means are provided to secure the connector to its associated receptacle.
In the accompanying drawings,
FIGURE l is a composite side elevation and sectional view of a connector assembly, showing a pin enclosure shield in extended position.
FIGURE 2 is partial sectional view similar to FIGURE 1, showing the pin shield in retracted position.
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the connector assembly, showing the pin end thereof, as indicated by the line 3-3 in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the present invention, showing a different preferred form of retractable pin shield in the extended position.
FIGURE 5 is a cross section of the latter assembly, taken as indicated by the line 5-5 in FIGURE 4, showing the contact pins and their locking means.
FIGURE 6 is a bottom plan view of the assembly,
n viewed as indicated by the line 6-6 in FIGURE 4.
kUnited States Patent O 3,167,373 Patented Jan. 26, 1965 ICC FIGURE 7 is a longitudinal section view of the connector of FIGURE 4, taken at several levels thereof as indicated by the broken line 7--7 in FIGURE 6, showing the various internal parts and construction.
FIGURE 8 is a side elevation view of the connector with the cover removed and the pin shield in lretracted position, showing the pin unlocking access openings.
FIGURE 9 is a side elevation view of a further embodiment of connector assembly, showing a right-angled adapter thereon. i
Referring first to FIGURE 1 for a detailed description of the present invention, an electrical cable 1 is secured in a connector cover 2 by an integral clamp 4. A connector base 5 made of insulating material and having threaded inserts 6 is fastened to the cover 2 by lscrews 7. The ybase 5 is provided with a shield recess 9, Contact pins 10 supported in the base, and a pair of captive guide and shield retaining means such as the one shown at 1,1. Contact pins 1t) extend internally to an open space A1-2 for respective fastening to individual wires 1 3 in the cable 1.
A depressible and protective shield 14, also of insulating material, has pin apertures 15 and guide apertures Itri to permit free sliding movement over the pinsA 10 and retaining means 1l. A preloaded spring 17 installed on each guide means bears against the shield V14 to push the latter outwardly when the connector is disengaged from a corresponding mating receptacle (not shown) .i
Captive fasteners 19 `are to secure the connector assembly to the ymating receptacle when installed.
When the connector is disengaged, the shield 14jsprings out to the position shown in FIGURE 1, where the contact pins 10 are enclosed. When connected to its mating receptacle, the shield 14 is Aforced into the recess 9 as shown in FIGURE 2, and the exposed pins 10 are operatively connected in the receptacle.
FIGURES 4 through 8 illustrate a preferred embodiment dilering somewhat from that already described. In FIGURES 4, 5, and 7, the shield 14a is shown extended, while in FIGURE 8 the shield is shown retracted against the pressure of the internal springs. Corresponding parts are given the same reference numbers as in FIGURES 1-3 with the suiix a added. The cover 2a is a sheet metal part fastened to the base 5a by a screw 7a near each end of the cover 2a, as best shown in FIGURE 7. The captive fasteners 19a which secure the connector assembly to its receptacle (not shown) have a lock ring 2t) fitting into a groove inside the cover 2a so that they will not become separated when the cover is removed.
The contact pins 10a each comprise a flat strip of metal such as a copper alloy, doubled back on itself and ending in a curved out barb 21 which locks against the inner upper side of a pin removal aperture 22 in the side of the base Sa. A shoulder 24 on each pin 10a limits the downward location of the pin when inserted. The wires 12a are preferably crimped in the upper receiving portion 25 of the pin lila and may be soldered if desired.
By removing the cover 2a, the removal apertures 22 are reached, whereby individual leads can easily be unlocked and removed, as shown in FIGURE 8, by pressing inwardly on the barb 2l with any convenient instrument. This is made possible with a wire in either of the two rows, by providing the removal apertures on both sides of the base 5a, and inserting the pin with the barb thereof facing outwardly. It will be noted that the back side of each pin 10a is straight and the inner vertical extent 26 of the base Sa to the rear of each pin is smoothly continuous, whereby if a pin is inadvertently inserted backward, it will not lock to make it nonremovable.
f j ByA making the shield a free sliding t sides with the base recess, a jam-proof, reliable, easy'Y respectively for automatically forcing the shield out- In the embodiment of FIGURES 4 8, a clamp means 32 is provided inthe top ofthe cover 2a for leading out the wires 12a VFIGURE 9 shows an alternate 'form of ning a recess in the external connection end of said the invention whereina 'right-angled adapter 34 is pro- .vided at the top ofthe cover 2b. lA lwire entrance 35 in one edge o f Vthe adapter 34 guides the wires 12b out at the side for applications where adjacent plugflocations are encountered,
Insertion of this4 connector device into a .mating fi'e-v 3 lceptacle forces'the protective shield back into thecon nector base, thus permitting the male and female connectors to make electrical contact. As the connector is disengaged from the-receptacle,` the pin shield auto- `matically extends to provide anenclosure for protecting f the pins from physical damage. In addition, the shield provides insulation to prevent accidental short circuiting `of the pins as well as protecting operatingv personnel Y from possible electrical shock.
` ron all four workingoperation .is obtained. The pins may be permanently molded in the base,l or individually removable. Compactness is achieved by locating the shield retaining screws within the Vpin envelope area and by placinglthe; 1 l
screws7q andy captiverfasteners 19a as nearly, side, by side as possible (FIGURE 6). vAn indexing alignment feature is provided by vvchamfers 36 on only onefside of Atheshield 14a, so that when Athe receptacle is correspondbase,Y a rplurality Aof contact pins mounted in said 'base andA extending outwardly beyond the :end of said base, a shield member comprising a block having apertures therethrough corresponding to the locations of said pins, said shield beingslidably mounted over said pins and .fitting into said recess, elastic'means between Said base and said shield normally urging said shield outwardly to cover the extent of ysaid pins, shield retaining means limiting the extended position of said shield, said recess being deep enoughl to allow operative engagement of said pins in a corresponding receptacle when connected therewith, -a cover over the'end of said'base opposite the connection end, attachment means between said cover and said base,-fastenin'g apertures through said base at opposite sides thereof, fastening means in said apertures adapted to engage a structure to which said connector connects,' said pins being in two rows, eachsaid pin in cluding stop means thereon limiting the inserted position froni'the wire connectiongendof vsaid connector.
ingly shaped, the-connector cannot be reversedfr'om its Aproper inserted position.Y y
While` in yorder to comply -vention has been described in language more or less specic as to structural features, it is to benunderwith the statute, the in-A ,stood that -the invention is not limited tothe 'specificfeatures shown, but that the method and means herein disclosed comprise several forms of putting the invention References Cited hy theEXamner UNITED lSTATES PATENTS 2,053,386 y,9/36 whee1er 339-45 2,444,843 7/48 Modrey r 339-42 .2,691,147V y 10/54 Sutton et' a1. 339-217 2,710,384v 6/55 Dupre er a1. 339-45 n 2,902,665' 9/59 DAmi@ 339-92 X 2,927,296- 3/60 Boss er ai. v 339-217 X 3,020,513 V2/62 Quackenbush 339-91 Y I FOREIGNY PATENTS 1,188,558 3/59' France.'
into effect, and the invention is therefore claimed in any A no f itsforms 'or modications within the legitimate andy valid scope of the appended claim.
What `is claimed is: s Y v Y v An electrical connector comprising ja base, means d e- JOSEPH D. sEERs, lPrimary Examiner.
ALBER'I` H. KAMPE, THOMAS J. HICKEY, l Examiners.