US 3189866 A
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- June 15 196s M. LAZAR 'ETAL TERMINAL BLOCK CONNECTOR Filed Sept. 21, 1962 INVENTORS N/c/m EL LAZAR ROBERT KNOWLES 3,189,866 TERMINAL BLOCK 'CGNNECTOR Michael Lazar, White Plains, N.Y., and Robert G.
Knowles, Norwalk, Cnn., assignors to Burndy Corporation, a corporation of New York Filed Sept. 21, 1962, Ser. No. 225,219 5 Claims. (Cl. 339- 198) Our invention relates to a terminal block connector wherein connections may be made for the distribution of power or for grounding of common circuits.
It is an object of the invention to provide a plurality of continuously insulated conductive strips from which a plurality of sets of connections may be made.
A further object is to provide a terminal block comprising a plurality of connected insulating housings each individually supporting a conductive strip in locked position.
Other objects are to provide the insulating housings with means for receiving and securing the conductive strips in position; to provide an insulating housing that may be extruded into desired lengths, or cut to size; to provide an insulating housing that has a transverse cross-section that will permit laterally inserting the conductor strip into secured position; to provide the housings with interlocking fastening means for securing the individual housings to each other; to provide insulated strip conductors that may be individually enclosed in extruded housings; to provide a terminal block comprising a plurality of insulated conductive strips that may be individually removed and replaced; and to provide a device of the foregoing character that is simple and economical to make and install, and which is suitable in construction, for miniaturization.
We accomplish these and other objects and obtain our new' results as will be apparent from the device described in the following specification, particularly pointed out in the claims, and illustrated in the accompanying drawing in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the terminal block connector with a portion of the housing removed to show the conductor strip, and with a single pin connector shown in exploded position.
Referring more in detail to the drawing, reference numeral designates several insulating housings, each containing a conductive contact strip 20. The conductive strip and the insulating housings are preferably designed to permit longitudinal insertion of the strip lengthwise into the housing. This is accomplished by employing housings having a substantially uniform transverse cross-section at all points along the longitudinal axes thereof.
In the illustrated example, the contact strip is stamped of sheet metal with fingers 22 and 24 bent to form axially extending sockets 25 for receiving and gripping pin contacts such as 26. Pin contacts 26 are ordinarily employed as terminations for external conductors such as wires 33. The individual socket contacts are joined to each other by means of the bridge or seat portion 28 which is offset, as at 29, from the plane of the conductor support portion 27. The upper ends of the conductor support members may be provided with a tab 30 for a purpose to be hereinafter explained.
Each dielectric housing 10 has a pair of upright legs 13 and formed into a generally U-shaped configuration adapted to enclose the exposed metal of the electrical connections, and is substantially uniform in crosssection to enable the housings to be formed economically by extrusion.
Offsets 11 and 12 are formed in leg 13 to conform the surfaces of the leg to the profile of the assembled contact strip and pin connections, while the channel 14 in United States Patent 0 "ice .leg 15 receives the oifset seat 28 when the strip is longitudinally inserted in the recess 23 between legs 13 and 15. Engagement of offset seat 28 in channel 14 axially positions the strip in the housing and prevents axial displacement of the sockets 25 when the pin connectors 26 are inserted or removed therefrom. The cut-off ends 32 of the contact strip, actually part of a bridge or seat 28, may be bent over adjacent both ends of the housing after insertion as one means of preventing longitudinal movement of the strip within the housing.
A plurality of adjacent housings 10 may be compressed together by end brackets such as 40 and 42 and secured in compressed position by attaching screws such as 44 fastened to a convenient supporting structure (not shown). However, in the embodiment shown, the adjacent housings are provided with snap fitting or interlocking tongue and groove portions 46 and 48 to positively couple adjacent housings and provide a unitary structure.
To reduce space and material requirements leg 15 may be made shorter than leg 13, and the outer surface of each leg 13 may be recessed as at 16 to accommodate an adjoining leg 15, thereby reducing the overall width of the housings when assembled. The upper edge of each leg 15 may be beveled as at 17 to engage the bent-over tab 30 to help seat the strip and to guide the pin connector 26 into the socket 25. The combination of tab 30 and offset 12 serves to provide smooth transition surfaces between the sides of leg 13 in one housing, leg 16 in an adjacent housing, and slot 23 in the adjacent housing, to facilitate pin insertion.
End bracket 42 may be of any height, for example as shown, or may be made equal to the height of leg 13 to completely enclose the immediately adjacent connections. End bracket 40 may be of any configuration, the embodiment shown being merely exemplary, but should as shown be of sufiicient size and strength to transmit restraining forces from attaching screws 44 to the assembled housings 10.
The construction illustrated makes possible the assembly of conductive contact strips and dielectric housings into a unified structure by simple lengthwise insertion of each strip into a housing and subsequent bending of one or more end tabs on the strip. The construction further permits removal of any connector strip from its housing independently of adjacent housings and connections and similarly permits separation of individual housings. The individual housings may be advantageously and inexpensively produced by extrusion and, since they may be cut to any desired length, the requirement of a large inventory of different sizes is eliminated. Connector strips 20 may likewise be inexpensively produced from sheet metal by well known sheet metal forming processes such as blanking and stamping, and may likewise be cut to any desired length.
We have thus described our invention, but we desire it understood that it is not confined to the particular forms or uses shown and described, the same being merely illustrative, and that the invention may be carried out in other ways without departing from the spirit of our invention, and therefore we claim broadly the right to employ all equivalent instrumentalities coming within the scope of the appended claims, and by means of which objects of our invention are obtained and new results accomplished since the particular embodiments herein shown and described are only some of the many that can be employed to obtain these objects and accomplish these results.
1. A terminal block connector for electrically joining tWo or more conductors, comprising: a plurality of longitudinally extending strips of conductive metal, each strip having a plurality of seat portions offset from the plane of said strip and a plurality of transversely positioned contact portions each adapted to engage a conductor thereto; a plurality of longitudinally extending dielectric housings, each having a uniform transverse provided With. longitudinally extending interlocking means on opposite sides thereof for securing adjacent housings in side-byside relationship into a unitary assembly.
2. A connector in accordance with claim 1 further including an end bracket adapted to'be secured to a support structure and having a longitudinally extending interlocking means for engaging an interlocking means on an end-most housing of said unitary assembly, whereby the assembly may be secured in fixed relation to a support structure.
3. A connector in accordance with claim 1 wherein at least one side of each said housing is shaped to in part receive the correspondingly opposite side of an adjacent housing to form a substantially smooth transi- 4 tion from the side of said one housing to the slot of said adjacent housing.
4. The connector of claim 1 wherein the transverse cross-section of each said housing is substantially U- shaped and said strip is disposed between the legs thereof; at least oneleg of the U being stepped to provide offset portions creating varying spacing between the legs of the U to accommodate different sized portions of the conductive strip. 7
5. The connector of claim 4 wherein thelegs of said U are of diflerent heights and one of. said legs, in each housing extends above the metal conducting strip therein to form an insulating barrier between said strip and the strip of an adjacent housing.
References (Iited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,441,393 5/48 Buchanan et al.
2,903,671 9/59 Dreher et a1 -s 339-198 2,965,872 12/60 Linn 339--198 X 3,005,180 10/61 Dreher 339--198 3,034,093 5/62 Blain 339-198 3,056,103 9/62 Kulka 339-498 JOSEPH D. SEERS, Primary Examiner.