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Publication numberUS3196378 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 20, 1965
Filing dateMay 10, 1963
Priority dateMay 10, 1963
Publication numberUS 3196378 A, US 3196378A, US-A-3196378, US3196378 A, US3196378A
InventorsBeckwith John R
Original AssigneeHenry Marchman, Sidney Wiesner
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical connector
US 3196378 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 20, 1965 J. R. BECKWITH ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed May 10, 1963 INVENTOR JOHN R. BECKW/TH ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,196,373 ELEQTRICAL CGNNETR .lohn R. Bechwith, Los Altos, Calif., assignor of thirtythree and one-third percent to Sidney Wiesner and thirty-three and one-third percent to Henry Marchman,

both of Sunnyvale, Calif.

Filed May 19, 1963, Ser. No. 2.795% Claims. (Cl. 339-46) The present invention relates in general to electrical connectors, and more particularly to an electrical connector adaptable for use in microcircuitry.

Connectors used with space vehicles or in conjunction with space travel, when operated in space, tend to have the mating parts thereof unite or freeze-up. The welding together of the mating parts may be referred to as vacuum welding, since it results from the rubbing action of metals under the slightest mechanical force in space devoid of atmosphere.

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide an electrical connector having particular application for space vehicles and space travel.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an electrical connector adaptable for use in microcircuits or microelectronics.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an electrical connector suitable for use in modularization.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an electrical connector with improved reliability and durability.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an electrical connector with quick make and break characteristics.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved electrical connector. 7

Another object of the present invention is to provide an electrical connector that has improved current carrying capacity at high local currents and that has improved con tact at low level currents.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved electrical switch.

Other and further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent to one skilled in the art from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective View of the electrical connector of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the plug of the electrical connector of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of one of the electrical contacts and support therefor for the plug shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a vertical section taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a vertical section taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of the electrical contact shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the socket of the electrical connector of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of one of the electrical contact receptacles and support therefor for the socket shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a vertical section taken along line 9- of FIG. 7, illustrated with an associated electrical contact spaced from the receptacle.

FIG. 10 is an enlarged sectional view similar to the one shown in FIG. 9, illustrated, however, with the associated electrical contact fully inserted into the receptacle.

FIG. 11 is an enlarged sectional view similar to the views shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, illustrated, however, with the associated electrical contact removed from the receptacle.

The electrical connector 5 of the present invention comprises a plug 10 (FIG. 1) and a socket 20 (FIG. 1). By inserting the plug 10 into the socket 20, an electrical connection is established. Conversely, by removing the plug Hi from the socket 26, the established electrical connection is broken.

According to the present invention, the socket 20 includes a leaf spring contact with the groove or channel and the plug It includes a mallet-shaped electrical connector contact. The leaf spring contact is yieldable from an unmated stable position to a mated stable position. When the mallet-shaped contact is inserted into the groove of the leaf spring contact, the leaf spring contact yields from the unmated stable position into the mated stable position. In so doing, the groove of the leaf spring contracts and the leaf spring contact embraces the malletshaped contact to establish an electrical connection therebetween.

When the mallet-shaped contact connector is urged to withdraw from the groove of the leaf spring contact, the leaf spring contact yields from the mated stable position to the unmated stable position. As a consequence thereof, the groove of the leaf spring contact expands. Thereupon, the mallet-shaped contact connector is released from the leaf spring contact and the electrical connection is broken.

Illustrated in FIG. 2 is the plug '10 of the present invention which includes a pair of pins or rods 21 and 22; The pins 21 and 22 have the axes thereof disposed in transversely spaced, parallel relation. Carried by the pins 21 and 22 are a plurality of T-shaped bodies 23-29, which are made of suitable insulating material and are nonconductors of electrical currents.

Each insulating body for the plug 10 comprises a horizontal section, such as horizontal section 23a for the insulating body 23, and a depending vertical section, such as vertical section 231) for the insulating body 23. Formed in the horizontal sections are suitable transversely spaced, horizontal openings, such as openings 23c and 23d for the insulating body 23, which receive the parallel pins 21 and 22. Thus, the pins 21 and 22 are horizontal and support the plug insulating bodies 23-29. As shown in FIG. 2, the plug insulating bodies 23-29 are disposed in juxtaposition with the vertical sections thereof disposed in alignment and with the horizontal sections thereof disposed in alignment.

Since the insulating bodies 23-29 are similar in construction and function, only the insulating body 23 will be described in detail. It is to be observed from FIGS. 3 and 5 that the horizontal section 23a has a greater width than the vertical section 23b and, hence, projects outwardly therefrom to form an overhanging portion. Formed in the overhanging portion is a suitable vertically disposed aperture 232. The horizontal section 230 also projects from the vertical section 23!) transversely in opposing directions to form shoulders 23 and 23g. In addition to the foregoing, formed in the vertical section 2.35 are longitudinally spaced openings 23h and 231' having rectangular cross-sectio-nal areas. The openings 23h and 23 terminate into and are separated by the portion of the insulating body 23 therebetween (FIG. 5).

Associated with each insulating body 23-29 is a malletshaped male electrical connector contact of suitable conducting material, such as male electrical connector contact 3d (FIGS. 3 and 6) for the insulating body 23. Since the male electrical connector contacts for the insulating bodies 23-29 are similar in construction and operation,

if) only the male electrical connector Contact 3% will be described in detail.

The mallet-shaped male electrical connector contact 30 (FIGS. 3 and 6 comprises an upright handle or arm 30a which is received by the vertically disposed opening 23e formed in the horizontal section 2301 of the insulating body 23. At the upper end thereof, the arm 30a is bifurcated for forming a lead tab 3%. The lead tab 3% projects above the horizontal section 23a of the insulating body 23, whereby an electrical conductor can be fixedly received or connected thereto with facility.

At the lower end of the arm 30a for thecontact 30 is'formed a longitudinally directed head or cylindroid 390, which is integrally formed therewith. The cylindroid 300 includes at the oppositely directed ends thereof flanges 39d and we, which have rectangular cross-sectional areas conforming to the configurations of the openings 23h and 23 formed in the vertical section 2312 of the insulating body 23. Through this arrangement, the

flange 30a is received by the opening 23 and the flange invention which comprises a pair of pins or rods 35 and 56. The pins 35 and 36 have the axes thereof disposed in transversely spaced, parallel relation. Carried by the pins 35 and 36 are a plurality of U-shaped bodies 4ti46, which are made of suitable insulating material and are non-conductors of electrical. currents.

Each insulating body for the socket 29 comprises a horizontal section, such as the horizontal section tiia for the insulating body 40, and transversely spaced, upright sections, such as upright sections 49b and 40cfor the insulating body 40. Formed in the horizontal sections are suitable transversely spaced openings, such as openings 40d and 40a for the insulating body 40, which receive the parallel pins 35 and 36. Thus, the pins135' and 36 are horizontal and support the socket insulating bodies 4945. As shown in FIG. 7, the socket insulating bodies 40-46 are disposed'in juxtaposition with the horizontal sections thereof disposed in alignment and with the vertical sections disposed in corresponding transversely spaced alignment to form a U-shaped channel.

' Since the socket insulating bodies 40-46 are similar in construction and function, only the socket'insulating body 40 will be described in detail. Formed in the inner wall of the vertical section 4% is a longitudinally extending V-groove 40f. Formed in the inner wall of the vertical section 40c is a longitudinally extending V-groove 40g, which is transversely spaced from the V-groove 46 in '7 horizontal alignment therewith. A centrally located, vertically disposed slot 4011 is formed in the horizontal section' 40a of the socketinsulating body 40. The uppermost wall of the vertical section 491) defines a flange 4% and the uppermostwall of the vertical section 40c defines a flange 40k. 7 a

Disposed intermediate the vertical sections 40b and 49c of the insulating body 41 is a leaf spring female contact 50 (FIGS. 8-11). The leaf spring contact 50 includes oppositely directed projections 50a and 50b that seat within the V-grooves 40) and 40g, respectively. Centrally located at the upper wall of the leaf spring contact 50 is a semi-cylindrical Wall 500 (FIGS. 9 and 11) that tially equal to the longitudinally extending dimension of theleaf spring. contact 56. When the cylindroid 300 is fully inserted into the receptacle Stid ofthe leaf spring contact 59 (FIG. 10), the leaf spring contact Ed at the female receptacle wall Stic contracts and embraces the cylindroid 3th of the male contact 38 so that there is a snug fit therebetween. Form this arrangement, the contact between the cylindroid 3&0 and the receptacle Wall 590 is enhanced and. improved for low level current. In addition thereto, the currentcarrying capacity thereof is improved for high level currents. Furthermore, the rubbing action therebetween is minimized to avoid vacuum welding. V

The body 59d of the leaf spring contact St) is disposed above the horizontal section 4% of the insulating body 40 and has anintegrally formed, vertically disposed lead tab 5% projecting downwardly therefrom through the .slot 4% ofthe socket insulating body 40 to extend outwardly therefrom for permitting the securing of an electrical conductor thereto for establishing an electrical connection.

, The T-shaped plug insulating bodies 23- are arranged to be received in snug relationship by the U-shaped socketinsulating bodies 4%46, respectively (FIG. 1). For this purpose, the width of the vertical section'23b of the plug insulating body 23 is substantially equal to the transverse distance between the vertical sections wb and 400 of the socket insulating body 40. Further, the thickness of the socket insulatingbody 4G is substantially equal to the thickness of the horizontal section 23a of the plug insulating body 23. When the vertical section 2311 of the plug insulating body 23 is inserted between the vertical sections dtib and 49c of the socket insulating body 40 and the shoulders 23 and 23g of the plug insulating body 23 seat on the flanges dtlj and 449k, respectively, of the socket insulating body 4%, the male connector contact St] for the plug insulating body 23 has activated the leaf spring contact 50 to cause the leaf spring contact 5% to yield to the position shown in FIG. 10. In so doing, the wall surrounding the female receptacle'Stic contracts to embrace the cylindroid 300 of the cont-act'iih without the presence of any relatively great rubbing force therebctween. i

It is to be understood that the male and/or female contacts of the electrical connector 5 of the present invention may be serrated, sanded or dimpled to mini-' mize the contact resistance, which occurs particularly at low current levels. While the contacts in the preferred embodiment have been shown as cylindrical contact surfaces, it is to be understood that dish and ball configura: tions may also be employed.

In the operation of the electrical connector. 5 of the a present invention, the socket 20 is placed on a suitable supporting surface, not shown, to form a U-shaped channel. Thereupon, the plug 10 is placed above the socket 2% to be lowered thereinto. At this time, the T-.

shaped insulating bodies 23-29 of the plug 10 have their vertical'sections ready to be lowered between the vertical sections of the U-shaped insulating bodies 40-46, respectively, of the socket 20 in unison (FIG. 1).

As the shoulders of theT-shaped insulating bodies 23- 27 of the plug 10 approach the flanges of the U-shaped V nector contacts to engage their associated leaf spring contacts. (See FIG. 9 for the unmated stable position.) After the insertion by the male connectors progresses to the condition of passing approximately one-half of the vertical travel, the engaged female leaf spring contacts will yield to assume the mated stable position, which is downward. (See FIG. 10 for the mated stable position.) The female receptacles of the leaf spring contacts will then embrace their associated male connector contacts at the cylindroids thereof to urge them along to the bottom-most point of the total travel (FIG. Theshoulders of the plug insulating bodies 2349 are now seated on the flanges of the socket insulating bodies 40-46, respectively.

At the bottom-most point of the insertion, the female leaf spring receptacle would have reduced its diameter to an amount less than the diameter of the cylindroid for the associated male connector contact in the event there was an absence of the associated cylindroid. However, when the associated cylindroid is present, the female leaf spring receptacle will be in intimate contact with the associated cylindroid of the male contact (FIG. 10). This intimacy assures an improved electrical connection to minimize power losses. The female receptacle of the leaf spring contact contracts as the leaf spring contact yields from the unmated stable position to the mated stable position. The yielding of the leaf spring from the unmated table position to the mated stable position is caused by the inherent yielding action of the leaf spring once activated by its associated male contact.

The male connector contact for each plug insulating body is made of good conducting material and, hence, is a conductor of electrical current. Likewise, the female leaf spring contact is made of good conducting material and, thus, constitutes a conductor of electrical current.

Therefore, as between associated mated connector contacts, such as the male connector contact 30 and the leaf spring contact 50, electrical current is conducted over the following path: connection to lead tabs 30b, arm 30a, cylindroid 30c, wall surrounding the receptacle 500, female leaf spring contact 50, and connection to lead tabs 502.

When the plug 19 is raised, the male connector contacts once again activiate their associated female leaf spring contacts causing the leaf spring contacts to return to their unmated stable position under their inherent yieldable action. (See FIG. 11 to illustrate the return of the leaf spring contacts to the unmated stable position.) During the return of the leaf springs to the unmated stable position, the receptacles thereof expand to release the heads of their associated male contacts.

It is within the contemplation of the present invention that electrical connectors may also include switches. For this purpose, the mallet-shaped contact, such as contact 30, is pivotally mounted for movement toward the away from the receptacle of the leaf spring contact, such as the leaf spring contact 50. The mallet-shaped contact may be manually or mechanically activated to make or break its associated leaf spring contact in a manner previously described in detail.

It is to be understood that variations and modifications of the invention disclosed herein may be resorted to Without departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:

1. An electrical connector comprising a first insulating body, a leaf spring conductor contact mounted on said first insulating body for yielding from an unmated stable position to a mated stable position, said leaf spring conductor contact being formed with a groove therein, a second insulating body received by said first insulating body, and a conductor contact on said second insulating body for engaging said leaf spring conductor contact within the groove thereof to activate said leaf spring conductor contact for causing said leaf spring conductor contact to yield from said unmated stable position to said mated stable position and to contract the groove thereof to embrace said conductor contact on said second insulating body.

2. An electrical connector comprising a first insulating body, a leaf spring conductor contact mounted on said first insulating body for yielding from an unmated stable position to a mated stable position, said leaf spring conductor contact being formed with a channel, a second insulating body engageable with said first insulating body, and a conductor contact on said second insulataing body insertable into said channel of said leaf spring conductor contact to activate said leaf spring conductor contact for causing said leaf spring conductor contact to yield from said unmated stable position to said mated stable position, said channel of said leaf spring conductor contact being constructed to contract and to embrace said conductor contact on said second insulating body as said leaf spring conductor contact yields from said unmated stable position to said mated stable position.

3. An electrical connector comprising a socket insulating body, a leaf spring conductor contact mounted on said socket insulating body for yielding from an unmated stable position to a mated stable position, said leaf spring conductor contact being formed with a groove therein, a plug insulating body received by said socket insulating body, and a conductor contact on said plug insulating body, said conductor cont-act on said plug insulating body being formed with a depending malletshaped Wall insertable into said groove of said leaf spring conductor contact to activate said leaf spring conductor contact for causing said leaf spring conductor contact to yield from said unmated stable position to said mated stable position, said groove of said leaf spring conductor being arranged to contract and to embrace said malletshaped wall of said conductor contact of said plug insulataing body as said leaf spring conductor yields from said unmated stable position to said mated stable position.

4. An electrical connector comprising a socket insulating body having a pair of upright sections interconnected by a horizontal section to form a U configuration, a leaf spring conductor contact mounted on said socket insulating body between said upright sections therefo, said leaf spring conductor contact being arranged to yield from an unmated stable position to a mated stable position, said leaf spring conductor contact being formed with an arcuate groove, a plug insulating body having a horizontal section with a depending vertical section to form a T configuration, said plug insulating body being arranged to be received by said socket insulating body with the vertical section of said plug insulating body disposed between said upright sections of said socket insulating body and with the horizontal section of said plug insulating body seating on the vertical sections of said socket insulating body, and a conductor contact on said plug insulating body, said conductor contact on said plug insulating body being formed with an arcuate wall insertable into said groove of said leaf spring conductor contact to activate said leaf spring conductor contact for causing said leaf spring conductor contact to yield from said unmated stable position to said mated stable position, said groove of said leaf spring conductor contact being arranged to contract and to embrace said arcuate wall of said conductor contact on said plug insulating body as said leaf spring conductor contact yields from said unmated stable position to said mated stable position.

5. An electrical connector comprising a socket insulating body having a pair of upright sections interconnected by a horizontal section to form a U configuration, a leaf spring conductor contact mounted on said socket insulating body between said upright sections thereof, said leaf spring conductor contact being arranged to be urged from an unmated stable position to a mated stable position, said leaf spring conductor contact being formed with a substantially semi-cylindrical receptacle, a plug insulating body having a horizontal section with a depending vertical section to form a T configuration,

of,said plug insulating body disposed between said upright sections of said socket insulating body and with the horizontal section of said plug insulating body seating on the vertical sections of said socket insulating body, and a mallet-shaped conductor contact on said plug insulating body with theshandlejthereof received by the horizontal section of said plug insulating body and with the head thereof received by the vertical section of said plug insulating body, said head of said conductor contact on said plug insulating body being insertable into said receptacle of said leaf spring conductor contact'to activate said leaf spring conductor for causing said leaf spring conductor contact to yield from said unmated stable position to said mated stable position, said receptacle of said leaf spring conductor'contact being arranged to contract and to embrace said head of said g conductor contact on said insulataing body as said leaf spring conductor yields from said unmated stable position to said mated stable position.

References (Iited by the Exaniiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,235,171 3/41 Schilgen et a1. 200-463 X 2,301,874 11/42 Hetherington 200-67 2,374,435 4/45 Jordan 200-67 2,468,846 5/49 Trainor 339-46 2,802,188 8/57 Badders e 339-17 3,061,694 10/62 Carlson 200-67 3,092,698 6/63 Brenneman 20067 JOSEPH D. SEERS, Primary Examiner.

W. DONALD MILLER, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2235171 *Mar 24, 1939Mar 18, 1941Telefunken GmbhContact for vibrators
US2301874 *Sep 30, 1940Nov 10, 1942Robert Hetherington & Son IncClicker plunger switch
US2374435 *Sep 16, 1943Apr 24, 1945Dominion Electrical Mfg IncSnap-action mechanism
US2468846 *May 14, 1948May 3, 1949Trainor Foster JElectric lamp and socket
US2802188 *Nov 21, 1955Aug 6, 1957Bell Telephone Labor IncElectrical socket connector for printed circuit boards
US3061694 *May 21, 1959Oct 30, 1962Hubbell Inc HarveyLeaf type snap action switch
US3092698 *Mar 4, 1960Jun 4, 1963Brenneman John HElectrical outlet and switch
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3264601 *Mar 10, 1964Aug 2, 1966Boeing CoElectrical connector
US3601763 *Feb 28, 1969Aug 24, 1971IbmPin-socket connection devices with torsioned pin contacts
US6491549 *Aug 17, 2001Dec 10, 2002Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co., Ltd.Backplane connector with juxtaposed terminal modules thereof
US6893300 *Jul 15, 2002May 17, 2005Visteon Global Technologies, Inc.Connector assembly for electrical interconnection
US6896558 *Jul 1, 2003May 24, 2005Perlos OyjConnector and contact wafer
US8172625 *Jun 24, 2008May 8, 2012Autonetworks Technologies, LtdSpherical terminal with guide groove
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/701, 439/634, 439/660, 439/848, 200/408
International ClassificationH01R13/33, H01R13/02
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/33
European ClassificationH01R13/33