US 3221095 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 30, 1965 J B, COOK 3,221,095
FLEXIBLE CONNECTING TERMINAL ASSEMBLY Filed July 9, 1962 F158 PIES III,
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m 2 Jo/Evz Brad/1a (oak United States Patent 3,221,095 FLEXIBLE CONNECTING TERMINAL ASSEMBLY John Brown Cook, North Haven, Conn., assignor to Reliable Electric Company, Franklin Park, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Filed July 9, 1962, Ser. No. 208,397 10 Claims. (Cl. 174-68.5)
This invention relates to a flexible connecting terminal assembly, suitable for use in various types of electrical work where there are a great number of electrical connections to be made.
It is an object of my invention to provide a one-piece unit which can serve as a terminal element for a multiconductor cable (not shown), or for the leads of a blackbox or other component.
According to my invention, the connecting terminal assembly comprises a terminal panel and a plurality of flexible patch cords, each of which cords may include a conductor pair, or several conductors. In the embodiment illustrated, each patch cord comprises a conductor pair.
A feature of my invention is that the patch cords may be grouped to facilitate coding, and this is of particular advantage where there may be one or two hundred conductor pairs.
Another feature of my invention is its small size and comparatively low cost. Because of the small size, my connecting terminal assembly is adapted for use either with miniaturized components or for ordinary components, and in the latter event, the small size and low cost make the present invention a particularly desirable substitute for some of the bulkier and more costly terminal arrangements now used.
The present device is especially suitable for use as a splice case terminal in communications work. It is pointed out in the copending application of Donald J. Smith, Serial No. 134,330, filed August 23, 1961, that the selection of a large complement or count involves much greater expense if a separate binding post pair is to be provided for each conductor pair of the cable stub.
According to the present invention, when my flexible connector is used as a splice-case terminal, due to its low cost it is possible to use a large complement. According to this use, each conductor pair of the complement is connected to a patch cord, and the connections are made in such a manner that the terminations provided on the terminal panel will be arranged in the numerical order of the conductor pairs of the main cable. For the sake of convenience, it is desirable that the complement at each splice case represent a group of consecutively numbered conductor pairs of the main cable. However, due to the low cost of my improved terminating means it is entirely feasible to maintain this consecutively numbered arrangement even where the complement contains numerous gaps provided that each gap represents only a few numbers. The patch cords corresponding to the unused terminals can then be cut off for the sake of neatness.
My invention also provides a compact and considerably simplified means for cross-connecting two main cables, the cross-connections being made between the terminal panels of each of the two flexible connecting terminals employed, and the location of the terminations on each panel corresponding to the coding of the conductor pairs in the respective cables.
With reference now to the drawings in which like reference numerals designate like parts:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a preferred embodiment of my invention;
FIGS. 2 and 3 are enlarged views taken along lines 2-2 and 33 respectively of FIG. 4 showing a suitable design for the printed circuits on the obverse and reverse sides of the base sheet;
FIG. 4 is a section taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged section taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 1.
Referring now to FIG. 1, the connector 10 is in the form of a laminated sheet assembly having a terminal panel 11 at one end, and a plurality of patch cords 12 at the other end which extend away from the terminal panel 11 and preferably are arranged in groups 13.
The patch cords 12 are of small dimensions and quite flexible. The terminal panel 11 need not be flexible, but according to the preferred method of fabrication, it is not rigid; on the other hand the small dimensions of the patch cords impart to them a much greater flexibility than that which pertains to the terminal panel 11 as a whole.
It is not necessary to arrange the patch cords 12 in groups 13, but it is convenient to do so, since the conductor pairs of the cable may have been numbered; grouping in five or ten facilitates the numbering or coding system.
As shown in FIG. 4, the assembly 10 comprises a base sheet 14 of insulating material, such as Teflon, having printed circuit material a and b on each side, and an overlay 15, 16 of insulating material which overlies the printed circuits. The overlay may be in the form of an enamel coating, or of sheet material such as transparent Mylar.
The printed circuits are provided in a conventional manner; for instance, copper or aluminum foil is suitably bonded to both surfaces of the Teflon base 14; then the copper foil is printed with an acid resist on each side, corresponding to the unshaded portions shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. Then the composite element 14 is etched which results in a plurality of conductor strips 1a, 2a, 3a, 4a, and 5a on one side, and 1b, 2b, 3b, 4b, and 5b on the other side. The upper ends of the strips a and b terminate in enlarged portions 0 and d, respectively, which are adapted to receive eyelets 17 and 18, respectively, to which the service drop wires, or other connectors may be soldered.
Then the base sheet 14 can be dipped in the case of a coated overlay, or assembled in the case of a sheet overlay. The lower portion of the laminated structure 14, 15, 16, thereof is then slit along slit lines 19 to provide the patch cords 12. The grouping is provided by cutting out slots 20 between the groups 13. In the alternative, the base sheet 14 may first be slit and slotted, and then dipped.
The patch cords 12 thus provide a flexible means for making suitable connections to the conductors of a cable, or to the leads of a black box or other component.
It is desirable to terminate the overlay 15 somewhat short of the lower edge of the base sheet 14 as indicated by the reference numeral 21 in FIG. 1. In the case of a coated overlay, the lower end of the base sheet 14 is masked before dipping; in the case of a sheet overlay, the sheet 15 is suitably dimensioned. This arrangement permits the exposed end 21a of each patch cord to be solder-dipped to facilitate the making of connections in the field.
When my invention is used in connection with communication cables in which the conductors are arranged in pairs, only one patch cord need be provided for each conductor pair, as shown in the drawings. Here the conductor strips 111 and 1b constitute the two elements of a conductor pair. In this instance, the overlay 16 may be terminated at the point 22, shown in FIG. 5, which is somewhat short of the termination point 2.1 of the overlay 15. Also, the printed circuit elements 1b are terminated somewhat short of the termination point 21. According to this arrangement, a portion 21a, 22b of each printed conductor strip 1a and 1b is exposed for making connections, but the exposed portions 21a and 2212 are offset from one another to avoid inadvertent short-circuiting by solder beads used in making the connections. The extent of offsetting may be much greater than that shown in FIG. 5.
The enlarged portions 1c and 1d are offset from each other, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, so that a particular eyelet 17 or 18 will not short-circuit the two elements of each conductor pair.
Any suitable circuit printing design can be adopted; preferably providing a repeating pattern.
The copper foil a and b is preferably bonded to the Teflon by a suitable cement, and in the case of a sheet overlay, the Mylar sheets 15 and 16 are bonded to the composite element 14 by cement, or heat, or both.
Although only a preferred embodiment of my invention is shown herein, it will be understood that various modifications and changes in the construction shown may be made without departing from the spirit of my invention as pointed out in the appended claims.
1. A flexible connecting terminal assembly in the form of a laminated article comprising a base sheet of nonrigid insulating material, a plurality of thin conductor strips arranged side by side on each of the two surfaces thereof and being electrically separated from each other, the conductor strips of one surface registering with the conductor strips of the other surface, and an overlay of flexible insulating material overlying each surface of said base sheet, one part of said laminated article being slit between said conductor strips to provide a plurality of patch cords each having a pair of oppositely disposed conductor strips, and another part of said article comprising a terminal panel having terminal means making electrical connection with said conductor strips, said conductor strips each having an end portion located on said terminal panel, the end portions of the oppositely disposed members of each pair being offset from each other, and said terminal means each including a conductor element which extends all the way through said laminated article and provides an electrical connection with only one of said end portions.
2. A'flexible connecting terminal assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which said conductor strips are in the form of printed circuit elements.
3. A flexible connecting terminal assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which said overlay is in the form of a coating.
4. A flexible connecting terminal assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which said overlay is in the form of a sheet.
5. A flexible connecting terminal assembly as claimed in claim 4 in which said base sheet is formed of tetrafluoroethylene and in which said sheet overlay is formed of polyethylene terephthalate.
6. A flexible connecting terminal assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which said terminal means are in the form of eyelets which extend all the way through said laminated article.
7. A flexible connecting terminal assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which said patch cords are arranged in groups, there being an equal number of patch cords in each group.
8. A flexible connecting terminal assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which said conductor strips are arranged in straight parallel lines.
9. A flexible connecting terminal assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which said conductor elements and their corresponding end portions are laterally offset from the longitudinal axis of their corresponding patch cord to provide a fanned out arrangement for facilitating the making of soldered connections, said terminal panel being wider than said one part to accommodate the full width of said fanned-out arrangement.
10. A flexible connecting terminal assembly as claimed in claim 1 in which each overlay, at the patch cord part of said laminated article, terminates short of the other ends of the respective conductor strips overlain by said overlay, thus exposing the ends of said conductor strips.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS ALFRED S. TRASH, Examiner.