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Publication numberUS3245024 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 5, 1966
Filing dateMay 28, 1964
Priority dateMar 23, 1962
Publication numberUS 3245024 A, US 3245024A, US-A-3245024, US3245024 A, US3245024A
InventorsEvans William Robert
Original AssigneeEvans William Robert
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Separable electrical connector for plural conductors
US 3245024 A
Abstract  available in
Images(7)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

w. R. EVANS 3,245,024 1 April 5, 1966 SEPARABLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR FOR PLURAL CONDUCTORS Original Filed May 25, 1962 7 Sheebs-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. \LLiHM R. Evnws W. R. EVANS April 5, 1966 SEPARABLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR FOR PLURAL CONDUGTORS SheetsSheet 2 Original Filed May 25, 1962 INVENTOR. Wuuem R. EVANS M WT MW April 5, 1966 W. R. EVANS SEPARABLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR FOR PLURAL CONDUCTORS Original Filed May 23, 1962 '7 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR. \IJ\L\ AM R. EvANs W. R. EVANS April 5, 1966 SEPARABLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR FOR PLURAL CONDUCTORS Original Filed May 25, 1962 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 Wmmm R. Evhws W. R. EVANS April 5, 1966 SEPARABLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR FOR PLURAL CONDUGTORS '7 Sheets-Sheet 5 Original Filed May 23, 1962 INVENTOR. \Jmmm K Evans April 1966 w. R EVANS 3,245,024

SEPARABLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR FOR PLURAL CONDUCTORS Original Filed May 23, 1962 7 Sheets-Sheet 6 Q BY M M-t W United States Patent 3,245,024 SEPARABLE ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR FOR PLURAL CONDUCTORS Wiiliam Robert Evans, 500 Hockersville Road, Hershey, Pa.

Continuation of applications Ser. Nos. 181,884, 181,996, and 181,998, May 23, 1962. This application May 28, 1964, Ser. No. 371,885

23 Claims. (Cl. 339-17) This application is a continuing application of my copending applications SN 181,884, SN 181,996 and SN 181,998, all filed March 23, 1962, and now abandoned.

This invention relates to an electric circuit system designed to permit quick connection and disconnection of a plurality of electric conductors carried by one member with a corresponding number of conductors carried by another member. The electric circuit system and especially the connecting means provided therein are adapted to maintain high reliability in assuring maintenance of circuit continuity after connection is established between the plurality of conductors respectively carried by the several members referred to. More particularly but without restriction to the specific details of exemplary circuit means and connecting mechanisms illustrated herein, the present invention pertains to an electrical connector in which the several leads of a circuit subassembly, such as of a printed circuit board, may be detachably coupled, quickly and reliably, to a corresponding number of circuit lines which incorporate the subassembly in a circuit system. The circuit lines alluded to may take various forms according to the conditions of a particular use, such as the printed lines on a mother board, a bundle of individual lead wires, a tape cable, or the like.

In modern electronic equipment especially, and particularly in equipment of such type comprising electronic computers, registers, calculators, and many other types of machines and apparatus in which great numbers of electric circuits and particularly sub-groups of electric circuits are incorporated, it frequently is possible to use relatively small-capacity current-carrying conductors which, in crosssection, can be very narrow and extremely thin. Particularly in such type of circuitry, connecting these delicate electric conductors of one set or group of conductors with a corresponding number of similar conductors of another set or group, presents many problems in regard to the saving of time, minimizing expense, establishing firm and lasting contacts under many adverse conditions of use extending over substantial periods of time, effecting replacement of mechanism units or sub-assemblies within the entire circuit system quickly and effectively, and many others.

Certain very complex and involved mechanisms have a great number of sub-units or components, in electronic computers or registers, which may not be used except rarely over long periods of time and yet, when they are to be used, the maintenance of the circuit must be sure and positive. Accordingly, even though operating when atmospheric conditions may be somewhat adverse, the circuit means connecting said units into the overall circuit must be such that it comprises a maintainable connecting means which has great reliability in assuring circuit continuity.

It is the object of the present invention to provide an electric circuit system comprising two supporting members each having a plurality of spaced conductors thereon which may be either of low current-carrying capacity or of greater capacity, and means to connect a predetermined number of the conductors on one member with a preferably corresponding number of conductors on the other member by disconnectable means that are quickly operable to establish connections between the conductors of "ice the several members that are of high reliability in maintaining circuit continuity.

A further object of the invention is to provide circuit connecting means which include blocks which are complementary to each other sufliciently to permit the ready connection and disconnection of the blocks, and firmly engageable contact means respectively are carried by said block whereby when said blocks are connected, the con tact means carried thereby likewise are firmly connected and circuits can be maintained through said contact means positively and over long periods of time, until the blocks are disconnected from each other, whereby the contact members will be disconnected from each other.

Still another object of the invention is to provide various novel and elfective means for connecting the contact means carried by the respective blocks firmly and physically thereto, while maintaining the contacts insulated from each other in each block, yet permitting quick and firm connection, preferably by sliding, frictional engagement, between the contact members carried by one block and those carried by the other block.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a plurality of different types of interconnectable blocks which, while embodying similar basic principles of the invention, offer a variety of convenient means for connecting a plurality of blocks respectively connected to different circuit means, to a single block connected to still another circuit means.

Another object is to provide a pair of interconnectable blocks for making connections to a printed circuit board or the like wherein the off-board connector block'has a basic design whereby it can easily be adapted for attachment to circuit means of diverse forms, i.e. individual lead wires, tape ca-bles, other printed circuit boards.

Another object is -to provide effective, yet simple strain relief means for flexible conductors attached to the connector blocks.

Another object is to provide for facile connections of the contacts to the blocks and to the electrical circuits coupled by the connector.

Another object is to provide an electrical connector capable of providing means to connect and disconnect a substantial number of conductors on one or more subsidiary or auxiliary printed circuit boards, for example, to a corresponding number of conductors on a so-called primary or mother circuit board, said connector comprising pairs of preferably frictionally engageable contacts corresponding in number to the circuits to be connected and the contacts of each pair respectively being carried by one of a pair of connectable and disconnectable blocks of an insulating nature and provided with means by which at least one surface, or means on one surface, of each block is firmly attachable to one surface of a printed circuit board.

Another object is to provide in the connector of the present invention a plurality of blocks which interfit and respectively have interengageable means that both guide the blocks relative to each other into connected relationship and also serve to hold said blocks connected together in mutually braced condition.

Another object of the invention is to provide the blocks respectively with means by which the contacts to be carried thereby may be connected securely to said blocks whereby, when said blocks in turn are connected to one surface of printed circuit boards, said contacts will be securely and firmly positioned relative to said circuit boards and the conductors carried thereby.

Still another object of the invention is to provide pairs of contacts which respectively are connectable to and carried by said blocks, one of said contacts of each pair being a channelled female contact altording a plurality of contacting surfaces engageable simultaneously with a blade-like male contact received within said channel and a plurality of contact surfaces of the female contact engaging opposite surfaces of said blade-like male contact, thereby to insure at least one effective contact engagement between said male and female contacts under substantially all expected conditions of operation of the device which includes the circuits that comprise said contacts.

Details of the foregoing objects and of the invention, as well as other objects thereof, are set forth in the following specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawings comprising a part thereof.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view showing a pair of complementary blocks which are illustrated in disconnected position, one of said blocks having a contact mounted thereon in partially assembled condition, while still another complementary contact which is connectable to the other block is shown in extended manner relative to said second block.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating said block members connected together, portions of the block means being broken away to illustrate details and parts of the circuit supporting members being shown in fragmentary manner.

FIG. 3 is an exploded vertical sectional view of the blocks shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 but illustrating the contacts within the blocks fully mounted in operative position therein, the pair of blocks and the contacts carried thereby being arranged for connection to each other.

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but showing the pair of blocks and the contact members respectively carried thereby in connected position.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary transverse sectional view as seen on the line 5-5 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a sectional plan view taken on the line 6-6 of FIG. 4 relative to a pair of contacts respectively carried by said blocks.

FIG. 7 is a transverse sectional view taken on the line 77 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary transverse section taken on w the line 8-8 of FIG. 7.

' shown in the preceding figures and having positioning means partially arranged in position to connect the contact to said block, while in broken lines, the same positioning means are shown in the positions they occupy when the contact is fully connected to said block.

FIG. 10 is a side elevation of a block member which is arranged for common connection to a pair of additional block members, the view illustrating the latter block members in position to be moved toward each other for connection to the first-mentioned block means.

FIG. 11 is another embodiment of one block means to which a plurality of additional block means commonly are connectable thereto, part of the supporting means for said one block means being fragmentarily illustrated.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view showing, in exploded manner, another embodiment of a circuit connector embodying the principles of the invention and illustrating insulating blocks in separated relationship and respectively connected to fragmentarily illustrated portions of printed circuit boards, said blocks also being illustrated as supporting a limited number of exemplary contacts.

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary bottom plan View of a portion of the conductors on the circuit boards to which said blocks are connectable.

FIG. 14 is an exploded vertical sectional view of the arrangement of circuit boards, blocks and contacts illustrated in FIG. 12, said circuit boards and blocks being in position to be moved into connected relationship with each other.

FIG. 15 is a view similar to FIG. 14 but showing a sectional view of the separated blocks and circuit boards at a different transverse position thereof to illustrate in conjunction with FIG. 14 the staggered relationship of adjacent contacts to enhance the insulation properties of the circuits, where required.

FIG. 16 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 14, but showing the circuit boards and blocks secured thereto, as well as the contacts carried by said blocks, in connected relationship.

FIG. 17 is a fragmentary sectional plan view of the end and intermediate portions of the blocks illustrated in FIGS. 12 to 16 for purposes of showing details of the guide and connecting means respectively on the blocks by which the same are guided into operative relationship and secured to each other.

FIG. 18 is a perspective exploded view of another embodiment of the invention and shows a fragmentarily illustrated portion of a rigid board having conductors thereon, fragmentarily illustrated portions of flexible insulated wire conductors, and a connector assembly including a plurality of blocks, separated pairs of contacts respectively attachable to said blocks, strain-relieving clamping means to receive said plurality of flexible wire conductors and secure the same against accidental separation from the block to which they are connected, cover means for certain portions of the contacts, and securing means for holding the connectable blocks in operative relationship.

FIG. 19 is a vertical elevation of one end of the connector assembly shown in FIG. 18, and illustrated in connected, operative relationship.

FIG. 20 is an enlarged vertical sectional view of the connector, taken on the line 2020 of FIG. 19, omitting the printed circuit board for purposes of clarity.

FIG. 21 is a sectional view taken along the line 2121 of FIG. 20.

FIG. 22 is an enlarged vertical View taken on the line 2222 of FIG. 19.

FIG. 23 is a similarly enlarged vertical sectional view taken on the line 2323 of FIG. 19.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, and especially FIG. 2, a fragmentarily illustrated portion of a rigid member 10 is illustrated. Fixed thereto is a plurality of electrical conductors 12. By way of specific example, the member 10 and the conductors 12 thereon may be a so-called printed circuit board. Also illustrated in FIG. 2 is another member which, in this embodiment comprises a flexible fiat tape cable 14 in which a plurality of parallel, flexible metallic conductors 16 are positioned in insulated relationship to each other, the body of the cable 14 preferably being made from suitable insulating material such as an appropriate synthetic resin. Likewise, the rigid member 10 is of insulated material so as to render the parallel conductors 12 thereon insulated electrically from each other.

The present invention primarily is concerned with connecting either a predetermined number, or all, of the conductors 12 of the printed circuit board with such predetermined number, or all, of the conductors of the cable 14. Accordingly, the connecting means illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 comprise a plurality of complementary blocks 18 and 20 which are arranged to be connected, respectively, with the rigid member 10 and the cable 14, by means to be described. The blocks 18 and 20 preferably are formed, by molding, from electric insulating material such as an appropriate synthetic resin.

The shape of the block 18 has been designed so as to render the same especially adapted to support a plurality of contacts comprising blades or blade-like members 22, in parallel relationship to each other and transversely spaced apart. It will be seen that in the preferred construtcion of the block 18, a plurality of notches 24 are formed in opposite edges, evenly spaced from each other a predetermined distance adequate to render the blades 22 fully insulated from each other. The lower surface of the block 18 is provided with a relief or clear- .5 a'rlce comprising a slot 26, and a plurality of openings or holes 28 extend through the block 18 from the upper surface thereof to the slot 26, for purposes to be described.

Each of the blades 22 is provided with means operable not only to secure the blades to the block 18 but also to attach the blades, electrically, to the conductors 12 of the printed circuit board 10, for example. The securing means illustrated herein comprise extensions or tongues 30 integral with the bars 22 at the opposite ends thereof, but only one of which is shown in FIG. 1, and extending transversely thereto so as respectively to be disposed in pairs of the notches 24 in opposite edges of the block 18. As best shown in FIG. 4, the board also is provided with openings 32 extending therethrough as well as through the conductors 12 thereon, whereby the terminal ends 34 of the tongues 30 may be connected firmly and permanently to the conductors 12, such as by soldering.

Intermediate the ends of the blades 22, there is formed integrally therewith a clinching tongue 36 which projects through one of the holes 28 in block 18 and the terminal end 37 thereof is bent or clinched over to engage the undersurface of the block 18 defined by the slot 26, as best shown in FIG. 5. Such arrangement preliminarily holds the plurality of blades 22 effectively connected to the block 18 sufficiently that it comprises a sub-assembly which readily may be positioned relative to the circuit board 10 to enable the extensions or tongues 30 of the blades to be disposed through the openings 32 in the board 10 and the terminal ends 34 of the extensions 30 then are bent into firm engagement with the conductors 12 and soldered thereto. Such soldering firmly secures the blades 22 electrically to the circuit formed by the conductors 12 and the final arrangement of said extensions 34 and ends 34 also secure the block 18 firmly to the circuit board 10, no additional means being necessary.

Inasmuch as the block 18 is secured to the circuit board 10 in the manner described above, the same forms a convenient mounting means to support, detachably, the block which is connected to the flexible cable 14 embodying the conductors 16, connection of which to circuit board 10 is desired. The block 20 supports a plurality of female contacts 38 which are best shown in perspective manner in FIG. 1 and in side elevation in FIG. 9. Said contacts preferably are formed by stamping from sheet metal and it will be seen especially from FIG. 1, that the contacts 38 have a central channel 40 extending longitudinally thereof which receives one of the blades 22. Especially to insure a plurality of firm engagements between the female contact 38 and one of the blades 22, whereby there is assured a good possibility of at least one of said plurality of engagements between the two connected contacts always functioning, it will be seen particularly from FIG. 1 that the opposite sides of the female contact 38 which define the central channel 40 thereof, have portions that are curved inwardly toward each other, at longitudinally spaced locations along the female contact 38, to form contact nodes 42. Inasmuch as the female contact 38 preferably is formed from highly resilient material, such as phosphorous-bronze, which inherently is capable of firmly pressing the contact nodes 42 against opposite sides of the blade contact 22 received therebetween.

The lower surface of the block 20 is provided, between ribs 43, with a plurality of longitudinal channels 44 which respectively receive one of the female contacts 38. It will be seen that the contacts 38 also are each formed with extensions 46 and 48 at opposite ends thereof. These extensions, as in regard to the extensions 30 on the blade contacts 22, serving both as positioning and securing means for the contact 38 as well as circuit-connecting means.

The upper surface of the block 20, as viewed in FIGS. 1 through 4, is provided with a plurality of longitudinal slots 50 which are parallel to and vertically aligned with the channels 44 in the lower surface of the block 20. Disposed between the channels 44 and slots 50 is a barlike portion 52. When the extension 48 and female contacts 38 are disposed within the longitudinal channels 44, they firmly engage the opposite side walls of the channel so as to at least temporarily or initially position the female contacts relative to the block 20. Then, the extensions 48 of the female contacts are bent around one edge of the bar-like portion 52 of block 20, as best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, to firmly secure one end of each of said female contacts relative to the block 20, while the extensions 46 of the female contacts 38 are first firmly connected to the conductors 16 of the flexible cable 14, such as by soldering, as illustrated in FIG. 9, and then the connected conductors 16 and extensions 46 are folded or bent around the opposite edge of the bar-like portion 52 of block 20, and disposed in slots 58 for maintaining electrical separation of the soldered joints, as shown in full lines in FIGS. 3 and 4 and in dotted lines in FIG. 9. This arrangement effectively positions the opposite ends of the female contacts 38 relative to the block 20 while, otherwise, the female contacts are positioned between the side walls of channels 44.

To position the flexible cable 14 and its conductors 16 firmly relative to block 20, the block 20 is provided with a base or platform surface 54 adjacent one end of the block. Projecting upwardly from said platform surface 54 are a plurality of preferably evenly spaced lugs 56 and, between the conductors 16 of cable 14, a plurality of slots or openings 58 are formed within the insulating body portion of the cable 14 for purposes of receiving the lugs 56. A cap 60 is connected to the block 20 such as by the opposite edges of the cap 60 being slidably received within grooves 62 formed in opposite sides of the block 20, as clearly shown in FIGS. 1 and 7.

The lower surface of the cap 60 is provided with several surfaces at different levels 64 and 66. Surface 64 engages the soldered ends of the conductors 16 to hold the same and the extensions 46 of the female contacts 38 against the upper surface of portion 52 of block 20, and surface 66 engages the upper surface of cable 14 to hold the same against the upper surface of platform portion 54 and thereby maintain the lugs 56 within the openings 58 formed in the cable. This arrangement effectively secures the cable against longitudinal movement relative to block 20 and thereby affords strain relief for the flat cable 14 and the conductors 16 carried thereby which, if desired, may be quite small in crosssection and, therefore, relatively fragile but readily handled when disposed within the cable 14 and connected by the means described above to the block 20 and the contacts 38 carried thereby.

The surfaces 64 and 66 preferably have small ribs 67 molded thereon respectively to engage the connected extensions 46 and conductors 16, and cable 14, as seen in FIGS. 2 and 7, and thereby hold these engaged elements firmly relative to the block 20. Also, the cap 60 preferably is sufficiently flexible that a latching detent 60 formed thereon, see FIG, 8, can snap over certain of the lugs 56 to maintain cap 60 releasably in operative position.

In order to effect quick and firm electrical connection, of a highly maintainab-le nature, between the female contacts 38 and the blade-like contact members 22, which contacts respectively are carried by blocks 28 and 18 so as to maintain the contacts on each of said blocks in transversely spaced and insulated relationship relative to each other, quite simple but durable and effective means are provided upon said blocks. It has been found, for example, that the particular structural outline of the contacts 22 and 38 are such that frictional and resilient engagement between the contact nodes 42 of the female contacts 38 on the opposite sides of the blade contacts 22 can be achieved best by relatively sliding the 7 same longitudinally. Such arrangement also permits the use of a very simple and somewhat delicate means for mounting these contacts respectively upon or within the blocks to which they are aflixed, as described in detail above.

Particularly in view of the preferred connection of the contacts 22 and 38 in -a sliding manner longitudinally thereof, the connecting means for the blocks 18 and 20, as illustrated in the drawings, comprises a pair of ribs 68 which are formed at opposite edges of the upper portion of block 18, as viewed in FIGS. 1 through 5 and 7 of the drawings, the opposite ends of said ribs preferably being beveled as best shown in FIG. 1. Said ribs are received within complementary grooves 70 which are disposed in opposition to each other respectively within the side walls of the block 20. The cross-section of the grooves 70 preferably are such as to snugly receive the ribs 68 and, to facilitate the engagement of the ribs and grooves, the entrance end of the grooves 70, as viewed in FIG. 1, is flared.

Referring to FIG. 3 particularly, it will be seen that the inner ends of the grooves 70 terminate in a movement-limiting stop 72 and, when the leading ends of the ribs 68 engage the stops 72, the blade contacts 22 will be substantially coincident, longitudinally, with the female contacts 38. Also, when'the contacts are so coincident, by reference to FIG. 6, it will be seen that the curved contact nodes 42 firmly engage opposite surfaces of the blade or male contacts 22. Thus, it will 'be seen that there are four definite points of engagement between the male and female contacts, this arrangement being considered a highly maintainable contact arrangement. By such an arrangement, even over a substantial period of time and notwithstanding relatively adverse atmospheric conditions, or the existence of vibration and the like to which the circuit assembly comprising the present invention may be subjected, it is reasonable to suppose that at least one of the contact nodes 42 will remain in electrical engagement with one surface of the blade contact 22 under all such conditions, adverse or otherwise.

While the structure illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 9 has shown the invention applied to only a pair of blocks 18 and 20 which respectively are detachably connectable and disconnectable from each other, by slightly expanding certain principles of the invention as described and illustrated in regard to said blocks, a plurality of circuitcarrying elements or members may be connected to another circuit-carrying member. Details of such expansi've employment of the invention are illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11 which respectively comprise different embodiments but employ a principle which is common to both however.

Referring to FIG. 10, the circuit system shown therein comprises a fragmentarily illustrated portion of a printed circuit board 10 having conductors 12 thereon, this structure being the same as illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 9. However, the block 18 is substantially longer in the direction of the blade-like contacts 22' than in regard to the block 18 and blade-like contacts 22 shown in FIGS. 1 through 9. Otherwise, the means for connecting the bladelike contacts 22' to the block 18' as well as to the printed circuit board 19 and conductors 12 thereon are the same as in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 9.

By rendering the block 18 and blade-like contacts 22' longer than those illustrated corresponding in FIGS. 1 through 9, and particularly if the same are rendered substantially twice as long as the corresponding elements in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 9, it is possible to connect to the circuitry of printed circuit board 10 at least a pair of flexible flat cables 14' which, for example, are similar to the cable 14 in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 through 9 and, likewise, the blocks 20' not only are similar to the block 20 of the embodiment of FIGS, 1 through 9 but the means for connecting the conductor elements of the cables 14' to the female contacts, not shown, but which are carried by the blocks 20', are substantially the same in all respects as the corresponding elements and members found in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 through 9. Thus, basically, the construction shown in FIG. 10 principally comprises utilizing opposite ends of the relatively stationary block 18 of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 through 9, said opposite ends respectively receiving one of a pair of blocks which, individually, are connected to separate flat cables, for example. By employing such structure however, it will be seen that by a very simple expedient, the basic principles of the invention can be utilized to connect more than a pair of elements of a circuit system respectively having a plurality of conductors thereon which are to be connected electrically with each other.

Referring to FIG. 11, wherein the printed circuit board 10 is fragmentarily illustrated but is substantially the same as that shown in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 9 and also the embodiment of FIG. 10, the board 10 is the supporting means for a plurality of conductors 12. In this embodiment however, rather than provide a block on the circuit board 10 which is substantially longer than the block 18 in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 through 9, the block 18" shown in FIG, 11 is, essentially, a pair of the blocks 18 of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 through 9 with the base surfaces thereof disposed in abutting relationship, either separably or integrally, depending upon the demands of the means to connect the various circuitforming elements necessary to electrically establish connection of the blade-like contacts 22", which are carried by opposed perpendicular surfaces of the block 18" with the conductors 12 on the rigid circuit board It). In all other respects however the electrical connections of the various components assembled with and carried by the block 18 are substantially the same as in regard to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 through 9.

In view of the disposition of parallel sets of a plurality of the blade-like contacts 22 on opposed surfaces of the block 18", it is possible to connect a pair of flexible flat cables 14 respectively with each set of blade-like contacts 22" through the employment of a pair of blocks 20". Said blocks are connected respectively to the cables 14" and it is to be understood that said blocks contain female contacts similar to contacts 38 shown in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 9. Said female contacts respectively are engageable .slidably with the blade-like contacts 22" carried by the opposite surfaces of the block 18", which contacts are perpendicular to the board 10, simply by sliding the block 20 longitudinally relative to (ifiposiie surfaces of the block 18" until they abut board From the structure shown in FIG. 11, as in regard to that shown in FIG. 10, it is possible by the very simple expedient illustrated in FIG. 11 to increase the capacity of this particular embodiment of the invention to permit the connection of a plurality of flat flexible cables to either the same circuit conductors 12 on the board 10 or they may be interrupted substantially intermediately between the opposite vertical surfaces of the block 18", whereby the blade-like conductors 22 respectively can be connected to different sets of conductors 12 carried by the board 10.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that the present invention provides highly durable yet relatively simple means for connecting, simultaneously, a plurality of circuits respectively carried by two different types of supporting means, specifically illustrated as a tape cable and a rigid circuit of which a printed circuit board is one Well known example. The blocks that support the co-engageable contacts which respectively are firmly connected electrically to the conductors of such cable and printed circuit board are provided with relatively simple and effective means for securing the conductors of the cable and circuit board respectively to the contacts carried by said blocks, even though the'conductors may be of a very small cross-sectional dimension and therefore quite delicate. The invention also includes strain-relieving means to render the connections betwen the flexible tape cable and block associated therewith rugged and durable, while protecting the individual conductors of said cable against rupture. Also, connection of the block on one of the conductor-carrying elements with the block connected to the other conductorcarrying element is simple, precise, compact and durable, while at the same time rendering connection and disconnection of the two blocks quick and accurate.

FIGURES 12 to 17 illustrate another embodiment of the invention which is easily adaptable to the condition of use where two or more printed circuit boards are to be coupled. In the art the boards in this relation are referred to as mother or primary and daughter or secondary boards.

Thus in FIG. 12, a primary or mother circuit board 110 has a plurality of preferably parallel conductors 112 carried by its lower surface, the same being shown in FIG. 12 in sectional manner. Also illustrated in FIG. 12 is a daughter or secondary circuit board 114 to which a plurality of conductors 116 are aifixed to its rear surface. Preferably, the conductors 116 terminate adjacent the end 118 of circuit board 114 and, as best illustrated in FIG- URE 13, the conductors 116, adjacent the ends thereof, are each provided with a plurality of enlargements 120 which are centrally apertured coaxially with appropriate holes 122 extending through the circuit board 114 for purposes to be described. To conserve space relative to the width of the board, enlargements 121 in adjacent conductors 116 are staggered longitudinally.

The connector comprising the present invention includes a pair of blocks 124 and 126. For purposes of affording ready designation of the blocks relative to I each other in the present description, the block 124 will be considered the movable block, and the block 126 the stationary block. However, the invention is not to be restricted to these designations because, for example, the block 126 readily may be the movable block and the block 124 the stationary block. However, in the foregoing, the circuit board 110 has been designated the primary circuit board and this will be regarded as the stationary or mother circuit board, whereas the circuit board 114 is regarded as the plug-in card or secondary circuit board and this will be considered the movable circuit board, but these designations for the various boards have only been selected for purposes of ready description and are not to be considered restrictive.

The blocks 124 and 126 readily may be formed by molding from suitable synthetic resin, whereby the blocks will afford insulation-type mountings for the contacts respectively to be carried thereby, details of which are described hereinafter. Said blocks are formed, preferably at the time of molding the same, with appropriate means for positioning and securing the contacts respectively to said blocks, as well as being formed with connecting means by which the blocks are secured together and details of which will presently be described. It will also become apparent that blocks 124 and 126 with their contacts and relation to the associated circuit means are quite similar to, respectively, blocks 18 and 20 with their contacts of FIGS. 1 to 9.

Especially for purposes of permitting the ready and rapid connection and disconnection of a substantially large number of circuits on one board with those on another, it will be seen that the blocks 124 and 126 are elongated in one direction and of generally rec-tangular configuration. Further, the block 124 is relatively thin and has opposite substantially parallel edges 128 and 130. Extending into these edges are series of alternately relatively long and short notches 132 and 134. It also will be seen that the long notches 132 in the edge of 130, for example, are transversely opposite the short notches 134 in edge 128 of block 124, for purposes to be described.

As will readily be seen from FIG. 12 particularly, the

top or upper surface 136 is relatively smooth and flat, and the opposite bottom or lower surface 138 is substantially parallel thereto and is disposed adjacent the surface of circuit board 114 which is opposite that upon which the conductors 116 are mounted when the block 124 is connected to said circuit board. According to the conditions of use, conductors or printed circuit strips 116 may appear on the top surface of board 114, and it may be necessary to form solder buttons or to clinch eyelets on this side of the board. Thus, while the surface 138 is adjacent said circuit board 14, it nevertheless is slightly spaced therefrom, as clearly shown in FIGS. 14 and 15, to provide the space necessary for accommodating such solder buttons or eyelets. Such spacing is maintained by the provision of a plurality of short lugs 140 which extend transversely to the surface 138 and are positioned adjacent the inner ends of the short notches 134 relative to opposite edges of the block 124. Therefore, the lugs 140 will be somewhat in staggered or zig-Zag relationship to each other adjacent opposite edges and between the ends of the block 124. Further, surface 138 of block 124, at opposite ends thereof as well as intermediately of said ends, is provided with spacing ribs 142, as clearly shown in FIGS. 12, 14 and 15, for purposes of maintaining the surface 138 of block 124 spaced from the circuit board 114.

The surface 138 of block 124 also is provided with a shallow elongated recess 144. Also, at the opposite ends of block 124, a plurality of laterally and oppositely projecting guide and securing ribs 146 are formed, these being best shown in FIGS. 12 and 17. Further, intermediate the ends of the block 124, an additional guide and securing member 148 is provided, the same being T-shaped in cross-section, as best shown in FIGS. 12 and 17, to brace block 124 against flexing.

The circuit connector comprising the present invention also includes a plurality of pairs of frictionally connectable male and female contacts. The male contacts preferably are elongated fiat blades 150 having laterally extending projections 152 at opposite ends thereof which respectively are disposed in the transversely aligned pairs of long and short notches 132 and 134 formed in opposite edges of the block 124, as clearly shown especially in FIGS. 14 and 15. Projections 152 are suificiently long that they are capable of extending through the holes 122, formed in the circuit board 114, and also through apertures 154 formed in the conductors 116 on the reverse surface of circuit board 114. The terminal ends 156 are then bent over or clinched into engagement with the outer surfaces of the conductors 116 in order that they may be soldered thereto to form an effective connection, not only to secure the male contacts 150 to the conductors 116, in electrical manner, but also to connect, firmly and physically, the block 124 to the surface of circuit board 114 which is opposite that upon which the conductors 116 are mounted as can be well determined from FIGS. 14 and 15 especially.

Intermediate the ends of the male contacts 150 are clinching tongues 158 which extends through complementary holes 160 extending through the relatively flat block 114, the terminal ends of the clinching tongues being bent over into engagement with the inner wall of elongated recess 144, thereby initially to connect the male blade contacts 150, edgwise, against the outer smooth surface 136 of block 124 in order that they will be supported thereon conveniently for insertion of the initially straight terminal ends of projections 152 through the holes 122 in circuit board 114 to effect electrical connection of said terminal ends with the conductors 116 on the circuit board. The clinching tongues 158 also further cooperate with the positioning effect afforded the contacts 150 by the disposition of projections 152 within the notches 132 and 134, thereby assisting in providing a stable combination structure of contacts and block.

Block 126 supports the female contacts 162 of each pair of frictionally engageable contacts. Also, it is contemplated that said contacts 162, which are elongated, shall extend substantially vertically to the primary circuit board 110 to which the block 126 is connected. Said block is connected to the surface of the circuit board which is opposite that supporting the conductors 112, as best shown in FIGS. 12, 14 and 15. Extending along one side of the block 126 is a continuous, relatively flat, elongated mounting partition or wall 164, which extends substantially perpendicularly to the surface 166 of block 126 which is disposed adjacent the surface of circuit board 110 to which the block 126 is attached. Again, to space the main body of the block from the board to accommodate circuit strips and any associated solder buttons or eyelets on the top side of the board, the surface 166 preferably is slightly spaced from said surface of the circuit board 110 by a plurality of broad, flat projections 168 which are placed in firm abutment with the upper surface of board 110.

The outermost face of wall 164 is provided with a plurality of parallel grooves 170 which respectively re ceive the female contacts 162. The upper and lower edges of wall 164 are provided with successive, alternately long and short notches 172 and 1'74 respectively, to receive projections 176 initially extending transversely from the opposite ends of the female contacts 162. Such projections 176 are bent differently on successive and alternate female contacts, as respectively shown in FIGS. 14 and 15, in order to provide a longitudinally staggered relationship in the positions of the female contacts Within their grooves 170 in order to be complementary to the longitudinally staggered successive male contacts 150, the relative positions of which are best shown in FIG. 12.

Contacts 62 are channeled and have curved nodes 78 which engage contacts 50 in the same manner as nodes 42 engage blade 22 as shown in FIG. 6.

As is best seen in FIGS. 14 and 15, the uppermost projections 176 on the female contacts are clinched around the upper edges of the wall 164, while said projections are disposed within the upper long or short notches 172 or 174, and the lower projections 176 are bent sharply around the lower edge of wall 164, as defined by the inner ends of the relatively long and short recesses 172 and 174 formed in the lower edge of said wall. This establishes firm positioning and securing of the female contacts within the grooves 170 of block 126, and especially to position the female contacts against relative movement longitudinally within the grooves 170.

After the lower projections 176 of the female contacts 162 are sharply bent to dispose the same in operative position within the grooves 170, the terminal ends thereof extend through holes 122 formed in circuit board 110, and it will be noted, by comparing the position of said holes in FIGS. 14 and 15 relative to the bottom surface of grooves 170, that the holes 122 are staggered longitudinally relative to each other, in succession, in order that the conductors 112 may be provided with enlargements 120 which, in adjacent conductors, are staggered relative to each other for the benefits described above relative to the conductors 116 provided on circuit board 114. The notches 172 and 174 also are of different widths, horizontally, as seen in FIGS. 14 and 15, to permit engagement of projections 176 with the staggered enlargements 120 in the conductors on board 110. After projecting the terminal ends of the lower projections 176 of the female contacts through the holes 122 in board 110, said terminal ends of the projections likewise are passed through the apertures 154 in the conductors 112 and are then bent over in clinching fashion and soldered to said conductors.

In order to effect firm securing of the block 126 to the circuit board 110, the opposite ends of the block, as well as the intermediate portion thereof, are provided with bosses 180 having screw or bolt-receiving holes 182 extending therethrough. The holes 182 receive any appropriate type of cap screws or bolts 184 which project through appropriate holes in the panel board and receive nuts threaded onto the lower ends thereof as clearly shown in FIGS. 14 through 16. Such means are highly effective to provide firm and sure securing means to attach the block 126 to the circuit board and are highly capable of withstanding even relatively rough usage incident to connecting any of the auxiliary circuit boards 114, and blocks 124 connected thereto, by relatively slidable movement between the blocks 124 and 126 in directions parallel to the longitudinal axes of the contacts.

For purposes of guiding the daughter circuit boards 114 and any blocks 124 connected thereto for connection to the mother board 110 and any blocks 126 connected to the same, the block 126 is provided with a relatively shallow, elongated recess or space 186 defined by the outermost surface of wall 164 Within which the grooves are formed. The opposite ends of said space 186 are defined by the extensions 188 on bosses 180, said extensions being provided with inwardly extending guide grooves 190, which are best shown in FIG. 17, for purposes of slidably receiving the guide and securing ribs 146 on block 124.

The central boss on block 126 also is provided with an appropriately shaped guide groove 192, which is complementary in cross-section to the guide and securing member 148 in order to slidably receive the same and thereby not only aid in guiding the housing 124 relative to block 126 when interconnecting the same, but also providing means to aid in connecting the two blocks together and bracing such connection especially to maintain the pairs of contacts in frictional engagement with each other, notwithstanding the fact that the block 124 is relatively elongated, thin and flat. The intermediate connecting function of the guide rib 148 and its guide groove 192 will prevent any outward flexing of the block 124 relative to the space 186 within which said block is disposed in housing 126.

In the preferred construction of the block 126, it also is provided with a rearward, outer wall 194 which adds strength to the block and also facilitates the molding thereof. The wall 194 preferably is connected integrally at its opposite ends to the bosses 130 at opposite ends of the block 126 and, otherwise, the wall 194 is connected intermediately of its ends to intermediate boss 180 and also, depending upon the length of the block 126, bridging webs 196 may be included to extend between the wall 164 and outer wall 194.

In the preferred construction, one of said circuit boards will be disposed perpendicularly to the other circuit board and only relatively straight, sliding movement between the blocks and circuit boards is necessary to effect connection and disconnection of the boards and the circuits carried thereby relative to each other. In this connection, blocks 124 and 126 have been described as being installed on the card 114 and mother board 110 respectively; but, it will be apparent that the relation can be reversed. In this event, block 126 will be mounted on the edge of a card while block 124 may be placed at any desired location on the mother board. Further, where several blocks 124 are installed on a single mother board, they can be closely spaced if they are aligned side-by-side because the guide rib 146 and groove construction permits an edge mounted block 126 to be slid along and through a series of blocks 124 for connection to any desired one.

Turning now to another embodiment, FIGS. 18 to 23 illustrate that the principles of my invention are easily adaptable to the condition of use where a plurality of individual flexible lead wires are to be coupled to a printed circuit board. Thus, in FIG. 18 a fragmentary portion of a printed circuit board 210 having printed conductors 212 afiixed to its lower surface, these conductors preferably being parallel adjacent the edge of the board.

In the upper portion of FIG. 18, a plurality of insulated electric wire conductors 214 are shown, only a limited number thereof being illustrated in said figure, however, in order to simplify the view. Wire conductors 214 will approximate the number of the conductors 212 upon the rigid board 210, although the contacts of the connector are capable of connection to at least two conductors. The purpose of this embodiment is to provide a desirable connector assembly to quickly and effectively connect one end of each of the wire conductors 214 to the conductor 212 on the rigid board 210.

Except for the reversed disposition of the blade and channel contacts on the supporting blocks, the basic elements of the connector assembly are generally the same as the preceding embodiments. Thus, block means 216 is provided in one face thereof with a plurality of grooves 218. Further, notches 220 are provided along opposite edges of the block 216, said notches being disposed at opposite ends of the grooves 218.

Block 216 is connectable to a second block 222, which is substantially larger than the block 216. The lower surface of block 222 is provided with a recess 224 for purposes of slidably receiving block 216. In order to connect the two blocks, block 216 preferably is provided with a pair of guide ribs 226 at opposite ends thereof, these being slidably received within guide grooves 228- formed in opposite walls of the recess 224 of block 222. Block 222 also is provided with a lower wall member 230, the lower surface of which partially defines the recess 224 in the lower portion of block 222 which received block 216.

Pairs of frictionally engageable contacts 232 and 234 are illustrated, perspectively, in FIG. 18 in exploded relationship relative to the block means by which they are respectively supported, The contact 232 is channelled and is generally similar to contacts 32 and 162 and may be die-stamped from suitable resilient sheet metals, such as phosphorous-bronze. Contact 232 similarly has nodes 36 to engage the sides of blade contact 234, again see FIG. 6.

Contacts 232 are all supported individually and in fully insulated relationship within the grooves 218 extending inwardly from the upper surface of block means 216, and contacts 234 are supported by block 222, but the reverse arrangement through minor changes in the contacts is also possible as desired.

Referring to the female contacts 232, it will be seen that the same are provided with extensions 238 at opposite ends thereof. In assembling the contacts 232 within the grooves 218, the extensions 238 are disposed within the notches 220 formed along opposite edges of block means 216, respectively at opposite ends of the notches 218. The board 210 also is provided with appropriate holes 240 directly beneath the notches 220 in order that the extensions 238 may extend through said holes, said holes also extending through the conductors 212 on the board 210, whereby, as best seen in FIG. 23, the projecting extremities of the extensions 238 may be bent so as to clinch the same relative to conductors 212 and board 210, thereby serving effectively not only to secure the contacts 32 relative to board 210 and conductors 212, but also to secure block means 216 against the surface of board 210, which is opposite that upon which the conductors 212 are mounted. Such securing may be rendered even more effective by soldering the clinched terminal ends 238 to conductors 212.

The elongated, male, blade-like contacts 234 may be formed by stamping from suitable sheet metal of a reasonably hard composition so as to insure a substantial amount of stiffness for said blades. The opposite ends of the blades 234 also are provided withextensions or tabs 242 extending transversely thereto. Projecting from one end of the contacts 234 and integral therewith are connector means 244, to which crimpable ears 246 are connected integrally for firm connection to the exposed, bare ends 248 of the insulated wire conductors 214. Such connecting means effect highly satisfactory permanent connections between contacts and conductors, without need for soldering.

As is best seen in FIG. 18, opposite edges of the wall member 230 are provided with aligned notches 250. The projections 242 at opposite ends of the contacts 234 are received, respectively, within the notches 250 at opposite edges of the wall member 230, and the upper ends of the extensions 242 project beyond the upper surface of wall member 230 a slight distance, but suflicient to afford a bent, clinched end 252, best seen in FIGS. 22 and 23, which serve to secure the male contacts 234 effectively to the block means 222 through the medium of the integral member 230 thereon. To enhance the mechanical stability of contact blades 234, their upper edges between tabs 242 are received and fitted in grooves 253, as best shown in FIG. 23, which respectively run across the underside of wall member 230 between each pair of aligned notches 250.

Connection of all of the male contacts 234 to the plurality of wire conductors 214 initially is achieved, for example, by crimping the ears 246 onto the exposed bare ends 248 of wire conductors 214, as shown in FIG. 23. Then, for example, all of the male contacts 234 may be placed in a jig so as to hold them in position while the wall member 230 is placed in position relative to the positioned contacts 234, so that the extensions 242 of said contacts extend upwardly through notches 250. Then the terminal ends of extensions 242 are clinched to conclude the attachment of the contacts 234 to the block means 222.

Block means 222, in addition to the portions thereof described hereinabove, also is provided with a vertical clamping wall 254, as viewed in FIGS. 18, 22 and 23, the lower edge thereof terminating in a strain-relief flange or positioning means 256 around which the flexible wire conductors 214 extend substantially in U-shaped manner. This actually produces somewhat of a snubbing action between the wire conductors and the block 222. As is customary in regard to flexible wire conductors, the insulation covering likewise is flexible and somewhat compressible. This fact is utilized in effecting a strain-reliev ing type connection between the wire conductors 214 and block 242, which, in addition to the positioning means 256, around which the conductors 214 extend, comprises preferably a pair of clamping bars 258, which may be formed by suitable molding, for example, either from synthetic resin, metal or otherwise.

Preferably, there is a transverse bracing or strengthening rib 260 extending rearwardly from the clamping bars 258. Also, mounted on the bars 258 is a separatelyformed clamping face member 262, which is connected by any suitable means to each of the clamping bars 258. Said clamping face members preferably are formed of elastic, fairly soft material such as rubber, so that upon being pressed against the series of conductors 214, it can yield irregularly for frictionally loading and securing each conductor. The clamping efficiency may be enhanced, if desired, by providing a plurality of parallel clamping rib 264 extending transversely of the face of clamping members 262. The reverse bending of the wire conductors around the positioning means 256 in the block means 222, and the clamping action of members 262 provide a highly effective means for securing the wire conductors to the block means 222, and in such manner as to resist substantial tensile forces applied longitudinally to the wire conductors 214, either intentionally or accidentally.

If desired, the opposite ends of the strengthening ribs 260 of the clamping bars 258 may project laterally beyond the opposite ends of the clamping bars to provide guide ribs 266 respectively receivable within guide grooves 268 formed in block means 222, one of such guide grooves being shown best in FIG. 18. Such guide means serve to assure that the clamping rib 264 will extend transversely to the wire conductors 214 when clampingly engaging the same. Clamping engagement of the wire conductors 214 between the clamping rib 264 and clamping wall 254 is effected by threaded screws 270, which extend through apertures 272 formed in the clamping bars 258 for threaded engagement with "means to be described.

Block means 222 also preferably include cover members 274, which may be formed appropriately, for example, by molding from suitable synthetic resin to pro vide the shape thereof best shown in FIGS. 18, 22 and 23. The shield portions 276 thereof are shaped effectively to cover, and thereby protect, the clinched ends 252 of the male contacts 234, thus enhancing the protection of said contacts against damage of any kind, as well as possible short-circuiting. The cover members 274 are provided with central aperatures 278, which may either be directly internally threaded, or provided with threaded metallic grommets 280, especially if the cover members 274 are formed from synthetic resin, such grommets being threadably engaged by the clamping screws 270, which project through the apertures 272 of the clamping bars 258 and suitable holes 282 formed in clamping wall 254 for engagement with the grommets 280.

As best shown in FIG. 21, the screws 270, by engaging the threaded means of the cover members 274, accomplish the dual function of maintaining the clamping bars 258 in firmly clamped engagement against the wire conductors 214, as well as maintaining the cover members 274 in operative position. Also, the clamping bars 258 and cover members 274 respectively are maintained in firmly clamped relationship against opposite surfaces of the vertical clamping wall 254 of the block means 222, the cover members 274 serving essentially, under such circumstances, as threaded nuts for the clamping screws 270. To assure desired guided relationship between the cover members 274 and block means 222, the opposite edges of the cover members are formed preferably to serve as guide ribs 284, which, respectively, are received in guide grooves 286 formed in block means 22, as clearly shown in FIGS. 18, 22 and 23.

After the entire sub-assembly of the block means 222, male contacts 234, wire conductors 214, clamping bars 258 and cover members 274 have all been interconnected and assembled into said unitary sub-assembly comprising part of the entire assembly constituting the electrical connector of the embodiment, said sub-assembly is slidably connected to the block means 216, with which the female contacts 232 have been assembled, and thereby is connected to the conductors 212 on the rigid board 210. Such connection is facilitated by the slidable coengagement of the guide ribs 226, on block means 216, with the guide grooves 228 in block means 222,

The slidable connecting movement between block means 216 and 222 is halted by appropriate stop means comprising, for example, a lug 288 formed upon and projecting upward from block means 216, and a block 290 which is integral with block means 222 and projects upward from wall 230 and perpendicularly from clamping wall 254 of said block means. Said lug and block have abuttable faces, which are in engagement at the completion of the sliding connecting movement between the block means 216 and 222, as shown in FIG. 20. Preferably, the block 290 has an aperture or bore 292, which is complementary to a cylindrical extension or sleeve 294 projecting perpendicularly from lug 288, such extension 294 being internally threaded for engagement by a connecting screw 296, preferably a jack screw, which is rotatable relative to block means 222, but is immovable relative thereto in an axial direction.

At the distal end of bore 292, block 290 is reduced in section at 291 to form bearing shoulders against one side of which an integral flange 293 at the head end of jack screw 296 abuts. The bearing shaft 295 of the jack screw is inserted through and rotatably supported in section 291 and terminates in a kerfed end accessible from the back side of block 222. Spring slip-on washers 300 of the thrust-bearing type oppose flange 293 relative to section 291 to maintain the jack screw coaxial in bore 292. From FIG. 20 it may be seen that jack screw 296 does not extend the full length of bore 292, thus to permit partial unimpeded entry of sleeve 294 into bore 292 and guide ribs 226 into guide grooves 228 when the blocks are being aligned for connection. After initial entry, however, in the illustrative embodiment the jack screw must be turned for further connective movement; the jack screw, when rotated, serving through threaded sleeve 294 both to draw the block units together for full connection and forcing them apart for disconnection when reversely rotated.

The cylindrical extension 294 may be formed from suitable metal and effectively can be attached to lug 288 by an appropriate screw 298 tightly screwed into the threaded, adjacent end of the extension 294, as clearly shown in FIGS. 20 and 21. A pair of opposed notches 299 in the end of sleeve 294 which receives the screw 298 receives and cooperates with an integral key 297 on the face of lug 288 to hold the sleeve 294 against rotation. Similarly, a slot 301 in the opposed face of block 290 receives the extremities of key 297 when the connector is assembled. Through the expedient of the connecting screw 296, the block means 216 and 222, with the various components connected thereto respectively, can be secured in circuit-connecting relationship so as to connect the circuitry comprising the conductors 212 on relatively rigid board 210 and the flexible wire conductors 214. Such connection is capable of withstanding substantial jolting and jarring, if it is necessary to subject the con nector comprising the present invention to such forces.

While the invention has been described and illustrated in its several preferred embodiments, and has included certain details, it should be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the precise details herein illustrated and described, since the same may be carried out in other ways falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.

I claim:

1. An electrical connector for coupling a plurality of spaced conductors on a rigid board-like member to a flexible flat cable member having a plurality of flexible conductors carried thereby, said connector comprising pairs of elongated metallic blades and channeled female contacts having resilient sides and frictionally interengageable slidably with each other and respectively connected electrically to the conductors of said board-like member and cable, and a plurality of complementary and detachably connectable insulating blocks, one of said blocks being connected to said board-like member and the other to said cable and one of said blocks supporting said blades in spaced and parallel insulated relationship to each other and the other block supporting said female contacts in correspondingly parallel and spaced insulated relationship to each other, whereby when one block is connected to the other the predetermined number of conductors of said board-like member are connected by the interengaged blades and female contacts with said corresponding number of conductors of said cable.

2. The electric connector set forth in claim 1 further characterized by the opposite ends of said female contacts having projections extending therefrom, one of said projections in each contact being clinched relative to a portion of said block by which it is supported to initially connect said contacts thereto, and the other projection on each contact being connected electrically to .a conductor of said cable.

3. The electric connector set forth in claim 2 further characterized by the other projection on each female contact being bent around a base portion of block to cooperate with the clinched other projection on said contact to secure said contact firmly to said block.

4. An electric connector for coupling a plurality of spaced conductors on a rigid board-like member to a plurality of flexible flat cable members each having a plurality of flexible conductors carried thereby, said connector comprising: blade contact means corresponding to said predetermined number of conductors on said board member and electrically connected thereto, a plurality of sets of female contacts, each set of said female contacts being connected respectively to the conductors of said cable members and said sets of female contacts also being connected frictionally and detachably with said blade contact means, an insulating block connected to said board-like member and supporting in spaced and parallel insulated relationship said blade contact means, and a plurality of insulating blocks complementary to and detachably connectable to portions of said first-mentioned insulating block, said plurality of blocks respectively being connected to said cable members and each supporting in correspondingly spaced and insulated relationship one of said sets of female contacts for frictional electrical engagement with the blade contact means on said firstmentioned block when said plurality of blocks are con nected thereto.

5. Electric connector means for coupling a plurality of spaced conductors on a rigid board-like member and a pair of flexible flat cable members each having a plurality of flexible circuit conductors carried thereby, said connector means comprising: a set of blade contacts equal in number to said predetermined number of conductors on said board member and connected electrically thereto, two sets of female contacts each connected respectively to the conductors of said cable members and said sets of female contacts also being connected frictionally with opposite end portions of said sets of blade contacts, an insulating block connected to said board-like member and supporting in spaced and parallel insulated relationship said blade contacts, and a pair of insulating blocks complementary to and detachably connectable to opposite ends of said first-mentioned insulating block, said pair of blocks respectively being connected to said cable members and each supporting in correspondingly spaced and insulated relationship said sets of female contacts for frictional electrical engagement with the blade contacts on said first-mentioned block when said pair of blocks are connected thereto.

6. Electric connector means for coupling a plurality of spaced conductors on a rigid board-like member and a plurality of flexible flat cable members each having a plurality of flexible conductors carried thereby, said connector means comprising: a plurality of sets of blade contacts each equal in number to said predetermined number of conductors on said board member and respectively electrically connected thereto, a plurality of sets of female contacts equal in number to said cable members, each set of said female contacts being connected respectively to the conductors of said cable members and said sets of female contacts also being connected frictionally and detachably With a set of said blade contacts, an insulating block connected to said board-like member and supporting said plurality of set of blade contacts with contacts of each set in spaced and parallel insulated relationship with each other, and a plurality of insulating blocks equal to the number of cable members and complementary to and detachably connectable to different portions of said first-mentioned insulating block, said plurality of blocks respectively being connected to said cable members and each supporting in correspondingly spaced and insulated relationship one of said sets of female contacts in frictional electrical engagement with one of the sets of blade contacts on said first-mentioned block when said plurality of blocks are connected thereto.

7. An electrical connector for coupling two sets of electrical conductors together and comprising first and second insulating blocks, a series of elongated contact blades mounted edgewise in parallel relationship to each other on an exposed face of the first block, each of said contact blades having conductor engaging means operable to connect said series of blades to one of said sets of conductors, a series of channeled female contacts having resilient sides for slidably receiving edgewise said contact blades respectively in frictional interengagement and having conductor engaging means operable to connect said female contacts to said second set of conductors, said channeled female contacts being carried in parallel but spaced relationship Within recesses formed in an exposed face of said second block, said contact blades and channeled contacts being interengaged by relatively sliding said exposed faces of said first and second blocks along one another, and integral guide means on one of said blocks for receiving a guided portion of the other of said blocks to align said blocks for sliding movement in a direction to move the contact blades endwise in the channeled contacts, one of said blocks being abuttable against a member carrying a conductor set, the conductor engaging means associated with said one block including tongues traversing the thickness and projecting from said one block for clinching said one block to the member and engaging the conductors thereon.

8. An electrical connector for coupling ends of a plurality of insulated wire electrical conductors respectively to a substantially corresponding number of stationary electrical conductors on a rigid board-like member, said connector comprising a plurality of pairs of frictionally engageable contacts substantially equal in number to said wire conductors and stationary conductors, a block means supporting one of each pair of contacts in spaced and insulated relationship to each other, said one of each pair of contacts being connectable to said stationary conductors, another block means having wall means supporting all of the other contacts of each pair in correspondingly spaced and insulated relationship to each other, contacts being blade-like and connectable to said Wire conductors, means to clamp said wire conductors to said another block, projections on said blade-like contacts extending through openings in said wall means of said another block and clinched against one surface of said wall means to secure said contacts to said block, and means to connect said blocks in predetermined relationship in which said pairs of contacts are frictionally connected.

9. The electrical connector set forth in claim 8 further including a cover member positioned to cover the clinched ends of said blade-like contacts and a clamping surface on said another block means and a clamping member positioned detachably in opposition to said cover member and clamping surface on said another block means to clamp said wire conductors therebetween, and connecting means extending between said cover member and clamping member to secure the same respectively in the operative covering and clamping positions thereof.

10. The electrical connector set forth in claim 9 further characterized by said connecting means comprising a bolt extending freely through one of said members and being threaded into the other member.

11. The electrical connector set forth in claim 8 further characterized by said another block having spaced guide grooves therein and the opposite ends of said cover member being slidably received within said guide grooves to position said cover member to cover the clinched ends of said contacts.

12. The electrical connector set forth in claim 8 further including flange means on said block means to which said wire conductors are connectable and extending transversely of said wall and disposed thereon relative to said.

contacts carried thereby so that said wire conductors may be bent into a crimp-like configuration around said flange means upon being clamped to said wall to provide snubbing means operable to prevent relative movement between said wire conductors and block means under applied stresses within reasonable limits of excess amount.

13. The electrical connector set forth in claim 12 wherein the clamping means includes a clamping member having a face opposed to and movable toward said wall and being positioned relative to said flange means so as to effect such bending of said wire conductors relative to said positioning means incident to connecting said clamping member to said block means, and means to securely connect said clamping member to said block means.

14. The electrical connector set forth in claim 13 further including elastic rib means carried by said clamping member and extending transversely to said wire conductors when connected to said block means.

15. An electrical connector for coupling ends of a plurality of insulated wire electrical conductors respectively to a corresponding number of stationary eletcrical conductors on a rigid board-like member, said connector comprising a plurality of pairs of slidably and frictionally engageable elongated contacts substantially equal in number to said wire conductors and stationary conductors, each pair of contacts including a channeled female contact and a blade-like male contact, a first block means supporting one of each pair of contacts in transversely spaced and insulated relationship to each other, a second block means supporting all of the other contacts of each pair in correspondingly transversely spaced and insulated relationship to each other, said contacts on one of said block means being connectable to said wire conductors and the contacts on the other block means being connectable to said stationary conductors, means to secure said wire conductors to the block which supports the contacts connectable to said wire conductors, connecting means on one of said block means extending substantially in parallel relationship to said elongated contacts supported thereby, and means on the other block means complementary to said connecting means on said one block means and operable slidably to receive said connecting means when said block means are slidably moved together to connect said blocks in predetermined relationship in which said pairs of contacts are frictionally connected, one of said blocks having a recess extending into one face thereof to receive the other block means when the same are connected together, and one of said block means having a series of parallel grooves within which the channeled female contacts are positioned and the other block means having a surface from which the blade-like male contacts extend for slidable frictional engagement longitudinally within the channels of said channeled contacts when said other block means is received within the recess of said one block means.

16. The electrical connector set forth in claim 15 further characterized by said block means having grooves also having notches therein at opposite ends of said grooves, and said female contacts also having projections extending therefrom and received within said notches to position said female contacts longitudinally within said grooves.

17. In an electrical connector for interconnecting two sets of slide-fit frictional contacts, first and second blocks each having a surface for supporting a set of contacts, interengaging guide means for aligning the blocks for movement to slide the surfaces and contact sets along one another, lug means on the first block fixedly supporting an internally threaded sleeve in overhanging relation to the surface thereof, block means on the second block, a bore in said block means for closely receiving said sleeve, and a jack screw rotatably carried by said block means and extending in and for less than the full length of said bore for cooperation with said sleeve to couple the blocks, said jack screw engaging said sleeve into said bore and initial interengagement of said guide means.

18. An electrical connector to connect a plurality of electrical conductors carried by one or more movable rigid board-like members to a corresponding number of stationary electrical conductors carried by a stationary rigid board-like member disposed substantially tansversely to the plane of said movable board-like members, said connector comprising: a plurality of pairs of frictionally engageable elongated male and female contacts equal in number to the conductors on said members to be connected; a first generally rectangular insulating block having a bottom surface abuttable against the surface of one board-like member and a substantially flat top surface, said male contacts extending across said top surface in spaced array and having laterally projecting means traversing the thickness of said first block for supporting the contacts on the block and securing the block electrically and mechanically to the one board-like member; a second insulating block including a generally rectangular wall member having upper and lower edges and a front surface substantially coextensive with said top surface, said female contacts extending across said front surface in spaced array for interconnection with said male contacts upon movement of said top surface of said first block across said front surface into closely adjacent confronting relation, means for securing said second block to another of said board-like members with said wall set edgewise adjacent the surface of the member, projecting means extending from said female contacts fastening the contacts onto said front surface and including the lengthwise extending portion projecting from the lower edge of said wall for reception in an aperture of said member; and interlocking guide elements on said blocks to constrain relative movement of said blocks to slide said top surface across said front surface.

19. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 18 wherein said guide elements comprise integral interlocking rib and grooves extending across said top and front surfaces.

20. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 18 further characterized by said first block being elongated in one direction and relatively thin, and the connecting means for said blocks comprising means on the opposite ends of said elongated first block slidable engageable with complementary means on said second block, and integral complementary T-shaped rib and groove means on said blocks intermediate the ends of said first block to render the same securely connectable to said second block without appreciable flexing of said first block during use.

21. An electrical connector as set forth in claim 18 wherein said first block is mounted at an edge of said one board-like member and includes rib means extending across said top surface, and said second block is mounted on another board-like member and includes open-ended groove means interfitting with said rib means and extending across said front surface perpendicular to and terminating adjacent the surface of said another member.

22. An electrical connector for coupling two sets of electrical conductors together comprising first and second insulating blocks, each block carrying a series of elongated contacts traversing in parallel spaced relation an exposed surface thereof, the contacts of one series projecting from the associated exposed surface and the contacts of the other series being recessed in the associated exposed surface and having spring elements perpendicularly yieldable relative to the sides of the recess and projecting contacts, the contacts of each series having depending tongue means for clinching the contacts to said blocks and to couple the contacts to the conductors of the conductor sets, the tongue means of one contact series traversing the thickness of the associated block and fastening the block to a board carrying a conductor set, the side edges of said blocks providing interengaging rib and groove guide means to align the exposed surfaces for face-to-face sliding movement to slide and engage the contact series axially along one another, the tongue means of the other contact series including elements bent around forward and rearward edges of the associated block and into grooves in the surface thereof opposite said exposed surface, a tape cable being laid along the opposite surface, the end segments of the conductors of said cable being stripped of insulation and extending along said grooves and connected to said tongue means 23. An electrical connector for coupling two sets of electrical conductors together comprising first and second insulating blocks, each block carrying a series of elongated contacts extending in parallel spaced relation along an exposed surface thereof, the contacts of one series projecting from the associated exposed surface, the contacts of the other series being recessed in grooves in the associated exposed surface and having spring elements laterally yieldable relative to the sides of the groove and to the projecting contacts, said grooves opening through a forward edge of the associated block, said blocks having integral and interfitting guide means to constrain the blocks relatively to slide with their exposed surfaces closely adjacent and moving along each other so that the projecting contacts enter edgewise into said grooves at said forward edge and then engage the recessed contacts and laterally depress said spring elments, the contacts of each series having depending tongue means clinching the contacts to said blocks and for coupling the contacts to the conductors of the conductor sets, the tongue means of one series laterally projecting through and beyond the thickness of the associated block to engage and fasten the block to a board carrying a conductor set and abutted 22 against the surface of the associated block opposite its exposed surface.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,835,109 12/1931 Ayres 339184 2,189,874 2/1940 Ziganke 33965 2,634,310 4/1953 Eisler 33917 2,942,229 6/1960 Berger 339-176 2,984,814 5/1961 Scott 339-64 2,993,187 7/1961 Bisbing et a1, 339-17 3,047,832 7/1962 Deakin 339217 3,065,444 1/1962 Crimmins 339176 3,103,399 9/1963 Martin 339-17 3,105,730 10/1963 Smith 339-188 X 3,114,587 12/1963 Herrmann 33917 X 3,115,379 12/1963 McKee 33947 3,149,896 9/1964 Hall 33917 X OTHER REFERENCES AMP Electronic Design, March 16, 1960, pages 1267.

AMP Electronic Design, October 25, 1961, page 46 JOSEPH D. SEERS, Primary Examiner. ALFRED S. TRASK, Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/67, 439/499, 439/79, 439/468, 439/344, 439/676
International ClassificationH01R13/415, H01R12/16, H01R13/115, H01R12/18, H01R12/24, H01R13/11
Cooperative ClassificationH01R23/68, H01R13/113, H01R12/79, H01R13/415
European ClassificationH01R23/66F, H01R13/11E, H01R23/68