US 3252679 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 24, 1966 w. T. BELL 3,252,679
SPRING RETAINING CLIP Filed Nov. 8, 1963 INVENTOR. 14/40:? Z5514 liar/16W United States Patent 3,252,679 SPRING RETAINING CLIP Walter Thomas Bell, Carmel, Ind., assignor to Radio This invention relates to spring retaining clips, and more particularly to a spring retaining clip that is adapted to hold a circuit board or the like on a bracket of limited lateral extent by contacting opposite edges of the bracket and by resiliently pressing the board against the bracket.
In prior art devices, circuit boards are usually held in place by providing registering holes in the board and the board support or bracket, the board and the support being held together by inserting a rivet or a screw into the registered holes. This type of circuit board retaining means requires the provision of registering holes, of a riveting means if rivets are used, or of screwdriver means if screws are used. Use of such fastening means thereof requires time to register the holes and to insert the fastening means in the holes, and time and tools to fix the fastening means in place. While such fastening means are difficult to remove, they are often also difiicult to fasten.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved means for fastening a board to a suitable supporting bracket.
More particularly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved fastening device for fastening a board or like member to a supporting bracket of limited lateral extent.
It is also an object of this invention to provide an improved fastening means that may be put into fastening position without tools.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved fastening means that may be easily and expeditiously put into fastening position and yet which requires a tool for removing it.
It is a still further object of this invention to provide an improved spring retaining clip that does not require the provision of registering holes.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide a combination of a board to be held, a bracket of limited lateral extent on which the board is to be held, and a spring clip which encompasses the bracket and resiliently presses the board against the bracket.
In accordance with the invention, a spring clip is provided comprising an elongated piece of spring material bent to provide a bight comprising several angularly related portions and an inwardly directed end portion. To use this clip to fasten a board to a bracket, the board is laid on the bracket with the edge of the board preferably in substantial registry with one edge of the bracket and with the board extending beyond the opposite edge of the bracket. The inwardly directed end of the clip is placed on the board with the bight of the clip hanging down, for example, and then the clip is rotated about the point of contact of the end thereof with the board toward and around the aforementioned one edge of the bracket until one of the angularly related parts of the bight contacts one edge of the bracket and the portion of the bight comprising one of two other angularly related parts engages the opposite edge of the bracket. In this position of the clip, the inwardly directed end thereof contacts the board at an area between the two positions of contact of the clip with the bracket, and the spring properties of the clip causes it to press the board tightly against the bracket.
3,252,579 Patented May 24, 1966 ice Lateral motion of the clip with respect to the bracket is resisted by the contact of the clip with the aforesaid opposite two edges of the bracket. Motion of the board with respect to the clip in one direction is prevented by contacting of the edge of the board with a portion of the clip, while motion of the board in the opposite direction with respect to the clip is resisted by the end of the clip digging into the board and, if desired, also by the board contacting a suitable stop, such as the wall of a cabinet of which the bracket comprises a part. While, as noted above, the clip can be put into fastening position without tools, the clip is difficult to remove without the use of a tool. This insures against accidental displacement of the board with respect to the bracket, as during shipment.
The novel features of the invention, both as to its organization and method of operation, as well as additional objects and advantages thereof, will be understood more readily from the following description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a rear elevational view of a cabinet having boards, on which electronic elements may be mounted, fastened to bracket, comprising part of the cabinet, by clips of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a section of FIG. 1 taken on line 22 thereof with parts of the board broken awayj FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary section of FIG. 2 taken on line 3-3 thereof; and
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one form of the clip' according to this invention.
Referring more particularly to the drawing, there is shown, in FIGS. 1 and 2,'a cabinet 10 having a closed front 12 through which controls 14 may extend, and which may have an open back. A plurality of boards 16, only two of which are shown in FIG. 1, may be supported in the cabinet 10 by a plurality of brackets 18, 20, 22 and 24, there being either two or four brackets for each board. The board 16 may be a printed circuit board supporting electronic elements such as resistors, condensers, tran- 'sistors, or the like. In FIG. 2, the board 16 is broken away to show the bracket 20 clearly.
The rear brackets 18 and 20 may project toward each other from the side walls 26 of the cabinet 10. The brackets 18 and 20 may be quite small. In one embodiment thereof, the width of the brackets 18 and 20 in a direction toward each other is about A inch and the length of the brackets 18 and 20 in a direction from the back of the cabinet toward the front thereof is about /2 inch. The rear ends of the brackets 18 and 20 may terminate in a concave curve 28 and the front ends 30 of the brackets 18 and 20 may terminate at an acute angle with the side walls 26 of the cabinet 10. The purposes of the shapes of the ends 28 and 30 of the brackets 18 and 20 will be explained hereinafter. The front brackets 22 and 24 may extend from the front 12 and the side walls 26 of the cabinet 10 in the corners therebetween. The shape of the brackets 22 and 24 is of no great importance except that these brackets should have sufficient area to provide support for the circuit board 16 to be laid thereon. The top surfaces of any four cooperating brackets 18, 2t), 22 and 24 should all be in the same plane at each level of a flat board 16.
One form of spring clip according to the present invention for fastening the various boards 16 to their respective brackets is shown in detail in FIGS. 3 and 4. This clip 40 is made of a strip of sheet spring steel or other suitable, resilient material and is bent to provide a bight 42 and an inwardly directed end portion 44 opposite the bight. The bight 42 comprises three angularly related portions 46, 48 and 50. The first portion 46 may be very short (about inch long) and forms an obtuse angle with the second portion, which may be about 4 inch long. The third portion 50 extends from the second portion 48 and forms a second and larger obtuse angle therewith, the two obtuse angles opening in the same general direction. The third portion 50 may be about 71 inch long. The bight 42 includes the three portions comprising portions 48 and t), and also the short first or lip portion 46 extending from the end of the portion 48. A fourth portion 52 of the clip 40 extends from the end of the third portion 50 at about a right angle thereto and in the direction of the concavity of the bight 42. The fourth portion may be about inch long. A fifth portion 54 extends at an obtuse angle from the end of the fourth portion 52 and extends generally in a direction to form an acute angle with the second portion 48. The inwardly directed end portion 44 extends from the end of the fifth portion 54 at an obtuse angle therewith and toward the bight 42, providing a bearing end 45 for the clip 40. The fifth and the end portions may each be about inch long.
The dimensions given for the brackets and for the clip are taken from a practical embodiment thereof. The relative sizes of the clip 40 and the brackets 18 and 20 must be such that the bight 42, when the clip is in holding position, contacts two opposite edges 28 and 30 of the bracket and the end 45 of the clip 40 presses a board 16 against the bracket 18 or 20.
As shown in FIG. 1, only one clip 40 is actually needed to hold a board 16 in place in the cabinet. The clip may be put on either of the rear brackets 18 and 20. For descriptive purposes, it will be assumed that the clip is applied to the bracket 18.
- A board 16 is placed in the cabinet by sliding it to the position where the lower surface of the board 16 contacts the upper surface of a set of four brackets 18, 20, 22 and 24. One or more edges of the board 16 may contact one or more inner surfaces of the cabinet 10. When the board is in this position, the end 45 of the clip 40 is laid on top of the board 16 with the bight 42 hanging down, as shown by the dotted lines in FIG. 3. Then, the clip 40 is turned, with the end 45 acting as a pivot, toward the front of the cabinet 10 and around the bracket 18 to the point where the bight portion 50 contacts the back edge 28 of the bracket 18 and the front edge 30 of the bracket 18 is engaged by the bight 42 in proximity to the junction of the portion 46 and 48 thereof, as shown in the solid lines in FIG. 3. The side edges of the third portion 50 of the clip 40 contacts the curved lower edge 28 at the rear of the bracket 18 at two points, and a side edge of the second portion 48 of the clip 40 contacts the slanting, opposite lower edge 30 of the bracket 18 at one point. This three point contact prevents the clip from sliding laterally off the bracket and also tends to prevent rocking of the clip with respect to the bracket. In the described, mounted position of the clip 46, the end 45 thereof digs into the board 16 due to the spring property of the clip, and the end 45 of the clip 40 and the contact points on the bight 42 press the board 16 and the bracket 18 together.
While the clip 40 may be put into fastening position without tools, as described above, its removal without tools is diffiClllt, Thus, secure mounting of the board on its brackets is assured, and there is no danger of accidental or unintentional displacement of the board from its mounting brackets. To remove the clip, the blade of a screwdriver may be placed between the bight 42 and the bottom of the bracket 18 and a prying force may be applied to the clip 40 downwardly, or away from the board, to the point that the first portion 46 of the clip 48 clears the front edge of the bracket 18. The clip can then be removed from the assembled board and bracket.
4 The clip may also be removed by pulling the clip 40 rearwardly with a pair of pliers to the point where the first portion 46 clears the front edge of the bracket 18.
Although only a single clip structure particularly adapted to hold a circuit board on a bracket has been described, it will undoubtedly be apparent to those skilled in the art that variations therein are possible within the spirit of the present invention. For example, the second and third portions 48 and 50 comprising a portion of the bight may be a single uniformly curved portion extending from the first portion 46 to the fourth portion 52. Moreover, the bends between the several portions may be so gradual as to give the clip the appearance of a gradually curved strip of metal. Also, the end portion 30 of the bracket 18 may be made concave similarly to the end portion 28 thereof, in which case the bight portion 48 would engage the end portion 30 at two points, thus further insuring against lateral displacement of the clip or rocking thereof. Other changes within the spirit of the present invention will undoubtedly suggest themselves to those skilled in the art. Hence, it should be understood that the above-described clip and objects mounted thereby are to be considered as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
1. The combination with bracket having opposite edges and a board thereon of a clip for holding said board securely against said bracket, said clip comprising a strip of spring material and having a bight and an inwardly directed end portion, said bight comprising first and second joined portions of said strip together defining an obtuse angle and a third portion joined to said second portion and forming therewith a second obtuse angle, said inwardly directed end portion extending toward said bight, a surface of said board being in contact with a surface of said bracket, said bight contacting said opposite edges of said bracket, and said inwardly directed end portion contacting the side of said board that is remote from said bracket.
2. The combination with a bracket extending laterally from a support wall and a board thereon of a clip for holding said board against said bracket, said clip comprising a strip of spring material having a bight and an inwardly directed end portion, said bight comprising first and second joined portions togetherdefining an obtuse angle and a third portion joined to said second portion and forming a second obtuse angle therewith, and said end portion extending toward said bight portion, said bracket having opposite edges extending from a support wall, at least one of said edges being concave, said board being in contact with said bracket, said bight contacting said opposite edges of said bracket, and said inwardly directed end portion contacting the surface of said board that is remote from said bracket.
3. The combination with a bracket extending laterally from a support wall and a board thereon of a clip for holding said board against said bracket, said clip comprising a strip of spring material having a bight and an inwardly directed end portion, said bight comprising first and second joined portions together defining an obtuse angle and a third portion joined to said second portion and forming a second obtuse angle therewith, and said end portion extending toward said bight portion, said bracket having opposite edges extending from a support wall, one of said edges being concave and the opposite one of said edges forming an acute angle with a wall, a surface of said board being in contact with a surface of said bracket, said bight contacting said opposite edges of said bracket, and said inwardly directed end portion contacting the surface of said board that is remote from said bracket.
4. A clip comprising a strip of resilient material having a first, a second, a third, a fourth, a fifth and an end portion extending in the order named in end to end relation,
said first and said second and said third portions comprising a bight portion,
said first and second portions being disposed at a given angle with respect to each other,
said second and third portions being disposed at a first obtuse angle with respect to each other,
said given angle and said first obtuse angle opening in the same general direction,
said third and fourth portions being disposed at about a right angle with respect to each other,
said fourth and fifth portions being disposed at a second obtuse angle with respect to each other,
said fifth and end portions being disposed at a third obtuse angle with respect to each other,
ly in the same direction,
said end portion being opposite to and extending towards said bight portion.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS CLAUDE A. LE ROY, Primary Examiner. said second and third obtuse angles opening general- 15 D-LOULAN,AssisianlExaminer-