US 3253248 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 24, 1966 c. K. BROWN ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR AND CLAMP 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 1, 1962 gamma/07 CLARENCE K. BROWN 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 C. K. BROWN J mla CLARENCE K. BROWN 3 Ma $12K flG-ENT Filed Oct. 1,
United States Patent 3,253,248 ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR AND CLAMP Clarence K. Brown, 6219 E. 6th St., Long Beach, Calif. Filed Oct. 1, 1962, Ser. No. 227,295 14 Claims. (Cl. 339-99) The present invention relates to an improved electrical connector and clamp, and more particularly to a connector and clamp particularly adapted to facilitate attachment to a flat conductor cable.
With the advent of fiat conductor cables of a type useful in aircraft, spacecraft and the like, there arose the problem of providing a connector adapted to be secured to an end of the cable so as to enable connection of the -cable in circuit with other components. Various eiforts have been made to provide such a connector, but such efforts have not overcome the persisting problems of providing a low resistance connector, for example, having electrical resistance no greater than a length of the cable equal to the length of the connector and having a substantially sealed construction to minimize corrosion.
Flat conductor cables of the type here involved comprise a plurality of thin, fiat, ribbon-like conductor strips within a fiat insulating sheath. Typically, the conductor strips are composed of copper and are as'thin as .002" and are as narrow as .040", being disposed in side-byside relation in the insulating sheath and spaced apart about .040", the insulating material being composed of opposing strips or lamina of flexible plastic, such as polyester material, bonded together with the conductor ribbons confined therebetween and insulated from one another by The present invention is primarily addressed to the provision of means for simply and effectively making contact between the respective ribbon conductors and conductor elements in a connector which may be a part of a male-female connector assembly or some other electrical In addition, the invention is addressed to the provision of a clamp for securing a flat strip within a connector part.
I ance with the preceding object, which is effectively sealed to minimize corrosion of the contact.
Still another object is to provide a novel clamp for a fiat strip or flat conductor cable.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be hereinafter described or will become apparent to those skilled in the art, and the novel features of the invention will be defined in the appended claims.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective of a cable clamps made in accordance with the invention; FIG. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view, as taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view, as taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a detail view in perspective of the clamping means of the invention; and
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view, as taken on the line 55 of FIG. 3.
Like reference characters in the several views of the drawing designate corresponding parts.
Referring first to FIG. 1, the flat cable connector of the present invention comprises generally a two-part assemblage comprising a first part generally denoted at 1 and a complemental second part generally denoted at 2 suitably interconnected in assembled relation as by means of a pair of resilient spring arms 3 extended longitudinally alongside the respective body parts, these arms being connected by ears 4 to the body part 2 and having as at 5 an end formed with an opening to receive a projection 6 on the body part 1.
A flat conductor cable generally denoted at C extends into the housing 1. This conductor comprises a series of ribbon-like conductor strips 7 encased within an insulating sheath 8 formed of lamina of suitable insulating plastic material bonded together in the spaces or gaps 9 between the insulating strips 7. The member 2 carries a number of contact members or pins 10 adapted to make electrical contact with the conductor strips 7.
Referring more particularly to FIG. 2 it will be noted that the housing 1 is open at the right-hand end for reception of the connector part 2 and at its left-hand end is provided with an opening 11 through which the conductor C extends, the end of the conductor C within the housing being engaged by clamping means generally denoted at 12 and the cable being sealed within the opening 11 by means of a sealing cup generally denoted at 13.
The connector part 2 comprises a portion 14 adapted to be received in the open end of the housing 1 and to sealingly engage at 15 with the end of the sealing cup means 13 upon insertion of the portion 14 into the housing and engagement of the confronting end of the portion- 14 with the cup. Contact elements or pins 10 are preferably molded in the connector part 2 and are provided with a central enlargement 16 to prevent longitudinal movement of the pins. The inner end of each of the contact pins is formed with a relatively resilient tapered end 17 provided with a relatively sharp point 18 while the outer end of the pins 10 are suitably formed for engagement with a complemental connector element (not shown) or indeed the body part 2 and the pins 10 may make other forms as may be necessary to enable utilization of the present invention with electrical components of various types as will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Within the portion 14 of the member 2 and in surrounding engagement with the inner end of the pins 10 is a resilient sealing member 19 comprising a disc-like body portion 20 and an elongate extension 21 extending along the inner end-s 17 of the pins.
It will be noted from reference to FIG. 4 that the clamping means 12 constitutes a subassernbly removable from the housing 1. The assembly 12 comprises an elongate wedge-like element 22 having at its larger end a projection 23 or partly circular cross section adapted to have resiliently disposed thereon a clamp element 24 of generally C shape in cross section. For the purpose of clamping the end of the cable C, it will be noted that a length of the latter may be passed through an opening 11 in the sealing cup means 13 and the extremity of the cable is then passed around the Wedge element 22 and around the projection 23 whereupon the clamp element 24 is placed over the projection so as to clamp thereagainst the end of the cable C. Thereafter the clamping means 12 with the cable securely clamped thereby may be snugly seated within the sealing cup means 13 as shown in FIG. 4.
Means are provided on the clamping means and within the housing 1 for supporting the clamping means and accordingly the cable C in position within the housing. Such means may be characterized as pin and slot means but more particularly as best seen in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, the pin and slot means comprises rail-like projections 25 extending along the opposite sides of the clamp wedge 22 and adapted to slidably engage in longitudinally extended slots in the portion 14 of connector part 2, upon assembly of the connector part 2 within the housing 1. In addition, the clamping means is provided with outwardly extended pins 27 which slidably engage in slots 28 within the housing 1 to limit inward movement of the clamping means. The sealing cup means 13 generally conforms to the clamping means and the pin elements 25 and 27 thereof and the pins 27 extend through openings 29 in the side walls of the sealing cup means 13 for engagement within the just referred to slots 28, while the projections 25 project endwise from the sealing cup means.
It will now be observed that the wedge element 22 provides an angularly disposed surface 2-2 upon which a portion of the cable C is disposed so as to confront the inner extremities of the pins 1% when the connector part 2 is moved inwardly into the housing 1 from the position shown in broken lines in FIG. 2 to the full line position. Such inward movement of the connector part 2 will bring the flexible ends 17 of the pins into engagement with the insulating sheath of the conductor cable and the relatively flexible yet sharp points 18 of the pins will penetrate the plastic insulating material but due to the relatively slight inclination of the cable C along the sur face 22', the flexible resilient points of the pins 10 will be deflected by the conductor ribbons 7 into the position as shown in FIG. 2 whereat the extension 21 of the sealing means 19 serves to assist in resiliently urging the pin points 17 into bearing engagement with the conductor ribbons 7. It will be appreciated that in order to avail of the preferred pin contact with the conductor strips, that is, without penetrating the strips, the end of the pins should be sufliciently flexible as to be easily deflected by the conductor strip due to the angle of attack of the pin point relative to the conductor strip. However, should it occur that one or more pin points should actually penetrate the conductor strip, the points 17 of the pin will nevertheless be resiliently urged into contact with the strip so as to resist extrusion of the insulating sheath between the strip and the contact element. Furthermore, it will be noted that by virtue of the sealing cup means d3 which sealingyly contacts the cable C within the opening 11 and also sealingly contacts the housing 1 within the opening, and in view of the sealing contact between the confronting portions of the sealing cup means and the connector member 2 and the sealing engagement be tween the sealing member 19 and the pins 110 and the connector member 2, there is effectively provided a sealed connector thereby minimizing oxidation of the electrical contacts. In addition, inasmuch as the pin and slot means previously described stabilize the clamping means within the housing 1, the connector will withstand substantial tension loads applied to the cable C without disturbing the quality of the electrical contact.
From the foregoing, it will now be apparent that the present invention provides a clamping means of novel construction combined with contact elements whereby a superior electrical contact is made between the pins 10 and the conductor strips 7 within the cable C in a very simple and durable manner.
While the details of the invention have been herein shown and described, changes and alterations may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the in vention as defined in the appended claims.
1. A connector for a conductor cable having at least one conductor ribbon encased in an insulating sheath, comprising a hollow connector housing having an open end for the passage of said cable therethrough, cable clamping means in said housing providing an elongated supporting surface for a section of said cable, a connector part complemental to said housing and having at least one contact element projecting therefrom, each contact element having a flexible point, confronted by said supporting surface upon assembly of said connector part with said housing, said supporting surface being disposed at a wide angle relative to said flexible point, and means for securing said connector part in said housing with said flexible point piercing said sheath and deflected along said conductor ribbon.
2. A connector as defined in claim 1, wherein said clamping means comprises a pair of cooperative clamping elements, and means removably locating said elements in said housing with said supporting surface confronting said point to prevent movement of said surface away from said point when said connector part is secured in said housing.
3. A connector as defined in claim 2, wherein said means removably locating said elements-in said housing comprises cooperative groove and projection means on one of said elements and in said housing.
4. A connector as defined in claim 1, including a sealing cup having a slotted end projection sealingly engageable in the open end of said housing, said connector part having a portion confronted by a portion of said cup for sealing said housing.
5. A connector as defined in claim 1, wherein said connector part is provided with an opening into which said contact element projects, and including sealing means in said opening in said part sealingly engaging said contact element, and sealing means for sealing said end opening in said housing and sealingly engageable with said connector part about said opening.
6. A flat cable connector comprising an open housing having a chamber therein and an opening leading through a wall of said housing into said chamber, a flat conductor cable extending into said chamber through said opening, said cable having an insulating sheath and at least one conductor cable clamping means removably disposed in said chamber and engaged with said cable, said clamping means having an elongated angularly disposed surface along which a portion of said cable extends, said surface being on a slight incline opposing said opening, a connector member having a contact pin provided with a flexible end confronted by said portion of said cable upon insertion of said member into said housing through said opening, and means releasably securing said housing 7 and said member in assembled relation with said flexible end of said contact element piercing said insulation and in contact with said conductor.
7. A connector as defined in claim 6, wherein said cable clamping means comprises an elongated member provided with said angularly disposed surface, said elongated member having an end projection, and a resilient clamp disposed on said projection and clamping a portion of said cable therebetween.
8. A connector as defined in claim 6, wherein said housing and said clamping means have slidably engaged means removably locating said clamping means in said housing.
9. A connector as defined in claim 6, including a sealing cup having an end provided with a slot through which said cable extends, said cup end being sealingly engaged in said opening in said housing, and said connector member and said cup having coengaged sealing portions.
10. A connector as defined in claim 6, including a sealing cup having an end provided with a slot through which said cable extends, said cup end being sealingly engaged in said opening in said housing, and said connector member and said cup having coengaged sealing port-ions, said clamping means having a projection and said housing having a slot receiving said projection to locate said clamping means, and said projection extending through said sealing cup into said slot.
11. A connector as defined in claim 6, wherein said clamping means is provided with a projection and said housing is provided with a slot for receiving said projection, said slot having an end wall engageable by said projection to limit movement of said clamping means in one direction, and said connector member engaging said projection to maintain the latter against said end wall.
12. A connector as defined in claim 6, wherein said clamping means is provided with a projection and said housing is provided with a slot for receiving said projection, said slot having an end Wall engageable by said projection to limit movement of said clamping means in one direction, and said connector member having a slot in which said projection is also disposed to locate said clamping means relative to said connector member.
13. A connector comprising: a flat conductor cable having a plurality of fiat conductor ribbons spaced transversely and encased in an insulating sheath, first and second connector parts, one of said connector parts having means for securing thereto a longitudinally extended portion of said cable, the other of said connector parts having a number of contact pins each having a point, means supporting said pins in said other connector part in transversely spaced relation corresponding to the transverse spacing of at least certain of said conductor ribbons, means for interconnecting said connector parts together with said longitudinally extended portion of said cable and said pin disposed at an angle relative to one another so that said points penetrate said sheath and are deflected by said certain conductor ribbons, said points being in contact with said certain ribbons along an elongated section of one side of the respective points.
14. A connector as defined in claim 13, including means for resiliently holding said side of the respective points and said certain ribbons in contact.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,476,227 7/1949 Sellers 339- 2,804,601 8/1957 Harthman et al. 339 X 2,873,435 2/1959 Hubbell 33997 2,878,373 3/1959 Bramming 33994 3,090,028 5/1963 Hall et al 339-107 X FOREIGN PATENTS 550,776 5/1932' Germany. 700,490 12/ 1953 Great Britain.
JOSEPH D. SEERS, Primary Examiner.
W. D. MILLER, Assistant Examiner.