Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3255429 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 7, 1966
Filing dateJun 9, 1965
Priority dateMar 18, 1965
Publication numberUS 3255429 A, US 3255429A, US-A-3255429, US3255429 A, US3255429A
InventorsJr Edgar Wilmot Forney
Original AssigneeAmp Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical connector assembly for insulated flat cable
US 3255429 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 7, 1966 E. w. FORNEY, JR

ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY FOR INSULATED FLAT CABLE Original Filed Sept. 4, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet l m w m m June 7, 1966 E. w. FORNEY, JR


BY fm June 7, 1966 E. w. FORNEY, JR

ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY FOR INSULATED FLAT CABLE 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Original Filed Sept. 4, 1963 INVENTOR Enema \J. FoRNw JR. BY 4L2; 'wzfiaanw June 7,- 1966 E. w. FORNEY, JR 3,255,429

ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY FOR INSULATED FLAT CABLE Original Filed Sept. 4, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 United States Patent 3,255,429 ELECTRICAL'CQNNECTQR ASSEMBLY FOR INSULATED FLAT CABLE Edgar Wilmot Forney, Jr., Harrisburg, Pa., assignor to AMP Incorporated, Harrisburg, Pa. Continuation of application Ser. No. 306,523, Sept. 4, 1963. This application June 9, 1&65, Ser. No. 462,668 4 Claims. (Cl. 33999) This is a continuation of my prior application, Serial Number 306,523, filed September 4, 1963, now US. Patent No. 3,200,364, which in turn is a continuationin-part of the parent application, Serial Number 223,097, filed September 12, 1962, now abandoned.

A current trend in the design of electrical circuitry is the use of flexible flat cable forming a ribbon-like strip such as sold under the registered trademark Tape Cable by the Tape Cable Corporation, comprising a flat strip of insulation having a plurality of parallel conductors embedded therein. This cable is lightweight and saves space in circuit design. Additionally, it can be coated with an adhesive and easily secured to the sidewall of a panel or wherever it is used.

One of the disadvantages of using such cable is the difliculty in joining it to conventional electrical conductors which may be secured to the components in the circuit. It is an object of this invention to provide a device which can be used to join flat cable to conventional conductors. It is also an object of this invention to provide such a device without pro-stripping the insulation on the flat cable.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a device for securing conductors to flat cable, whereby a plurality of such conductors may be secured to any one of the conductors in the cable, and also be easily disconnected whenever necessary.

It is another object of this invention to provide a device which may be used either intermediate the ends, or at the ends of a fiat cable to tap current from the cable. This device may also be used to join the ends of two flat cables in conductive relationship.

It is also an object of this invention to provide a clip-type connector which may be secured to a conductor for joining the conductor to a fiat cable. The connector is easily secured to the conductor without the use of any special tools, and may be inserted into a receptable which will hold it in tight engagement with the conductor.

Other objects and attainments of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the drawings in which there is shown and described illustrative embodiments of the invention; it is to be understood, however, that these embodiments are not intended to be exhaustive nor limiting of the invention but are given for purposes of illustration in order that others skilled in the art may fully understand the invention and the principles thereof and the manner of applying it in practical use so that they may modify it in various forms, each as may be best suited to the conditions of a particular use.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is an exploded, perspective view of a fiat cable connector embodying the principles of this invention;

FIGURE 2 is a view similar to FIGURE 1, showing the clamping means inserted into the base member to bind a flat cable therein;

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken through plane 33 of FIGURE 4, illustrating the assembled device with a conductor and a flat cablesecured therein;

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken along plane 44 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a sectional view taken along plane 5-5 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of the conductorreceiving receptacle;

FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of a length of flat cable;

FIGURE 8 is a perspective view of a bundle of wires having connectors secured thereto and strain-relief means;

FIGURE 9 is a top plan view of the base member shown in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 10 is a top plan view of the insert illustrated in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 11 is a perspective view of a clip-type connector applied to a conductor, which may be secured in conjunction with the insert of FIGURE 10;

FIGURE 12 is a side view of the clip of FIGURE 11 as secured to the receptacle;

FIGURE 13 comprises a blanked-out strip of metal useful in forming the clip of FIGURES 11 and 12;

FIGURE 14 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the conductor-receiving receptacle;

FIGURE 15 is a part sectional vertical view of the receptacle of FIGURE 14 mounted in the insert which in turn is mounted in the base member; and

FIGURE 16 is a sectional view taken along plane 16-16 of FIGURE 15. I

As shown in FIGURE 1, the connector assembly comprises three basic parts: the base member A; the insert or clamping means B; and the cover means C. Preferably, the device is made of any suitable plastic which may be readily molded into the desired shape and is sufliciently strong to resist the usual wearand tear in usage.

A typical length of insulated flat cable, as shown in FIG- URE 7 is comprised of one or more layers of insulating plastic 10. A plurality of flat copper conductors 12 are embedded therein. These conductors are normally parallel to each other and run the length of the cable. Additionally, an adhesive backing may be provided on one side of the fiat cable to permit it to be secured to a wall, chassis, etc. While the invention is most useful when it is applied to tape cable, it may be used with any electrical conductor.

As shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, the base member A comprises a planar bottom wall 16 which is generally rectangular. A set of posts 18, 18' extend upwardly from one end of the bottom wall 16. Each of these posts has an undercut 20 (only one shown in FIGURE 1) at the juncture of the post and the wall. The space between the posts 18, 18 contains an aperture with a threaded insert 23 for receiving a retaining screw 28. A second set of posts 24, 24' also extends from the planar wall 16. The second set of posts is spaced from the fisrt set and parallel thereto. An aperture with a threaded insert 26 3 is located in the space between the posts 24, 24', and is also adapted to receive a retaining screw 28'.

The portion of the base member defined by the posts 18, 18 and the posts 24, 24' is adapted to accommodate the flat cable 10, as well as the clamping means B which retains the flat cable therein. As seen in FIGURES 2 and 3, the flat cable extends through the assembly between the posts and at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the device. The cable is raised slightly at the sides of the block by risers 30 and 32.

The riser 30 extends between the post 18 and the post 24. The riser 32 is slightly tapered on its inner surface and is similarly located between posts 18 and 24. A slot is located between each riser and each of the posts. Guide members 34 and 34 on each end of the riser 30 are spaced from each other a distance slightly greater than the width of the flat cable. The guides insure alignment of the flat cable disposed between the projections. A similar set of guides 36, 36' are provided on the riser 32 to'align the cable with respect to the riser 32.

The conductor-receiving end of the base member A is slotted at 38 (FIGURES 1 and 4) to receive a threaded screw 40 (FIGURE 3) to secure the device to a wall or chassis 42. The slot 38 is slightly undercut (FIGURE 4) to form a shoulder 44 to seat the head of the screw 40. Making the slot longitudinal permits adjustment of the device on the wall to facilitate alignment with the flat cable.

Also extending from the base member A, in the vicinity of the longitudinal slot 38, is a pair of strain-relief posts 46, 46'. As shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, these posts are generally L-shaped (upside down) with the foot of the L directed away from the slot 38. These posts are useful in conjunction with conductors which are not provided with a strain-relief means. Such conductors may be wrapped around these posts prior to making a connection so that any strain on the conductor will be taken up by the posts rather than by the connection. Undercut portions (similar to undercut portions 20) are located at the base of each post.

When it is desired to use the device with a set of bundled wires, a pair of strain-relief members 48 and 48 at the outer extremities of slot 38 may be employed. These members are generally U-shaped and face each other to form a channel 49, 49'. A ferrule 50 (FIGURE 8) with a pair of ears 52, 52 emanating therefrom may be secured around the bundle of wires 54 and deformed thereon. The ferrule 50 may then be inserted between the members 48 and 48 with the ears 52, 52' extending into the slot 49, 49' formed by the alignment of these members. Any tensile strain on the bundle will be resisted by the ears 52, 52' on the ferrule 50, rather than by the connectors.

Directing attention to the clamping member B, it is also comprised of plastic, preferably of the same material as the rest of the device. This clamping member comprises a central block 56 and a plurality of parallel, slotted apertures 58 disposed therein. These apertures contain receptacle members of the type illustrated in FIGURE 6. Each end of the block has a flange 60, 60' with an opening therein to receive the screws 28 and 28 respectively. The side portions of the blocks have clamp members 62 and 62' (FIGURES 1 and 2) extending therefrom. The clamp members 62, 62' are secured to the side of the block 56 and designed to fit over the risers 30, 32.

In assembly, the block 56 is inserted onto the base member A with the bottom section of the block disposed between the risers and 32. The clamp member 62 surrounds the riser 30 and tightly engages it. Similarly, the clamp member 62' surrounds the riser 32. In this position, the screw 28 passes through the opening in the flange 60 at one end of the block 56, and is threaded into the threaded member 23 in the base member to secure the clamping member into the base member A. The screw 4 28' passes through the opening in the flange 60 and threads into the opening 26 in the base member A so that the block 56 is tightly secured to the base member.

The receptacle means as shown in FIGURE 6 comprises a plate member 64 having lateral extensions 66 and 66. The lateral extensions have sharp corners that are adapted to scrape the insulation from the tape when the connection is made. Surrounding the plate 64 is a spring clip 68 having one edge 70 which secures it to the plate 64. The opposite edge 72 of the clip 68 resiliently engages one side of the plate 64. This permits an electrical connector having a blade 74 to be inserted between the resilient spring 72 and the plate 64 so that it can be readily engaged or disengaged,

As shown in FIGURES 1 and 3, a receptacle may be inserted into eachof the slots 58 and retained therein (e.g., by an insulating strip 76 bonded to the bottom of the block 56, as shown in FIGURES 3 and 5). The extensions 66 and 66 protrude slightly from the sides of the block 56 (note FIGURES l and 5).

The cover member C comprises a housing 7 8 (FIGURE 1) which may be snapped onto the assembly. One end of the housing has a U-shaped, reinforced opening 80 to permit ingress of the conductors. The inner surface of .the cover has an inwardly-extending lip 82 which snaps into the undercut portion 20' at one end of the base member A. The cover is hooked onto the undercuts 20 and then cammed down over the posts 18, 18 at the other end until it snaps into undercuts 20. Slots 84 and 84' on the sides of the cover member C permit entry of the fiat cable (note FIGURES 1 and 5), and provides clearance for clamp members 62 and 62.

A slotted bar 86 is attached to the cover on the outer surface at one end thereof. This may be used in disengaging the cover from the base member by prying the bar outwardly to release the lip 82 from the undercut portion 20.

A longitudinally-extending fin 88 extends from the inner surface of the cover 78 (FIGURES 3 and 4) adjacent the U-shaped opening 80. This fin 88 bears upon the top of the bundle of wires inserted therein to secure them on the base member A.

Operation-When it is desired to attach the device to flat cable 10 on a wall 42, the base member A is secured to the wall by a screw 40 fitted through the aperture 38 in the base member A. The flat cable 10 enters the assembly over the riser 30, and is trimmed so that its end is positioned in the well between the risers 30 and 32. An additional cable may be introduced in like manner over the riser 32 (FIGURES l and 5). (A single length of fiat cable may be fed through the device in the same manner.) The clamping member B is fitted onto the base member A by inserting the block 56 between the risers 30 and 32. The clamping members 62, 62 surround the risers 30 and 32 respectively, to tightly engage the fiat cable 10 between the block and the inside surface of the risers.

Screws 28 and 28 are inserted into the threaded openings 22 and 26, thus securing the insert member B to the base member A. As the insert B is forced toward the 1 base A, the tapered, inner surfaces of risers 30 and 32 force the tape cable into close proximity to the outwardlyextending portions 66, 66 of the connector plates 64, causing insulation to be scraped from the surface of the flat cable to expose the conductors 12. The connector plates 64 and the conductors 12 make electrical contact.

A bundle of wires 54 having blade-type terminals 74 on the end of each wire may be inserted into the base member A so that the ferrule 50 on the bundle is disposed between the posts 48, 48' and the projections 46, 46. The cars 52, 52 on the ferrule 50 fit' into the slots 49, 49 to anchor the bundle of wires in proper position and provide a strain-relief. The blades 74 of the terminals may be fitted into the appropriate slots 58 to make connection with the copper conductor 12 of the flat cable via receptacle 64. An arcuate section in the slot accommodes the ferrule portion of the terminal. The cover C is snapped in place with the lips 82, 82' on the inner surfaces of the cover fitting into the undercut portions 20 and 20'. The fin 88 bears upon the ferrule 50 to properly retain it in place.

An embodiment of a clip-type connector 110, adapted to be used in the assembly, may be blanked-out from a strip of sheet metal in the manner shown in FIGURE 13. This clip is generally a parallelogram, having opposed parallel sides 112, 114, and 116, 118. Sides 112 and 114 from an acute angle and sides 116 and 118 form an identical acute angle.

A pair of rectangular openings 120 and 122 are formed centrally of the clip along the central line thereof. These openings are parallel to the sides 112 and 114 and are equi-distantly spaced therefrom.

After the connector is formed out of sheet metal, it is folded over along the center line to form two pointed edge portions 124 and 126. Portions 124 and 126 can be separated slightly with the fingers so that a conductor 128 (FIGURE 11) may be inserted into the clip along its folded-over portion adjacent the openings 120 and 122. With the conductor 128 in place, the pointed edge portions 124 and 126 are inserted into a receptacle 58. The receptacle holds the sides of the clip together and thereby tightly secures the conductor therein.

An embodiment of the receptacle means 164 is shown in FIGURES 14-16. This receptacle means is adapted to be used in place of the receptacle means shown in FIGURE 6 and may be blanked out from a strip of sheet metal similar to that used to form clip 68. After the receptacle means 164 has been blanked out, it comprises a member 165 having lateral extensions 166, 166' and electrical connector receiving means which include arcuate shaped legs 170, 172 resiliently in engagement with each other. As shown, legs 170, 172 contain two sections but each leg can be a solid piece of material if desired. A blade 74 of an electrical connector can be inserted between resilient legs 170, 172 as shown in FIG- URE so that it can be readily engaged or disengaged.

Each leg is connected to member 165 by a piece 167. Abutting members 167 extend outwardly from each side of pieces 167. Each leg also contains a downwardly directed part 168. Each extension 166, 166' has a downwardly directed section 169 which has a sharp corner that is adapted to scrape and penetrate the insulation of the tape to make connection with a corresponding conductor thereof.

Turning now to FIGURE 15, the receptacle means 164 are shown mounted into each of the slots 58 of block 56. Each slot 58' has on the interior thereof flanges 158 directed toward the axis of the slot which define a plane upper surface and an inclined lower surface. Spaced from the bottom of each slot on each end of each side surface, there are abutting surfaces 159.

As each receptacle means 164 is pushed into a corresponding slot 58 from the bottom, parts 168 of the legs engage the inclined surfaces of flanges 158. Upon additional pressure being applied to the receptacle means, parts 168 pass beyond the inclined surfaces and the bottom edges of parts 168 rest on the plane upper surfaces of the flanges 158. This serves to lock the receptacle means in its corresponding slot. Also abuttingmem'bers 167 engage against corresponding abutting surfaces 159 which act as stop means to limit the inward movement of the receptacle means within the slot when the block 56 is inserted into the base member A to bring the sections 169 into electrical engagement with the conductor of the cable.

The outer ends of abutting members 167' as shown in FIGURE 16 engage the ends of the apertures in order to limit the lateral movement of the receptacle means.

As can be seen when observing the receptacle means in FIGURE 15 without a blade 74 therein, the parts 168 do not engage the side walls of the slot. The 'reason for this is to enable a special tool to be inserted within the slot in order to press legs 170, 172 toward each other until parts 168 are free of the upper plane surfaces of the flanges 158 so that the receptacle means can be removed from its slot.

Another reason for parts 168 not engaging the side walls of the slot is that when the blade 74 is inserted within the receptacle means, the parts 168 are moved intoengagement with the side walls thereby decreasing the frictional resistance of the legs of the receptacle Such a feature aids in the insertion of connectors; especially if they are subject to being easily bent.

The insert B of FIGURES 15 and 16 is the same as that shown in FIGURES 1-3, 5 and 10 with exception to the receptacle means 164 so that the operation of this embodiment is the same as that of the latter mentioned figures.

As can be discerned, the receptacle means 164 of FIG- URES 14-16 is re-movably secured in clamping means B in order to easily remove it therefrom for cleaning, replacement or other purposes; whereas the receptacle means 64 of FIGURES 1-3 is secured in clamping means B by an-insulat-ing strip bonded thereto so that it is not readily removed therefrom.

Changes in construction will occur to those skilled in the art and various apparently different modifications and embodiments may be made without departing from the scope of the invention. The matter set forth in the foregoing description and accompanying drawings is offered by way of illustration only. The actual scope of the invention is intended to be defined in the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. An electrical connector comprising a base member having riser sections extending along opposite sides to define a channel having inclined side wall means for receiving insulated cable means having conductor means along said side wall means and in engagement with a bottom surface of said channel, clamping means having a section matable with said channel, conductor means in said clamping means and including conductor-engaging means extending outwardly from sides of said section, clamp members extending outwardly from opposite sides of said clamping means in the same direction as said conductor-engaging means and being shaped to press said cable means against exterior surfaces of said base member, and means to secure said clamping means to said base member with said cable means in said channel between said section and the side wall means and bottom surface of said channel, said conductor-engaging means disposed toward said side wall means of said riser section with said cable means being wedged therebetween and said conductor means and said, clamp members extending along said exterior surfaces of said riser sections with said cable means therebetween.

2. An electrical connector according to claim 1 wherein guide members extend outwardly from said riser sections to properly align said cable means in said channel.

3. A cable connecting and clamping device for providing connection with conductor means of insulated cable means and for clamping said cable means thereto, said device comprising a base member having a channel disposed therein including at least one inwardlyconverging side wall for receiving said cable means therealong crossways of said channel, a clamping element having a section matable wit-h said channel, connector means in said clamping element and including conductor-engaging means extending outwardly from sides of said section, clamp means extending outwardly from said sides of said section in a direction parallel with respect to said conductor-engaging means and being shaped to press said cable means against exterior surfaces of the base member, and means to secure said base member, clamping element and cable means together causing, during the securing action, said section to mate with said channel, said conductor-engaging means to wedge said cable means against the side wall of said ohannel and penetrate the insulation of said cable means and electrically engage said conductor means, and said clamp means to bend said cable means along the exterior surfaces of said base'member with said clamp means resting adjacent respective exterior surfaces and said cable means disposed therebetween.

4. A connector assembly according to claim 3 wherein guide means are provided on said base member to guide said cable means into said channel.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS JOSEPH D. SEERS, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2419652 *Feb 22, 1943Apr 29, 1947Int Standard Electric CorpClamping member for tipless cord connectors
US2909755 *Nov 22, 1954Oct 20, 1959Jackson AntonDual contact receptacle for printed circuits
US3024436 *Feb 17, 1958Mar 6, 1962Gen Motors CorpReceptacle for printed circuit boards
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4071289 *Jan 21, 1977Jan 31, 1978Essex Group, Inc.Electrical connector assembly for ribbon type electrical cable
US4289370 *May 25, 1979Sep 15, 1981Thomas & Betts CorporationFlat conductor cable electrical conductor junction means
US4458967 *Jan 15, 1982Jul 10, 1984Cooper Industries, Inc.Connector for shielded flat cable
US4479692 *Jan 7, 1982Oct 30, 1984Thomas & Betts CorporationReceptacle for flat multiconductor cable
US4545636 *Feb 29, 1984Oct 8, 1985At&T Technologies, Inc.Methods of and assemblies for strain relieving connectorized flat cable
US4610493 *Jan 24, 1986Sep 9, 1986The Babcock & Wilcox CompanyElectrical connector block
US6000951 *Mar 18, 1997Dec 14, 1999Prince CorporationElectrical ribbon wire connectors
US7965495 *Dec 19, 2008Jun 21, 2011Apple Inc.Battery connector structures for electronic devices
US8284546May 10, 2011Oct 9, 2012Apple, Inc.Battery connector structures for electronic devices
US20100091451 *Dec 19, 2008Apr 15, 2010Hendren Keith JBattery connector structures for electronic devices
US20110216501 *May 10, 2011Sep 8, 2011Hendren Keith JBattery connector structures for electronic devices
EP0170340A2 *Jan 6, 1983Feb 5, 1986THOMAS & BETTS CORPORATION (a New Jersey Corporation)Receptacle for use on flat multiconductor cable
EP0170340A3 *Jan 6, 1983Nov 12, 1986Thomas & Betts CorporationReceptacle for use on flat multiconductor cable
U.S. Classification439/411, 439/492, 439/456
International ClassificationH01R13/639
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/639, H01R12/67
European ClassificationH01R12/67, H01R13/639