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Publication numberUS3268849 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 23, 1966
Filing dateJul 26, 1963
Priority dateJul 26, 1963
Publication numberUS 3268849 A, US 3268849A, US-A-3268849, US3268849 A, US3268849A
InventorsSilverberg Morton
Original AssigneeRca Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical connectors
US 3268849 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1966 M. SILVERBERG 3,268,849

ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS Filed July 26, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 I NVENTOR.

life/5B5 Aug. 23, 1966 M. SILVERBERG 3,

ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS Filed July 26, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 lllllllumfl 74 INVENTOR.

MOATO/V 5/1 VK5EKG i4 i orney Aug. 23, 1966 M. SILVERBERG ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed July 26, 1963 INVENTOR.

Aug. 23, 1966 M. SILVERBERG ELECTRICAL CONNECTORS 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed July 26, 1963 INVENTOR. ll/OATO/V 5/1 I/EABERG BY Iliarweg United States Patent 3,268,849 ELEQTRIQAL CONNECTORS Morton Silverberg, Riverton, N..I., assignor to Radio Corporation of America, a corporation of Delaware Filed July 26, 1963, Ser. No. 297,872 Claims. (Cl. 339-182) This invention relates to electrical connectors that are especially useful with electronic modular structures, and more particularly to electrical connectors for connecting miniaturized electrical modules to printed circuit panels and the like with minimal space requirement.

It has been proposed to connect electrical modules to printed circuit boards by means of connectors of the plugin type. These prior art connectors usually employ straight pins or rods that are adapted to be engaged within mating receptacles by a pushing action. Where, however, the number of connections to be made simultaneously is relatively large, the force required to make these connections may be considerable. Thus, it is frequently rather unwieldy to effect suitable connection by connectors of the prior art, since the mechanical advantage afforded by these connectors is relatively low. Similar difiiculties are also experienced with these plug-in connectors in simultaneously disconnecting a plurality of pins from their mating receptacles.

It is an object of the present invention to provide improved electrical connectors that have a relatively higher mechanical advantage in making the connection than do conventional, prior art, plug-in-type connectors.

A further object of the present invention is to provide improved electrical connectors by means of which connection can be obtained by an easily effected, simple, rotational motion of one of the connector parts with respect to the other.

Another object of the present invention is to provide improved electrical connectors wherein good wiping action is obtained between mating contacts.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide improved electrical connectors that are especially suitable for easily mounting electrical modules to printed circuit boards.

A further object of the present invention is to provide improved electrical connectors that lend themselves to high packaging densities, as required in miniaturized equipment.

Still a further object of the present invention is to provide improved electrical connectors of the type described that are relatively simple in construction and operation, easy to manufacture, and yet highly reliable in use.

Briefly stated, each of the improved electrical connectors of the present invention comprises a cam contact and a resilient contact having a pair of opposite members or parts of which at least one is resilient. The opposite members of the resilient contact define a passageway within which a cam portion of the cam contact may be easily disposed when the latter is in a selected or desired position with respect to the resilient contact. When the cam contact is rotated with respect to the resilient contact, the cam portion of the cam contact earns the resilient members of the resilient contact apart, thereby making a good electrical connection with the resilient contact.

The novel features of the present invention, both as to its organization and method of operation, as well as additional objects and advantages thereof, will be more Patented August 23, 1966 readily understood from the following description, when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which similar reference characters designate similar parts throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary, exploded view, in perspective, of one embodiment of electrical connectors according to the present invention for making electrical connections between an electrical module and a circuit board;

FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 are side elevational views of the elec trical connector shown in FIG. 1, illustrating ditferent positions of mating contacts in the process of connecting an electrical module to a printed circuit board;

FIG. Sis a bottom view of the electrical module shown in FIGS. 14;

FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 are side elevational views of another embodiment of electrical connectors according to the present invention, illustrating different positions in the process of connecting a module to a printed circuit board;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary plan view of the module and electrical connectors shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a bottom view of the module shown in FIGS. 6-9; 1

FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of still another embodiment of electrical connectors according to the present invention, illustrating one of the positions in the process of electrically engaging a module to a printed circuit board;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary, front elevational view of the electrical connectors shown in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary, cross-sectional view taken along the line 1313 of FIG. 11;

FIGS. 14 and 15 are side elevational views of the electrical connectors shown in FIGS. 10-13, illustrating different positions of the mating contacts in the process of electrically connecting a module to a printed circuit board;

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary, plan view of the electrical connectors shown in FIG. 15; and

FIG. 17 is a bottom view of the module shown in FIGS. 11, 14, 15 and 16.

Referring, now, particularly to FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the drawings, there is shown one embodiment of a novel electrical connector 10 for connecting an electrical module 12 to a circuit board 14, such as a printed circuit board. The electrical connector 10 consists of one or more U-shaped resilient contacts 16 afiixed to the module 12, and a corresponding number of relatively rigid cam contacts 18 affixed to the board 14. The resilient con tacts 16 and the cam contacts 18 are mating contacts that are adapted to make an electrical connection between them by a camming action of the cam contacts 18 within the respective resilient contacts 16, as will be hereinafter explained.

Each resilient contact 16 may be made from an integral strip of resilient metal, such. as beryllium copper, for

example, and has a pair of opposed resilient members 20 and 22 that are integral with a connecting member 24, forming a U-shaped contact therewith. The member 22 is also integral with a proximal end member 26, the latter forming a bend or detent 25 with the member 22 in a direction which tends to narrowthe passageway 29 defined by the opposed members 20 and 22.

The resilient contacts 16 are attached to the lower surface 30 of the electrical module 12 by any suitable means, such as by soldering to a metalized surface of the module, or by gluing, for example. A plurality of resilient contacts 16 may be attached to the module 12 adjacent to its front edge 32, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, for connections to different parts of the circuitry of the module 12. The module 12 comprises a base 31 of insulating material, such as a wafer of aluminum oxide. A plurality of electrical components, such as a transistor 33, for example, can be supported on the upper surface 35 of the module and interconnected on the lower surface 30 to form a desired circuit. Since these interconnections need not be described for an understanding of the present invention, most of them are not shown in the drawings for the sake of clarity. A typical connection between one resilient contact 16 and a component on the module 12 is shown, by way of example, in FIG. 5, by a printed or painted conductor 36.

Each rigid cam contact 18 comprises a head or cam portion 40, a relatively narrow neck portion 42 extending from the cam portion 40, and a shoulder portion 44 extending from the neck portion 42. A straight, relatively narrow terminal portion 46 extends from the shoulder portion 44 and is adapted to function as a stud around which a wire (not shown) may be wrapped for connection thereto. The upper part of the terminal portion 46 is molded into a connector block 48, and the lower part extends through a hole 50 in the circuit board 14. The connector block 48 may be secured to the circuit board 14 by any suitable means, as by gluing. A plurality of cam contacts 18 are disposed linearly within the connector block 48, as shown in FIG. 1, for engaging the resilient contacts 22 on the module 12. The terminal portions 46 of adjacent cam cont-acts 18 are offset from each other in order to facilitate making wiring connections to them.

The cam portion 40 of each cam contact 18 has a greater dimension along one direction than along a transverse direction. As seen in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, for example, the cam portion 40 is shown as having a greater overall width (in a horizontal direction as oriented in the drawing) than height (in a vertical direction). Also, it is eccentric with respect to the neck portion 42. Because of this eccentricity, the cam portion 40 can be inserted easily into the passageway 29 bebtween the resilient members 20 and 22 of the resilient contact 16, as shown in FIG. 2. To make a good electrical connection between the resilient contacts 16 and the cam contacts 18, relative motion is produced between these contacts, as by rotating, for example, the resilient contacts 16 in the direction indicated by the arrow 52 (FIG. 3). This action cams the resilient members 20 and 22 apart. When the plane of the surface of the module 12 is parallel to the plane surface of the circuit board 14, the detent 28 engages within a notch 54 between the cam portion 40 and the neck portion 42 of the cam contact 18, as shown in FIG. 4. The resilient members 20 and 22 are thus spread apart by the widest part of the cam portion 40, providing a good electrical connection between the resilient contact 16 and the cam contact 18. While, in most cases, it is more convenient to rotate a relatively small module 12 with respect to a relatively larger circuit board 14 to make an electrical connection between their attached contacts 16 and 18, respectively, it will be understood that the cam contact 18 may also be rotated with respect to the resilient contact 16 to obtain the desired electrical connection.

A comb 56 of plastic material is attached to the upper surface 35 of the module 12 by any suitable means, as by glue. The comb 56 is formed with teeth 58 that extend between adjacent resilient contacts 16 and function as guides for aligning the cam contacts 18 with respective resilient contacts 16.

Referring, now, to FIGS. 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, there is shown another embodiment of an electrical connector 60 in accordance with the present invention for connection of the module 12 to the circuit board 14. The connector 60 comprises a resilient contact 62 having a pair of opposed resilient members 64 and 65 that form a U-shaped structure with a connecting member 66. A terminal portion 68 of the resilient contact 62 is fixed in the terminal block 48 and extends through the hole 50 in the circuit board 14, providing means to make electrical connections thereto. A stop-tab 69 extends laterally from the member 65 into a passageway 71 defined between the resilient members 64 and 65.

A cam contact of the electrical connector 60 is formed from an integral, rigid strip of metal that has a proximal end portion 72 fixed to the lower surface 30 of the base 31 of the module 12 by any suitable means. The cam contact 70 has a middle portion 73 that is bent parallel to the front edge 32 of the base 31 and a distal end portion that is bent away from the base 31 and parallel to the upper surface 35 of the base 31. A cam portion 74 extends laterally from the distal end portion 75 near the distal end 76 of the cam contact 70, as best seen in FIG. 9.

In order to make an electrical connection between the cam contact 70 and the resilient contact 62, the cam contact 70 is inserted into the passageway 71 between the resilient members 64 and 65 until the cam portion 74 abuts the stop tab 69, as shown in FIG. 6. When the module 12 is substantially perpendicular to the circuit board 14, as shown in FIG. 6, the cam contact 70 fits easily within the U-shaped resilient contact 62. A good electrical connection can now be made between these contacts by providing relative motion between them, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. Thus, by rotating the cam contact 70 in the direction of the arrow 52, as shown in FIG. 7, the cam portion 74 wipes and spreads apart the resilient members 64 and 66. When the module 12 is substantially parallel to the circuit board 14, as shown in FIG. 8, the members 64 and 66 are cammed apart a maximum amount, and the contacts 62 and 70 make a good electrical connection between them.

Referring, now, to FIGS. 11 to 17, there is shown a further embodiment of a novel electrical connector 80 according to the present invention for making an electrical connection between the module 12 and the circuit board 14. The connector 80 comprises a cam contact 82 that is connected at its proximal end portion 79 to the module 12 by any suitable means. The cam contact 82 has a pair of cross-like arms 81 and 83 extending laterally from its distal end portion 85. The end portions 85 of the cam contacts 82 comprise cam portions for wiping and camming oppositely disposed resilient members of mating contacts in a manner hereinafter to be described. Alternate ones of the cam contacts 82 are designated with a subscript a, as shown in FIG. 17. Adjacent cam contacts 82 and 82a are adapted to engage a pair of U-shaped resilient contacts 84 and 84a, respectively. p

The resilient contact 84 is a U-shaped contact having a pair of opposed resilient members 86 and 88. The members 86 and 88 are formed so as to define a passageway 89 therebetween, the lower portion of the passageway 89, looking at FIG. 12, being wider than the upper portion thereof. The members 86 and 88 are formed with a pair of notches 90 and 92, respectively, about their middle portions, serving to widen the tapered passageway 89 at the sites of these notches.

The resilient contact 84a is also a U-shaped resilient contact having opposed, resilient members 94 and 96. The members 94 and 96 define a passageway 97 which is widest at the top, looking at FIG. 12, and tapers toward a pair of notches 98 and 99 in the sides of the members 94 and 96, respectively. The notches 98 and 99 widen the tapered passageway 97 at their sites, and they are disposed at the same height from the connector block 48 as are the notches 90 and 92 in the members 86 and 88, respectively.

The resilient contacts 84 and 84a are arranged in a sequential, alternate, offset manner. The resilient contacts 84 are disposed in a linear alignment in the connector block 48, as shown in FIGS. 13 and 16, for example. The resilient contacts 84a are also disposed in a linear alignment in the connector block 48, but they are displaced from the linear alignment of the resilient contacts 84. This offset arrangement makes it convenient to wrap wires around the terminal ends 100 and 102 of the resilient contacts 84 and 84a, respectively.

In order to make an electrical connection between a cam contact 82 and a resilient contact 84 and between a cam contact 82a and a resilient contact 84a, the cam contacts 82 and 82a are disposed between the two, parallel alignments of the two sets of resilient contacts 84 and 84a, as shown in FIGS. 11 and 13. In this position, the module 12 is substantially perpendicular to the circuit board 14. The module 12 is now rotated about an imaginary axis passing through the cross-like arms 81 and 83 in the direction indicated by the arrow 52 in FIG. 14. The cam portion 85 to one side of the arms 81 and 83 of the cam contact 82 extends through, and moves upwardly in, the passageway 89, cams the members 86 and 88 apart, and comes to rest within the notches 90 and 92. Simultaneously with the latter action, the cam portion 85 to the other side of the arms 81 and 83 of the cam contact 82a enters the passageway 97 between the members 94 and 96 of the resilient contact 84a, spreads the members apart, and comes to rest within the notches 98 and 99, as shown in FIGS. 15 and 16. In the latter position, the module 12 is substantially parallel to the circuit board 14.

In order to remove the module 12 easily and quickly from the circuit board 14, in each of the embodiments of the electrical connectors of the present invention, the module 12 is rotated in the direction opposite to that indicated by the arrow 52 until the module 12 is substantially perpendicular to the circuit board 14. In the latter position, the resilient members of the resilient cont-acts are substantially unbiased and the module 12 is easily separated from the circuit board 14, the mating contacts of the electrical connectors being substantially discon nected from each other.

From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that there has been provided a novel electrical connector for interconnecting components that may require a great number of mating connectors with a high mechanical advantage. While only a few examples of the novel electrical connectors have been described herein, variations in their structures and applications, all coming within the spirit of this invention, will, no doubt, readily suggest themselves to those skilled in the art. Hence, it is desired that the foregoing shall be considered as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

What is claimed is:

1. A connector for electrically connecting a pair of parts comprising: a plurality of cam contacts each having a cam-head with a relatively narrow terminal portion depending from each of said cam-heads, said narrow terminal portions each being adaptable as a stud for wrapping a wire thereabout, a plurality of resilient U-shaped contacts each having a pair of opposed resilient members defining a passageway therebetween, said cam contacts being afiixed to one of said parts and said U-shaped contacts being affixed to the second of said parts, each of said cam heads having an eccentric cam portion adapted, in one angular position of said one part with respect to said other part, to fit easily and freely into a separate one of said passageways, each of said cam portions being adapted, in a second angular position of said one part with respect to said other part, to cam said pair of members of that U-shaped contact in whose passageway it fits away from each other, thereby mating said parts.

2. A connector for electrically connecting a pair of parts comprising: a plurality of rigid cam contacts and a plurality of resilient, U-shaped contacts each having a pair of opposed, resilient members defining a passageway therebetween, said cam contacts being linearly afixed to one of said parts, and said U-shaped contacts being linearly afiixed to the second of said parts, each of said cam contacts having an eccentric cam portion adapted, in one angular position of said one part with respect to said second part, to fit easily and freely into a separate one of said passageways, each of said cam portions being adapted, in a second angular position of said one part with respect to said second part, to cam said pair of members of that U-shaped contact in whose passageway it fits away from each other, and a comb member fixed to said second part and having teeth extending between said U-shaped contacts.

3. An electrical connect-or connecting first and second parts, said connector comprising a plurality of rigid cam contacts and a plurality of resilient contacts, each resilient contact being adapted to mate with a separate one of said cam contacts, each of said resilient contacts having a pair of opposed resilient members, each of said cam contacts being defined by two parallel planar surfaces, and edges, with said cam contacts being aligned on said first part and said resilient contacts being aligned on said second part in alignment with said cam contacts on said first part; said pair of members in each of said resilient contacts defining a passageway therebetween for easily receiving a separate one of said cam contacts therein when each of said cam contacts is disposed in a first position with respect to a mating one of said resilient contacts, por tions of said edges of each of said cam contacts being formed to cam apart said pair of members in its mating resilient contact by rotation of the cam contact to a second position within said passageway of said mating resilient contact and to releasably and securably engage said members to hold said cam contacts in said second position.

4. An electrical connector connecting first and second parts, said connector comprising a plurality of rigid cam contacts, a plurality of resilient contacts, each resilient contact being adapted to mate with a separate one of said cam contacts, each of said resilient contacts having a pair of opposed resilient members, each of said cam contacts being defined by two parallel planar surfaces, and edges, with said cam contacts being aligned on said first part and said resilient contacts being aligned on said second part in alignment with said cam contacts on said first part; said pair of members in each of said resilient contacts defining a passageway therebetween for easily receiving a separate one of said cam contacts therein when each of said cam contacts is disposed in a first position with respect to a mating one of said resilient contacts, portions of said edges of each of said cam contacts being formed to cam apart said pair of members in its mating resilient contact by rotation of the cam contact to a second position Within said passageway of said mating resilient contact and to releasably and securably engage said members to hold said cam contacts in said second position, and a comb member fixed to said second part, said comb member having teeth extending between said resilient contacts.

5. An electrical connector connecting first and second parts, said connector comprising a plurality of rigid cam contacts, a plurality of resilient contacts, each resilient contact being adapted to mate with a separate one of said cam contacts, each of said resilient contacts having a pair of opposed resilient members, each of said cam contacts being defined by two parallel planar surfaces, and edges, with said cam contacts being aligned on said first part and said resilient contacts being aligned on said second part in alignment with said cam contacts on said first part; said pair of members in each of said resilient contacts defining a passageway therebetween for easily receiving a separate one of said cam contacts therein when each of said cam contacts is disposed in a first 7 8 position with respect to a mating one of said resilient References Cited by the Examiner contacts, portions of said edges of each of said cam con- UNITED STATES PATENTS tacts being formed to cam a part said pair of members in its mating resilient contact by rotation of the cam contact to a second position Within said passageway of said 5 mating resilient contact and to releasably and securably engage said members to hold said cam contact in said FOREIGN PATENTS second position, and a stop tab extending into said pas- 1,110,270 10/ 1955 r n sageway from one of said resilient members intermediate the ends thereof to aid in releasably and securably en- 10 EDWARD ALLEN Exammergaging said members in said second position. R. E. MOORE, Assistant Examiner.

2,522,672 9/1950 Graham 339-47 X 3,011,144 11/1961 Armentrout 339-274 X

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2522672 *Mar 2, 1946Sep 19, 1950Thomas & Betts CorpDisconnector blade terminal
US3011144 *Feb 24, 1961Nov 28, 1961Gen Motors CorpElectric terminal connector
FR1110270A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4863388 *May 4, 1988Sep 5, 1989Ag Communication Systems CorporationRotating contact ZIF connector
US4865553 *Feb 14, 1989Sep 12, 1989Amp IncorporatedHinged connector
US5470255 *Aug 10, 1993Nov 28, 1995The Whitaker CorporationExtended height connector for a battery
US5518424 *Sep 22, 1994May 21, 1996The Whitaker CorporationConnector for a battery
DE2351659A1 *Oct 15, 1973Apr 25, 1974Amp IncElektrischer verbinder
EP0618643A2 *Mar 30, 1994Oct 5, 1994Hirose Electric Co., Ltd.Flexible board electrical connector
EP0618643A3 *Mar 30, 1994Mar 6, 1996Hirose Electric Co LtdFlexible board electrical connector.
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/629, 439/660
International ClassificationH01R12/18, H01R12/16, H05K7/10, H01R13/213
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/213, H01R12/82, H05K7/1015
European ClassificationH01R13/213, H05K7/10E, H01R23/68B