US 3278890 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ATTORNEYS J. s. COONEY FEMALE SOCKET CONNECTOR Flled Aprll 13 1964 FIG. 2
Oct. 11, 1966 United States Patent 3,278,890 I FEMALE SOCKET CONNECTOR James S. Coone'y, Attleboro, Mass., assignor to Pylon Company, Inc'., a corporation of Massachusetts Filed Apr. 13, 1964, Ser. No. 359,054 2 Claims. (Cl. 339256) The present invention relates generally to the electrical art and is more particularly concerned with the provision of a novel and improved female connector or socket for electrical circuits.
It has been found that where a plurality of female connectors are mounted on a single plate or base for receiving another plate or base having a like plurality of male connectors in the form of pins or prongs, extremely high insertion and removal forces are required when it is desired to interengage the plates and their contacts to make an electrical connection and conversely when it is desired to disengage the plates and their contacts to break said connection. Even though a single socket and its corresponding pin connector may require an insertion and withdrawal force of only five or six ounces, it will be understood that where a large plurality of pins and sockets are mounted respectively on single plates (sometimes in numbers upward of a hundred) the insertion and removal forces magnify to unmanageable porportions. By the same token, where a large plurality of sockets and pins are mounted respectively on single plates, a serious alignment problem is frequently encountered.
It is therefor a primary object of my invention to provide a novel and improved female connector which requires an extremely light insertion and withdrawal force even where the plate or panel comprises a large plurality of sockets which are simultaneously engaged by a large plurality of male connectors.
Another object of my invention is the provision of a novel and improved female connector which enables greater play to exist between the male connector and the female connector thus facilitating proper alignment where a great number of sockets are mounted on a single plate and are simultaneously being engaged by a great number of pins which are also mounted on a single panel or plate.
A further object is the provision of a female connector capable of achieving the foregoing objectives but which nevertheless provides extremely reliable electrical contact with the male connector, even under conditions of vibration.
Still another object is the provision of a female connector of the character described wherein the electrical engagement between the socket and a suitable male connector is made at a point adjacent the mouth of the socket.
A further object is the provision of a socket of the character described which is simple and economically feasible to manufacture, is relatively easy to mount for usage and which is durable and efficient in operation.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the description thereof proceeds when considered in connection with the accompanying illustrative drawings,
In the drawings which illustrate the best mode presently contemplated by me for carrying out my invention:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing broken away portions of a pair of opposed panels, one of said panels having fem-ale connectors constructed in accordance with the present invention mounted therein and the other panel having mating male connectors mounted therein;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevational view illustrating the female connector of the instant invention and a mating male connector in disengaged relation;
Patented Oct. 11, 1966 'ice FIG. 3 is an enlarged elevation view, partly in section, of the female connector per se, at an intermediate stage of its construction.
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2 thereof, there is shown a pair of opposed plates or panels 10 and 12, respectively, said panels being constructed of any electrically non-conductive material, such as phenolic or the like. Mounted in the panel 10 are a plurality of female connectors or sockets 14 while panel 12 has mounted therein a plurality of male connectors in the form of pins 16. It Will be understood that the pins 16 are aligned with the sockets 14 so that when plates 10 and 12 are forced into engagement with each other, the pins 16 will be slidingly received by the sockets 14 so as to establish the desired electrical contact. It will be further understood that the drawings in the instant case illustrate the male and female parts in greatly magnified proportions since in actual use these elements are usually quite small. In addition, the panels or plates 10 and 12 will normally have mounted therein a great number of sockets 14 and mating pins 16, sometimes in the hundreds. This type of multiple connector enjoys Wide usage in various types of electrical and electronic circuitry and one prevalent commercial usage of multiple connectors of this type is in connection with electroluminescent devices such as read-out lamps.
Refer-ring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, it will be seen that the female connector 14 comprises an elongated tubular body 18, preferably but not necessarily cylindrical. Adjacent the open end 20 of the socket 14 there is provided an internal annular shoulder 22 which defines an outer or entrance bore 24 and an inner bore 26, the latter having a smaller inner diameter than the former. Positioned on the annular shoulder 22 is a resilient O-ring 28 of electrically conductive material, one example of such material being conductive silicone, which is actually silicone impregnated with carbon particles. Actually it will .be understood that any electrically conductive resilient material may be used for the O-ring 28. It is important to note that the inner diameter of O-ring 28 is less than the inner diameter of inner bore portion 26.
The conductive O-ring 28 may be fixedly mounted on annular shoulder 22 by any desirable means although I prefer to accomplish this by rolling over the peripheral wall adjacent entrance opening 20 as shown most clearly at 30 in FIG. 2. This will cause the O-ring to be securely maintained between the inwardly extending wall portion 30 and shoulder 22. It is important that when the peripheral wall 30 is rolled inwardly, the inner edge of said wall should not define an aperture having a smaller diameter than the inner diameter of inner bore portion 26. This is important since otherwise the inwardly extending peripheral wall might interfere with insertion and penetration of pin 16 into the socket 14.
At its opposite extremity the female connector 14 is provided with a conventional solder tail 32 adapted to receive the electrical wiring that is to be associated with the socket. It will be understoodthat although the socket 14 is shown as being closed at its lower extremity, this is obviously not necessary, but rather the cylindrical body 18 could terminate at any desired point leaving an open lower end and then the electrical wiring could be attached to the body 18 by any suitable means.
As will be shown most clearly in FIG. 2, the socket 14 is mounted in the panel 10 preferably by being pressed therein, it being understood that the panel 10 is provided with an aperture 34 for receiving the cylindrical body 1-8 in press-fit relation. The socket 14 will be pressed into panel 10 until the outer annular shoulder 36 of the enlarged entrance portion of the socket abuts the upper surface of the panel, as clearly shown in FIG. 2.
The pin 16 per se forms no part of the instant invention, but rather this element is of conventional construction comprising a cylindrical prong 38 and an enlarged upper body portion 40 that is pressed into a suitable aperture 42 in panel 12. At its upper extremity the pin is provided with a resilient conductive slug 44, said slug enabling the plate 12 to make electrical engagement with another electrical contact (not shown) all as clearly shown and described in my co-pending U.S. patent application Serial No. 34,903, filed June 9, 1960, now Patent No. 3,153,561.
As will be obvious, the female connector 14 and the pin 16 are both constructed of electrically conductive material, and preferably metal. 'It is also important to note that the outer diameter of cylindrical pin portion 38 is somewhat larger than the inner diameter of O-ring 28 but at the same time is somewhat smaller than the inner diameter of inner bore portion 26.
In operation and use, the plates and 12 are brought into engagement with each other whereupon prong 38 enters socket 14 at its open end and is frictionally and resiliently received by the conductive O-ring 28. The resilience and flexibility of O-ring 2 8 enables the pin to penetrate into socket 14 with a relatively light insertion force, even where the plates 10 and 12 carry a large number of sockets 14 and pins 16 which are simultaneously making engagement. Conversely, when it is desired to separate the panels 10 and 12 so as to break the electrical continuity therebetween, only a very light withdrawal force will be required, once again even though a great many sockets and pins are mounted in the respective plates. 7
In view of the fact that O-ring 28 is mounted closely adjacent to the open end of socket 14, it will be seen that electrical contact is made with pin 38 very shortly after the pin enters the socket. This is highly advantageous in that it enables relatively short pins to be used without in any way aifecting the electrical engagement that is being made. It will be understood that electrical contact is made as soon as pin 38 engages O-ring 28 and, in fact, in many cases the pin 28 makes no engagement whatsoever with the tubular body of socket 14. The resilience or flow of O- ring 28 insures good electrical contact between the socket 14 and pin 16 even when the engaged panels are under severe vibration. Expressed differently, in the instant arrangement vibration does not cause the continuity of the electrical engagement to be broken intermittently, as sometimes occurs in prior art sockets of this general type. At the same time, the lateral play which exists between pin 38 and socket 14 facilitates alignment of panels 10 and 12 where the panels comprise a large number of sockets and male pins. The electrical contact made by O-ring 28 is further beneficial and advantageous in that a more pronounced area contact is made with the prong 38 than is the case in conventional prior art sockets of the instant type, wherein more often than not only point contact is made between the socket and the pin.
It will be understood that the term O-ring is used broadly herein and is specifically meant to cover flat washers and the like having apertures therein, as well as rings having the circular cross-section illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3.
While there is shown and described herein certain specific structure embodying the invention, it will be manifest to those skilled in the art that various modifications and rearrangements may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the underlying inventive concept and that the same is not limited to the particular forms herein shown and described except insofar as indicated by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A female connector comprising a hollow body of electrically conductive material, said body having a pcripheral wall open at one end for receiving an elongated pin, and a resilient member constructed of conductive silicone, said member being mounted on said connector so as to extend inwardly from said peripheral wall, whereby said member resiliently engages said pin when the latter is inserted into said female connector.
2. A female connector comprising a tubular body of rigid, electrically conductive material, said body being open at least at one end thereof and having an internal peripheral shoulder adjacent said open end, and a resilient ring-like member constructed of conductive silicone fixedly mounted on said shoulder, said member being shaped to conform to the periphery of said body, the inner periphery'of said member extending inwardly of the inner surface of said body, whereby when a male connector of the proper dimensions is inserted into said female connector, it will be resiliently received by said member.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,310,212 2/1943 Buchanan 339256 2,379,942 7/ 1945 Webber 339. 2,916,719 12/1959 Toms 339--60 3,093,435 6/1963 Johnson 339-276 3,101,984- 8/19-63 Wieckmann 339-69 FOREIGN PATENTS 152,679 2/ 193-2 Switzerland.
EDWARD C. ALLEN, Primary Examiner. PATRICK A. CLIFFORD, Examiner. J. H. MCGLYNN, Assistant Examiner.