US 3281761 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 25, 1966 N. L. MOULIN 3,231,761
CONNECTOR SECURING DEVICE Filed March 31, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 5y Maia 2.2L]
AffOX/Vy Oct. 25, 1966 N. L. MOULIN 3,231,761
CONNECTOR SECURING DEVICE Filed March 31, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent 3,281,761 CONNECTOR SECURING DEVICE Norbert L. Moulin, Placentia, Califl, assignor to Hughes Aircraft Company, Culver City, Calif., a corporation of Delaware Filed Mar. 31, 1964, Ser. No. 356,205 2 Claims. (Cl. 339-186) The present invention relates to multicontact electrical connectors and more particularly to electrical connectors having an improved means for securing and indexing the connector.
The increased emphasis on electronic components and systems has created difficult interconnecting and connecting problems since a single electrical system may incorporate many hundreds of interconnected components and correspondingly many thousands of electrical conductors. Therefore, it has become necessary to develop efiicient, reliable, inexpensive and compact connectors that enable as many as a hundred or more of the conductors to be made to a system simultaneously. In the design of such connectors special consideration must be given to the mechanical and structural problems inherent in correctly and rigidly making many contacts simultaneously. To this end the electronics industry has turned to the incorporation into such connectors of securing and aligning means such as screws and keying devices; how ever, heretofore such means because of their complexity have added unnecessary maintenance and cost.
Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to 9 provide a multicontact connector having an improved aligning and securing device.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a multicontact electrical connector which is economical to produce and simple to operate.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a multicontact electrical connector which through the incorporation of an improved aligning and securing device has increased strength.
Briefly, one embodiment of the present invention comprises an electrical connector assembly including a first connector member having at least one contact element and a first securing and aligning device comprising a tubular nut having a threaded bore and a plurality of first key sections. Mateable with the first connector memher is a second connector member including at least one contact element mateable with the contact element of said first connector and a second securing and aligning device comprising an elongated shaft having at one end a threaded portion, a tool receiving notch at the other end and intermediate said ends a support ring. A securing boss circumscribes a portion of said shaft and has at one end a plurality of second key sections mateable with said first key sections and at the other end a retaining and supporting portion adapted to both radially and axially support and retain said supporting ring.
FIGURE 1 is an enlarged perspective view of the multicontact connector assembly of the present invention showing both halves of the connector in mating relationship;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view of a portion of the connector assembly of FIG. 1 illustrating the contact made between the contact elements;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view partly cut away illustrating a portion of an electrical connector and the principal part of a typical prior art aligning and securing device;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged side elevational view showing the connector halves in section to illustrate the alignment of the connector halves when they are in a secured relationship;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the improved aligning and securing device of the present invention shown partly "ice in section and having the connector blocks, spacer and spring arrangements, and a portion of the securing boss shown in dashed lines;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of the securing and aligning device of the present invention showing the connector blocks in section to illustrate the device in an unmated position;
FIG. 7 is a top elevational view of the improved securing and aligning device of the present invention and a portion of the electrical connector taken at 7-7 in FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is an end view of the male portion of the improved securing and aligning device of the present invention taken at 88 in FIG. 6; and
FIG. 9 is an end view of the female portion of the improved securing and aligning device of the present invention taken at 9-9 in FIG. 6.
Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2 there is shown a connector assembly 10 having a first or female portion 12 and a second or male portion 14. Each of the portions contains a mounting device 16 such as a notch or bore and a plurality of transverse bores 18, each containing a contact element such as a pin 20 or a socket 22 attached to the end of an electrical conductor 23 and shown in mated relationship in FIG. 2. To align the contact elements for proper engagement and to secure and maintain the contact the connector assembly 10 also includes a securing and aligning device 24.
Referring now to FIG. 3, the principal portion or male portion of a typical prior art securing and aligning device comprises a shaft 26 having at one end a threaded portion 27 which is mateable with the other or second portion of the connector assembly. The shaft 26 is captured in a securing boss 29 by a nut 32 having jamming thread, and typically includes a plurality of keying sections 31 at one end mateable only in a predetermined orientation with the other portion of the connector assembly.
Referring now to FIGS. 4 through 9, the securing and aligning device of the present invention improves over the prior art shown in FIG. 3 by the elimination of the jamming nut 32 and associated structure and the substitution therefor of a much simpler securing means. This improved securing means comprises an elongated shaft having a threaded end 42 at one end and a notch 44 adapted to receive a tool at the other end and intermediate said ends a positioning collar 46. The shaft 40 is inserted into a bore 48 in a securing boss 50 with the threaded end 42 extending from a first end 52 and the notched end 44 extending from a second end 54 and the positioning collar 46 engaging a shoulder 56. To permanently retain the shaft in the securing boss a washer typically of two parts to facilitate installation is inserted into the chamber 58 into engagement with the exposed surface of the collar 46. Thereafter a portion 62 of the chamber wall, that is the portion not engaging the washer and shown in FIG. 5 in dotted lines, is upset by a conventional method such as spinning or crimping into engagement with the exposed surface of the washer 60. When this is done the upset portion of the chamber wall is of sufficient length to make substantial contact with the washer 60 to prevent the shaft 40 from being removed from the bore 48. Thereafter, to secure the device to the connector block the shaft and securing boss assembly is inserted into a bore 61 in the male connector block 14 until a shoulder 64 engages a portion of the bore and a spacer and spring assembly 63 is positioned securing the boss.
The first end 52 includes a plurality of keying sections 64 each separated by a notch 66 of a predetermined size wherein one of the notches is of a substantially larger width than the other two. Similarly, a mating part 68 which is secured to the female portion 12 of the connector assembly by a spacer and spring assembly 69 includes a plurality of keying sections "70 and notches and a threaded bore 72. Therefore, when the securing and aligning device 24 is engaged with the female portion 12 the keying sections will be aligned in only one orientation of the parts. After proper alignment a rotation of the shaft 40 causes the threaded end 42 to engage the threaded bore 72 resulting in a gradual contact being made between the contact elements contained in each of the connector halves.
While one embodiment of this invention has been herein illustrated it should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that variations of the disclosed arrangement both as to its details and to the organization of such details may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. Accordingly, it is intended that the foregoing disclosures and showings made in the drawings may be considered as illustrative of the principles of thi invention and not construed in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is.
1. An electrical connector assembly comprising:
a female portion including a central bore containing a first mating part and a plurality of chambers each containing a first contact element, and said mating part including a partially threaded longitudinal bore and first keying sections separated by grooves of preselected orientation;
a male portion including a central bore containing a second mating part including second keying sections at one end separated by grooves of a preselected orientation opposite from the orientation of said first keying sections and grooves, a plurality of chambers each containing a second contact element mateable with said first contact element, a longitudinal bore and a retaining and supporting chamber at the other end; and
an elongated shaft rotatably positioned in said longitudinal bore and having a threaded portion mateable with said partially threaded longitudinal bore and a notched portion grippable for rotating said shaft and a positioning collar engaging said retaining and supporting chamber and rigidly held thereby to prevent axial displacement of said shaft relative to said male portion.
2. The electrical connector assembly of claim 1 wherein the first keying sections are of substantially the same size as the second grooves and include three sections, one of larger size than the other two, whereby the female portion and the male portion are mateable in only one preselected orientation.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,902,665 9/1959 DAmico 339--92 3,005,039 10/1961 Abrams 339-220 X 3,168,366 2/1965 Fuller 339-220 3,180,921 4/1965 Just et al. 339186 X 3,182,280 5/1965 Daut et al 339186 X 3,206,714 9/1965 Kostich 33992 X EDWARD C. ALLEN, Primary Examiner. W. DONALD MILLER, Examiner.