US 3320573 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 16. 1961 .J. MACHTS Em 3,320,513
CONNECTOR Filed Aug. 12, 1964 INVENTORS Joachim Mochts a Rolf Heidrich BY M ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,320,573 CONNECTOR Joachim Machts and Rolf Heidrich, Hannover, Germany, assignors to Telefunken Patentverwertungsgesellschaft m.b.H., Ulm (Danube), Germany Filed Aug. 12, 1964, Ser. No. 389,063
Claims priority, application Germany, Aug. 22, 1963,
14 Claims. (Cl. 339-485) The present invention relates to electrical connector arrangements.
It is sometimes necessary to locate the ends of a number of multi-conductor electric cables close together in a given situation and when a number of two part connectors that are all of the same kind are used for connecting one cable with another or with electrical apparatus in the same situation, it usually becomes a matter of some difficulty to avoid making one or more wrong connections.
This difficulty can be met by using a number of different kinds of two part connectors, for example, connectors having different sizes or shapes of electrical contacts or having contacts arranged in different patterns such that the plug and socket elements of each kind used are incompatible with the respective socket and plug elements of all the other kinds used, but it is not always either practical or very convenient to overcome the difficulty in this matter, and it is therefore the primary object of the present inven tion to provide an alternative and relatively simpler solution.
According to the present invention, there is provided an electrical connector arrangement comprising a plurality of electrical connectors having dissimilar body portions but identical sets of electrical contacts and a further electrical connector having a body portion carrying a set of electrical contacts that is complementary to the sets of contacts on said plurality of connectors, wherein means are provided for rendering the body portion of said further connector compatible with any selected one of the dissimilar body portions of said plurality of connectors so as to render the selected one of said connectors and said further connector capable of being brought together into electrically coupled relationship.
According to another feature of the invention, there are provided plug and socket type electrical connectors comprising one part having a set of electrical contacts thereon and a plurality of other parts, each having a complementary set of electrical contacts thereon with which the set of contacts on said one part is adapted to make connection, and guiding means are provided for said one part on said other parts, wherein the guiding means of one of said other parts are arranged in a different pattern than the guiding means of another of said other parts and complementary guiding means are provided for said one part which are adapted to be arranged selectively on said one part in the pattern of the guiding means of one or other of said other parts and said one part can be made complementary to only one at a time of said one and said another of said other parts.
Normally several parts similar to said one part will be provided according to the number of two part connectors required and the guiding means on said parts will be arranged in different patterns corresponding to the different patterns of the guiding means found on the other parts of the connectors and, in general, the arrangement will be such that each plug part of a connector will be compatible with only one of the socket parts of the connectors and the possibility of a wrong connection being made is thereby eliminated.
Preferably, the guiding means on one part of the two part coupling comprises one or a number of guide lugs and a number of different arrangements or patterns can be 3,320,573 Patented May 16, 1967 ice obtained by arranging a single guide lug on each of a number of identical parts but in a different position on each part. Further different arrangements can be obtained by arranging a plurality of guide lugs in different patterns on each of a further number of identical parts. Preferably, identical guide lugs are provided which are interchangeable one with another.
The complementary guiding means on the other part of each two part connector may comprise a slot or slots formed in the body of said other part in a position or positions to receive the guide lug or lugs on said one part when the sets of electrical contacts on both parts are brought into alignment.
The bodies of those parts of connectors that are provided with guide lugs may be formed, initially, without any lugs and each such part may be provided with an identical array of slots that are each adapted to have inserted therein an independently formed guide lug. One or a number of guide lugs can then be inserted into one or a number of selected slots in a part in order to produce a desired pattern of guide lugs. Alternatively, each slot initially may have a guide lug mounted therein and a selected lug or lugs may be removed later on to leave a desired pattern of guide lugs on a part. In accordance with a modification of this last-mentioned arrangement, a complete array of guide lugs may be formed integrally with the plastic or other contact carrying body of a part and in such a manner that the lugs can be detached as required by breaking them off. Such an arrangement has the advantage of relatively low initial tooling costs.
Those connectors which are provided with guide slots may be formed initially either without any slots, the slots then being formed later on, or they may each be formed with a complete array of slots some of which can be filled in afterwards in order to leave a desired pattern of slots. They may also be formed with different patterns of slots during manufacture if desired.
Numbers of plug type connectors in accordance with the invention may be provided with identical sets of electrical contacts and numbers of the socket type connectors may also be provided with identical sets of contacts complementary to the sets on the plug type connectors and as initially all the plug type connectors may be formed with identical body portions and all the socket type connectors may also be formed initially with identical body portions, connectors in accordance with the invention readily lend themselves to manufacture by mass production methods and there is provided a kind of two part connector the units of which can readily be modified at any time after manufacture so as to make, for example, a plug type connector compatible with one socket type connector but incompatible with a number of other socket type connectors in accordance with the invention.
Additional objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon consideration of the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of one part of the twopart connector arrangement according to the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary perspective View of a complementary part usable with the part shown in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary plan view of a connector part similar to that of FIGURE 2 but being configured to receive a differently configured part of the type shown in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary plan view of yet another connector part similar to that of FIGURES 2 and 3 but being configured to receive a still differently configured part of the type shown in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view, partly in section, of a connector part of the type shown in FIGURE 1 but provided with integral guide lugs which may be broken off to leave the desired pattern.
Referring to FIGURE 1, the connector shown comprises a substantially flat rectangular molded plastic body portion 1 formed with a row of seven apertures therein in which the electrical contacts 2 are disposed. The contacts 2 in this connector are socket contacts which may be of any suitable kind and the insulated conductors 3 projecting from an end of the cable trunk 4 are connected to the contacts 2. The end of the cable trunk 4 is sup ported in any suitable manner (not shown) by a member 5 onv the body portion 1. A flat locating pin 6 is fixed on the body portion 1 to assist in locating or positioning the connector with the other part of a two part coupling, shown in FIGURE 2. The body portion 1 is formed with an array of recesses 7 therein comprising two rows each of six recesses formed in the two major flat surfaces of the body portion 1 so as to extend from the lowermost end of the connector upwardly between the apertures containing the contacts 2. The recesses in a row are arranged to be approximately the same distance apart and at the upper end of each recess there is formed an inwardly directed secondary recess 12 for a purpose that will be referred to hereinafter.
A plurality of identical guide lugs 8 are provided for the connector shown in FIGURE 1, which can be inserted in selected recesses 7 so as to form a desired pattern of guide lugs on the portion 1. The guide lugs 8 are formed with bifurcated inner end portions thereby providing leg portions 9 and 10 which are insertible into the recesses 7 disposed on opposite sides of the body portion 1. In FIGURE 1 one such lug 8 is shown inserted in a pair of recesses at the right hand end of the body portion 1 and another lug 8 is shown below and at the left hand end of the body portion 1 and ready to be moved to the position indicated by the phantom lines 13 in which it also becomes mounted in the body portion 1. The arms 9 and 10 of each lug are formed with projections 11 thereon which are adapted to be received in the secondary recesses 12 in the portion 1, referred to hereinbefore, and the leg portions with the projections thereon and the secondary recesses form snap fastener means for retaining a lug 8 in the body portion 1.
FIGURE 2 shows a connector that is compatible with the connector shown in FIGURE 1 and forms therewith a two-part multi-plug and socket connector. The base of the connector shown in FIGURE 2 is a printed circuit panel 14 having conductors 15 formed in any suitable manner on one of its surfaces. Each conductor 15 is provided with a contact pin 16 and the pins are arranged to form a complementary set of contacts to the set of socket contacts of the connector shown in FIGURE 1.
In order to make the connector shown in FIGURE 2 compatible with that of FIGURE 1, a guide slot 18 has been formed therein for receiving the locating pin 6 and a further guide slot 17 has been formed in a position to receive the guide lug 8 at the right hand end of the connector of FIGURE 1. Hence the sets of electrical contacts on these two connectors can be brought together in electrically coupled relationship. Had the guide lug shown below and at the left hand end of the connector of FIGURE 1 been mounted on the body portion 1 in the position shown by the chain lines, then it would not be possible to bring the two connectors together into electrically coupled relationship until another guide slot is formed in the panel 14 in a position to receive the additional guide lug.
It will be apparent that six connectors in accordance with FIGURE 1 can be provided with six different patterns of lugs simply by inserting a single guide lug in a different slot on each body portion and, furthermore, that many more connectors having lug patterns that differ from the patterns of all the others may also be formed by using different combinations of two or more guide lugs inserted in the recesses 7. This is clearly shown in FIG- URES 3 and 4, each of which shows a connector part of the type depicted in FIGURE 2 but having the slots 17 arranged in different patterns.
FIGURE 5 shows a connector part similar to that of FIGURE 1, except that part 1a is, during its manufacture, provided with integral lugs 8a. These may, as described above, be broken off to leave the desired lug pattern. FIGURE 5 also shows one of the apertures 2a which have the contacts 2 arranged at the top, through which apertures the contact pins 16 may pass to engage the respective contacts 2.
It will be understood that the above description of the present invention is susceptible to various modifications, changes, and adaptations, and the same are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalents of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An electrical connector arrangement comprising: a plurality of electrical connectors each having projecting guide lug means arranged in a unique pattern and at least one permanently attached locating pin, all of said connectors having identical sets of female electrical contacts; and a further electrical connector having a flat body portion carrying a set of male electrical contacts that is complementary to the sets of contacts on said plurality of connectors and that extends at right angles to said fiat body portion, said further connector including coding means for rendering its said body portion compatible with the unique guide lug means pattern of any selected one of said plurality of connectors so as to render said further connector capable of being brought into electrically coupled relationship only with said selected connector, said coding means including slot means in said body portion, said slot means being arranged in the pattern of said lug means and locating pin of said selected connector, said locating pin being positioned with respect to said guide lug means for preventing said selected connector from being inserted in said further electrical connector in a position which is rotated by with respect to the desired position.
2. An arrangement as defined in claim 1 wherein said plurality of connectors are provided initially with body portions that are similar and wherein said body portions are susceptible to being rendered dissimilar one with another by adding portions thereto or removing portions therefrom after manufacture of said body portions.
3. An arrangement as defined in claim 2 wherein each of said plurality of electrical connectors is provided with a plurality of positioning formations each of which is shaped to detachably receive a respective guide lug.
4. An arrangement as defined in claim 2. wherein said guide lug means are constituted by a plurality of guide lugs each of which is capable of being readily snapped off for removal from its respective electrical connector.
5. An arrangement as defined in claim 1 further comprising: a plurality of cable supporting projections each mounted on :a respective one of said electrical connectors; and a plurality of multi-wire cables each associated with a respective one of said electrical connectors, each said cable being supported by its associated supporting projection and having its wires connected to said female electrical contacts of its associated electrical connector.
6. An electrical connector arrangement comprising: one part having a set of female electrical contacts thereon, and a plurality of other parts each constituted by a flat conductor-carrying plate and each having a complementtary set of male electrical contacts, extending at right angles to said plate, with which the set of contacts on said one part is adapted to make connection; guiding means for said one part on said other parts and constituted by slot means, said slot means of each of said other parts being arranged in a unique pattern; and complementary guiding means on said one part including guide lug means projecting beyond said one part, and arranged selectively on said one part, and a locating pin projecting beyond, and permanently attached to, said one part, said complementary guiding means being arranged in the unique pattern of said slot means of a selected one of said other parts for enabling said one part to be made complementary, at any time and in only one relative position, to only said selected one of said other parts, said locating pin being positioned with respect to said guide lug means for preventing said one part from being incorrectly inserted in said selected other part in a position which is rotated by 180 with respect to the desired position.
7. An arrangement according to claim 6 wherein the contact carrying body of said one part is provided with an array of recesses therein in positions corresponding to the positions of the slots in said other parts, and wherein said lug means comprise a plurality of independently formed guide lugs one or more of which are adapted to be inserted in a selected recess or in selected ones of said recesses so as to form a pattern corresponding to the pattern of the guide slot or slots in one or other of said other parts.
8. An arrangement according to claim 7 wherein the body of said one part is formed with a row of apertures therein to receive the contacts of said one part and said recesses are formed between said apertures.
9. An arrangement according to claim 8 wherein the contacts of said one part are disposed in a substantially fiat rectangular block of insulating material having said recesses formed in opposite sides thereof and said guide lugs are formed with bifurcated inner end portions providing leg portions which are insertible into said recesses.
10. An arrangement according to claim 9 wherein said leg portions on said guide lugs are formed with projections thereon and said recesses are formed with secondary recesses therein to receive said projections, said leg portions with projections thereon and said secondary recesses together forming snap fastener means for retaining a guide lug on said one part.
11. An arrangement according to claim 6,- wherein said guide lug means are constituted by an array of guide lugs initially carried by said one part with at least some of said lugs being mounted in a readily detach-able manner, thereby to permit a selected lug or lugs to be detached from said part so as to leave a desired pattern of lugs on said part.
12. An arrangement according to claim 6, wherein said guide lug means are constituted by an array of guide lugs formed integrally with the contact carrying body of said one part in such a manner that a selected lug 0r lugs can be detached from said body by breaking it or them off.
13. Connector arrangement according to claim 6, wherein the ends of said guide lug means, which project beyond said one part and which are adapted to be inserted in said guide slots are flat and project for a distance which is at least equal to the lengths of said male contacts.
14. An arrangement as defined in claim 6 wherein said guide lug means are constituted by a plurality of guide lugs whose longitudinal center lines extend parallel to, and in alignment with, one another, and said locating pin is positioned with its longitudinal center line aligned with the center line of said guide lugs and offset from the plane defined by said guide lug center lines.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,052,272 8/1936 Auth 339184 X 2,902,665 9/1959 DAmico 339184 3,166,372 1/1965 Just 339-186 3,172,719 3/1965 Paholek et al. 339-186 3,173,734 3/1965 Hartwell 339-186 X 3,184,707 5/1965 Anderson 339-186 3,200,361 8/1965 Schwartz et a1. 339-184 X EDWARD C. ALLEN, Primary Examiner. W. DONALD MILLER, Examiner.