US 3336567 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 15, 1967 D. R. COLDREN ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed July 21, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet l g- 15, 1967 D. R. COLDREN 3,336,567
ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed July 21, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I E V 355% 36 1 34 78 United States Patent 3,336,567 ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Daniel Russell Coldren, Enola, Pa., assignor to AMP Incorporated, Harrisburg, Pa. Filed July 21, 1965, Ser. No. 473,580 4 Claims. (Cl. 339-192) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Disengageable electrical connector for engagement with three contact pins defining apices on an equilateral triangle comprises insulating block having three side-by-side contact-receiving cavities. Contacts are inserted from one side of block into outside cavities and from the other side of the block into the center cavity to minimize exterior dimensions of the block.
This invention relates to electrical connectors particularly intended for use under circumstances where the space available for the connector is extremely limited. The embodiment of the invention described below is intended to be used to make the connections from the stator of a hermetically sealed compressor unit to the external conductors although other uses for connectors in accordance with the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art.
The compressor units used in refrigeration equipment comprise an electric motor which is suitably coupled to the compressor itself, the motor and compressor being contained in a hermetically sealed housing. The entire unit is ordinarily designed with the intention that it be of a minimum size because of the desirability of keeping the outside dimensions of the equipment to a minimum. The stator of the compressor may be contained in a generally cylindrical portion of the housing with the sidewalls of the stator disposed relatively close to the wall of the housing. The electrical connections with the windings of the stator are made by means of the mounting member or header in the housing wall and having pins which extend through the wall. The leads from the windings within the housing are suitably connected to these pins and an external connector is engaged with the pins on the outside of the housing. Because of the severe restrictions of space within the housing, a specialized class of connector has been devised for connecting the winding leads to the pins within the housing. The present invention is thus directed to an improved connector for use inside the housing of a hermetically sealed compressor unit.
It is an object of the invention to provide an improved connector particularly intended for use in confined spaces. A further object is to provide a connector for connecting the leads from a stator winding to the header of a hermetically sealed compressor unit. A further object is to provide a low-profile connector utilizing flag-type terminals for use with contact pins arranged on a triangular pattern. A further object is to provide a connector which can be made as a unitary molding and which is adapted to be used with insertable and removable flag-type contact terminals.
These and other objects of the invention are achieved in one preferred embodiment thereof comprising an insulating housing having three parallel cavities extending therethrough. Each cavity has an open contact-receiving end into which a flag-type cont-act is adapted to be inserted. The center cavity has its contact-receiving end on one side of the connector and the end cavities have their contact-receiving ends on the other side. The contact pins with which the connector is adapted to be used are arranged on a triangular pattern and the terminals, after insertion into the cavities, are inparallel relationship with each other but with the center terminal reversed, endto-end, with respect to the terminals in the outside cavities. By virtue of this arrangement, the width of the connector can be of a minimum dimension relative to the triangular pattern on which the pins are mounted. After insertion of the contacts into the housing, two of the conductors secured to the contacts will emerge from the housing on the one side thereof and the other conductor will emerge on the other side. In the disclosed embodiment, a wire-holding means is provided on each end of the connector housing so that one or more of the conductors can be led from the side of the housing from which it emerges around the end of the housing and can then extend parallel to the other conductors towards the windings of the stator.
In the drawing:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary diagrammatic sectional view showing portions of the compressor housing, a stator in the housing and illustrating the manner in which the connector in accordance with the invention is used to connect the leads from the stator to the external conductors;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view showing the mounting member or header for the contact pins which extend through the housing and showing a connector in accordance with the invention in alignment with, but exploded from, the header; v
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the lower face or side of a connector housing in accordance with the invention;
FIGURES 4 and 5 are end views of the housing;
FIGURE 6 is a view taken along the lines 6-6 of FIG- URE 4 showing a cavity in the connector housing and showing the manner in which a terminal is inserted into the housing;
FIGURE 7 is a view similar to FIGURE 6 butshowing the terminal fully inserted in the housing;
FIGURE 8 is a perspective view of a housing with terminals in the housing; and
FIGURE 9 is a perspective view of a flag-type contact terminal intended for use in a connector in accordance with the invention.
A typical compressor unit for a domestic refrigerator, as shown in FIGURE 1, comprises a generally cylindrical housing 2 having a closed end 4 and a motor stator 6 within the housing. It will be understood that the righthand end of the housing will be integral with other parts of the housing containing the compressor unit and that the entire housing will be hermetically sealed. The stator 6 is floatingly suspended in the housing and has a relatively close fit within the portion 2 of the housing in order that the outside dimensions of the compressor unit might be kept to a minimum. The leads 8, 10, 12 from the windings of the stator 6 must be connected to external conductors extending to the power supply and it is common in this art to achieve such connections by means of a header or mounting member 14 welded or otherwise secured in the Wall of the housing 2. This mounting mem ber has a disc-like floor or base 22 through which three pins 16, 18, 20 extend. A cylindrical flange 24 surrounds these pins, this flange being outwardly flared as shown at 26 to provide a conical surface against which the connector is seated.
Because of the extreme limitations of space within the housing 2 between the internal wall of this housing and the stator 6, a specialized type of connecting device is required. While several connecting devices for use under these circumstances have been designed in the past, most of these are deficient in one respect or another and lack at least some of the characteristics generally recognized as being desirable in a disengageable electrical connector.
A connector 28 in accordance with the invention comprises an insulating housing of diallyl phthalate, phenolic resin, or other relatively firm plastic which is designed such that it can be produced as a unitary molding in a single-action mold. The housing 28 comprises an upper face 30 and a lower face 32 and has three parallel cavities 34, 36, 38 extending from one side to the other and parallel to the planes of the faces 30, 32. Laterally extending flanges 40, 42 project from two sides of the housing and arcuate flanges 39, 41 extend from the remaining arcuate sides of the housing. Conical surface portions 44 are provided on the lower face 32 on each side of the entrances to the cavities. The slope of these conical surface portions conforms to the slope 26 of the flared upper end of the flange 24 so that the housing can be seated snugly within the mounting member with the lower face 32 disposed beneath the flared upper end of the flange 24.
Referring to FIGURE 9, the disclosed embodiment of the invention is adapted to be used with flag-type contact terminals comprising a pair of parallel sidewalls 46 which are reversely bent inwardly and rearwardly as shown at 48, these reversely bent sections having opposed arcuate pockets 50 adapted to receive a contact pin so that a pin can be inserted through an opening in the floor or base 52 of the terminal and will be received between the arcuately formed surfaces 50. A tang 54 extends downwardly, as viewed in the drawing, from the floor 52 and cooperates with a shoulder in the cavity of the connector housing to retain the terminals within the cavities. The contact teminal is provided with a crimp portion 56 in alignment wth the contact portion which is crimped on the conducting core 60 of a wire and a second crimp portion 58 which is crimped onto the insulation of the wire 62. Terminals of this type are generally referred to as being of the flag-type since their contact portions extend normally of the axis of the wire to which they are attached. The wires will thus extend normally of the contact pins with which the terminal is engaged after coupling.
Referring now to FIGURES 4-7, the cavities 34, 36, 38 are identical to each other although the structural features of the center cavity 36 are reversed, end-to-end, with respect to the end cavities 34, 38. Each cavity has a top wall 64 recessed on one side as shown at 66 to provide a shoulder 68 for cooperation with the tang 54 of the terminal contained in the cavity. The floor 70 of the cavity is generally flat but has an inclined ramp 71 at the end opposite to the end in which the shoulder and recess 66 are provided. An axially extending centrally disposed rib 72 is provided at this entrance end of the cavity which functions to prevent insertion of a contact terminal into the cavity if it is not in the desired orientation of FIGURE 6. Insertion is accomplished by holding the terminal at an inclination of 45' with respect to the fioor 70 with its contact end directed downwardly (as viewed in the drawing) and pushing it into the cavity until the contact end moves past the rib 72 at which time the terminal can be re-aligned so that its axis extends parallel to the axis of the cavity. As shown in the drawing, the roof portion of each cavity is cut away adjacent to the cavity entrance to permit insertion of the terminals from an oblique angle. The terminal is then pushed through the cavity until its tang 54 lodges behind the shoulder 68. Forward movement of the terminal is limited by a tab 59 which extends laterally from crimp portion 58 and which bears against the edge of the top wall as shown in FIGURE 7. After insertion, the terminal is thus oriented with its base portion 52 against the roof 64 of its cavity and its sidewalls and contact portion will be disposed remote from the rib 72. A slot 74 is provided in the floor 70 of each cavity, the slot for the center cavity being disposed on one 'side of the housing while the slots of the end cavities 34, 38 are provided on the other side of the housing. It will thus be apparent that the contact portion of the terminal in the center cavity is disposed on the opposite side of the housing from the side of the contacts in the end cavities.
Since it is desirable to bend at least one of the leads through an angle of in order that it might extend parallel to the other two leads towards the stator, conductor-holding means are provided on the ends of the housing and beside the sidewalls of the end cavities 34, 38. These holding means comprise notches 78 formed by ears 80, 82 extending from the sidewalls of the cavities, the width of these notches being such that conductors will be firmly gripped after being placed therein.
It will be apparent from the foregoing description that the mounting of the terminals in the cavities merely requires that they be properly oriented, as shown in FIG- URE 6, and inserted until their tangs lodge behind the shoulders 68. The connector is then engaged with the contact pins 16-20 by merely positioning the housing over the pins with the axes of the pins in alignment with the terminals and pressing the housing partially into the header 24.
A distinct advantage of the embodiment shown is that the maximum transverse dimension of the connector housing is substantially equal to the diameter of the flared upper end 26 of the header. The connector does not, therefore, extend laterally beyond the header and is, moreover, firmly seated against the conical surface 26 by virtue of the conical bearing surfaces 44 on the underside of the housing. These bearing surfaces are provided on both sides of the housing and the connector, therefore, has no tendency to rock relative to the contact pins mounted in the header.
A further advantage of the disclosed embodiment is that an extremely low profile connector is achieved by virtue of the fact that the floors 70 of the cavities are disposed substantially below the upper end of the header when the connector is in position on the pins 16-20. This low profile is made possible by virtue of the fact that the terminals are inserted obliquely towards the axes of the cavities and aligned with the axes of the cavities only after they have been partially moved into the cavities. It should also be noted that the disclosed embodiment provides an insulating wall 83 which separates the emergent conductor from the upper edge of the header.
The disclosed form of housing can be produced at an extremely low cost with a single-action mold and without core pins extending laterally of the cavities axes. Finally, it should be noted that the housing is of onepiece construction and completely surrounds all of the contact pins contained therein after insertion.
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 when viewed in their proper perspective against the prior art.
1. An electrical connector for use with three parallel contact pins, the axes of said pins defining the apices of an equilateral triangle and said pins being disposed in a circular cup-like mounting member, said connector comprising an insulating block having three parallel cavities extending therethrough, said cavities being open at both ends, each cavity having an inclined ramp at one end extending towards, and merging with, the floor thereof, the outside cavities of said group having their inclined ramps on one side of said connector and the center cavity having its inclined ramp on the other side thereof, slots on the floors of said cavities extending inwardly from the other sides thereof on the lower side of said block, flange means extending from said block in its own plane between the top and bottom thereof, and notches in the remaining sides of said block, said cavities being adapted to receive flag-type contact terminals having a generally rectangular profile and having spaced-apart sidewalls, said pins being adapted to enter said block through said slots and between said sidewalls, said block being mountable in said cup-like mounting member with its lower portions extending into said mounting, said contact terminals extending at least partially into said mounting member, and conductors extending from said outside cavities being reversely bent and seated in said notches.
2. A disengageable electrical connection between three contact pins and a three position electrical connector, said pins being mounted in a disc-like mounting member having an axially extending peripheral flange, the axes of said pins defining the apices of an equilateral triangle, said connection comprising a connector housing having three parallel cavities extending therein, the center cavity having a contact-receiving open end on one side of said housing and the end cavities having contact-receiving open ends on the other side of said housing, flag-type contact terminals in said cavities and conductors secured to said terminals and extending externally of said housing, said terminals being parallel to each other with the terminals in said center cavity being reversed, end-to-end, with respect to the terminals in said end cavities, the conductor extending from the terminal in said center cavity extending from said one side of said housing and the conductors extending from the terminals in said end cavities extending from the said other side of said housing.
3. A connection as set forth in claim 2 wherein said housing has conductor holding means on its ends which extend between said sides, at least one of said conductors extending around one of said ends and being held in one of said holding means.
4. A three position electrical connector for use with three parallel contact pins mounted in a cup-like mounting member with their axes defining the apices of an equilateral triangle, said connector comprising a disc-like insulating housing dimensioned to be partially inserted into said mounting member until one face of said housing is contained in said member and the other face thereof lies outside of said member, three parallel cavities extending through said housing from one side of the opposite side, identical contact terminals in said cavities and wires secured to, and extending from, said terminals, the two wires extending from the terminals in the outside ones of said cavities extending from said housing on said one side, and the wire extending from the terminal in the center one of said cavities extending from the opposite side of said housing, said wires and terminals extending laterally of the axes of said posts and said terminals being contained within the peripheral boundaries of said cuplike mounting member whereby said connector provides minimum overhang beyond the periphery of said member.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,332,483 10/1943 Doty 339-193 X 2,728,060 12/1955 Doeg 339192 2,741,750 4/1956 Barre 339193 2,760,176 8/1956 Del Camp 339192 2,810,056 10/1957 Aldous 339- X 3,016,511 1/1962 Unger 339192 X 3,202,959 8/1965 Keller 339-192 X MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner.
W. DONALD MILLER, Examiner.
J. R. MOSES, Assistant Examiner.