US 3363220 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 9, 1968 H. J. REDD ET AL 3,363,220
ELECTRI CAL CONNECTOR Filed Jan. 12, 1966 28 3 3835 I 25 3? 37 G r 3 3 W/LL/flA/I A. HODE INVENTOES WA. 6 M
United States Patent 3,363,220 ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Herbert J. Redd, Salt Lake City, Utah, and William A. Hodge, Phoenix, Ariz., assignors to Litton Systems, Inc., Beverly Hills, Calif., a corporation of Maryland Filed Jan. 12, 1966, Ser. No. 520,212 3 Claims. (Cl. 339-176) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A connector having male and female electrical electrodes each contoured to contact each other along substantially a line contact, said connector having particular application for a positive, low current connection.
This invention pertains to an electrical connector, and more particularly to such a connector which is adapted for use in test equipment, and the like.
In the use of automatic test equipment, and the like, it frequently is necessary to bring out many test points to a position where they can be sampled by a computercontrolled piece of test equipment.
It is customary to connect a plurality of male electrodes to plurality of female electrodes by a cam which is adapted to supply sufiicient force to force them into engagement and force them loose upon disengagement of the plugs.
The electrode combination of this invention uses a conically shaped male and a conically shaped female electrode with the male electrode contacting the female electrode in substantially a line contact. To this end, the apex angle of the conically shaped female electrode is greater than the apex angle of the male electrode. The female electrode is then relieved to prevent surface contact between the male and female electrodes except along the line of intersection of the two cones.
In a preferred embodiment, each of the male electrodes is spring-biased into engagement with the female electrode. Typically, the bearing stress on the line of contact between the male and female electrodes may be of the order of 17 to 18 pounds per square inch or higher.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a male-female electrode combination which has a positive contact, and which is easily engaged and disengaged.
More particularly, it is an object of this invention to provide such a male-female electrode pair that is adapted to be used in sets and multiple sets.
It is a more specific object of this invention to provide a male-female electrode pair which is adapted for use in connecting test equipment to equipment to be tested.
Other objects will become apparent from the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIGURE 1 shows a multiple electrode male and female plug using the male-female electrode pairs of this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a view, partly in section, taken at 22 in FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 3 is a view, partly in section, of a modified female electrode.
Referring to FIGURE 1, a circuit board may be connected to a female plug body 13. A male plug 12 in which the individual male connectors 32 are aligned with the female connectors 16 is shown in FIGURE 1.
The individual male and female members of each plug is shown more particularly in FIGURE 2. In FIGURE 2, the male plug 32 is shown with a conical end 33 having a predetermined apex angle. The female plugs 16 are shown with a conical surface 25 having a predetermined apex angle which is greater than the first mentioned apex 3,363,220 Patented Jan. 9, 1968 angle of the line contact at 26 which is substantially circular. The female conical contact 25 is truncated at the line of contact 26 to prevent contact between the male point 33 and the female member 16 in the region 19. The female plug member 16 of FIGURE 2 is shown with the clearance portion 19 substantially cylindrical.
The male plug 32 is biased toward the female plug 16 by a spring 39 which engages between a fixed shoulder 43 and a shoulder 38 attached to the male plug member 32.
Electrical wires 17 may be attached to the female plug, for example by solder 22. Electrical connections may be attached by a coupling member 47 to the male plug.
Preferably the members 16, 32, 30, and 41 are made, for example, of metallic conducting material.
An alternative embodiment of the female plug is shown in FIGURE 3. In FIGURE 3, the relieved portion is shown as a conical portion which has an apex angle that is smaller than the apex angle of the conical member 33.
It is evident that the region of the conical point 33 in the vicinity of the apex of the cone may be truncated or rounded at the convenience of the manufacturer and, in fact, may be spherical instead of conical.
Although the male member is shown with the point 32 sliding in a sleeve 30, other configurations of that portion of the male plug may be used.
In operation, a plurality of test points are attached, for example, to the female member, and a plurality of computer-controlled test equipment may be connected to the male plugs. Alternatively, the male and female connections may be reversed.
Force to the connecting of the male and female plugs is shown by the arrows designated by the symbol F.
Although the structure of the plug of this invention has been described above, it is not intended that the invention should be limited by that description, but only in accordance with the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1. A miniature connector having low force engagement and disengagement of its members along a circular line contact for low resistance and low current applications comprising: a hollow rigid female contact member provided with an inwardly converging inner surface extending from an outer end to a contact position defining a small circular opening disposed in advance of its inner end, a rigid male contact member provided with a conically shaped end portion having a smaller angle of convergence than the female contact member but extending along its length to a base portion that is larger than the circular opening in the female contactor whereby the coaxial abutment of said male and female members occurs along a substantially circular line contact at that contact position of the female contact member defining the small circular opening and at a position on the conical surface of said male member, a forward portion of the conical surface of said male member projecting into said circular opening in the female member and a rearward portion of the conical surface of the male contact member disposed outside of said opening, and spring biasing means for maintaining the contacts in abutment.
2. A plural electrode connector as in claim 1, comprising a plurality of said rigid female contact members spaced apart from one another and disposed in a supporting member, and a like plurality of said male contact members spaced apart and disposed in a second supporting member in substantial coaxial alignment with said female contact members.
3. A plural electrode connector as in claim 1, having a plurality of said female contact members being supported 2,742,626 4/ 1956 Collins et al. 339255 X inside an insulating block member provided with a planar 3,002,173 9/ 1961 Allen 339-95 outer surface and with a plurality of said male contact 3,070,770 12/1962 Mercier 339-255 X members being supported by and projecting from a sec- 3,204,284 9/1965 Merriman 339-103 0nd insulating block member, and with each of said 5 'male contact members in substantial coaxial alignment FOREIGN PATENTS with a corresponding one of the female contact mem- 5 7 11/1948 Rama 942 609 4/1956 References Cited Germany UNITED STATES PATENTS m MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner.
2,728,062 12/1955 Klostermann 339--255 J. R. MOSES, Assistant Examiner.