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Publication numberUS3365694 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 23, 1968
Filing dateJun 17, 1965
Priority dateJun 17, 1965
Publication numberUS 3365694 A, US 3365694A, US-A-3365694, US3365694 A, US3365694A
InventorsGeorge W Parker
Original AssigneeGen Motors Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connector means
US 3365694 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 23, 1968 G. w. PARKER CONNECTOR MEANS Filed June 17, 1965 mm l 0 n .IIIWA T w 1% l iii-1 5 m P m ii; MW H z kuEmE e A g Y 4 w m E 6 H e M. 2 l. 6 f

United States Patent 3,365,694 CONNECTOR MEANS George W. Parker, Clio, Mich, assignor to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich, a corporation of Delaware Filed .sune 17, 1965, Ser. No. 464,794 Claims. (Cl. 339-17) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLQSURE A wipe-in pinless plug connector having a body portion of insulating material which includes a plurality of pockets. Each pocket contains a terminal having outwardly extending resilient contact portions fitted therein. Locking arms of differing widths are carried upon opposite ends of the body portion for insertion into a complementary panel mounting aperture having cut-out portions of differing widths to accommodate the locking arms whereby the plug is polarized.

This invention relates to electrical connector means, and, more particularly, to wipe-in pinless connection to flexible circuitry components.

Some circuitry components have plural contact surfaces which are relatively flat along a support surface. Difiiculty is encountered in making accurate multiple contact engagement therewith. Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide connector means having positive index arrangement for an assembly operator to be able to insert only in proper positive electrical contact position regardless of multiple contacts.

Another object of this invention is to provide a wipe-in pinless connection including a plug body portion of insulating material having a plurality of pockets with undercut edging into which resilient terminal means are fitted. Each resilient terminal means has an outwardly bowed contact portion. The terminal means are substantially parallel to each other as carried by the plug body portion. The bowed contact portions are exposed on opposite sides of the plug body portion which has opposite end projections of differing widths terminating in outwardly extending through deflectable abutments or barbs also of differing widths. These abutments or barbs of diliering widths mate only with complementary cutouts of a mounting panel which has a central slot or opening therein located between the differing cutouts. The mounting panel also carries an insulating portion having conductive material therewith. The insulating portion and conductive material per se collectively form a flexible printed circuit means to which wiring harness means connected to the terminal means are joined in plural locations. The flexible printed circuit means includes at least a pair of flap portions which extend into the central slot. The conductive material on the flexible flap portions in the central slot are resiliently engaged by the outwardly bowed contact portions only when polarized interlock of resilient arms is established to the panel cutouts. Thus an angular contact engagement directly to flexible printed circuit flap portions is resiliently established and maintained.

Further objects and advantages will be apparent from the accompanying drawings wherein preferred embodiments of the present invention are clearly shown.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of connector means having features in accordance with the present invention.

FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of terminal means used in the plug body portion of connector means of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary sectioned view of terminal means carried by the plug body portion installed in en- 3,3555%4 Patented Jan. 23, 1968 gagement with flexible printed circuit flap portions that project into a panel slot or opening.

FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of the central slot and a fragment of the panel.

In FIGURE 1 there is shown a metal panel portion 16 having a central slot or opening 11 therein as well as lateral cutouts 12 and 13 of differing widths. The metal panel portion 10 represents a fragment of a vehicle body or dashboard means for example. The mounting panel portion 10 also carries an insulating portion 14 suitably fixed thereto by adhesive or other fastening means. The insulating portion 14 includes a pair of openings 15 substantially parallel to each other and located around the cutouts 12 and 13. In a location substantially transverse to these openings or slots 15 there is a transverse slit through the insulating material which leaves a pair of opposite flap portions 16. Each flap portion extends into the slot or opening 11 subject to a pivotal movement or hinging at locations collectively represented by numeral 17 on each of opposite sides.

The insulating portion 14 has a conductive material therewith collectively forming a flexible printed circuit means. Portions of such printed circuit means are identified by reference numerals 18 and 18A as well as 1813 and 18C. Similar conductive material is represented by reference numeral 19 for a pair of U-shaped interconnections in locations opposite to additional conductive material endings 19A, 19B, 19C, and 191). Each of the endings of the various portions of conductive material terminate in the resiliently deflecta'ble flap portions 16 subject to bending and hinge movement coincident with the hinge locations 17 noted earlier.

These endings of conductive material are engageable by bowed portions 20 of terminal means having a body portion 21 as indicated in views of FIGURES l and 2. Each of the body portions 21 of such terminal means has a crimp or conductor fastening portion 22. Plural conductors 22C collectively form a harness means or bundle 22B. Each of the conductors has an insulation covering 22A as represented in views of FIGURES 1 and 2. The terminal means in the embodiment of FIGURES 1 and 2 also include a locking tang 23 bent to one side of the body portion 21. A box-like side wing portion 24 is provided as a limit stop for a free end of the bowed contact portion 20. The terminal means are secured by a slide or press fit into pockets 25 of a plug body portion 26 of insulating material. The plural pockets are substantially parallel to each other on opposite sides of a central partition 27. Integral with the plug body portion 26 in locations substantially remote though parallel from each other are opposite projections 28 and 29 of legs or arms which terminate in abutments or slanted barbs 23B and 2913 respectively of diiiering widths complementary to the cutouts 12 and 13 respectively. Thus the plug body portion 26 is polarized as to insertion in the slot or opening 11 subject to engagement by the barbs 28B and 29B as to the cutouts 12 and 13 respectively. The arms, legs or projections 28 and 29 are laterally deflectable and resilient so as to be engageable with tangs 122T and 13T projecting transversely from the panel portion 10 adjacent to the cutouts 12 and 13 respectively.

It is to be understood that each of the bowed portions 20 of the terminal means illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2 engage the flexible flap portions 16 carrying the conductive material of the printed circuitry. The bowed portions 20 have a wipe-in engagement with the printed circuitry portions thereby to establish angular interengagement of the wired terminals as to the relatively flat printed circuitry components carried on the panel portion. Use of male projecting pins is eliminated. Also there is a positive interlock of the plug body portion to the panel which can be made either of metal or plastic material as subsequently noted herein. The bowed portions 20 maintain constant pressure of the terminals against the printed circuitry portions carried by the flap portions 16. Printed circuit means are flexible with the flap portions extending into the central slot.

In FIGURE 3 there is shown another mounting panel means 30 of insulating material having a central slot 31 corresponding to the metal panel 1t) and slot 11 of FIGURE 1. A flexible insulating portion 34 carries printed circuitry or conductive material 38 and 39. The mounting panel 30 includes an arcuately shaped or curved edge portion 37 as well as a downwardly extending wall portion 38 against which the insulating portion 34 carrying the printed circuitry 3839 is forced as a limit stop in some instances. A phantom showing of the insulating portion as it is resiliently deflected is shown together with a full cross section of the flap portion 36 corresponding to flap portions 16 in FIGURE 1. Thus FIG- URE 3 illustrates the flexibility of the flap portions in each of these views. The flap portions are deflected by bowed contact portions 40 of terminal means having a body portion 41 in FIGURE 3 and this is similar to the engagement of contact portions 20 with printed circuitry terminations in FIGURE 1. A plug body portion of insulating material 46 has a central transverse partition 47. A plurality of pockets are provided by this plug body portion as noted previously for the structure in FIGURE 1. Flanges 48 along sides of these pockets form undercut grooves into which the body portions 41 of the terminal means can be fitted subject to a barb or interlock portion 43 on each of the terminals being in engagement with a shoulder portion of the plug body as indicated in FIG- URE 3. The plug body portion of FIGURE 3 has a further transverse flange means 44 on each side thereof. This additional flange means 44 provides a limit stop for outward movement of a free end of the contact portions 40 collectively for each of a parallel group of terminals. A similar flange structure for terminal stabilization is represented by a reference F in FIGURE 1.

It is to be understood that the plug body portion 46 of FIGURE 3 has resilient arms or legs with barbed ends of differing width similar to those represented by reference numerals 28 and 29 and the like in FIGURE 1. It is apparent in FIGURE 3 by illustration of the phantom and full representation of flap portions 36 that a wiping contact occurs between the contact portions 49 of the terminal means during engagement of the connector to printed circuitry terminations. Such wiping contact engagement occurs with constant pressure of terminal means being maintained against the circuitry terminations which are resiliently deflected during insertion of the plug body portion into the central slot. The barbed ends of the arms or legs are interlocked with corresponding cutouts similar to those illustrated in FIGURE 1 of the drawings. Thus the flexible printed circuit means is bent into a slot when the plug body portion is forced into place and simultaneously there is a mating of the contacts with the flat surface of the printed conductors or conductive material as the flap portions are bent around the curved edging such as 37.

The wipe-in pinless connector means has several advantages. This structure is the connection proven practical for flexible printed circuits. It is reliable and economical for flexible printed circuits to be engaged by the plug body portion carrying the bowed terminal means which resiliently deflect the flap portions. The flap portions per se are left loose and flexible rather than being fixed to the edging or downward extending wall portion 38 of FIGURE 3. The barbed legs or arms assure positive index arrangement which does not permit electrical contact prior to proper insertion of the plug body portion as to the printed circuit material carried by the flexible and deflectable flap portions. Thus the connector means provides for an indexing feel for an assembly operator during installation of the connector means on a vehicle.

Such installation can occur in a limited access space such as below a dashboard means. Also the installation can be readily made and serviced during factory mass production of a vehicle as well as during maintenance at a dealer location. Thus in the event a maintenance of a particularly located electrically energizable component is required it is possible to disconnect the connector means readily from the printed circuit without requiring use of soldering tools and complicated interlock structures. The plug body portion or socket and terminals resiliently engages the printed circuit means. There is a polarized interlock of the resilient arms relative to the cutouts at opposite ends of the central slot of the mounting panel portion that carries the printed circuitry. The conductive material of the printed circuitry is covered by a thin coating of insulating plastic exemplified by Mylar for example. Preferably only the terminations of the printed circuitry carried by the flap portions such as 16 and 36 are exposed for engagement by the contact portions of the terminal means. The flexibility of the flap portions carrying the printed circuit terminations is such that resilience is assured at all times and the curved hinge obviates any sharp bend which would'damage the printed circuit conductive material. Thus the features of the present invention eliminate use of any rigid pins previously known for printed circuit connections. Such rigid pins often become bent and misaligned and also result in a sharp engagement and breaking of printed circuitry conducting material. Such sharp engagement and breaking of the printed circuit conducting material is obviated by the features of the present invention due to the resilience of both the bowed contact portions of the terminal means as well as of the supporting flap portions for the terminations of the printed circuit conductive material.

The insulating material of portions 14 and 34 previously designated as Mylar is a polyester film of polyethylene terephthalate resin. The polyester film is a long chain synthetic polymer composed of at least by weight of an ester of a dihydric alcohol and terephthalic acid. The conducting material is copper or other suitable alloy of metals sufiiciently flexible at the curved juncture such as 17 and 37 as represented in views of FIGURES 1 and 3. The insulating material of the mounting portion 30 is nylon for example. Nylon is defined as a synthetic polyamide having recurring amide groups as an integral part of the polymer chain. The metal mounting portion 10 in FIGURE 1 is a steel stamping such as found in a motor vehicle body or dashboard assembly. The features of the present invention are equally useful in establishing flexible, constant pressure interconnection of resilient bowed contact portions of terminal means relative to resilient conductive material on insulation backing of which at least a pair of flap portions is left free and pivotable as represented in FIGURE 3 and elsewhere in the drawings of this disclosure. The connector means of the present invention are useful for automotive as well as appliance industry use.

While the embodiments of the present invention as herein disclosed constitute preferred forms, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.

What is claimed is as follows:

1. A wipe-in pinless connector means, comprising, a plug body portion of insulating material having a plurality of pockets, terminal means fitted into each of said pockets, an outwardly bowed resilient contact portion on each of said terminal means, locking arms of differing widths carried by said plug body portion, a mounting panel having a centrally located slot between a pair of cutouts of differing widths corresponding substantially to the differing width of each of said locking arms, an insulating material carried by said mounting panel, predetermined conductive circuitry in predetermined locations with the insulating material, and a pair of flap portions having hinge structure with said insulating material integrally and resiliently deflected by engagement of said bowed resilient contact portions of said terminal means adjacent to terminations of said conductive circuitry on said flap portions.

2. The connector means of claim 1 wherein both said bowed contact portions and said flap portions with terminations of said conductive circuitry thereon are maintained in resilient engagement, said flap portions having a curved hinge juncture and being freely deflectable.

3. The connector means of claim 1 wherein said plug body portion has a pair of resiliently displaceable locking arms each of differing width corresponding to widths of cutouts on opposite ends of the central slot.

4. The connector means of claim 3 wherein said locking arms have outward abutments that engage respective tangs bent from the cutout locations of said mounting panel.

5. A connector means, comprising, a plug body of insulating material having a central partition that defines plural pockets on opposite sides thereof, a pair of end projections integral with said partition and having differing width continuous to barbed free ends thereof, a flange means extending integrally across said plug body on each side thereof and transverse to said pockets, metal terminal means crimped to bundled wiring, bowed terminal contact portions that terminate adjacent to said flange means, a mounting panel having a central slot between opposite end cutouts of differing widths corresponding substantially to widths of said barbed free ends which impart indexing feel during assembly therebetween in properly indexed arrangement, an insulating portion of flexible material as well as predetermined conductive material therewith collectively in a printed circuit type configuration, and a pair of pivotally hinged flap portions of printed circuit type configuration that extend into said central slot subject to engagement by said bowed contact portions, both said bowed contact portions and said hinged flap portions contributing to constant and resilient interengagement.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,017,602 1/1962 Little 339-17 X 3,065,445 11/1962 Crimmins 339-176 3,082,398 3/1963 Valach 339176 3,084,302 4/1963 Braeutigam 33917 X 3,154,365 10/1964 Crimmins 339-176 MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner.


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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3417362 *Jun 20, 1967Dec 17, 1968Amp IncElectrical connector and electrical terminals therefor
US3579170 *May 20, 1968May 18, 1971Molex IncModular electrical connector assembly
US3581271 *May 7, 1969May 25, 1971Bunker Kame Corp TheUnit having contact protective means
US3728661 *Mar 10, 1971Apr 17, 1973Honeywell Inf SystemsModular cabling system
US3836940 *Jan 15, 1973Sep 17, 1974G CodrinoDevice for the electrical connection between cables and ribbon-like
US3843951 *Jan 26, 1973Oct 22, 1974Bell Northern Research LtdConnection of an electrical component to a flexible circuit
US3877770 *Dec 3, 1973Apr 15, 1975Int Standard Electric CorpElectrical connector assembly
US3897130 *Dec 3, 1973Jul 29, 1975IttFlat cable connector
US3911328 *Jan 9, 1974Oct 7, 1975Telemecanique ElectriqueSystem providing power supply connections and interconnections for logic modules
US3986766 *Sep 24, 1975Oct 19, 1976Elco CorporationPluggable edge header assembly
US4012093 *Aug 25, 1971Mar 15, 1977The Deutsch Company Electronic Components DivisionConnector arrangement for thin, deflectable conductors
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US4046444 *Oct 14, 1975Sep 6, 1977General Cable CorporationConnector for use with printed wiring circuits
US4113179 *Oct 29, 1976Sep 12, 1978Trw Inc.Connector constructions and attaching means therefor
US4209220 *Jun 5, 1978Jun 24, 1980General Motors CorporationWipe-in terminal for printed circuits
US4241972 *Oct 19, 1978Dec 30, 1980Bunker Ramo CorporationPanel mount for electrical connector
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US5967854 *Jul 30, 1997Oct 19, 1999Mitel CorporationCircuit connector
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U.S. Classification439/77, 439/676, 439/353
International ClassificationH01R13/05, H01R13/11, H01R13/627, H01R13/502, H01R13/432, H01R24/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01R12/592, H01R13/432, H01R12/78
European ClassificationH01R12/59C, H01R12/78