US 3366729 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
W. V. PAUZA ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR HOUSING Jan. 30, 19 8 Original Filed Nov. 4, 1965 United States Patent 3,366,729 ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR HOUSING William Vito Panza, Harrisburg, Pa., assignor to AMP Incorporated, Harrisburg, Pa.
Continuation of application Ser. No. 582,765, Sept. 28,
1966, which is a continuation of application Ser. No.
506,297, Nov. 4, 1965. This application Mar. 31, 1967,
Ser. No. 627,555
7 Claims. (Cl. 174-138) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLGSURE A connector housing for contact terminals formed as a unitary molding of firm, elastically deformable insulating material and having a slotted area defining a tongue for engaging one side of a panel through which the housing extends and having a pair of bowed straps spaced from and facing the tongues for engaging the other side of the panel.
This invention relates to electrical connector housings particularly of the type adapted to be mounted in an opening in a panel.
This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 582,765 filed Sept. 28, 1966, now abandoned, which in turn is a continuation of application Ser. No. 506,297 filed Nov. 4, 1965, now abandoned.
An object of the invention is to provide an improved housing member for a disengageable electrical connector assembly. A further object is to provide a housing having improved means for mounting the housing in an opening in a panel. A further object is to provide a connector housing having integral panel mounting means capable of accommodating panels of varying thicknesses or of a wade rage of thicknesses.
These and other objects of the invention are achieved in a preferred embodiment thereof in which the connector housing comprises a unitary molding in the form of a block of relatively firm but elastically deformable insulating material such as a suitable nylon. The housing block is provided with one or more cavities extending therethrough from one end to the other and a hood integral with. and extending axially from, one end of the housing. This hood is adapted to surround and protect the protruding portions of contact terminals mounted in the cavities. A first pair of opposite sides of this hood each have two inwardly extending slots which define tongues that are flexible inwardly towards the axis of the block. These tongues have bosses on their external surfaces which define rearwardly facing stop surfaces so that the hood portion of the block or housing can be inserted through a panel opening with concomitant inward deflection of the tongues until the bosses pass through the opening. A pair of resiliently deformable straps are also provided on the housing on opposite sides and extend transversely of the housing axis. These straps are normally bowed towards the end of the housing from which the hood extends so that when the housing is inserted through the panel opening, the straps bear against the surface of the panel and are resiliently flexed and partially straightened. After insertion has been completed, these straps remain in an elastically deformed condition and tend to urge the housing axially with respect to the panel such that the rearwardly facing shoulders of the bosses are urged against the other surface of the panel. The housing is thus retained in the panel opening between the resiliently deformed straps and the bosses.
In the drawing:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing the two parts 3,366,729 Patented Jan. 30, 1968 of a connector assembly in accordance with the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of a connector socket in accordance with the invention;
FIGURES 3 and 4 are views taken along the lines 33 and 44 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 but showing the socket portion of the connector mounted in a panel; and
FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment.
Referring first to FIGURE 1, a typical connector assembly comprises a plug portion 2 and a receptacle portion 4. The plug portion is described briefly below and is described in detail in US. Patent No. 3,179,738. The present invention is specifically directed to an improved means for mounting receptacle portion 4 in a panel.
This receptacle port-ion comprises a pair of parallel spaced-apart block-like sections 6, 8 which are joined by an integral web 10 (FIGURE 2). A plurality of cavities 12 extend through each of the sections 6, 8 from the rearward ends 11 thereof to the forward ends 13, these cavities being adapted to receive contact pins the ends of which project beyond the forward ends 13 of the two sections 6, 8. It will be understood that the two sections 6, 8 can be made completely integral with each other rather than connected by the web 10 if desired.
A hood having sides 16, 18 extends from the forward ends 13 of the sections 6, 8 and surrounds and protects the projecting ends of the contact pins. The sides 18 of the hood have reentrant slots 20 in which there are provided bosses 22 (FIGURE 3). These bosses define rearwardly facing shoulders 24 which cooperate with latch arms in the plug portion 2 as described below to hold the two parts of the connector in engagement with each other. A web 26 extends between the roots of the notches and a slot 27 is provided in this web for polarizing purposes when the two parts of the connector are coupled to each other.
The sides 16 of the hood are each provided with a pair of parallel slots 28 which extend inwardly from the leading edge 30 of the hood and which define tongues 32. Because of the relative thinness of the plastic material of the sides of the hood, these tongues can be flexed inwardly towards each other and towards the axis of the housing part 4. Bosses in the form of inclined planes 34 are provided on the external surfaces of the tongues 32 and these bosses form rearwardly facing shoulders 36 by means of which the housing part 4 is locked in a panel.
Bars 38 extend from the sides 18 and beyond the surfaces of these sides and have forwardly sloping leading end portions 40 to guide the housing into a rectangular opening and to center it during insertion. Straps 42 are integral with the rearward ends of these ears and extend transversely acnoss the sides 18. These straps are bowed towards the forward end of the housing and are pro portioned such that they can be partially straightened and resiliently flexed.
The connector part 4 is adapted to be mounted in a simple rectangular opening in the panel 46, the dimensions of this opening conforming to the distance between the sides 16 of the hood and the distance between the edges of the ears 38 on the sides 18. To mount the housing in an opening, the hood is merely aligned with the opening in the panel and pushed through the opening from right to left in FIGURE 5. During such insertion, the tongues 32 will be flexed inwardly until the bosses 34 pass through the opening and snap back to their original positions as shown in FIGURE 5. The rearwardly facing shoulders will then be disposed against the side 45 of the panel 46 and the straps 42 will be disposed against the side 47. Since the panel thickness is somewhat greater than the distance between the planes of the shoulders 36 and the planes of the forward portions 44 of the straps, these straps will be resiliently flexed as indicated in FIG- UR-E and will tend to urge the housing rightwardly in this figure. As a result, the housing part 4 will be firmly retained in the panel opening.
It will be apparent from the foregoing description that since the electrical connector receptacle is inserted into the opening from the right-hand side of the panel as viewed in FIGURE 5, the contact terminals can be assembled to the connector receptacle prior to mounting of the receptacle in the panel. The presence of contact terminals in the receptacle shown in FIGURE 5 is indicated by the wire W which emerges from the receptacle at its right-hand end. This method of mounting a connector in a panel (by insertion of the leading or mating end of the connector through a panel opening) is particularly advantageous in the manufacture of automobiles, appliances, and similar articles where wiring is done by use of a previously prepared harness. The wiring harness having suitable connectors on its ends is merely positioned in the appliances or other devices and the connectors themselves are mounted in the appropriate panel openings. There is thus no need to thread wires through the panels when the connectors are mounted in the panels.
The plug portion 2 is described in full detail in US. Patent No. 3,179,738 and need not be described in detail here. In general, this section comprises a pair of blocks 48 connected by an integral web 52, each block section 48 having a plurality of contact-receiving cavities 50 therein. Latch arms 54- are mounted on torsionally deformable pins extending between the block sections and have hooked ends which are adapted to cooperate with the bosses 22 to latch the two parts together.
FIGURE 6 shows an alternative embodiment of the invention in which the receptacle section 56 comprises a block having a hood extending from its forward end. This hood has sides 58, 60. The slots 62 and bosses 66 are provided on the same sides in this embodiment as the straps 64. The manner of inserting the receptacle 56 through a panel opening is as described above with reference to the embodiment of FIGURES 1-5. The sides 60 of the hood have openings 68 therein which are adapted to cooperate with the hooked ends of latch arms 74 mounted on the sides of the plug portion 70 by means of ears 72. The embodiment of FIGURE 6 is particularly intended for use under circumstances where a relatively small number of conductors and contacts are involved.
The invention as described above provides an easily manufactured and relatively simple connector housing which can be inserted leading end first through a panel opening and which will be securely locked to the pane-l after insertion. Removal of the housing sections 4 or 56 from the panel can be easily accomplished by merely flexing the tongues 32 or 59 inwardly until the shoulders on these tongues are permitted to pass through the panel. A distinct advantage of the invention is that connector housings can be mounted in panels having simple rectangular or square openings and these openings need not be made to extremely close dimensional tolerances. Furthermore, a given connector housing can be mounted in panels of varying thicknesses because of the wide range of flexure permitted in the straps 44, 64.
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. A connector housing for contact terminals, said housing being a unitary molding and comprising a block of firm, elastically deformable, insulating material having a contact receiving cavity extending therethrough from one end thereof to the other end, a hood integral with, and extending axially from said other end, said hood surrounding the projecting portion of a contact terminal mounted in said cavity and being adapted to telescopically receive a mating connector housing, a pair of opposite sides of said hood each having a pair of slots extending inwardly from the leading edge of said hood, said slots each defining a tongue which is laterally flexible towards the axis of said block, each of said tongues having a boss on its external surface, each boss having a stop surface facing towards said one end of said block, a pair or resiliently deformable straps on opposite sides of said block adjacent to said other end, said straps extending transversely with respect to the axis of said block and being integral at their ends with said block, said straps being bowed towards said other end and being elastically deformable upon being forced towards said one end whereby, upon insertion of said housing through a panel opening conforming generally to the cross-section of said other end, said tongues are flexed towards each other until said bosses pass through said opening and said stop surfaces bear against one side of said panel, and said straps are concomitantly partially straightened and elastically deformed upon engagement with the other side of said panel whereby said straps urge said block rearwardly with respect to said panel and said block is held between said stop surfaces and said straps.
2. A housing as set forth in claim 1 wherein said straps are disposed on the same sides of said housing as said slots.
3. A housing as set forth in claim 1 wherein said straps are on a first pair of opposite sides of said housing and said slots are disposed on a second pair of opposite sides.
4. A device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said bosses comprise inclined planes sloping towards said leading edge, said stops comprising rearwardly facing shear surfaces on said inclined planes spaced inwardly from said leading edge.
5. A device as set forth in claim 2 including said mating connector housing, said hood portion of said housing having openings therein, said mating connector housing having integral latch arms thereon, said latch arms being cooperable with said openings to latch said mating connector housing to said housing, said mating housing preventing inward flexure of said tongues when said housing and said mating housing are coupled to each other.
6. A device as set forth in claim 3 including said mating connector housing, said mating connector housing having integral latch arms thereon, said connector housing having shoulder means on said first pair of opposite sides for cooperation with said latch arms to latch said mating connector housing to said housing, said mating housing preventing inward flexure of said tongues when said housing and said mating housing are coupled to each other.
7. A connector housing for contact terminals, said housing being a unitary molding and comprising a block of firm, elastically deformable, insulating material having a contact receiving cavity extending therethrough from one end thereof to the other end, a hood integral with and located at said other end, said hood surrounding the projecting portion of a contact terminal mounted in said cavity and being adapted to telescopically receive a mating connector housing, a pair of opposite sides of said hood each having a slotted area defining a tongue which is laterally flexible towards the axis of said block, each of said tongues having a boss on its external surface and a stop surface facing towards said one end of said block, a pair of straps on opposite sides of said block adjacent to said other end, said straps extending trans versely with respect to the axis of said block and being integral at their ends with said block, said straps having stifily-fiexible sections directed towards said other end 5 and being movable upon being forced towards said one end whereby, upon insertion of said housing through a panel opening conforming generally to the cross-section of said other end, said tongues are flexed towards each other until said bosses pass through said opening and said stop surfaces bear against one side of said panel, and said stiflly-flexible sections of said straps are concomitantly flexed upon engagement with the other side of said panel whereby said straps urge said block rearwardly With respect to said panel and said block is held between said stop surfaces and said straps.
No references cited.
LARAMIE E. ASKIN, Primary Examiner.