US 3366915 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 30, 1968 M. MILLER 3,366,915
ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed Nov. 8, 1962 a Sheets$heet 1 INIVENTFDR Morvln Mlller v BY /ZM.L a4 AT ORNEYS- Jan. 30, 1968 M. MILLER Q 3,366,915
ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Filed Nov. 8. 1962 s Sheets-$het 2 l NvENTOR 1 BY Marvin Miller Aaflmwf Mu ATTORNEYS 7 Jan. 30, 1968 M. MILLER ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR 3 Sheets$heet Ii Filed Nov. 8, 1962 m d ml hm m 3 I" H 3 2 u r I A l It H O I I 3 n I": M? H M? r O m w: 35 W U 3 1 2 m W 3 2 V f v 9 2 8 m lNVENTOF? Marvin Miller P /QQ "A M44 ATTZRN EYS United States Patent 3,366,915 ELETRICAL CONNECTOR Marvin Miller, Fair Lawn, N..I., assignor to Sibany Corporation, Fair Lawn, N..I., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Nov. 8, 1962, Ser. No. 236,331 9 Claims. (Cl. 33949) This invention relates generally to electrical connectors and more particularly to an improved connector including means for entirely supporting the resilient contact elements thereof, and to a geometrical arrangement of groups of contact supports for making respective halves of connectors in a symmetrically novel manner.
In a particular embodiment of the invention, an electrical connector consists of mating halves neither of which is male or female per se but each contains mating male and female parts. The respective halves each comprise a plurality of raised pyramidal contact strip supports, with the contact strips being arranged centrally and longitudinally of the faces or sides of the several supports. The supports themselves are arranged in a generally checkerboard fashion so as to provide cavities of a shape corresponding to the pyramidal support members of a mating half of the electrical connector. Thus, as may be seen more particularly with reference to the accompanying description and drawings, the mating halves of the connector may be brought together so as to bring the raised pyramidal contact supports of one half into immediately adjacent juXta-position with respect to the pyramidal contact supports of the other half.
A particular and advantageous feature of the above arrangement is the relatively large number of contact strips for a given area which may be accommodated. Furthermore, each of the contact strips is given complete support along a pyramidal face, which prevents the possibility of damage to the strips by connecting and disconnecting the connector halves.
The invention further relates to various forms and arrangements of the contact support members and the interrelationship of the contact strips with respect thereto. In this connection there follows a detailed description of particular embodiments wherein the invention may reside, illustrated in the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view showing certain mating portions of the electrical connector, i.e. re spective truncated pyramidal contact support members of mating halves of the connector;
FIG. 2 is a plan view showing a portion of one-half of an electrical connector constructed according to the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a cross section of the connector of FIG. 2 taken in the direction of arrows 3-3;
FIG. 4 is a view smiliar to FIG. 3 additionally showing a portion of a mating half of the connector;
FIGS. 5-7 are respectively various illustrated forms of contact strips which lend themselves to installation in the new electrical connector;
FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate a grid or checkerboard arrangement for the pyramidal contact supports thereof in which the mating halves of the connector are of identical construction;
FIG. 10 is a schematic plan view of a connector half in which the contact supports of the adjacent cavities for the reception of the contact supports of the mating connector half, are formed as three-sided pyramids;
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view illustrating a form of installation of the contact strips; and
FIG. 12 shows a modified four-sided contact support member.
Referring now to the drawing and initially to FIGS. 1-4 thereof, one embodiment of the electrical connector according to the present invention has been illustrated.
The connector comprises mating halves 11 and 12 each of which includes a plurality of four-sided contact supports, respectively identified as reference numerals 13, 13'. As illustrated, the contact supports 13, 13' are essentially identical.
In the illustrated embodiment, the supports 13 comprise four-sided truncated pyramids which may be molded of plastic integrally with a base 14. The supports 13, 13' have been arranged in a geometrical checkerboard fashion wherein adjacent corners of groups of four supports 13 are joined to define a recess 13a therebetween. It will be further observed with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, that the recesses 13a correspond in shape to pyramidal contact supports 13 of the mating half 12 of the connector. Thus, as illustrated in fragmentary cross section in FIG. 4, a support 13 may be received within each of the cavities 13a with the top of the truncated portion of each of the supports 13, 13' resting immediately adjacent to a facing surface of the bases 14, 14'.
The pyramidal contact supports 13, 13 each secures at least one contact strip 16 within a recess provided along one of the sides thereof. Each of the contact strips includes a contact button 16a and a terminal end portion 16b which extends through the base 14 for connection with electrical wiring. The base 14 and a support 13 have been provided with a continuous groove 17 for the insertion of a contact strip from the terminal side of the base 14 and along a face of a pyramidal support. The contact strip 16 includes a spring locking tab 16c which is somewhat wider than the diameter of the button 16a. The groove 17 is, therefore, made sufllciently Wide in the area indicated by reference numeral 17a to accommodate the width of the button 16a during passage of the strip 16 through the base 14, but not of sufiicient width to accommodate the width of the locking tab 16c. Therefore, when the contact strip 16 is inserted from the terminal side of the base 14, the spring tab 16c is forced generally into alignment with the remainder of the contact strip; however, such alignment will not be complete and, hence, additional relief has been provided at 17b for receiving the reverse flexing movement of the tab 160. Once the contact strip has moved to the position shown in FIG. 3, the tab 16c will spring outwardly to straddle that relieved portion of the groove which has previously accommodated the passage of the button 16a and thus, the tab prevents the return movement of the contact strip. The groove 17 terminates in a closed end portion adjacent to the top surface of each of the pyramidal support members 13 thereby preventing the contact strip from further movement in that direction.
With reference to FIG. 4, the interrelationship of the respective contact buttons 16a and 1611' has been illustrated to show their interengagement which forms the electrical contact between the respective connector halves 11 and 12 and further, to show such contact as locking the connector halves together. Thus, the buttons 16a, 16a are disposed with respect to the contact strips 16, 16' somewhat toward the upper surface of each pyramidal support member and since the strips 16, 16' are resilient, the respective contact buttons thereof may be forced to pass each other until they interengage in the position shown.
FIGS. 5-7 illustrate various forms of contact strips which lend themselves to use with the several contact support configurations of the invention. In FIG. 5, a contact strip 18 differs somewhat from the strip 16 by having a rounded contact portion 18a instead of a contact button. In FIG. 6 a strip 19 contains three rounded contact sections 1%, 19b, 19c and includes a bifurcated locking tab 19d. FIG. 7 illustrates a contact strip 24? having a terminal end 2% which, in common with the terminal end portions of the contact strips 18 and 19, has been modified for connection with electrical wiring. It will be understood that the several contact strips may readily be removed from the base and contact supports by forcing the locking tabs back into alignment with the associated strip and withdrawing the strip from the groove in the base and contact support.
A particularly advantageous feature of the present invention resides in the fact that it is possible for the respective halves of an electrical connector to be made with a series of contact supports arranged in a checkerboard fashion wherein the grid arrangement of one half is identical with respect to the other half. This fact permits great economy of manufacture. One embodiment which illustrates an identical construction of mating halves is shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. There it will be noted, mating halves 22, 22 have a grid arrangement of contact supports 23, 23' wherein each half is identical with respect to the other. That is to say, in the arrangement shown, the pattern of raised pyramids and adjacent cavities is identically repeated within each connector half and requires for the mating engagement a simple 180 longitudinal reversal of the parts in order for the halves to fit together. It will be self-evident that grid arrangements other than the one which has been illustrated are possible to achieve this result.
The connector illustrated in FIGS.- 8 and 9 further includes side sections 26 which together with end pieces 27, 28 encloses the contact supports and their respective connectors thereof when the halves have been joined. For securing the halves 27, 28 in their electrically conducting position, I provide attaching bolts 29 which, when threaded into the receiving bores in each connector half, couple the halves in a high-strength union. It will be further noted that the contact strips 30 have been located along the interior faces of the various supports 23 or along only those faces which oppose a mating (and thus contact bearing) portion of the connector when the halves are joined.
FIG. illustrates schematically an alternative embodiment within the purview of the present invention. In FIG. 10 a connector half 31 includes a plurality of raised three-sided pyramids 32 which may or may not be truncated depending upon the particular design. Immediately adjacent to and as defined by the interior pyramidal supports 32 are cavities 32a for receiving a plurality of similar three-sided pyramidal contact supports in an opposing connector half (not shown), in the same manner as has been. illustrated in connection with the previous embodiments.
FIG. 11 illustrates an embodiment wherein each of the contact strips 33 has its terminal end portion 33a entirely recessed within a base 34 upon which are mounted the several contact supports 35. The terminal ends 33a may thus be connected to respective insulated wires 36 before installation of the contact strips. Insertion of the contact strips 33 thereby eliminates exposure of the terminal end portions 33a.
FIG. 12 is illustrative of yet another contact support construction wherein the support 37 is of box-like or oblong form. In this embodiment, the entirely perpendicular or upright sides of the mating halves of the connector would nest as in the previous embodiments, however, requiring a more precise initial positioning of the mating halves to insure the entrance of each contact support into the cavity provided in the opposing half. In the previous embodiments, the tapered form tends to center the supports without precise initial positioning of the parts. FIG. 12 is further illustrative of a contact strip 38 having a locking tab both above and below the base 40. The lower tab 38a prevents the movement of the contact strip 38 beyond the position illustrated when the contact strip is inserted through the base 40. In this embodiment, therefore, the groove which admits the contact strip and which extends from the base 40 along the face of one side of a contact support 37, may be left open at its upper end since the locking tab 38a will prevent further movement of the contact strip in the upward direction.
It will be understood by those skilled in the art that the present invention will lend itself to forms other than those which have been specifically illustrated and described. For example, it may under certain circumstances, be of advantage to construct a connector half to contain a plurality of pyramidal or oblong-shaped cavities which are spaced irregularly with respect to each other. Further, the cavities may be of different sizes to receive corresponding, but separate male contact supports having contact strips arranged along the outer faces thereof for electrically connecting with contact strips along the wall surfaces of the various cavities. This arrangement would have .certain advantages over known constructions, for example,
conventional combinations comprising a chassis for receiving theplug ends of a plurality of vacuum tubes. In accordance with the present invention, each of the contact strips of a plug-in type component would be supported entirely along its length by adjacent structure comprising the respective faces of a pyramidal or oblongshaped contact support member.
Since the foregoing description is then merely representative, in order fully to appreciate the spirit and scope of the invention, reference should be made to the appended claims in which:
1. An electrical connector comprising mating halves each including a plurality of raised contact supports, each of said supports having at least three sides, means interconnecting edge portions of adjacent supports to define therebetween a plurality of surrounding cavities for receiving correspondingly shaped supports in a mating half of said connector, means for holding a plurality of contact strips in identical recessed relation and longitudinally of respective facing sides of said supports in said mating halves when said halves are joined, said holding means permitting said contact strips to interengage when said halves are joined thereby to effect an electrical connection and said plurality of supports in each connector half being arranged in an identical grid pattern.
2. An electrical connector comprising a first connector element, a base, a plurality of contact support members joined to said base, said support members having at least three generally upright sides extending therefrom and arranged severally to define between adjacent ones of said support members a plurality of cavities, each of said cavities being shaped to receive one of a plurality of support members of a second connector element, said base and each support member defining a groove continuing through said base along a side of said support member, a contact strip having a laterally projecting con tact portion and a terminal portion, a resilient integral locking tab cut out of and extending from said strip in the same direction as said contact portion, said tab being wider than said contact portion, said groove being relieved to provide passage of said contact portion and to prevent lateral flexing movement of said tab in said direction, said groove being further relieved behind said strip to permit general alignment of said tab and strip and reverse lateral flexing movement of said tab whereby said contact strip may be inserted in said groove from the side of said base opposite to said support member for mounting the contact strip in said base and member, said groove extending within a side of said member for a distance sufiicient to permit said tab to spring laterally into abutting relation above the uppersurface of the base.
3. The electrical connector according to claim 2 in which the contact strip includes an additional tab for abutting the lower surface of said base.
4. An electrical connector comprising mating halves each including a base, a plurality of raised contact supports, mounted on said base, each of said supports having at least three sides tapering away from said base, means interconnecting edge portions of adjacent supports.
to define therebetween a plurality of cavities for receiving correspondingly shaped supports in a mating half of said connector with the supports in each connector half being arranged in an identical grid pattern and with the tapered sides of said supports of one half of the connector positioned immediately adjacent to the tapered facing sides of the mating half of said connector, means for holding a plurality of contact strips in identical recessed relation and longitudinally of respective facing sides of said supports in said mating halves when said halves are joined, said holding means permitting said contact strips to interengage when said halves are joined thereby to effect an electrical connection.
5. The electrical connector according to claim 4 in which said contact strips include contact portions and terminal portions, said base and said pyramid faces being grooved for the reception of a contact strip, each of said contact strips including a resilient locking tab adapted to extend from said contact strip to abut the upper surface of said base after complete insertion of said contact strips into the groove in said base and pyramid.
6. The electrical connector according to claim 5 in which the terminal end portions of said contact strips are entirely enclosed by said base after insertion of the contact strips into a connector half.
7. An electrical connector comprising a first male contact supporting member having at least three sides, each of said sides having along a face thereof a first recessed contact strip, said contact strips having contact portions exposed outwardly with respect to the supporting faces of the support member and having terminal end portions for connection to an electrical circuit, a mating female connector section defining a cavity corresponding in shape to the first male Support member for the reception thereof, said cavity having a cross sectional area larger than that of said first male contact supporting member to define a space therebetwcen, the wall surfaces of said cavity being defined by one side each of a plurality of second male contact supporting members identical to said first male supporting member with each of the sides of said second male contact supporting members having a second recessed contact strip with a contact portion in exposed relation oriented in said second contact supporting members identically to the orientation of said first contact strip with said first male contact supporting member, each of said first and second exposed contact portions engaging each other in locking relationships to afford electrical contact therebetween when said first male member is inserted into said cavity.
" 8. An electrical connector comprising first and second connector elements each of which includes a base, a plurality of contact support members joined to said base with each of said support members having at least three generally upright sides extending therefrom and arranged severally to define between adjacent ones of said support members a plurality of cavities, each of said cavities being shaped to receive one of a plurality of support members of said second connector element, said base and each support member of each connector element defining a groove continuing through said base and along a side of said support member to a point spaced from the free end thereof to define a closed end portion for said groove, a flexible contact strip having a laterally projecting contact portion and a terminal portion, an integral locking tab cut out of and extending laterally from said strip at a predetermined distance from the end of the strip opposite said terminal portion, and a relieved portion in each of said grooves extending in a direction laterally thereof and through said base to provide passage of said laterally projecting contact portion through said base, the surface of the base adjacent the contact support member being spaced from the end portion of each groove a distance which is sufficiently greater than said predetermined distance whereby one of said contact strips may be positioned in each of said grooves from the side of said base opposite to said support members with said end of the strip positioned within the closed end of said groove, said tab positioned in locking engagement with said surface of the base adjacent the contact support and said contact portion extending laterally outwardly of said groove.
9. A coupling connector comprising two mating members each provided with a multiplicity of spaced apart projecting plugs positioned in a checkerboard array adapted to mate with the array on the mating member, each of said plugs being provided with a plurality of electrical contact members positioned about the periphery thereof, each contact member being positioned at an angle with respect to an adjacent contact on the same plug, at least two such contacts on a plug of one mating member being positioned to electrically contact the contacts on two individual plugs of the other mating member When the mating members are assembled in mating position with the plugs of one of said mating members interposed between successive plugs of the other member.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,838,739 6/1958 Winkler 339-211 X 2,882,512 4/1959 Moronc 339-193 2,899,669 8/1959 Iohanson 339-45 3,026,496 3/1962 Gluck 339-193 3,070,769 12/1962 Murphy 339-49 3,085,220 4/1963 Sitz 339-217 X FOREIGN PATENTS 1,078,627 5/1954 France.
MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner. JOSEPH D. SEERS, Examiner.
W. D. MILLER, P. A. CLIFFORD, Assistant Examiners.