Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3394337 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 23, 1968
Filing dateAug 15, 1966
Priority dateAug 15, 1966
Publication numberUS 3394337 A, US 3394337A, US-A-3394337, US3394337 A, US3394337A
InventorsMiller Ronald F
Original AssigneeHughes Aircraft Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connector securing device
US 3394337 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 23, 1968 R. F. MILLER CONNECTOR SECURING DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 15, 1966 @44410 ATM/445e,

mm a am Anna z).

2 Sheets-Sheet 2 1 I lllll II .I l l IHIII V 1 ti I lllllll !I wvnu/ i l 'I 1- Q .W

July 23, 1968 R. F. MILLER I CONNECTOR SECURING DEVICE Filed Aug. 15, 1966 m.\ on

Nu L United States Patent 3,394,337 CONNECTOR SECURING DEVICE Ronald F. Miller, Huntington Beach., Calif., assignor to Hughes Aircraft Company, Culver City, Calif., a corporation of Delaware Filed Aug. 15, 1966, Ser. No. 572,303 3 Claims. (Cl. 339-91) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A multicontact electrical connector comprising mating male and female polarizing connector portions, a pair of flexible retaining clips, and contact elements. The mating connector portions have oppositely angled sides defining embracing notches for assembled connector orientation, aligned transverse chambers to contain respective contact element pins and sockets, and aligned retaining and securing chambers to contain the retaining clips. Each retaining clip comprises a compressible sleeve retaining portion, an angled arc-shaped deformable cantilever support portion and a frustum conical securing portion. The cantilever support is coextensive With an arc of the cross-sections of the larger base of the conical securing portion and of the sleeve.

The present invention relates to multicontact electrical connectors and more particularly to electrical connectors having an improved means for securing and indexing the connector bodies.

Tht increased emphasis on electronic components and systems has created diflicult interconnecting and connecting problems, since a single electrical system may incorporate many hundreds of interconnected components and, correspondingly, many thousands of electrical conductors. Therefore, it has become necessary to develop eflicient, reliable, inexpensive and compact connectors that enable a large number of conductors to be connected to the system simultaneously. In the design of such connectors special consideration must be given to the me chanical and structural problems inherent in correctly and rigidly making many contacts simultaneously. To this end, the electronic industry has turned to the incorporation into such connector bodies of securing an aligning means such as screws and keying devices. However, heretofore such devices, because of their complexity have added unnecessary weight and cost factors and could not be successfully used in relatively compact systems having critical space requirements.

Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide a multicontact electrical connector assembly having an improved, simplified aligning and securing device.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved aligning and securing device for a multicontact electrical connector assembly which is economical to produce and simple to operate.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide an improved aligning and securing device for a multicontact electrical connector assembly which requires little space to operate.

The above and other objects of this invention are accomplished in one embodiment of the present invention comprising an electrical connector assembly including a first connector member including at least one first contact element and having a first polarizing portion. Mateable with the first connector member is a second connector member including at least one contact element mateable with the contact element of the first connector and a second polarizing portion engageable with the first polarizing portion when said members are in a predetermined ice orientation. A flexible elongated member is afiixed to one of the connector members and includes a camming portion having a securing shoulder which aids to deflect the elongated member as it is inserted through a transverse bore in the other member so that the securing shoulder may spring into engagement with one surface thereof after the camming portion passes through the bore to secure one member to the other member.

Other objects, features and advantages of this invention will become apparent from reading the following detailed description of one embodiment of the present invention and referring to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is an enlarged perspective view of the im proved multicontact connector of the present invention showing one of the retaining clips separated from the connector body to illustrate the construction thereof; and

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a multicontact connector shown partly in section to illustrate the mating of typical contact elements in the connector body and the operation of the retaining clip to form the two connector halves into an assembly.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a connector assembly having a first half or female body portion 12 and a second half or male body portion 14. Each of the portions contains a plurality of transverse chambers 16 each containing a contact element such as a pin 18 or a socket 20 which is aflixed to the end of an electrical conductor 22 and shown in mated relationship in FIG. 2. For clarity only two electrical conductors 22 are shown. To align the contact elements for proper engagement and to secure the contacts and maintain the halves in an integral unit the connector assembly also includes a securing and aligning device 24.

The securing and aligning device 24 comprises an elongated clip or pin typically constructed of a flexible material and formed such as by rolling into a configuration having at one end a cylindrical retaining portion 26 and at the other end a frustum conical securing portion 28 and intermediate thereof a flat cantilever support portion 30. The retaining portion 26 is of a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of a retaining chamber 32 typically located near each of the transverse surfaces of the male body portion 14 of the contact assembly, so that it may be retained in the chamber 32 by a friction fit. The securing portion 28 has a maximum diameter slightly less than the diameter of a transverse securing chamber 34 extending through the female body portion 12. The securing chamber 34 is of a diameter similar to that of the transverse chamber in the male half and when the two halves are formed into the assembly the two chambers are substantially aligned.

Shown clearly in FIG. 2 in addition to FIG. 1, the securing portion 28 and the retaining portion 26 are separated by the support portion 30 so that when the retaining portion is held in the retaining chamber 32a it functions as a cantilever support for the securing portion 28. Typically, the retaining clip 24 is of a relatively flexible material such as beryllium copper yet having spring properties. The support portion 30 and the securing portion 28 are defected or bent during manufacture to have a longitudinal axis 40 displaced at angle 0, from the longitudinal axis of the retaining portion 26, such as in the range of 3 to 7 of arc. Typically, the support portion 30 has a length slightly greater than that of the length of the chamber 34a in the male half 14a, and once the frustum conical securing portion 28 is inserted through the chamber 34a it will easily spring into contact with the longitudinal surface 35 of the male half 14a. Because of the deflection in the retaining clip and the flexibility of the material, it deforms to a relatively Straight position as it is inserted through the securing chamber 34a and then once the frustum conical portion 28 clears the end thereof the spring force of the material causes it to return to its original position thus bringing the edge thereof into engagement with the male half 14a to form the two halves into a single assembly.

As shown best in FIG. 1, a preferred embodiment of an aligning and polarizing device includes a notch 50 in the male half 14 having specifically inclined sides 52 and a pair of notches 54 in the end surfaces of the female half 12 also having specifically inclined edges 56 mateable with the notch 50 in the male half 14 in only one orientation. This aligning and polarizing method has been shown only for illustration since within the principles of the present invention many other methods may be utilized.

FIG. 2 shows specific mated contact elements. These particular elements have been shown only for illustration since within the principles of the present invention many different types of contact elements may be used. In addition, in this figure is shown an interface sealing gasket 60 which typically is of a resilient material such as rubber and is used in the industry to seal the interfacing surfaces of the connector halves. The gasket 60 includes a plurality of apertures 62 to enable the retaining clips 24 and the male contact elements 18 to be inserted therethrough.

To summarize the assembly of the two connector halves, the retaining clips 24 are first fitted into the chambers 32 in the male half 14 keeping the frustum conical securing portions oriented at 180 with the angle facing extreme outboard ends of the male body portion 12. As the two connector halves are brought into contact with the polarizing grooves 50, 54 aligned, the cantilevered support and securing portions 28, 30 respectively cam back to an upright position as the frustum conical portion 28 first engages the securing chamber 34 to allow it to pass through the chamber. The female body portion 12 is pressed into correct location with the male portion 14 causing the frustum conical portions 28 to spring to their original preset positions thus locking the two connector halves. To separate these halves, force is applied to the frustum conical portions 28, such as by squeezing them between the fingers, to rotate them inwardly bringing the retaining clip to an upright position and enabling the clip to be disengaged from the chamber 34. Because the support and securing portions rotate about a point near the end of the cylindrical retaining portion 24, the edge of the securing portion 28 does not mark or scribe the surface 35 of the male half 14a or corresponding surface of the female half 12 when the retaining clip 24 is reversed. This is desirable to prevent wear on this surface through repeated assembly of the two halves.

To illustrate the versatility of the present novel retaining clip, it is shown in FIG. 1 secured to the male connector body and mateable with the female connector body, while in FIG. 2 it is secured to the female connector body and mateable with the male connector body. As is readily apparent the retaining clip in either configuration functions identically within the principles of the invention.

While the basic principle of this invention has been herein illustrated and has been described in one embodiment it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that variations in the disclosed arrangement both as to its details and as to the organization of such details may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. Accordingly, it is intended that the foregoing disclosure and the showings made in the drawings will be considered only as illustrative of the principles of the invention and not construed in a limiting sense.

What is claimed is:

1. An electrical connector assembly comprising:

a first member including at least one first contact element and having a first polarizing portion associated with a first longitudinal surface and a pair of first transverse bores extending from the first longitudinal surface to a second longitudinal surface;

a second member including at least one second contact element mateable with said first contact element, a second polarizing portion associated with a first longitudinal surface engageable with said first polarizing portion when the first longitudinal surface of said first member and the first longitudinal surface of the second members are in opposed relationship, and a pair of second transverse bores extending from said first longitudinal surface to a second longitudinal surface and each adapted to be aligned with a different one of said first transverse bores when said first and second polarizing portions are in engagement; and

a pair of flexible elongated members, each afi'ixed in a different one of said second transverse bores each including a first portion having a first longitudinal axis and a deflectable second portion having a longitudinal axis inclined from the first longitudinal axis and adapted to be inserted through one of said first transverse bores to cause the second portion to deflect so that the second longitudinal axis is substantially aligned with the first longitudinal axis to permit it to move through the first transverse bore and then to spring to its original position after it has passed through said bore to engage said second longitudinal surface of said first member to secure said first member to said second member,

the first polarizing portion and the second polarizing portion comprising specific shaped sides which are mateable in only one orientation of the assembly.

2. An electrical connector assembly comprising:

a first member including at least one first contact element and having a first polarizing portion associated with a first longitudinal surface and a pair of first transverse bores extending from the first longitudinal surface to a second longitudinal surface;

a second member including at least one second contact element mateable with said first contact element, a second polarizing portion associated with a first longitudinal surface engageable with said first polarizing portion when the first longitudinal surface of said first member and the first longitudinal surface of the second members are in opposed relationship, and a pair of second transverse bores extending from said first longitudinal surface to a second longitudinal surface and each adapted to be aligned with a different one of said first transverse bores when said first and second polarizing portions are in engagement; and

a pair of flexible elongated members, each affixed in a different one of said second transverse bores each including a first portion having a first longitudinal axis and a deflectable second portion having a longitudinal axis inclined from the first longitudinal axis and adapted to be inserted through one of said first transverse bores to cause the second portion to deflect so that the second longitudinal axis is substantially aligned with the first longitudinal axis to permit it to move through the first transverse bore and then to spring to its original position after it has passed through said bore to engage said second longitudinal surface of said first member to secure said first member to said second member,

the deflectable second portion of the flexible elongated member including a frustum conical portion at the end thereof which acts as a cam as it is inserted through said first transverse bore, the first portion of the flexible elongated member comprising a compressible portion.

3. The electrical connector of claim 2 wherein the second portion of the flexible elongated member also includes a relatively thin support portion between the first 5 portion of the elongated member and the frustum conical 2,731,611 portion which permits the entire second portion to be 2,790,153 cantilevered about the end of said first portion. 3,048,642 3,286,220

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,230,277 2/1941 Volker et a]. 33991 Kamm 339-91 Arson 339--184 Parker 339184 Marley et a1 339-184 5 MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner.

J. H. MCGLYNN, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2230277 *Jun 21, 1938Feb 4, 1941Deutsche Waffen & MunitionsfabCircuit breaker
US2731611 *Jul 24, 1953Jan 17, 1956Kamm Lawrence JElectrical connectors
US2790153 *Mar 5, 1953Apr 23, 1957Cannon Electric CoPolarized electrical plug and socket connector having a plurality of contacts
US3048642 *Sep 1, 1959Aug 7, 1962Leeds & Northrup CoImmersion pyrometer with expendable plug-in temperature sensing unit
US3286220 *Jun 10, 1964Nov 15, 1966Amp IncElectrical connector means
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3656090 *May 19, 1970Apr 11, 1972Smiths Industries LtdTwo-part electrical coupling
US3993390 *Mar 12, 1975Nov 23, 1976E. I. Du Pont De Nemours And CompanyHeaders with insertable latch members
US4173387 *Mar 28, 1978Nov 6, 1979Amp IncorporatedSnap-on pin header
US4415214 *Apr 17, 1981Nov 15, 1983C. A. Weidmuller Gmbh & Co. PostfachElectrical plug and socket connectors
US4589716 *Sep 16, 1983May 20, 1986Williams Ii Joseph RReleasable snap connector
US4669797 *Apr 6, 1986Jun 2, 1987Allied CorporationElectrical connector assembly having a locking arrangement
US4709975 *Jul 29, 1985Dec 1, 1987Williams Ii Joseph RReleasable snap connector
US4810206 *Sep 25, 1987Mar 7, 1989Kings Electronics Co., Inc.Locking electrical connector
US5116239 *Jun 14, 1990May 26, 1992Amp IncorporatedMulticonductor flat cable connector, apparatus and method
US5178557 *Oct 30, 1991Jan 12, 1993Japan Aviation Electronics Industry, LimitedElectric connector having symmetric locking blocks at opposite ends
US5387110 *Nov 12, 1993Feb 7, 1995International Business Machines CorporationReversible dual media adapter cable
US5567166 *Apr 8, 1994Oct 22, 1996Berg Technology, Inc.Low profile connector and processes for making and using the same
US5634810 *Mar 22, 1995Jun 3, 1997Molex IncorporatedPrinted circuit board mounted electrical connector assembly
US6071141 *May 14, 1998Jun 6, 2000Berg Technology, Inc.Connector latches
US6146210 *Apr 30, 1999Nov 14, 2000Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Connector assembly that prevents polarization problems and uses a single aperture to perform both latching functions and guide functions
US6394855 *Oct 6, 2000May 28, 2002Raytheon CompanyIn-line multi-plug self-aligning connector
US6454592 *Dec 15, 2000Sep 24, 2002Japan Aviation Electronics Industry, LimitedConnector with an improved guide portion for guiding connection the connector and an object to be connected thereto
US7234957 *Dec 14, 2005Jun 26, 2007Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co., LtdElectrical connector assembly having locking mechanism
US7285005 *Jul 5, 2004Oct 23, 2007FciLocking element for an electrical connector
US20060128192 *Dec 14, 2005Jun 15, 2006Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co., Ltd.Electrical connector assembly having locking mechanism
US20070059962 *Jul 5, 2004Mar 15, 2007Gabrielsson Per GLocking element
CN100429832CDec 14, 2004Oct 29, 2008富士康(昆山)电脑接插件有限公司;鸿海精密工业股份有限公司Electric connector assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/353, 439/680
International ClassificationH01R13/645, H01R13/627
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/6275, H01R13/645
European ClassificationH01R13/627D, H01R13/645