US 3408614 A
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1968 TAKESHI KUWAHATA 3,408,614
ELECTRIC CONNECTING DEVICE Filed Jan. 5, 1966 INVENTOR.
TAKESHI KUWAHATA HIS I? TTORNEYS United States Patent 3,408,614 ELECTRIC CONNECTING DEVICE Takeshi Kuwahata, Tokyo, Japan, assignor to Hirose Electric Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, a corporation of apan Filed Ian. 3, 1966, Ser. No. 518,141 1 Claim. (Cl. 33991) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A connector providing for the secure fastening and easy disengagement of interconnecting elements, for example, male and female electrical components, including a spring means rigidly mounted to one connecting portion, which is engaged by a coupling means, provided at the mating edge of the counter-connecting portion when the cooperating elements are properly seated.
This invention relates to connectors, and in particular to connectors for completing electrical circuits.
In the general field of connectors, it is desirable to effect connection between two parts as easily as possible; to insure against accidental breaking of the connection; and to permit easy intentional opening thereof. These characteristics are particularly important when electrical connectors or plugs are involved, because such connectors are often subjected to recurrent use and must always provide reliable connections.
In prior electrical connectors, the frictional contact of the connecting elements themselves was often relied upon. Where more rigid connections were desired, the housings of the male and female portions were sometimes screwed together; however, this expedient could only be used for round connectors. Furthermore, unless special coupling collars were employed, the wires of such screwed connectors became twisted. Still another prior attempt to provide rigid but easily severed connections involved the use of mating clips mounted on the outside of the male and female housings and adapted to be cooperatively secured.
Obviously, rectangular connectors cannot be secured by screwing the mating elements together. On the other hand, externally mounted clips are inconvenient to handle, unsightly in appearance, and subject the connectors to snagging on adjacent units.
It is an object of this invention to provide a connector having mating parts and including securing means located in the interior thereof.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved secured connector that is easy and cheap to manufacture.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved connector that can be easily assembled, locks into engagement, and can be easily opened.
In accordance with the following illustrative embodiment of the invention, an electric connection device is shown wherein complete and positive connection can be accomplished by pushing a male plug into a female receptacle. Disconnection is easily effected by merely pressing a push button and pulling the plug and the receptacle apart. A spring member is provided on the interior wall of the plug housing. This member is adapted to automatically engage a cooperatively designed element in the receptacle housing when the plug and receptacle are joined. The spring member is normally tensioned against the interior surface of the plug, and a portion projects through to the outside. To disengage the connector, the protruding portion is depressed and the plug and receptacle are freed to be slipped apart.
The invention may be better understood from the fol- 3,408,614 Patented Oct. 29, 1968 ice lowing description given in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation partly insection of the plug unit of the connector according to this invention;
FIGURE 2 is an end view in the direction of the arrows A-A' of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a front view of a plug cover to be mounted upon the plug unit;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged perspective view of a connection plate spring to be coupled to the plug unit;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary enlarged side elevation in the direction of the arrows B-B' of FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is a perspective view illustrating a receptacle unit of the connector according to this invention; and
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary sectional view showing the engagement of the plug unit of FIGURE 1 with the receptacle unit of FIGURE 6.
Referring now to the accompanying drawings, the plug unit A, as best shown in FIGURE 1, comprises such main elements as an inverted U-shaped side wall member 1, cover plates 2, a connection plate spring 3, and a body of insulating material 5 having a plurality of electric connection pins 4. The top of side wall member 1 forms the back of plug A. The U-shaped side wall member and two cover plates, when assembled, provides a generally openended plug housing. The cover plate 2, as best shown in FIGURE 3, is provided at the upper portion thereof with a recess portion 25 having apertures 6 therein and also at the lower portion thereof with a rectangular aperture 8 through which a push button 7 is adapted to protrude. The cantilevered connection or coupling plate spring is made of resilient spring material, and as best shown in FIGURE 4, has at the upper vertical portion 10 thereof apertures 9 corresponding to the apertures 6 of the cover plate 2. It also has an outwardly inclined portion 11 on which the push button 7 is rigidly secured in any suitable manner. The lowermost portion of the plate spring 3 is bent to form a pawl 12 with an inclined face 14 on the underside of the front end. The connection plate spring 3 is so secured to the cover plate 2 that the vertical portion 10 of the plate spring 3 is fixed rigidly on the recess portion 25 by rivets through opposing apertures 6 and 9. When mounted, the extreme end 13 of pawl 12 exerts pressure against the inner surface 17 of the lower portion of the cover plate, said pressure being imparted by the resiliency of the outwardly inclined portion 11. When the plug unit A and the receptacle unit B are coupled to gether, note that the lower portion of the cover plates are in juxtaposition with the slotted distal ends of the L- shaped coupling means 22 so as to reinforce and strengthen the unity of the assembled connector against externally generated transverse forces tending to laterally displace the plug unit A and to shear its connector pins. The push button 7 protrudes through the rectangular aperture 8 of cover plate 2.
The female receptacle unit B illustrated in FIGURE 6 is adapted to receive the plug unit A and comprises such main elements as a body of insulating material 19 having a plurality of electric connection pieces corresponding to the connecting pins 4 of the plug unit A, and a receptacle case 20. On the intermediate portions of the both longitudinal sides of the receptacle case 20 are provided L- shaped coupling means 22 having rectangular apertures 21 adapted to receive pawls .12 of the plate spring 3 of the plug unit A.
When the plug unit A and the receptacle unit B are coupled together, pawls 12 are positively engaged with the apertures 21 and the extreme ends 13 of the pawls 12 are pressed against the inner surface 17 of the cover plate thereby to provide a complete and positive connection. By providing a tilted (beveled) face 24 inside the extreme (distal) end of the coupling means 22, the tapered face 14 of the pawl 12 is slidably movable on the tilted face 24, so that the connection can be smoothly effected by simply push-fitting the plug unit into the receptacle unit. During insertion, button 7 need not be depressed. Further, by providing outwardly bent portion 23 at the lowermost end of the cover plate, the plugging-in operation can be further improved and facilitated.
When disconnecting the plug unit and the receptacle unit, the pawl 12 of the connection plate spring is released from the aperture 21 of the coupling means, as shown in two-dot chain line in FIGURE 7, by pushing the button 7 of the plug unit A in the direction of the arrow as also shown in FIGURE 7, and, then, the plug and receptacle units are pulled away from each other.
An illustrative embodiment of this invention has been described. It will be appreciated that many modifications of this embodiment are possible. For example, if the plug housings do not have fiat sides, the spring means 3 may have an arcuate shape to conform with that of the housing. It is intended in the following claim to include all modifications of the described invention which fall within the spirit and teachings thereof.
What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A connector having a plurality of connecting pins and mating apertures comprising two cooperating portions, each having an open-ended housing, one of said housings having oppositely disposed slots near the open end of said housings and the other of said housings having mounted at the periphery of its open end oppositely disposed slotted L-shaped members, said L-shaped mem- BEST AVAlLABLE COPY bers having at least oneslot in the-distal ends thereof;-a pair of cantilevered couplingmeans, having push buttons projecting outwardly therefrom near the free ends thereof and having a beveled pawl at said free ends, being fixedly secured to the inside walls of said housing having said slots in such a mannerthatthefree ends of said cou; pling means are 'tensioned' outwardlyagainst the, inside of said housing and said push buttons protruding through said slots of said housing, the open ends of said housing having said slots extending beyond the beveled pawls of said coupling means whereby when said coupling means and said L-shaped members are positively engaged together in a locking manner-saidopen ends-of'said housing being seated and disposed in juxtaposition with the slotted distal ends of said L-shaped members in order to reinforce and strengthen the unity of the assembled connector against externally generated transverse forces tending to laterally displace said housing having said slots and to shear the connector pins of said connector.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,169,042 2/1965 Jepson 339-9l 2,659,872 11/1953 Gilbert. 2,895,119 7/1959 Montgomery 3399l FOREIGN PATENTS 99,5 74 4/ 1925 Germany.
MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner. JOSEPH H. MCGLYN N, Assistant Examiner.