US 3412367 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
NOV. 19, 1968 CHURLA 3,412,367
CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY Filed Aug. 29, 1966 F l G. 4
INVENTOR. JOHN J. CHURLA A 7' TORNE Y5.
United States Patent 3,412,367 CONNECTOR ASSEMBLY John J. Churla, Raritan, N.J., assignor to Thomas & Betts Corporation, Elizabeth, N.J., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Aug. 29, 1966, Ser. No. 575,688 12 Claims. (Cl. 339-91) This invention relates to a new and improved connector assembly and more particularly to a new and improved connector assembly for multiconductor fiat cable wherein the conductors of the cable are terminated to a connector having pins with barrel-type terminal portions.
A commonly used connector in electronic applications utilizes terminals having rearwardly projecting terminal portions which are cylindrical in shape. Heretofore, individual round wires have been terminated to the cylindrical terminal portions by attaching goldplated contacts on the ends of the wire conductor and inserting each conductor-contact combination into the cylindrical terminal portion of a terminal. This cylindrical portion wouldthen be filled with solder, making an electrical connection between the wire and the terminal. After the individual wires had been soldered to the terminals of the connector, the wires would be clamped together in a bunch to provide strain relief.
This type of termination of individual wires to the connector provided many disadvantages. The bunching of a plurality of individual wires took a disproportionate amount of space and where space was critical, such as in computer applications, this proved undesirable. In addition, bunching the individual wires together at the center and clamping them failed to provide effective strain relief, with the result that individual wires would tend to break connection with its terminal, thus rendering the connector partially inoperative. In order to resolder the broken-off wire conductor to the terminal of the connector, it was necessary to remove the clamp. Assembly of the individual wires to the connector also proved time-consuming, since it was necessary to individually attach a contact to each wire, place the fire within the cylindrical terminal portion of its terminal and then pour solder into the cylindrical terminal portion to complete the elections connection. Removal of the connector from engagement with a connector to which it was mated required pulling on the bunch of wires, since sufiicient leverage could not be obtained by merely gripping the connector itself.
It is thus an object of this invention to provide a connector assembly which is simple to manufacture and economical.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a con-- nector assembly which provides positive strain relief between the conductors and terminal pins of the connector.
It is yet another object of the present invention to to provide a connector assembly which is polarized to assure proper mating of the connector assembly.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a connector assembly wherein flat multiconductor cable is terminated to a connector having female cylindrical portions.
It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a connector assembly having means whereby the connector may be positively gripped.
It is still yet another object of the present invention to provide a connector assembly which allows flexing of the cable without fracture thereof and positive locking of the assembly.
Other and further objects will be evident from the following description and drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the connector assembly of the present invention mated with a complementary connector pin block;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view similar to FIGURE 1, but showing the connector assembly separated from the pin block;
FIG. 3 is a partially exploded view of the connector assembly of FIG. 1 prior to assembly of the components thereof;
FIG. 4 is an elevational partially sectional view of the connector assembly of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 is a partially broken-away perspective view of a conductor terminated to the terminal portion of a pin of the connector assembly of FIG. 1.
In general, the connector assembly of the present invention comprises connector means having a plurality of terminals with rearwardly extending cylindrical terminal portions, a flat cable means having a plurality of conductors whose ends are electrically connected to said terminals and a pair of strain relief members affixed to said connector and between which said fiat cable means is sandwiched. The strain relief members are preferably ribbed to provide a gripping surface and have rounded edges where they press on the cable means to allow flexing of the cable means without rupture thereof. Polarization means may be provided to insure proper mating of the connector assembly. In addition, locking means may be provided to lock the connector assembly to a mounting bracket or the like.
Referring now more particularly to the figures, there is shown a connector block 10 of insulating material such as plastic or the like having a plurality of terminal pins 12 inserted therein. As shown in FIG. 5, pins 12 have a generally cylindrical terminal portion 13 for terminating conductors thereto. A pair of multiconductor cables 14 provided with a plurality of conductors 16 are connected to pins 12 in a manner to be described in greater detail hereinafter. Connector block 10 is provided with a plurality of channels 18 for reception of individual pins 12. Pins 12 have a ribbed portion 20 adapated to lock into suitable depressions 22 in channels 18 for positive holding of pins 12 within block 10. A pair of strain relief members 23 and 24 are provided with knurled outer surfaces 26 and 28 for easy gripping of members 23 and 24. Members 23 and 24 are provided with rounded rearward edges as at 29 for allowing the multiconductor cable to flex at the rear of members 23 and 24 without causing fracture of the cable. Members 23 and 24 are affixed to block 10 by suitable fasteners such as rivets 30. Cables 14 are sandwiched between members 23 and 24 which are also affixed to each other by suitable fasteners such as rivets 32.
The conductors 16 of cables 14 are terminated to pins 12 in the following manner: Terminal portion 13 of pins 12 is normally provided at the end thereof with a recess having a cylindrically shaped longitudinal wall. In order to provide easy assembly of an individual conductor 16 to pins 12, this cylindrical wall is cut away to :a substantially semicylindrical shape. This is more clearly shown in FIG. 5, wherein the normally cylindrical shape of terminal portion 13 of pin 12 is shown in partially dotted lines and the solid lines show the terminal portion 13 cut away to form semicylindrical channel 34. The end of conductor 16 is stripped of insulation and laid within channel 34. Conductor 16 is then electrically connected to pin 12 by solder or the like. As shown in FIG. 5, solder 36 is used to provide a positive electrical connection and a firm mechanical joint.
As shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, the connector assembly is adapted to be mated with .a connector pin block 40, block 40 forming no part of the present invention. Block 40 has a plurality of male pins 42 aligned with and adapted to be inserted into female pins 12. Pins 42 are mounted in base 44. Side brackets 46 are affixed to base 44 by screws 48 or the like.
Brackets 46 are polarized to insure proper mating of a connector assembly to block 40 by notching the lateral edges thereof to different depths. Thus edge 50 of bracket 46 is provided with a notch 52 of different depth than notch 54 provided in edge 56. The connector assembly is also polarized by notching strain relief members 23 and 24 as at 58 and 60 so that the notches in block 40 will be complementary to the notches in the connector assembly.
Positive locking between the connector assembly and pin block 40 is achieved by providing brackets 46 on block 40 with channels 62 and by providing members 23 and 24 with locking ridges 64. When the connector assembly is mated with block 40, ridges 64 will be forced over shoulders 66 into channels 62 and thereby lock the former to the latter. Members 23 and 24 are preferably of resilientmaterial so that the connector assembly may be engaged or disengaged without unnecessary difficulty.
Assembly of the connector assembly described hereinabove may be accomplished as follows: Pins 12 are inserted into channels 18 in connector block 10, ribs 20 locking with recesses 22 of block 10 to provide positive locking of the pins in block 10. It is preferable that prior to insertion of pins 12 into block 10, terminal portions 13 be cut away to a semicylindrical configuration to form channels 34. Multiconductor cables 14 are stripped of insulation at one end thereof to expose conductors 16. The projecting ends of conductors 16 are then laid within channels 34 of pins 12 and soldered thereto to effect a positive mechanical and electrical connection. Members 23 and 24 are then aflixed to block 10 and to each other to firmly sandwich cables 14 between members 23 and 24. This sandwiching of cables 14 between members 23 and 24 provides for positive strain relief of cables 1-4 and effectively prevents possible disconnection of conductors 16 from pins 12. Rounded edges 29 of members 23 and 24 allow flexing of cable 14 without the creation of stresses.
therein which might produce fracture at the point of contact of the cables with members 23 and 24. Knurled surfaces 28 allow for positive gripping of members 23 and 24 so that the connector assembly may be more easily mated with or removed from block 40.
Members 23 and 24 are preferably of insulating material such as plastic or the like so that an insulated covering is provided for the exposed connections between conductors 16 to pins 12.
Although a specific embodiment of the present invention has been described hereinabove, it will be understood that other embodiments and modifications evident to those skilled in the art are considered to be Within the scope of the present invention. Thus, although the strain relief members have been shown to have a particular configuration, other configurations may be used. In addition, the strain relief members could be formed unitarily with a rearward slot to receive the multiconductor cable. Although a particular form of polarization has been described, other forms may be used as by polarizing the pins of the pin block or the like. Similarly, the connector assembly may be locked to the pin block by other means than that described, as by fasteners or the like.
Additionally, any number of conductors arranged in any configuration may be terminated by providing the necessary number of pins on the connector block.
Thus this invention should not be limited by the above description and drawings but rather by the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A connector assembly comprising connector means having a plurality of terminal pins with rearwardly extending terminal portions, flexible flat cable means having a plurality of conductors whose ends are electrically connected to said terminal portions of said pins and strain relief means sandwiching said connector means and said cable means, and being affixed both at said connector means and at said cable means to provide strain relief thereof.
2. The connector assembly of claim 1 wherein said terminal portions of said pins of said connector means are channelled and said ends of said conductors are placed within said channels and soldered to said pins.
3. The connector assembly of claim 1 including polarization means provided on said assembly so that the assembly may be mated with another connector in only one manner.
4. The connector assembly of claim 3 wherein said polarization means comprises polarized notches provided in said strain relief means.
5. The connector assembly of claim 1 including locking means provided on said assembly for locking said assembly to a mating connector.
6. The connector assembly of claim 5 wherein said locking means comprises projecting means provided on said strain relief means.
7. The connector assembly of claim 1 wherein said connector assembly is provided with gripping means for positive gripping thereof.
8. The connector assembly of claim 7 wherein said gripping means comprises a gripping surface provided on said strain relief means.
9. A connector assembly comprising a connector block, a plurality of terminal pins provided in said connector block, said pins having rearwardly projecting terminal portions, fiat flexible cable having a plurality of insulated conductors, said ends of said conductors being stripped of insulation and electrically connected to said terminal portions of said pins, a pair of strain relief member, said members being fastened to said block on opposite sides thereof, and said cable being secured between said members thereby to provide positive strain relief for said cable.
10. The connector assembly of claim 9 wherein the edges of said strain relief members are notched in such manner as to provide polarization when mated to an appropriate complementary connector.
11. The connector assembly of claim 9 wherein said strain relief members have partially ribbed surfaces for positive gripping thereof and wherein said rearward edges of said members are in contact with said cable and are rounded to allow flexing of said cable while reducing the possibility of fracture of said cable.
12. The connector assembly of claim 9 wherein said strain relief member is provided with mating connector locking means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,563,762 8/1951 Uline et a1 339-63 X 3,054,081 9/1962 Bertram et al. 339-103 3,076,951 2/1963 Swanson 339-91 3,089,114 5/1963 Cole et al 339176 3,154,365 10/1964 Crimmins. 3,170,749 2/1965 Johanson et al 339-107 3,319,216 5/1967 McCollough 33917 X FOREIGN PATENTS 995,116 8/1951 France. 922,729 4/ 1963 Great Britain.
RICHARD E. MOORE, Primary Examiner UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,412,367 November 19, 1968 John J. Churla It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
"fire" should read wire line 45,
Column 1, line 42,
Column 4, line "elections" should read electrical 38, "member" should read members Signed and sealed this 10th day of March 1970.
WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR.