US 3439311 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 15, 1969 w. R. EVANS 3,439,311
HERMAPHRODITIC CONTACT Filed May 12, 1967 April 15, 1969 w. R. EVANS 3,439,311
HERMAPHRODITIC CONTACT Filed May 12, 1967 iiwgy/ Sheet 3 ofIS W. R. EVANS April 15, 1969 HERMAPHROD I T I C CONTACT Filed May '12, I967 United States Patent 3,439,311 HERMAPHRODITIC CONTACT William Robert Evans, Hershey, Pan, assignor to AMP Incorporated, Harrisburg, Pa.
Filed May 12, I967, Ser. No. 638,058 Int. Cl. Hillr 25/00, 31/08, 29/00 U.S. Ci. 339-47 11 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A pair of identical contacts which mate with each other, said contacts preferably being provided with housmgs which may also be identical.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field 0 f the invention The invention pertains to the field of electrical connectors and has particular applicability in miniature and subminiature circuitry.
Description of the prior art Prior art connectors normally comprise a pair of unlike terminals which mate either by frictional fit or by solder connection.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a pair of contacts embodying the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of a pair of contacts similar to FIGURE 1 but showing a modified form of the invention;
FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 44 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 is a side elevational view showing the contacts of FIGURE 1 in their mated position;
FIGURE 6 is a side elevational view showing the con tacts of FIGURE 2 mounted on housings;
FIGURE 7 is a view similar to FIGURE 6 but showing the contacts in mated position;
FIGURE 8 is a side elevational view of a plurality of contacts mounted in a pluggable fashion;
FIGURE 9 is a view similar to FIGURE 6 but showing a modified form of housing;
FIGURE 10 is an end view of contacts as shown in FIGURE 9;
FIGURE 11 is a perspective view of the housing shown in FIGURES 9 and 10;
FIGURE 12 is a perspective view of a pair of contacts showing a further embodiment of the invention;
FIGURE 13 is a view similar to FIGURE 12 showing the contacts in mated position;
FIGURE 14 is a fragmentary perspective view showing one application of the contacts of FIGURE 12; and
FIGURE 15 is a perspective view of a contact showing a further embodiment of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The attainments of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the drawings in which there are shown and described illustrative embodiments of the invention; it is to be understood, however, that these embodiments are not intended to be exhaustive nor limiting of the invention but are given for purpose of illustration in order that others skilled in the art may fully understand the invention and the principles thereof and the manner of applying it in practical use so that they may modify it invarious forms, each as may be best suited to the conditions of a particular use.
With reference first to FIGURE 1 there is shown a pair of contacts 20 which are identical in construction and are adapted to mate with each other. Each contact may be formed from conductive wire or other bar stock. The contact has a forward male end 22 having a rounded tip for insertion within the mating contact. The contacts further have a female portion 24 for receiving the tip 22 of the mating contact. Portion 24 may be formed by flattening the wire, slotting the flattened portion as at 26, and subsequently rolling the sides of the flattened portion into a C-shaped configuration having an internal diameter slightly less than the external diameter of the forward portion 22 whereby there is an interference fit between the contacts when in their mated position thus establishing proper electrical continuity through the connection. The trailing ends of the contacts 20 may be connected to external circuitry by any suitable means, many of which are well known in the art.
The slot 26 formed in the female portion 24 of the contact permits easier forming of the spring area as well as greater spring deflection by allowing simple beam deflection along with the torsional deflection. The slot 26 further permits flush alignment of two mated contacts as shown at 28 (see FIGURE 5) since a portion of the male end 22 may be disposed within the slot 26 when the contacts are mated.
In FIGURE 2 there is shown a pair of contacts 30 which are identical to the contacts 20 with the exception that the insertion end of the contacts are provided with flattened hook members 32 for cooperation with an insulating housing as will be later described. The crosssectional views shown in FIGURES 3 and 4 are identical for contacts 20 or 30 and show the spring arms 34 which make up the sides of portion 24 and enclose the male end of the contacts.
It can be seen from FIGURE 5 that the contacts in their mated position present a connection which is no larger than a single contact. This allows the contact of the instant invention to be used with miniature circuitry in instances where close contact-to-contact spacing is required.
In FIGURES 6 and 7 there is shown a pair of connectors in their unmated and mated positions respectively, each connector comprising a contact 30 and an associated housing 36. The housings 36 are adapted to hold and support the contacts 30 throughout their entire length. A recess portion 38 is formed adjacent one end of the housing 36 and receives the hooked portion 32 of the contacts. A raised surface 40 on the housing is positioned \beneath the female portion of the contacts and serves to support the same. The opposite end of housing 36 is provided with an aperture 42 through which a portion of contact 30 extends, the remainder of the contact leading off to external circuitry as may be desired. The connectors may readily be moved into mating position as shown in FIGURE 7 with movement in the insertion direction being limited by a stop shoulder 44 formed on the housings and engaging the end 46 of the mating housing. The connectors in their mated position are of the same transverse dimension as a single connector therefore again aiding in miniaturization of the total electronic package.
The connectors of the instant invention are capable of many diverse applications in practical use. For example, one application is shown in FIGURE 8 wherein a first pair of connectors 48 are mounted in face-to-face relation for receiving a second pair of connectors 50 mounted in back-to-back relation. With the connectors mounted as in FIGURE 8 it can be seen that a convenient form of pluggable connection is obtained. The width of the connectors 48 or the connectors 50 may be conveniently varied by merely placing spacer members between the housing portions 36 of the connectors. Various other arrangements of connectors are obtainable due to the hermaphroditic nature of both the contacts and the connectors.
In FIGURES 9 through 11 a modified form of housing is shown which permits even further miniaturization of the connector from the form already described. The contacts 30 are identical to the contacts described in connection with FIGURES 2 and 6. The housing 52 is similar to the housing 36 previously described and con tains a recessed portion 54 for cooperating with the hooked surface 32 on the contact and further has a raised portion 56 for supporting the female portion of the contact. An aperture 58 is further provided and performs the same function as the aperture 42 of the housing 36. The housing 52 has a generally rectangular periphery as best seen in FIGURES and 11 with the contacts 38 being positioned approximately at 45 to the sides of the housing. By so placing the contacts the housings are permitted to be somewhat smaller than the housings 36 and further permits the contacts to be stacked as shown, for example, in FIGURE 10 with close center-tocenter spacing and in the formation of a grid system. Any number of housings may be used together to form as small or as large a unit as desired.
The housing 52 is shown in detail in FIGURE 11 and preferably comprises a pair of side flanges 60 on opposite sides of the raised portion 56 to substantially enclose the contacts thus adding strength and protection to the contacts. The rear portion 62 of the housing has the aperture 58 formed therein and serves as the spacing means when the housings are stacked in grid form.
In FIGURE 12 there is a further embodiment of the contact of the present invention and is indicated generally at 64. The contact is identical with the contact previously described with the exception that the male portion of contact 64 has a slot or opening 66 formed therein. The slot 66 provides a pair of spring members 68 on opposite sides of the slot, said members being bowed outwardly to provide resiliency in the male portion of the contact. When the contacts are mated, such as shown in FIGURE 13, the resilient members 68 will be urged against the resilient arms 34 of the female portion of the contact to thereby establish relatively large radial forces and/or relatively larger total mating spring deflection between the contacts thus insuring a good electrical connection.
In FIGURE 14 there is shown one possible application of the contacts 64 shown in FIGURE 12. However, it is to be understood that the contacts 20 could also be used in a similar application. A pair of contacts 64 are mounted in insulating housings 70 which may, for example, constitute the side portions of a magnetic memory frame. A plurality of small diameter wires 72, which pass through a magnetic cores of the memory frame, extend through strain reliefs 74 mounted on the housings 70 and subsequently are secured to an end of the contacts 64. The connection between the wires 72 and the contacts 64 may be made by forcing an eyelet 76 over the end of the contacts thus compressing the wire 72 between the eyelet and the contact causing a firm electrical union. An interconnection strip 78 is provided and houses a contact 80 which is similar to the contacts 64 except that contact 80 is actually a double contact having two male and two female portions joined by a length of wire 82. The contact 80 mates with the contacts 64 in the manner as previously described and serves to common the contacts 64 together in the typical manner used in memory frames.
A still further contact 84 is shown in FIGURE 15 and is similar to contact 20 with the exception that contact 84 is formed from flat stock rather than wire or bar stock. The male portion 86 of the contact is formed by rolling the end of the stock whereby the outer edges 88 of the stock are brought into facing or abutting relation. The female portion 90 is flattened and formed in the opposite direction from the male portion 86 and may be slotted as at 92 as discussed earlier in relation to the slot 26 in contact 20. The remaining portion 94 of the contact may be formed into cylindrical configuration for connection to external circuitry as required. Contact 84 is not capable of the extreme miniaturization which is capable with contacts 20, 30 and 64.
It can be seen that this invention provides contacts which are relatively simple and inexpensive to produce and are truly hermaphroditic both in contact form and in connector form, thus allowing extreme versatility of application. The contacts and connectors are capable of extreme miniaturization thereby being compatible with latest electronic technology.
Further any of the various forms of contacts described above will provide a minimum of seven points of contact thus insuring a dependable electrical connection. The seven points will be distributed with three in each female portion of the contact and the seventh point located approximately at the location of point 28 shown in FIGURE 5.
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.
1. An electrical contact formed from round bar stock and adapted to mate with a corresponding similar contact comprising a forward male portion having an external periphery substantially the same as that of said bar stock from which the contact is formed, and a female portion adjacent said male portion and having a pair of resilient arms spaced to receive the male portion of the corresponding contaact with an interference fit.
2. An electrical contact as set forth in claim 1 wherein said female portion is formed by flattening said bar stock and rolling the flattened portion into C-shaped configuration.
3. An electrical contact as set forth in claim 1 wherein said resilient arms are separated by a slotted portion whereby said arms are capable of compound deflection.
4. An electrical contact as set forth in claim 1 further comprising a hook portion extending from said male portion and adapted to engage an insulating housing for retaining the contact thereon.
5. An electrical contact formed from round bar stock and adapted to mate with a corresponding similar contact comprising a forward male portion and an adjacent female portion, said male portion having a slot therein forming a pair of resilient members on opposite sides of said slot, and said female portion having a pair of resilient arms spaced to receive the male portion of the corresponding contact.
6. An electrical contact as set forth in claim 5 further comprising a longitudinal slot formed in said female portion and releasing said resilient arms for spring action.
7. An electrical contact formed from flat stock and adapted to mate with a corresponding similar contact comprising a forward cylindrical portion formed by rolling said fiat stock to bring the outer edges into facing relation, said cylindrical portion constituting a male end of said contact, and a female portion adjacent said cylindrical portion, said female portion having an internal diameter slightly less than the external diameter of said male end and formed by rolling said fiat stock in the opposite direction from said cylindrical portion.
8. An electrical contact as set forth in claim 7 further comprising a longitudinal slot formed in said female portion thereby releasing a pair of arms for spring action.
9. An electrical connector adapted to mate with a corresponding similar connector comprising a contact having a male portion and a female portion, and an insulaing housing on which said contact is mounted, said housing having a recessed portion at one end and an aperture at the opposite end thereof, and said contact having a hooked portion extending from the forward end thereof and engaging said housing recessed portion, said contact further having means extending through said housing aperture, said housing further having a raised surface supporting the female portion of said contact, whereby said contact is supported over substantially its entire length by said housing.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/1946 Olson 339-47 FOREIGN PATENTS 942,506 11/ 1963 Great Britain.
RICHARD E. MOORE, Primary Examiner. P. A. CLIFFORD, Assistant Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R.