US 3440596 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 22, 1969 F. J. FROMF'OVICZ 3,440,596
INSULATOR FEATURE WITH CONTACT RETENTION FINGERS I Filed March 17, 1966 Sheet of 3 r M J.
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FRANK FROMPOVICZ AT TORN EYS April 22, 1969 F. J. FROMPOVICZ 3,440,596
INSULATOR FEATURE WITH CONTACT RETENTION FINGERS Z of 3 Sheet Filed March 17. 1966 NTOR. MPOVICZ INVE FRANK F RO M w W k Fig. 8
April 22 1969 F. J. FROMPOVICZ INSULATOR FEATURE WITH CONTACT RETENTION FINGERS Ed March 17, 1966 E V///// fl j Q 8 wwwo INVENTOR. -FRANK FROIVIPOVICZ m///// w// W//// Mn /zv? M E Y m3 ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,440,596 INSULATOR FEATURE WITH CONTACT RETENTION FINGERS Frank J. Frompovicz, Cornwells Heights, Pa, assignor to Elco Corporation, Willow Grove, Pa., a corporation of Delaware A Filed Mar. 17, 1966, Ser. No. 535,146 Int. Cl. HOlr 13/50, 25/02, 13/20 US. Cl. 339206 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to an insulator feature with contact retention fingers, and more particularly to a novel device of this general class.
The present invention has particular application to mated halves of connector insulators which may each include a large number of contact pairs. After such ins ulator halves have been mated, difliculties may arise with respect to a particular contact pair in one of the connector halves. It then becomes necessary to remove the contact pair and possibly the contacts which had been mated with the contact pair.
Heretofore, this necessitated unmating the two connector halves, then somehow physically removing the contact pair, and then the contacts with which the contact pair mated. Where the contacts were integrally molded within the insulator, it was quite difiicult to remove the contact pair without disturbing the other contacts.
It sometimes becomes necessary in telephone installations to remove contact pairs from a large number of contact pairs for the purpose of providing new service. When this is necessary, the presence of mated conventional connector halves has created the aforesaid problem.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an insulator feature with contact retention fingers that will permit the replacement of a single pair of contacts or of single contacts or of multiple numbers of contacts without necessitating the unmating of connector insulator halves and requiring only the use of a simple tool.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a pair of connector insulator halves involving a plurality of contacts which can be individually replaced even when mated with complementary contacts, with such connector being of a generally modular design in order to maintain low cost and efliciency of operation.
The foregoing as well as other objects of the invention are achieved by providing mating connector insulator halves each having a plurality of openings defining contact receiving chambers. Each contact chamber is basically a through opening each having a pair of adjacent opposed, closely spaced resilient retention fingers projecting into the opening.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention the contacts are molded together in pairs into a common base which has at least one longitudinal groove so that when the contact pair is inserted into a contact chamber the groove will permit the base to be pushed through and beyond the retention fingers which will be urged apart during the passage of the base.
Once the contact base has cleared the retention fingers they will snap to their original condition and thereby hold 3,440,596 Patented Apr. 22, 1969 the base captive in the contact chamber. A particular base with its associated contacts may be easily removed from the contact chamber without having to unmate the connector halves.
This is done by a simple tool or other device which is essentially a small blade that can be inserted to separate the retention fingers so that the base with its associated contact pair can be removed by a simple axial pull with the retention fingers being sufiiciently spread so that they will not block the removal of the base.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a connector insulator piece having contact chambers, some of which contain contacts;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a contact pair molded into a common base, with the contact pair each including crimping means which hold a lead;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the insulator of FIG. 1 but with contacts inserted in all contact chambers;
FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the insulator of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the lines 5-5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the lines 6-6 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along the lines 77 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along the lines 8-8 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view with a portion of the insulator piece cut away for the sake of clarity, showing a contact pair about to be seated in contact chambers of the insulator;
FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 5, but taken along the lines 10-10 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken along the lines 11-11 of FIG. 10.
Referring now in greater detail to the various figures of the drawing wherein like reference characters refer to like parts, there is shown at 10' in FIG. 1 a mating connector which includes an insulator feature with contact retention fingers embodying the present invention. The device shown in FIG. 1 is actually one of two mating connector insulator halves. The other connector insulator (not shown) is of substantally identical construction since the bifurcated contacts thereof will mate in opposed relationship with the bifurcated contacts 12 of insulator 10, and the respective insulators will intenfit.
As further shown in FIG. 1 the insulator 10 is essentially a rectangular non-conducting body 14 having a plurality of openings 16 formed therein which define contact receiving chambers. Wire leads 18 having contacts 12 secured thereto extend from the bottom surface of the body 14.
FIG. 2 shows a preferred embodiment of the invention wherein a contact pair 20 is shown as comprising a pair of contacts 12 molded together into a common base 22. The base 22 possesses a longitudinal groove 24 along two of its faces for a purpose that will be described hereinafter. As further shown in FIG. 2 the contacts 12 extend backwardly to offset portions 26 which terminate in tail sections 28 that include crimping wings or ferrules 30 for grasping the bared lead of the wires 18.
FIG. 1 also illustrates that where the bifurcated contacts 12 project beyond top surface 32 of insulator 10 that in some instances a short peripheral skirt 34 is provided. The other mating connector will have an appropriate opening or recess adjacent its contact chambers in 3 order to receive the skirts 34. Where the contacts 12 project above the top surface 32, the contacts 12 may be considered male contacts. Where the contacts 12 are recessed below surface 32 they may be considered as female contacts with the recess being indicated as 36 in FIG. 1. It is seen that the skirts 34 will interfit in a recess like the recess 36 in the mating connector member.
As shown in FIGS. 5, 6, 9 and 10 the openings 16 in the insulator body 14 are through openings which define contact receiving chambers. Attention is particularly called to FIG. 9 which shows the insertion of contact pair 20 into complementary openings 16 in the body 14.
Further attention is called to FIGS. 5 and 6 which show the details and the relationship of the contact pair with the contact retention fingers 38 (FIG. 6) of insulator after the contact pair 20 has been pushed through and beyond the retention fingers 38. FIG. 5 also shows that during the course of preparing the contact pairs 20, a twist 40 is applied to that portion of the contact shank which lies within common base 22 in order that the mating section 42 of the contacts 12 will be displaced approximately 90 from its initial position.
FIGS. 3 and 7 also illustrate that the relatively wide opening 16 terminates at top surface 32 in the shape of two cross-like apertures including perpendicular openings 44 and 46. The opening 46 receives mating section 42 whereas the opening 44 will receive the mating section of a complementary contact which engages mating section 42. As further shown in FIG. 5 a contact pair 20 may be so arranged that one of the mating sections 42 will project above a skirt 34 whereas the mating section of the other contact 12 will project from a recess 36.
The insulator retention fingers 38 are clearly shown in FIG. 6 wherein the contact pair 20 and in particular its common base 22 has already been pushed through and beyond the retention fingers 38. In the condition of FIG. 6 the retention fingers 38 are in their normal closely spaced condition. This prevents the withdrawal of the contact pair 20 until such time as a tool is inserted which will spread the retention fingers 38 sufiiciently so that the contact pair 20 can be urged backwardly by an axial pull. As shown in FIG. 8 the retention fingers 38 will have to be spread at least the distance a which is the thickness of the base 22 lying between longitudinal grooves 24 in the body 22.
The relationship between the base 22 and the retention fingers 38 is shown in further detail in FIGS. 9, 10 and 11.
The retention fingers 38 are preferably integrally molded with the remainder of the connector insulator 10 which is of a strong plastic material, such as nylon or polypropylene. The retention fingers 38 are preferably thin in order to enhance their resiliency. In their relaxed or normal position, the retention fingers 38 extend somewhat into the opening 16 in the manner of FIG. 6.
It is thus seen from FIGS. 6 and 9 that the contact pair 20 is adapted to be inserted into the opening 16. As indicated in FIG. 4 the opening 16 is generally rectangular for a considerable distance, and as indicated in FIG. 10 the rectangular opening 16 extends upwardly through the insulator for more than two-thirds of its width with the remainder of the opening 16 being in the shape of two cross-like openings as indicated in FIG. 7.
When the contact pair is inserted upwardly into the opening 16 in the manner of FIG. 9 the retention fingers 38 will spread apart as the base 22 comes in contact with the retention fingers 38. With continued upward movement, the retention fingers 38 will brush against base 22. As shown in FIG. 11 the retention fingers 38 will be essentially positioned in longitudinal grooves 24. When the base 22 reaches the upward position of FIG. 10, the retention fingers are no longer restrained, and thus they may snap toward each other in reaching their normal position of FIG. 6.
Further details of the retention fingers are shown in FIG. 9 wherein the retention fingers 38 are shown each to extend from ledges 48 with the retention fingers termimating in tips 50. Where desired as shown in FIG. 9 the insulator 10 may be built up from a series of modular blocks, some of which possess elongated grooves 52, with complementary modular blocks (not shown) possessing land areas that will interfit in the grooves 52.
Where desired the base 22 may be so designed that it will receive but a single contact 12 or more than two contacts 12, depending upon the needs of a particular design. Furthermore, it is possible to dispense with one of the retention fingers 38, and therefore one of the complementary grooves 24.
When it is desired to remove a contact pair 20 for any reason whatsoever, it is a simple matter to insert a blade-like tool that will separate the retention fingers 38 of FIG. 6 the minimum distance a of FIG. 8 so that the Withdrawal of the contact pair may begin with an axial pull. The tool may preferably include two thin blades or finger-like members which can be actuated at the handle of the tool. Once the base 22 has been retracted sufficiently that the retention fingers 38 contact groove 28, the tool may be removed. The contact pair 20 is then removed by a simple backward pull.
It is therefore seen that it is a simple matter to remove any one of the contact pairs 20 even when the connector insulator 10 is mated with a complementary connector insulator. Furthermore, it is not necessary to unmate the complementary connector insulators or otherwise disturb the other contacts or the insulator.
Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
What is claimed as the invention is:
1. A connector comprising:
(a) an insulated body With at least one contact chamber therein opening in the bottom surface at one end of the body and extending partially therethrough;
(b) said insulated body having aperture means in the top surface at the other end of the body, which aperture means is connecetd to said contact chamber;
(c) a pair of contacts mounted in an insulated base which has a first transverse surface at one end from which the mating sections of each of the contacts extend and a second transverse surface at the other end from which the tail sections of each of the contacts extend;
(d) said pair of contacts and base having an operative position in said contact chamber at which said first transverse surfaces of said base abuts the bottom of said contact chamber and the mating section of each of said contacts passes through said aperture means and projects beyond the top surface of said body for mating with complementary mating sections of similar contacts mounted in a like connector; and
(e) a pair of opposed resilient fingers integral with said insulated body and extending into said chamber, each of said fingers having a free end cooperable with said second transverse surface of said base when the latter is in its operative position in said contact chamber for therein releasably retaining said base.
2. A connector according to claim 1 wherein said opposed resilient fingers, when unflexed, project into said contact chamber and extend toward the bottom thereof so that initial insertion of said base into the chamber causes the base to c'am the free ends of said fingers apart until the base abuts the bottom of said chamber at which time the free ends of said fingers snap toward each other and behind said second transverse surface on said base.
3. A connector according to claim 2 wherein the base has a pair of longitudinal grooves in opposite faces to provide clearance for the fingers.
4. A connector according to claim 3 wherein said insulated body is molded.
5. A connector comprising:
(a) an insulated body with at least one contact chamber therein opening in the bottom surface at one end of the body and extending partially therethrough;
(b) said insulated body having aperture means in the top surface at the other end of the body, which aperture means is connected to said contact chamber;
(c) a pair of contacts mounted in an insulated base which has a first transverse surface at one end from which the mating sections of each of the contacts extend, and a second transverse surface at the other end from which the tail section of each of the contacts extend;
(d) said pair of contacts and base being in an operative position in said contact chamber at which the mating sections of the contacts pass through said aperture means and project beyond the top surface of said body for mating with similar contacts mounted in a like connector;
(e) at least one resilient finger integral with said insulated body and extending into said chamber, said finger having a free end cooperable with said second transverse surface of said base when the latter is in its operative position in said contact chamber for therein releasably retaining said base.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS June 292-322 Barrans 339-148 Ribble et al. 339-102 Roche 339-217 Richards 339-47 Carbary 339-217 Fox 339-217 Robinson 339-91 Blain 339-47 Rifkin 292-322 Yopp 339-59 Quackenbush.
Brown et al. 339-211 Bridle.
Scheller 339-217 US. Cl. X.R.