|Publication number||US3475718 A|
|Publication date||Oct 28, 1969|
|Filing date||Sep 6, 1968|
|Priority date||Sep 6, 1968|
|Publication number||US 3475718 A, US 3475718A, US-A-3475718, US3475718 A, US3475718A|
|Inventors||Hartz Marvin E, Witek Roman J Jr|
|Original Assignee||Essex International Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (15), Classifications (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Oct. 28, 1969 M. E. HARTZ ETAL 3,475,718
CONNECTOR BLOCK Filed Sept. 6, 1968 22 f0 52 [.YVEVI'ORS /0 )5 L50 B MA/QV/A/ E. HARTZ United States Patent 3,475,718 CONNECTOR BLOCK Marvin E. Hartz, Grosse Pointe Farms, and Roman J.
Witek, Jr., Romulus, Mich., assignors to Essex International, Inc., a corporation of Michigan Filed Sept. 6, 1968, Ser. No. 757,994 Int. Cl. H01r 13/54 US. Cl. 33991 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A terminal connector block includes a first housing which carries a plurality of terminals and a pair of resilient fingers for attaching the first housing to a second housing which also carries terminals adapted to mate with the first mentioned terminals. The first housing is adapted to be routed through a panel opening and each of the resilient fingers includes a curvilinear protecting portion for protecting the fingers during routing. The block also includes projections for stacking a plurality of the blocks together.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a new and improved connector block and, more particularly, to a connector block which is adapted to be routed through a panel opening.
It is frequently desirable to mount a plurality of electrical terminal carrying connector blocks or portions thereof in prearranged openings in a panel to facilitate access and maintenance or to pass connectors through various openings during the course of assembly of automobiles or the like. Generally the connector blocks comprise two interfitting portions. One method of connecting the housing portions together is to provide resilient latching fingers on one of the portions of the connector assembly, the latching fingers engaging associated latching shoulders on the second portion. However, these latching fingers generally project from the external faces of the housing portion upon which they are mounted, causing that portion of the housing to be generally unfit for routing through the panel, since such routing generally results in damage to the exposed fingers and the routing operation is hindered by the fingers.
In the connector constructed in accordance with the principles of our invention, the portion carrying the resilient latching fingers may be readily routed through the panel without damage to the latching fingers or without hinderingthe routing operation. In addition the connector constructed in accordance with the principles of our invention may be mounted in plural stacked relationship with other like connectors, the entire assembly having the ability of being routed through the panel without damage to the plural connectors. Moreover, the protecting surface of the connectors provides an increased area for facilitating disassembly of the connector. The connectors may also be readily and easily constructed and may be of simple moulded one piece construction.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In a principal aspect, our invention includes a terminal connector block which is adapted to be routed through an opening of a panel or the like and includes a housing member having an elongated resilient latching means mounted upon the exterior of the housing member. The latching means is mounted intermediate its ends to the housing member and one end of the latching means, which carries a latching barb, is moveable away from the external face of the housing member. The other end of the latching means is spaced from the face and carries a resilient protecting means which is formed integral with the latching means to prevent damage to the latching 4 3,475,718 Patented Oct. 28, 1969 ice BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the course of this description, reference will frequently be made to the attached drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the preferred embodiment of connector constructed in accordance with the principles of our invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of one housing block of the connector being inserted through an opening in a panel;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary plan view of the housing block showing a second housing block being held in place by the resilient latching fingers;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side elevation view of the assembled connector taken along line 44 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 5 is an end view of one of the blocks of the connector taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 1 and showing a second similar block disposed in stacked relationship thereto.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIG. 1, a preferred embodiment of connector constructed in accordance with the principles of our invention is shown. The connector includes a pair of housing blocks 10 and 11 which are generally rectangular in shape and are each adapted to carry a plurality of mating electrical terminals 15 in passages 13 and 14 therein, one of the terminals being shown in FIG. 1. The passages and terminal holding structure are not deemed to be part of the instant invention and thus will not be described in detail. A suitable construction is described in the copending application of Anthony J. Taormina and Willard B. McCardell, Jr., Ser. No. 711,675, filed Mar. 8, 1968. In order to place the terminals of each of the respective housing blocks 10 and 11 in mating relationship with each other, housing block 10 may be inserted into housing block 11 as shown in FIG. 3. The housing blocks preferably include a polarizing means 16 to prevent insertion of housing 10 into housing 11 in but one position, thus preventing crossed circuits and the like.
In order to maintain the housing blocks in attached relationship, a latching arrangement is provided. The latching arrangement includes a raised shoulder 18 positioned upon the side faces 20 and 21 of housing block 11. The other housing block 10 carries a pair of resilient elongated latching fingers 22 which are attached generally at their midpoints by a leg 24 tothe side faces 26 and 27 of housing 10. A barb 28 is carried at one end of each of the latching fingers 22 and is adapted, by an inclined face 30, to slide upon and then drop behind the shoulder 18 on housing 11 to hold the housing blocks 10 and 11 in firm attached relationship to each other. The other end 32 of each of the elongated fingers 22 extends in an opposite direction from the leg 24 and operates, upon the application of pressure thereto, to spread the barbs 28 of the latching fingers to provide for unlatching the barbs 28 from the shoulder 18 and separation of the housings from each other.
The latching fingers 22 project from the external faces 26 and 27 of housing 10 and, therefore it has been the practice in the past, to avoid routing of the housing which carried the latching fingers, since the exposed projecting fingers, and particularly their ends 32, were susceptible to damage during routing. To allow routing of housing 10 without damage to the latching fingers 22, a generally curved protecting element 34 continues from the end 32 of the resilient finger 22. The protecting element 34 includes a curvilinear surface 36 which is spaced from the faces 26 and 27 of the housing, the spacing distance reaching a maximum adjacent the end 32 of the resilient finger. The resilient fingers 22 and protecting elements 34 are moulded in integral one piece construction and the end of each of the protecting elements 34, opposite the end 32 of the resilient fingers 22, is moulded to each of the faces 26 and 27 of the housing at 40.
Referring to FIG. 2, housing block is shOWn being routed through an opening 42 in a panel or other member 44. During routing housing 11 may be either connected to or separated from housing 10, As routing is commenced, the perimeter of the opening 42 may contact the curvilinear surface 36 of the protecting element 34. Such contact however will not damage the fingers 22 since the curvilinear surface 36 will present a smooth curvilinear inclined surface to the perimeter of the opening as the housing 10 continues to be moved to the right, as viewed in FIG. 2. The housing 10 may thus be passed completely through the opening 42 without damage to the resilient fingers 22 or hang up of the housing on the panel.
The housing block 11 may be readily attached to the housing 10 by inserting its open end over housing 10. During such insertion, the inclined faces 30 of barbs 28 ride upwardly upon the shoulder 18 and when insertion is completed the barbs snap over the shoulder holding the housings firmly attached to each other. In such fully inserted position, the edge of the housing block 11 also bears against the leg 24 of the latching fingers, the legs acting as stops, as viewed in FIG. 3. If it is desired to separate the housing blocks 10 and 11 from each other, the increased surface provided by the resilient protecting element 34 need only be pressed between the fingers of the operator. Such pressure causes the barbs 28 to spring apart, as shown in FIG. 2, and disengage the shoulders 18 allowing removal of housing block 11 from housing block 10.
Referring particularly to FIG. 5, a pair of housings 10 and 10 are shown attached to each other in stacked relationship. To provide for such stacking, one face 46 of each of the housings 10, 10' and/or 11 may be provided with one or more female connectors and the opposite faces'50 and 50 of housings 10 and 10, respectively, with a corresponding male connector 52 and 52'. Each of the female connectors 48 projects from its respective face 46 and carries an increased width groove 54. Each of the male connectors 52 and 52' projects from its respective opposite face 50 and 50 and is comprised of a relatively short bead. Each of the male and female connectors are moulded as an integral part of their respective housing blocks and are relatively resilient or deformable. To stack a plurality of the housings, the male connector 52' of one of the housings 10 is merely inserted into the female connector 48 of another housing 10 in a snap fit relationship, as shown in FIG. 5.
It will be appreciated when considering the above dedetailed description of the preferred embodiment of our invention, that the portion of the connector which carries the resilient latching fingers may be readily routed through the opening of a panel without damage to the fingers. The fingers act to hold a second portion of the connector in attached relationship with the first portion and the protecting elements not only protect the fingers during routing but also provide an increased area operating mechanism for allowing separation of the housings from each other.
What is claimed is:
1. A terminal connector block which is adapted to be routed through an opening in a panel or the like comprising,
a housing member having a plurality of external faces and being adapted to hold at least one terminal therein,
a substantially elongated resilient latching means mounted upon at least one of said faces at a point intermediate its ends for holding a second housing in attached relationship with said housing member,
one end of said resilient latching means being moveable away from its associated face when pressure is applied to the other end of said latching means, said other end of said latching means normally be- 4 ing spaced from said one face, and
resilient protecting means formed integral with said latching means adjacent other end and attached to said housing member independently of the latching means mounting, said protecting means preventing damage to the latching means and its spaced other end when the block is being routed through the opening in the panel.
2. The connector block of claim 1 wherein said housing member, latching means and protecting means are of single one-piece moulded construction.
3. The connector block of claim 1 including projections on at least one of said faces adapted to cooperate with mating projections on another like housing member for attaching a plurality of said housing members in stacked relationship.
4. A terminal connector block which is adapted to be routed through an opening in a panel or the like comprising,
a housing member having a plurality of external faces and being adapted to hold at least one terminal therein,
substantially elongated resilient latching means mounted upon at least one of said faces at a point intermediate its ends for holding a second housing in attached relationship with said housing member, one end of said resilient latching means being moveable away from its associated face when pressure is applied to the other end of said latching means, said other end of said latching means normally being spaced from said one face, and resilient protecting means formed integral with said latching means adjacent said other end of the latching means to prevent damage to the latching means and its spaced other end when the block is being routed through the opening in the panel, said protecting including a curvilinear surface spaced at varying distance from said one face, said distance being substantially a maximum adjacent said other end of said latching means and being greater than the spacing distance of said other end of said latching means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,181,974 5/1965 Barbera.
3,259,870 7/ 1966 Winkler.
3,289,145 11/1966 Ruehlemann et al. 339-91 X 3,398,390 8/1968 Long.
3,399,374 8/1968 Pauza et al. 339-91 3,409,858 11/ 1968 Krehbiel 339-91 LARAMIE E. ASKIN, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.
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