US 3500288 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 10,1970 K. J- STAR-flu arm. 3,500,288
rnmrrim cmcuu counsc'ron mam RESILIENTLY MOUNTED cbnncws Filed lay a, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 WHHHH' mva/vroz KENNETH 360m SmR'rtN" NofznaN Lacuna: em s Qua J.
March 10, 1970 J. STARTIN ErAL 3,500,288
PRINT!) CIRCUIT CONNECTOR WITH RESILIENTLY MOUNTED CONTACTS F11! It, 6, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOQ KENNETH 3mm STARHN Noevmw Leonaao 2am United States Patent Ofi Yice 3,500,288 Patented Mar. 10, 1970 3,500,288 PRINTED CIRCUIT CONNECTOR WITH RESILIENTLY MOUNTED CONTACTS Kenneth John Startin, Hemel Hempstead, and Norman Leonard Reed, Aylesbury, England, assignors, by mesne assignments, to AMP Incorporated, Harrisburg, Pa., a corporation of New Jersey Filed May 6, 1968, Ser. No. 726,905 Claims priority, application Great Britain, May 20, 1967, 23,539/ 67 Int. Cl. H05k 1/00 U.S. Cl. 339-17 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A printed circuit connector comprises a housing provided with locking projections for engaging openings in a printed circuit board. Connector supports project from a main section of the housing via resilient necks which take up irregularities in the levels of the printed conductor paths of the printed circuit board with respect to the connectors in the connector supports.
A printed circuit connector assembly may comprise an insulating housing containing a series of electrical connectors each having a connecting portion for connection to an electrical lead and a contact portion having a contact surface for engaging a printed conductor on a printed circuit panel or board, the contact surfaces of the connectors projecting from a face of the housing, the housing having means for locking the housing to the panel so that the contact surfaces engage printed conductors on the panel.
According to the invention the housing comprises a main body incorporating the locking means and a series of connector supporting portions each connected to the main body by a resilient neck and carrying one of the connectors, the supporting portions and the main body being relatively movable by virtue of the resilience of the necks to take up irregularities in the levels of the printed conductors with respect to the contact surfaces of the connectors.
The invention can be applied with particular advantage to elongate connector assemblies having, for example, a length of several inches and in which the housing and panel manufacturing tolerances may result in some mismatching between the housing and the panel. The invention also permits a wide choice in construction of the connectors themselves. Although the contact surfaces of the connectors are preferably spring loaded to improve the contact pressure between these surfaces and the printed conductors, the connectors may, by virtue of the resilience of the necks, be formed, for example, by simple pins, one end of each pin forming the contact surface of the connector.
The locking means comprises latch members insertable through holes in the printed circuit panel, each latch member consisting of a post formed integrally with the main body and being movable relative to the main body, the post terminating in a latching portion, e.g. a barbed portion for insertion through a hole in the panel. In this case, the holes in the panel are so spaced from one another that the posts must be moved resiliently relative to the main body to permit the latching portions to be inserted through the holes, subsequent relaxation of the posts causing the latching portions to lock the housing to the panel.
The main body may comprise projections for insertion through further holes in the panel, these projections being so disposed that the housing can be mounted on the panel only with a desired orientation. To the same end, the latching portions may be formed for insertion through irregularly-shaped holes in the panel, the crosssections of the latching portions being matched to the shapes of these holes. Each post may extend from a projection of the main body of the housing to form a loop which can be constricted to move the post relative to the main body.
An object of the invention is to provide a connector for a printed circuit board that has means to compensate for manufacturing tolerances of the board and connector.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a connector for a printed circuit board having means for removably securing the connector on the printed circuit board.
A further object of the invention is to provide polarizing means on the printed circuit connector and board for orientating the connector in proper position when the connector is secured on the printed circuit board.
An additional object of the invention is the provision of resilient latching means provided on a printed circuit connector housing for latchably securing the housing on a printed circuit board with the latching means also de-' fining polarizing means to assure proper positioning of the connector on the board so that improper connections are obviated thereby.
Other objects and 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 purposes 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 in various forms, each as may be best suited to the conditions of a particular use.
For a better understanding of the invention, reference will now be made by way of example to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a enlarged perspective view of an electrical connector;
FIGURE 2 is a bottom plan View of an insulating housing;
FIGURE 3 is an end view of the housing;
FIGURE 4 is an elevational view of the housing;
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view of the housing showing a connector according to FIG- URE l disposed in the housing;
FIGURE 6 is a plan view of a printed circuit panel or board;
FIGURE 7 is a schematic elevational view showing the housing releasably clamped to the printed circuit panel;
FIGURE 8 is a bottom plan view of a modified form of the housing;
FIGURE 9 is an end view of the housing of FIG- URE 8;
FIGURE 10 is an elevational view of the housing of FIGURES 8 and 9; and
FIGURE 11 is a plan view of a printed circuit panel or board for use with the housing of FIGURES 8 to 10.
Reference will now be made to FIGURE 11. An electrical connector 2 comprises a crimping ferrule portion 4 crimped about the bared end of the electrically conductive core and about the insulation of an insulated electrical wire 6. The connector has a resilient holding portion 8 which is essentially U-shaped as seen in crosssection and from the forward or lefthand (as seen in FIGURE 1) end of which, project radially of the portion 8 two oppositely positioned and identical ears 10. The base of the U formed by the portion 8 has an extension 12 bent over to intersect the longitudinal axis of the portion 8 and having a bent-out dome 14 providing a contact surface. The extension 12 is resiliently movable towards and away from the portion 8 about its junction therewith.
Reference will now be made to FIGURES 2 to- 4. A housing 16 of resilient plastics material, e.g. acetal resin, polyamide, polycarbonate, polystyrene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or copolymer, comprises an elongated main body 18, to either end of which are hingedly connected by necks 20 posts 22 having finger grips formed by transverse ribs 24 on their outer sides, the lower (as seen in FIGURE 4) ends of the posts 22 terminating in locking portions 26. Depending from the body 18 are locating ribs 28 and 29 extending at right angles to one another.
As shown in FIGURE 3, a row of connector supporting members 30 extends along either side of the body 18, each member 30 being hingedly connected to the body 18 by a neck 32 which is of sufficiently small cross-section as to be resiliently deformable. Each member 30 has a circular-section axial aperture 34 therethrough, which communicates with the outer wall 35 of the member 30 by way of an axial 'slot 36 by virtue of which the aperture walls are resiliently deformable radially outwardly of the aperture 34. Spacers 38 project perpendicularly from the underside (as seen in FIGURE 4) of the member 30'. The housing 16 can readily be formed as a single molding.
As shown in FIGURE 5, each member 30 receives a connector as described above with reference to FIG- URE 2. The connector 2, after being crimped to the wire 6, is pushed from beneath, i.e. in the direction of the arrow A in FIGURE into the aperture 34, the insertion of the connector 2 into the aperture 34 being limited by the abutment of the ears against the lower (as shown in FIGURE 5) wall of the member 30. The resilient holding portion 8 of the connector 2 and the resilient walls of the aperture 34 co-operate to restrain movement of the connector 2 in the aperture 34. In the fully inserted position of the connector 2, the dome 14 projects, as shown in FIGURE 5, beyond the spacers 38.
As shown in FIGURE 6, a printed circuit panel 40 has printed conductors 42 having connection pads 44. Although only three of the conductors 42 are shown in FIGURE 6, there may, for example, be sixteen of these conductors to correspond with the number of connectors 2 in the housing 16. The panel 40 has holes 46 dimensioned to receive the locking portions 26 of the posts 22, and locating holes 48 and 50 dimensioned to receive the ribs 28 and 29 respectively of the body 18. The spacing between the holes 46 slightly exceeds the spacing between the locking portions 26.
To connect the wire 6 to the printed conductors 42, the upper (as seen in FIGURE 4) ends of the posts 22 are pressed towards one another with the aid of the finger grip ribs 24 so that the posts pivot about the necks thereby to spread the portions 26 slightly apart to conform to the spacing between the holes 46. The portions 26 are then inserted through these holes and the posts 22 permitted to return to the position of FIGURE 4 so that the portions 26 lock against the underside of the panel 40 as shown in FIGURE 7. The housing 16 can only be locked to the panel 40 with one orientation with respect thereto by virtue of the relative orientations of the projections 28 and 29 and the holes 48 and 50 which provides a polarizing orientation.
The spacing between the members 30 and the panel 40 is determined by the spacers 38 which act as counterabutrnents with respect to the members 26 thereby keeping pressure on members 26. In the relative orientation determined by the projections 28 and 29 and holes 48 and 50, the domes 14 engage pads 44 of the conductors 42, the resilience of such engagement being enhanced by the resilience of the necks 20 and 32. Irregularities in the levels of the printed conductors with respect to the domes 14,
i.e. the contact surfaces of the connectors 2, which irregularities may occur as a result of housing and panel manufacturing tolerances are taken up by the necks 32 by virtue of which the members 30 can move individually away from the panel 40 against the resilient action of the necks 32.
Reference will now be made to FIGURES 8 to 11, in which parts which are the same as those described above with reference to FIGURES 1 to 7 bear the same reference numerals with the addition of a prime mark. Parts described above with reference to FIGURES 1 to 7 will not be described again with reference to FIGURES 8 to 11 since to do so will only be superfluous.
The housing 16' has at either end an upstanding projection 52 from which extends a leg 54 so that the projection 52 and leg 54 co-operate to form a bow 56. Each leg 54 terminates in a locking portion 58, which, as shown in FIG- URE 8, is inclined with respect to the adjacent end wall 60 of the housing 16', the portions 58 of the two ends of the housing 16' being oppositely inclined. Projections 62 formed as extensions of the projections 52 protrude beyond the bottom of the housing 16 and lie parallel to the walls 60, the inner edges of the projections 62 being chamfered at 63.
As shown in FIGURE 11, the panel 40' has only two holes 64. The holes 64 have opposite sides 66 of unequal length so that one side 68 of each hole 64 is inclined with respect to its opposite side 70, the sides 68 of the two holes being oppositely inclined. The spacing between the holes 64 slightly exceeds that between the portions 58.
To assemble the housing 16' to the panel 40, the bows 56 are pressed to move the portions 58 towards the housing 16', the projections 62 and portions 58 being then inserted through the holes 64 and guided by the chamfered edges 63. The bows 56 are subsequently released to permit the portions 58 to move away from the housing 16' so that the housing 16 is securely locked to the panel 40. By virtue of the opposite inclination of the portions 58 and sides 68, the housing 16' can only be secured to the panel 40 with a single orientation with respect thereto. The housing 16 is mounted resiliently to the panel 40' by virtue of the bows 56.
It will, therefore, be appreciated that the aforementioned and other desirable objects have been achieved; however, it should be emphasized that the particular embodiments of the invention, which are shown and described herein, are intended as merely illustrative and not as restrictive of the invention.
The invention is claimed in accordance with the fo lowing:
1. A printed circuit connector assembly comprising an insulating housing containing a series of electrical connectors each having a connecting portion for connection to an electrical lead and a contact portion having a contact surface for engaging a printed conductor on a printed circuit panel, the contact surfaces of the connectors projecting from a face of the housing, means provided by said housing for locking the housing to the panel so that the contact surfaces engage the printed conductors on the panel; the housing including a main body incorporating the locking means and a series of connector supporting portions, resilient neck means connecting said connector supporting portions to said body and carrying one of the connectors, the supporting portions and the main body being relatively movable by virtue of the resilience of the necks to take up irregularities in the levels of the printed conductors with respect to the contact surfaces of the connectors.
2. An assembly according to claim 1 in which the main body comprises projections for insertion through further holes in the panel, these projections being so disposed that the housing can be mounted on the panel only with a desired orientation.
3. An assembly according to claim 1, in which the locking means comprises latch members insertable through holes in the printed circuit panel, each latch member consisting of a post formed integrally with the main body and being movable relative to the main body, the post terminating in a latching portion for insertion through a hole in the panel.
4. An assembly according to claim 3, and including the panel, the holes in the panel being so spaced from one another that the posts must be moved resiliently relative to the main body to permit the latching portions to be inserted through the holes.
5. An assembly according to claim 3 in which the latching portions have cross-sections matched to the shapes of unsymmetrically shaped holes in the panel.
6. An assembly according to claim 3 in which each post extends from a projection of the main body to form a loop which can be constricted to move the post relative to the main body.
7. An electrical connector housing comprising a main body section, connector-supporting means extending outwardly from at least one side of said main body section, integral neck means between said main body section and said connector-supporting means hingedly connecting said main body section and said connector-supporting means together, and integral locking means hingedly connected to opposing sides of said main body section for latchably securing said housing onto a mounting member.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,911,610 11/1959 Kirk 339-17 9/1965 Aquillon 339-476 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,423,909 11/1965 France.
RICHARD E. MOORE, Primary Examiner JOSEPH H. McGLYNN, Assistant Examiner U.S. C1.X.R.